Bali Indonesia: SINGAPORE TO BALI (1)

Who would have thought Bali would become such a “trendy” island! I mean, sure, it was always popular because of its beauty, wonderfully lush nature and tradition, its dear smiling people, but this is way above what I might have expected few years ago when I visited for the first time. While I was thinking about this Bali series for the blog, I often stumbled across posts and photos from Bali, “things to do”, “ultimate places to visit” etc. and it seems like – everybody is in Bali at the moment or they have just come back from the place! You can’t even say that you like to travel if you haven’t been to Bali yet, right! It’s fascinating how the place can “explode” in a relatively short period of time!

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Traditional gates

Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy that the island’s economy might get boosted by more and more visits throughout the years, but I am slightly concerned because of the impact mass tourism usually has to places. What if it just gets too crowded?

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Beautiful Bali scenery

(Given the topic, let me just add that Vietnam and Cambodia are still on my bucket list, but even though I used to be so impatient to go, I am not sure any more if I am to visit these countries soon. Why? Well, it seems the two destinations are so overwhelmed thus far that I don’t really wish to be jostled by flock of people who wiggle their way out to the all popular places to take another photo of one and the same spot. This world of ours is so vast and I can go and visit other places I always wanted to see, giving Vietnam and Cambodia a chance to breath a bit. Our paths will cross at some point in the future, I am sure, but not yet, it seems.)

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Always smiling

“Djokovic, right?”

Anyway, for all of you who have never been to the island (if there are any of you left), let me just tell you: Bali was one of my favorite destinations! This was my first trip to the country so foreign in terms of language and alphabet, that I immediately felt lost! Also, it’s so remote when coming from Europe, that I got the impression that people there don’t really know or care about the specific country you’re from. It’s Europe, right, that was enough!

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Typical sight on the road

Coming from Serbia, I got used to explaining to people I encounter overseas that “it’s a small Central European country”, that my city was once “the capital of former Yugoslavia” etc. And when I came here, I didn’t expect anything less. I mean, why would Serbia be interesting to Indonesia and Bali politically or in any other way, more than to the US and the West? (And most people from the Americas I have met during my journeys did struggle to locate it.) It’s halfway around the world from Belgrade after all! And you know what happened? Just listen!

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Fishing during the low tide

I was chatting with the guy who was carrying my bags and showing me the room at the hotel in Nusa Dua when I have checked in. Nice, polite conversation – about my flight, if I was on holidays, how long I was planning to stay on the island etc. And of course, I said where I was from. The guy was silent, thinking for a while, obviously couldn’t really place Serbia on the map of Europe in his head. But suddenly, he smiled widely.

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There are interesting statues everywhere

“I know Serbia!”, he said: “Novak Djokovic, right?”

Oh, it made me so proud. Well, Novak, I sincerely thank you!

Whenever I talked to locals afterwards and when they seemed to frown in confusion after asking about my homeland, I was just mentioning Novak’s name. And got patting on my shoulder almost every time!

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During one of the cruises

Coming from Singapore

Can’t really tell you what my first impression was of the island, because I landed at night. The capital Denpasar’s airport seemed small but nice, and I was greeted there by the local guide I have booked in advance. He held a sign with my name on it – my first name was spelled correctly while I couldn’t even recognize letters in the last name.

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Selling goods on the beach

It was so helpful that the guide has picked me up, since I was coming from Singapore to Bali, truly tired. The flight was pleasant, short, but I have spent few days in Singapore back then, rushing around like crazy. So much so that my feet and legs seriously ached.

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Oils and powders at the spa

(In case you’re wondering, the issue was resolved by one of the lovely Balinese massages. It’s probably too early in the series to talk about massages, since this is the first post, but let me just tell you – it felt like hitting the reset button. There is a range of treatments to choose from on the island and I just had to book me a long one. It began with the foot massage, after soaking your feet in warm water with essential oils and flowers’ petals. Then they took me to one pleasant room to get undressed and take a quick shower. Followed by the crystal scrub, the actual massage and the quick bath to enjoy a cup of warm tea in, the treatment was more than I have expected. You can treat yourself with a short half an hour massage by the swimming pool or take your time at the spa center. There are a lot of those in Bali, that’s for sure.)

