The Monday before David and I left, we worked full days (me 9:30 to 6:40, him 9:30 to 8:10) and then headed directly for our 11:25 pm flight out of Incheon. We were both hoping that we’d be tired enough from teaching to fall asleep on our flight but no such luck and we arrived at Kuala Lumpur around 4:45 am and exhausted.
Kuala Lumpur is a strange airport in need of some updating. First off, we were sent towards immigration instead of transfers and ended up with 90 day Malaysian visas even though we’d only be there 5 hours. We spent a few hours sitting in an open air terminal people watching a strange parade of Hindu women with a blueish tinge painted on their faces, men in sarongs, Muslim head-coverings, and dreadlocked Australian surfers while swatting away flies til around sunrise when we were able to check into our flight to Bali. After that we changed over some of our money into Malaysian ringgit to buy breakfast because nowhere accepted debit or credit (bad mark two for KL International).
Breakfast was reviving and by the time we boarded our second flight, we were back to holding hands and smiling and making fun of the Star Trek-esque uniforms that Air Asia employees wear. We dozed a little but were alert in time to see this:
Denpasar was another older and slightly strange airport, but we were through immigration and packed away into our hotel shuttle in under 1 hour and a half.
David and I had chosen to skip around the island a bit in order to get a feel for resorts, beaches, culture, and nightlife in Bali and our first stop was Sanur Beach.
The red dot at the southern tip of the island represents Denpasar and just to the southeast is Sanur. It was about an hour to where we were staying, Hotel Sanur Beach Bali, and we had our faces pressed up the glass looking at huge old stone houses, massive statues, and palm trees the whole time. Just like any place, Bali is not 100% paradise and we did see some slum shacks along dirty drainage ditch-looking waterways, but we did not find this to be characteristic of Bali in the least.
We were tired after check in but knew if we took a nap, we’d never wake up, so David and I took a walk on the beach and stopped for an afternoon snack at one of the small beach restaurants dotting the sand.
There’s not a whole lot to tell about our first night in Bali–we had a dip in the pool, a phenomenal Balinese dinner, I drank fruity cocktails, and we walked around the hotel gardens.
Back when we were booking our hotels, I had expressed that waking up and being able to look out on the beach our first morning in Bali would be the perfect beginning to our summer holiday and unbeknownst to me, David had sent the hotel a really sweet e-mail about how it was our first time away together and could we please have a view of the ocean from our room. As you can imagine, I was just pleased as punch to be looking out over the pools, gardens, and yes, the Indian Ocean from our room’s balcony. I’m a lucky girl indeed.
After an amazing complimentary breakfast in an open air restaurant (sans flies) we changed into our swimsuits and hit the beach! The beaches in Sanur are very nice but reminded me too much of the Outer Banks in North Carolina to feel very exotic.
As you can tell from the trees in the background of that last photo, it was very windy in Sanur and it was difficult to tell just how strong the Indonesian sun was. After just a few hours on the beach, I had a little sunburn (despite liberal application of SPF 45) and a Scottish lobster on my hands. It was time to go!
From here, we arranged for a taxi and headed a bit further inland, which convinced me that Disney World lies and Ubud is indeed the most magical place on earth. Along the way though, David and I asked our taxi to stop in the wood carving crafts district and we picked up one more passenger: