Bali! Things to do in Ubud – Part One.

Ubud Town Centre.

Ubud palace is located in central Ubud and was built in the early 1800’s. You can easily find it along Jalan raya road in central Ubud. This is where you can find evening performances of Balinese dance, including Kecak, Barong and Legong. These are all great to watch and the years of training which go in to learning the precise hand, arm and even eye movements of the various dances are shown off well. Make sure to check out the famous Ibu Oka Warung which has some of the best Babi Guling (suckling pig) in Bali. It’s a bit touristy and overpriced but definitely delicious. The local markets are close to the Ubud Palace, this is a great place to tick of all your souvenirs in one go.

Taking a breather at Ubud Palace
Taking a rest at Ubud Palace

 Check out the White Herons of Petelu.

A short drive out of Ubud is the village of Petelu. Every evening hundreds of white herons come here to roost at sunset and have done for years and years. The story behind why these birds consistently return dates back to the 1965, where a failed couplead to up to 5% of the Balinese population being brutally slaughtered. At the end of the year, the locals of Petelu held a cleansing ceremony and the next week hundreds of white herons started to roost along the road leading to the local village temple. It is said that each bird is the reincarnation of those killed in the unrest, and are protecting the village from further harm.

bt1
The view from the top is incredible.

Climb Mount Batur.

Ok this one isn’t technically in Ubud, it’s more of around a 45 minute drive away. But Ubud makes a great base for those willing to make the 5 hour-ish sunrise hike to the top of Mt. Batur. The views here are INCREDIBLE, and even the more unfit of us, myself included, were so glad that we did it. Be warned, the internet generally agrees that this hike is relatively easy, but it was definitely tougher then I thought it would be. Make sure to bring proper shoes and a big bottle of water. If you want to check out more of Mt. Batur you can check out my video here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-s7hAzT9hU&list=UUh-YnYgIrJ5TsMNTX0qZzgA

Happy travels!

 

Bali and Lombok: My Top Five Travel Tips.

I learnt ALOT during my brief visit to Bali and Lombok, most of which I would have had no idea about untill I got there, even more of which I didn’t learn untill it was too late.

So, to prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did, I present my top 5 travel tips for Bali/Lombok.

Enjoy!

1: DO NOT DRINK THE TAP WATER.

This doesn’t mean don’t just not drink the water, avoid any situation when tap water could end up anywhere near to your mouth, including ice cubes, fruit that can’t be peeled and brushing your teeth. I took so much care buying bottled water, avoiding ice etc thinking I was being super safe while brushing my teeth with tap water. I ended up getting really sick and not being able to take part in a chunk of my tour through Lombok, all because it didn’t even cross my mind.

2: Make sure you can carry your suitcase/backpack or whatever around with ease.

More importantly, make sure that you are able to lift it and throw it, carry it above your head when wading through waist deep water and generally just be able to give it a really rough time. Make sure you ONLY take what you need and nothing more. Because, sometimes, these things happen, and you will find yourself in a situation where the extra weight from those clothes/lack of straps on your nice wheely bag makes getting around a nightmare. Obviously this is dependent on where abouts you are travelling, a wheely suitcase that maxes out your luggage limit may be fine in Europe but become the bane of your existence in South East Asia. A good tip is to only pack half of what you intend to take with you.

3: Take malaria seriously.

The risk for malaria is high in Lombok and can be present in parts on Bali, increasing in the wet season and in rural areas. Malaria tablets are expensive and can have side effects, but not nearly as bad as getting Malaria, or something worse like Dengue fever. Make sure that you cover up in the evenings and keep some mosquito repellent handy in your day pack. It’s pretty easy to prevent and can save you an early end to your dream trip.

4: Be mindful of the local customs.

Bali is predominantly Hindu and the Balinese are generally forgiving of skimpily dressed tourists or the accidental stepping on of offerings (which is harder then it sounds not to do). Lombok is mostly Muslim and it pays to dress more conservatively, especially around the more rural areas. However, it doesn’t take much effort to cover up in either place, little things like keeping the bikini for the beach and covering up around temples make a difference and can stop locals from feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable.

5: Be safe.

