Indonesia · 18 Days · 20 Moments · March 2017

Laura's journi to Indonesia

19 March 2017

We left Kuta and headed to Sanur. I had looked into sanur and it was known for surfing and snorkelling. It was only 20 mins from Kuta. We arrived at our accommodation which was lovely. Up this cute little street and it looked as if it only had 3 rooms and we we were the only people here! Our room was fab and it had a swimming pool. We headed for a walk along the beach. It had lots of hotel bars, cafes and restaurants and again the beach was lovely. We went for lunch at a little sort of Indonesian pop up cafe. I had the traditional noodles and a mixed fruit drink which came to just under £2 and it was really good. That's the cheapest we have had. We checked out all the happy hours at the nice places and aimed to come back to one of them because they had a traditional Balinese dance show that night. The bar was lovely, a singer and guy on the sax and then the show. Perfect for free and buy one free drinks. Met a Scottish guy aswell who had stayed for 3 weeks!

18 March 2017

The next day we walked along the beach! It was so blue! Because the Main Street was so built up and busy I didn't think the beach would be as nice. Nice gold sand, no rubbish and blue water. All one street behind the chaos! Lots of really really nice beach front hotels. We chilled for the rest of the day at pool bar at our hotel. It was a rooftop and they have deals on cocktails and beer!! We had our own little pool party. Some of the staff even came up and had a dance haha. That night we went and seen beauty and the beast!! It was amazing how well they done it with all the special effects.

17 March 2017

The drive to Kuta was a good few hours so we factored in a stop at temple Again we had to pay but it was more worth it this time. There were lots of shops and stalls. On the way we also came across a Luwak coffee shop that's had Luwaks outside. We were intrigued as they are vicious. But it was the mans friend It was a bit rainy at the temple but that creates some really impressive waves! We got to Kuta and had a walk around. This was much more western, in the sense it had pavements you wouldn't break your legs on. A good few bars, restaurants and nice shopping malls. There we a sort of BBQ food festival going on. They had a di on and then singers. It was only small but really good. We sat and watched a few. Stacey and I popped into a few of the other bars that night. They were quite lively and had good singers on!

16 March 2017

Lovina was just a quick stop because it was pretty small. We had some good food, used the pool and headed down south to Kuta the next day.

15 March 2017

We got to the temple and you had to pay to get in!!! It was nice though. Because we were up high it was cloudy and much cooler. The cool air was welcomed though. Indonesians don't like being tanned. They want to be white. Being tanned is a sign of being poor we found out. A poor man works outside and gets brown Mr Hugs explained. So two people stopped me and asked if they can have a picture. It happened before but this is the first we have had an explanation. After the temple we headed towards Git Git waterfalls. We had our bikinis on and everything ready to go in. When we got their we quickly realised we wouldn't be going in, it was huge and so powerful!!! We weren't standing too close and still got soaked from it. Again though another amazing sight! Last stop Lovina. So happy we had a pool and it was happy hour. It was a long day.
Off up north to Lovina we go. We got a driver for the day, Mr Hugs. He was lovely and very informative, great English. First he took us to the famous rice fields. Lucky we were there so early we got it for free! They were amazing to see. The fields are laid out in this way basically because they are all hills and the farmers have made beds gradually down the hill. Also allows water to go from one to another. After we went to the fields Hugs told us there was a Luwak coffee refinery close by. It's world famous coffee that comes from Luwak (the animal) poo. Poo coffee. The animals eat the best coffee beans and then poo them out. That is then made into coffee. The refinery was great and we tried all different tea and coffee and finally the Luwak coffee! It was very nice! Will take some home. It costs a small fortune though! Off we go again on our road trip, next stop Pura Ulun Danu temple!

