Bali – It’s not a Place, It’s an Emotion!

Bali – You’ll like it or Hate it!

I Just loved it.

Shwetha: Sanjay, pack your bags we are going to Bali! (We cooked up this line at the airport for FB check-in) Smarty Pants!

Bali trip got bound over WhatsApp just a day before we decided to do this International trip.  This was was my first ever International trip with zero prep and plan!

Trust me, This was one of the fun & memorable vacations I had ever so far.

We did manage to do shopping by evening and booked a hotel on agoda.com just for 1 night and got ready to fly by Saturday afternoon flight.

The flight took around 6+ hours to reach from Sydney to Bali.

Yaaasss! Time for a selfie! Bali looked like an Emu when we saw it’s map at airport 😀

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We hired a taxi and reached our hotel (Astagina Resort) at Seminyak. We were so pleased with the entrance of the resort, welcome drink, Pools and of course the cozy room!

Post check-in to our room we refreshed and walked out to have food nearby. We were fortunate enough to have a beach (Double six) close to our resort, But we weren’t expecting a firework to welcome us at the beach. We did have a heavenly seafood platter which was portioned perfectly for 2.

 

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The next day we hired scoopy aka 2 wheeler and headed to Tanah Lot, The best way to explore Bali is through 2 wheels! I felt like getting my wings back as it had been over a year that I had moved to Sydney from Bangalore, where my wings were fastened. The scooter ride was the best to have happened to both of us in Bali. We felt resurrected after having fresh tender coconut. No Traffic no Bali! 😛 Bali’s 80% of the economy is made out of tourism-related businesses. Watch out mate, you get honked for following traffic rules!

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After visiting the Tanah lot temple we headed back to our room and booked an appointment for Spa and Balinese massage(Get this massage, you’ll thank me later). We extended our stay that night at Astagina resort.

Next day morning we hired a taxi to go to Ubud. Our stay at Ubud was a bit far from Ubud city. As usual, we hired a scooter to start our adventure.

It was almost afternoon and we hadn’t had our lunch still yet, We found a decent restaurant near Tegunungan waterfalls where we had yummy seafood momo’s aka Dimsum’s on a tree top. Later we headed towards Goa Gajah, a rock-cut cave temple. we met a family from Karnataka, Bangalore there and as we exchanged talks found there’s a fire dance near Ubud palace which is played every day. Yes, the fire dance was on our list and we also had a bit of high expectation on that. We made our way to fire dance, the ticket cost us around 16$ AUD for 2 tickets. The play happened in an open-air theater, the act was Death of Kumbhakarana. Be sure to get insect repellent here else mosquitoes will chew you apart. I wasn’t much excited about the play because I was expecting much intense play or maybe I was comparing it with our Yakshagana (Indian Traditional theater). The play was good to watch towards the end, Fire dance. Post play we found an Indian restaurant and satisfied our tummies with Dal n rice with extra butter 😀

 

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The next day we moved to Ubud village hotel (My personal favorite, I’ll tell you why). We hired scoopy and reached BALI SWING (there are a couple of them around, Make sure you go to the correct one). It cost 35$ USD per person as entry fee and you spend most of the time in the queue, You can also hire a photographer to get your pictures clicked for a cost of 10$. We spent half a day here and thought of going back to the hotel, but we found a river rafting place where they were about to start and we quickly negotiated the price and finalized the adventure. The cost of rafting was 20$ AUD per person. We did white water rafting in River Ayung (Ayung means Beautiful women). The intensity wasn’t that extreme but definitely worth a fun ride.

 

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Next day started early as we had planned to hike Mount Batur. It was an hour drive from our hotel to Mt Batur. Our lovely guide Made Kandra reached the hotel at 2:30am to pick us. We reached the base of mount Batur at 3:45am. We were Introduced to Sintiya Dewi as our hiking guide – Cheerful and joyous girl. We did not know that mountain was an active volcano till Sintiya Dewi showed us hot spring near the summit. We were mesmerized by the sunrise on top of the mountain with a lake at the bottom. We were awestruck by the sunrise and its landscape views from the top. Later made took us to the coffee plantation, my most awaited moment for tasting authentic Balinese coffee. I wasn’t much impressed by Luwak/Balinese coffee But Mangosteen tea surprised me with its unique taste. Mangosteen tea powder is made from the outer layer of Mangosteen fruit, where the skin is dried in sun and ground later.

 

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We relaxed after coming back from the hike. Next day, Shwetha stayed back at the hotel and relaxed the whole day. I hired a scooter and loafed around 100+ km. I was glad to see the ceremony at Temple Besakih. Traditional festival of Balinese people who offers prayer when a Volcanic Eruption happens. There was an eruption a day before at Mount Agung. People at Bali are so generous in offerings, They offer for both God and Devil, to keep both in harmony. Offering happens at two places, Inside home for Gods and outside the home for Devils.

 

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Next day we checked out from our abode Ubud Village hotel and asked Made to take us around Ubud in his car and drop us in Kuta. We were glad on how clean he had maintained his car. This day turned out to be good to have chosen car over scooter as whole day rain kept pouring down. First, we reached NungNung waterfalls, This waterfall was so gigantic and felt like its roaring. on our way back to the car we had Kelapa aka Tender Coconut. Later we drove to Ulun Danu Beratan (Temple on a lake). We were mesmerized by its architecture and majestic view. we spent a good amount time here and continued our journey in pleasing weather (We were so glad to have cool n breezy weather) to Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, No wonder UNESCO recognized this as world heritage site, to its length & breadth of the area all we could see was a green bed of rice terraces surrounded by mountains. I unwinded my childhood memories as we walked in these rice terraces. We enjoyed our late lunch at this place and later relished old Kannada songs in the car while we reached Kuta by night.

 

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We didn’t like Kuta to the extent we liked other places in Bali. Kuta was more of a city and more commercialized. We stayed at Central Park hotel, Kuta and didn’t like the ambience of this hotel at all as we were pampered so much at Ubud Village hotel where our room got upgraded to Villa a day (The reason why I liked Ubud hotel). I should admit the fact that Shwetha is a lucky lady to have as your travel buddy. We got so many free upgrades and offers just because it was Shwetha 😛 All the freebies credit goes to her 😛 . We didn’t do much in Kuta on that day we were just waiting to check out from this place and moving to Citadines beach hotel, hoping that to be a decent one and it turned out to be the best one. Later we had delicious food at an Indian restaurant and came back to the hotel to spend some time at rooftop pool with beach view. Later in the noon, we hired a Bike (Kawasaki Ninja) and rode to Uluwatu, but the site was closed by the time we reached.

 

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And finally, the time had arrived to pack our bags and fly back to Sydney. We were so exhausted in flight, all we remembered in flight was eating dinner and snoozing off.  When we woke up we were almost near Sydney, we were that tired. We took our bags and took trains to our abode.

In this whole trip, we never rushed anywhere and there were no regrets about not doing this or that. As mentioned earlier, This was one self-contained trip with ZERO prep. Bali is a place to pamper yourself with luxury and spoil yourself with so many options, all of this without the need to burn your year-long savings.

 

This 9 days trip cost ~2000$ AUD (1 Lakh INR) for a person, including Flight, food, accommodation and all adventures.

Scooter: 60-70k IDR

Food: 100-150k IDR Per person(per meal)

10k IDR = 1$ AUD, 200 IDR = 1 INR (Check forex for latest currency values)

Bali Swing – 35$ USD/pp

River Rafting – 20$ AUD/pp

Kawasaki Ninja – 40$ AUD/day

Hotels – 100$ AUD/day on average

Flight (SYD- BALI) – 1000$ AUD/pp

Itinerary:

Day City Hotel Things to see
1 Seminyak Astagina Resort Double six beach
2 Seminyak Astagina Resort Tanah Lot
3 Ubud Amabara House Goa Gajah, Tegunungan Waterfall, Kechak Fire dance
4 Ubud Village hotel Bali Swing, River Rafting
5 Ubud Village hotel Hiking Mount Batur, Coffee Plantation
6 Ubud Village hotel Temple Besakih and local sightseeing
7 Kuta Kuta Central Park NungNung Waterfall, Ulun Danu beratan, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
8 Kuta Citadines Beach Bali Kuta beach, Uluwatu, Bike ride, local sightseeing
9 Bali Flight back to Sydney Back to Sydney

 

 

 

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Minimalist packing for short trips!

I used to pack full of stuff which i thought were very important all these days, months & years of my travel, whereas when I count things which are necessary in my trips were limited also the camera’s, bulky lens and other accessories are good to have in all your trip! but I started to travel lite from couple of weeks with just camera and my gopro and found much peace of mind and also satisfied with the shots on phone!

Now, let’s begin packing!

#ClothesWhatsApp Image 2018-01-26 at 11.07.16 AM

Undies – 4 No’s

Tees – 4 no’s

Shorts – 3 no’s

Boxer – 2 no’s

Sunglasses – 1 No’s

Quick drying towel – 1 No’s

Jean – 1 No’s

Socks – 3 pairs

Shoes – 1 pair

Sandals – 1 pair (Xero, very light & comfortable)

Thongs – 1 pair

Jacket – 1 No’s

Hankies – 2 No’s

#Gadgets Gadgets

Surface Pro Laptop, Mouse & power adapter

Go Pro & spare SD card

JBL Clip 2

Power bank  – 20000 Mah

Cables – USB Type A,C

Adapters

Torch

Tripod with Selfie stick

Passport wallet

#Toiletries & Medicines

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Brush & Paste

Shower gel/Shampoo

Moisturiser

Pain relief gel

Vicks vapo rub – for colds

Band Aids

Paracetamol, Body ache, Cough & cold – Tablets

#Backpack

backpack

I could not take my Baby(BMW) along with me this time, so gonna take her presence in form of bagpack and wallet. Yes, always thankful to my Bose headphone which cuts the noise in flight and keeps me calm.

