Kuta, Bali 13th Dec - 26h Dec
Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
100Trip End Apr 02, 2014
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Bali is a small island in Indonesia. The island is predominantly of Hindu faith & there are many offerings baskets on the pathways set outside homes and businesses containing food, incense and flowers. Kuta is the main tourist area in Bali and full of many Australian tourists and backpackers.
These first 13 days of our trip were used to wind down from working life and get settled into backpacker lifestyle. We spent most of our time either at the beach or walking around exploring the streets of Seminyak, Legian and Kuta.
Much time was spent body surfing in the consistent surf served up by Kuta beach
Day trip to Ubud (Xmas Eve)
We hired a driver for the day and set off to see some of the tourist attractions Bali has to offer. There are many guided tours on offer but it was actually much cheaper to hire a driver for $40 for the day!
First stop was to go and see a traditional Balinese dance performance called the Barong. Next up we stopped by a local art gallery and also visited a site where jewellery was being made.
We then stopped at a coffee plantation where we sampled many coffees, teas, chocolates, cigars, Arack shots (an Indonesian Spirit made from Coconut) and Luwak AKA catpoochino, the "best coffee in the world". This coffee is particularly special as the beans are sourced from the poo of a Mongoose. Yum!
We had lunch at a buffet restaurant overlooking the Mount Batur , an active Volcano
We then continued on our journey to the monkey forest in the heart of Ubud. There are monkeys running around all over the forest and tourists can buy bananas to feed them. This was a good experience until one of the monkeys attacked! No injuries though and we got many photographs of monkeys showing off
The whole day was $80 for the two of us after paying for park entries, food etc – not bad at all!
Had a morning swim at the beach and then went for a Christmas lunch of all the food we had been craving…a random selection of tuna sashimi, beef wrap and cheese stuffed mushrooms, Yum!
Then we went for massages for a couple of hours which was lovely to pamper ourselves. So many places in Bali offer massages (including on the beach!) and we had been waiting for xmas day so we could treat ourselves.
At 6pm we watched the sun set over Kuta beach alongside the hundreds of other people that go to watch it also. After that it was time for the pub. We found a bar that sold double shots for $1 each so stayed in there and drank the night away.
It was a great way to spend xmas day, although of course we missed our families
One day was spent with a local woman named Maria in her home. We were able to choose what dishes we wanted to cook out of a list of around 40 dishes! This was a fantastic experience for $30 each and the food was delicious. Main ingredients for Indonesian food… shallots, garlic and chilli all crushed together to create a flavourful base paste. We made;
- Beef rendang – Beef curry
- Bakwan - Deep fried veges in batter
· Nasi Goreng – Fried rice with veges and egg
· Chicken Bumbu Bali – Chicken in a spicy sauce
· Fish Pepes – Fish steamed in banana leaves
Food & Drink
Favourite Local Dish: Beef Rendang
Favourite Venue: Sky Garden
New Tastes: Bali Fruit, Sweet rice snacks, all food made in cooking course, Noodles and Rice for brekkie!, Indonesian crisps, green bread banana toasties.
International McDonalds Meal: Chicken drumstick, scrambled egg, rice, vegetable soup & a coke.
Local Beer: Bintang
· Don't leave your stuff on the beach too close to the tide or it will get washed out
· Know your currency exchanges – Neil paid $25 for thongs thinking he was paying $2.50!
Rivavi – Stayed here for 7 nights on a Scoopon deal. Was $25 a night including brekkie buffet, a welcome drink & WIFI. This was a really nice hotel with a pool and gym.
Pondok Satwa – Stayed for 6 nights. This was a small family run home stay. We had a small room with air-con WIFI and brekkie included. $20 a night which was expensive as its xmas so we pre-booked on booking.com instead of just walking in. All together was a nice place to stay.
Airport Tax: $40
Water: $0.30c for 1.5l
Alcohol: Beer = $1.50 Happy Hour, $2.50 otherwise
Transport: $40 for a whole day taxi hire
Other: Massage $5 per hour
Average Daily Spend per person: $32
Transport there for both of us: Flight from Sydney $400 (FF points used!)
Total Spend for both of us inc. Transport: $1,300