(Location: Bali, Indonesia)
I’ve always been intrigued by Bali, though I’m not sure why. It’s fairly easy to get to from Australia – a five hour flight, and only a two hour time difference. Rather than try to rush around and see the whole island, we spent all four nights in Ubud.
It’s a little difficult to describe. There are lots of galleries and art classes. Many spas and yoga studios. And plenty of restaurants and cooking schools. And there’s the Sacred Monkey Forest. Then there are shops selling boomerangs. And digiridoos. And penis-shaped bottle openers (now THAT will be good for my search engine ranking!). So yeah – an interesting mix !
- We stayed in a pool villa at the Chedi Club. It was, in a word, spectacular. The spa was quite nice as well.
- On my birthday, we lounged by the pool most of the day and then went to a silver jewellery making class at Chez Monique. I was surprised that we were able to make some pretty cool stuff in just a few hours. I made earrings and a ring, and Andy made me an elephant necklace. Happy Birthday to me 🙂
- On Fridays, the hotel hosts a dance troupe from the local community, who perform the Kecak dance. We couldn’t quite follow the story, but we think it involved a battle between a good and bad Hanuman (Hindu monkey God).
- We also visited the Sacred Monkey Forest. There’s a small admission fee (not more than $3 if I remember correctly), and you can buy bananas if you want to feed them. We were there for photos so didn’t buy the bananas, and found that the monkeys were most interested if you just sat down and were still. They are so used to being fed, that if you don’t feed them, they search you for food (in pockets, under your shirt, etc.).
- On our last day, we woke up at 1:30am for the sunrise hike to Mount Batur. After about an hour driving, the driver stopped and led us into a village for banana pancakes (kind of weird, but the pancakes were good). We got to the departure point a little before 4am and started the hike. It was pitch black, and the terrain was near vertical, uneven, and volcanic (one step forward, slide two steps back). It was a challenging 8km, but we made it to the top before 6am. We stayed for sunrise (around 6:30) and then headed back down (we had a flight to catch later in the day).