Welcome to our new Sunday Spotlight feature in which one of our favorite travel bloggers shares five photos from one of their favorite travel destination. If you want to participate in a future Sunday Spotlight, please contact us.
Author Bio: I’m Amanda Slavinsky from Farsickness. I’m an American expat currently teaching English in Seoul, South Korea and planning my 2013 trip around Asia. I’ve studied and worked as an au pair in Rome, traveled around Europe, and am always wishing I was somewhere else. Besides my blog, you can follow my travels on Twitter and Facebook.
I chose to write about Bali because although it is an extremely popular destination I feel it has a less than great reputation. In fact, I probably would have never chosen to go to Bali, with its reputation as a hot spot for drunk Australians and middle-aged women hoping for some sort of inner awakening, if a friend hadn’t offered up a place to stay for a few days during my summer break from school last year. But while there I discovered there is a lot more to Bali than Kuta and Ubud. Throughout my short stay I was constantly in awe of the sensational scenery and the friendliness of the Balinese people.
I stayed in a villa near Candidasa on the eastern part of Bali. Tucked away down a narrow lane, there were no other tourists around. There were barely any other people around. I awoke every morning to the sound of roosters crowing and spent afternoons watching neighboring farmers toil away in the rice paddies. I felt as though I’d stepped back a hundred years into an undiscovered tropical paradise.
On my second day in Bali my friends and I rented a Jeep and took a journey through the mountains. The ride was absolutely terrifying at times but at the end of the nearly two-hour trip we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the sea in Amed.
Back near Candidasa I spent some hours worshipping the sun at the aptly named White Sand Beach. This is considered to be an east Bali attraction, but there were still very few people around making it the perfect place for a cold Bintang in the afternoon.
Taking some time away from the water, I checked out some Balinese history at the Karangasem Water Palace. The buildings were beautifully decorated and vibrant flowers were in abundance around the immaculate grounds.
My last stop in east Bali was Padang Bai. This town definitely had a more backpacker vibe to it as it serves the departure point for ferry access to Lombok, but it still had a relaxed and uncrowded Balinese feel. As I laid on the beach between these bright-colored boats, a group of young boys started up an impromptu soccer game with me and my friends.
It wasn’t until I got to Ubud that my worst fears about Bali were realized. And it wasn’t until then that I fully appreciated the chance I had to see another side to this stunning island.