After debating a while on whether or not to go to Thailand after an exhausting trip through India, we decided to give Indonesia a try, as we had previously visited Thailand on our honeymoon.
We did some research and found that you can rent houses in Bali, world renowned for surfing and beach life, for only a couple hundred dollars. We booked into a little hotel for a few nights to relax and find a place to spend a few weeks.
We arrived in Bali on November 23rd, which was pretty much perfect. Although a lot cooler temperature-wise than the burning sun of India, we weren’t complaining of feeling the Summer heat while our friends and family back home in the states were bundling up for Winter.
We quickly worked out a housing deal with Bernard, a seasonal worker in Bali, to rent his house for the next several weeks. Because Bernard’s place came with high speed internet and several other perks, it was a bit more expensive at right about $430 for just under a month. It was just what we needed to get away from the chaos of the surfer laden Kuta area, but still have internet access to fit Griffin’s growing freelance design business.
The house was two bedrooms and situated near the beach, although the walk down proved to be a larger task than we thought. It also had a full kitchen and pretty large bathroom. Strangely, the kitchen and bathroom were separate from the bedrooms. We’re still a little unsure of the architectural design there. Perhaps the best part: it came with a daily maid! Every day the sweetest lady would come and make the beds, sweep, dust, wash dishes, clean the bathroom, change the sheets or whatever else she noticed. It was awesome.
Meanwhile in Bali we took in the sights and even tried our hand at surfing. Griffin, who had been surfing before, got it straight away, while I had to work a little longer. I’m not saying we’re professional or anything, but… yeah. Throughout the month we had lots of opportunities to play in the water, walk on the beach, try out cool restaurants and just relax.
Finally toward the end of our trip we headed out of the island of Bali and ventured North to Java to check out attractions there.
We were a little disappointed because the famous Ijen Volcano, known for it’s sulfur mines and huge crater lake, was not open to visitors due to an eruption only a few days before we arrived. So, we carried on to our next volcanic destination, Mr. Bromo.
Mt. Bromo is known for it’s volcano inside a volcano structure and for it’s ash cloud eruptions that happen about every half hour or so. The volcano has spread ash over the nearby region of Cemoro Lewang at least a few times over the past decade or so.
We checked out Mt. Bromo at sunrise which was a beautiful and awe-inspiring site. To get there, we just booked a jeep ride at one of the mountain side homestays that took us most of the way up to the view point. From there, some stair climbing was a good way to get some warmth as it was pretty chilly in that higher altitude at 4:30am. We watched the sun come up over the beautiful landscape and stayed a little longer to see the ash clouds erupting from the mountain. Then back down to our hostel for a nap!
From Mt. Bromo we headed to Yogyakarta to visit Borobudur Temple. This magnificent architectural wonder is one the most spectacular buddhist temples in the world and probably the coolest one we’ve seen. It dates back to the 8th or 9th century. The bell shaped stupas each house a buddha statue inside. Again, we were up early for a sunrise tour of the World Heritage site. It did not disappoint. As much as I hate waking up before daylight, it’s always worth it to see such beauty.
Yogyakarta also boasts another World Heritage Site, the Prambanan Temples, which are Hindu temples first built around 850 and rediscovered in the early 1800’s. It reminded us a bit of Angkor Wat, a site we got to see while visiting Cambodia on our honeymoon.
During our month long stay in Indonesia, we relaxed, saw some awesome sites and made some new friend. We even got to attend a wedding there, which was definitely a highlight of the trip.
After so much time in Asia, we decided to check out a new part of the world and booked a quick flight to Cairns, Australia. Check back soon to hear about our tour of Eastern Australia.
Big thanks to One Source Network for providing us with the Velbon UT 43D tripod as many of the shots in the post would not have been possible without it.