Love this view, Southern Sydney as we climb out over the suburbs.
One of the reasons that Bali has a bad rap in some circles is that it is filled with loud and drunken tourists, mostly Aussies. While this can be the case in Kuta and there is an element of that, the reality is not quite the same.
Bali is a holiday mecca for Australians simply because it is the closest and cheapest, exotic travel location for all Aussies. It's only 6 hours from Sydney, under 4 hours from Perth and less than 2 from Darwin.
There are other places we can go overseas, New Zealand but that's a bit more like visiting your cousin's place, not very exotic at least on the surface of it. Fiji or other parts of the Pacific islands are also on the list and honestly a bit under-rated. I have a trip to Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Cook Islands firmly in my sights, maybe even three trips.
Bali is easy, very close and for many Aussie's their first experience of South East Asia. For me personally, I have been to Phuket (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia) and Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia) before. So while I have been into the region before in small pockets I haven't spent a huge amount of time.
I am spending my first 4 nights here in Ubud. Ubud is about an hour from the hustle and bustle of Kuta but it is a world away. I never got to visit Ubud in its heyday when it was less touristy and more about chilling out but honestly it is still pretty chilled out.
I didn't get in until after 6pm so I had a quick shower and change after my 15 hour transit and set out to find dinner and get my bearings. The first thing I noticed was the lack of touts and people hassling me to buy.
Oh that feeling when you have the whole row...
I covered about 2 km of shops, most open and with their owners out front in the street. Not a single one hassled me at all and most just said hello. This is a big difference to even walking the streets of Nusa Dua. It was a welcome surprise.
The other thing, as a solo man walking the streets of Phuket, Siem Reap, Nusa Due and even Amsterdam you get offered some very "interesting" things, especially "massage". Not here is Ubud. So much more chilled and no hassling, it's great
I found my dinner, actually had to hunt a little. I came to Indonesia to immerse myself in the country's natural beauty, it's culture and it's food. So I really wasn't up for Mexican, Pizza, Pizza, Chinese or Pizza. I wanted simple and genuine Indonesian food.
I got it, I think, it was a bit fancy and was a sit down restaurant but I did have some lovely fried dumplings, fried chicken with rice and pickled veggies. With a couple of Coke's and a tip for $15. Not cheap by Bali standards but very cheap by Aussie standards.
Yummy Fried Dumplings
I also got a very strong balinese massage for $10 for a whole hour to help work out the wrinkles of sitting on the train for 3 1/2 hours and a plane for 6 hours. This morning I feel refreshed and ready to explore Ubud before heading off this afternoon with a driver to explore and do some shooting.
Catch you soon.
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