29.5.09

bali - day 1


i'm back from bali. actually like 3 days ago. overall it was a fun, tiring, tanning, exciting and different kind of experience. well for one, i would never imagine that bali would be so much different from what i projected in my head before the touch down. considering it is my second backpacking experience. it was actually a bit hectic, unorganised but still nice reminiscing back. the truth is, we never booked any hotel or backpacker before hand. no one was there to pick us up at the airport. the only thing we prepared ourselves was reasonable amount of cash, sleeping bags, backpacks, dslr, enough clothes for the next 5 days and we were off to another adventure.

i slept over at allen's place (my backpacking buddy, a friend i met during my backpacking days in nz last year) the night before. his brother in law was nice enough to drive us to lcct. with the swine flu going on, i don't see anyone backing up from travelling and let's just say the airport security on H1N1 isn't as strict as it can be. even upon arriving Bali, we didn't even have to walk through the H1N1 scanning machine. if you ask, we are all as well as dead. who know one of us is a walking time-bomb waiting to explode. as usual, international travellers are required to fill the necessary forms and medical form for H1N1 and to be carry at all time during the stay in the country. when we arrived at the airport, the arrival hall was packed with sea of humans holding welcome signboards and names. for a moment i felt like i was being welcome like some sort of celebrity! it was very tense! hahaha taxi drivers will holla at you to get your attention and asking you where you are going! it's unbelievable that there is no public transportation such as shuttle bus or public bus to city centre. it's just so bizzare! so the only rational thing to do is to bargain with the taxi driver. from RP80,000 to RP50,000. it's RP25,000 each for two person. (just remember one thing, take away the 3 zeros behind and divide everything by 3 and you will get that in ringgit, it was really hard on the first few days but the calculation will come naturally after a while...really cracks my head for mathematically challenged!) not sure if it was the best deal but being desperate, we got on the toyota avanza and headed towards Kuta (city centre).

poppies lane 1

as soon as we were dropped off by the main road, the driver directs us to where we want to go which is Poppies Lane. where all the backpackers are. prices varies from each backpackers and hotels. usually comes in 2 single beds no dorms like the ones in nz. cheapest price asked was around RP80,000 per night with no breakfast, comes with fan, no air cond so basically very basic stuff like beds and toilet (not to mention very run down and it's those kind of love hotel you see in movies or haunted motels). those with swimming pools, air cond and breakfast are above RP200,000 per night.

our resting place for the next 4 days

so we got ourselves a deal on one of the hotels called Rita Hotel - RP150,000 per night, which is only RM25 per person with 2 single beds, air cond, no water heater but comes with a breakfast set that include fruits, toasts, any kind of eggs of your choice (scrumbled/half boiled....) tea/coffee. it's a good deal if you ask me although the room might not be the kind you want to bring your gf or wife on vacation or honeymoon to. oh, did i mention there is not blankets provided? good thing we brought our sleeping bags!

kuta beach

didn't do much on first day as we arrived around 3.30pm in bali and by the time we got settled with our accomodation was already half day gone. we were sweaty, tired and trying to plan what to do for the next few days. we decide to chill at the beach watching surfers surfing and just enjoying the moment. it's so weird because everyone in bali was super friendly and at times i feel like we are taken advantage of in some ways. don't get me wrong. i like friendly people but there is a fine line that people shouldn't cross. later during the trip only do i realised that these people wants to do your business and will try anything even making friends with you. earlier on at kuta beach that day, allen was bargaining with the beach vendor on a flip flop and i was telling allen that he should ask for cheaper price. during that conversation, we were conversing in mandarin and to my surprise, the vendor's friend said "san shi wan" = RP30,000 ... i was dumbstrucked! literally. from then on, the next few days were more and more surprises as i withness balinese speaking in fluent french, spanish, japanese, mandarin, english...fuh yooh! so i made allen speak teochiew which was our mother tongue or family dialect. once we use teochiew on the street talking between us both, the less they will bother on us as they couldn't understand what were were saying. or should i say less annoying locals trying to sell you their day tour/products or just trying to get you to try their "magic mushroom" hahahahah....that my friend is another story i will share soon enough. while relaxing by the beach watching the sunset, this bloke from the beach who is a surfing instructor by the name of Brad (which is not his real name) made friends with us. we talked for a bit. about surfing. touring bali and no plans made yet. and i don't know if you are reading this but mate, i am really sorry we never take up your day tour as we found even cheaper tour the next day. he was a cool and nice guy. telling us not to talk to strangers or stay away from people selling "mushrooms" and "weeds" on the street. it's not very frequent to have friends telling you they encounter this kind of situation and moments in bali, which is probably why i am slowly falling in love with backpacking. learning to enjoy simpler things in life.

more photos here!

1 Comments:

Blogger Ai Fang said...

hey, excuse me~ just wondering if u worked in Y&R kl before?

1:54 PM  

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