Bali for many Australians, is a mystical land where you are expected to drink lots, party hard and act like loon. For these prescribed expectations – mainly the latter – Bali never appealed to me. It was going to be full of drunk aussies who for the majority of their stay weren’t going to take in the culture Bali so readily wants to show off whilst dragging Australia through the mud.
Of course, I’m generalising quite a bit here and I’m aware that not everyone wants to immerse themselves in local business when they travel, but as someone who thinks that each country – heck every city – has something to offer, Bali was unfortunately tainted with a ‘drunk aussies are here’ reputation.
So when my friends suggested that we make a short stop there on our way to Europe, I countered with Thailand, Malaysia even Hong Kong, but to my dismay Bali was what was decided upon.
Bali is on our way
Bali was locked in. It was going to be a part of our trip on our way to Europe. As someone who like to be happy, once I knew that we were going to go I decided that I should be excited about it – which is what I did.
As the coordinator I researched places we could go and things we could do. The more I searched the more comfortable I felt that perhaps it wouldn’t be a waste of time.
We arrived late in the night, ready for a good night’s sleep and adventure the following day.
After paying our visitor tax (~$US26) we headed out and got a taxi which admittedly was more expensive than what it should have been, but we were tired and foreigners so we paid and off we went.
As the days ensued we travelled a lot up and down the little island. We went to Ubud where we were graced with the most precious views of the greenest rice fields and beautiful temples. We were even treated to cleansing ourselves with some of the water in the temple where the atmosphere generated such tranquility, you could fall asleep standing. Perfect for some rest and relaxation, especially since I’d gotten a bout of Bali belly for a day.
Scheduled on one of the days was a visit to Batubulan, where we were privy to the Barong dance of Bali – a truly epic journey and story told through music and dance. They involved the audience at some parts which made it quite a funny and memorable experience.
But the real gem was Kintamani. This wondrous volcano struck me by surprise and when places do that I know that I’ve gone somewhere worthwhile. It may have been the buffet that I was having whilst looking onto the valley, but it was by far one of my favourite places in Bali – I regret not having stayed there longer.
Misconceptions gone askew
Truth be told, I enjoyed Bali quite a bit. It’s not on my ‘must go back straightaway’ list but from not wanting to go there ever, I have come a long way.
It is so much more than the drunk aussies our media slams us with and should you go there, please explore and wander. The people are the most welcoming and warm hearted people and had they not been as lovely and hospitable, I am sure my story would be quite different.