Nov 8, 2017
Dad came to visit me in Bali! I almost had tears in my eyes when I saw him. It’s been 2 month since I’ve seen him, and while that may not seem like a long time to people, it was really comforting to be in his presence, especially after what happened a few days prior. He wanted to treat me at the W, the hotel chain with a location in Seminyak.
Before he got to the hotel, he informed me that he would be landing at 10am, so I booked a car from my hostel to the hotel that morning at 10am. Well, dad’s not very good at this stuff, and he meant that he was landing in Hong Kong at 10am & not Bali, where he’d arrive at 3pm. So, once I got there I got to explore a little by myself. I had one of the most expensive meals I’ve ever eaten on this whole trip, just for lunch (around $23 USD or 300,000 rupiah–mind you, I’ve been eating 50-90K per meal), hung out in my hotel room (and used the really nice toilet, yes I’m excited I get my own toilet), and ate a pastela (Mexican ice cream bar) at the pool after taking a dip. Dad finally arrived at the hotel around 4-5pm since the traffic was terrible.
He was really exhausted from traveling (and still jet lagged), so we took it easy that night. We watched the sunset and ate dinner afterwards. Dad was so tired, he almost fell asleep at the dinner table (props to him for even staying up that late). We ended up just hanging at the hotel in the evening. Dad fell asleep right away as I watched Netflix.
Nov 9, 2017
I woke up around 10am, dad said that he wanted to let me sleep in but that he got me breakfast. He’d been up since 4am and already took a nice walk on the beach, went to get breakfast, and was feeling antsy by the time I woke up. We didn’t plan anything for today, but we wanted to talk to the concierge about the best things to do. I saw that swimming with Manta Rays were a big thing here and found a place that does it (a little expensive). When we went to the concierge to inquire about it, he told us that he recommends this other place to swim with Manta Rays. It was half the price of the other one, so we opted for this one. I’m not a certified diver yet, and the one that I picked out was actually a free diving lesson/site seeing place. You would swim with Manta Rays and get lessons on to how to free dive. Looking back I wish I did that one. We’d also booked a night trip to Uluwatu for the next night. That includes a trip to Uluwatu Temple to see the views and the Kecak dance as well as a trip to Jimbaran for seafood.
We didn’t really do much for the rest of the day. We went shopping in Seminyak Square and watched the Warrior game at a random bar. It was the first time I’d seen the Warriors play this season, since I left for my trip before the season started (I’m really excited to see a game when I get back since we have season tickets!!). I also got my nails and brows done (I’m a little sad about my brows, the lady not only took skin off my eyelid, she also did it too thin, I’m very picky about my brows). That took a while, and after that Dad and I went to this Japanese-ish restaurant. It was such a weird concept because they served japanese food but the decor and everything was Safari/African themed…STRANGE.
After that we went back to the hotel where we just chilled for the rest of the night. Like I said in my previous blog post, most of what I did with dad was relax in a nice hotel room, in my own privacy, with AirCon, and watched TV for the first time in forever. We ordered pizza for a mid-night snack since we had dinner at weird time. It was a bad idea because it gave me the bubble guts (that noise that your stomach makes when it doesn’t agree with what you ate, usually accompanied by a few sessions on the toilet). I didn’t sleep well because my stomach hurt so much and I was really worried I might’ve gotten Bali Belly.
Nov 10, 2017
I woke up with a bad tummy ache. We ordered room service for breakfast and I got their version of Congee (like I do everywhere in Southeast Asia, the rice porridge) and they call it Bubur Ayam. I didn’t really like this version because you pour like a curry broth inside it and I just didn’t like the taste of curry in my jook (what I call Congee, the Cantonese version of rice porridge). We hung out at the pool before the car would pick us up to Uluwatu.
