My Impressions of Bali
A few years ago I took a trip to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Bali.
Bali is a land of very strange religion. Everywhere I went there were offerings
underfoot, in cabs, and there were people whose only livelihood was making offerings, etc.
Our hotel was on Sanur Beach. It was a satisfactory hotel, but two of the other people in our group
had chosen the most upscale package and they were at a better hotel. They were on some of our
tours, but in Bali we did not see them. I had a report that they enjoyed the tours in Bali. I could not
say the same.
Our tour guide picked us up in a van. (There were four of us). We spent one entire day
touring "temples." One temple looked the same as the next. Finally, after many hours of looking at
temples he told us we had one more to see which was over an hour's drive away. I said "How
many of us want to see another temple?" No one was interested. I asked what was different about
this temple, and the guide said it had "running water." We all declined the visit and went back to
our hotel. Another tour he took us on was to see the
artisans carving wood figures. It seemed to me that everyone was an artist and was either in
the business of wood carvings or making batik designs. I read about Bali before my journey
and I had some knowledge -- as well as seeing the movie "Ring of Fire" and also reading the
book. Once on the way to a temple we passed what I knew was a funeral . It was a casket
sort of item in the shape of a horse. I asked the guide about the "cremation ceremony" and
all about the horse and he told me it was not a cremation and that was not done. Unfortunately,
I had read all about it and seen the film, so I knew he was not being honest with us. Also, he took
us to a "typical village" and to me it looked like a Hollywood idea from "central casting". It
seemed to me that these people did not really live there. We were not allowed to look into the area.
Just see a man and woman and child sitting outside some buildings. The temples noted also that if
a woman were menstruating, she was not all owed to go into the temple.
I did not do any snorkeling. The Balinese people DO NOT SWIM. They live on the
island but really do not go in the water. It has something to do with their religion., believe.
The breakfasts were quite good (and included). We had many delicious fruits that I
had never tasted before. One was a purple colored fruit that the inside was the consistency of
white custard. I do not know the name. We also visited a fruit market and saw the "durian."
One night at the hotel we had a special dinner out in the courtyard with gamelan music
and the legend of the monkeys. The woman I was travleing with was quite interested in the music
and bought a gamelan tape, but the music was not that interesting to me. She also bought quite a
few of the Artifacts, which did not fit into my modern décor.
The hills all around are the most marvelous color of green and are terraced. That is quite
pretty. We were told not to go into town at night because it was TOO DANGEROUS. We visited
the town in the daytime and it seemed relatively harmless, but did not want to tempt the fates.
There were a lot of dogs around, seemingly not belonging to anyone. I also had a very nice
reasonably priced manicure in town and one day I had a massage right on the beach by a woman
who gave me her business card. We went behind a bush and she gave me a very good massage and
sold me some of the coconut oil, which she used. I was not keeping a book on my travels at
the time I went on this trip, but currently I do write a paper after I return. I've visited every place in
the world I've wanted to see and am now just repeating the "good stuff". Three places to which I
would not return are China, Bali and Costa Rica.
Naoma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org