GETTING THERE. Bali, Indonesia is close to four hours away from Manila, by plane. For the first time last summer, I and my friends all decided to spend New Year’s Eve outside the country. It was to be the best decision of our lives.
WHAT TO SEE. Bali has everything a beachcomber/pseudo-backpacker like me would need: great food, fantastic landscapes, even more food, side trips, great places to shop, and occasional temples for soul-rejuvenating. The carefully hand-crafted, almost always symmetrical Balinese aesthetic is evident everywhere you go, its weather-washed appeal tempting me to pull out my iPhone 5S to take a photograph or two–so for an entire week, I never ran out of inspiration.
BILLS OR CREDIT CARD? Withdrawing from ATMs there is fun (you do not need to use your credit card at all–just bring your Cirrus-member ATM and you wouldn’t have a problem)–what comes out is millions and millions worth of bills they call rupiah. It’s a happy thing to be able to stash Rp1,350,000.00 at any given time in your pocket. But, that’s really not much at all: it’s only close to about P4,800.00.
GETTING AROUND. There aren’t too many taxis, buses or trains around Bali. But that’s the idea: you go to Bali to walk, and slow down, and shop, and stop, and eat, and walk, and stare at able-bodied surfers. That’s the kind you’ll get used to seeing: mostly Australian dudes without shirts on, and their shapely girlfriends in swimsuits and cutoff denim shorts, walking the small streets in flipflops and smelling like coconut oil.
SPECTACLES! And then, there are the beaches. Hands-down, we have way better, and finer, white-sand beaches. But when it comes to gently sloping shores and active waves, Bali doesn’t disappoint. There’s just way too many tourists around these parts, so the garbage could be quite a concern (see dumptruck photo below: that’s their way of collecting trash along the Seminyak shore). There are quieter pocket beaches all around Bali, but if you’re in for a little rendezvous with new friends, Seminyak and Ubud are your best bets.
The best thing though about going to Bali during the New Year holidays? New Year’s Eve. Google it up and you’ll know what I mean.
Overall, Bali is so beautiful, and charming, that there was no other thought in my head but how and when next to go back.
Check out some of the shots I made.
Offerings to their Hindu gods.
Earth Cafe. Serves seriously organic food.
Lamps for Sale. Really cheap!
One of Bali’s crazy-beautiful entrances to their villas.
Probably the best place to have authentic Balinese food, in a breathtaking setting, is Bebek Tepi Sawah.