Bali is “UnBalievable”, as one of my friends commented on a photo. When I was backpacking through Thailand, some of our new friends mentioned they were planning to head to Bali after Thailand. My friends and I seriously considered changing our plane tickets, and heading to Bali instead of back home. Once we looked up the cost of changing our flight home, we changed our minds. Bali has been on my bucket list since then, and I finally got to check it off a few days ago.
I was originally supposed to go to Amsterdam, but when I saw that someone had sent me a swap for my Amsterdam for their Bali, I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough to accept it. I love Amsterdam, but Bali is hard to get and I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity!
We arrived late at night and after three hours sleep and about a 14-hour day, all I had energy for was taking off my face of makeup and crawling into bed. The good news is that I was up bright and early, ready to make the most of my day. After an absolutely wonderful breakfast buffet, I headed out with two of my colleagues for some sight seeing.
With only 24 hours, it makes it a little tricky at times to go on tours. We wanted to have time to sightsee as well as go to the beach, and an organized tour simply didn’t give us time to do both. Instead, we hired a driver to take us around. It was ideal as we were able to tell him what we were interested in seeing and he was able to help us make the most of our time. The hotel had their own drivers, however it was about half the price to call a driver from outside to come meet us.
One of our “must see” items was the rice terraces. We wanted to go to Ubud originally, but settled for something closer so we had more time to see other places as well.
Next up was the Tanah Lot sea temple. We happened to visit during high tide, which meant access to the temple was completely blocked off because of the water. It made for a spectacular sight however, with the waves crashing against the temple. It is believed that the temple is guarded by sea snakes. One of my Indonesian colleagues said if you reach into the caves and touch the white and black striped snakes, it will bring you good fortune. I’m going to have to find other ways, as I am absolutely terrified of snakes.
Our driver pulled over a few more times on the way back from the temple so we could take pictures, and then we made a stop at a coffee plantation. A guide walked us through pointing out different plants, and explaining the benefits and what it is used for. At the end we were given a tray of tea and coffee samples. From bottom right to top left, we sampled: Mangosteen tea, Lemongrass tea, ginger tea, lemon tea, a tea I can’t remember, red ginger tea, ginseng coffee, bali cocoa, spicy cocoa, vanilla coffee, bali coffee, and finally coconut coffee. My friends both purchased a cup of the Kopi Luwak coffee (the most expensive coffee in the world) as the most affordable place to try it is in Indonesia. I am not a big coffee drinker, so I skipped the extra cup of coffee. Not to mention the process of how it is made (to put it politely, through a civet cat’s digestive tract..) does not sound pleasant.
I definitely want to return to Bali one day as it was a wonderful place with wonderful people, and I feel like there is plenty more exploring left for me to do.