Day 13 pt 1

Day 13- Seminyak/Ubud

We arranged for our driver from the airport to shuttle us around today for 650,000 rupiah or approximately $50 USD for eight hours. Everything he said ended either in “yes my friend” or “brother.” Can we go here? Of course brother. Is this place worth the stop? Yes, my friend. It was very endearing. He’s in his late 20’s and very chatty when we were up and quiet when we needed some alone time. He would wait in the car and it felt like he put a beeper on us because when we would walk back to the car he would pop up from his seat with his bright red polka-dotted neck pillow and a huge smile. If he wasn’t in the car he was making friends with the nearby shop keepers or smoking a cigarette with old men. He would always keep an eye out for us and make sure he’d beat us back to the car by a few steps.

Our first stop was an outlet mall of sorts. He was as excited as us to look around because as soon as he parked he said “I will come with you. See something!” He was bored after about 20 min but he’d jump up when he’d see us and ask if we wanted to put our new things down in the car. And then follow up with “no rush no rush, look around.”

Back in the car we chatted with our driver. He was anxious to know where we came from, what we do, what it’s like at home, the cost of things, the beaches, you name it. He described life in Bali to be very hard on locals and very expensive.

For example, hotel workers work a regular workweek- 5 days a week 8 hours a day. But in Bali there’s an additional 6th day a week for with a 10 hour shift. And roughly a hotel worker would make $4-500 USD per month. most of these people know Balinese, Indonesian, English, and/or Japanese.

We told him we were looking for a small condo/apartment at home for $300,000 USD and he couldn’t believe it. He said we could buy a small hotel here…


Ubud seems to be a quaint artisan community, we went through a silver district- very popular in Bali. A woodwork area with lots of furniture, wooden sculptures, rattan cages baskets chairs and tables, intricate doors and hanging pieces. Masonry as well, with large statues and pillars ready made to welcome guests in to homes or temples.


We visited a batik weaving factory and watched women use wax to hand make designed as well as weave. The prices were quite expensive but they used silk and I assume cotton.


We also checked out a couple of silver stores on the insistence of our driver. He said he loves silver! The items are again handmade with many pedants available, large rings, bracelets, and earrings. I tried really hard to find something but couldn’t find a piece I really loved and worth the price tag. Most pieces were about $50-100 USD.

For lunch he took us to a place he knew and enjoyed with his girlfriend. A BBQ place specializing ribs 😛 And a coconut because yes.


I’ll post more about the temples separately since we went to a few. Ttyl 👋🏻


Day 12


Day 12- Seminyak/Amed/ Tulamben

5am head start from Seminyak to Amed which we estimated about 2-3 hours travel time to the northwest coast of Bali. Our driver was on a mission and got us there in a little over 2. It was similar to the road to Hana with its twists and turns, narrow driveways, honking, and overtaking.

A quick breakfast and brief scuba orientation and the next thing you know were stuffing our bodies in a size too small bodysuit. “Oh don’t worry it’s better once you get wet. You’ll be fine.” Yeah. Tell that to my thighs. Though I’d have to grease up to zip up. Then a weight belt. Then a vest with all the contraptions and I swear a 45 lb oxygen tank later were headed into the water.


But it was more than worth it. During our time down there I even contemplated getting certified. The instructors were very patient and very honest that your immediate instincts would be to surface.  But they really encouraged breathing and relaxation techniques to overcome that. The water was clearer than Thailand (but still not as nice as Hawaii) but the fish diversity and coral really made up for it. We couldn’t really take pictures since we needed to focus on breathing and swimming but it was so much fun. I was skeptical at first and then anxious and then excited.

After our day underwater and exploring the remains of the USS Liberty, which I was told didn’t have a super exciting combat story since it was a cargo ship. But it was beached due to damages sustained from a Japanese torpedo and later lost to sea because of activity from the nearby volcano, Mount Agung. Can I get a fact check? In any case, it was crowded with scuba divers checking out the ship and the fish and gaining underwater experience. We even saw a couple of turtles. So yeah, I’m now into scuba diving.

The drive back was much less exciting and much more crowded. Seriously, I though traffic was bad on Oahu  Balinese take it to a whole new level… 3 hours later and countless beep beeps later we arrived alive.


Shower and a taxi later we got to a fancy French restaurant (also note taksi are minimum 30,000 rupiah 🙄 which is close to nothing but still) . The kind that serves food in four bites and takes 30 min between courses. But hey, this is what we saved for!


Day 11

Day 11- Kuala Lumpur/Denpasar

Early early morning as we navigate the massive airport here in Kuala Lumpur. 7am flight to Denpasar, Bali on Malindo Air. This has got to be one of the nicer and cleaner airlines we’ve flown so far. Flight attendants wear crisp white tops and bright beautiful geometric skirts and perfect hair. The aircraft is newer and for only a 3 hr flight were surprised there’s a screen on every seat.

A free meal of vegetarian curry and naan, I mentioned to Michael there was only a vegetarian option. The flight attendant overheard me and said oh it’s really good though. I said I was okay but idk bout him, jokingly side eyeing Michael. She just replied, it’s always the guys right 😉 I couldn’t help but laugh. Then she discretely offered him her crew meal of noodles which of course was way better!

When we arrived in Denpasar International Airport we were happy to see that immigration was almost nonexistent. You don’t need a visa and the officers check your passport and usher you through. A nice start to Indonesia.


The taxi drivers on the other hand. Oh my. So aggressive. I had researched online to expect to pay about 80k rupiah to the general area of our hotel. The first driver who approached us said 215k and I said what?! She looked a little scared and offered 200k. And I said no. She then went down to 180k and I left. Little did I know… we walked down a ways and the next driver approached and said 300k. I said no and he tried again 250k. At this point I was wondering how good my research had been. The third driver the most persistent started again at 300k. I said no way inside was 180k. I was trying really hard to get it down to 150/160k and he’s rattling off oh airport parking, oh petrol, oh this and that. I said I’m not paying for parking! (That’s what I read online, don’t get suckered into paying all their fees). In the end he gave up and said okay 180,000 rupiah which is under $14 USD for a 30 min trip. Essentially I was tired and irritated over probably $6… but no one wants to feel taken advantage of! I think Michael felt sorry for them. My inner Chinese lady at the market came out today!