Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bali, Indonesia: Day 3

Little R being cute in our villa
Sunset at the beach
Little R just out of the ocean
After breakfast at the hotel, I had a Balinese massage during little R's nap. It was quite relaxing and cheap (especially given that it was at a fancy hotel, and thus overpriced): only $30 for an hour. In Balinese massage they use longer strokes than I have experienced in other massages, which was interesting.

After little R woke up, we headed off to Bali's largest town, Denpasar, to see the Bali Museum. The museum was built in the style of a Balinese royal palace (the actual palace was razed by the Dutch when they conquered the island), and was very beautiful. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take photos. The collection was quite good and comprehensive, including textile arts, painting, sculpture, and masks and costumes. However, the presentation left something to be desired; in particular, very fragile organic materials were left out in the open, with no climate control, meaning that in a few years there will no longer be an artifact to display. Money really matters in making a good museum.

After seeing the museum, we wandered the streets of Denpasar looking for a suitable place to eat (we ate at an Indonesian food court, which was exciting as a comparison from my beloved hawker centres). The town is actually rather prosperous, wealthier than I thought it would be (lots of new construction going on), which must be due to the influence of tourism. It also was green and lush, full of vegetation, and I found it quite pleasant.

The infrastructure was third world level: that is to say, mostly nonexistent and definitely insufficient. The sidewalks, when present, were full of gaping holes; the traffic was absolutely horrible as there aren't enough roads (or street signs, or traffic rules), trash was everywhere. I think anyone who fancies themselves a libertarian should be required to live in a third world country for a few months (as a local would, no luxury living). People who fulminate against the evils of "government" are just demonstrating how rich and spoiled they actually are.

After lunch, we returned to Jimbaran so that little R could have her nap. In the evening, B's dad went to a seafood dinner (B and I both hate seafood so we got out of it) and B, little R and I went for a swim in the ocean and then a long walk along the beach as the sun set. The coast and beach are really lovely, and it was magical strolling along the surf in the quiet darkness.

Then B's father watched (the sleeping) little R while B and I went to dinner at a local Chinese-Indonesian restaurant nearby. It was very nice, with a relaxed, welcoming feel, and a good mix of locals and tourists. It was also cheap, about $7 for the two of us including drinks and lots of dishes (I over-ordered as usual).


  1. $7 for both of you!? That's incredible! I am kind of jealous of your chance to live where trips like this are possible! I've been all over Europe and the US, but I haven't hit that side of the world... yet! Thanks for sharing!

  2. That's why I usually travel to poor countries: my money goes farther :)