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Published: March 26th 2013
With our final 2 weeks in Asia approaching, us 3 girls were extremely excited to be making our way to Bali for two weeks of beaches, sunshine and surfer perving after having spent most of our time since Thailand within towns and cities. Our flight to Indonesia was departing from Singapore so we headed down with afew days spare to see what the city had to offer. Sometimes when I write up these blogs, I struggle to fit just a weeks activity into one entry but in this case, while I am sure that sitting back in snowy England, you would love to hear the fine details of our every movement from sun lounger to beach lounger to vodka to club, I will condense our last two and a half weeks in Asia to a briefer overview so that I can catch up and start talking about AUSTRALIA!!!
After leaving our luxurious digs in Kuala Lumpur, we arrived in Singapore and checked into 'The Inn Crowd
' in the middle of little India and very quickly acclimatised back to our grubby ways, embracing the cheap beers, $2 noodles for dinner and shower sharing with 30 other people. Our first mission was
to find some good food and in our chosen location we weren't short of curry houses pumping out enticing aromas. We passed a number of very authentic Indian eateries displaying mouth-watering menus but it wasn't until we found an Indian man dressed up as Steve Irwin ushering us into a dark restaurant decked out with masses of plastic leaves, fake waterfalls and huge animal models that we were content. An Indian version of the rainforest cafe was a strange concept to behold for us all and while we initially considered that they had perhaps spent a little too much effort on the decoration and not enough on the food, we were pleasantly surprised with a most satisfying feast.
We all decided that some fun was in order and rather than resorting to alcohol as we usually do, a two day pass to Universal Studios
seemed like a more appealing way to part with our dwindling funds. We mastered the MRT subway system and for the next 2 days our biggest worry was whether we would choose to be 'Human' or 'Cylon' on the Battlestar Galactica
. On our final weekend in Singapore, we ventured into the city to picnic and
sunbathe under the trees of the Botanical Gardens
, joined the throngs of tourists flocking to Clarke Quay
and the famous Merlion
and wandered through Chinatown
. If only we had been a little richer, it would have been an impressive city in which to check out the nightlife but we decided to save ourselves for Bali and stuck to a few Tiger beers and some low-key socialising at the hostel before catching the MRT across to Changi Airport for our flight to Denpasar on Monday afternoon.
We arrived in Kuta, South Bali that evening with our drinking heads on, ready to sample what was rumoured to be some excellent nightlife. We had overlooked just one minor detail however- accommodation. While we thought that cheap guesthouses would be readily available on every corner, we quickly realised that Bali operates on two opposing ends of the pricing spectrum. We had the choice of either extremely luxurious resorts or run down shacks and not wishing to blow a two week budget on just one night, we opted for the shack in a murky back garden in which we were greeted by an old, topless Indonesian woman lurking in the shadows by our room.
Slightly terrified, we headed to the civilisation of Sky Garden
, got on the jungle jam jars and got so drunk that Sarah had to close her eyes the entire way home because she went blind. Tuesday was something of a write off (darkened room, curtains closed, no sudden movements) but on Wednesday we vacated our shack, said farewell to the lurking boob flasher and headed to 'Rosani Hotel
' in nearly Legian which, with a pool, amazing room and lovely staff, definitely tops our favourite places to stay so far.
We spent the next two weeks alternating between Kuta, Legian and Jimbaran beach in between partying at Sky Gardens rooftop bars and lazy days dipping in and out of the pool. The beaches were fantastic in a rugged and less exotic way to those we had enjoyed so far. A rougher version of paradise, the winds blew stronger and instead of clear waters gently lapping fine, powdery sands, the waves took on a forceful life of their own, hurling the flocks of surfers into the shore and bringing piles of debris and driftwood in its path. Vastly different beaches but equally as exciting to observe, full of energy and our
tans certainly did not suffer. We left Bali refreshed, brown and content as three months in Asia came to an end and Australia beckoned.
We had trekked through the jungles of Northern Thailand, ridden on elephants necks, swam in natures impressive waterfalls, sampled the drinking delights and ping- pong horrors of Bangkok and partied with buckets and neon paint on the stunning Southern islands. We had experienced the impossible beauty of halong bay at sunset, the terror of bustling Hanoi and the devastating truths embedded in Cambodia's shocking history. Malaysia had been luxurious, Singapore exciting and Indonesia relaxing and liver destroying all at once. It had not always been easy (Koh Crack den will remain with me forever) but with two of my best friends it had always been fun. In some ways it was hard to comprehend that we had already reached the middle of our trip but in others, when we think back to all the things we've seen and done in three months, I am both immensely proud if what we have achieved and extremely excited to have another three to do it all over again.
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