Gili Trawangwan

I spent a few days in Gili Trawangwan last November. It’s part of a small chain of islands, and while I was planning the trip, most blogs and YouTube videos said they were a must-see. I booked a cool looking AirBnB and said, “What the hell, why not?”

From the fast boat

It was a bit of a process to get to the fast boat from Ubud, because of a small miscommunication hiccup. I had a really nice taxi driver that booked it to get us there. The fast boat was actually a fun ride. There was a movie showing below the deck, but we went up top to watch the scenery instead. I swear, the sun was on a new level in Indonesia.

Absolutely lost in this photo.

When I got to the island, the Namaz Prayers were playing over loudspeakers. I’m pretty sure the majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, so there’s praying five times a day toward Mecca. I walked through the back alley ways and dirt roads absolutely lost trying to find our AirBnB. It was like being in a different world.

First observation once I got used to the loudspeakers? The roads weren’t asphalt. Next observation? No cars. Third observation? Watch out for the horse drawn carriages. They had bells attached to them, and I could always hear the hooves before they were anywhere close to us, but damn they were fast.

One horse power.

Our AirBnB was pretty sweet. It was this little hut, bungalow thing that had an outdoor shower. It also came with a furry friend. I named him Luca, and he helped with breakfast every morning. I’m not a milk drinker, so I was only too happy to share with him.

Luca!

I biked or walked everywhere. There were a ton of bars, restaurants, and clubs right next to where the fast boat dropped us off. I think I walked maybe a mile or two that first afternoon just to see what I could see. I got some burgers and took in our surroundings.

One things that was hilarious? There were signs everywhere saying “magic mushrooms”. I’m not exaggerating, just about every bar offered them in shakes or just by themselves. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen that before.

Mushrooms for sale

I did end up at a bar one night where I met the coolest people. Two were from Spain, another couple was from the U.K., and then there were two more guys from Texas and somewhere else. We all sat together, drank, and traded traveling stories. The bar owner came a chilled with us, too. We ended up on the beach looking at all the constellations. There were more stars than I’ve ever seen, because there was barely any light pollution.

The bar squad

I had such a wonderful time there. I actually ended up watching DeadPool 2 on the beach one night. I also heard the most amazing singer one night, and went dancing. I did have the unfortunate experience of having fake wine. It was gross. I guess if you don’t see the bartender open the bottle of wine, you’re not supposed to drink it. There’s some issue there with fake alcohol that I don’t really understand. But I do know what a Cabernet Sauvignon is supposed to take like… that was not it. The only properties it shared with wine, was well, the fact that it was red.

The islands had kind of recovered from a huge earthquake before we got there. There were very few street lights unless you’re were near a resort or by bars and restaurants. Turns out riding bikes at night with only an iPhone to light the way is kind of thrilling, but I know the people that live there need power. I really hope the community is doing better by now. I was a little sad to get on the fast boat back to Ubud, because it seemed like the weekend flew by. It was so much fun!

Our fast boat back to Ubud
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Bangkok

I also went to Bangkok after the trip to Bali.

The flight from Denpasar to Suvarnabhumi Airport was at 1 a.m. I was exhausted by the time I got through Customs and everything else. I found another AirBnB and ended up on the 42 floor in this amazing high rise condo! I had an insane view.

The view from the condo!

The first stop there was a coffee tasting. I think all in all, I might’ve drank a pot of coffee. I got really sick. I was so over caffeinated that I was not well for another day.

Floating River Market
These poor elephants 🙁

I also went to the Floating River Market that was maybe an hour outside of Bangkok. That was… eh. I got on these boats with these suped up engines and went from stall to stall buying trinkets and stuff. A second part of the tour was going to see elephants. I was told it was a sanctuary, but nope. I was in tears when I saw this huge beautiful majestic animal chained and prodded with a bull hook. It was hard to participate in and we both were sad afterward.

A cool thing I visited was the Giant Leaning Buddha at Wat Pho. It was incredible! I had to dress respectfully by wearing a long skirt. There were so many Buddhas. The temple was also filled with really playful cats.

It’s impossible to get this whole statue in a picture

I went to see a Muy Thai fight which was really cool!I ended up in this packed stadium watching dudes beat the crap out of each other with live music.

Checked off the
travel bucket list!

I also get the opportunity to hang out with my roommate Lucas and some of his team and a translator one night. We went to a packed club. Super packed. It was a wild gin soaked night. Very fun!

I liked Bali a lot more than Bangkok , just because I was a little overwhelmed in the city. It was like going to Manhattan but in Thailand. Here is the funniest part of the trip though. Ready?

Yep lmao. Cracking up every time!

Bali

In November of last year, I took a big trip to Bali for two weeks! It was such an amazing experience!

Look at that view!

I chose to get an AirBnB in Ubud. I had a little pool, a really comfortable bed, and time to relax. Check out this pool and the view. I absolutely loved it there.

It’s volcano time!

One day I climbed a volcano at 3 a.m. I put on my game face and made it to the top. We made it up top to watch the sunrise, eat breakfast, and drink coffee. I was freezing, but the vapor from the lava was actually pretty nice.

Monkey mama and baby!

I visited the Sacred Monkey Forest which wasn’t too far from the AirBnB. I wore a bright yellow maxi dress which we found out was not a good idea. The monkeys liked pulling on my dress and climbing up it. The monkeys know they can drink from the water bottles visitors carry around. They actually try to rip them out of your hands when you’re not looking!

I also went to Gili Trawangwan to see what the “party island” was all about. That deserves a post by itself!

Temple!

My idea for the vacations are nice dinners and going to a yoga practice. I also visited quite a few temples. I’m one of those history buffs. I have no idea what I’m looking at, but damn it if I’m not impressed.

This was the moment I found out they were nocturnal

So luwaks like cat-monkey things, if I understood right. They eat coffee cherries, sort of digest them, then poop them out. And then people make coffee out of the cherries they dig out of the poop. Unfortunately they’re usually caged and not treated very well. That was kinda sad. These little furry cuties are nocturnal, but they are put out for tourists to touch during the day. It’s sad.

I also took a tour to a waterfall and rice paddy. Both were amazing. The rice paddy was one of the first instances of humans figuring out irrigation systems.

Altogether Bali was such a great trip. I hope for a chance to go back. Right after Bali, I adventured to Bangkok. See pictures and more in my next post.