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Impressions of Bali

Before leaving Nepal, we had decided to visit Indonesia, and specifically, Bali. On our way, we spent a night in Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital of Malaysia.

Malaysia Hotel
What a welcome site this was for us after the harsh conditions in Nepal. (Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
pool in Malaysia
A pool in a large hidden corner of the hotel that we found while exploring around.

After enjoying some time in Malaysia, we took a short flight to the island of Bali, Indonesia, and landed in the city of Denpasar. From there, we had an hour long taxi ride to Ubud.

One of our first views of Ubud.

Although all of Bali is very accommodating towards tourists, Ubud is a famous hub for yoga lovers, rice fields, and is thought of as very “spiritual.” It is also considered to be in the mountains of Bali since it sits about 2,000 feet (600m) above sea level.

rice plantation
Standing on the outskirts of a rice plantation in Ubud.
bali religion
An idol surrounded by offerings that the locals created out of dried grass and fruit every day. Theses offerings were also scattered here and there along roadsides. (It is illegal and severely punished to speak anything negative against religion in Bali.)
A local woman preparing an offering and setting it in the road.

Bali is a great place for tourists because everything is pretty inexpensive and it isn’t difficult to find pretty nice accommodations. This is because the tourists fund the island and are an important part of the country’s economy. With that said, Indonesia, like other 3rd world countries have sections of the country that seem luxurious, while just next door you can find small huts that some of the locals live in.

While Bali is considered relatively safe, one of the common crimes is having your valuables stolen while you are riding a motorbike. Because of this, we chose not to video much unless it was from inside a car like this video above.
locals home
Bali is full of small roads that take you to interesting places like this one Hunter rode down on and found a farm sitting at the edge of the beach.
Mopeds are very common in SE Asia – locals often use them to sell things.

Although Bali is not necessarily well off, they greatly benefit from the business of tourists and have become more and more popular among digital nomads in recent years.

The first place we stayed while in Bali – this particular Airbnb was in Ubud.
Most airbnb’s provided a homemade breakfast, usually consisting of fruit, toast or banana pancake, and tea or coffee.
This was the 2nd place that we stayed at in Ubud. We met a few other travelers from England here.
Most beds in the accomodations that we stayed at were covered with a canopy to guard against mosquitoes and other uninvited pests during the night.

After visiting Ubud we spent most of our time just outside of Canggu, an Aussie tourist town full of digital nomads with great cafes and beaches.

Surfers at a beach in Canggu.

Most of our stay in Canggu was just outside of the town in this beautiful house we shared with a lady named Sharka. This was by far one of our favorite accommodations while in Indonesia.

Sharka’s place 🙂 A stone pathway crosses the pool and connects the kitchen and main entrance with the bedrooms and laundry.
A tour of the main floor of Sharka’s place. Not included: the 2 upstairs bedrooms and balcony overlook.

We were within walking distance to the beach and about a 15 minute moped ride to the main part of the village.

This stray kitten that Sharka had adopted followed us around all the time. Unfortunately, there were a lot of stray cats and dogs in Bali.

Accomodations aside, there are a lot of things that kept us busy in Bali. First off, we visited a monkey forest that was full of wild monkeys.

Monkeys jumping and swinging in the trees of the monkey forest.
This monkey has found what he hopes will be a delicious snack…
wild monkey
A local feeding a wild monkey (picture from our hike to a volcano).

Besides watching monkeys, we got up at 1 am on one morning to hike to the top of a volcano by sunrise. The view did not disappoint!

We could see an entire village below with the rising volcano behind and around it. The reflections below the waterline are rice fields.
Steam rising from the volcano.
volcano surround
Standing at the summit of our hike up the volcano with this incredible view.
Hiking down on igneous rock formed from the lava of the volcano. Notice also the steam in the distance.

On our way back from our hike, we visited a coffee farm. They actually grew all sorts of things including cinnamon and pineapples, but they were famous for harvesting one of the most expensive coffees in the world: Kopi Luwak.

Essentially, it is coffee that has been partially digested by an animal called a Civet. The beans are separated from the feces through a special cleaning process, roasted and turned into a cup of coffee.
coffee luwak
Here’s the famous cup of joe.
While there, we were walked through the process of cleaning, roasting, and brewing the coffee.

Other than monkeys, volcanoes, and strange coffee, we enjoyed watching sunsets at the beach nearly every evening.

beach sunset
The sunsets in Canggu were always magnificent.
palms and beach
We watched the sun set at this particular spot almost every evening.
palm trees
Oftentimes, the locals would also gather with us to watch the sun set.

On another day, we decided to visit a beach a little ways away from Canggu called Nusa Dua.

beautiful beach
The coast of Bali has pretty clear water and the beaches are stunning. This was in Nusa Dua on Thanksgiving Day.
beach nusa dua
Nusa Dua’s beach set-up.
The local who sold this coconut to us had collected them himself. He chopped it open and placed a straw in it and that was it. Tasty and unique treat!
magical day
The crystal clear water at Nusa Dua’s beach.

On Thanksgiving day we went to a particularly cool restaurant that overlooked the water below.

Our view from the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day.

Even though it was Winter in some parts of the world, Bali is in the southern hemisphere, which means it was actually Summer. A great way to cool off during some of the incredibly hot afternoons was to go for a ride on the moped and see the sights.

rice paddy
Rice paddies were along most of the roads throughout Bali. We would often see the locals working hard to maintain the fields.
A Hindu temple situated along the beach in Canggu.
Stopping to take pictures of the fascinating jungle (this was actually taken during a hike we went on in Ubud).
Outside of the village of Canggu where most of the locals live.

We would often stop for a meal while on our rides through the villages of Bali. Most of the locals ate out and although we would have preferred to cook a little more, it was definitely easier and cheaper to go to restaurants.

Local food that was quite tasty.
A typical restaurant scene: pillows for chairs on the grass with a great view of the surfers on the beach.
restaurant beach
There’s that view of the beach! We went to this restaurant several times.
local food
Delicious local food – can’t complain 🙂
A waterfall in the middle of the jungle of Bali.

We could go on and on about the food, the sunsets, the nature, the people, the culture, and everything else that intrigued us about Bali. These were just some of our general first impressions of this beautiful island.

another sunset
Here’s another beautiful sunset…and another rice field.

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Post Author
Hi! I'm originally from the the midwestern part of the U.S. and I love to see, experience, and learn new things as I travel around the world with my husband, Hunter. We hope you enjoy following our adventures!


  1. posted by
    SW Strozier
    Jul 5, 2019 Reply

    Looks like a beautiful place

    • posted by
      Jul 7, 2019 Reply

      It was really pretty there

  2. posted by
    Celeste Orr
    Jul 5, 2019 Reply

    Gorgeous photos, guys! Bali is absolutely on our short list, and now we know the good spots to visit – thanks!

    • posted by
      Jul 7, 2019 Reply

      Your family would love it, we’re sure! Thanks for taking time to read it 🙂

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