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I just spent the last 10 days in Bali. While I didn’t stay nearly long enough to get a true understanding of the place and culture, I did traverse the island quite a bit thanks to hiring a driver for a couple days and spending two nights in a small village in Bali’s central highlands.
My first impressions of the island felt a little like a mix of Thailand and India…though, surprising to me, much less hot and humid. The first few days of my trip, thanks to feeling under the weather and a very comfortable hotel room, I didn’t venture out too much, trying to get better and not spend the rest of the time with a lingering cold. Bali’s artistic traditions, handicrafts and daily offerings were immediately apparent though, and while I didn’t see much of the beach in Seminyak I couldn’t miss the traditional designs, decorations, daily canang sari offerings found all around.
From Seminyak, I traveled about an hour and a half away on the Bukit Peninsula to Balangan Beach where there’s nothing to do except surf or sit and enjoy the clear blue ocean and skies. While not the most interesting or picturesque beach I’ve ever been too, it certainly was relaxing and felt like you had found something all the others swarming to Kuta and Seminyak were missing.
Next up was Ubud, the New Age-y artist’s village made even more famous and popular by “Eat Pray Love”. While where I live in Chiang Mai is filled with yogis, wellness specialists and seekers, Ubud took the whole New Age/healing thing to the next level with even more offerings in a smaller space. Naturally, I spent most my time wandering around, taking yoga classes and eating a lot of vegan food, wheatgrass shots and fruit shakes…
Thanks to hiring a driver for a couple days, I not only learned more about Bali an it’s people, but saw way more than I would have on my own visiting Balinese Hindu temples, small villages set alongside terraced rice fields and several lakes and volcanoes.
I ended the trip with two nights spent at a small eco resort with a big view in Bali’s central highlands. This is what I had imagined the island to look like and the never-ending view of terraced rice fields, hills and palm trees was one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.
It was the perfect way to end the trip.
I’ll be sharing more about Bali in the coming weeks but if you want to see more photos now, follow Paper Planes on Instagram here.