14 March 2017

Today we were meant to go to one of the well known rice fields. However, to get to it you need to get a taxi. That morning Stacey and I were having breakfast and "free hug" taxi driver stopped to speak to us again. We went to the same place for brekkie the day before and we laughed at him because he had a sign saying "free hugs", rather than the usual "taxi". Every step you take in Ubud you are being offered a taxi. We told him of our future trip we had priced to Lovina, stopping at various tourist spots and asked how much he would take (all day taxi trip). We agreed a price but I asked if he would take us to the rice fields too. He agreed! So we just saved ourselves a taxi trip. We went to the local rice fields instead. Then we went for a Balinese massage for an hour. It is my favourite kind of massage yet!!! Oil and they are not too firm and not too soft it tickles. I loved it!!! Will be having another one very soon!

13 March 2017

After Monkey Forrest, Stacey and I had the Balinese dance show in the evening. The show was only 1h 15. We were given a programme as we entered, alongside an offer of Bintang (beer) that we couldn't refuse. I was glad I read the programme or else I wouldn't have had a clue. It was a love story. The performers made the music through sounds which was very impressive. I did think after 30 mins I will be humming the repetitive tune in my sleep that night. At the end of the show, there was the fire dance. It was sort of like a ritual dance. The performer was dressed as a dragon and walked through and kicked the burning ashes all around the stage. It was amazing to see.
I bought some bananas....and if you have have new friends.... I managed to ask some Indonesian woman to take my picture whilst they ran all over me to get a banana off me. In fairness to them, I had three bananas, and only three monkeys jamp on me! I actually seen a few fights, but it's all about territory, leadership and hierarchy. I don't think they would steal from one another. The lady who took my photos took alot, so you could see all my emotions from the moment the monkey approached me, to it climbing up on me, grabbing the banana out my hand, using me as it's table and then leaving its table. I was glad I done it in the end!
Babies everywhere! Then there was just the general cool monkeys hanging out. Then I got brave....
Monkey Forrest today!!! There is around 600 monkeys in this forrest. They aren't enclosed so they are roaming the street but you have to pay to enter the forrest. I read all the rules before going because I know from visiting Gibraltar that they can be evil. Basically, don't take bottles in, don't stare into their eyes and don't take food in. Obvious really. We went in but we were all a bit scared. The forrest itself was so lovely, and to see some of the monkeys in their own surroundings was amazing. I slightly got over the fear but Stacey and Lucy had to leave. I kept on going around. There was staff all around to forrest to advise and help and "shew" them away if need be. I have tonnes of photos. I loved the babies...

12 March 2017

The market had so much stuff I would love to buy! I could have come with and empty bag. A lot of it would just be clutter though. In different areas of the palace there were men practicing on instruments and women practicing dancing! We later found out that Ubud hosts a lot of traditional dancing and shows! Stacey and I bought tickets to one for the following night. We chose the Kecak dance and fire dance show. This is Bali's most popular dance. The fire dance is normally a show on it's own, hence why we chose that specific show. Stacey and I went and explored some bars. Seen a fab duet and headed back to the hostel. We moved hostel so were now even more central than before!

11 March 2017

We arrived in Ubud. We had to walk a good bit to find our hostel. Eventually got their. It wasn't the best, but what can we expect for £3.66 including breakfast. We went out for food and it was lovely! There were a lot of little shops. Started to see more of the traditional Balinese buildings too!! The next day we explored! We went to the "traditional market", then to The Palace and the Lotus Pond. We stumbled across the Lotus Pond, but so glad we did, it was lovely.

10 March 2017

For the next few days Gili Air consisted of the pool, food, beach, drinks and bed. It was heaven! Somehow the rest never seemed like enough rest! The only downfall was that I developed Bali Belly. It was exhausting! I won't go into detail about what it is haha. We were meant to go to Lombok but decided to skip Lombok to stay in Gili Air and then head straight to Ubud.

7 March 2017

We headed to Gili Air! It doesn't take long by boat. We booked accommodation in advance this time. It was some distance away, 30 mins in the heat with a backpack was torture!! But this island was so much nicer! A good move. Lis said this is what Gili T looked like before the knocked everything down. So next year I think Gili T will be great again. When we got to the accommodation it was lovely!!!! The outside bathroom was amazing!!! Couldn't wait to shower! We were welcomed with an amazing sort of milkshake iced coffee. And there is a pool!! Once we were settled we had a swim, they chopped down some coconuts for us and we headed out to explore. We had a nice lunch and indulged in some of their happy hour cocktails on the beach. They were lovely! Stacey and I stayed out and seen a band and spoke to some of the locals. This was a much more chilled place. They aren't so much in your face, less horses and less bikes you have to constantly dodge. Cleaner too. Little paradise.

