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Bali, Indonesia

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Bali 1001.jpg

Is it wrong to take a vacation from a vacation?!! This reminds me of the movie ďAbout a BoyĒ starring Hugh Grant. You know what Iím talking about right? It may seem like Iím always on vacation but Iím notÖ really! It just so happens that spring break was only about a month away from another major Japanese national holiday or rather holiday(s). In Japan itís called ďGolden Week (GW).Ē I donít know why itís called that because itís not even really a week of holidays. Maybe itís a week of sunshine?! Okay, whoís laughing with me? Nobody? I donít know what GW is like in previous years but this year, we get a Friday off but then the following Monday is a work day, and then holiday from Tuesday to Thursday and then work day again on Friday. Thatís just stupid! I think it really screws up peopleís travel plans and they have to use up a couple of their vacation days. Well I shouldnít be one to complain since there are a lot of national holidays in Japan and a non working day is always a good thing!

Anyway, I wasnít planning on sitting around for GW and despite the super high prices of airfare anywhere, I went on vacation with my two other JET buddies anyway to Bali, Indonesia. AhÖ.Bali, it was truly a vacation! I never thought I would actually go there. Both my friends and I have heard of Bali as a vacation destination but we all had no idea where the island was relative to United States or Japan. We were quite surprised when we checked our itinerary and found out it was a 7 hr. flight from Japan, yikes! Thanks to my travel agent friend, we were setup at a pretty cool hotel in Kuta, Bali. It has a unique design where all the rooms face the long rectangular swimming pool. Hereís a really pretty picture of it on their website: http://www.theoasis.info/kuta_thehotel.htm. The outside was really impressive and the rooms were ok in general. The bathroom needs improvement though. Itís no 5 star hotel but I would definitely recommend this place if you ever go to Bali. Our hotel definitely set the tone for the rest of our trip. Two words to describe Bali: Hot and Cheap! Weather was about 31 to 32 deg. Celsius (Iíve converted, bye bye Fahrenheit!) everyday and at night it was still warm enough to take a dip in the pool before going to sleep. It wouldnít be paradise if it wasnít hot right?! Talk about cheap, a bottle of water at a convenient store cost about 0.15 Cent U.S. dollar!! A bottle of the same size in Japan would cost a least a buck! A meal in Bali wouldnít cost me over 5 U.S. Dollars. Speaking of American Dollars, I donít know whatís up with the 1996 series of 100 dollar bills but they donítí accept that in Bali. That really bothered me and severely cut down my funds while I was there. Anyway, I was living like a king in Bali. Our hotel even offered a complimentary 30 mins. massage. It felt so good that on another day, I bought a full hour massage for only 15 bucks! I never had a massage before, it felt soooo good!

Anyway, besides lounging around we did a bunch of cool activities Iíve been waiting to do for a long time. I went parasailing, jet skiing, white water rafting, and something called banana boating for the first time! No, the boat didnít look like a banana and it wasnít yellow! I also got back on a surfboard after a 6 year hiatus (wow, itís been too long since Hawaiíi). This time I was actually successful but Iím still scared of waves breaking on me! We also took a day to go sightseeing. We hired a local to take us around the island for the day and it was only $20 U.S. dollarsÖfor 5 people!! $5 bucks each! Cheap huh?! The most interesting place we went to was a place called monkey forest. There were lots of monkeys and they werenít afraid of people. In fact, theyíll gather around you if they see that you have food. Oh yeah, local Balinese food was good but too spicy for me. If you know me, I am not good at all with spicy food. Anybody can attest to that? Overall expenses in Bali cost me about $200 dollars for only 6 days. I would like to go back to Bali again but Iím hoping my next destination will be Singapore or Malaysia! Indonesia = Country #13 on Tonyís list of countries visited! It wouldn’t be a travel blog if I didn’t go anywhere right?!

Pictures from Bali
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tonykao0627/album?.dir=f571&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos