• Eileen Bremer

48 hours in Bali : A Sweet Escape

Updated: Dec 2, 2018




Have you ever had the feeling that you were working so hard and all you wanted was to escape just for two days ?


Then sometimes you just need a friend to help you make a wild decision.

Last August I was having a drink with my friend and I was talking about how tired I was and how stuck I was feeling in my routine. I was literally working everyday for 2 and a half years non-stop and I really needed a break. I just wanted a holiday !

Then she told me « Should we go to Bali ? » I was like « What ? »

« Yeah, let’s go to Bali. Just for the weekend. In two weeks. »

I’ve never been to Bali, and I’ve never been on a holiday with a friend, this was another opportunity to say YES.

So we booked our flights, hotel room and we took off. Wild decisions are the best !

One of the great things about living in Perth is that flights to Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines are quite cheap and those countries are very popular holiday destinations for aussies. Most people decide to go to Bali for big parties but all we wanted was a girly pampering weekend.

It was also the first time I went to a third world countries so I felt quite uncomfortable when we first arrived.


As soon as you get to the Denpasar airport, there is a huge crowd yelling at you. They are actually taxi drivers trying to get customers that need a ride to the city. Yes, because if you go to Bali, be prepare to get your personal space invaded as street merchants are everywhere and very pushy.

We got to our hotel in the Legian area which is between Seminyiak and Kuta, and right next to the beach. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and were so tired, we went to bed straight away.

We woke up early to get a nice breakfast and spent the day walking around to get some nice deals for massages and facials.


WALKING AROUND

This is how most of streets look like. Super extra busy. It is full of shops of all kind, and it so narrow !

Watch out for cars, scooters, bikes and pedestrians passing by the same tiny bit of road. I live in such a quiet place in Perth, and all of a sudden I found myself surrounded by people yelling prices, calling you out, loud music from the bars and restaurants, but it was so different that I was enjoying it.

It seems that there is no rules in Bali. No traffic lights in the city centre or any road sign. People ride scooters and bikes without wearing helmet and I can’t remember if I’ve seen the police during those two days ! I’ve even seen a whole family with 3 kids on one bike ! This place is just insane but this is what you should expect in any 3rd world country.




BARGAINNING IN BALI

Bali is very popular for the street markets. At first, I was very excited to find really cheap stuff but it turned out that the sellers are so pushy and they are always going to give you a high price even though the quality can be really bad. 100 000 Indonesian Rupiah is $10, but if you ask how much is this shirt you like, they will give you a price equal to $25. Basically you start bargainning with a much lower price and they hardly give in. The last option is to fear of loss them by leaving their shop until they accept your price but you are not garanteed anything. For me, that is too much work ! The only time I tried to bargain, the lady literaly kicked me out !


FOOD AND DRINKS

Indonesian food is absolutely amazing. It is cheap, super tasty and it's huge !

You can easily get away with a $5 meal and a $3 cocktail, even in a very fancy restaurant. You can find the same meals everywhere as much as occidental food so there is no need to hesitate long when you are hungry.

Here is a little list of the food I loved in Bali :

* Fruit pancakes – Our first breakfast was surprisingly delicious ! The fruit was cooked in the pancake. We had the choice between banana and pinapple and that was really tasty.

* Nasi Goreng or Mie Goreng – Cooked with fried rice or noodles, this is the most popular staple of the Balinese. It’s often served with vegetables or meat and sometimes with a fried eggs on top and prawn crackers. I probably had it 3 times in the weekend !

* Sate with peanut sauce – So yummy ! It’s a kind of mashed chicken melded onto a stick and barbequed. But the peanut sauce really made the difference ; it was incredibly good.

* Balinese coffee – I don’t actually like coffee at all ! But I tried the Balinese coffee and I was really surprised how soft it was ! Of course I added some sugar in it to make it taste sweeter but it didn’t taste as strong as normal coffee.


P.S : We drank around 15 cocktails in 2 days.




THE CULTURE

I love Asian culture. Everything about it is beautiful.

Bali is multi-religious. We can find Christian, Muslim and Buddhist minorities, but the predominant religion is Hinduism, more specifically Agama Hindu Dharma, which is proper to Bali, and a blend of Shivaism and Buddhism.


As we were walking a lot, I could notice those little clumps of rice on the ground placed around houses and shops. Then I learned that religion is woven into any aspect of daily life. The Balinese actually make offerings every day. These are left everywhere to appease evil spirits.


We can of course find them as well as temple features and in small shrines. They are located in courtyards where you can escape the crowd and the noise. I am not a religious person myself but I find the culture incredibly peaceful.

And Balinese people are so kind. On the second day of our trip, we were doing some shopping when I spotted this beautiful Ganesha Shrine. I took this photo then we noticed the gate next to it was open. We thought it was a temple courtyard but a woman came to us looking worried and asked us if we needed something. We actually broke into her house by accident ! We apologized 10 times but the lady was so nice and let us have a look around and take some pictures.




That was our sweet escape for the weekend ! I’m so glad I did it. I wish I could have done more but I’ll definitely go back. I went back home super relaxed after two days of pampering, massages, hot stones, fish pedicure, facials and hair treatments.


Allow yourself to do the same. You don’t need that much money to escape your routine. Sometimes your body and your mind need it and will thank you for making this decision.


If you go to Bali for a bit longer, I would definitely recommend explore the countryside. Some hotels can give you loads of advice about where exactly to go, and they can also offer you a lift. We couldn’t do it because it can take up to 8 hours to travel. But it’s absolutely beautiful.


MY NEXT TRIP TO BALI – UBUD

This is the place to go if you really want to see Indonesia. Valleys, rice paddies, overgrown jungles, hindu temples and monkeys are worth a trip for sure.

I want to plan a romantic trip with my partner and really have time to experience all of the best things to do, and take some epic shots. Stay tuned, I am so excited !



Make some wild decisions. You only live once !




With love,

Eileen – Pretty Little Mantras.


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