Bali, Indonesia

After the hectic travel schedule of our train journey from Laos to Singapore, we decided to visit Bali & the surrounding islands for a chance to slow down the pace a little…

Sanur
Our first stop was the coastal town of Sanur. Popular with couples & older travellers who do not want the backpacker party scene of the popular Kuta.
Sanur is a busy transit point for the the other islands so unfortunately, close to town the beautiful beach is lined with speedboats & ‘ferries’.
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Hindu Life
Balinese people have their own version of Hinduism & each house has its own temple. There are many ceremonies throughout the day & traditional dress is worn for these.
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Dainty offerings are made to the Gods throughout the day

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Man & children in sarongs Photo: Flickr

Ubud
The cultural centre of the island. I can imagine Ubud 10 years ago with its spiritual vibe; laid back culture & chilled out tourists. Now, those aspects have been highly commercialised, with plentiful upmarket spas; expensive vegan/vegetarian cafes; a multitude of yoga schools & associated yoga products; expensive boutique clothes shops & International restaurants.
Dig around in the backstreets & you can still find authentic warungs, selling delicious local food & drinks.

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Sitting in one of Ubud's many coffee shops, overlooking paddy fields

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Things to do
The Monkey forest & Temple
An ancient temple & gardens, now used as a temple for cremations. It is full of families of monkeys, which spill out onto the surrounding streets of the town. image

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We stayed in an amazing homestay with Wayan, Putu & their family (£11.50 night). It incorporated a large temple complex in the traditional style.
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Traditional Dance
Definitely a `must see, held nightly at various locations. We went to a small event in a temple with an audience of only 10 people, plus some locals standing at the back. There are several forms of Balinese dance, all dating back to ancient times. Apparently it takes many years to learn, incorporating complex eye, head, hand & finger movements.
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Ahmed
At last, the Bali we had been looking for! Ahmed is in fact a collection of small villages along a 10km strip if black volcanic beach. There are a collection of warungs selling cheap, amazing, local food (including: prawns, Barracuda, Dorada & Mackerel all for £2 plate). There are few tourists here, mainly staying in homestays along the beach; but the main focus is on local life.

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Black beaches overlooked by Mount Baru which last erupted 1999-2000

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Fab homestay on the beach

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Unloading the morning's catch

Our homestay (£13 night) was run by another guy called Wayan & his daughter also called Wayan (we later found out in Hindu families in Bali, the firstborn is always called “Wayan”, “Gede” or “Putu”, second is “Made” or “Kadek”, third is “Nyoman” or “Komang”, and fourth is “Ketut”. Therefore depending on caste/custom people will only be called one of four names (additional info: Wikipedia).

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Sunrise reflection on Volcano Baru
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Jemeluk Bay - amazing snorkeling
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Jemeluk on a stormy day

More photos? See

7 comments

  1. Hope you’re enjoying the rest after such a busy 25 days travelling. The family stay looks like such a great place to experience. Would love to see the dancing.

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