My sister, Ruth Ann came and joined us in Bali for a month. Needless to say we had fun running around taking in the wonders of magical Bali. It was just a lovely treat to have her here with us.
The day she arrived was the start of the Galungan celebration, which is the triumph of Dharma over Adharma, or good against evil. Bamboo poles decorated with young coconut leaf decorations line the streets all over Bali. This was a unique welcome to Bali for Ruth Ann. The Balinese have this celebration and decorate twice a year.
We started our visit in the well-known, well-used, well-touristed Legian Beach which is right beside the raw and wild Kuta Beach. As they say…..’what happens in Kuta Beach stays in Kuta Beach’. It’s a beach the Aussies love to get down and get wild in from dust to dawn. We stayed one beach over in quieter Legian Beach with my sister. David and I braved Kuta Beach before she got there.
All that said, its a nice beach. There’s a surf so it attracts the beginner to intermediate surfers. It’s fun watching the surfers make their wave or almost make their wave. The newbies trying to get their boards over the surf, it’s a task just to stay on the board and then try to stand up, OMG what fun. It’s all a good time…..as long as they don’t hand me a board.
It’s a gorgeous walking beach. You can walk for hours dropping in here and there for a local Bintang beer at the beach bars which line the back of the beach under the shade of the trees. A nice place to sit and visit and catch-up with sister. It’s the oldest, well established, has tons of shopping from tacky tourist trinkets to beautiful hand-painted batik, and very over-touristed area in Bali. But we loved it just the same. The airport is a New York minute from Kuta Beach. As I’ve said, the Aussies have put their stamp on this area for over 30 years. The further west you go from Kuta Beach the more posh, expensive and the older the Aussies get.
We went to Ubud from Legian Beach. Ubud is one of David’s and my favourite places to be. (side note; if not of the water sanitation problems we would consider living in Ubud)
Ubud is the centre of the Balinese culture, good restaurants, regional artisans, beautiful green rice paddies, street and market shopping, and the list goes on. From here we did two driving day trips. We drove to Bali’s largest volcanos (Mount Batur & Mount Agung), UNESCO Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, oldest temples (Besakih Temple and the slopes of Mount Agung – over 1,000 yrs old and has 86 temples on this site), second largest fresh water lake (Lake Batur – with Ulun Panu Batur Temple on its shoreline), Bali’s Botanical Gardens, a Traditional Balinese Town and more of Bali’s highlights. Gede our driver was a delightful man and always full of information and willing to take yet another picture.
The best way we found to see the attractions of Bali was to hire a car & driver. With a car & driver you get to tailor make your own tour, stay as long as you want at a site, skip an area that doesn’t interest you, go for lunch when you want, stop and walk through to bamboo forest if you feel like it etc…. The cost is compatible with taking a bus tour. If you hire a knowledgeable driver that is able to speak English it will be a very memorable experience. Gede was all that and a bag of chips.
We also did a lot of hiking in the surrounding rice paddies of Ubud. We spent a fun afternoon in Monkey Forest hanging with the monkeys. We took in a few museums, dining in some fabulous restaurants, saw an amazing dance performance, just to name a few things. If ya all know my sister, we did a lot of shopping and Ubud is an incredible place for shopping. She purchased a lot of unique gifts to give to her friends & family.
Our last place we stayed with Ruth Ann was Nusa Dua Beach area. Now this is a beautiful white sand beach with turquoise water. Most days the water was crystal clear and calm, just lovely for dipping into. Nusa Dua is an upscale area with all the high-end hotels and you can’t beat the white sand & turquoise water….so gorgeous.
Nusa Dua is on Bukit Peninsular.We did a day trip around the peninsular to see Uluwatu Temple, Padang Padang Beach, Pandawa Beach, and Blue Point Beach look-out. This is one of my favourite areas to tour around in Bali. We had done this tour when we first got to Bali and loved it so we took my sister to see all the beautiful places and scenic views.
I can’t leave out some pictures of Monkey Forest in Ubud.
Then off Ruth Ann goes back to Mississauga. We’ll miss you…..