A Balinese Affair – Welcome to Bali
Usually i plan my trips well in advance. This allows me to take advantage of early bookings discounts and low airline fare. But this time around, we woke up just 10 days before for an international trip. We already have visited the favorites holiday destination for all Indians in south east Asia. By favorite i meant Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. I know you guessed it right :).
So what else, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali or may be Hong Kong. A quick research brought Bali high on the list. So Bali it was. A few flight fare comparison, finding hotels on some of the foremost websites like Expedia, hotels.com, bookings.com, agoda and some of the not so common like asiawebdirect, led me to believe that we will have to be compelled to choose another destination. Reason being some high fare and accommodation. But we were so decided that we any way wanted to go. That’s when i made a call to my travel agent and he came up with a sweet deal. Booking done and we are ready to Go…
Bali is an island and province of Indonesia, and includes a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east, and has its capital of Denpasar at the southern part of the island
Nicknames as Island of Peace and Morning the world, Bali is one of the beautiful island provice with rich cultural heritage dating back to 2000 BC.
As we arrived in Bali, we were greeted by our guide, An old fella in traditional Balinese shirt and sarong (like a lungi in India). After a short welcome, he asked us to wait so that he can call up the car from parking. I took this opportunity to purchase prepaid sim cards. Talking about prepaid sim, there are multiple telecom providers. I took SIMpati for a cost of 10 USD. Now this is when i felt like millionaire, because i was literally paying in millions. Look at the conversion rate
Of course this is the current rate but nevertheless, i was still millionaire a year back (or may be a billionaire as i was spending in millions).
As we head out of airport towards the hotel which was in kuta, we stuck with light traffic jams. The airport here is one of the busiest airport in Indonesia, located at around 3 kms from kuta town.
Denpasar International Airport
Selfie at Bali Airport
As we moved towards the hotel, some light rain shower welcomes us. This started a conversation with our guide, who explained how it rains whenever it gets a little hot. It was May and hence it got to be hot during this time.
Ah I forgot to mention, as soon we met our guide, he said “Om Swastastu” a phrase in Balinese meaning Hi or welcome. What was surprising that the use of word “Om”. Now this is very much pronounced as our Om in Hindi. Ballinese language has many words derrived from sanskrit and in fact there is a lot of hindu god, which they worship. Now this felt nice as one rarely hear sanskrit or close to hindi when they travel abroad and that too from Non Indians.
Being predominantly a muslim country, Bali is the only province in Indonesia with major hindu population.
Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawiand Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.
Soon we arrived at the hotel and were welcomed in traditional balienese stye. In the meantime, our guide handed over SIMPati cards which they gave as a complimentary gesture to their guest. And my thought was why was it not on time. I just had to purchase SIM card at the airport, if i would have known, i could have saved Millions (remember the conversion rate :))
Anyway, time to chck in and relax at the hotel. Tomorrow we will be going to some sightseeing. In between we will be going to some market place in the evening.
Our Hotel, Discovery Kartik Plaza was at Kuta, one of the major hot spot of Bali with nightlife. Kuta has some lovely beach front and nice restaurant with nightlife
Below are some random pictures from the Resort