Bali is a cheap tropical paradise in the middle of Indonesia with smiling people, luxurious spas and a culture of relaxed efficiency. I came here after the epic trip in Mongolia to relax and to re-enter the world of Facebook, texting and English. I am still searching for my Balinese Bliss (BB).
I started at Villa Serenity - by donation yoga, pool, 100m from the beach and a full on chill vibe. Cool people, cheap food and away from the crowds. It was beautiful. But guilt got the better of me and I figured I couldn't just hang out at the same beautiful location for the entire time in Bali so I headed out, in search of more BB.
We got a group together to visit some temples where we found the Balinese people in the middle of their yearly celebration of Galungan. People were bringing offerings to their gods on their heads, praying for peace and happiness and smiling, always smiling. But I'm not a Balinese Hindu and I can see their religious calm, but my lack of understanding of their religion means that it cannot be my own inner peace.
This bliss is definitely not in the so-called cultural capital, Ubud. Made famous by the book Eat, Pray, Love you half expect wandering fortune tellers and yogis in the streets creating a calm and soothing city life. But Ubud is hectic, FULL of tourists and shops that cater exclusively to Western clientele. Not for me.
Tomorrow I'm heading of to Amed, a tiny village on the north-eastern coast that is supposed to have great snorkelling, cheap food and good yoga. The Balinese Bliss I've been searching for? I hope so.