So we arrived on our first night here with the extreme humidity greeting us off the plane, to then be surrounded by a group of restless taxi drivers itching to take us to our destination. I have had friends who travel to Indonesia by themselves and from my point of view I would of been terrified if I were them. As we found our driver and set off on the road we came across quite a few temples just scattered amongst the streets and shops which is pretty unique as you wouldn’t find a temple in the middle of manchester. We also came a lot of stray animals which really broke my heart.
We stayed in Ubud, the most cultural place in Bali at this retreat Called Michi. The rooms are all different here with a spectacular view of the rice fields just opposite, it located in a quieter part of Ubud. The best part for those travellers out there is the free breakfast, free yoga in the dojo and the captivating pool.
Day one started off pretty well except it was raining servely all day but still the humidity creeps in at certain points. We started by getting a ride to Ubud and exploring the range of markets they had here. I made a list of rules to follow when you walk around Ubud or even just Bali.
- BARTER, always bargain for a better price: for taxis, clothes and food on the street ,Likely hood is they will rip you off; even parking attendants that don’t actually need to be paid will say you owe them money.
- Never take photographs of women, they are like prostetutes, a picture will cost you.
- Always carry water as the humidity is pretty daunting.
- There are too many stray animal here so if driving a scooter keep extra eyes out for those that jump out onto the road.
- Scooters are the best mode of transport.
- Always carry a map as if lose your way some nice residents will help you out and point to where you are on a map. Majority of the population here can’t understand a word your saying.
After buying some awesome cheap sarongs and what not we decided to explore the monkey forest for $3.50 ( bargain I know) we started by feeding the monkeys these tiny bananas we got given however as more came the less bananas we had so then they started trying to brake Into our bags and search for their hidden treasure. You have to be careful not to scream when they crawl up you as they sometimes think your trying to hurt them and they will attack. (They are awesome though)
Moving on from the forest we found this awesome cafe called watercress which is located in the Main Street of Ubud. I must admit seeing all of the Balinese people try and throw you into their restuarant or cafe can be Abit too much for people like me so we took our groundings and settled for a more chilled out vibe. (They are not all like that by the way)
Rice fields were next on the agenda, walking for 7 hours really does take it out of you so we made a quick stop to envy the beauty that is a rice field. I cannot stress how much these people work , they start work at the crack of dawn until sunset and then some women carry tonnes worth of plants, food and crops on their….. Wait for it……. Heads. It is incredible to see and trust me I give them full props as I can’t even manage 20kg backpack on my back?
To finish off this incredible day we spent the night in a temple watching a Balinese traditional dance, they really like their costumes over here which is what blew me away most about the preformance. Honestly though if you really want to get into depth with the culture and people it’s best to know alittle bit of their language because being in a crowd where you just ohave no idea about what’s going on is really hard. Trust me.
A full day of exploring really kicked us In The butt, I’ve gotta say that I feel so blessed to be in a position with luke to experience this kind of culture at such a young age, bali is really something else.