…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.
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.
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!
There’s just so much going on in here. Doesn’t matter where you are or what time it is there are people around talking to each other, selling their goods, just having good time or trying to get your attention with magical words of “tuk-tuk” :). You can see an overview of our first days in Bangkok from the video above.
But yesterday in the first half of the day we visited 2 different temples called Wat Pho and Wat Arun. It’s just unbelievable how much work and handicraft has gone into creating such pieces of art. Every detail is handmade with great precision. Currently a lot of temples are being renovated, I presume it has something to do with the oncoming funeral of the King. Because of that the biggest temple in Bangkok, The Grand Palace, is also closed but luckily there’s a lot of other beautiful places to see. During the temple visits we also crossed Chao Phraya river which was an adventure by itself although it lasted for only few minutes. But let’s just say that the traffic on the river here is the same as on the roads.
We also caught our first rain. So far it has sometimes been raining during the night but yesterday for about an half an hour around 11 it was just pouring down. Rains around here are something different then back home but during hot days the’re actually quite refreshing.
Besides that we have now got our first tries of local foods from places where basically the only way of communication is body language. But is has been fun:) And foods have been great. Tom Kha soup that Anna tried at dinner was eye wateringly spicy but otherwise it has been ok:).
In the evening we visited Lumpini park which was actually very nice but it seemed that there was a marathon going on although it was just an usual Wednesday. I guess it’s normal when there are so many people living it the city and not much places where to run. After that we went to one of the many sky bars here in Bangkok. The cocktails were rather good (and of course expensive – 800 baht/20 € for 2 drinks) but what we and I especially enjoyed was the view. It’s just something special to have such a great look at Bangkok night skyline.
The last stop was infamous Soi Cowboy red light district. Yes there were a lot of beautiful women (probably) and also a lot of not so beautiful ones. And in some cases you could definitely tell that it’s not a woman that you’re looking at. But all in all it was just one street where all that happened. On the surrounding streets there were just a huge number of massage salons where (I think) you could probably get whatever kind of massage you like. I know that there are also 2 other regions in Bangkok with similar things going on but it seems that generally these areas have been reducing compared to years back since legally it’s still not allowed. Although it definitely brings in a lot of money. But the main thing is that now we’ve seen it. All the services provided will be for next time.. or next life. Who knows 🙂
Lastly one sad thing is that during evening or near nighttime there are a lot of people sleeping on the streets with just their bags and other belongings next to them. Unfortunate that there are so many of them but at least it doesn’t get cold at night. Generally there’s a very big gap between so to say rich Bangkok and poor Bangkok. I hope that they manage to close that gap somehow in the future without damaging the cultural richness that Bangkok has to offer.
Sending a lot of sunshine back home:)!
Our day began quite early at 7:30 when there was only modest 28 degrees outside :). After a quick breakfast we visited the Golden Mountain from where you could see beautiful scenery of Bangkok skyline and enjoy the hilltop temple. It was a nice mixture of nature and architecture since the temple itself was built on a rather high mountain surrounded by greenery and flowing water. Definitely would recommend to visit!
Next we set our steps towards Sampeng market which is near the local Bangkok Chinatown. By the way what I wouldn’t recommend is walking outside for a longer period around midday when the sun is at it’s hottest. If you do, definitely bring a lot of water. Luckily a 1,5L bottle is only around 10 baht (0,25€). But the market itself is made up of one long alley (actually I don’t know how long exactly since we walked on it for 1,5h hours and it seemed liked several kilometers but we didn’t reach the end) and a lot of streets crossing it. Rather crowded but the prices were very reasonable and you could find almost anything. Best way to describe it is Aliexpress, but not online :).
On second half of the day we visited the Siam area which is known as the shopping hall center in Bangkok. There were many different shopping malls situated one after another, we only walked by most of them and spent a bit longer time in MBK center. But if you want, you could spend several days in there. Mall consisted of 7 floors with hundreds of smaller and bigger shops on every floor. The main reason we went there was that I needed to unlock my phone which I bought for the trip. Apparently it was locked for Asia region and some hacking needed to be done. As it turns out it’s quite common issue with phones bought outside of Asia but don’t worry – even only in that shopping mall there were about 100 booths where you could do that.
We ended the evening in a nearby cozy cafe and some delicious snacks from the horde of street-food trolleys located in every corner. Everything related to coconut is just indescribably tasty here! Today we had some sort of pancakes made from coconut and they just melted in the mouth!
A list of animals we saw today on streets – a huge rat who jumped on Anna’s foot so a loud scream echoed through Bangkok, superfast squirrels who ran on top of the thousands of electric lines in the city, a frog, some lizards and a bunch of (supposedly some stray and some not) cats and dogs. I’m really sorry for those guys in here because all they do is they are constantly out of breath and move slowly towards the nearest shadow.
In some other comments I also started keeping a budget of our costs to make some summaries of our expenses. I will share it at some point later on.
And finally soon there will also be a Youtube video of places we have and will visit in Bangkok.
Until next time :)!