Travelling always has its dangers, especially for solo travellers, and even more so for female solo travellers. It’s important to always keep your wits about you and to trust your instincts. Most of it is pretty obvious, don’t go walking down dark alleys, try to avoid arak unless you know it to be safe ( this is a local type of alcohol in Bali that has been linked to deaths of tourists when incorrectly made) and be careful of drink spiking in clubs. The less obvious stuff, like checking to make sure that any boat you use is seaworthy and has enough life jackets, and not going out on water in bad weather can be a (literal) lifesaver, the waters can be rough around Bali and Lombok so it pays to double check. I got caught out in some rough weather off the coast of Nusa Penida in a tiny fishing boat and it was terrifying. Don’t eat anything that looks dodgy and try not to get run over by cars/scooters and possibly horses that you will encounter on your travels

Lastly, have fun! All the safety stuff saying don’t do this and don’t do that can make travel seem daunting or can seem to be over the top at first, but speaking from personal experience and of the experience of the fellow travellers that I have bumped into along the way, a little bit of extra care can make your trip hassle free and awesome. You won’t regret it if you do, but you will definitely regret it if you don’t.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or just say hi.
Happy travels!

DCIM100GOPRO

New video! Rainforests and waterfalls, Senaru, Lombok.

✈✈✈

Morning!

Check out my latest video from Senaru, Lombok. Hope you enjoy!

We stopped here for 2 nights on our ‘Discover Lombok’ tour with Intrepid adventures. Senaru is the main base for travellers planning on attempting the Mt. Rinjani climb, and is home to many traditional villages which give a great insight into the local way of life in Lombok. For those looking to make the trek, the walk is around 2-3 nights and is easily arranged through your hotel or online. Be careful when choosing as the standards vary, I heard from a friend that one girl broke her leg while climbing and the guides couldn’t do anything so she had no other option but to climb back down with a broken leg and no pain relief (eek). Be prepared! Guided walks through the villages or just enjoying the view is a great option for those who aren’t attempting the climb. Although most people who pass through Senaru are climbers, our group didn’t do the climb and Senaru was still one of my favourite places in Lombok.

Try Pondok Senaru cottages if you are looking for accomodation, they make a killer Mi Goreng.

Hanging out in Senaru, Lombok
Hanging out in Senaru, Lombok.

We stayed on the borders of the Rinjani National park, this is a beautiful location with easy access to scenic walks through the jungle (make sure to get a local guide) and awe inspiring waterfalls. Make sure to make to 45 minute ish trek through the jungles to the Sendang Gile and surrounding waterfalls, it is well worth the trip! Keep an eye out for monkeys, although if you are staying anywhere near the national park you will probably see them hanging out around your hotel grounds anyway. Make sure to keep an eye on your shoes!

Happy travels!

Freyagoestravelling

✈✈✈

New Video! Meeting the locals in Tetebatu, Lombok.

✈✈✈

Hello!

Excited to announce the first of my video series from Indonesia is up!

The footage is from the first bit of my 8 day ‘Discover Lombok’ tour. We were shown around the villages surrounding Tetebatu, and were given local demonstrations of traditional pottery, weaving and tofu making, aswell as indulging in a traditional Sasak feast.

The Sasak are the indiginous people of Lombok and are distantly related to the Balinese. However, Bali and Lombok are vastly different. The main differences are of the dominant religion, Lombok being predominantly Muslim compared to the mainly Hindu Balinese. I would definitely recomend for anyone who is travelling to Bali to make the crossing to Lombok, the contrasts are eye opening and it is definitely worth the trip.

Hope you enjoy!

✈✈✈

Kuta, Bali. First impressions and learning to haggle.

 

✈✈✈

Hello everyone!

I have just returned from one month of travelling around Indonesia and the South Island of New Zealand.. time to get posting!

I finally arrived in Denpasar, the main airport in Bali, after around 9 hours of flying. Although New Zealand seems like it would be close to Indonesia.. it’s not really. It definitely took alot longer then I thought it would!

kuta2
One of the many stray cats

Arriving in Bali was like arriving in another world. As this was my first trip to South East Asia of more then a few days, it was definitely a shock. As we drove manically down the road (I pre arranged a driver, which although expensive, was definitely worth avoiding the hassle of trying to get to my hotel alone late in the evening), I started to get my first glimpse of the Bali that I had been hoping for, nestled between drab concrete apartment blocks poked out ancient temples, dotted with festival decorations and offerings. Stray dogs and cats roamed freely and locals and tourists mingled on the streets.                                                            

Smoke covers the backstreets of Kuta.
Smoke covers the backstreets of Kuta.

