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Snorkelling off Gili Meno

Why Visit Gili Islands?

I’m not a huge fan of Bali. I mean don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to see and there’s a lot of culture, but compared to the rest of Indonesia it’s just so touristy. The Gili Islands are a welcome break from Bali’s in-your-face-ness. The Gili Islands are like a low key version of Bali.

budis warung ubud

The Day I was Served Ants for Dinner in Bali

And no, it wasn’t something that I had ordered. Next time we speak I shall share with you something absolutely revolting that I tried willingly in Bangkok… But this side order of ants in Ubud, Bali was truly a (not very pleasant) surprise. So this post is about where NOT to eat in Ubud!

gunung kawi 02

Photo Tour of Gunung Kawi, Bali

One of the temples that I most enjoyed in Bali during the tour that we took with a Spanish-speaking guide was Gunung Kawi. As you know, I am a little behind (slight understatement) with keeping you up to date about my travels in Bali and the second half of my backpacking trip around Indonesia.

pura besakih bali

Guided Tour of Bali

We booked a guided tour of Bali for the day. Well, around the area of Ubud and the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately, due to the state of the island’s roads you couldn’t get very far around Bali in a day. We booked this tour through Begonia and the Kupu-Kupu Foundation, a charity organisation in Ubud.

kupu-kupu foundation ubud bali

Kupu-Kupu Foundation in Ubud

The Kupu-Kupu Foundation in Ubud was founded by a Spanish woman who has lived in Bali for quite some years. When I was in Ubud I had the pleasure of meeting Begonia and some of the charming disabled people that she works to provide a better life for.

monkey forest ubud bali

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

Yes, of course we did make the obligatory visit to Monkey Forest while we were in Ubud in Bali. The area commonly known as Monkey Forest is a large wooded park in Ubud with several ruined temples dating from the 1300s. But most people go to see the monkeys.

Saraswati Temple, Ubud

Saraswati Temple, Ubud

One great place to visit in Ubud is the Saraswati Temple (also known as Lotus Temple). It’s very accessible and central to Ubud, and it’s free. (Location here). You do have to wear a sarong though, as at many Hindu temples in Bali.

bali dances

Bali Dances, Ubud

No visit to Ubud is complete without a visit to Saraswati Temple (better known as Lotus Temple) for a vibrant and dramatic night of traditional Bali dance. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dances in Bali, deeply routed in Hinduism and developed over time with a style of their own.

ubud market

Ubud Market

Ubud Market in Bali was by far the best tourist market that I went to in Indonesia. It was beaten on bargains only by Malioboro Street and the Jamu Herbs Market both in Yogyakarta. Ubud Market is not particularly big, but it’s central and it’s pleasant to walk around.

arjuna house bali

Our Guesthouse(s) in Ubud, Bali

And this is how you mess up an accommodation reservation in Ubud, Bali…

ferry from ketapang to gilimanuk

Hello Bali!

Hello my dear friend, it’s nice to see you here. Thanks for sticking around and sorry for my absence. As you know, I always disappear for a while during summer when work gets a little crazy. But you always know I’ll be right back, don’t you?

Visit East Java's Volcanoes From Yogyakarta, NOT From Bali

Visit East Java’s Volcanoes From Yogyakarta, NOT From Bali

For travellers in Indonesia it is very important that if you want to visit the volcanoes of Bromo and Ijen in East Java, you do it on your way from Yogyakarta to Bali and NOT the other way round. Thankfully this is the way that we did it when we were in Indonesia.

Sulphur miners ijen

Sulphur Miners at Ijen Volcano

In the crater of Mount Ijen, one of the volcanoes that I explored during our East Java Volcanoes Tour, is the largest acidic lake on planet earth, with a pH of 0.5 (similar to battery acid). The water in the lake is acidic enough to dissolve clothes and eat through metal.

climbing mount bromo

Climbing Mount Bromo: In Photos

During our tour of the volcanoes of Bromo and Ijen in East Java, Indonesia, we had some free time to explore Mount Bromo. We had got up very early to see the sunrise over Bromo from Gunung Penanjakan viewpoint.

mount bromo sunrise

Mount Bromo Sunrise: In Photos

I have already mentioned to you that when we did the tour from Yogyakarta to the volcanoes of Bromo and Ijen in East Java, we had a very early morning excursion in jeep to see the sunrise over Mount Bromo.