We got picked up around 3:30 to Uluwatu. We wanted to watch the Kecak dance and see the sunset at separate times. Our driver said that they have 2 performances of the Kecak, at 5 and 6pm. We wanted to do the earlier one (or so we thought) so that we could see the dance before the sun went down. Once we got there, it was almost 5pm, so we raced to the area where they were selling tickets in hopes they didn’t start yet. Well, it was really empty by the time we got into the stage area. We didn’t even explore the temple at this point because we thought we would have the opportunity after the show. Well it turns out that there’s only one show at 6pm and we sat down at 5pm. So we were waiting for almost an hour before the actual show started, time that we could have used to walk around the temple. Oh well…
The Kecak dance itself was a cool show to witness. The performance takes place right next to the temple, which overlooks the ocean (it’s on the top of the cliff). There’s no actual music to the dance, the beat and rhythm are done by vocals of a choir-like group of men who make it with their voice. It’s pretty impressive since they have to shout for a whole hour, it must get tiring after a while. And on top of that, during the last scene of the dance, the monkey general kicks fire balls at them and they have to put it out with a walis ting ting (that’s Tagalog for a type of broom made out of sticks). It was a cool cultural dance to see.
After the dance, we went to Jimbaran, a stretch of beach known for their seafood. We went to one of these restaurants on the beach where we had delicious snapper that was super tasty. We were serenaded by a band, watched a few more cultural dances, and even saw some fireworks on the beach! It was a pretty cool experience accompanied by delicious food.
Nov 11, 2017
We had to wake up earlier today to make it downstairs for our pick up for snorkeling (with the Manta Rays). We were picked up, driven to the dive center and then brought to the beach. The 2 other couples were diving, one was a really old couple from Spain and another was a relatively younger couple from Bulgaria. We didn’t know beforehand that this was the woman from Bulgaria’s first time diving, I could have dove for the first time without even being certified.
All dad and I did was snorkel. We thought we were going to be brought to the place where the Manta Rays were, but we were told that we weren’t going there. Dad and I were confused and a little mad. He paid a good amount of money for us, just to go snorkeling. The snorkeling was cool but nothing super special (especially for the price). We should have gone to that one I found online instead of listening to the concierge at the hotel. So, no Manta Rays…I was a little bummed about that. The day consisted of 2 snorkel trips. I love snorkeling but I’ve done it a few times already and it was much better (and 3x cheaper) in Gili T where I did it last. Nonetheless, it was fun snorkeling with mi padre and spending time with him.
Once back at the hotel, we took showers and hung out. We went to the hotel’s happy hour and got some cocktails before dinner. It was our last night at the W before switching hotels, so we splurged on some really tasty steak. The hotel bar also had shisha (or hookah) so we did that after dinner, which was a nice way to end our night.
Nov 12, 2017
I woke up earlier today to make it to yoga at 9am. I find that I do yoga more out here then actually going to the gym. It fits the scene better and Balinese people are Hindus, so I’m sure they do yoga in their daily life (maybe some, I’m actually not really familiar with the practice of yoga in Hinduism, but I know they belong together). Yoga was a really nice way to start my morning. Dad and I got breakfast and said goodbye to our favorite waitress, Sari. She was so sweet and kept giving us discounts, she even gave me a mug the night before!
Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to the W and checked into our new hotel in Legian called Padma Resort. This one was way more low key. It was more family friendly and had more places to eat and swim. Dad ended up upgrading to the Garden Club, where we got a room that opened up to the pool. It also included free booze happy hour (which was the selling point for dad).
For the rest of the day we just relaxed, got some food, drank some free alcohol, watched the sunset on the beach and had sushi for dinner.
Nov 13, 2017
Dad woke me up to make sure we made it to breakfast. The breakfast was a buffet, something that I’m not used to (for breakfast) but definitely all for. We decided we wanted to do something that day, so we opted for a trip to Ubud to see waterfalls, the Water Palace (temple), and rice paddies. The first place we went to was a waterfall, however I wasn’t really feeling well. I think I must have been dehydrated or something, but I just didn’t feel up to it.