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Massage area next to the pool

My bags were put in the car, we were chatting on the way to the hotel, making arrangements to having tea together the next day. And I felt kind of relieved. Didn’t know why at that moment, but soon I realized that I was still under Singapore pressure. In comparison to the city-state that is all so disciplined and supervised, it seemed that I have come to the laid-back place that welcomed me with open arms.

It turned out to be so true!

Next: PERFECT WEATHER (2)

The full Bali SERIES

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18 thoughts on “Bali Indonesia: SINGAPORE TO BALI (1)

  1. Too funny that everyone seems to know the Djokovic – Serbia connection! It sounds like your arrival in Bali was much needed, and that although your name wasn’t spelled correctly your pick up went as smoothly as it could. I’d definitely like to go back to Bali one day to explore more of the island!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So funny how they automatically knew your country after mentioning Novak Djokovic. I find that sports is a way a lot of countries get to know one another, namely through the players, and in that sense the world gets a little smaller and more aware of one another. Cool story though, would really love to visit Bali someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not only sports, but famous characters in general. 🙂
      I remember when somebody was trying to explain to me where Mali was in Africa. It went through my head “Mali, Mali, wait a minute..”, but then it hit me – I knew it because of the Songhoy Blues, one great group I’ve just heard of back then and loved. 😀
      Yep, that’s how the world gets smaller each time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We have more or less the same perspective when we travel – I’d rather visit a place (despite it being on my bucketlist) at a time where there are less people. So while it is very popular, I’d rather avoid it to stay away from the crowds, for the time being. 🙂

    The massage sounds pretty relaxing (I think I need one right now. LOL) after your trip to Singapore. Bali sounds very laidback indeed, I wish I could visit soon, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not that I don’t like the crowds, but it rather seems like I’d only do more damage since we’re all visiting at the same time. It wouldn’t be the first spot on the planet to be ruined but its visitors, unfortunately. That’s why the island’s popularity gets me worried sometimes.
      Thanks, Marvi! 🙂

      Like

  4. I haven’t really explored Bali because many have shared that it’s just a typical beach travel destination to unwind and relax (which I’m not that much into). An active traveller, I prefer to explore various attractions rather than sitting back and relaxing. Which is a waste, because I live so near to Bali HAHA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehehe, when you do go eventually, I’d like to hear your opinion. If it is “just another island” or not. 😀
      I’m also an active traveler and I had great time in Bali. In my opinion, there’s a lot for everybody, whatever one’s preferences might be while traveling. 🙂
      Thanks, Nathan! 🙂

      Like

  5. I am planning a trip to Singapore and then from there to Bali since thats really cost effective. But i was wondering if it will be too much of a cultural change. but after reading your post I am relieved and confident that the change will be for good and i will enjoy the experience

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am very conflicted with Bali. I have heard (and of course seen pictures) that it is such a beautiful place. However, many news about beaches and ocean full of trash, has made me wondering if I want to wittness that in person. It is such a horrible thing happening, and something must be done soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, mass tourism can be devastating to places of such beauty. There must be a way to incorporate some sustainable solution. But, everyone should probably start with and reconsider their own habits when traveling, right!
      It’s such a pity, the island is lovely! ❤

      Like

  7. Indeed Bali is of one of our favorite island destinations and we’d love to go back in a heartbeat. In fact have been already working on an itinerary to spend a month this year. Love the smiling people and beauty that lies there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bali is definitely a trendy destination, pretty much all of my friends have been there within the last couple of years, I must be the only one that hasn’t visited yet! The beaches and temples do look amazing, though.

    That massage after the flight from Singapore sounds like the perfect way to start a relaxed holiday, massages are one of the things I mist the most from Souteast Asia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you’ll love it when you do go eventually. 🙂 Even though it’s that popular, it’s such a pity not to see it in person.
      And yes, I totally agree regarding those lovely Asian massages. Such a treat after a long day, right!
      Thanks, Alberto. 🙂

      Like

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