An awesome scooter driving road and a magical waterfall

Yesterday we went to visit a friend of mine who’s been living in Bali for the past 4 months. His place is about 2-2,5 hours drive from our accommodation so it was quite a journey. Getting there was without a hassle but driving back home in the dark was quite an interesting experience. Wouldn’t want to do it too often :).

The area that he is staying is called Balian beach and it’s quite remote place with not many people moving around. Beach is covered with beautiful sparkling black volcanic sand and there’s a nice place to eat right near the sea. Food is delicious and prices are very reasonable :). After lunch we drove around in the area, discovered a cave with thousands of bats and majestic cliffs and rocks carved by the sea through the years.  But the main highlight of the day was definitely a perfect scooter driving road and the walk to nearby waterfall. Honestly, if all roads would be like this, I would just keep on driving with a huge smile on my face until I’m out of gas since it’s quite difficult to imagine a more scenic place. The narrow but with a perfectly smooth surface road winds through mountains, jungles, majestic views to rice terraces and small villages. All the people by the road greet you with smiles and children want to high-five you :). There’s hardly any traffic and all this combines into one of the best driving experiences ever!

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At one point when you’re nearing the waterfall the scooter-friendly (if I say scooter friendly I mean about 1m wide narrow pathway between rice fields) ends and a picturesque walk begins. You most likely will get muddy, there’s a lot of climbing and balance exercises but the road and the views are totally worth it, not even mentioning the magical waterfall that waits you in the end. Since it’s quite off the grid and not easily accessible there was nobody there besides ourselves and I presume that it’s the case most of the time. So now don’t you all go flocking there together :). You can have a refreshing swim and just enjoy the nature at it’s finest. A truly memorable experience is guaranteed! You can really fall in love with Bali like this…

But as usual it’s best to see it with your own eyes (even if it’s through a laptop or a mobile screen). So here’s the third video of Bali 🙂

 

Already 20 videos so far from our SE Asia trip!

GoPro has been our true companion throughout our adventures in SE Asia. And hopefully it will also be that for many years to come :). I really like making photos but there’s just so much more liveliness in videos and they really take you back to those great moments. There will definitely be some more clips of Bali and Tokyo but I decided to combine all I’ve made so far into one post so you could easily reach them :). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the places we’ve been! Enjoy :)!

Bangkok

Chiang Mai

Phuket

Langkawi

Kuala Lumpur

Singapore

Jakarta

Bali

 

What to know when travelling around Bali + the second video

As I already mentioned in the last post renting a scooter is a must since the distances in here are noticeable. In order to get from one side of the island to the other it can take up to 4-5 hours without the crazy traffic that you’ll encounter around Kuta, Denpasar and other bigger areas. With a car it probably takes much longer because of the already mentioned traffic + in some places roads are really not roads and unless you’re in a 4×4 there’s just no way to pass. And be very careful in junctions since there are no rules. If a big enough mass gathers it’s your time to go. Be sure to look left, right, behind, ahead and down because there will be surprises coming from each direction :)! If to compare it with Phuket, the other place with notoriously horrible traffic, I think that this place is a bit worse, especially during rush hours. But you’ll get used to that :)!

Secondly be sure to carry cash everywhere you go. Since in almost every beach, temple and tourist object there is a small fee for parking your scooter + a fee per person to enter the area. Sometimes these two fees can be combined but you can be sure that someone will ask you a small amount of money :). Usually it’s about 2000-3000 for parking a scooter and entrance tickets can be from 2000 to 10000 with prices going up to 60000 in most popular tourist attractions. I get all that but what seems a bit weird is that even if you want to go to McDonalds or just a walk in the park for example, even there they’ll charge you for parking :). I don’t know from where this kind of tradition has come from but it’s just easier to get used to it!

Petrol/gasoline is really inexpensive (about ~0,53€ per liter) here. You can find it being sold almost everywhere in small home-made gas stations and in old liquor bottles on wooden shelves by the road. It comes in different colors 🙂 but as I’ve been told the only thing that they differ from is the price and an average scooter drinks almost about everything.

Since there are sadly a huge number of stray dogs roaming on the streets you have to be really careful about them also. In addition quite often you can meet just standing in the middle of the street: cats, chickens, rats, lizards, cows, geese, turkeys and a huge variety of other unknown animals :).

I hope you found some value in these tips! Meanwhile here’s the second video of Bali. Go and have a look!

Our life in Bali + the first video

By now we have settled in Bali quite nicely. Found some great places to eat, to get a cup of coffee, to go for a swim and so on :). What’s especially good is that we also found an awesome place about a 10 minute drive from our hostel where to go to gym. So now every evening we’re there like clockwork :). And from my point of view what’s the best yet about this place is that right outside of the gym there’s a basketball court where most of the times someone is playing. So for the past 4 days I’ve been also hanging around there quite much. God, how I missed basketball :)! Cost for all of this is only 50€ per couple so really inexpensive. There are also a lot of different dance-,yoga-,muay thai- etc. classes and a swimming pool. Definitely go and check out this place while in Bali (Klub Jimbaran)

In the first half or 2/3 of the day we have usually been driving around Bali and discovering it’s many beaches, temples and everything this beautiful island has to offer. Most of the beaches at least in southern part of the island are located between cliffs so that only a narrow road or a staircase leads down from the heights of the cliffs. Which also means that if there are some cafes or hostels down at the beach everything has to be carried by hand. So quite often you see people carrying all sorts of different stuff from suitcases to beer drums down and up the stairs. I imagine how hard it could have been constructing all these buildings there… And all the beaches are very different with low tide/high tide. When during a low tide there are hundreds of meters of beautiful sands, uncovered caves and calm waters then with high tide come huge waves and the beaches shrank to maybe only 1/10 of their former size. Either way it’s very picturesque, just be prepared to a lot of stairs-climbing :)!

Renting a scooter in Bali is definitely a must-do if you want to discover more of the island. We have already driven over 350km in 6 days and we have only explored about 1/20 of the whole place.

Sun in here is quite harsh. We’ve seen so many tourists who look like cooked lobsters and if you don’t cover yourself during midday or don’t use sunscreen that’s exactly the result you’ll get. And we are here during the rainy season, can’t image how it looks like in the middle of the dry season…

Either way here’s the first video of Bali + a few pictures I’ve taken during our trips. Enjoy and share :)!

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A highly recommended TV show

I must admit that I really don’t watch much TV shows. Most likely I can count the shows I’ve seen in past 10 years with the fingers of my hands. But since I’m really interested in all the new technology advancements that are already changing and are going to change our everyday lives one show caught my attention and now I can honestly say that it’s definitely one of the best I’ve seen. It’s called Black Mirror (IMDB link) and so far 4 seasons have been made. It’s described as “An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.” Each episode contains a separate story about how technology affects our lives and sometimes brings out the darker sides of us. Some episodes are good and some are just sublime! Most of all they are all intriguing so after you’ve watched one it’s guaranteed that you’ll find yourself thinking about how you may have acted and how the real world would look like if it would be as in the show. I must warn you that some of the episodes are really straight on and can even be slightly disturbing but it all adds to the effect. Since today’s technology is advancing so rapidly it’s quite difficult to imagine how our world looks like in 10, 20, 30 years from now but the directors of this show have definitely done a good job and given us a lot to think about. Go and check it out :)!

black mirror

Bali – the last paradise on Earth

…was the sign that greeted us a few days back in Denpasar airport. And based on our couple of days here mostly it seems to be true, with a small “but”.

