I’ve left Europe for the first time at the end of July to visit Singapore, Indonesia (Bali) and Hong Kong and I’ve written up a few things. Maybe I’ll add some pics later.
Breakfast at 6:00, then a taxi at 6:30 to the airport, flight was around 9:00. Arriving at Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) at noon, rogue taxi driver trying for quick money (250k instead of 95k rupiah). The taxi driver we got assigned then is startingly happy about a 10k tip (it’s only 1 EUR, so my usual 10%). So is the poor guy trying to carry the suitcases. He is about 1.5m and doesn’t seem to be in shape for 20kg suitcases. I’m a bit shocked about the huge hotel with a 500m entryway and guards checking cab trunks - definitely not my style. But the room and the service make up for it. Hit the beach for 2h in the afternoon. Boy does it get dark here early. Strolling around town, or to be more precise, the Hotel Street, is tiresome. Everyone wants you to browse his shop, take you for a ride or worst of all, massage you. Dinner at Jegeg, had Nasi Campur, very good. Bir Bintang, advertised as “Pilsener Beer”, is really awesome and totally unlike what I had in Singapore. Got a little sunburnt, but not sure why.
Up early and to the beach, this time with lots of sun lotion. First time I had lunch since the flight to Hong Kong a week earlier, even if only a few bites. Sleeping in the shade for a while obviously gives you the mother of sunburns on Bali. It doesn’t hurt much, but the color is interesting. More strolling, more avoiding to be talked into purchases. Dinner at a place that I forgot to write down the name, had Magibung - but the name seems arbitrary as the link shows, but well, it was a very delicious mixed plate with rice and like seven types of meat in different sauces. Bali Hai Beer is quite ok as well, but I prefer Bintang. Probably the only time in my life I’ll withdraw 1.5 million from an ATM. The bundle of 50k notes is about a centimeter thick.
Recovering from bad sunburn, 1h at the pool, extended nap, pool and pool bar, mostly with shirt on. Met the hotel’s PR guy who asked us to fill in a small survey. We’ve been totally happy so far, so nothing spectacular to write. Seems they only get two weeks of vacation per year here like I heard from Americans. Dinner at Jegeg again, Nasi Goreng, totally not like at home, in a good way. Today I bought a Bintang T-Shirt - yes, I’m won over.
Casual pool attendance with a guided tour in the afternoon. Guide arrived at 15:15 in a Land Rover and spoke near perfect German. As it seemed we were the only people attending he had a lot of time to tell us stuff about Bali, Indonesia and everything else. The drive was about 2h and he really managed to convey a lot more than we’ve read and heard earlier. When we arrived in the middle of nowhere we put on Sarongs and I got a headdress and we headed a little into the jungle to witness a Hindu temple ceremony. At least according to his explanations they all seemed to be a lot more laid back than Christians, be it regarding to talking (in person or on the phone) during a ceremony, letting nonbelievers take part in ceremonies or anything else. Got some red rice tea and a tasty dinner with red rice and meat. Arrived at the hotel again around midnight. Best trip I booked ever. After a little thinking I finally remembered the company’s name, it seems it was this trip, but the program doesn’t match exactly.
Spent the last rupiah on some souvenirs, interesting how easily you can haggle down from 25 EUR to 14 EUR by emptying out your wallet including coins. Flight is scheduled for 1610, so the first evening in Hong Kong will be short. The airport is huge, so is Hong Kong, so a 20:35 touchdown ended in a hotel checkin at around 23:05. No evening at all. Hotel is right next to the Quarry Bay MTR station.