BALI - Inland to avoid the chaps at the beach

Trip Start Sep 10, 2010
Trip End Feb 19, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Once again, it looks rather as if our plans may go adrift, but happily this time. Way back in Spain Time when we pencilled in this trip, we thought of having a couple of weeks on the beach in Bali. The more we read of the main resorts, the less we wanted to spend time there, and so in the end we booked one night in Ubud, central Bali, with the plan to then move on. We already extended that to three nights and as we love it here, we are likely to spend longer in Bali - not sure how long but at least a few more days. We found a lovely little hotel where we are comfortable, Casa Ganesha, and the town of Ubud is really cool.

Today we hired a moped and went about 30km north; interesting scenery, lots of small unusual temples and great people running small road side shacks dishing up the most amazing food for almost nothing. Today we found two selling a whole pig - it was cooked in the same way they cook the baby pigs in Segovia Spain, and was fantastic. They have several parts of the animal prepared in different ways - some blood sausage, honey coated skin, dried liver, and several other bits that we did not recognise. It was truly delicious, service up on a paper version of the banana leaf with rice and some spicy pickles. We each had a large portion with a 7up and it came to less than 2.00. Just amazing experience.

En route back to town we took in Monkey Forest which is, rather obviously, a forest with lots of monkeys. They are not really tame, something like the Apes in Gibraltar but more fun. It’s a very small area - nothing to write home about, pesky little over fed beasts who are at least entertaining as they chase tourists who are trying to hide food - these monkeys are smart and never miss the scent of food.

We then had a Balinese massage. I think I got the Fatima Whitbread version of a Balinese lady - her hands were so strong she could crack walnuts between her fingers. This time we thankfully got to keep our skiddies on, but the rest of the clothing went and man are these women tough. The Balinese massage is an odd concept, its rather like Shiatsu combined with Swedish massage - extreme pressure accompanied by long sweeping movements. Cheu was lucky in being allocated to a bit of a girly girl who was not very strong - mine was a beast of a woman. She was very lovely, but jees was she strong. I felt like such a whimp asking her to stop crushing my muscles and joints, but she just laughed and kept on crushing away. In the end I am sure it did us good, but I am not 100% convinced yet.

Afterwards we went to see a Balinese traditional show - yes it was terribly touristy, but actually it was well done. A bit of island camp if truth be known, and not really top notch stuff, but the audience enjoyed it and the dancers seemed to be having fun. Guess its one of these things we need to do when here.

Tomorrow we have a car and driver to take us to about 10 places we want to see on the island - not sure we can do it all in one day but we will give it a go….. Will upload some photos when the blooming internet works again J
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Mark on

If you like diving or snorkelling you should to Tulamben on the coast, it's not a very happening place but there's the wreck of a US cargo whip which was torpedoed by the Japanese in WW2 literally just offshore. When she sank, the crew just swam to the beach apparently. The ship is in quite shallow water and you can simply snorkel or swim up to it and see all the fantastic coral and colourful fish. If you can dive then that's even better - you don't have to go down very far.

The coastal/beach tourist towns are not that bad. Places like Sanur are quite good for a bit of complete and utter luxury. There are walled garden hotels with little chalets and private beach areas, although they're private it seemed to be fine to wander in and out of them. Not a very Balinese experience but very lovely.

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