Up-close with an ephemeral Balinese flower, this delicate little flower opened up by the pool side in the morning and by evening had wilted away under the oppressive humidity.
Also see my blog post All Bali, No Kuta.
The Balinese make Bali – without a doubt!
Throughout my ‘travel career’ Bali has remained off the list. Until an impromptu stop over on my round about way to a family wedding in Perth. Budget airlines and their ridiculously low fares have done a lot to open up my travel destination list.
To be upfront I don’t begrudge anybody for enjoying the ‘traditional’ Aussie escape to Bali and enjoying all of the spectacle that destinations like Kuta have to offer – but for me this is just not what I look for in a travel destination.
Thankfully my travel planner (aka my husband) had done plenty of research in his attempts to convince me that there was more to Bali than tourist-laden beaches.
We stayed in Ungasan, almost right in the middle of South Kuta – that’s right South Kuta. I was hesitant because of the Kuta in South Kuta, but I trusted my planner and held my breath and waited to see what South Kuta had to offer – I expected something along the lines of Phuket or Montego Bay in Jamaica ( I had only ventured to these places to meet friends ).
Wow! Ungasan was nothing like Kuta – well not like the Kuta that I had in mind. There were no resort lined beaches spotted with bars and umbrellas , or worse drunken tourists behaving badly.
It was full of Balinese people going about their day, with a mere dotting of a tourist here and there. Whether this was seasonal or due to the location I cannot say but I was definitely preparing for a better trip than I had thought.
Having heard so much about how the Balinese people were so friendly my expectations were high. I was pleasantly surprised as what I found far exceeded my expectations. The Balinese seem to have an embedded service culture, nothing was too much to ask for – I fear this is how the scenes of Kuta may have started.
We walked the main street and side streets of Ungasan, scooted across all of South Kuta and enjoyed every moment. A tropical Asian paradise. A steamy one too – oh my Bali is hot and humid and I am fairly certain it was not the peak of the summer either. I rarely get hot but I was melting.
Shout out to our AirBnB hosts – we had a wonderful experience and our hosts were always there to help, one night after returning without our scooter – abandoned on the side of the road with a flat tyre. We were greeted to an open gate (a usual occurrence) and questions of where is the scooter. Our hosts were extremely obliging and helped us fix it, and by help us I mean we showed them where we had abandoned the scooter on the side of the road and the next morning we found it on our doorstep, repaired and ready to go.
Food and coffee is easy to find in Bali, with a spattering of restaurants run by international chefs you can enjoy any cuisine at all different price levels.
We did spend a couple of evenings at the Ayana resort for seafood and Italian dinners – I needed to allow my husband his little indulgences.
My favourite meals though were the Italian Trattorias sprinkled around as well as the Thai meals from Kat’s Kitchen.
Thank you Bali what an amazing experience, local culture is always what makes a destination fantastic and there is local culture by the bucket load to be had in Bali. An amazing mix of traditional culture and an inspiring service culture to make you feel at home.
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