April 7, 2008

Hello Fellow World Travelers,

I’m back from Singapore and Bali. We had a wonderful trip.

The last time I blogged I was still in Singapore. On March 30 we flew to Bali, Indonesia. Bali’s airport was not as big, effiencient or clean as Singapores Airport. We arrived in the evening and it was quite busy. Most of us got our visa’s in the US prior to our departure. A few got their visa’s on arrival at the airport in Bali. While it is less expensive to get your visa on arrival $25 vs $40, the time saved is worth it. Those of us who already had our visa went right through and there was no line at immigration. Those who had to get their visa on arrival had to go to a separate line and it was very long.

Our hotel the Nusa Dua Beach Resort and Spa was a short 20 minute ride from the airport. Upon arrival it was magical. Since it was evening and the lobby is an open air lobby it was dark and romantically lit. We passed by the resorts Temple Entrance and it felt like we were entering a mystical temple. As soon as we stepped out of our vehicles the lights went out. The resort immediately lit candles and began to check us in via candle light. It was so beautiful. The outage was short lived and the lights were back on in about 15 minutes.

The next morning we went on our full day tour of the island. We started with the Barong & Kris Dance and show. The play had 4 acts and represented the fight between good and evil spirits. Barong, a mythilogical animal, represents a good spirit and the Rangda, a mythilogical monster represents an evil spirit. We continued northbound and visited Temples, villages and rice fields along the way. When we reached the Mt. Batur Volcano we stopped for lunch overlooking the Volcano. Our Tour Guide, Sam advised us when we arrived to immediately take our photos and view the volcano because shortly we would not be able to see it because of the fog. He was right! One funny thing was when one of the guests ordered an orange juice. It took quite some time and we thought that the waited had forgotten about it. We then commented “where is he getting orange juice” then the waiter returned with the orange juice and explained that IT TOOK SO LONG BECAUSE WE HAD TO PICK THE ORANGES AND SQUEEZE THEM. Wow, how fresh. Lunch was delicious I might add.

Of course our tour route included shopping stops. We visited a place where they made the Batiks, hand dyed fabric. They even gave each of us a hand painted symbol on a garment we were wearing. My white capri jeans now have a floral design on them. Another unique item at the Batik factory were the Batik covered masks. We also, visited wood carvers and an art warehouse.

You know how you see products in stores in the US that often say made in Indonesia? We saw a lot of the shops that produce the products that are sold to overseas retailers. We passed shop after shop of wood carvings, lawn furniture and ornaments, eclectic art work, etc.

It was a full and wonderful day.

The rest of the time in Bali was free time. some went White Water Rafting, others went shoping while others relaxed and enjoyed the many facilities of the resort (the beach, the pool, the spa and the shopping)

A special thanks to the Nusa Dua Beach Resort and Spa for facilitating our broadcast back to WVON for our Sunday Show.

Wish you were there. Maybe next time.