I could probably write a book on the things I loved about Bali, Indonesia. I will try and sum them up quickly in this not-so-short blog post! We only went to Bali in Indonesia this time, but I’m hoping and anticipating future travels taking us to many more places in this incredible country.
13. Fresh seafood
And when I say fresh, I mean fresh out of the ocean that morning fresh. Wow, did we eat some yummy fresh fish!
12. Beach Paparazzi
We would go down to Kuta Beach, the main tourist beach area and felt like minor celebrities. All these Muslim school groups in Bali on holiday were so excited for photos with the tall American man, and his tiny white wife. It reminded me of China.
11. Multi-colored Chickens
This one is a bit of a mystery. I’m not sure why we kept seeing neon chickens around the island…maybe to know which is one if yours and not your neighbors? But it sure was funny!
These furry little guys are a favorite and least favorite all in one. I LOVED photographing them and their shenanigans. I did not love when they tried to steal my stuff. One thing is for sure, the monkeys on Bali aren’t going anywhere.
9. Wedding Photo Shoot
I loved stumbling onto this wedding photo shoot at a temple in Ubud. It was so beautiful and ornate. They were sweet to let a bunch of tourists take photos with them! Although, this was not my first experience with appearances in wedding photos in Asia…
8. Chicken Satays in Peanut Sauce
I could live off these grilled skewers of chicken, called satays. And that peanut sauce dip…the best. I tried to recreate them at home in America, and while they were yummy, they were not nearly as Bali good.
7. Martabak & Terang Belang
Continuing with food, these street side dishes are to die for. Made out of the same cart, Martabak & Terang Belang are quite different. A martabak is made on a large flat skillet top and has a crepe-like outer shell, and is stuffed full of eggs, meat and veggies. They can be made so big, they can feed a family of four! Then for dessert, pick up a terang belang from the same cart! This delicious treat reminds me of a waffle without the grooves, thick and fluffy baked bread, which is then covered with toppings of your choice. Our favorites, chocolate sprinkles and condensed milk. It was like birthday cake!
6. Temple Architecture
I loved loved loved looking at the temples on Bali. They say there’s over 10,000 temples on this tiny island the size of Delaware, and I believe it. They are on almost every street corner. The architecture is so impressive. Most are carved out of a dark, possibly volcanic rock. Many times they stand empty, but on certain days of the month, they are full with worshippers. It’s an incredible sight to see.
5. Candi Dasa
One of our favorite adventures was to the eastern region of Candi Dasa. While still a tourist destination, it’s nothing like Kuta, Sanur or even Jimbaran, where we stayed. This side of the island had a different feel and look. There isn’t much white sand beaches, but dark sharp rocks, so this isn’t a sunbathing beach town for sure. But there’s much to see in the way of temples and cultural experiences. We found a great hotel for cheap, rented a motorbike and explored some awesome corners of this town.
4. Hiking Goa Gajah
We first went to Goa Gajah for the Elephant Cave, but what we found was much more. There’s a half hour hike that winds through forest, rocks, rivers and waterfalls that’s not be missed. I’m not a hiker, or even super outdoorsy, but this hike was not challenging and breathtaking around every corner.
3. Observing a Ceremony
While east in Candi Dasa, we stumbled into a neighborhood Balinese Hindu ceremony at the local temple. I had seen photos of the colors and the ornateness of it all, and was so excited to watch it in person. There’s so many layers to this ceremony that we never understand as an outsider, but it was breathtaking to behold.
For our weekend in Ubud, we chose to stay at a homestay called the Grey House, as opposed to a hotel. It was a great decision! We loved the intimate feel of the homestay versus a sterile hotel. We did both while in Bali, and I think we’d choose a homestay every time if we could!
Obviously, the beaches in Bali are like none other. There’s a reason this place is considered paradise, and I loved the different beaches that we visited. My favorite, because I don’t surf and like to just relax and occasionally dip in the water, is Jimbaran. It’s rarely crowded and the sunsets are epic. But there’s so many more I haven’t even discovered, and each one has it’s unique appeal.
So that’s what I loved about Bali, Indonesia!