Saturday, August 17, 2013

beautiful Bali, Indonesia

It's hard to believe in the 10 months since starting a family that I have failed to post even ONE new blog post, but despite the silence we continue to travel and have new adventures worth sharing if I can just find the time to myself! :) Even with an infant, we hope to keep up our traveling lifestyle and if we can acclimate him to change early on perhaps he will continue to be a well seasoned traveler as he grows up!(?) Here's hoping.

Despite the appeal of Taipei (isn't it "all" here at our fingertips?) ~ one of the biggest advantages of living in Taipei is what lies beyond Taiwan - our proximity to so many other Asian countries. That being said, finding time when hubby & I are both off work together is rare, so when we had 9 days off together this Chinese New Year holiday, we jumped at the chance to visit a new(-to-me) destination:
~*Bali, Indonesia*~

The Gerocks had already spent time living in Indonesia many years ago, and I'd always been fascinated to see this country I'd heard so much about. So, we petitioned the grandparents to join us in Bali as a sort of halfway meeting point between Taiwan and Australia and we convened for a week of leisure & family reunion. With my first post back on the blog, there's no way I can cover all of the fun we had in Bali over those 9 days ~ but here are a few of the highlights. :)

Flight to Indonesia from Taiwan w/Baby

Traveling with baby is a whole topic entirely to itself, and thankfully I am becoming better at it each time, but I'll have to save that for another blog post ~ or the occasional inquiries from friends planning similar adventures (otherwise I'm afraid I'll bore you with the minute details of my SuperMom tactics...).

Indonesia was fantastic & refreshing. It was entirely Asia, and entirely not Taiwan, which was just what the doctor ordered (even though, there are some aspects I could live without - the beggars, poverty, and the most extreme 3rd world characteristics of a typical 3rd world country). Regardless, once I looked past the superficial unpleasantries, I settled into an easy-going, friendly destination that made me want to leave work behind and just relax on the beach all day! Not to mention the beautiful people; beauty that runs much more than skin deep.

Playing with baby on the beach.

Bali is clearly an island / beach destination. We rented a private villa with a private pool for the week at Gending Kedis, but we also tried out the resorts larger pool and made a few trips to the beach - I love seeing the ocean! In Bali there were some public beaches, but also many private beaches dedicated to specific resorts or paying members, and I must say, the private beach was too perfect. Extremely posh, and not overrun with people. Once we discovered our resort's private beach (halfway through our trip) I just wanted to go there every day and layout and read my book for hours!

Entrance to our villa, "Cherida 1"

Our backyard

The Resort's private beach

Bali isn't all beach ~ we spent a few hours each day "seeing the sights." In comparison to Taipei, we suddenly realized that we were not in the big city any more and many things of interest were an hour, sometimes two hours, away! We rented a van with a driver for the week since 4 adults plus baby in a carseat couldn't squeeze into a taxi, and our driver turned out to be top notch. He was a very kind hearted guide, who could speak English, was flexible with our needs that changed frequently (based on baby's mood or needs) and was so professional. We really felt lucky to have found "Panca" the driver just by chance, and we will definitely call him if we return to Bali again! Also to note our drives allowed us to get out of town and explore the countryside a bit. There's nothing quite like seeing the "real" side of an island.

Our outings included a fantastic temple full of monkeys, hand crafted silver smith shops, and the trendy tourist shopping areas in Ubud, where we scored some great local art and dined in an open to outdoors restaurant. The temple with monkeys was the best outing and had the most amazing views, hands down. Though I was a bit nervous for a moment there...

The Dirty Duck Diner Restaurant
View Behind the Restaurant
We especially enjoyed Ubud - it is full of tiny artisan and skilled craftsman shops and studios. If I return I'd plan to spend a few days there. Wish I could spend a few days reminiscing...
I hope I get to go back to Bali someday ~ definitely worth the trip!
Take note, Husband! I want to go back! ;)