5 March 2017

After paddle boarding we had a night out. We tried a few bars and went to the beer pong bar. It just has loads of beer pong tables set up. It was good fun. We were slightly red from the day time as you can see. At the end of the night we tried "the islands best corn". We later tried it sober and we thought it pretty much was the best!! The next day was a day of rest haha.
Paddle boarding. I just thought I would have to go on someone's board because of my ankle. But when it came to the time I really wanted to do it, he said I could kneel and do it. I tried and I could stand!! I knew I would be able to stand their and back but I managed all the way over! Lisa and I took a snorkel so we could look in every so often. But I was slightly worried to get off incase I couldn't get back on again. We still seen two turtles and you get a good view of them because your high up! We paddled all the way to Gili Meno. It's the 2nd of the 3 Gili Islands! It didn't take that long. We had a look around. It was too hard and hot with no shoes though. We paddled back and I lay on my board and looked under every so often. Lisa and I snorkelled when we got back. I went out deeper than before and I'm so glad I did because it looked amazing and we seen more turtles!!! Swimming in the deep ocean rather than sort of skimming the bottom! Amazing day.

4 March 2017

When we were having drinks the night before we chatted to one of the Indonesian PR's, Rudi. Our first daytime we headed up the island to go snorkelling. I love snorkelling and the water was so blue! On the way we met Rudi! He was talking to an older guy who was selling masks. We hired them from him and went out. Rudi joined. The aim was to see a turtle. I was really surprised at the amount of amazing fish we seen! The water is truly amazing! We headed back in. Just as I said "we should keep going, we will see one" a little head caught my eye. It was a turtle and a huge one!!! It was amazing!! I couldn't believe it! We got so so close, to the point when it's back was turned I had a quick feel of its shell. They bite so it was a bit scary! Amazing day!! Rudi told us after his paddle board business was one that got knocked down. He still does it though. So we arranged to do that with him the next day. Stace and I went for a nice cold beer in a swim up bar! We met two American girls.

3 March 2017

We set off for Gili T! It takes a while to get to the port and then the ferry is a while. Of course ours was delayed. We arrived and it was chaos! It really is a small island, so no roads, no real water supply, etc. So their transport is horse and cart!!! Lis had been last year and was a bit confused, the beach looked really messy and then once we got onto the "street" she realised that all the bars and restaurants on the beach had been knocked down!!! Turns out, they want to extend the beach. We spoke to a few Indonesians who were really positive about it. Said it would make the place so much better for us, they will separate the road for people walking and the horses and bikes because it's just chaos just now!! So far the water etc was obviously gorgeous, but I couldn't believe how much people went on about the place. Some said the best place they had been! But give it a chance. We found accommodation and went for food and drinks. Lots of happy hours. Beer is the cheapest.

2 March 2017

I arrived late at night on 01 March. First thing, money and a taxi! Easier than I thought. It was late at night so not all the taxi companies were available. I had researched companies and how much to pay. By this point I just wanted to get to the hostel. I haggled a little. Got to the hostel and the girls had waited up for me. Pretty much went straight to bed. Lucy and Stacey are the same girls I was with in NZ. When they knew I was coming to Bali, they wanted to come too so we booked our flights etc together. Then we figured out the two Swedish girls were going to be in Bali too, Lisa and Lis! So there was 5 of us!!! The next day was the only full day I had in Seminyak. So we walked around the town as much as I could with my ankle and then got a taxi to the beach. The girls had been to the beach before and they have lots of nice beanbags etc. We watched the sunset with a beer, it was lovely. We arranged to head to the Gili Islands in the morning. Everyone raves about Gili T.