Saturday, January 11, 2020

Favorite Experiences in Bali, Indonesia

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Not long after my family and I came back from a vacation in Bali last year, I started reading William Finnegan's memoir Barbarian Days, a chronicle of his surfing life around the world. In 1979, he went to Bali about which he wrote the following:

“Bryan loathed Bali. We wrote an article for Tracks—it carried, by tradition, both our names, though I only gave it a light edit—mocking the notion, then widespread among Australian surfers, that Bali was still an unspoiled paradise of uncrowded waves and mellow Hindu natives. In fact, he wrote, it was overrun with surfers and other tourists. It was a place where one could “see topless and bottomless Europeans of both sexes,” “listen to the lies of surfers from all over the world,” “hire a board carrier and experience the dizzying thrill of colonialism,” and “tell people you’re from Cronulla when you’re really from Parramatta,” the latter being a less cool Sydney suburb than the former.”

I can’t believe that Bali was already overrun and consumed by mass tourism as far back as the 1970s. Even in 2013 when I first visited the place and now when I returned with my family, Bali is no longer an “unspoiled paradise of uncrowded waves.” It is the exact opposite of that yet we enjoyed the place nonetheless. Below are my favorite experiences in Bali.

Having lunch at our favorite warung


Spending countless hours just hanging out in the house we rented in Kuta


Traipsing through the Tegallalang rice terraces in Ubud


Watching the sun set while listening to a live band covering Bob Marley songs at Double Six Beach, Seminyak



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