The waterfall was cool, but I’ve been to so many waterfalls at this point that I was kinda over them (this one wasn’t that cool anyways). Plus, the last one that I visited I fell so hard that I almost passed out, so maybe I’m just over waterfalls in general unless they’re the really cool kind, like the Kuang Si waterfall in Luang Prabang. The next place we were going to go were the rice paddies, but the weather didn’t want us to have fun. While we were driving to our next activity, it started to pour down rain, The sky was really dark and gray, and it didn’t seem like the type of storm where it would rain for an hour or so then stop. The whole sky was dark and it spanned for miles. It was hard rain too, and we were going to be outside the whole time. So we opted to do something different. Our driver recommended we do the “cat poo coffee” since we didn’t really need to be outside for that.
Once we got there, a tour guide was waiting with umbrellas, His name was Wayan, a name that I later learned is a Balinese name every family names their first born–they have 4 series of names for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, after their 4th it goes back to Wayan. He was really knowledgeable about the place and spoke very good English. He told us how the Lumaks (Weasel, cat, land seal-looking creatures) are let out during the night to roam the coffee plantation. They then eat the coffee beans and poop them out, then he and the other workers go to locate their excrement.
While I learned all of this back in Dalat when I did the poop coffee tour there, it was nice to do it with my dad and meet Wayan. He let us try the coffee as well as other coffees and teas that they sold on their plantation. He engaged in really good conversation. I asked if he liked his job, his response was “I have to like my job, jobs in Bali are really hard to get, so I have to love what I do.” We asked him if he wanted to go to college, but he said it’s too expensive and that his family needs his support through his income. We were sad to see that he was such a young, eager guy with a lot of potential and very intelligent, but we understood his situation. It’s very humbling to come to these countries and speak with the locals. Most of them don’t have a lot, but they seem so happy and are genuinely optimistic, polite, and friendly. I really like the Balinese/Indonesians the most out of the countries I’ve been to so far. Maybe their traditions of Hinduism make them very contentious of the way they treat people (karma) and in turn treat every person with love and respect.
So, we ended up buying a “shit” ton of coffee because dad liked it so much. After the poop coffee plantation,there wasn’t much for us to do (it still was raining), so we went back to our hotel to hang out and relax. Dad ended up having a date that night, so I went to the buffet to eat by myself. It wasn’t that bad though because the buffet was Italian themed, and I was craving pasta earlier that day. Satisfied with a full belly, I went back to the hotel and fell asleep.
Nov 14, 2017
Today was more of a relax day for dad and I. We ordered room service for breakfast and had a late start to the day. We finally used our pool (with the private entrance) and went to the beach to go for a swim and hang out on the sand. We also walked around Legian to find him some sandals and got a late lunch. I had sunset yoga at 6, which turned out to be really cool. The place where they usually hold sunset yoga was being used for a private party, so we were relocated in the Presidential Suite backyard. It also turned out that I was the only person doing yoga, which ended up being a private lesson for me (basically). It was really soothing, although the downside was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (they love me). Even after drenching myself with cancerous deet bug spray, they still seem to find the places where I’m not thoroughly applying spray. They even bit through my leggings and onto my ass, real nice mosquitoes, real nice…
After yoga I took a nice shower and waited for dad to be done with his date. We had our last dinner of Bali at the hotel’s sushi-themed buffet. Dinner was really nice and it was a perfect cherry on the top on such a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. He’d leave back to the states the next day while I leave to the Philippines! This time with dad was exactly what I needed. I think all of the traveling, partying, activities, being hot and sweaty all the time, really wore me down. This mini vacation inside my bigger vacation gave me the opportunity to relax and refuel, especially after the tragedy that took place a week earlier.
It gave me a chance to gain my energy back for my next leg of my journey. I’m now with my family in the Philippines (my first time here!!) and it’s been such a great experience so far. So stay tuned for my next post about my wonderful vacation with my wonderful family here in the Philippines on the next episode of MELISSA’S SOUTHEAST ASIA BACKPACKING ADVENTURE!!!