Indonesia Series: I Miss You Bali Much

06-08 July 2015

Do you know that feeling? That feeling when it hits you that the time you’ve had can never be taken back and you will just have to rely on the memories embedded in your mind because that’s the closest you can get to having it back again? That’s how Bali and Indonesia as a whole is making me feel. I’m missing all of it.

Dear Bali,

I have always had a crush on you. I’m sorry, was that too much for a first line? It’s true, anyway. So when we arrived on the morning of July 6th while Mount Raung in Java Indonesia slowed down in spewing volcanic ashes at your airport and you welcomed us with open arms, the more excited I was to get to know you.

Maunt Raung as seen from my window while our plane was about to land in Denpasar Airport.

A friendly hotel staff fetched us from the airport. The check-in at Hotel NEO was fast and smooth and the reservations for chartered vehicles were immediately processed. We were happy that we could finally relax!

Our first afternoon in your city was spent at Legian beach, just a 10-minute walk from our hotel. The beach was packed but luckily we found ourselves available loungers being lent by the locals for IDR 50,000 each. Cliff ordered his Bintang beer while I got my fix of fresh coconut juice; he was there to swim and I, to watch the sunset.

The sun setting on the horizon as seen from the Legian beach.

The day after was reserved for more touristy spots around Ubud. We went to the Sacred Monkey Forest where mosquitoes feasted on our bloods while we were walking around the area. The long-tailed macaques in the forest were generally friendly and minds their own business except for two who were trying to attack me while I was taking pictures. Up until now I am not sure what they were really up to.

One long-tailed macaque in attack mode while I was taking pictures of his friends. As we walked past them, he looked at me ferociously.

Tegallalang rice terraces was not as I expected. (I’m sorry Bali my love, but I find rice terraces in the Philippines more beautiful than yours.) Where our driver took us, the fields were unplanted, some seemed dry. Do they not use those fields anymore? We were even surprised that for every hut that we passed while progressing through the fields, a ‘forced donation’ was being asked by the locals. Was the 20,000-rupiah entrance still not enough? 😣

Then our driver insisted that we visit Kintamani to view Mount Batur. It was not part of our plans and we did not want to waste time viewing a mountain. But we went anyway because we realized we still had plenty of time and there we could have our lunch. Your locals sure know where to take us and I’m glad he did not allow us to skip this. You made our hearts skip a beat! On our way to Kintamani, Cliff and I were talking about some random things then we couldn’t help but stop and stare in awe as Mount Batur and the lake were showing off their magnificence! We had buffet lunch at some mountain view restaurant, which I failed to know what the name was, and spent some good one and a half hours there and we still could not stop crushing on this part of your island! As always, the time we had with you was not enough.

The view of Mount Batur and Danau Batur from the restaurant.

We moved on and made our way to Gunung Kawi Temple. It’s not as grand and majestic as Prambanan but it was still a sight to behold especially that they were unique with Balinese architecture. I loved the fact that this temple looked like it was naturally there as it blended with nature instead of obstructing it.

A portion of the temple viewed from the bridge.

Our third and last day with you was no different as I spent the afternoon visiting more of your touristy spots: the Balinese sea temple, Pura Luhur Uluwatu; the coffee plantation where I learned more about the tea and coffee varieties you offer; and Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. It was an ordinary day until the night came.

For two nights we have been spending a couple of hours in restobars in Jalan Legian and was initially displeased as most of them seem dry and boring and already close at midnight. But on the third night we were proven wrong, like they knew we were leaving and they would not allow us to leave with a bad impression! We had a short chat with Jed, a staff in Joker’s Bar, and he told us about foods we must try and other places we could go and suggested that we try Eikon, so we did.

The place was where the fun is – loud upbeat music, nonstop dancing, a crowd of tourists – everything we were looking for and missed in the past two nights! Our flight was at 6 AM the next day but we did not care. We stayed there until we had no more hours and rupiahs to spend, we danced like crazy and in the middle of it all almost cried as we did not want to leave. We refused to believe that we need to.

At 4 AM we left for the airport sleepless, hungover, happy and heartbroken! But who cares?

So, when can I see you again? 💔

Missing you,

Dianne

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