While I was in Indonesia, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a weekend trip to the beautiful island of Bali! I had just gotten approval for the trip the day before the weekend I was planning on going, so literally booked my trip at night, and then hopped on the plane the very next day with no plans at all.
I could talk about my trip there forever, so to keep this relatively brief, I’m just going to include a bunch of pictures which I feel do a good job summarizing my trip.
At the Air Asia counter in Jakarta
Delicious basil chicken in the airport!
Landing right over the water in Bali!
I got off the plane, literally with no clue as to what I was going to do. I hadn’t booked a hostel, so was really 100% open to anything. While waiting for luggage, I met a couple cute girls from Jersey, but not the Jersey you’re thinking of. They were from Old Jersey, which is a small island near England. The girls and I split a cab to Kuta, which is the main touristy strip, and they told me they were going to a great hostel they had stayed at before, so decided to grab a room at the place.
It turned out to be awesome!
Believe it or not, I got this room with my own bathroom for $10 a night!
After I dropped my stuff in the room, went to see the beach….someone take me back right now pleasee
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That night, met a cool dude from Florida named Ryan, and another guy from Switzerland I believe and the three of us decided to head out for dinner that night. A couple of the swiss guys friends came along, and we went and grabbed a delicious $1 meal…Yep. $1
Afterwards, Ryan and I decided to go check out some of the popular clubs in the area. Everyone told us to go to check out this place called SkyGarden, and I am so glad we did. Turned out to be one of the coolest clubs i’ve ever been to, and had 5 stories including a rooftop lounge. They also had free drinks at night between 10 and 11pm. Place was packed with Australians, English, and people from all over the world so had a blast meeting new friends from across the globe.
Free drinks at SkyGarden!
They also had delicious free food..
The next day was a wild one, and easily one of the most interesting ones of my life. The friend Ryan I made at our hotel was a great surfer, and had lived in Hawaii for a year just to surf so he was in Bali to test the waters. I told him that I had no clue how to surf, and he told me that he would be happy to teach me so we headed to the ocean. Rented a board for $5 ( So Cheap!) and went out into the water. At first, I couldn’t get up at all, but after a few failed attempts I finally was successful and riding a wave! After that, it was smooth sailing, and I picked it up pretty quickly. Can’t wait for my next opportunity to go.
Surfboard Rental shop
After surfing, we grabbed some lunch and then had heard about the famous Balinese dancing at Oluwatu during sunset, which is on another part of the island. We stopped a cab to see how much it was to get there, and it was way too much so we decided against it. Then, right after we said no to the cab we saw a bike rental, where they would give you a moped for a few hours and it was dirt cheap, so reluctantly I hopped on Ryan to navigate the not quite safe roads of Bali.
Ryan had told me that he had driven the bikes before in Guatemala, so he drove first. Within our first 3 minutes, we managed to go into oncoming traffic, and then hit a car at low speeds and at this point was pretty sure there was no way I was going to make it through the trip alive..
We had to stop to fill up the bike with gas after a couple miles, but couldn’t find a gas station. Then we realized that there weren’t any gas stations, they were dudes on the side of the road with bottles of gasoline that they would pour with a funnel into the bike
The funniest part about it was the bottles were all Absolut Vodka bottles haha
On the journey to Oluwatu
Stopped at this little place to get directions, and walked inside and this was taking place.
We finally made it to Oluwatu!
Oluwatu is renowned as one of the world’s best surfing beaches, and as you can see I clearly killed it hah
Ryan and I took these crazy steep steps down to the beach, where you had to walk through what felt like a cave to actually get to the ocean. Once we got there, it was one of the prettiest things i’ve ever seen. It was getting dark, so unfortunately was unable to get any good pictures but one of the prettiest sights i’ve ever seen.
We went and grabbed beers at this sweet restaurant that was overlooking the ocean, and met some interesting people from Cali who were there surfing, and heard some wild stories.
The bathroom was upstairs, and when I went to go find it I happened to stumble upon the most breathtaking thing i’ve ever seen. There was a beautiful hotel, with an infiniti pool overlooking the ocean. Was absolutely gorgeous, and believe it or not only cost $100 a night. If i were there again, I will absolutely make a trip to stay here as it was incredible.
