Part I - Bali

Bali, Indonesia
November 25th, 2013

Seattle to Bali, 20+ hrs.

Syl and I decided that we would kick-off our belated honeymoon by visiting our furthest vacation destination first. The plan to break up our return flight(s) home using our second and third destinations seemed like a smarter idea. We flew from Seattle to our final destination, Bali, with two layovers in Tokyo & Thailand. Hours upon hours of flying, cramped seating, and terrible in-flight meals. Note to self: enjoy an occasional first-class international flight.

Clouds Cramped coach seats Empty red eye airport

Nusa Lembongan

Our first destination within Indonesia was Nusa Lembongan. A small island southeast of Bali, accessible via 40-minute speedboat. The island was beautiful. We stayed at the Lembongan Reef Bungalows, had private surfing lessons with Lena and Robot from Newbro Surfing, and explored the island by scooter every day.

Lembongan Paradise Beach Paradise Beach Syl

Balinese dishes were delicious. If deciding on a dish was too difficult, going with the Nasi Campur was always a safe choice. Bottled water was the suggested method for staying hydrated, that or Bintang Beer.

Bali Meal Bintang Bali Meal


From Lembongan we made our way back Ubud, Bali. We stayed at a fantastic home-stay called Mawa House. The setup was perfect. Breakfast was served right outside our room every morning.

Syl - Mawa House Coffee - Mawa House Light Breakfast - Mawa House

Bike Tour

We toured Bali by bike with Bali Eco Cycling (highly recommended if you’re planning a trip). The day started with breakfast overlooking Mt. Batur & Crater Lake. Afterwards, we picked-up mountain bikes for a leisurely ride through the countryside. We visited rice terraces, explored beautiful streets, and learned about family life in a typical Home Compound.

Mt. Batur In front of rice terraces Rice detail Rice fields irrigation Hiding behind rice Family pig Piglets Bamboo Cutting Bamboo

We stopped at a plantation and learned about the different Balinese cash crops like cocoa, coffee, vegetables, and assorted exotic fruits.

Guided tour Various roots Snake Fruit

One of the highlights of the tour was the tea & coffee segment. After exploring the different bean types, trying our hand at hand roasting, and learning about Kopi Lewak (Civet Coffee) we had an opportunity to sit down for an actual cupping. Yes, we drank the ‘poopoo-ccino’ or ‘crap-uccino’.

Coffee Bean Roasting Lewak Tasting Coffee Brewing Coffee Options Coffee Aroma Syl Tasting

The final leg of our tour ended underneath a 5,000 year old Banyan Tree.

Banyan Tree

Sacred Monkey Forest

We explored the Sacred Monkey Forest where macaques’ make their own rules. It is not uncommon to lose your camera, sunglasses, or any other loose objects to these little monkeys. Despite doing our best to hide tempting objects, we became monkey mugging victims ourselves. After a short tug of war with the guy Syl convinced me to give up. Water bottle or rabies? Hmm. It’s an easy decision once you see a sharp toothed snarl.

Monkey Temple Monkey Family 1 Monkey Family 2 Monkey Thief


We reserved a day to visit the Fountains at Goa Gajah Temple, Gunung Kawi Temple, and the Holy Temple of Tirta Empul. All beautiful structures with mesmerizing stories and history—all of which remain active prayer sites.

Goa Gajah Temple Syl Goa Gajah Temple Temple Offerings Goa Gajah Goa Gajah Gunung Kawi Fountain Gunung Kawi Statues Holy Bath

The Adventure Continues

Our time in Bali was short-lived. This was my first “paradise” destination and began to miss it immediately after departing for Thailand. We enjoyed the scenery, the friendliness of everyone we interacted with, the food, weather, warm ocean, and relaxed pace of life (especially so on Lembongan). I do not miss the mosquitos. Or the giant cockroaches.

Next stop: Thailand.

Photos were taken using an Panasonic Lumix GF1, iPhone 5s, or GoPro Hero3+. Post processing done in VSCO CAM & Aperture.

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