02.10.2010 - 02.19.2010 0 °F
Well as you saw from Brett's posting, this blog is all on me now!
We've spent the last two weeks exploring Bali and all of its beauty. Bali has been a gentle transition into the Eastern world. The people have been so friendly helping us get it all figured out! Most Balinese practice Balinese Hinduism, whereas 93% of Indonesia is Muslim. No other element plays a bigger role than faith in Balinese daily life. Every day begins and ends with a daily offering to the gods. You see these little offerings in front of businesses, homes and temples. We also witnessed several ceremonies where the local villagers paraded down the road to the temples.
We split our time between Seminyak/Legian and Ubud, and we also took a few road trips to explore temples and do a little snorkeling. The highlights have to be the Balinese/Indonesian food, beautiful temples, Balinese dances, learning to surf (Amy) and the massages- 1hour for $6!!
We stayed at Teka-Teki House, a little Balinese B&B, in Seminyak. Seminyak is know for its dining, nightlife, shopping and beaches. It's right up the road from Kuta (A much crazier Aussie version of Cancun) but much nicer and has a little less of the tourist traffic jam. Jules, the owner, took good care of us arranging a driver, recommending good nightlife and food locations! We were steps away from it all! We spent most of our time relaxing on the beach, eating and drink plenty of Bintang (1 of 2 Balinese beers)! The best part of Seminyak was learning to surf! I took two lessons with Ketut at Teka-Teki House. I was so excited when I got up with the first try and disappointed that I lived in California for 10 years and never once tried it. Ketut made it very easy for me, so I have to give him the credit. I have the balance, but I wasn't very good at two critical pieces: arm strength to paddle and wave timing!!
We spent a few days taking day trips to various temples and down the east coast of Bali. Bali itself isn't very large, but it takes a long time to travel a short distance. With narrow roads winding through villages and heavy motorbike+car+big truck traffic, it made it difficult to go very fast. The drivers are definitely skilled at passing with on-coming traffic. I said a few prayers when we first got here, but have since realized, the Balinese are safe drivers than Californians.
Ubud was a sleepy oasis from the hustle of Seminyak. We visited it once and then came back again because we liked it so much! Ubud has a history rich in art and culture with beautiful ravines and rice paddies throughout. Every corner you turn, there's a temple down a hidden pathway. Tourism has changed this village over the past few years, but still charming nonetheless. Many "Eat, Pray, Love" readers have flocked here seeking spiritual enlightenment and it's sure to draw more once the movie comes out. We saw a few traditional dances, took a cooking class and got plenty of massages. I guess we've been a bit lazy here, but every traveler needs a vacation too, right? Ubud is a magical little place. P.S. Haven't shopped yet. I'm only leaving with a sarong and Brett a t-shirt. Thinking of renting some cargo space...
So many beautiful Temples. I don't feel right putting them all together without telling you about them, but not enough time!
Sights around Ubud
Our cooking class at Bumi Bali where we went to the local market, learned about Balinese spices and prepared seven yummy dishes!!
Balinese dancing and chanting
West coast Beaches
Where we stayed- views from Sri Bungalows