Published: February 13th 2012April 24th 2011
After just a few months back in London we were sick of the cold weather and daily grind, so booked oursleves a trip to Bali - backpacker style! We got the backpacks out and planned a rough 2 week itinerary around Bali and the Gili Islands. First stop - Kuta...
After a really long (but good) 16 hour flight with Singapore Air to Bali via Singapore, we arrived at Kuta airport around 11pm and immediately noticed how crazy it was - welcome back to Asia, how we'd missed you! We got a taxi to a small hotel that we had pre-booked online, but soon hit traffic on a one way street - it was a Friday night and so Kuta was heaving with so many people and cars that our taxi driver said we'd be better off getting out and walking the last mile! SO we hopped out, strapped on our back packs (way too heavy, we probably had more in them than we took on our 5 month trip!) and started making our way through the crowds to our hotel.
When we got to the bomb memorial (where the taxi driver said our hotel was next to), we
weren't really prepared for a scene which looked like something from Ibiza - neon lights, huge nightclubs, millions of people and really loud music everywhere. Looking at each we walked down the side road where our hotel was supposed to be, thinking where are we! As we walked away from the main road however, it got really quiet and when we reached our hotel it was like a haven - very peaceful, a gorgeous pool with swim up bar, friendly staff and an amazing new room (we had been upgraded, result!). We dropped out stuff down and because of the time difference (plus we had slept on the flight so weren't that tired) we freshened up and headed out for a few drinks!
First (and only) stop was the huge Sky Garden club - a huge 4 story bar and nightclub complex which had different rooms of music and amazing cocktails. Every few minutes a countdown clock appeared behind the bar offering a different drinks special - 2 for 1, beer for the equivalent of 50p, half price shots etc. Needless to say we were in there all night and by the time we left it was getting light!
Something we thought of was that it would have killed our budget if we were backpacking on a long trip - but as we were on holiday it was ok :)
Next morning we were pleased to see it was sunny so spent the day chilling at our hotel pool. In the afternoon, we had a surprise visitor - Lenny from Germany! We met Lenny last year in Australia and had kept in touch, so when we said we were going to Bali and he said he was going to be there (he was still travelling after almost a year), we couldn't wait to meet up with him. We had told him where we were staying so he came and found us, and we had a nice few hours catching up with him before we went for a walk around the town.
Compared to say Thailand, the beach here was really dissappointing - yes it was wide and the waves were big (great for surfing), but it was just not very special or beautiful. The food and local cusine was also not amazing in Kuta - once we had eaten the popular dish of nasi gorgeng (fried rice)
and mie gorgeng (fried noodles) a few times we needed something more! We did enjoy our time here though and it was great to soak up the sun and unwind.
Anyway, that night the 3 of us went for dinner and back to Sky Garden for drinks, where we met some nice Australian girls. There are so many Aussies in Bali! Not a bad thing, its just a bit like all the English people in Ibiza - its only 4 hours from northern Aus so its no wonder and it was peak season. We had another fun night before heading back to our hotel around 3am.
Another sunny day came and we couldn't decide whether to stay in Kuta (feeling a bit lazy and the hotel pool was soo relaxing) or move on north to Ubud, a town about 2 hours away. We decided to move on so checked out and went to find a driver to take us to Ubud that evening. Outside the hotel there were a few taxi drivers looking for business so Scott haggled and got someone booked for about £8.
Ubud here we come!
There are more photos below