Nov 10, 2015

Travelogue - Bali

So we were at this island two weeks before the 'Rinjani' explosion & Chotta Rajan's arrest here made news.

Uluwatu - One of the best Views in Bali
      Indonesian Rupiah or IDR is one of the most depreciated currencies that I've come across. People discount the last three zeros in the currency :) .. Despite not being a net exporter of fuel, Indonesia seems to have kept the fuel rates at very low levels ( Actually comparable to middle east levels ) , thereby resulting in huge pressure on currency . Most of the fuel consumed here apparently comes from Brunei.

Rice cultivation / Rice Garden
    On the demand side, the tourism industry is booming.  The Island seems to have emerged from the downturn that came along with the bomb blasts of 2005. Even though the currency is very weak, nothing from food to souvenirs is cheap for tourists. Essentially, as the demand is there, the prices are also marked-up  . Government seems to be investing well in the infrastructure as well.. Largely good roads, an exceptionally large airport, very little law and order problem.

  One of the most fertile countries we have been to - practically all varieties of crops and fruits seems to grow here. Probably, that's because of the volcanic soil .Organic farming & associated culinary is a major tourism activity here. And if you are into that, I would say, don't miss out on that aspect in Bali.  The way in which they cultivate rice is quite interesting .  Hill slopes are leveled to create a terrain with many steps where paddy is planted.

   Highlight of Bali was  'Luwak Coffee' for me.  Apparently, one of the most expensive variety of coffee sold across the globe ,  it tastes good as well :) .  And you should not miss the Luwak coffee plantation tours if you are in this island. We picked up a packet of Luwak Coffee :)  .. Believe me, you won't have any apprehensions in tasting this once you see them making it
Luwak Coffee + a variety of others

Bali has something to offer for all segment of tourists -- From the party hopping crowd to the old age couples, you have a range of attractions from water sports to spirituality available here.

 I got a feeling that the Balinese population is deeply religious . Every well-off family apparently builds a temple next to their house. So, this temple building  is probably the next biggest economic activity after  tourism & allied businesses.

 The interior roads of Bali gave me a feeling that I was travelling in Rural Kerala ( especially Northern Kerala - minus the political part )  .. Curved roads, small rural shops , lush greenery all around .

As usual with any island nation, many spots with good views,  apparently you need to spend time to travel to North Bali if you have to experience the natural splendor in its full glory.