Bali's become one of those places everyone seems to be visiting at some point. That, with no doubt, comes with both good and some better-to-avoid sides (don't go to Kuta, for example). Upon arrival, you'll be overwhelmed with taxi drivers, which quickly reminds you there's no shame in bargaining or walking away. Reason for a one-week stopover was to have a relatively mild start in Indonesia: despite busy traffic, numerous pavement gaps and those taxis being offered every second, it's a nice, sunny place to be. Once you get the hang of it, things are easy-going, affordable and well-enough organised.
I'm staying in Ubud, town full of temples, at a hostel named Jukung: small capacity, central location, good reviews (and rightfully so). The owner's chilled, happy to talk, plays the guitar: about as much as you'd imagine any hostel guru to be. The building sort of looks like an ancient ship, except it used to be a temple (or something alike): boutique, perhaps nautical, might be the best choice of word. Most languages spoken are English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch: a kind reminder of how tourists have come to leave a permanent mark, bringing along some of their less-fortunate clichés too. However, the moment you make your way slightly off the beaten track, there's plenty of tradition left to embrace. Not to mention all the beautiful, more remote areas, many of which are on my list for a future visit.
Low food prices and easy-to-meet social beings make eating out no-brainer on daily basis. Ideally, get your bite at one of many warungs: cosy, local restaurants with friendly owners, serving delicious meals. Actually, there's so much choice, you can't really go wrong. Be considerate though: order a flavoursome curry, steer clear from pizza. As public transport is limited, most folks end up renting a scooter or chartering a taxi for the day. Good to know.
I'll be making my way to Australia on Saturday. As the extended visa I applied for took much longer to process than anticipated, I ended up calling immigration yesterday. Soon after, they granted me the one I much preferred, allowing for a multiple-entry, twelve-month visit (without having to leave the country every three months, as would've normally been the case). Really glad to see how three days of applying, combined with four weeks of waiting, paid off in the end. I'll write again once landed and settled on Aussie soil: first time in nearly ten years, genuinely excited to see how it goes.