Blogs from Bali, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Munduk July 19th 2019

I first visited Ubud 26 years ago. Back then, there weren’t any Starbucks stores, there were rice fields in the middle of town, and the market sold produce, not penis shaped souvenirs. Despite it becoming overcrowded and overbuilt, Ubud has never lost its grip on me. One of the hazards of visiting Ubud is that you get sucked in and you never explore other parts of Bali. In my four prior visits, I’d only made a handful of day trips out of Ubud. This time round, I decided to venture further afield. I’d heard positive reports about the mountain town of Munduk, northwest of Ubud, so we decided to head there for a couple of days. Our driver Ketut picked us up and headed north. Our first stop was the Bedugul Botanic Gardens for Trixie to ... read more
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Banyuwala Waterfalls
Yeh Sanih Natural Springs

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud July 17th 2019

I wasn’t planning on returning to Ubud so soon after my 2017 visit, but my friends Ryan and Anthony were getting married there, and my friend Trixie was also attending the wedding, so we decided to make a trip out of it. As this was my fifth time in Ubud, I didn’t really try to see or do many new things... I just let Ubud suck me in as always. So, here is are some photos - with commentary - about what I did and saw in and around Ubud.... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Kintamani July 16th 2019

Apart from Tana Toraja, one other place in Indonesia known for its unusual death rituals is the village of Trunyan, which is located along the shores of Lake Batur, about an hour north of Ubud. This village is unique because, unlike other Balinese who typically cremate their dead, they leave their dead out to decompose next to a sacred tree. The tree is said to mask the smell of the decomposing corpses. I’d been to Bali four times before and I’ve always wanted to visit this site, but each time I put off going there because it was difficult and expensive to get to. This time round, with Trixie in tow, I bit the bullet and booked a trip with a local tour company. Our driver and guide met us near our accommodation at Penestanan, and ... read more
Trunyan Cemetary
Trunyan Cemetery
Trunyan Cemetery

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Gunung Agung July 7th 2019

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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud April 28th 2019

Two and half months have passed since the last post. Since then we briefly visited Gili Trawangan Island, and went on a sweet road trip with our friend Phari who guided us around Lombok, Indonesia - Bali’s more shy but equally beautiful Muslim sister - before we returned to our home base in Ubud, Bali. During the following two months in Ubud, we resumed our usual daily routines of yoga practice, lazy morning breakfast visits with other travellers, and I my Bahasa Indonesian language study, along with whatever else the day presented. What a challenge I choose to put my poor brain through! As I had just completed a six week course in conversational Thai, it took a week before I stopped mixing Thai with Bahasa Indonesian. It was initially frustrating, as I also felt I ... read more
Stan Teaching a Yoga Class
Celebrating Tessa’s 35th Birthday
 Melasti  Ceremony

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Sanur January 1st 2019

Bali We arrived in Bali a day before Jack, Ella and Anna & after a busy few weeks we were looking forward to a bit of a holiday with the kids. We greeted them after their long flight wearing local(ish) gear as a bit of a joke. Our first few nights were in Sanur, right on the beach with pools, tennis & bikes. It was very quiet as their peak is July. Day 4 and we had a car booked for Ubud for the morning. While waiting in the lobby Sue talked with a driver who then brought the car round. It was immediately obvious however that there was no way we were going to get 5 people plus luggage in - about 10 minutes later we worked out it wasn’t the wrong car he had ... read more
Water Palace at Karangasem .
Jack and Anna at the Water Palace
on the beach Ella and Anna

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 15th 2018

We decide to spend our last few hours here relaxing by the pool. Unlike all the other days we’ve been here there aren’t too many people around today and we have an almost unlimited range of sunlounges to chose from. Just as we get comfortable a middle aged Russian couple takes up residence on the two lounges right next to ours, and both of them immediately start puffing away on their cigarettes. They could have sat just about anywhere else, but no, it had to be right next to us. We move to the other end of the pool. Issy craves one final massage in one of the small huts on the beach front. She is disappointed. She is told that all twelve huts are being held in reserve for a delegation from a tobacco company ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 14th 2018

We waste most of the morning of our last full day here sleeping, and then set off for reception to see if we can get a late check out tomorrow. We are approached by a young European staff member who speaks to us in a tongue that neither of us can understand. Issy asks him if he can repeat whatever he said in English. The look he gives us suggests that he was speaking English the first time, and perhaps unsurprisingly our request for a late check out is denied. We head back to Bali Collection and hoe into large quantities of pizza and bread at an Italian restaurant. We are sitting right next to a large fan, and when we finish our cans of tonic water the now empty cans start sliding around randomly on ... read more
Nusa Dua by night

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 13th 2018

Today we have arranged to meet up with our friends Mark and Jane from Melbourne who are staying in Ubud. They have booked a tour which the brochure they sent us a link to said goes to the Tenenungan Waterfall and then on to Bali Swing, so we decide to meet them at the waterfall. We are picked up from the Sofitel by the same Wayan who took us to Uluwatu Temple earlier in the week. The traffic in Bali is frenetic, but calmly frenetic. If you don’t have right of way it seems that you just nose your way in and the other drivers will accommodate you, and they seem to do so quite happily without threatening violence upon you and your loved ones as would happen if you tried this approach back in Melbourne. ... read more
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 12th 2018

We see signs in the bar telling us that the hotel has a “no straw policy”. This comes as a bit of a surprise as most of the drinks we’ve been served here so far have come complete with thin plastic tubes that seem to fit the definition of the word straw, at least where we come from. That said both Issy and I have commented at various times over the past few days that our straws have split as we’ve tried to use them, and we’ve then had to revert to the time honoured method of lifting the glasses to our lips. I wonder if the hotel has managed to develop biodegradable plastic straws and these are then considered to be consistent with its no straw policy. I think that the world’s oceans would be ... read more
Swimming pool rules
Chinese flag planted on Nusa Dua beach
Nusa Dua beachfront

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