Third destination – Bali ‘The Island of the Gods’

Bali is the most famous destination of Indonesia, and sometimes called ‘the island of the Gods’. And of course it’s filled with tourists, which only gets worse when you’re going down south of the island. Nevertheless, Bali was the perfect destination to finish our journey.

The schedule was pretty much the same with what we had in the first two destinations – the tour of the area.

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The iconic gate of Indonesia’s temples

You can see gates like this when visiting great temples like the Tanah Lot – the most popular destination for tourists in Bali.

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Tanah Lot Temple

We stayed in the south coast of Bali and this is the most touristy area on the island. So if you want to have a good time and still avoid the crowds, maybe it’s a good idea to move a bit up to the north. Ubud would also be a cool place to stay if you’re heading for the north of Bali.

Indonesia is also a centre of food, and Bali has offered us nothing less than that! I can name a few dishes which are must-try for anyone coming to Bali like nasi goreng, mie goreng, chicken satay, nasi padang, … These are the ones that always leave you craving for more!!

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Chicken satay

 

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Delicious Nasi Padang

Not only southern areas like Kuta and Seminyak are beautiful, Ubud has its own charm. In my opinion, I’d much prefer to stay in Ubud if not for the research.

Tirta Empul temple is the pearl of Ubud. It was very interesting and fascinating at the same time watching people bathing in the holy water. It may not be a rare sight, but it’s the ritual itself that made the whole experience so different.

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We didn’t have the experience of bathing in the holy water since we didn’t bring any spare clothes, which we deeply regretted. The water was so clean that you can see fish swimming around, which I myself did not expect at all!

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This is where they collect the holy water from an underground stream. At the temple, they have a few rules you’ll need to follow to keep the water clean, like women need to tie their hair to prevent it from falling into the water. The water here is used for the public ‘holy bath’ but also more importantly, it is used in religious rituals so it has to be the cleanest.

So except for beautiful beaches and temples, what else Bali is known for?

The gorgeous rice terrace!!

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The view of the rice terrace was a perfect end note for our trip to Ubud. The whole scene seemed to light up under the sun. You just feel like one with nature only by witnessing something so pure and beautiful like this scene in front of your eyes.

I also did a trip to Komodo island, out of sire curiosity, wanted to see the real animal. From Bali, it was only about 1 hour of flight to get to Flores – the main island where we stayed before heading to Komodo. Flores was much less touristy (thankfully), but where we stayed was a beautiful Eco-lodge. The manager said the place was all booked at that time but we didn’t encounter that many people.

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Within the next day, we got to Komodo island. It’s such an experience that I’ll never forget. To get into the Komodo national park, it is compulsory to have a ranger with us. The dragon is famous for its huge size and deadly bite, so remember to be cautious when approaching the animal. Before you can approach them to take some photos, the ranger will draw a line which you HAVE TO stay behind for your safety.

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Three tourist creeping behind a komodo dragon for some fancy photos (that’s us!)

It might seem like we were very close but the distance was about 1m, so it’ll give you enough time to run if the dragon ever decides to turn its head around and have a buffet.

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We got to the island after lunch time, so the dragons were pretty chilled and didn’t care about us.

Next stop was to the Pink beach and then we did snorkelling to the giant manta ray. It was a bit challenging to follow them, but it was my first time ever doing snorkelling. I drank some seawater, but well it was worth it, and I learnt how to do snorkelling properly after all.

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Giant manta ray spotted!!

Every thing in Bali was very enjoyable and I didn’t really have any negative time here. But as we were in Bali for research, and we did our best to enjoy the last month, time flied. The last day of the 3-month trip marked the last presentation we had to do. Afterwards, we spent time celebrating and watching the breath-taking sunset of Bali.

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Beer and sunset in Bali

It was such an emotional time for everyone after the 3 months together. We have been thru good and bad time together. So now looking back, somehow they are all memories that one could never forget and will keep them within their heart for the rest of their life.

Being on the trip required a lot, and there were time I felt so exhausted any couldn’t keep up. But in the end, each and every one of us has done that and proudly so.

If you’re in the TDM course next year, make sure to enjoy and memorise every moment. You’ll feel lost, exhausted and frustrated, but you’ll also grow and learn that the connection that you have with your classmates, doesn’t matter if you’re close or not, the connection will be an unique bond that follows you for the rest of your life!

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