Early on our trip, our driver told us that until we have been woken up by roosters in the morning, we haven’t been to “real” Bali yet. As the rain gently started falling in the morning (Ubud, the central area of Bali, seems to be much more prone to occasional precipitations during the dry season), a gentle, fragile sort of peace set over the land. Peace which was, at around 6 am, torn asunder by incessant, loud roosters.
We were in “real” Bali.
The roosters weren’t the only incessant, loud things we had encountered on the island: white tourism plagued the lands, spreading bogans to every corner. Ubud itself seemed somewhat resistant to the influence of western culture, which we enabled further by booking a villa in the middle of rice paddies. Ignoring the additional insects that this attracted, it was an incredibly peaceful area, with minimal light pollution so that at night the sky was absolutely stunning.
The inner Indiana Jones of us all can rejoice in the central parts of Bali, with natural beauties including the Tegenungan waterfall pictured above. Its sheer power was incredibly refreshing (and the water was rather warm too, great spot to just have a bit of a splash). Monkey Forest enabled me to let out my passion for the thieving critters. Do take care around them, as they will open backpacks to steal stuff, and take off earrings unless you want to risk having a piece of your flesh ripped off with them. There are guards around so no need to fear the monkeys.
Massages and spas are a must-do while not only in Bali, but generally within South East Asia; the region has both a culture and a much lower price compared to what you could get back in the “civilized world”. What better way to relax at the end of the day than with a nice good rub?