Monday, December 31, 2012

Beautiful Bali

This Christmas I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends to travel with and we decided that the relaxing island of Bali would be our stop.  We booked our budget liner tickets (Tiger Airways... decent but nothing stellar... in a word: budget, so not a problem), perused hotels and resorts online for the best deals for us.  I had been to Bali one time before but had no recollection of where I had stayed (I suffered the sun burn to end all sun burns and saw more of the inside of the hotel than anything or anywhere else... thank you Sophia for being a good nurse and friend that time). Needless to say, our knowledge was limited.  We asked around and people told us to avoid Kuta (where all the nutty tourists hang out) and to try for Seminyak.  We narrowed our search but weren't able to find a hotel that would suit 3 people for a reasonable price in Seminyak.  So instead, we chose a newly developed area called Pecatu.
This is actually in Nusa Dua

The location was a little out of the way for our liking but the beach was close, the price was right and we figured we could deal with the rest.  When we arrived, we were smitten with Bali and charmed by the chaos (coming from super organized Singapore can make you yearn for the chaos of past locations).  We arrived at our hotel, pleased and ready to enjoy our time.  The room wasn't fabulous but had a sea view and bedrooms for each of us, so we were pleased, popped the bubbly and commenced holiday mode.
Our hotel lobby

Bali is the island of gods.  There are thousands represented there, even though our driver of choice (Mr. Pande... use him if you can when there, he's lovely) told us that the religion of Bali was "Bali Hindu" with just one god overall.  Temples are on every street corner it seems and in-between whenever possible it seems.  It also seems that ceremonies abound and cause traffic delays all over the island on a regular basis.  I think we were caught in one or two jams just about every day that we were there.  But for some reason, you overlook it... maybe it's the island vibe or the calm way that all the drivers seem to take the delays.

We checked off many of the amazing things to do on the island when there:

Go to Kuta - experience the markets and the craziness of the tourist chaos.
Shopping in Kuta

Eat on Jimbaran Beach - makes sure you go to Ganesha Restaurant... they have the *wiggling my fingers* live fish... not the *imitating a sleeping fish* dead ones (although they had those too), as told to us by our driver that day (clearly his English was a little limited).
Me and the girls at the beach (Christmas Day)

selecting our fresh catch for dinner

Delicious grilled tuna!

See the cliff-side temples of Uluwatu.

Enjoy the magic of a Balinese sunset (thankfully, we got to do that just about every night).

Even stormy skies produce magic!!

Go to Ubud and see the temples and artist displays.

Shop, shop, shop for batik and silver (came home with the batik but not the silver).

Lay lazily on the beach (although my back only permitted me to stand... but to stand in golden sand is a fine thing).
This was just a 10 minute walk from the hotel

Get caught in the traffic jam of a temple ceremony.
preparing for a ceremony the following day

The traffic jam was huge for this one!!

Embrace island life.

Although the chaos of Bali is charming in the beginning, I was more than ready to return to the organization and predictability of Singapore at the end of a week (more on that in another post, another time).


Jackie said...

Are all of these photos yours? If so, they are amazing... if not..well, good finds. Your vacation looks and sounds like it was fantastic. Happy to hear that you didn't get as burned as last time and you got to explore more! :)

Angela Collins said...

They are all mine... thanks!!!!!