When someone asks me about the best moments of my life, the memories of the trip come first. The travel thing always pulls me very much. I have no shortage of desire and effort to see something new beyond the borders of the country, at least once a year. I have kept this travel habit for many years. At the end of October 2018, a few of us toured Bali, Indonesia, and Malaysia on a 9-day trip.
Gather as much information as possible about the destination. I prefer to plan my way rather than going under any travel package. However, it is more complicated and risky than going around the travel package. However, if you collect information well and go out with a good plan, the pleasure of travel increases a lot. Adequate information about that country or city when traveling abroad makes the trip much more comfortable. Above all, you can be very confident when you go around planning your own without relying on packages.
I had two companions for this trip. Sumon and Robin. The three of us boarded the Malindo Air flight at 9:30 pm. As there was no direct flight to Bali, we had to wait for a 6-hour transit break at Kuala Lumpur International Airport after a 4-hour flight from Dhaka.
After flying for about three and a half hours from Kuala Lumpur, we saw below an impossibly beautiful island, Bali, surrounded by dark blue water.
Bali is located just south of Java, the most important island in Indonesia, with the capital Jakarta. Bali is the smallest of Indonesia's 34 provinces, with an area of only 5,060 sq km. And a population of 42.2 lakhs. The capital of Bali is Denpasar. Even three decades ago, Bali was utterly dependent on agriculture. But now 70 percent of Bali's total economy is based on the tourism industry, and it is considered one of the wealthiest provinces in Indonesia.
Although Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, the picture of Bali is quite different. 74.5% of the people living in Bali are Hindus, and due to the predominance of temples, Bali is called the island of gods, the island of peace.
Every moment of our stay in Bali has enriched our store of experience. Our enjoyable experience started with a thrilling landing on the runway of the airport. As the runway of the airport moved from the mainland to the middle of the sea, we felt as if the plane was landing in the sea. It was my best landing experience.
Immediately after the immigration and customs formalities, a Balinese girl came out of the airport with a sweet smile on her face and said, 'welcome to Bali.' This is how the Balinese welcome every tourist.
Taxis are officially available at the airport. Although many taxis will come from outside to welcome you, however, if you respond to their call, you may have to pay three times more rent.
I had already booked the hotel. Our hotel is called The Oasis. It is located in Kuta, the most magnificent area of Bali. The distance from the airport to the hotel is three and a half km. Our taxi fare was 60,000 rupees. We got around 14,500 rupees for every dollar. A maximum of Rs 1 lakh notes are available in Indonesia. In the next three days, it has taken a lot of time to calculate these millions of rupees.
We checked into the hotel at 2 pm. I had to think a lot before booking a hotel as my two travel companions gave me the responsibility of planning the whole trip. Upon entering the hotel, it seemed that the hotel selection was correct. The rent for a three-bed room was $65 per night. With a 60-foot-long swimming pool and other well-equipped three-star quality hotels seemed like cheap to us.
We were exhausted, because of the total flight of seven and a half hours and the transit break of 8 hours in between. I ordered food and told them sent it to the room. Different types of food came for three people as per the order. I tasted Indonesian food for the first time. Rice is the leading food in the whole of Indonesia and Bali, like in our country. Indonesians, however, use a lot of spices in vegetables and a kind of sauce to serve food. But it is not harmful to eat; it tastes good.
After eating chicken, fish, kebabs, etc. with different items, our bill is 1 lakh 46 thousand rupees, which is about 1,500 Taka in our money. Bali has earned a reputation as one of the world's most popular tourist-friendly islands, with its natural beauty, good living, and food at relatively low prices. Staying the same standard in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur costs about 50 percent more to eat.
After eating, I rested for a couple of hours and set foot on the beach at around 5 pm to watch the sunset. In the 3rd week of October, the sun sets at 6:15 in Bali. The world-famous Kuta beach in Bali is just a 3/4 minute walk from our hotel.
Walking down the street, I saw lots of foreigners coming around. More than a quarter of Australians travel to Bali. This may be due to the geographical location of Australia being very close to Indonesia. Arriving at the beach, I saw many people came to watch the sunset.
