Bali is quite an incredible place! It looks almost straight out of a fairy tale or something along those lines. This is the first impression I had, coming from a long time spent in Pulau Weh and Sumatra.
After finishing work at Rubiah Tirta Divers, Dom and I decided to explore a different part of Indonesia and head to Bali for some chilling out time and scuba diving. Same country but definitely a mission to travel from one place to the other.
We traveled all day long. We got on the 8am ferry from Pulau Weh to Banda Aceh, then we flew from Banda Aceh to Jakarta and finally from Jakarta to Bali. We arrived in Bali at about 9pm. Luckily I had already booked us a guest house to avoid having to wonder looking for a late at night.
We headed to Sanur, which is a short twenty minutes drive from the airport and it is not as crowded as Kuta. The owner of Bali Senia Hotel upgraded us to a superior room, so we got quite a treat.
Comfy big bed, hot water and room service! Wow, coming from the basics of Pulau Weh this was proper luxury! The hotel would also be our base in Bali while we traveled around.
Luckily we were able to leave most of our luggage there and travel just with the bare necessity: our diving gear, camera, toothbrush and a couple of changing clothes.
The next day we went walking around Sanur checking out the area and the local beach. It was definitely a different world from Pulau Weh. Much more touristic, Hindu temples everywhere with offering to the Gods and a strong smell of incense filling the air all around (which of course I loved!).
It was almost like a different country! Not to talk about their traditional local dish: Babi Guling, which is suckling pig stuffed and infused with a spicy concoction typically involving turmeric, coriander seeds, lemongrass, black pepper and garlic, and traditionally spit-roasted. Mouth watering!
Unfortunately I didn’t have the pleasure of tasting it since the few warungs (local eateries) I checked were sold out or only made it to order for big groups! Well, I will have to go back to Bali to have a taste of this delicacy.
We made a point of eating loads of pork dishes while we were there, to make up for the pork free time we had in Sumatra. Our hotel restaurant made very tasty pork chops!
One thing that really impressed me about Bali was its traditional style dress. Bali is an island with strong traditions and religious ceremonies and their clothing is definitely one of the strongest traditions they have.
On a normal daily basis men and women wear colourful sarongs with a shirt (men) or blouse (women) but when it comes to attend an important ceremony or go to the temple, the Balinese wear their finest traditional clothes with the drape normally made out of Batik which is a traditional cotton fabric painted with beautiful patterns.
They even dress statues and buildings with their textiles!
Balinese food is simply delicious. I fell in love with Sambal, the traditional Balinese sauce made of shallots, garlic, lemongrass, lime, chilly, fish sauce, coriander and coconut (or vegetable) oil. Simply delicious, especially with a freshly barbecued fish.
The scenery in Bali is fantastic and ever so different. From green and lush rice terraces to volcanoes and mountains that during the dry season take a very dramatic arid look.
Bali is a fantastic place but to truly appreciate it, one has to look beyond the huge number of tourists and Australian expats that nowadays populates the “Island of Gods”.