Traveling to Bali was the first time I left my study abroad placement. I stayed in Seminyak, Bali for three nights, and then traveled inward to Ubud, Bali for six nights. I stayed with my flatmate, Ashley, in three different Airbnbs (I recommend trying to get places that have breakfast included; this saved us time and money during the trip).
I did not know how to pack, and I definitely just winged it. Tip: do NOT just pack one t-shirt!! Yes, I cannot believe I did this either, but I packed literally one t-shirt! Jetstar is definitely strict with the 7kg (or 10 pounds) carry-on, but make sure you pack enough clothes!! It was very hot and humid the whole stay.
The trip was interesting. I found it to be a bigger culture shock traveling to Indonesia versus coming to Australia. I was heckled by Taxi drivers and people on the street to use their services, which was overwhelming at times (all you had to do was say no and they would leave you alone, which was good). I found that you had to negotiate the price of something you were buying. They would start their price at twice or sometimes triple what they actually expected!!
Seminyak: the first three days we went to the beaches and poolside resorts. They were VERY nice. I laid in a hammock for one day looking up at palm trees, and it was so relaxing. Seminyak was way more busy and definitely a “beach” scene, so I’m glad we were there for a shorter amount of time.
Ubud: if you are traveling to Bali to see the temples, monkey, Indonesian food, and such– then I suggest going to Ubud. We found that it was lot more representative of the culture of Indonesia and was also just more quiet and relaxed in general.
Do a tour!! We decided to spend one day with a driver– where we went to two temples (go to the TANAH LOT to see the sunrise, that was truly beautiful), a coffee plantation, and the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. I am definitely glad we did this because getting around in Bali is kind of tricky. A lot of the places are not walking distance, so you need to either get a taxi or a driver to take you to places. I would recommend spending the money on a tour, or at least just a driver, because it makes the day less stressful and the sights more enjoyable.
Sacred Monkey Forest: the second Airbnb we stayed was about 1km away from the monkey forest, which was so convenient. The forest was definitely an interesting experience. The monkeys are WILD ANIMALS and not these cute furry pets who want to be touched. They are looking for food and will literally rip it out of your hand or backpack. I decided to spend about $1 Australian dollar on getting corn and having an employee help me handle the monkeys. I think this is the best route (versus buying a banana and having to interact with the monkeys yourself) especially if you are looking for some memorable pictures.
All in all, this was a very good experience for me. I was happy to be back in Australia, which was a cool feeling. Australia is starting to feel like my “home away from home” after traveling around for Spring break.
Time to study for midterms!!