If you have not gotten the chance to read my previous article on Australia, you can do so here. The next stop on my 2 week journey was Bali.
What’s Your Name?
In this ancient culture, the most commonly used names indicate the person’s order of birth. Wayan is typically the most common name for the first born; however, Putu, Gede, and Ni Luh (girls only) are alternative names to specify the individual was the first born child. The second child is usually named Made, the third is Nyoman or Komang, and the only name given to the fourth child is Ketut. There is only one name for the fourth child because Balinese families are discouraged from having more than three children. However, if a family is blessed with a fifth or sixth child, they will start over with Wayan.
We were able to secure accommodations at a lovely villa in Seminyak; we booked through Airbnb. The lodging included four large bedrooms, full kitchen, living area, and a pool. Please note: air conditioning is not provided for all villas. When booking, make sure you confirm that a cooling system is available. It’s unbearably hot this time of year; you won’t survive without it. To add, bring bug spray. Many of the accommodations are open to the outdoors. While it provides a unique, picturesque view, it’s also an invitation for unwanted critters (and cats) to barge in.
Price: Villa was about $120 per night (divided by three people, totaled to about $40 per person a night). We booked our reservations at the last minute, so the villa selection was scarce. Had we booked in advance, I’m confident that we would have found cheaper accommodations. Bali is inexpensive, and luxury housing can cost as low as $45-57 per night (and they usually accommodate larger groups).
- Kopi Luwak (Poop) Coffee—this is a unique delicacy that is made from coffee beans found in the droppings of the Indonesia civet cat. It’s known as one of the rarest coffees on the global market, and it’s also one of the most expensive. In fact, the taste is coveted worldwide to the point that consumers are willing to pay as much as $200 per pound for the foreign brew. It’s believed the digestive oversight and gastric juices are responsible for the unique flavor and aroma. To learn more, please read my full article: The Most Expensive Coffee In The World
- Chez Gado Gado (near Seminyak Beach)
- The Holy Crab
- Taco Casa (Ubud)
- Mystery Restaurant—I’m still kicking myself for failing to write down the name of this restaurant. My memory does not serve me well. This was the best crab I’ve had in my entire life. It was smothered in finger licking good Balinese sauce. I still have dreams about how succulent the meat was. I literally posted 20 snapchat videos about that crab sauce, because it deserved that much attention. If any of you come across this restaurant (or something similar), pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease let a sista know. I will be indebted to you for life.
- Don’t forget to utilize the locals. They provide the best recommendations.
Highway to Hell
What they DON’T tell you about Bali: the roads are filled with impatient motorists, no speed limits, and complete chaos. I’ve been living in Texas for 13 years, and I can admit that Texans drive differently than our fellow Americans. However, the Balinese take it to an entirely different level. It’s like the movie Death Race, except there are no flamethrowers and grenade launchers. To keep you safe on the roads, please be aware of the traffic rules. Other things to know:
- PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY before getting on the road. Our taxi was hit twice in one day.
- Uber is banned in most areas. The ban was imposed because the cars used by the Uber drivers do not have the appropriate permits as well as increased protest from taxi drivers against the use of Uber. This is added competition and taxi drivers have voiced their displeasure.
- Contrary to popular belief, honking in Bali is a polite gesture to inform other drives that you are in the vicinity or going around blind corners and intersections. It is to ensure the safety of you and the other passengers on the road.
- The streets are narrow and drivers occasionally have to maneuver into the opposite lane to get around traffic jams, accidents and/or debris found on the road.
- Traffic signs are an endangered species. I only saw one traffic light the week we vacationed. Due to this, changing lanes gave me minor heart attacks.
- If you’re driving a scooter or motorbike, please wear a helmet. You also need an international driving license if you want to drive around Bali. You can obtain a temporary Balinese driver’s license from the Jalan Gunung Sanghyang police station in Denpasar. Cost is around $30.
- To add, the carrying capacity of a single scooter is quite impressive. Dogs, groceries, even operating kitchens can be carried on motorbikes.
The Price is Right
This is the place to visit when you’re ballin on a budget. I’m still amazed at how inexpensive it was. Food was reasonable, my libations were about $5 (and those weren’t happy hour specials) and the shopping was extremely affordable. In certain areas, you can bargain for a lower price. I spent under $100 at the shops and was able to purchase hats, jewelry, coffee, tea, instruments, and souvenirs for friends.
Well, that’s all folks! You can go back to checking your work emails. If you have additional travel questions, feel free to reach out to me on IG (@callme_ambam)! It goes down in my DMs.
About the Author
My name is Amber—Miss Jones if you’re nasty (Instagram:@callme_ambam).
As you can probably tell, I’m a cornball. I enjoy writing, eating macaroni & cheese, drinking wine with my girlfriends, and traveling outside of Dallas.
My purpose is to create a life that I don’t need a vacation from. I want to visit 30 countries before reaching the age of 30; I’m nearly halfway to my goal. There is a misconception about the world, and it’s important for me to challenge these fictitious perspectives. I share my stories to ignite new thinking, influence friends to travel, and eliminate stereotypes about other countries. I hope my experiences will inspire my peers to travel beyond the tourist brochure and give them the courage to vacate their comfort zones.
“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”
*Amber is a a travel contributor for The Culture Supplier. Click the link if you enjoyed reading this article and want to read more pieces by her.