WHAT NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT BALI & INDONESIA
Have you ever been to Indonesia or Bali? Or are you planning to go?
Here are a few tips from me. We traveled to Bali in April as this was supposed to be our `Winter escape`- yeah I know April is actually not Winter anymore in Europe but due to my boyfriends job, we often can’t plan things in advance. So it had to be April and it had to be Bali & Indonesia as we wanted to have a chilled beach vacation :)
In Bali and Indonesia you can expect a tropical, warm and humid climate all year around with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. We actually were lucky and April is one of the off seasons month, perfect for us - that’s exactly what we like. Not many people around, Hotels are usually way cheaper than for example in December/January in the High season.
So we flew in to Singapore for a 24hrs stop over. This was our first time there and we liked it a lot, super clean city, very warm, amazing food, lovely people BUT tiny Hotel rooms ;) haha.
Next stop was Gili Air, which is actually a tiny Island off Lombok, Indonesia. Its one of three island groups, the others are Gili Meno and the biggest is Gili Trawangan, also known as the party island.
Super excited we arrived on Gili Air, we took one of their little horse-drawn carriages (which is the main transport on the Gili islands, besides bicycles and scooters with electric engines) And this horse carriage took us to our private Villa at Slow Villas. We had been recommended this accommodation by friends, as it was supposed to be super secluded from everything and everyone, with your own private pool etc.
HOWEVER no one ever mentioned that you have to be prepared to be woken up at 4am each day for morning prayer (and hear it numerous times throughout the day) from their mosque on the island. As well as the peaceful, romantic, yet so `secluded`island life idea of mine, had been destroyed by the building noise of next doors hotel and private house construction sides. Which the hotel as well as the Travel Agency have not mentioned on their websites.
So be prepared that sadly those yet so hyped islands are not actually a escape from your busy life…it felt more like you leaving your busy London life with next doors neighbours or even your own construction side behind, then you fly first to Singapore for 12hrs, then take 2 different planes, a long car trip and a boat ride as well as a Horse carriage to your final destination where you have to find out, that the peace you expected to find: DOES NOT EXIST there!
Quite disappointing, but don’t get me wrong we of course tried to make the best out of. Another down was, that we thought you can run into the sea over white sand - Yeah! But even this was impossible the beaches are full with broken corals, which makes it hard to walk barefoot on it. And the tide is so low, that you literally just walk for miles into the sea - I almost felt like `Jesus when he walked over the sea`as the water was just coming up to my knees. So there was NO SWIMMING at all! Oh well, We have seen it now. Besides the building noise at Slow Villas, we enjoyed the privacy in our own garden with pool, did some yoga, enjoyed massages and just tried to listen to very loud music everyday to over hear the noise. ;)
Indonesia and Bali both got a massive problem with their plastic rubbish. It has been shocking for us to see how much plastic exist in these tropical places. The tourist business plays a big part in this. The locals don't know how to get rid of it or how to recycle, as of course their economy is not like ours. So they try to burn the plastic, which is clearly impossible - yet they do it and then burry it under the soil. Its so upsetting to see how those islands are getting destroyed by human waste and most tourists are aware of it and try to help wherever they can. Only on Gili Meno, one day a week there is a group of volunteers (even tourists do it) who clean up all the rubbish from the beaches, the water, the bushes etc. so Gili Meno is actually very clean compared to the other two Gili islands. I wish all three island would have this system, as swimming in big Polystyrol bits and plastic bottles is terrible for nature & human. However our Hotel is well aware of these issues and provided us with refilled glass bottled water and for the beach and activities we had reusable hard plastic bottles.
PRIVATE SNORKELING TRIP AROUND GILI ISLANDS
Book a private snorkeling trip, that`s the best way to enjoy some quite times in the water with big cute turtles and lots of beautiful fishes around you.
After this Gili air experience we went back to the mainland, Lombok, went on a long car ride to the airport, took a plane to Bali and got picked up by a private driver to bring us to our next stop Ubud, the jungle. Where we hoped to find more peace. After a very long ride in the car we arrived at night in the Nandini Jungle Resort. Were we woke up to a stunning view over the lush green jungle leaves of the Hotels property. It was magical, we found peace :) listened to all those animals in the jungle by night, enjoyed the rain and watched the drops falling of huge plants leaves - I’ve never seen as big before in my life. We loved it there, it was super relaxing - exactly what we were looking for.
On one day we decided to hit the road with a private driver who drove us to the famous UBUD market, where I found some nice straw bags and some other little souvenirs. He also drove us to a big temple, where we walked around with loads of other tourists. We usually hate those sort of places where everyone goes, but it had to be done. You can also find some really lovely interior shops as well clothes shops on the high street in Ubud, but I actually didn’t want to buy anything there as it was just extremely over priced. However, we found an affordable ceiling lamp as well as some other bits and bobs.
Overall we have seen a bit of this part of the world, other people might have had other experience but these have been ours. I had a good time besides all those things but I can say that I prefer Thailand much more. :) xx Annabell