Indonesia / International Travel

Jaffles, Surf & Monkeys {Bali, Indonesia}

Fly.  While I was studying in Singapore, a couple friends and I decided to spend a weekend in Bali.  We flew from Singapore to Bali via Lion Air, reportedly the worst airline (highest crash rate).  Unfortunately, Lion’s landings were pretty terrifying, so I wouldn’t really recommend going with them.  I was joking to a friend that they should sell T-shirts that say “I Survived Lion Air.”  I would’ve bought one!

Sleep.  Mekar Jaya was a budget hotel conveniently located on Kuta Beach (tourist central).  It was only $6/nt for a double ($3 per person).  The premises are pretty attractive (see pic), but the rooms are very bare bones.  There are beds, a balcony, bathroom (no hot water), and a wardrobe (complete with lizards inside…another story).  But again, at $3, who can complain?  A totally legit breakfast is also included in this price (whaaaat? I know).  Breakfast includes tea, fruit, and something called a “jaffle,” which is basically a banana panini.  Pretty freaking delicious, actually, and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a banana fanatic.

Play.  Kuta Beach is the backpackers hub in Bali.  The beach itself is good for people watching, renting a surfboard, or chilling at a ghetto cabana and drinking.  There is also plenty of nightlife, including $2 fishbowl drinks, discoteques, bars.  If you’re a shopper, you can also delight bargain shopping.  I got some “Rayban” wayfarers in Kuta for only $2 a pop.

See.  We visited a few local temples.  The local religion is a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism, so I was required to cover my slutty knees and not wear certain colors into the temples.

See.  As part of a tour, we visited a local painter family’s residence, which was really interesting.  The sign said “I Wayan Mardiana Painter.”  We were able to see their kitchen (wood burning, open), their family temple (for ancestor worship), and of course, their beautiful paintings.

See.  We also visited one of the Monkey Forests near Ubud (“Padangtegai Mandala Wista Werna Wana”).  It was pretty terrifying, actually, not that I wouldn’t do it again.  Basically, you pay a couple dollars to get into these beautiful parks where there are tons of monkeys.  Within eye shot, you can see maybe a hundred monkeys, okay at least 40 though, just hanging around.  Many of the dominant ones go right up to you and will tug on your shirt or handbag asking for bananas.

Do.  We also took up surf lessons with the Hardrock Hotel.  Lessons were good and we all were able to stand on the board by the end of the day.  🙂  They also take photos for you (for a fee), which leaves you with a nice keepsake.


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