Bali, Indonesia has always been on my checklist of places to see before I die. Made famous in numerous lists of “Best Beaches Around The World” and through a book that was turned into a movie, I was ecstatic to finally be heading to one of the proverbial honeymoon destinations. In a red-eye flight haze, I landed on Balinese soil and was ready to fall in love. Except, I didn’t. Kuta, the area we chose for our first night, was far from what I had imagined Bali to be. It was congested, loud and unpleasant. An assault to the senses. I took into consideration that we were there for the holidays and that it was doubly crowded, but I was finding it hard to see the island’s charm. Thankfully, Bali had more to offer than just batik-shopping and poolside boozing. The next day, we headed to the quieter side of the island.
Tulamben is small fishing village in the northeast of Bali, about two and half hours from Denpasar. It has become quite famous for the Liberty wreck dive, which my boyfriend was excited about. I, on the other hand, was looking forward to a reunion with a former headmaster.
It was on this side of the island where I started to fall for Indonesia. With it’s red sand beaches and still waters, I started to feel the famous Bali high.
After a restful four day stay with friends, we headed to one of the Gili islands, near Lombok. We discovered that getting there for the first time was not an easy journey, but was certainly worth the trouble.
Among the three Gili islands, Gili Air is the perfect in between. It is active enough to keep you entertained during the day, and has a string of restaurants that are conducive for early night socials.
It is still a relatively young beach destination and does not pose a threat to anyone’s personal space. With it’s warm waters, quiet shores and diverse marine life, it won’t be long before this island is flocked by sun worshippers like myself. It is hard to impress an island girl who comes from a country with white sand beaches, but Gili Air took my breath away.
My 11- day sojourn in Indonesia was not your usual beach getaway. It was filled with obstacles that we happily endured in order to be able to explore another part of the world, which I now have fond memories of. My experiences in Indonesia are growing on me even more and this holiday stands a chance at becoming an all time favorite.