While in Indonesia and Malaysia, two predominantly Muslim countries, I noticed these arrows in the hotel rooms.
I’m not sold on Bali. Sure there is a lot more to do on Bali than my friend and I did but it wasn’t as awesome as everyone makes it out to seem. I know that part of the bias I have for it is because I was there during New Years when everyone else is there too.
We stayed in Seminyak which had a cool shopping/eating street. It was just very crowded.
We found two great restaurants that had great food and prices. The first was Mexicola because who doesn’t need some guacamole and a margarita on their vacation. The second was SOHO which is open 24 hours. Unfortunately the second time we went there they were out of a lot of things but it still has a good menu.
We spent a morning on the beach. Renting chairs and just staring at the ocean. I brought a book but never read it the view was too great. There was a lot of trash on the beach but I was pleased to see that people came by to clean up in the afternoon. There were also so many vendors that came by hawking their wares that it became quite annoying. There was someone every 5-10 minutes.
We hired a car to take us to Ubud. We stopped at the Monkey Forest which was full of (you guessed it!) monkeys! One monkey jumped on my friend’s bag and started trying to open the zippers. I tried to shoo it away but I also didn’t want to get bit as a monkey had just seen a monkey try to bite a gentleman.
We drove to a beautiful waterfall. I just sat on a rock and observed, not desiring to walk closer as my friend did. It was quite full since it was still rainy season and was overflowing with water.
Close by was a small plantation that offered teas, coffee, and chocolate. We got a chance to try some of the flavors. Unfortunately they didn’t have dark chocolate though so I refrained from trying anything (I’m not a tea or coffee person).
New Years was quite the event! Some other friends were in Bali as well and had purchased VIP tickets at the W Retreat. They had two extra tickets so we were invited to come along. Wow! It was certainly a great way to begin 2015! We went down to the pool area as it was nice and breezy from the ocean air. A couple in our group got engaged at midnight so that was quite exciting! We headed home around 1:00 am, fortunate to be able to walk. However, it had started to rain. We walked anyway not caring as it was the end of the night. By the time we got home we were soaked in our dressed but laughing at the craziness of it all. Better to rain after and not before!
I made a new friend at the the hotel.
A friend and I went to Indonesia for New Years. We started off in Yogyakarta. We didn’t see the temples that you were supposed to see but we had a good time regardless.
I ignorantly assumed that because rainy season was over in Thailand, it was over everywhere else in SE Asia. Well I was quite wrong. We arrived to rain, rain, and more rain. So much rain that the streets were flooded. No need to wear anything other than flip flops or aqua socks while the walking around as shoes would be soaked in seconds.
We went to the Sultan’s Palace. Outside there are two banyan trees. The legend is that if you are able to walk between them blindfolded your wish will come true. Neither my friend nor I attempted it but there were lots of people with blindfolds willing to help us do so if necessary.
Moments after arriving at this spot I was bombarded by people asking for their picture with the tall foreigner. This is a typical part of traveling for me but my friend had never experienced it before. The one problem with it is that as soon as one person asks then 15 people ask. So I stood there posing while my friend made a new friend.
The new friend proceeded to lead us around the closed Sultan’s Palace. We followed simply because we did. When traveling it’s always a tough call between trusting people and continually questioning their motives. This guy seemed pretty interesting and we were around enough people to feel safe. After going through a neighborhood we finally found out his motive – a leather puppet-making shop. It was fascinating but I wasn’t buying anything. We listened politely to the man explain about how they pounded out the leather to create the puppets. After a few minutes we politely excused ourselves and left.
Looking up at the sky we realized we had about two minutes to seek cover. We knew we wanted to get home. We managed to find a pedicab driver who would take us. Just as we started off on our journey back to the hotel it began POURING down. Our driver stopped and pulled over to where we were half covered. He pulled the other plastic covers down over us and put a poncho on then continued on. The pedicab was not created for two average size Americans, let alone a super tall one and an average one. I’m glad my friend and I were well acquainted as I basically laid on her lap the entire way. We had negotiated the price of the pedicab down but given all that he went through to get us back we happily paid him the original amount he asked for.