the Thai man who gave us a lift
Our journey to Bali ended up being an interesting one. We needed to take a Bus from Thung Song to Phuket, then find our way to the Phuket airport before leaving for Bali at 6:55 the following morning. Our bus would depart from Thung Song at 5pm, we would arrive in Phuket around ten and then have to kill nine long hours before our flight departed at 6:55am. The plan we had come up with was to make our way to the airport and sleep somewhere (on a chair maybe), until we needed to check in (maybe not the best plan, but it’s what we went with). Upon arriving at the bus station we realized getting to the airport was going to be an expensive ordeal. Locals quoted us 600 baht which we thought was well over priced. We had just paid 260 baht for a 5 hour bus ride to Phuket and now the idea of paying 600 baht to get to the airport 30km away was out of the question. We decided to walk around and see if we could get a better price. We walked left and no luck, then right and the same answers kept coming our way. “600 baht” they would say, “airport very far”. Not discouraged, we stopped at a shop to buy some water, and an attempt to practice some Thai got me into an interesting conversation. I was chatting to the lady in the front asking her where we could get a decent fair to the airport, when a man came out and joined the conversation.
myself, Ang and the two duaghters
He would go on to say, that Phuket was very expensive and 600 baht seemed too expensive to get where we wanted to go. We had also mentioned that we were teachers from Thung Song and as always this seemed to put us in the good books. The more we chatted, the more it seemed like he was going to try help us. At first we had thought he had a friend who would take us for our desired fair, but then when he dissapeared and pulled up in a double cap, we realized it was him that was going to transport us. Realizing that we had so much time, he decided to take us on a tour of the touristy area of Patong beach in Phuket with his two daughters before finally dropping us at the airport. I have been really impressed with the Thai culture of late. Just knowing a bit of their language goes a long way and they seem to really open their hearts and try and help you in any way they can. The airport was not a lot of fun and not much sleeping was done. It did save us a little money though so we didn’t mind and knew we could sleep on the plane. We got a good subway breakfast inside of us, before making our way through immigration and finally boarding the plane just before seven. Bali here we come.
we made it
a beautiful statue a few minutes after leaving the airport
Ubud would be our first stop in Bali (we decided to make it home base while we were there), so we didn’t waste time and started negotiating with the taxi drivers as soon as we walked out the airport. It seemed like the going rate was 200,000 rupiah (around 700 baht) for the hour long journey there, but we managed to haggle a little and get them down to 180,000 for the two of us. This seemed like the best rate we were going to get and we didn’t have much more energy to keep pushing so we took it. We jumped in our cab and were on our way to Ubud. We were dropped on Monkey forest St, changed some money (we were initially hoping to get 300 rupiah for 1 baht, but realized pretty quickly that this was not going to be, and had to settle for 285, which wasn’t too bad as the airport was offering only 200) and paid the driver for his service. We were greeted by a steep uphill, but started making our way towards a home stay we had looked at online. It would seem that this was not meant to be as after 10 minutes of walking, our sweaty bodies were too tired and hot to move on, so we were ready to take the first place the suited our budget. A friendly guy sitting on the street offered us a room at his home stay, so we had a look at fell in love immediately. Sagitarius Inn, located centrally on Monkey forest Rd was everything we had expected and more. The place was magnificent. Beautiful lush gardens, a swimming pool, friendly staff and a reasonable rate, so we jumped at it without even a second thought. We got a double room for 200,000 rupiah (around 700 baht a night) a night which included breakfast in the morning (each day something different would be served) and endless amounts of coffee. Sounded like a great deal to me!
The steep incline on Monkey forest Rd
the swimming pool at our guesthouse
one of many statues around the garden
always decorated with fresh flowers
another statue in the garden
our spacious room
our small terrace where we were served coffee everyday
you got to love this place
a nice place to sip on a cup and get stuck into a book
After checking in we decided to get cleaned up and go exploring. We found a little restaurant near by offering views of the rice terraces so we made it our first stop. We sat down and for the first time, it was all beginning to sink in. We were in Bali (a lifelong dream had finally been fulfilled) and could not be happier. We ordered some coffee and raw indonesian spring rolls and just sat starring into the green rice paddies, feeling very relaxed from the strange music playing in the restaurant. We sat for an hour before heading back to the room for an afternoon nap. We were completely drained from the journey and needed to re-cooperate. The rest of the evening was spent walking the streets (admiring all the art work and culture Ubud had to offer), and getting a good first meal in. As always we went for Italian (because we live in Thung Song and don’t often get to eat western food, we will always without a doubt, order pizza our first night when we are on holiday in an area that offers it), pizza and bruschetta, and a few beers until our eyes wouldn’t stay open anymore. Everything had worked out perfectly and it turned out to be a great first day in Bali, Ubud.
monkey forest rd seems to be the place to be with loads of little shops and restaurants
a beautiful view of the rice paddies
very tasty and raw
our first night of good food and good beer