Getting to Bali and first day in Ubud
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 2nd and 3rd, 2009
We started out leaving Portland, Oregon in the morning on June 2nd and flew to Vancouver, BC, Canada. From there we flew to Tokyo, Japan, and then on to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. From Denpasar we took a taxi to Ubud. Including layovers, we traveled for about 26 hours. Our flights went much smoother than we expected, thanks in part to the first class upgrade we got on the flight from Canada to Japan because the kind Japan Airlines counter lady thought Ryan was so tall that he needed a seat with more leg room! It was definitely the best flight I’ve ever had, with delicious food, lazy boy style reclining chairs, private tv screens with remotes, and free drinks!
The Denpasar airport was also much easier to deal with than we expected it to be. We did have to go through a chemical spray gate thing that was meant to disinfect us… I think. The spray left me feeling a little out of it and I had a weird taste in my mouth, but it wore off in not too long. The customs and visa on arrival process was painless. The visa cost $25 for a 30 day stay. We exited the airport and got a taxi at the taxi counter which can be found just to the right of the exit. The ride to Ubud took about 30 minutes because it was the middle of the night and there was little traffic, and our driver was hauling ass. The ride cost 195,000rp. The taxi driver was super friendly and asked us our first ‘Are you married?’ question. The polite answer is ‘Not yet.’ The driver is married, has 3 kids, and makes $150/month. We tipped him 50,000rp (a lot!)
We got to our hotel, the Artini 3 Cottages, at about midnight. The reception was just two guys sleeping outside on a deck. We were taken straight to a room, no questions asked. It tipped the guy who carried our bags $1 and we promptly passed out.
Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Our hotel room at Artini 3 is fan cooled and has 2 twin beds, western toilet, hot shower with removable shower head but no curtain. This is very nice for $40 a night! The hotel grounds are beautiful and lush with flowers and statues of Ganesha, the Hindu god with the head of an elephant. There are rice fields that can be seen from the door of our room. Breakfast comes with the room. The coffee is strong and tastes fantastic. I ate a pineapple pancake with fruit, it was quite yummy.
After breakfast we walked to Pasar Ubud (market) on the corner of Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Raya Ubud. For sale were tons of wood carvings and masks, paintings, little trinkets, jewelry, clothing, bags, shoes, and penis bottle openers? I bought a purse for $3 after some haggling down from 75,000rp.
There are little offerings all over the street and anywhere there is enough space to place one. They are on statues, restaurant menus, entryways, sidewalks, etc, and it’s hard to not step on them accidentally.
There are amazing temples everywhere, we need to buy sarongs so we can go in. Everyone is required to wear a sarong to enter the temples, including men.
We didn’t get hassled too much while walking, just lots of guys offering you a taxi ride and when you say no they reply with ‘ok, how about tomorrow??’
On the way back to Artini 3 we went to an internet cafe and wrote emails. It cost 10,000/hr but we found a cheaper place for 6,000/hr down the road when we continued on. It was very hot so we returned to Artini 3 and lounged in the pool for a few hours.
The hotel staff are very sweet and kind to us, they call us ‘my friend’ and always ask where we are going when we leave and if we enjoyed ourselves when we come back.
Later in the afternoon we went out walking again and got lunch at Kafe Suri. I got a really tasty huge plate of Nasi Campur for 30,000. Ryan got pad thai for same price but mine was yummier.
There are stray dogs and cats all over the city. Lots are mangy looking but some are very cute. You don’t want to pet them though, they aren’t friendly and grow at you if you get too close.
We crashed at 7:30pm and it had already been dark for an hour. It was a very good day, I love it here so far!