Submitted by Meg Bauer, Global Ambassador on Gold Coast, Australia
I recently came back from a week in Bali. I wasn’t sure about going at first since Bali after all is a third world country. Two American girls in a third world country? That just made me nervous. My American roommate, Allie, convinced me to go. I figured when else can I go to Bali this cheap? I know I’d never fly there from the US. Now, it just made sense that I HAD to go. We first flew to Perth because it was cheaper to fly to Bali from there than it was to fly from the Gold Coast. Below please see our adventures for the first few days in Bali. Check out the second half next week!
Day 1: Our flight left Saturday at 6 pm to Perth from the Gold Coast. We were about three hours into the flight when the pilot announces “We need to fly back to Brisbane because we are having problems.” That was a scary moment of my life. So, we landed in Brisbane and had to wait about an hour or two before we could get a different plane to continue our journey. Brisbane is about an hour North of Gold Coast, so now our journey was going to take even longer! Finally, we got to take off to Perth. It was the worst flight of my life. The flight attendants were very rude and unfriendly. We arrived at Perth at about 3:30 am! I’m glad we didn’t have a hotel booked. We just decided to camp out in the airport for the night since our flight for Bali was later that day.
Day 2: We waited around the airport until 3 pm. Then, our flight left at 3 for Bali, Indonesia. I already knew I was in love with this place. The flight attendants were so welcoming already. The flight was only about 3 and a half hours. It wasn’t bad at all. Then, I got off the plane and couldn’t believe I was in Bali! I was so scared at first. First, I had to pay $25 American dollars for the visa. Then, we got outside and I was looking for someone holding a sign with my name on it to be picked up. I was glad I signed up online for an airport transfer for the hotel. I saw the sign and the driver took us to our first hotel. The first hotel was called The Legian Guest Hotel. It was a nice little hotel. It was in Legian. I felt so welcomed as soon as I arrived. This hotel was pretty cheap for two nights. I was glad we stayed here, because it was nice and clean. Also, I felt very safe. The first thing I noticed was motorbikes. Motorbikes are everywhere in Bali! Also, there are no rules on the road in Bali. People drive crazy! I was nervous all week being on the road. There are no speed limits or road signs anywhere! I could never drive here! We called it an early night since we’ve been traveling all day.
Day 3: Today was the North Bali Tour. We booked this tour before we left. Our driver picked us up at 8 am. First stop was to visit a place where they showed us how Bali’s coffees and teas were made. This place was adorable. We got to sample several kinds of coffees and teas. The teas were delicious! Next stop we went to gardens. We saw a cactus exhibit, and a flower one. Next, we went to the markets. Markets in Bali are EVERYWHERE! I do mean, everywhere. Every corner, there’s a market. You have to learn how to bargain. Bargaining is the key to getting a good deal there. They only take Rupiah, so I had to convert my money. 10,000 Rupiah is equal to about one American dollar. The markets are very cheap. At these markets, I got a t-shirt for 50,000 Rupiah, $5. Our driver recommended this restaurant for lunch. It was an all you can eat buffet for 80,000 Rupiah. Not bad. The food was good. Next stop: We went to the Ulun Danu Temple. That was very pretty. Then, we went to the hot springs. I was expecting the hot springs to be natural. Instead, it was man made. I was a little disappointed. I didn’t really enjoy the hot springs that much, because people were naked in them, and I just felt grossed out the entire time. Next stop: We went to the black sand beach. I was also disappointed in this beach. The beach was disgusting. There was garbage everywhere. It was so sad to see. Last stop: Bali’s biggest waterfall, Gitgit. Gitgit was beautiful! It was huge. It was amazing. We stopped for dinner on the way back, then called it a night. We didn’t get back until almost ten pm! Our driver was so friendly. The only thing is I wish he spoke better English. There was huge language barriers the entire day. Anytime, we stopped somewhere we got our doors opened for us. The Balinese people were so gracious to us.
Day 4: We decided we wanted to ride elephants today! We called a tour group and booked elephant riding. We checked out of our hotel, and were ready to ride elephants. The driver picked us up in the morning. We had a 30 minute ride on the elephants through the jungle. The tour guy rode the elephant in the front and we were on the elephants back in a little crate. It was so much fun! After we rode elephants we got lunch from the same place. After that, we were on our way to our second hotel, The Hard Rock Hotel. The Hard Rock Hotel was amazing!! It was a little pricey, but worth it. We checked in here, and then decided to explore a little. Kuta is a very touristy area, Everything is Americanized. There’s Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut and KFC. Bali is even more American than Australia! Kuta is nothing like Legian. It’s all tourists here. Also, stuff is high-class. There’s not as many markets. There’s more high end stores here. The prices are the same American prices, just in Rupiah. So, we went to a restaurant dinner. The food was all 30% off. I’m not sure if that was a good idea to go there or not. Ever since I ate here, I felt sick. We got some Bintang, Bali’s number one beer, and explored a little more before we got back to the hotel. Anytime you walk into a store the people working there thank you for coming in and then thank you again for leaving. They are so friendly!