It was a rushed trip but what I saw of this beautiful country, its people and its culture have left me with the desire to go back and for longer…
“3 days in Bali?” I hear you ask. Who stays in a gorgeous place like this for only 3 days?!! Well, this was not my intention but I squeezed in these 3 days whilst returning from New Zealand to London and with no real plan – other than to visit the rice terraces, meet some locals and eat some amazing food…
Finding my hotel, Bali Court Hotel and Apartments, in Legian was a bit of a ball ache especially seeing as my transfer from the port I docked in at from Gili T dropped off in the wrong place and Google was going nuts! I ended up walking passed my turns as my map location kept failing to load and all whilst carting a suitcase and camera backpack in the Indonesian heat – lol! Eventually, I made it and was so ecstatic to be checking-in, parking my case and jumping into the shower.
Now, I don’t want to go into the hotel too much as when you’re in Bali (and unless you have a big budget) the hotels aren’t why you’re here… What I will say, however, is that this hotel was a comfortable, clean and affordable for my slim budget (Roughly £30/night with Breakfast). I had a poolside room which was at the centre of the atrium and was close to the dining area – winning! The continental breakfast was as you’d expect in this region, Delicious full of fresh fruit that you see dotted all over Instagram – dragonfruit, pineapple, melon, watermelon. Vibrant colours and tasting wonderful – as if from plantation to plate!
So, now the fun stuff and why I came to Bali…
Before sleeping, I arranged with the hotel for a driver to collect me in the morning (500,000IDR/£25 per day – which alone or in a group is CHEAP!) who would take me where ever I wanted to go. Top of my list was (I know it’s cliché but…) the Terraced Rice fields of Ubud so that’s where we headed. Little did I know it takes about 1h20m if no one else was in the country. On this occasion, it took over 2hrs, however, we did stop at:
- A Batik textile factory in Tohpati Village – handmade sarongs, shirts, etc…
- Jalan Raya Batuan – a Temple
- Nungnung Waterfall
- Lunch – sorry, the location has eluded me but I’m trying to find it.
- Mas Village Wood Carving factory
So, by the time we arrived in Ubud, it was midday and packed with busloads of tourists. The terraces were alive with people which, as you can imagine me being more of an off-grid traveller and photographer, bugged me slightly, but lesson learnt for next time. What bugged me more was the amount of litter that I saw dotted these gorgeous fields! Do people have no respect?! I really do just want to shake some sense into people sometimes!! lol.
Anyway, Wayan (my driver) and I walked and explored the terraces and he made sure to translate at each farmer’s checkpoint so that I paid the right amount to cross over onto their land. Some provided juices and tea refreshments (for a small fee) which was well needed after the first hour of scaling terraces in the afternoon heat.
What a beautiful places.
After the terraces, it was time to head home. But not before stopping to try the famous cat poo coffee (out of pure curiosity!) and a range of Balinese teas. At least that was the plan. Sitting at the table I was the only visitor and Wayan talked our host into breaking out the special Balinese wine – Arak. Like the Uzo of Europe or the Saki of Japan, this is a local colourless liquor distilled from rice or palm sap with an alcohol percentage that ranges from 20 to 50%. A few sips of this and I was ready for a coffee and rehydration with the teas!
And that, my friends, was Day One…
Need to know
Places of interest
- Tohpati village for Batik Art – Textiles, hand made sarongs
- Jalan Raya Batuan
- Ubud, Rice Terraces
- Tanah Lot
- Lempuyang Temple
- Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon
- Batubulan Village for Bali Barong dancing