indonesia chronicles: kuta poetry

remove the chains

that bind me

unmask the truth

that suffocates me

reveal the slivers

that penetrates me

like the sunset

i bade farewell

to you

and found beauty

in the stillness

of dawn

by rob, kuta beach, bali indonesia, 2012

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indonesia chronicles: bali heat

the plan for my solo travel to indonesia was to visit jakarta and bali. i chose to visit bali first and not jakarta for i was thinking it would be better to do that if some flight delays occur in bali en route to jakarta. flight to jakarta from manila by cebu pacific was at late evening and i arrived at soekarno-hatta airport with a layover at terminal 3 for six hours for my flight to bali. i brought a pocket-book with me to keep me company and noticed three solo travellers like me waiting for the same flight but were white women. i was too shy to approach anyone of them so i just tried to doze off in one of the cold stainless steel chairs in the waiting area. an hour before my scheduled flight i checked-in at the air asia counter, and waited for boarding of my plane to bali.

it was drizzling when i reached bali and tried my best to act like one of the locals (which was in fact ineffective) when i was trying to get a cab to my budget hotel. the cab fare started with idr 100,000 as i was asking the drivers offering me the ride and as i was getting nearer to the airport exit i stopped by in a convenience store to have a cold drink and asked the store lady how much is the taxi fare getting to kuta. she said it was idr 50,000. i then was approached by a cab driver as i went out of the store, he was asking for idr 80,000, i insisted on idr 50,000 and acted to ignore him and he gave in for the price i wanted. talk about bargaining!

it was still too early when i reached the hotel and was told by the receptionist to be back by 12 for an early check-in at tune hotel, a budget accommodation in kuta. i then decided to walk around then suddenly heavy rain fell i took cover in one of the shops near the road where i met ari, a local from jakarta who works in germany. when the rain stopped he invited me to have lunch in made’s warung a restaurant famous in kuta.

after we finished lunch, we walked around kuta passing by more stores and bars. there was one thing that caught my attention for we were getting offered of “magic mushrooms”. i took a picture of a calling card for “delivery service” for these stuff.

these are actually mushrooms with psychedelic or hallucinogenic properties. obviously it is in demand with foreigners in the area.

ari and i passed by this memorial, where the 2002 bombing incident happened in kuta.

it is considered as the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of indonesia, killing 202 people who were mostly australians and further injuring about 240 more.

i thanked ari as we parted ways and i walked back to my hotel to check-in. tune hotel in kuta is about a 6 minute walk to the beach.

this is my second time staying on a tune hotel (first was in penang). the room is clean and has the necessity i needed for my stay.

the next day i visited bali bidadari batik were one can see how batik is made. they also have these local women doing artisitic drawings on shirts and weavers.

i was more fascinated with the weavers which reminded me of our ifugao native women in the highlands who does the same.

i then went to the sacred monkey forest sanctuary were macaques live free.

it is actually a temple for people who worship them.

the monkeys may look harmless but it is advised that one should not touch or tease them for they may react in an unpredictable way. i never attempted to feed them but a juvenile grabbed the dangling strap of my camera and good thing it slipped off in his small primate hand.

this one was eating some coconut provided by the monkey experts who keep an eye of the safety of both tourists and monkeys.

too busy eating her banana, i am so tempted to touch her.

the sun at midday was so hot when i reached tanah lot, a famous rock formation.

here is a closer view of the temple. i read that over one-third of the structure is already artificial because the rock face actually have crumbled.

no(t) entry? well i wouldn’t do so!

on my background is pura batu balong, a smaller temple in the area.

i spent my last day in bali at the beach.

kuta beach is as crowded as our own boracay, but a white wall fence (worth 4 billion indonesian rupees) separates it from the main road of cafes and restaurants. it is said that it was built to prevent sand from blowing off to the establishments but it actually ruined the beach view if you will be dining in one of the restaurants or sit in one of the cafes.

bali is a great place but your own safety should always be a priority, specially if you travel alone (and this applies in every foreign place we go). i loved the nightlife in bali though i had these instances where i was offered marijuana not only once by a local and i just politely said no and walked away.