The watercolor of the Bali's beach is dark blue. It seems that Kuta beach is beautiful, but the beauty of our Cox's Bazar beach is no less. I will tell you that story another time.
Leaving the sea for a while, we started walking after sunset to see the city of Kuta. Kuta road is not very wide, and lots of motorcycles can be seen on the way. Another interesting thing here is that most of the drivers are women, which is not common to see in our country.
We walked for about 2 hours to see the city, ate burgers from Burger King, and returned to the hotel at about ten o'clock at night. Back at the hotel, I went down to the swimming pool to relieve the fatigue of the whole day.
The next morning at 10 o'clock our car arrived just after breakfast. The night before, I asked the hotel manager Rama to arrange a vehicle for the whole day. If you spend 3 to 4 lakh rupees in Bali, you can get a Toyota Innova type car for the entire day. We took a car to another beautiful restaurant and spent 9 lakh rupees for lunch and two sightseeing entrance fees—all for three people. Our car crossed the Kuta road and proceeded north along a relatively wide way.
On both sides of the street, there was the impression of a robust Balinese culture. The Balinese are very faithful to tradition. At the main entrance of the house, they use an architecture that looks like a hundred years old. The use of flowers and bamboo is eye-catching everywhere. One cannot help but be fascinated by the way bamboo has been used in various houses, temples, shops, etc. Multiple works of art were made of wood, clay, and stone on both sides of the road. We did not see any tall house in Bali.
Almost all the houses in all the areas except the city center are limited to 2/3 floors. Our car came to a stop at the showroom of a gold-and-silver jewelry factory called Sari Dewi. We didn't spend much time there because we weren't interested. Our next destination is 64 km from Kuta. A region in the northeast called Kintamani. It is a mountainous area with an elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level.
We went there to see the living volcano Mount Batur in the Kintamani region and the heart of Lake Batur. Arriving at the destination, I thought that there are very few such beautiful places. It also seemed that the arrival of Bali was quite successful.
It was already noon. Sitting down to lunch at the restaurant, I looked at the beauty of the surroundings and thought that although it is not the best delicious lunch of my life, it can be considered as the most beautiful lunch. However, the taste of the food at that buffet was also quite good. We spent quite a while in that pleasant place. The place is quite cold due to the high altitude.
Leaving behind Batu's hill and heart, our car started moving. Our next destination is Ubud between Kuta and Kintamani.
We entered a coffee factory on the street to know the beginning and end of coffee. There we were served six types of coffee with different tastes. We tasted all the different flavors of coffee. There I saw how the most expensive coffee in the world is made!
A cat-like animal named Luwak is fed coffeeberries, and the whole coffeeberry comes out with their feces. In this process, the bitterness of the coffee is reduced, and it becomes fragrant. The coffee made from the coffeeberry obtained in this way is the most expensive in the world. The price of each cup of coffee is 2,500 Taka or around $30. We tasted 8 kinds of coffee but did not dare to eat such expensive coffee.
After this different experience, we continued to Ubud. Our chief sight in Ubud was a beautiful paddy field, the size of a zoom farm on a hill. Although tourism is the most prominent driving force of Bali's economy, more and more people are still dependent on agriculture. Paddy cultivation occupies the lion's share of Bali's farming.
It has also emerged as a significant tourist attraction as the paddy cultivation is well done. If you go there and stand, it will feel like a carefully painted picture of the creator's hand. Feeling and taking that emotion, we headed for the hotel. Still, with some time left in the evening, I spent some time on another beach on the east side of Bali before returning to the hotel.
We started our third day in Bali by swimming in the sea. At 11 o'clock we landed at Kuta beach. The height of the waves here is quite sound. This sandy beach is a paradise for Australian surfers. Sumon and I swam in the sea and kept moving forward. Our other partner, Robin, stared at us in amazement.
