I’m on a month long trip to Indonesia and my first stop is Bali. I’m two nights into my stay here and I am dying to tell somebody about my first impressions of this magical island.
I have 7 days planned in this tiny seaside town called Balian, by the Balian Beach, then I move to Ubud for the next 10 days. Post which my itinerary is open, I want to see the Gili islands and would also want to be the culture vulture at Yogyakartya. But those are just plans.
First impressions about Bali
- Architecture: You cannot miss the architectural wonders all around you, that starts at the airport itself. The Denpasar airport exterior is modelled on Balinese architecture which has Dravidian influences all the way. Once you leave the airport and drive towards your destination , you will be pleasantly surprised at these many temples that will pop along the way and each of them intricately designed and carved. In the town where I stay, each day my walk brings me to fascinating doors, beautifully designed around foliage, and window panes that one can look at as art.
- Traffic: If you are coming here to escape your city’s traffic, get ready for a surprise. The traffic situation is not that great. 55kms of distance takes 2 hours, roads are bumpy and quite narrow. If your driver knows the inroads consider yourself blessed, but keep 2 hours to reach anywhere near the airport. It’s a bummer, and that’s why two wheelers are awesome to zip around in. And once you have reached your destination, you get to wake up to views like this! Not that bad eh?
3. Food is amazing: Ever since I’v come here I’ve had my fair share of diverse food. I started off with something Indonesian with a good old Nasi Goreng, which is stir fried rice with meat, served with a fried egg, crisps and tofu. Then I moved on burgers and pancakes and Indonesian curry rice too. Hell, I tried sushi here too and it was brilliant. This was on a rickety café atop a hill overlooking the sea. So yes, bring your appetite when you are coming here! List of restaurants to haunt during your stint at Balian will be coming up.
- Super Cheap: An hour long massage for Rs 500 ($7.5) in a beautiful local spa-I was a happy girl when I saw that signboard. Beer in a bar/café for Rs. 125 (less that $2), food ranging from Rs 75-300 , depends if you are eating at a Warung or a café. Bike hires for Rs 200-250 a day depends on how well you negotiate and if you take it for longer spans of time you get the “best deal”. Life here is comfortable, and good and easy on the pocket! Whats not to love?
- Shaanti: Everywhere I saw just smiling people. Right from the airport to my stay. People stuck in jams, picking up daily supplies, shopping for sun dresses or just walking along. Everybody just looked so content, locals and tourists alike. No body seemed to be in a hurry to go anywhere, no body was trying to get ahead of the other. Everybody lives in such shanti here and that’s a vibe that is so hard to find! When you say good bye in Bali, you say “Om Shanti Shanti”, that’s explains some of this. Before I knew this all I could think of is “what is everyone smoking?” 😉
These are my first impressions. How was your time in Bali, tell me in the comments below i’d love to know! And if you have any tips would love to hear!
Will speak to you soon!