All the above things came to a total of 6 Kilos! wow managed to get that below 7 Kilos!

Hope this helps you all in packing your bags and starting your adventure, share your travel stories with me and also keep watching my blog for more updates!

Suggest, Support & Share!! 🙂

 

 

When You Travel On Your Own?

Travelling on your own can change a lot about how you see the world and other people. Most of us would rather travel with their friends, partner or family. However, there are lots of solo travelers. If you like to become one of them, don’t be scared. Travelling solo can be helpful. Nevertheless, you have to remember seven important things:

1. You need to become more independent.

Solo travelling is a habit of independent people. If you are too afraid to do things on your own, then maybe this isn’t something you should try.

If you do desire to try it, then remember that this experience will make you more independent, one way or another.

You will need to learn how to drive your way through foreign means of transportation. You will need to get to find your way in big roads, where people might not speak your language. You will need to learn that this can be scary but it’s also fun, and it’s you who will choose the perspective.

Sometimes, you will need to find solutions to issues you will face. Imagine, what would you do if someone stole your wallet or if you lost your ID? You need to be prepared for such situations and know how to deal with them by yourself.
Exploring on your own is amazing, but it can be tiring and adventurous. If you’re ready for that, then go ahead and get the chance!

2. You will become more sociable.

If you ever had trust issues or were too shy, then now’s the time to change that! Travelling on your own requires that you are willing to communicate with foreign people, make new friends and appreciate that people from other countries are different and have their own habits.

Of course, you should be careful and not trust anyone. But you should also give people the opportunity to talk to you and share their experiences. There’s nothing better than learning things about other cultures and talking about yours.

Having friends from places from all over the world can make you a better person and, also, give you the chance to travel again.

Accept other people’s help and kindness and offer yours. Be honest and communicative. You won’t regret making new friends, that’s for sure.

3. You will feel alone sometimes.

Don’t think that by moving away from home on your own you are somehow going to condemn yourself to a six-month trip of solitude and loneliness. By going backpacking anywhere around the world, you are going to meet like-minded people who are excited in travelling as much as you and who have gone travelling solo too. You get to meet people who actively want to do the things you do rather than having to convince friends into an experience they might not enjoy or be ready for.

However, there will be moments of solitude. Then, a great book, a magazine or even postcards to write or your travel journal to note in – are entirely legitimate activities at a bar or restaurant if you get to feeling a little bored, lonely or exposed, so take one of them with you for all occasions. And as a last resort, your smartphone is always there.

4. You will feel free.

If you unusually spend important time alone, you may be amazed at how pleasant it can be. When was the last time you actually listened to only your thoughts and satisfied only your dreams? Regardless the destination, a solo trip can be an inner-directed, powerful, life-changing experience.

Imagine sitting on a peaceful beach at sunset or taking an invigorating morning hike without having to make a conversation with anyone. That’s real freedom!

5. You will learn how to love yourself.

As mentioned before, solo travelling will make you stronger and more independent. You will finally realize that you’re capable for more than you had ever imagined. You will now understand that you have your own story to tell.

You will also appreciate spending time on your own while being in the most beautiful parts of the world. You’ll realize that happiness comes from our inner self and not from the others. Other people can make our life even better sometimes, but it’s us, ourselves, that can indeed make us happy.

Find your inner peace by travelling alone, and you will love yourself even more.

6. You will learn new skills.

One of the best ways to have yourself entertained on your travels is to try and learn new things. I’m talking about cooking classes, painting classes, language classes… anything that allows you to learn a new skill.

Additionally, the more you travel alone, the more likely you are to feel like you can take any challenge with aplomb. Transit strike in France? No sweat. Stuck overnight at O’Hare? You can deal with that. No English menu at a Bangkok restaurant? Not a problem. Of course, the further confident you feel when travelling alone, the more confident you’ll feel at home. Whenever one of those life’s small challenges emerge, you can just remind yourself of all that you have managed on your own all over the world—it’ll put your problems in perspective.

7. You will remember this experience forever.

Exploring the world all by yourself, enjoying an amazing sunrise while looking at the Pacific, walking in the Sahara’s desert, climbing Switzerland’s mountains are only some of the amazing experiences you can get by travelling on your own.

Travelling solo requires free spirit, passion for authentic connection and hope that happiness is on the way. The experience of travelling solo will be exciting, adventurous, sometimes scary. All of these will make it unforgettable.