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Published: March 2nd 2015
Great view from restaurant on a tour
Consisting of over 17,000 islands—or more, depending on what statistics you look at—Indonesia is a beautiful and diverse country. I was lucky enough to spend a month this past winter break in Indonesia, spending my time in the islands of Bali, Lombok (Gili Air and Meno off of Lombok), and Java. Traveling the whole country was an amazing experience: people are friendly and welcoming; the food is delicious and diverse in flavor; the beaches are beautiful; the countryside is stunning; and cultural landmarks are everywhere you look.
I arrived in Bali on a late afternoon, and the driver that picked up me up took me straight to Ubud. From the first hours in town, I knew I would greatly enjoy the island. My senses were inundated from all sides. The smells were amazing; incense was everywhere; the smells of various foods coming from every other restaurant were enticing; the air after rain smelled earthy. The heat was great on the skin, and the rain was refreshing. The local food was like a party in my mouth with the diverse flavors. The countryside is beautiful, and I could never take my eyes off of the mountains, greenery, or rice
paddies. The sounds of animals in the early morning and of the traffic throughout the day were fun.
I spent the my first four nights of my trip in Ubud. I did various tours that visited some of the major tourist destinations throughout the island. The tours were great and reasonably priced (I'm hoping the photos will do justice to how great some of the spots are). Ubud is an amazing place. It is lively and laid back at the same time. It has great places to eat and drink. It is small and quaint.
After I left Ubud, I spent the following three nights in Padang Bai. I loved Padang Bai. The white sand beach (Bias Tugal) is one of the best beaches I have visited. It is not very big, but it is beautiful. The sand is one of the softest I have felt under my feet. In addition, the beach has some small shacks serving local food—the highlight being the fish—and drinks. I have to recommend Warung Pari, a nice little place run by a great couple who were very welcoming. In addition, the snorkeling at both Bias Tugal and the
Blue Lagoon (the other beautiful beach in town) is stunning. I got to see lots of tropical fish and turtles. I spent all day, every day at the beach, but at night I enjoyed the local food at the restaurants, with the highlight eating marlin at the Zen Inn.
After a wonderful and fun-filled week in Bali, I took the local ferry to Lombok.
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