Bali. Island of Peace, Morning of The World, Island of Gods. Just arrived! Jumped into a taxi to head for our hotel. It’s not so far from the famous Seminyak beach, and not so far from the airport. Ummm...are we there yet? No, we haven’t actually left the airport. The guide book mentioned bad traffic jams in Bali but this really is bad traffic. And it’s like this most of the day in the resorts close to the airport. Peak hours most taxi drivers refuse to use their meters too.
The reasons for the jams are easy to see. The footways are either full of holes,
Or they are cluttered with bricks or used as a parking lot by cars and motorbikes. So everyone jumps into a taxi or onto a motorbike even for short trips.
and then parks on the footway!
But there is always the beach - yay! But not the pristine golden sandy beach I was expecting. So much detritus!
Well, I’m looking forward to seeing the sights of Bali and here is one of the most impressive - the sea temple of Tanah Lot. Luckily we arrived before noon to avoid the crowds. It’s recommended for sunset views but is also known for large crowds of people at sunset, and of course long queues of traffic heading to and from Tanah Lot.
So, what’s good about Seminyak? Well, really great restaurants from chic smart seafood restaurants to small family “warungs”.
Massage parlours are plentiful and so cheap! You can get an hour’s massage for less than 15 US dollars. Mmmmmm....... so good. “Just relax” Oh! I am relaxing.
Now where was I? Oh, yes, Tanah Lot. Find the right spot and you can see the appeal. A holy place, in sight of other sea temples along the coast.
The Bali National Museum in Denpasar is a good starting point for understanding the island’s cultural heritage. It’s a short taxi ride from Seminyak and consists of a series of buildings in different Balinese architectural styles explaining different elements of what makes Bali unique.
Ubud is another special place in Bali. Think organic, yoga, vegetarian cafes. Think also Julia Roberts sitting in a rice field (the “Love” part of “Eat Pray Love”). Prices are cheaper than on the coast, the traffic jams have disappeared and it’s a good base for visiting sites further north.
Interesting temples - Gunug Kawi was my favourite. Hassle free with interesting 11th century carvings at the bottom of a beautiful valley.
And Pura Taman Ayun is very photogenic:
And so quickly a week has passed. Our taxi driver has arrived with his mother to take us to the airport. Will I be back? For sure. Not always an Island of Peace - too many motorcyclists for that - but still a very special place.
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