Bangkok Blast and Bali Bums

Trip Start Aug 08, 2008
1
17
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Trip End May 30, 2009


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Monday, March 2, 2009

It was a sad teary goodbye as we all embraced each other,
our time sharing this paradise has alas come to an end and it was time to embark on another. Our last night on Koh Lipe was spent drinking beers and Bacardi breezers under the starlight in the dark café on the beach. We all laughed, ate like kings, and exchanged contact information. Our time on the beach together was a bit surreal.

As the speedboat departed I was preparing myself once again for the city life in Bangkok. We took an overnight train up north so we got to enjoy the scenery from the luxury of a seat and window. Although the railways borders seemed to be filled with shanties (poor housing), the living condition actually doesn't seem so bad. They have electricity, running water- often times from what I could see, TVs and entertainment centers. I think what makes it look so run down is all the litter around it, but they seem alright.

With only 3 days left in Bangkok, we jammed packed all the tourist spots we could. The lucky Buddha, The large Golden Buddha, the Emperor's Palace, and we even managed to book an off the beaten path bike tour
of ever day life in Thailand. Alex and I were the only ones who booked this particular day so it felt like we had our own personal tour guide. Prepared with water bottles, snacks, and safety helmets, we headed out to the streets. We visited a traditional Thai home, Buddhist monk temples, Thai farmland filled with large jackfruit, lotus fields, orchid plantations, rice patties, and we even made some friends at a local school. We stopped for lunch at the river market (not to be confused with the floating market- typically there are notourists at this one) for an array of colors, foods and smells! It was a great time and I highly recommend anyone visiting Bangkok to take the same tour.
Bali Bums....

Our time in Bali was more laid back than it was in Thailand if you can believe that! We arrived in Kuta, a surfer town; I say that a bit loosely since I can hardly consider these waves after seeing the real thing in
Hawaii ;-) Its unfortunate, but the beaches in this particular town were filthy. Not sure how much had to do with the tourist activity or just the general area. Kuta is also known for its shopping and hagglers, and boy were they out in full force! Just like Bangkok the offer price is simply the starting point for negotiations and usually is marked 3 times more than what they will actually sell it to you for. Everyone is trying to sell you something, and if you didn't they seemed to get a bit upset with you. However, I think these folks are just a bit jaded, because when I would turn to them and smile and say "no thank you" they would respond with "ok, thank you for your smile". Perhaps they are just a bit tired of the tourists that flat out ignore them as they walk by. I am sure that would get to ANYONE after a while. It seems to be a stressful living bargaining all of the time.


We stayed on Poppies Lane, a long narrow road shared by shops, pedestrians, motorcycles, and even cars... walking could sometimes be a hazard through this narrow passage. After several guesthouses and negotiations, we ended up at place where the outside looked like a dream, on the inside looked more like nightmare! Thus, why we got the cheap price... we took pics to share... It was just one night so we were cool, plus it gave us a good laugh... the next day we headed to Candidasa, over on the west coast. Our hotel stay was even worse! This time we had bugs, biting centipedes, and spiders!! Not just tiny little thin-legged spiders one might be used to, no, no, no... we had several big fury, size of your palm spiders!!! Even though we knew they we not poisonous, the thought of one potentially crawling on your face in the middle of the night was enough to make us switch hotels and pray to the Orkin Gods. For 100,000 rupees more, we were living like kings... Nice big comfy bed, ceiling fan, a/c... and a TV! I know it was a spulrge, but after all that, we felt we earned it! The hotel had a resident bat, a boy bat (as you will clearly see in the pics), who had a broken wing so he would just hang out all day- literally... he was quite fun to look at. Candidada is a bit of a quiet town and after an all day walk; we explored pretty much all there was so we headed to Ubud after a friend's recommendation.


Ubud is what they call ' the artist and yogi town' for quite obvious reasons. It is filled with cute little boutiques, art shops, and yoga studios. This is the area we spent most of time in Bali. We stayed at Nick's Guesthouse for a few days. It is beautifully landscaped and incredibly clean not only in the rooms, but among the grounds and gardens which were well manicured. They have all kinds of birds, including peacocks, fish, dogs and kittens roaming the area. Every morning for breakfast, Alex and I would share our balcony with the 4 kittens living next door, here is a video of them hunting little crawly thingies, each other, playing, and of course doing what they do best, being super cute and funny...


We decided to go out and get closer with the animals, so we went to the Ubud zoo. There, we got to see lions, camels, monkeys (even an angry one who would through food at the tourists) and we even got to touch and
hold snakes and lion cubs (the pic came out a bit blurry... we had to take it fast, he was a fiesty little sucker)!! We also went white water rafting in a town a few hours away. The sites were lush and inviting, and of course wet... it was loads of fun. Since we were actively trying to row and hold on, I am afraid I don't have too may pics of it. However, I am sure you get the gist of it... white rapids are always exciting!

One thing I noticed in Bali is that bamboo is a very big part of their lives, not only in the traditional sense as shelter and design, but they even use in major construction as opposed to using constructions pillars. I had no idea it was that strong! Another constant throughout was that every shop and home seemed to pay tribute to their Gods at their doorsteps with daily offerings of water, flowers, incense and food in hopes for good luck and success in return. It is lovely seeing a custom stemming from so far back in time still strong and alive with both the young and the old natives. It was a peaceful ritual to watch. Before we knew it our time in Bali was over and it was time to jet off to the land down under to hang with the wallabies... Australia!!

Until the next time, will keep you posted! Besitos- XOXOXO
Cindy
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Comments

jdiles
jdiles on

Hey sista!
Thanks for the update. We need to add to it and publish this, and Ilove the pic's!!!!! you guys are glowing what an experience..Hurry home!

sallysafari
sallysafari on

what a great adventure
I'm so glad to share in your adventures. In the meantime, reality continues in Florida...I wanna runaway with you guys. Luv, Sally

svhoneybee
svhoneybee on

Hi...
First I need to tell you I do NOT like spider's or snakes...and the thought of one of them crawling over my face (even though not poisonous)...ACKHHHHH!) Still am 'living' through your travel's/adventures...what a great place to be in your life...thanks for sharing the pictures/foods/accomodations/travel journey's. I truly feel like I'm 'seeing' through your eyes/descriptions of these marvelous/wonderful adventures. Please be safe...God bless and much love,
Jan (Michael's Mom)

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