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Bali Blast

Family and Friends,

I just got back from my vacation to Bali yesterday. It was a lot of fun but in a lot of ways I am glad to be back also. Going on vacation felt weird with how little time left I have in Cambodia, almost like leaving right before you have a huge deadline coming up for a project at work. Fun to leave but just didn’t feel completely right. Anyway, got that out of the way. I wound up traveling around the island a good bit, going to four different places. I think the best way to talk about each is one at a time and in chronological order of when i went to them, and also here is a link to my album from the trip:

Ubud

drove up here after getting flying in. supposedly this is the cultural center of the island but it felt more like seller central. which would be ok if the products were consistently more original. For the most part they were not so that was kind of a let down. Spent two nights here and unfortunately after the second night the friend I had traveled there with got hit by a motorbike as we were crossing the street. The girl on the bike was going way too fast thru the intersection and i only narrowly avoided being hit myself. That really derailed our plans for the day as we were going to get massages and enjoy starbucks (none in cambodia!) and instead had to go to one clinic and one hospital. Turns out she is OK but I was quite worried there might be real damage because she got hit quite hard.

Kuta

this is where the action happens for the most part in bali. lots of people coming and going, mostly down two narrow streets that are close to the beach. lined with shops and guest houses and bars, theres a lot to do here but also nothing to do. I spent my days using kuta as a hub for my other explorations but also would go surf at the beach and then following that would watch the sun go down sipping on a beer. I also spent too much money buying things here as I wanted some stuff and knew that there was really no chance that I would be coming back ever, so I stocked up. also, there is so many australians that come up to this area to party their heads off that it makes the place crazier. not really what i was looking to get into this vacation but it was definitely available here. it was nice to surf here as the airport is a little ways down and you can watch planes take off and land while waiting for the next set of waves.

Gili Trawangan

this is a smaller island between bali and lombok. went here to get away a little bit from the craziness of kuta and wound up having a good time. they dont have any motorcycles or cars on the island so to get around you either ride a bike or hop on a horse drawn carriage. i fooled around on a bike for one day and rode around the entire island which allowed me to find a good spot to swim out and snorkel. easy to do because i just noticed where the boats for the tours had stopped and swam out in that general direction. it was really nice and pristine to be on this island, even though it still felt a little more overwhelmed with people than an island of that size should be.

Canggu/Berawa

this was probably my favorite place on the trip. i went up here on the recommendation of a friend as a good place to surf but got there and decided it was too big and too difficult to rent a board. however, i got there early enough and felt like going for a run so i did (motivated by the fact that the day before i read about kevin garnett running the beaches of malibu). the place really reminded me of del mar in san diego beachwise and it was really nice to finally be in a place that wasnt so overcrowded. the hotel/house i stayed at was very nice and the lady who ran it was extremely helpful as later on i wound up needing to rent a motorbike to see a temple in the ocean and she arranged it all for me and didnt overcharge me or anything of the sort. i wish i had more time to hang out in this area. the temple was pretty awesome and crazy to see, enough so that i wound up getting blessed by the monks who were there as well. amazingly enough i also didnt get lost going to or coming from the temple as the roads were not easily to distinguish from one another.

Overall I had a really good trip. My last day I ran into some significant bad luck and wound up breaking two surfboards and therefore having to pay for them to be repaired. I had already spent a lot more then I had planned so that really put a damper on my time in Bali. However, other than that, I really like the people of Indonesia as they are much more laid back and relaxed than Cambodians on an individual level (an obvious generalization) and it was nice to be in a culture with a little bit more of that floating around. I hope everyone is doing fantastic and I am looking forward to seeing you all soon.

– RY

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