My Indonesian Experience...
Highs: The sincere friendliness of the Balinese people (also the Lombok people); the cute monkeys in
the Monkey Forest in Ubud; the sunny days that were experienced; the Gili Islands; going out in
Lows: Finding out we're here during rainy season; hard to experience all of the great things in this
country because it is pretty darn massive and takes a long time to get from Point A to Point B.
Best Moment: Getting completely sucked into Gili Trawangan. I originally planned to stay for a few
days and ended up there for a week. And I could have stayed longer...but I didn't because I still wanted
to see more stuff in Bali.
Smells: Different spices; the rain; grilled fish.
Sounds: Pouring rain; Balinese versions of Christmas songs; live music in Senggigi; prayer call in
Lombok and Gili Trawangan; soothing Balinese music.
Sights: Ubud; rice paddies; the village of Keliki; Candidasa beach area; Lake Badur; Senggigi
(Lombok); frogs, geckos, lizards, dragonflies; Gili Trawangan; sharks, turtles, humphead parrotfish, etc
underneath sea level; Sanur; Seminyak; Yogyakarta (Java); Borobudur; Jakarta.
Tastes: Soto Ayam (the traditional chicken soup); pumpkin and rosemary soup; ginger tea; Balinese
cakes (made with rice, cinnamon, etc and looks like a poppadum); 'salak' (aka snakefruit); black rice
pudding; pancakes with coconut and palm sugar syrup; palm sugar; saltwater in the ocean and in the
shower; so many different types of fresh grilled fish in Gili Trawangan; sushi; fresh pineapple that was
as sweet as sugar; nasi campur; Bintang beer; 'java'.
Purchases: Coasters with cinnamon sticks built-in (hard to explain); salad servers made out of horn;
stone mortar and pestle; silver ring and earrings; a zen froggy; sundresses; sarongs; bracelets;
Street Food: Fun tropical fruits; rice in banana leaves.
Fun Food Finds: Seaweed-flavored cheetos (kind of funny seeing a sushi roll as the picture on a
bag of chips).
Western Companies Out Here: McDonald's; Circle K; Body Shop; Polo; Baskin Robbins;
Dunkin' Donuts; Starbucks; KFC; The Coffee Bean; Cold Stone Creamery; Sizzler.
Other General Info...
Visa needed? Yes. Can get this on arrival. It is $25 for up to 30 days.
Departure Taxes? There was domestic departure tax from Denpasar of 30,000 rupiah and from
Yogyakarta of 25,000 rupiah. The international departure tax from Jakarta was 100,000 rupiah.
Type of currency? The Indonesian Rupiah. About 9400 rupiah is equal to $1 US.
Things Indonesia Is Known For: Coffee; Bali; unfortunately, the bombings in Bali in 2002 and
2005; Komodo dragons; Krakatoa.
Religion: Hindu (in Bali) and also parts that are largely Muslim.