To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,
Since last week’s post I’ve been on a whirlwind of adventures.
After a couple of nights exploring Kuala Lumpur (mostly its insanely delicious food stalls), I caught my flight to Denpasar, Bali. As I mentioned in my last Postcards Home post, here, I was meeting one of my best friends from home who I hadn’t seen since leaving the UK last December.
As you can imagine, I was EXCITED!
On Sunday morning I met her at the airport and after a lot of hugs, laughter and exclamations of how hot it was (3 degrees in England to 30 degrees in Bali was quite the jump for her), we made our way to our first Air BnB in Ubud.
By the time we arrived it was late afternoon and as we were led deep into the vibrant rice fields of Ubud, the warm, hazy sun glowed on the palms and stems of grain, which sprouted from the ground in every direction.
It felt as though we were delving into a set in The Hobbit.
Our room was a quirky eco pod made out of bamboo, which was set atop two other pods.
Teamed with a cosy communal area, an infinity pool and a scenic swing perfect for some cringe ‘I’m in Bali’ photos, it was the most quirky and unique accommodation I’d ever stayed in.
The next morning, after spending a couple of hours coaxing Nicole down from the pod (her fear of heights got the better of her), we wandered into town to explore the ‘cultural capital of Bali’ a little better.
The first thing we noticed was the huge number of charismatic temples on each street. We later found out that each Hindu home, shop, cafe etc. in Bali has its own small temple where the locals present offerings of flowers, food and incense to the Gods at least once a day.
This results in the streets being sprinkled with colourful weaved boxes of remaining offerings and the smell of sandalwood – accentuating the island’s rich culture.
After prying Nicole away from buying every single item at the market, we headed towards the famous/infamous monkey forest.
I was in Buddha heaven…
A luscious forest full of ancient temples and a ridiculous number of monkeys, we roamed the area constantly on the look out for hungry pouncing monkeys.
And cute bubbas…
That night, we moved onto our next Air BnB a little further out of Ubud. After winding down a few dirt tracks as our taxi driver exclaimed ‘oh my god, where are you making me go’, we arrived at Pondok Wahyu.
On arrival, we were speechless. Our room and bathroom were humongous, we had a giant, open air dining and living room area overlooking a scenic pond and the jungle, an infinity pool and two gorgeous cats – all to ourselves.
There was even a nap spot hut built over the foliage…
It was so perfect and so cheap (£27.50 each for 3 nights), we were waiting for the catch (you can either rent the whole villa or just one room).
We have spent the rest of the week indulging in a cooking class (recipes to come), exploring Ubud’s rice terraces and temples, climbing Mount Batur and partying in the trendy surf town of Canggu.
After a lot of mixed reviews of how touristy Bali has become, my first impressions have been great. The locals are extremely friendly and although the towns are very touristy, the stunning architecture, temples and culture are still very much in tact!
Until next week…