It was crazy seeing the difference between Kuta and Oluwatu, because Kuta was this super touristy area with thousands of people, and crazy nightlife, bars, and restaurants. Oluwatu on the other hand was just the opposite, and one of the most tranquil and serene places i’ve ever been to and most likely in the world. Can’t wait to make it back there!
After finishing up our beers, Ryan and I hopped back on the bike in preparation for round 2 of the intense motor bike ride back. On the way there, we had switched halfway and although slightly terrified while riding the bike as there were trucks driving in oncoming traffic coming towards you and no real lanes, once I got the hang of it was actually a good bit of fun. With that said, think it’s safe to say that my bike days are most likely behind me.
We stopped at a random place to grab some dinner, and the dish i got was fantastic. I believe it was called Nasi Goreng or something along those lines, and I ended up getting 2 because it was so good haha
Afterwards, we hit up skygarden again and there were these awesome dudes playing with flames!
The next day was another adventure filled one, as I had signed up for scuba diving classes! I had managed to negotiate the tour agent down from 95 to 55 bucks, and hopped on a 3 hour bus ride to the northeastern side of the island to a town called Tulamben.
I grabbed a delicious fish and rice meal from this guy riding around on his bicycle, and it was one of the tastiest breakfasts i’ve ever had.
There were about 12 of us in the van, and I was with another american, a few spaniards, and a couple of british brothers.
Was the prettiest car ride i’ve ever had the pleasure of being on
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We drove past this volcano that was active just 40 years ago.
We finally arrived to the dive site, and was super excited to go on the wreck dive! There was an old US boat which had sunk, and we were going to go diving through the old ship and explore.
We got all suited up, and met our cool dive master who was going to lead us on our dive. The dive master then proceeded to ask how many dives everyone had been on before. One guy said nearly 100, others said 30 or so, and one group said they had done all the required training. It was at this point that I realized there was required training for Scuba diving..
To the shock of everyone there, I told them that I had never gone on a dive before, nor had I ever even received basic training. The organizers chatted amongst themselves, before telling me that I would most likely have to wait for everyone to go, and then go on a separate shorter dive.
I proceeded to argue with them, and say that I paid for the dive and that I was going and managed to convince them to let me go on the dive with the less experienced of the two groups. Probably not the safest thing to do, especially after signing a rather sketch liability waiver, but I’m so glad that I ended up going!
With my Spanish friends and diving partners! The guy in the middle was our awesome dive master!
After some initial difficulties, I picked it up really quickly and was having a blast. While we were down on the first dive, I couldn’t believe all that was happening around me, as schools of fish would swim through and all around us. I would turn around, and there would be a ridiculously colorful fish staring at me like “What you lookin at?” and then i’d look down and there was a giant turtle just feet from me. Felt like I was in Finding Nemo haha, honestly never seen prettier fish in my life, and gave me a greater appreciation for the world underneath the water.
This is not a real place
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After our second dive!
Blowdart guns are always fun
Went out for dinner and drinks with the girls from Old Jersey and had a great time.
On my last day in Bali, I had a flight I needed to catch in the afternoon but there was one thing I needed to do before I left. I had been hearing all week about how incredible balinese massages are, and I wasn’t leaving without one.
Paid $5 for an hour massage that was easily the best one i’ve ever had. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could walk down the street and get one of those in College Park.
I hopped on the plane headed back towards Jakarta, and said bye to one of the most majestic and surreal places i’ve ever been to.
I had been reading a book on the plane, and as soon as I had walked back into the airport, realized that I had completely forgotten it on the plane itself. It was a book called growing social business that i was fascinated by at the time, and ran back towards the plane to get it. I somehow managed to talk my way back through security despite the language barrier, and ended up back on the plane and luckily the air hostess had my book! Would never have happened in America haha
With the air hostess!
If you’re looking for a perfect place for your next vacation, look no further. Bali, Indonesia is amazing and I can’t wait to make a trip back sometime in the future.