I like to think that we not only scratched the surface, but took off a whole layer, that misconceptions, rumour and scare mongering news corporations, would have is believe is Bali.
We crammed in as much as we could in our 7 days, and have been left with such a huge desire to return and explore some more!
We had a wonderful taste of Senur, Ubud, Nusa Lembongan, Batur, Seminyak and a little of Kuta, and the vibe stays pretty much the same throughout.
Friendly, welcoming, humble.
But to sum up I learnt;
1. Learning even a little of the language goes a huge way! Seeing the Indonesian and Balinese smile as you stutter your way through a sentence is gold! But be careful, it only a slight difference between some words. You may come away looking like a crazy person who’s trying to find nice singlets for her pigs.
2. The food is fantastic! And westerners will easily find a safe alternative if they want one. But I beg you to just try everything!
3. Sarongs are pretty much all you need (with your trekking gear of course)! Towel/pillow/jumper/blanket/shade/dress/skirt/top all in one!
4. Bintang is great, and bloody cheap! Raddler Bintang is nasty.
5. The Balinese have a great sense of humour, and are incredibly kind. The Mummas were so well taken care of!
6. If you buy just one thing from each shop, you’ll not be harassed.
7. Massages more often than not come with unexpected breast rubbing.
8. Climate is awesome! Much like home, maybe more humid. Though all the locals were rugged up against the “cold”.
9. We’re being super ripped off in this country for the awesome things these folk make by hand! And they in turn are being ripped off by us. If I had a shipping container to bring home, my house would be gorgeous!
10. Wifi is everywhere! We’re also ripped of in this country with shitty Internet. Bali is certainly not lacking!
11. The crazy roads and scooters and cars and pedestrians, all work! There’s a crazy system of politeness and patience that just works! A little beep to let them know your coming, and that’s it! Very cool!
12. The plane from Townsville to Bali is very small, and I’ve flown on small planes. If your tall, beg for the emergency exit row!
13. The airport in Bali is still in its teething stages. But super cool!
14. There is no need to feel afraid, or intimidated, not for a second was I worried about anything.
15. Yeah, there are bogans in Bali, who will make you shake your head and feel ashamed, but they are easy to avoid, and we should all do our best to break that stereotype.
16. And lastly, you can’t force nature. Whale sharks and Manta continue to elude me, and no monkeys jumped on me, but I was impaled with a sea urchin spine, so that’s definitely something.