 

I was staying in Kuta, one of the main ‘touristy’ destinations in Bali, famous for it bars, clubs and beaches. I had heard many negative things about Kuta; it is supposedly filled with annoying hawkers, and even more annoying tourists, is dirty and overcrowded. Kuta was all of those things, but I found them to be exciting, I loved the dirt, noise and general chaos that I experienced during my few days in Kuta. Yes, there were hawkers, and it was annoying at times, but I found haggling to be fun, and once you understood the game and developed the ability to block out the constant yells of ‘sarong? You want to buy?’ and similar, the markets became enjoyable and a great way to spend the afternoon. I learnt that you are supposed to accept from between one third to one half to the price offered by the vendor, although the majority of vendors I encountered in Bali seemed to be unaware of this, and act shocked and even offended when you offer such a price. But be persistent! You will get them down eventually, stubbornness is definitely a useful trait here. It also helps to have a rough idea of the price of an item (so you know when you are being ripped off). The guys in the home stay in stayed in in Kuta seemed to love asking the guests how much they paid for a certain item such as a bracelet or bintang singlet, and then have a good laugh telling us we had paid 10 times what the item is worth. It definitely pays to ask around!

kuta3
Offerings to the Hindu gods line the streets every morning. Flowers, rice and incense wrapped in (banana?) leaves are left outside every house, shop and hotel room. I was told incense is used as ‘the smell is nice which makes others happy, this makes the gods happy’. One of the things I miss most about Bali.

As for the hoards of drunk Australians supposedly roaming around, all the Australians I met in Kuta were very nice and to me it seemed like the majority were families with young children.. however I didn’t end up going to any of the clubs while in Kuta so I probably missed most of the drunkenness. But it seemed that this was easily avoided, the further away from Kuta Beach you stay, the less tourists and the more local people.

I always prefer to stay about 30 minutes walk from the main drag, there were hardly any tourists around my home stay and not a Starbucks in sight. This way I find you get to experience more of the area, get to get lost every morning as you walk to your destination and I always find things that interest me on the way there, some of which are more interesting then that which I set out to see in the first place.

Besides, it’s a hell of alot cheaper aswell!

✈✈✈

 

Welcome to freyagoestravelling!

Hello!

Super excited to announce my new travel blog/vlog series – freyagoestravelling.

cropped-chgcyghcghcgh.jpg

I can’t wait to share with you guys all the exciting adventures that i am planning throughout New Zealand and around the world. Hopefully I can inspire some of you to get out there and travel as I have been in the past.

So… A little bit about me  :)

propic

My name is Freya (duh) and up untill very recently I was your average university student. I wanted to get my degree and to get a job, and I had it all planned out. Last year however I was lucky enough to go on an awesome trip through 9 countries. This may not be alot for some of you more seasoned travellers, and I don’t pretend to be much of an experienced traveller, but this trip has shown me what I truly want to do with my life and now I want to share this dream with you. Who knows, maybe you will be inspired to do the same  :)

The plans so far..

Next week I leave for Indonesia where i will be spending 3 weeks backpacking and touring around Bali and Lombok. A couple of days after I return, I am off to the South Island of New Zealand to visit Queenstown, Arrowtown, Milford Sounds and maybe a couple of other places. I am hoping to leave for India and Nepal around November/December this year and in the mean time will be travelling around New Zealand for a series of shorter trips. I really haven’t seen much of this country at all, especially considering that I have lived here for over 10 years and would love to see more of it.

Thanks so much for checking out my site, please check back soon as I have tonnes of exciting content planned for this site. Please feel free to leave any feedback, or just to say hi. In the mean time, here is the link to my new YouTube channel where you can keep up to date with my latest adventures  :)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh-YnYgIrJ5TsMNTX0qZzgA

"It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – JRR Tolkien

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.