Travel: The sights and noises of captivating Bali

Flying straight from Bangkok to Bali was the most expense efficient method of getting the four of us to the area of Indonesia we wanted to explore on this trip. Air Asia took us to Denpasar for $370 USD after a couple of days in the Thai capital to separate the long rail journey from south Thailand. After what can only be described as a clusterf ** k at 4.30 am with 8 thousand feckless Chinese tourists in Don Muang we touched down 3 hours later in a serenely empty and incredibly efficient Denpasar airport where Indonesia has relaxed visa requirements and now offers 30 days on arrival.

Bali was not and has actually never ever been a place I’ve yearned to travel to; visions of a Phuket-like traveler hell-hole overrun by inebriated Aussies have actually been conjured when thinking about this island. I was happily surprised to find that only the Kuta location of Bali resembles this metaphorical Gomorrah of travel locations and the rest of the island was rather an eye opener. We reserved a taxi online to avoid the normal airport rip-offs and dodgy motorists, ours was punctual and professional, and with the best cost at the time I have no problems with an immoral suggestion (

The very first things that trick one about Bali are the travel ranges and times; what appears to be a short 50km drive can quickly take well over an hour, maybe two. The roads are obstructed with trucks, busses and bikes and are primarily single lane; going is slow to say the least. Our spot was Candidasa on the northeast coast and our hotel, The Natia, didn’t disappoint with 2 big adjacent spaces a couple of actions far from an infinity swimming pool overlooking Lembongan Island. The very first day was invested relaxing from the journey and exploring the area which essentially was a busy road lined with pricey tourist restaurants all providing the very same menus, and a bunch of souvenir shops. Everything sold in a bar, restaurant or hotel in Bali goes through 10% federal government tax and 10% service charge so it can get quite costly and obviously there is no have to tip! Candidasa has no beach but we knew that prior to arrival, we live on a beach so it had not been a top priority.

It was time to do exactly what we do well; get hold of a couple of motorcycles and hit the road, our very first area was a little bay called Virgin Beach just up the coast from Candidasa. Something you need to get utilized to in Bali is parking, whenever and any place you do it a guy will immediately appear from no place with a little ticket book and charge you a nominal cost, typically around 3,000 rupiahs ($0.25), so if your wheels have actually stopped rolling he’ll exist! Virgin beach was far from untouched; hawkers, dining establishments and a lot of garbage awaited the beach goer, negatives aside it was still an enjoyable area for a swim and a couple of shots.

It was then onwards to Ahmed by means of some hillside villages, rice terraces and seriously twisty roadways. We dined on the black sand beach which acted as a parking lot for the regional fishing fleet of outriggers. Ahmed is a laid back little town with a cluster of dive shops and a few fancy resorts, there is not much else to note. This was supposed to be our halfway point to Batur crater lake but considering it had taken the entire early morning to cover 60 kilometers we chose to take the coastal road back which took the whole afternoon!

Almost 3 hours later on, after some seriously dangerous east coast hugging roadways we came to the Ujung water palace and picked up a little look around the lakes and tropical gardens.

Balinese faith is mainly Hindu integrating regional animism and this appears in life with regular offerings to deities and outdoors homes and shops. We found the body of a dead pup lying where it died in the middle of the roadway surrounded by flowers, leaves and other offerings to assist the release of the soul. My boy wanted to purchase some fishing deal with however we were informed that it is not offered after 6pm on the island so as not to upset the spirits of the ocean or something comparable that could not be translated!

The kids had actually been flexing ear for a fishing expedition so the following day we chartered a regional outrigger for a couple of hours fishing at an expense of 400k (approx $30). We headed for a few tiny islands off the coast of Candidasa, the fishing was pretty fundamental and the majority of the little reef fish we captured were launched, though the boat children wanted to keep the bigger blue triggerfish as apparently you can consume them.

I wanted to get up at least one volcano on Bali so we rented a vehicle (Toyota Avanza @ 220k) and drove west in the instructions of Mount Batur. A couple of hours later, after some 20kph slogs behind trucks that could not be overtaken as the roadway was hardly the width of one automobile, we arrived at Bali’s largest lake and a spectacular view of the volcano that created it.

Back on the roadway we headed down the mountain towards Ubud, stopping for a couple of pictures and an ice cream at Bali s well-known rice terraces, which of course was uber touristy. Ubud is the arts and culture heart of Bali, streets of stores offering wood carvings, art, textiles and a cluster of hippy-type yoga and massage locations make up most of the town.

The Tanah Lot Hindu temple is one of Bali’s significant tourist attractions but it is well organized and fairly economical (35,000 rupiah) to get in. It is on a little island which is just accessible when the tide is out, which it luckily was at the time of our check out. No place have we seen the conceited obsession with selfies more popular than here, why people endeavor to new and exotic locations to take pictures of themselves is beyond me.

The return drive back to Candidasa through north Kuta was like being in a depraved racing computer game; they drive like utter lunatics here but can never ever leave third equipment due to the narrow roads and heavy traffic so we didn’t see any accidents over the 3 days, unlike in Thailand where they are an everyday spectacle.