worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.


baliness: amed, mt. batur, ubud

snorkeling in amed was neat because i was able to just walk a few steps to the beach and hop into the ocean. the place that i stayed though, was mosquito ridden and amazingly hot! i had to leave via private car.

my driver, nomankoraya, took me to the mt. batur area and i got a nice view of the lake. it rained though and therefore the vista didn't match postcard images...

i stayed in a beautiful hotel in ubud right near the monkey forest. i know this may be a bit paranoid, but i had these ideas that the monkeys would leave their sacred forest and come raid my hotel room for sweets. i went to see an amazing gamelon music and dance performance and also saw a shadow puppet show. wow!


monkey forest, ubud, bali

do not feed the birds. do not feed wildlife. do not feed the fish...this is the usual verbatum when it comes to wild animals right? not in ubud's monkey forest where it is not only allowed but also encouraged to feed the monkeys. they sell bananas at the gate. sometimes the little buggers come by and steal a few, that is, if the vendor isn't watching for a split second. i don't know how they manage to stay slim given how much they eat!

given my previous experiences with monkeys, i decided wearily to visit the sacred monkey forest. because i thought it possible that the monkeys would mess with people, i took off my earrings, removed my watch, and considered leaving my camera at the hotel so that a monkey couldn't smash it for kicks.

actually, aside from a monkey being nearly successful to pee on me from a tree, these monkeys were really well behaved. it was more so the humans who were not: a couple was petting them and it wasn't until the man pat the monkey on the head that it bared its teeth, one man had food in his hands and didn't open his hand until the monkey decided to use its teeth instead, and many people stuck their cameras straight into a monkey face and popped off a flash. i was shocked that the monkeys didn't react.

man, were these monkeys well behaved.


underwater in bali

my first snorkel-time was off the coast of menjangan island in the northwest pocket of bali. we saw dolphins from the boat, they leaped out of the water and swam next to the boat for a few seconds. snorkeling in this part of the world is amazing: blue tranquil water, great visibility, and loads of beautiful fish and coral. because i forgot to put sunscreen on my back, i got a terrible sunburn from this day and it's currently bubbling and peeling. eeks!

the second snorkel-time was off the coast of amed in the east. the water wasn't as clear but i was able to just walk a few steps to the beach, hop into the ocean, and be on my own time. here i was really able to hear the parrot fish munching on coral (sounded like potato chips being eaten) and even saw some parrot fish pooping sand! this is apparently the natural course of the world. i dig.


baliness: kuta to lovina

i was in for a surprise when i arrived from quite some time in brisk or downright freezing weather-bali was hot and humid which meant i could finally use my swimsuit for the first time this trip! hooray for swimmytime!!!!

one thing about bali is that there's no lack of private transportation. walking down the street, one may hear "yes, hello transport?" or "taxi taxi?" and then subsequently "ok, maybe tomorrow?" the only thing is, there isn't always public transportation in bus form for lonesome souls like me. i even had to hire a private car because there was no buses out of amed.

bali has been a very easy place to visit-many people in the tourist industry speak quite fluent english, and everyone in general is quite friendly and funny.