One Month In Bali

Carolyn Stahl @carolynstahl
· February 2020 · 6 min read · Indonesia · #vegan

If you were thinking of leaving your home in the North for the first time to a tropical destination, you may have considered Bali.

The videos and instagram tell us that we will go to Bali and instantly find ourselves under a waterfall, or dancing on the beach with a flower in our hair. Well you certainly could do that but you won't be beamed there automatically.

Most budget travelers and backpackers, will rent a scooter and explore on their own. The few that don't want to risk their lives will hire a driver/tour guide to take them to the destinations that they choose. We did neither.

We started in Ubud living in the outskirts to save money on a budget accommodation. with an outdoor kitchen and living space.

We are not fancy but it's rainy season and although it doesn't rain long each time, the insects are relentless. It didn't help that we were facing a rice field. Not one of the pretty ones.

View from the porch Ubud
View from the porch Ubud

This is one of the problems we had in Ubud with the outdoor kitchen and living space. Constant swatting of flies. I tried every home remedy and they wouldn't stay away.

The other problem was getting around. We were much too reluctant to ride a scooter in that traffic. That was not an option. The traffic in Ubud is the craziest thing I've ever seen. We walked to town on small roads with vehicles wizzing by like a storm of missiles. We didn't bother taking taxis except in the dark on our way back from the supermarket. They charged more than they would have if we were at home. We couldn't call a Grab taxi or a bluebird because the airport sim card didn't work so we just didn't bother getting another.

Ubud town center
Ubud town center

After two weeks we decided to change our plans. We tried to change our flight to an earlier one out of Bali. After trying and failing, we decided to go to the nearest beach town


We were relieved that traffic wasn't nearly as bad in Sanur and to have a beach close by is always a plus. Unfortunately it's not a great beach. It has a lot of seaweed in and on it. It's also very shallow and murky right now. I don't mind shallow but the murky water is not very appealing.

The locals generally don't bother with swimming in the water but a few spend time on the sand with activities.

The yoga and meditation is a popular thing here for tourists but not quite as much as in Ubud. There are daily sessions of Yoga and meditation on the beach held by locals.

This group was in the middle of a chanting session
This group was in the middle of a chanting session

Sanur is quiet overall and has quite an older crowd in general. There are beautiful resorts here. The people that stay there can enjoy a pool and luxury accommodations. Although I wonder how many are tempted to stay in the resort for the whole vacation and never know how difficult it is to cross the street.

One of Sanur's main roads near Sindu market
One of Sanur's main roads near Sindu market

We have only been in the water once. After the first time we noticed that the water wasn't nice so we spent our time just walking along the walkway beside the beach.

Along the path and the streets are souvenir shacks desperate for people to purchase an item that in my case, would end up in a garage sale. I feel sorry for the vendors as they call out for buyers one after the other only to have the response "no thank you".

Each day that we spend walking we say that today will be the day that we eat dinner in a restaurant.

We do have a small kitchenette where we make almost all of our meals. Sanur doesn't have many vegan restaurants but if you search you can get vegan options at many restaurants.

We went to a place earlier last week that had a lot of vegan options but it's always packed. Yesterday we ended up stopping at a place called Bobby's and had a snack. We weren't hungry enough at the time to indulge in one of the main courses which could be veganized. They had some vegetarian items and they could easily be veganized. We opted for the veggie spring rolls which were coated in bread crumbs then fried. I've never seen that before. They were not bad but nothing to make you swoon with delight. To offset the fried food, we had a plate of fruit. You can't go wrong with fresh fruit.

Spring rolls 3$  and a fruit plate 2.50$  glass of wine 5$ for happy hour buy two get one free (Canadian money)
Spring rolls 3$ and a fruit plate 2.50$ glass of wine 5$ for happy hour buy two get one free (Canadian money)

Fortunately we have a supermarket whose patrons are all tourists. In fact I don't recall having seen one local ever in there other than the sales people.

It's not the best one but it has enough to buy for cooking at our place. The prices are not the best, It's close and convenient though.

This store is called the Popular Mart
This store is called the Popular Mart

I've been crazy about durian ever since I came to Asia. I bought three durian in Ubud none had any flesh in them. It was almost thirty dollars down the tubes.

Yesterday there was Thai durian that looked amazing but the price was more than I wanted to pay. I just looked and dreamed of how great a sensation it would be in my mouth.

One thing I love about here in Indonesia is that tempeh, one of my favorite foods, is easy to get and it cost less than a bag of peanuts. I bought three yesterday, Maybe I should stop eating so much of it, but it will be over soon.

This tempeh cost less than a dollar
This tempeh cost less than a dollar

We will be leaving Bali in four days and going back to Bangkok before we head to a beach destination in Thailand.

I am looking forward to leaving even if it means I will have to give up tempeh.

Although Bali is a hot tropical destination with beautiful plants tropical fruits and friendly gentle people, we personally did not have a super great time.

I am thankful though for not being in Montreal Canada with snow blowing in my face. The cold is not my thing.


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