As soon as I arrived at Denpasar International Airport, my pickup drove me to the town of Kuta, where I booked my stay. It is not the capital and just a small town, yet is the most popular place in the island. This is due to its closest location to the airport and being the heart of entertainment for tourists among the mainly traditional population. Within 10minutes, I am in the town. This place is teeming with nightclubs, beachfront hotels, massage parlors, fast-food outlets, fine-dine restaurants and shopping centers. It’s a heaven for tourists, who like to spend their day with music, dance and shopping. Kuta has its fair share of bad memory, The Bali Bombing. For me, Kuta is just another tourist hub.
The town of Ubud is a low profiled urban centre located up North, much farther away from the hype and limelight of Kuta in the South. Nevertheless, it is identified as the art centre of Bali and rich with historical past. Many craft shops, paintings, wood and stone carvings lined up in abundance along the roads, gives one an authentic Balinese feel while travelling. Once active Ubud Palace with administration of the Kings and Queens, is now a tourist pull. Delicate stone carvings of Hindu characters filled the palace ground much like a “Pura”. I was overwhelmed with local flare during my short visit in Ubud. I had the famous “Babi Guling” for lunch accompanied with “Teh Botol”, delicious! I wandered in a local market nearby, looking for souvenirs and getting into the crowd of locals going about their daily life. This was my closest encounter of a Balinese lifestyle. Throughout my journey in Bali, I’ve learned to appreciate nature, culture and history of another community while having fun at the same time. My adventure helped me to be more friendly, independent and resourceful.
Following are my Bali travel moments that I remember best:
· Visited a Balinese home – my guide took me to his house for a drink
· Had dinner at a local night market in Denpasar
· Meet a Canadian Backpacker and listened to his travel stories
· Posed for photos with local Balinese in a traditional attire at Gunung Kawi
· Hired a motorcycle taxi to Sanur
· Ride helmet-less on a friend’s bike on the way to Kuta from Sanur
· Spoke broken Japanese to a bunch of Japanese girls in Kuta
· Sat dangerously on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean
· Helped a fellow Malaysian pay tax at Ngurah Rai Airport on the way home