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My trip to Bali was a refreshing change from Australia and New Zealand, but unfortunatley my one week in Indonesia was beguiled by a case of food poisoning. I started my trip in Kuta, where the infamous Balinese bombings occurred.

My hotel room in Kuta

Typical street scene in Kuta.

After being in Kuta for one night I chartered a van to take me to Ubud, the cultural center of Bali. Once in Ubud I spent the entire day walking around, probably about 15km total, through beautiful rice fields, steep valley's and along the irrigation system that all of Bali depends on for water. For lunch I stopped at a place recommended by Lonely Planet that I believe was responsible for my food poisoning.

Pathway through the rice fields near Ubud

Rice fields outside of Ubud.

View from my hotel room in Ubud.

Pathway through the rice fields near Ubud.

Grabbing some coconuts.

Valley near Ubud.

Giant spider about the size of my palm.

That night I went to see the traditional Balinese dance called the Legong.

Legong dance in Ubud. (2.9 Mb)

After leaving Ubud I made my way to Kintimani and the great Gunug Barut, stopping along the way to buy gifts, visit some of the hindu temples, and go to the Bali zoo.

Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) near Ubud.

Inside Gunung Kawi.

Ancient Balinese Hindu Temple

Gunug Kawi

Waterfall near Gunug Kawi

Walking back to Gunug Kawi from the waterfall.

Beautifully terraced rice fields

Roosters kept in cages to be entertained by passing people (Used in cock fights)

Funny statue at the entrance to the Bali zoo

Komodo dragon


Birds at the Bali zoo

Stone carving workshop between Denpasar and Ubud

Bali zoo

Gunug Barut, double caldera volcano near Kintimani

I arrived in Amed that afternoon and would stay here for the next two days, mainly recovering from the food poisoning, but also managing to get in a few snorkeling dives.

Pool at hotel in Amed

On my second night in Amed I spent the evening sitting around on the beach here with the local villagers as they offered me plum wine (drunk out of a petrol container). Of course our dialogue was limited, but I did manage to pick up a few Indonesian words while I was staying in Amed. In stark contrast to Australia and NZ, Bali is deserted, mainly couples visit the island for vacation so it can make for a lonely experience if you are traveling alone. Of course it also forces you to interact with the locals, which is good and one of the main reasons to travel to such far away places in the first place.

Jukung (fishing boat) on the beach in Amed

My hotel room in Amed

Hindu cows

After leaving Amed I went back to the southern part of the island to a place called Sanur near Denpasar (main city in Bali) to visit the clinic and rest up.
Rice fields under Gunung Anung

Beach in Sanur

On my second day in Sanur I really started to feel better and my appetite returned, but unfortunately my trip was over and I had to leave the next day for Singapore. Bali tourism has been devastated by the Kuta bombings and therefore is an extremely inexpensive place to vacation. I wouldn't go there alone as I did, but it would be a perfect get away for a couple. The people are wonderful and always seem to be smiling. Next time I visit I'll probably rent a motorcycle in Kuta and spend my time riding all over the island. Scooter and motorcycle are the preffered means of transportation and can be hired for around 30,000 Rupiah per day or approx. $US 5 per day. Motorcycle travel also provides a full immersion into the everyday life of the Balinese that you won't get by driving or chartering a car. I ran into an Italian/German couple in Amed who rented a motorcycle and were very glad that they did. Rooms without AC go for about 30,000 to 40,000 Rupiah per day and with AC around 100,000 to 150,000. Some of the resorts in the area that cater to packaged tours will run much higher.
If you have plans to visit Bali, let me know and I can share some more with you and even offer some suggestions on where to stay.
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