During my time in Singapore, I went to Bali a few times and it was always a rewarding experience. I suggest you visit Bali if you plan on being in Asia for a while. If you are going to visit Bali and you want to have a lot of fun, the place to be is Denpasar. If you’ve done your research on Bali, you will know that its one of the top 5 islands to visit because of the culture, beaches, and overall experience. The island is filled with restaurants, bars, shops, beautiful women, and of course tourists from all over the world. The landscape of the island has changed much. For the most part the streets are dirt roads; the stores are constructed to withstand hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. But for the most part it has the original island feel to it, which I loved.
Once you arrive from the airport and pass through immigration, take an official taxi to your destination. Once it hits 5pm the streets are filled with motorbikes and vehicles. It will be a bumper-to-bumper ride into the heart of Kuta beach. Once you arrive at your destination, depending on the time, shower and get ready for a great time.
I decided to meet up with one of my friend from Singapore. He and some people from his school were staying on the island for the weekend. I was excited to be there. Everything about the place was beautiful. We stayed at a hostel a few blocks from the beach and the heart of Kuta. It was raining earlier that day but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. We met up with a few other tourists from Canada, England, Austria, South Africa, and France. The hostel had food service so we all decided to have a few drinks and get to know each other. Some people were backing packing throughout Asia; others were there for school, vacation, and work. It was great getting to know these like-minded individuals.
After a few drinks and eating some good local food, we decided to check out the night scene. We ended up at the best place one the whole Island; Sky Garden. If you could think of your dream club, this place is it. The club had 3 floors, filled with people of all ages, tourists and locals. It had a stage for club goers to go show their dance moves. My new friends and I decided to go up there to show what we got. The place was electric. Eye candy was walking all over the place, people were doing shots, and the Dj was playing great hip-hop, house music, some reggae. This was around the time that Jay-Z and Alicia Keys dropped the number single “New York”. When that song came on, regardless of the fact that most of the people have never been to NY started going crazy. Like any good DJ, he lowered the volume so you could hear the crowd singing. This place was definitely the place to be. The drink specials were amazing and the best part was the currency conversion. Sky Garden had its own dancers to entertain the crowd, they had a fire show with dancers, and a lounge area if you wanted to relax and get to know other people. If you are looking for a low-key place, sky garden is not the place for you. After a night of fun, we decided to walk back to our hostel.
The next morning, we decided to sit in the lobby of the hostel to check the Internet, watch a little TV and wait for everyone else to get up. We headed to a nearby place to grab some local food and enjoy the area. Around the corner from our hostel was a custom suit and dress store. You can get a customized suite for a 1/3 of the price you would pay in the states. I was more about enjoying the area than getting a suit so I passed. But I did purchase a few tank tops and sarongs for family members. As you walk around, strangers will approach you to rent motorbikes or get taxi rides to the nearest tourist spot. You can negotiate the price of these rides to $1 or $2 depending on your skills.
Visiting Uluwatu (the monkey park)
We decided to check out Uluwatu (the monkey park). Please note that this will take up 2/3’s of your day because of the distance you will travel, road conditions, and the heavy traffic on the way back. Uluwatu (The monkey park) was very interesting; the view of the water was amazing. I still don’t know if the locals trained the monkeys. But once you arrive at Uluwatu (the monkey park), you pay a small fee to get in the park and depending on what you are wearing, you have to cover yourself with a sarong or something similar. The locals wanted us to take pictures with them so we did. As you make your way through the park, you will notice people feeding the monkeys bananas and other types of food. Make sure you secure your hats, keys, cameras, or anything shiny, if not the monkeys will grab it and run away. Depending on what time you arrive, you can pay for the fire show. The show is amazing at sunset; the whole thing lasts about an hour and is well choreographed. If you are going all the way to the monkey park, you should see the show, it is well worth it and entertaining. If you see it during sunset, you get a feel for how beautiful and special Bali truly is. After we got back, we ended up going to sky garden for a second night, the results were the same. It was another great night with great people.
On the final day in Bali we decided to check out one of the nearby cities, which is a much slower part of the island, people can relax and enjoy a less crowded experience. Our driver suggested that we check out the local restaurants and the biggest shopping outlet in the area. The shopping outlet was nice, lots of cool items that you could purchase, such as jewelry, bottle openers, lighters, paintings, clothing. As you walk by, you will see flowery substances on the floor. For the locals, it’s religious and good fortune for the day. Be sure not to kick it around or try to clean it up. It started pouring rain, which made for great pictures. Once the rain stopped we all went and got foot massages, and ate dinner at a local restaurant. The restaurant was beautiful and the food was amazing. Once we were done, our driver drove us back to Kuta Beach, and we all chilled at the lobby drinking a few beers and just chatting.