Category Archives: Indonesia

SCUBA Diving — PADI Open Water Certified

Mother Nature did not cooperate for my trip to Bali, Indonesia, and after attempting to spend the day at a beach with overcast, I decided it might be better to use the time in Bali productively. When you’re under water, a little drizzle really doesn’t matter.

After 3 days of classes, I’m now PADI certified for open water dives!   Most courses have you stuck in a classroom all day, but my instructor just took the classroom experience on the road, with 1on1 instruction on a 2-hour car ride and then at the beach. After knowledge development, we moved on to confined water dives, and then finally open water dives.
Why and what is means: Getting PADI certified will make going SCUBA diving quicker (no mandatory beginner course each time), sometimes cheaper, and give me the ability to go to depths you can’t w/o it. Some of the best sites in the world are only visible from deep in the water, so without it you’d never see them.

While Belize has some of the best diving in the world at the “Blue Hole,”  Johnie and I weren’t PADI certified and thus couldn’t see it. You can see great photos of it on this site:

Kuta: the Cancun of Asia. Surf, Get Drunk, Get Laid.

Bali nightlife guide – Kuta nightlife

If you’re going to Bali, why Kuta?  People go to Kuta to

  1. Surf
  2. Get drunk.
  3. Get laid.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Kuta nightlife in Bali

Partying is far from being a primary goal of my travel, but meeting twenty and thirty-somethings from around the world was awesome.

Kuta is the Bali nightlife capital, and it might be the equivalent for Australians of Cancun for Americans.  Bali nightlife for singles is in Kuta. It’s easy to get to (for Aussies), cheap once you’re there, and great parties with other travelers. Spring break is 24/7/365.  If GTL is the motto on the Jersey shore, then Surf-party-surf might be the equivalent here. Surf, nightlife, surf, meet travelers, surf, get faced, get laid in Bali. Welcome to Kuta. It’s not the experience I was looking for but it was fun. Considering I didn’t know anybody upon arrival, it was a great transition to begin my trip.

English, with English Subtitles

I’m having dinner at the Swell Cafe in Bali. My dinner cost about $4 tonight. Besides great food for cheap prices, people come here for free wifi and movies on their big screen projector.  It’s funny watching hollywood movies in english but with english subtitles, translated to the broken english the way the local Balinese often speak.

Lori – It makes me wonder how accurate the movies with spanish subtitles are. Perhaps that’s not a great way to practice your spanish.

A “fancy” $29 hotel?

** Update: now that I’ve traveled around Asia, looking back I can hardly believe I spent $29 on a hotel for a single night. Eventually I’d be finding places of similar caliber for $12 in Vietnam.

My first hotel was adequate and at ~$19 USD, cost less than any hotel I’ve ever stayed in.  It was clean, safe, centrally located, had a pool, and came with free breakfast (choice of banana pancakes, eggs, or an Indonesian rice and noodle mix).

I headed to Semynak (the town on the island of Bali), where I had a reservation.  Apparently that doesn’t mean much. Despite my reservation and confirmation, they said they were full (picture Seinfeld saying “anyone can TAKE a reservation. but the key is HOLDING it…”) but suggested I “come back in a few days to see if it opens up.”  In a few days?? Yeah sure, look out for me.  I had checked out of my other hotel already, and had plans to meet up with some new friends in a town called Kuta, where I found my new hotel.

Goodbye HK, Hello Bali!

In HK I was up nearly 22 hours for 3 days in a row, staying out late, then taking a nap, and exploring the city. It’s caught up to me.  I flew into DPS and just crashed at my hotel.  My first day in Bali was nearly a lost day – – lots of sleep.  While typically try to see and experience as much as possible in a short 5-9 day vacay, this trip is set up to allow a much slower pace.

Hong Kong was tons of fun, but it’s a modern city, and I’m looking forward to getting to the beach and going diving.

So I had my first massage – 1 hour for less than $5!  I could get used to this…