18.10.2014 - 25.10.2014 31 °C
Salam from Indonesia! We’ve been in Bali about a week now. It’s a much larger and more densely populated island than I expected with five million inhabitants. We spent our first four nights at Kuta, south of the island and not too far from the airport. Kuta is the the stereotype of Bali, similar to Koh Samui in Thailand aka Gran Canaria in Asia. It's packed with Western folk who are here to party all night every night. However, there’s more to Bali than just that, so it's worth researching the various towns in advance of any trip. We booked a two bedroom apartment with my mate Phil who moved to New Zealand last Christmas. A good Air BnB deal resulted in our own pool!
Kuta is an ideal spot to sit back, relax and do very little. And that’s exactly what we did for the first few days. At night we ate out, and a highlight for me was being able to have dinner on the beach. There's a lot to be said for playing cards listening to the ocean and a local playing his guitar.
As we were in Bali, it would have been rude not to party, so we went clubbing Sunday and Monday night. The main club in Kuta is Sky Garden with four floors. We spent some time there but found another club a couple of doors down that was much better. Who doesn't love a good strobe light?
We also visited a couple of gay bars and apart from the novelty of an Indonesian drag queen arriving out every ten minutes to perform (using two stages each time), they weren’t much to write home about. Feeling guilty for doing so little during our first few days we booked a taxi on the cheap for the day. We visited two temples, firstly the Tanah Lot temple which is on a small island/rock with a cave style entrance. You have to walk from the mainland to get to it.
The second temple was a lot more interesting but we were too busy chatting to take note of the name of it. Bold tourists.
We also visited a butterfly park. This was better than expected. We had zero expectations.
After four days with Phil we said goodbye as he departed for Java and Hong Kong. We travelled by car to the north east part of Bali, known as Tulamben. It’s a very small and quiet town which offers a nice contrast from Kuta. Tulamben is best known for its ship wreck diving as it’s home to the USS Liberty, sunk by the Japanese during WWII. Alberto spent three days doing his Openwater Certificate. We hired a camera so I'm very pleased to tell you that there's not a Google Image photo in sight.
I took the Wreck Dive Certificate which teaches you how to safely penetrate a wreck and navigate your way back out.
The wreck is also full of coral life which makes Tulamben a great town to visit if you enjoy diving.
And that's it from Bali. Tomorrow morning, we take a boat east to the Gili Islands.