Bali

2017-08-23

For summer break this year, I went to Bali, Indonesia, for ten days.

Preparation was fairly simple. I purchased the plane ticket, reserved the motorcycle, and reserved the hotels using Agoda. I don't have a paper guidebook, because all of the navigation can be done using my phone. But hey, the phone could break, so I printed out some maps showing hotel locations. As I traveled, I used WikiVoyage and talked to hotel staff to figure out interesting daily activities.

Gear needed to be minimal because I was riding a motorcycle. Passport, wallet, plane tickets, maps, cell phone, small first aid kit, sunscreen, power adapter, a USB charger, 2 USB cables, 2 USB batteries, tablet, digital camera, headphones, PADI card, file with papers, poncho, shoes, sandals, sunglasses, swimsuit, towel, bandana, a pair of pants, two pairs of shorts, socks & underwear, three shirts, a windbreaker, motorcycle gloves, toothbrush & toothpaste. All in a small backpack.

DateDayActivityLodging
8月12日SaturdayHaneda → Kuala Lumpur.
Airplane
8月13日SundayKuala Lumpur → Denpasar.
Denpasar → Bedugul.
Hillside Guest House, Bedugul
8月14日MondayBali Botanical Gardens.
Ulun Danu Temple.
Fiji Waterfall.
Hillside Guest House, Bedugul
8月15日TuesdayCultural excursion in the small village of Lemukih.
Ride along the ridge north of Lake Buyan.
Hillside Guest House, Bedugul
8月16日ThursdayBedugul → Lovina.
Ride in the mountains past Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan.
Santhika Bed & Breakfast, Lovina
8月17日ThursdayDolphin watching.
Beach.
Santhika Bed & Breakfast, Lovina
8月18日FridayScuba diving.
Santhika Bed & Breakfast, Lovina
8月19日SaturdayLovina → Padang Bai.
Beach.
Harmony Guest House, Padang Bai.
8月20日SundayScuba diving.
Beach.
Harmony Guest House, Padang Bai.
8月21日MondayScuba diving.
Beach.
Harmony Guest House, Padang Bai.
8月22日TuesdayPadang Bai → Denpasar.
Denpasar → Narita.
Airplane
8月23日WednesdayGo home.

2017-08-12.01.Haneda.jpg 2017-08-12.02.Haneda.jpg Southeast Asia.svg 2017-07-02.01.Indonesia.png 2017-07-02.02.Bali.png

There are overnight flights from Haneda to Kuala Lumpur, and then morning tranfers to Denpasar, Bali. Denpasar is a big city with relatively bad traffic. I rented a motorcycle so I could weave through traffic along with the thousands of other motorcycles flooding the asphalt. Traffic rules are somewhat optional, so you have to be careful.

2017-08-13.01.Bedugul.jpg 2017-08-13.02.Pizza.jpg 2017-08-13.03.R15.jpg 2017-08-13.04.Hillside.jpg 2017-08-14.01.Breakfast.jpg 2017-08-14.02.Waterfall.jpg 2017-08-14.03.Waterfall.jpg 2017-08-14.04.Fiji Waterfall.jpg 2017-08-14.05.Hillside.jpg 2017-08-14.06.Statue.jpg 2017-08-14.07.Ulun Danu Temple.jpg 2017-08-14.08.Ulun Danu Temple.jpg 2017-08-14.09.Ulun Danu Temple.jpg 2017-08-15.01.Path.jpg 2017-08-15.02.Douglas.jpg 2017-08-15.03.Farmer.jpg 2017-08-15.04.Sugar.jpg 2017-08-15.05.Craftsman.jpg 2017-08-15.06.Snake fruit.jpg 2017-08-15.07.Douglas.jpg 2017-08-15.08.Guide.jpg 2017-08-16.01.Breakfast.jpg 2017-08-16.02.Breakfast.jpg 2017-08-16.03.Bedugul.jpg 2017-08-16.04.Lake.jpg 2017-08-11.01.Hillside Guest House.png

The first place I stayed was a tiny B&B in the mountains near Bedugul. The Agoda listing was incorrect. It said the place had WiFi, but there was no cell signal. It said the place took credit card, but no chance of that. And the water pump on the roof was super noisy. On the other hand, the location was scenic, quiet except for the water pump, and the locals were very friendly. The owner showed me around his village, took me to visit a farmer who harvested palm sugar, booze from the sap, raised chickens and cows, and grew coffee and cloves. We also went to chat with a bamboo instrument maker. The kids in this area try to practice their English a little, because if they can speak well, they can get jobs as guides and drivers in the high season. That works out well, because the high season for tourism is July-August, which off-season for farming.

2017-08-16.05.Lovina.jpg 2017-08-17.01.Lovina.jpg 2017-08-17.02.Boat.jpg 2017-08-17.03.Dawn.jpg 2017-08-17.04.Beach.jpg 2017-08-18.01.Menjangan.jpg 2017-08-18.02.Monkeys.jpg 2017-08-11.02.Santhika.png

My next stop was a town on the northern coast called Lovina. The beach is quiet and relaxing; one day I just sat there and read books. Another day I went scuba diving with Bali Spice Dive. The dive site was Menjangan Island, an hour's drive to the west. The reef was not remarkable, but we saw a shark, an eel, and a manta ray. It was my first time diving in perhaps ten years. My oxygen consumption was relatively high. Scuba diving is super cool. Who dreamed up the idea that you put a suit on, strap a metal air tank to your back, and hang out with fish and sharks fifty feet under the water?

2017-08-19.01.Padangbai.jpg 2017-08-19.02.Blue Lagoon.jpg 2017-08-11.03.Harmony Guest House.png 2017-08-11.04.Bali Bike Rental.png 2017-08-19.03.Bali.png

The last town I visited was Padangbai. This town has excellent scuba diving. Many people come here for the ferry to the islands east of Bali, but some people come for the diving. I dove four dives over two days with Geko Dive Bali. The first day we saw a ribbon eel, a turtle, some large schools of mackerel, and other assorted sea life. The second day we went to a dive site called Crystal Bay which is known for mola mola (sunfish). The mola mola live most of their lives in deep water, but once a year, they come up to shallow water for cleaning. That is, they come up near the reef in shallow water so other smaller fish will come and eat the parasites living on their skin. On our second dive, the dive shop owner took off ahead and below us. The dive master and I could see his bubbles, and then we heard a ding. That must be him banging on his tank, we thought, so we quickly descended from 50 feet to around 130 feet. We got there quickly, and the three of us hung out for several minutes next to the weird looking giant critter. Then we did a celebratory mola mola dance and went back to shallower waters for the decompression stop. Great diving, exciting exotic fish, how nice.

The next day I rode the R15 at excessive speeds back to the rental shop, got a taxi to the airport, lounged around until the overnight flight, and came back to Japan.