Bali is quite big. We are staying at Jimbaran area and so far we’ve been able to explore only a very small fracture of this island paradise. On the first day we just walked around in our area but yesterday we rented a scooter for 30.000 rupiah a day (~1,8€!) from our hostel and started looking around on a bigger scale. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that most of the streets in Bali are really narrow and the smaller ones can be in quite bad shape. So at some point you’ll probably find yourself off-roading with your small scooter :). But walking and driving around in Bali is like being in a Tomb-Rider game. There are just hundreds and hundreds of temples, shrines and similar everywhere! In fact I’d say that every 3rd building in smaller residential areas is like a small temple with it’s stone walls,carvings and beautiful statues everywhere. Add to that all the greenery, when at some places plants are already eating up the road itself, you’ll get quite a scenery! And the beaches and the cliffs… I have no other word than just breathtaking! I’m already eager to see what majestic places we’ll find during our nearly 1,5 month stay on this island. Here are some pictures (unfortunately taken with my low-quality cell-phone camera, there will be better ones I promise!) of the places we’ve been so far.

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But unfortunately it’s not all that glorious. Indonesia is the second biggest maritime plastic polluter in the world after China. And when there are bigger downpours all this garbage is washed with the floods into the sea. Then in turn waves bring it all to the shores. And you can clearly see the effect here in Bali. Many of the beaches, especially in the west side of the island, are turned into mountains of garbage. Mostly it’s driftwood and all sorts of plastic and rubber waste. In some places the sight can be quite devastating. Although it’s now been declared a garbage emergency in Bali (you can read more about in here and here) and the beaches are being cleaned daily more and more rubbish just washes on the shores. There is also quite significant amount of waste found on the streets and everywhere else.

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So as usual everything has two sides. Let’s hope that the wider audience notices what’s going around us before it’s too late but everything starts with you and me!

Either way I will be keeping you up to date about our adventures in Bali and there is a lot to come!

Wish you all the best!

Lauri

Our Jakarta budget + what to do and see

Our stay in Jakarta was really home-orientated. Since we had such a nice accommodation we spent quite significant time in our little place midst the craziness of the city. Nevertheless there’s quite much to do and see in Jakarta plus you just can’t miss all the smiles and kindness of the people living there :). As always cost are daily averages for 2 people.

  • Groceries (different food items and all other similar things)  in Jakarta it was mainly breakfast and quite many snacks 🙂 – 90.000 rupiah.
  • Transport (in case of Jakarta it contains only Uber fees since we didn’t use any other method of transport, except walking of course 🙂 )  – 60.000 rupiah
  • Eating out. (We ate lunch and dinner usually somewhere out. If to be honest it was about 50/50 between local and so to say western food in Jakarta) – 135.000 rupiah
  • Entrance fees (Mini Indonesia, Ancol Dreamland and Waterbom water park ) – 42.000 rupiah
  • Shopping. (We decided to buy souvenirs from Bali and we had no need for other things at the time)  – 0 rupiah 🙂
  • Other (mobile internet) – 25.000 rupiah. The cheapest data prepaid card I could find was 300.00 rupiah. And be warned that when arriving in our terminal I could find only one place that sold prepaid data cards and they only took cash. Usually there are loads of this kind of vendors in the airport.

Our accommodation was 4,27 mln rupiah so in total we spent 4,27+4,23 = 8,5 mln rupiah (about ~520 EUR) during our 11 days stay. Of course you can actually get through with considerably less in Jakarta but it’s mostly all up to what kind of accommodation you want :).

What to do and see (in no particular order)

  • Ancol dreamland – a theme park with a huge variety of different activities, parks, places to eat and even it’s own shopping mall. It also had a small beach area for swimming
  • Taman Mini Indonesia Indah – a huge village with numerous activities, temples from all over Indonesia, different museums for all tastes and much more! This is a must visit and it will take you a full day!
  • The National monument and Merdeka square
  • Waterbom Jakarta or any of the other water parks in town. But do your research before since many of the parks are not in good condition
  • Flea market Jalan Surabaya – you can find a huge number of different antiques and souvenirs there. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything it’s really interesting to see, almost like a museum of it’s own!
  • Kota Tua area – it’s the old town area of Jakarta with many beautiful buildings and architecture from Dutch colonial era
  • The contrast of the city – doesn’t matter where you go in Jakarta you will see beautiful buildings right next to slums built under the bridges and highways. It’s quite a sight
  • People – as I’ve already expressed several times people in Jakarta are just so friendly and nice and it’s impossible to go for a walk without a smile on your face :)!