Bali is beaches.
Bali is parties.
This is much of what makes up the reputation of the island in Australia. But it is not entirely accurate. I mean, it is accurate, but there’s so much more to island than that.
I had a couple of days in Bali, and while it was not near long enough to truly experience all that it has to offer, I was able to have a lot of fun without lazing on the beach and hitting the night clubs dripping with cheap Bintangs.
Take a Vintage VW Safari
One of the best things I did was take a VW Safari from Kuta to Ubud.
On our last full day in Indonesia, we walked outside our hotel and waiting for us was a rainbow of about 15 vintage VW convertibles.
We were right.
As we exited the hotel car park, we were unsure what to expect, but we were excited nonetheless. And when our driver flicked on a CD loaded with reggae covers, it set the scene perfectly. In the words of one song we heard at least 3 times, we knew “Everything was going to be alright”.
For the first time on tour, I was actually appreciative of the slow traffic, because it prolonged our road trip. For much of the way out of Kuta we were flanked by passing scooters down the one lane highway. Like most of Asia, traffic rules seem to be suggestion only so this was pretty common.
We made a couple of stops along the road trip. The first stop we made was at some rice fields, a lovely photo stop and great to stretch the legs.
The second was to Ubud Monkey Forest. Some people loved this, some thought it was weird. Others just wanted to get out as quickly as possible. I was somewhere in the middle. The monkeys were unpredictable but were good subjects to photograph.
In our haste to find the exit, Roxanne, Skye and I opted for (read: were directed towards) the shorter route. What we didn’t realise was that the “shorter” route was actually the way back to the start. We wanted to cruise through to where the Bintang was waiting for us on the opposite side but instead we had to “exit through the gift shop”.
At least now we had roadies.
Related: You’ll need a place to rest your head and this Bali hotel guide will help you decide. There’s something for all budgets.
The great thing about the whole trip was, because it’s Indonesia, the driver (and presumably the cops) give zero craps about your safety. Seatbelts are optional. Limbs and GoPro sticks out the side and front of the car are fine. And sitting on the roll bar with your feet on the seat facing backwards with a Bintang is absolutely not a single problem at all. You’re an adult, you can look after yourself.
The whole morning was very freeing and relaxing. Jut roaming around the island, driving past rice fields, through dense forests, and near the near the end through villages. It was a perfect way to spend the last morning with the people I’d gotten to know so well over the last 2 weeks.
It was a perfect end to a whirlwind trip.
How can you experience this?
If you visit Bali, taking a VW Safari tour is an absolute must. It should be the first thing you look at booking when you arrive in Bali.
You can book any number of different tours through this website here.
Our tour was only a morning, but there are many full day tours that take you to a number of sights around the island and start at around $55 per person.
My stay in Bali was hosted by Indonesia.Travel but all opinions in the article are my own.
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