Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

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buksida
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Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:28 pm

This is an ongoing report posted from location as I need to start wading through all these photos (some were shot on a phone so apologies if they're not up to usual standards) please bear with me, it will be updated over the coming weeks.

Flying directly from Bangkok to Bali was the most cost effective method of getting the four of us to the area of Indonesia we wanted to explore on this trip. Air Asia took us to Denpasar for 13k after a couple of days in the Thai capital to break up the long rail journey from south Thailand. After what can only be described as a clusterfcuk at 4.30am with 8 thousand feckless Chinese tourists in Don Muang we touched down 3 hours later in a serenely empty and wonderfully efficient Denpasar airport where Indonesia has relaxed visa requirements and now offers a 30 day stamp on arrival.

Bali was not and has never been a place I’ve yearned to travel to; visions of a Phuket-like tourist hell-hole overrun by drunken Aussies have been conjured when thinking of this island. I was pleasantly surprised to find that only the Kuta area of Bali resembles this metaphorical Gomorrah of travel destinations and the rest of the island was quite an eye opener. We booked a taxi online to avoid the usual airport scams and dodgy drivers, ours was punctual and professional, and with the best price at the time I have no issues with a shameless recommendation (http://candidasataxi.blogspot.co.id).

The first things that deceive one about Bali are the travel distances and times; what appears to be a short 50km drive can easily take well over an hour, maybe two. The roads are clogged with trucks, buses and bikes and are mostly single lane; going is slow to say the least. Our spot was Candidasa on the northeast coast and our hotel, The Natia, didn’t disappoint with two large adjoining rooms a few steps away from an infinity pool overlooking Lembongan Island.

The first day was spent unwinding from the journey and exploring the area which essentially was a busy road lined with pricey tourist restaurants all offering the same menus, and a bunch of souvenir shops. Everything sold in a bar, restaurant or hotel in Bali is subject to 10% government tax and 10% service charge so it can get quite expensive and obviously there is no need to tip! (Will go through costs later).

Candidasa has no beach but we knew that before arrival, we live on a beach so it wasn’t a priority.
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To follow: Ahmed and eastern Bali
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:47 pm

Loved Bali - we visited a couple of times to the Nusa Dua area. Looking forward to this ongoing report Buks :thumb:
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by Vital Spark » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:15 pm

I've always had a yearning to go to Bali, but, like you, a bit worried about crazy Aussie tourists (and the touristy thing in general). Look forward to reading about your experience and seeing some of your lovely photography. Hopefully, I can then persuade Mr.VS to take a trip there.

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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by migrant » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:42 pm

Great pics, as always, thanks!
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:17 pm

Vital Spark wrote:I've always had a yearning to go to Bali, but, like you, a bit worried about crazy Aussie tourists (and the touristy thing in general). Look forward to reading about your experience and seeing some of your lovely photography. Hopefully, I can then persuade Mr.VS to take a trip there.

VS
One thing I can say VS is that Nusa Dua is certainly not the noisy/in your face touristy place - we loved it. Very quiet where we stayed and a great base to explore further afield. As buks says though, roads and traffic aren't great so you need to allow time.

:cheers: :cheers:
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:48 pm

I was pleasantly surprised by Bali, it is like a separate country within Indonesia ... being 90% Hindu helps! It is still very touristy though and the touts and hawkers are relentless.
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:28 pm

It was time to do what we do best; grab a couple of motorbikes and hit the road, our first spot was a little bay called “Virgin Beach” just up the coast from Candidasa. One thing you need to get used to in Bali is parking, whenever and wherever you do it a guy will instantly appear from nowhere with a little ticket book and charge you a nominal fee, usually around 3,000 rupiah (10 baht), so if your wheels have stopped rolling he’ll be there! Virgin beach was far from untouched; hawkers, restaurants and a whole lot of trash awaited the beach goer, negatives aside it was still a pleasant spot for a swim and a few shots.
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It was then onwards to Ahmed via some hillside villages, rice terraces and seriously twisty roads. We lunched on the black sand beach which served as a parking lot for the local fishing fleet of outriggers. Ahmed is a laid back little town with a cluster of dive shops and a few swanky resorts, there is not much else to note.
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To follow: Bali east coast road
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:02 pm

This was supposed to be our halfway point to Bajur crater lake but considering it had taken the whole morning to cover just 60 kilometers we decided to take the coastal road back … which took the entire afternoon!

Three hours later, after some seriously perilous coast hugging and cliff hanging roads we arrived at the Ujung water palace and stopped for a little look around the lakes and tropical gardens.
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To follow: boating around Bali
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by Thistle » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:26 pm

Great Photographs,and information,keep it coming.Also i am sure other forum members are impressed that you actually take the time-out to post the various locations that you are visiting,and thoughts.

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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:41 pm

As usual, great photographs and report - really does look superb! :thumb:
"You've got to get your first tackle in early, even if it's late". Ray Gravell

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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:21 pm

Balinese religion is predominantly Hindu incorporating local animism and this is evident in daily life with regular offerings to deities and outside homes and shops. We found the body of a dead puppy lying where it died in the middle of the road surrounded by flowers, garlands and other offerings to aid the release of the soul. My son wanted to buy some fishing tackle but we were told that it is not sold after 6pm on the island so as not to offend the spirits of the ocean or something similar that could not be translated!
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The kids had been bending ear for a fishing trip so the following day we chartered a local outrigger for a few hours fishing at a cost of 400k (just over 1,000 baht). We headed for a couple of tiny islands off the coast of Candidasa, the fishing was pretty basic and most of the small reef fish we caught were released, though the boat boys wanted to keep the larger blue triggerfish as apparently you can eat them.
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To follow: Mount Bajur
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:13 pm

I wanted to get up at least one volcano on Bali so we rented a car (Toyota Avanza @ 220k/580 baht) and drove west in the direction of Mount Batur. A couple of hours later, after some 20kph slogs behind trucks that could not be overtaken as the road was barely the width of one vehicle, we arrived at Bali's largest lake and a magnificent view of the volcano that created it. Climbing was not possible without a permit, govt appointed guide, and a hefty fee so we took some shots and tried our hardest to avoid the most persistent souvenir hawkers I have ever come across by simply not stopping for longer than 3 seconds.
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You could still see the lava flow that devastated these villages during the big eruption of 1968.

To follow: Ubud and rice terraces
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:57 pm

Wish I could actually take photo's like you!! :thumb: :bow: Although the LHG always says I don't have the correct equipment.. :oops:

Just one question - what is that in DSC_0176.jpg?

:cheers: :cheers:
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:28 am

Fish farm, they breed freshwater fish in those cages.
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by STEVE G » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:33 pm

Do the locals still fish with those outrigger canoes? I remember being in Lombok about 15 years ago and it was a spectacular sight to see them all sailing out to fish in the morning as most of them had no engines at that time.

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