About 200 yards from the shore, there were two Australian men and women. We went to cross them and approached and saw that they had surfboards with them. They are surprised to see us swimming in the middle of the sea without surfboards. We realized that we had taken too much risk without realizing it. It was challenging for us to return to the shore by entering the water through the mouth, nose, and ears.
We didn't take any mobile or camera before going to the sea. After a lot of searching, we couldn't find a camera person to take pictures. We returned to the hotel at 1 o'clock. As before, the driver of the car, Medi, was waiting at the hotel in his car. We had lunch at the hotel and left again at around 2 o'clock. Our first destination is 20 km from Kuta, to the northwest, a temple called Tanah Lot.
Various temples are covering a large part of the tourist attractions in Bali. Since we are less interested in temples, we only put this one temple on our list. The reason for going to see it is its location. The temple is located on a large rocky outcrop on the beach and looks like a small island at high tide. We entered the temple area after buying a ticket for three people with 90,000 rupees. Although it is not allowed to enter the main temple, it can be climbed up to a height of the pillars of the temple. However, it is possible only after washing hands and face with holy water and donating some money.
After washing our hands with holy water, the temple servants put flowers in our ears and a few rice on our foreheads and allowed us to go upstairs. We took some pictures and said goodbye to Tanah lot. Our next destination is 40 km from Tanah Lot, Southern Uluwatu, the southernmost area of Bali.
Our purpose is to watch the sunset from the famous Uluwatu Sunset Point. We three people bought tickets with 60 thousand rupees and entered the Uluwatu Sunset Point area. Monkey infestation is very high in this area. While we were taking pictures, a naughty monkey tried to snatch our partner Robin's sunglasses. Robin also got a little pain in his cheek. The place where we stopped to watch the sunset was a very high hill by the sea. The seawater is coming down and crashing on the rocks. It was scary to look down from above. The sea, the mountains, the green forest, and the sunset all combine to create an indescribable beauty.
This place in Uluwatu is famous for serving Kecak, one of the traditional dances of Bali culture. Shortly after sunset, the discord and fire dance began. We bought three tickets for 2 lakh 10 thousand rupees and sat down to enjoy this different kind of cultural dance. It is served on the open stage, and the visitor's gallery was so crowded with tourists that there is no place to hold the needles. The unique feature of Kecak is that no musical instruments are used in this performance.
At this time, about 70 Balinese men began to make the same sound with their mouths. And on the stage, a short Ramayana without dialogue is staged. Kecak was boring at the beginning but slowly came back to life. We all quite enjoyed it.
At around 8 pm, we left Uluwatu for Jimbaran. Our purpose, this is luxury time. If you leave Bali without eating seafood, the journey will be incomplete. Jimbaran area is located on the way from Uluwatu to Kuta, and its distance from Kuta is 12 km. Jimbaran is famous for its seafood restaurants. Meals are served here under the open sky.
You have to pay a high price to enjoy seafood while listening to the roar of the sea and live music. We had to pay a bill of around 14 lakh rupees for eating 10/12 items of seafood.
Our last night in Bali. So I entered a super shop called Krishna around 11 pm for some shopping. Our driver Medi had earlier informed that this super shop is open 24 hours a day. Being a one-stop-shop also reduces the risk of overcharging. We bought some gift items and went back to the hotel around midnight. I will recommend shopping from Krishna if you go to Bali. It's cheap!
Our last day in Bali did not include any sightseeing activities. I spent the morning at the hotel. After completing the checkout formality at the hotel reception, we left for the airport at around 10:30. When I went to get a boarding pass, I saw a Bangladeshi in Bali for the first time.
Our flight started at 12:30 pm. The speed of the Boeing-737 continued to increase along the runway that divided the sea. I said in my mind, 'Biday Bali - Goodbye, Bali.' I thanked the creator for the uniquely beautiful moments in the sand. I cam back to Bali again in the next year to travel Gili Island and Lombok. I will tell you that story another time.
Our plane flew in the sky. Leaving behind the sand hidden under the clouds, we flew towards Kuala Lumpur.
*Original Post by @pitboy *
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