A Travellerspoint blog

Indonesia

Bali

sunny 35 °C

Busy Bali is always bustling with action. When we arrived late in the night we decided Kuta would be our best bet for guest houses that would still be open. Kuta is like a nightclub district on steroids. The sensory overload was overwhelming for me and I couldn't wait to leave. We stayed only a couple of days before heading to the Gili Islands.

Eric playing volleyball on Kuta Beach
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Upon return to Bali we decided to stay in the more sophisticated, less offensive area of town called Seminyak. Although Seminyak is full of posh villas and luxury hotels it is still possible to find backpacker friendly accommodation. Bali is always busy but Seminyak is much more tolerable then Kuta.

Eric convinced me not to write Kuta off. We met another nice couple and went out for a night on the town. Kuta proved to be a good time for all. The clubs are radical and we didn't stop dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Kuta is also a great place for cheap shopping, but at the end of the day its nice to escape the chaos.

We rented a motor bike and traveled around the island. A couple hours away is a town called Ubud, also known as the spiritual capitol of Bali. We met some great people in this community of wellness. After eating delicious organic food and watching the local artisans paint, we ended the day with a rejuvenating Yoga class.

Ulawatu has beautiful beaches, temples and scenery.
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This is what happens when tourist feed the monkeys. I didn't know Monkeys could be obese!
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Temples at Tanalot
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After almost 7 months of traveling Eric and I are excited to go home and see our loved ones. Asia has treated us well and has been an enlightening experience for both of us. Until next time. Om Shanti, Shanti. Namaste my friends.

Posted by H-Dizzle 23:04 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali monkey seminyak kuta_bali Comments (0)

Lombok

all seasons in one day 33 °C

We arrived in Lombok by boat from Gili Trawangan. As we drove to Singiggi the scenery was magnificent. The windy roads carved through mountains with stunning views of the coastal beaches below. We rented a proper motor bike and used Singiggi as our travel hub. We made way from there to other attractions around the island.

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This is the most impressive waterfall we have seen in Asia. It was so powerful that even when standing 20 meters away we were soaking wet.

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We packed a small bag and drove to the small, quiet village of Kuta. Kuta is very geographically diverse and is probably one of the most beautiful places I have been.

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Kuta is a surfers paradise and attracts a small amount of tourists. Unfortunately for the tourists, there are about ten local touts to every one tourist. The beaches were empty because as soon as a tourist set foot on them, they would be bombarded. Although it was difficult to have a peaceful moment on the beach, we made the best of it and got to know some of the locals.

3 pretty ladies selling sarongs -smiles are free :)
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From Lombok we traveled back to Gili Trawangan for a couple days before heading back to Bali. Busy Bali is full of thrills as we wind down the last week of our trip. Bali blog to be posted shortly.

Posted by H-Dizzle 07:47 Archived in Indonesia Tagged beaches lombok Comments (1)

Gili Trawangan

sunny 35 °C

The Gili Islands are a group of island about 2 hours NE of Bali (6 hours by slow boat). Gili T is the biggest of 3 islands and is where we decided to stay. The island is beautiful with coral speckled white sand beaches stretching around it. Although the main beaches were busy, it was not hard to find a secluded beach somewhere along the coast. This is what I liked most about Gili T. Before I discovered the beauty of the untouched coast I thought Gili T would be far too busy for me. Lucky for me, serenity was but a walk away. Another nice touch is that there are no motorized vehicles on the island. Everything is transported by bicycle or horse and carriage.

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We rented bicycles and explored the island. We discovered acres and acres of beautiful lush land. Unfortunately the land is bound to be developed in coming years. Extravagant resorts seam to pop out of the wood work all over the island. Construction is booming and dirt cheap land is readily available.

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The sun was unbearably hot at times. We were never able to stay on the beach for long (tough life I know!). Most of our time was spent hanging out on the balcony and going to our evening Yoga classes. It payed to have a good room and escape the heat of the day.

We took a short boat ride to the main island of Lombok. Here we will spend some time exploring another beautiful island before heading back to Bali.

Posted by H-Dizzle 19:43 Archived in Indonesia Tagged beaches gili_t Comments (0)

Sumatra

The animal kingdom

all seasons in one day 30 °C

Devastated by frequent natural disasters, and occasional terrorist attacks, the island of Sumatra has had a violent history. But tourism numbers are starting to register as the ecosystems rebuild and attract the nature enthusiasts. The locals are happy and hopeful for a brighter future.

Our flight arrived in the polluted capitol city of Medan late in the night. We were egar to get out as soon as we arrived there, especially after searching for what seamed like an eternity for a decent (ridiculously expensive) room to sleep in. Early the next morning we set out to find the islands most popular destination, Lake Toba. After a hot, sweaty, 6 hour smoke choked bus ride with the locals, we finally set eyes on the volcanic crater lake.

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The volcanic eruption that created this crater lake is said to be the biggest in recorded history and actually altered the earths climate. The surrounding mountains are vibrant green and lush with fertility. They make a gorgeous back drop for the lake that is uncomprehendingly huge.

We stayed on Samosir Island in Lake Toba which was created by another volcanic eruption. For nearly two weeks we soaked in the fresh lake water and tremendous amounts of rain. We found a lovely family run restaurant Joe's Cafe just outside of Tuk Tuk. The husband Joe and wife Uli are amazing people and have the best food around.

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Lush green rice patties surround the lake with the traditional Batik style houses.

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Next we decided to head into the jungles of Bukit Lewang in search of Orang-Utans.

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in recent years Bukit Lewang was victim to a horrific flood that wiped out the entire village and killed hundreds of people. The locals are still emotionally recovering as efforts are still underway to rebuild. Bukit Lewang is a beautiful river side village deep in the Sumatran jungle. It is home to rare wildlife including the Bohorok Orang-Utan.

We trekked through the jungle with a guide and were ecstatic to see the abundance of life. We visited cautiously with 200 pound Orang-Utans and photographed the beautiful Thomas Leaf monkeys. Around every corner was another surprise. The storm however, came with a warning of heart stopping thunder directly above and all around us. Rain in the jungle is merciless. I guess I shouldn't have sent my rain coat home.

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Jungle peacock

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Strange jungle bug

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Thomas Leaf Monkey

After Bukit Lewang we took a cheap domestic flight to the north tip of Sumatra. Bande Ache, which you may recall, is the epicentre of the 2004 boxing day Tsunami that wiped out a large portion of Asia. We took a short boat ride from there to an island called Pulau Weh.
Pulau Weh sits at the meeting point for the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean. This meeting point creates a unique abundance of sea life found no where else in the world and attracts many people eager to explore its waters.

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The balcony of our bungalow stretched over the clear turquoise water. It was easy to spend hours just sitting in the hammock, watching the schools of colorful tropical fish swim underneath you. We spent days snorkeling and diving in these beautiful waters, following big octopus around, watching sea turtles and enormous tropical fish surrounding the colorful coral reefs.

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We took day trips to Rubiah Island, which is a small Island adjacent to Pulau Weh, well known for its magnificent coral gardens. We met a good group of people from Erick's Green House and were able to get a few good volleyball games going.

Our time in Sumatra was well spent. To see how natural phenomenons flourish with beauty and diversity was a mind blowing experience. The people who have suffered come around smiling and help remind us not to hold on to the past. We decided to make a cheap VISA run to the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia ($20 return with AirAsia promo!) before heading back to Indonesia for another month. Stay tuned for the next update on another paradise island.

Posted by H-Dizzle 20:12 Archived in Indonesia Tagged animals monkey jungle sumatra pulau_weh lake_toba Comments (0)

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