Spring Break in Bali
My friend and I cycling down an alley on the island.
Though Australia is extremely far away from College Park, it has the advantage of being situated near some of the most exotic locations on the planet, one being Bali. My trip stemmed from a chance meeting in the elevator with a Canadian who had booked a trip and wanted more people to join. I was quickly mesmerized by the idea of Bali and decided to jump aboard. This past week I had the pleasure of spending 8 days in Bali and its surrounding islands.
The first thing I was alarmed to realize when I arrived in Bali was the lack of traffic laws. There’s no speed limit, people seem to pass anywhere on the road and there’s a total disregard for road lines as most just drive on top instead of in between. The result is a chaotic whirl around you. Luckily I did not have to drive on this trip.
Our first residence was in Ubud, known for its monkey jungles and spiritual temples. It was an enlightening experience seeing cultural dances, eating local cuisine and learning the native religion. One such temple was on the slopes of the volcano, Mount Agung. We had to wear traditional sarongs to cover our legs in respect of the temple. The temples were some of the most unique architecture I had ever seen, having been influenced by both Dutch and Japanese rule. At the hotel we quickly learned not to mess with the monkeys. They grabbed anything from cocktails, water bottles, and bags. We tried to leave with a bag of fruit one morning but some monkeys on our balcony snatched this from us.
The remainder of our trip was spent on a neighboring island known as Gili Trawangan. It is very small but it is a huge tourist attraction due to the lack of police control. Many locals offer tourists illegal drugs and the night clubs are not monitored. The views around the island were magisterial. The water was a gorgeous light blue and acted more like a pool due to the lack of waves. Bicycles and horse-drawn carriages were the main modes of transportation. We easily explored the perimeter of the island after renting a bicycle. The island was one of the most magical experiences of my life.
All in all Bali was incredibly and it allowed me to gain insight on different cultures. Their economy was largely based on touristry, with many locals going to school to study hotel administration. I would highly recommend any Australian study abroad students to visit Bali. While Australia is amazing it is not too much different from the U.S. The proximity of Bali allows you to engage in a fresh culture and see things you would only find in movies.