Being home after a year abroad is flat out weird. When I went to Sevilla, I didn't experience culture shock when I first arrived in Spain but when I returned to America. The same can be said about Hong Kong. I didn't really experience a culture shock going to Hong Kong but I feel it now. I think traveling through South East Asia has effected me as well.
In South East Asia, the way of living is differen and adjusting back has been a bit of a struggle. After an awful flight home from Hong Kong, I'm still jetlagged. This is longest I've gone with having jetlag too. I'm usually so good with it but this time around not so much. It's very weird hearing English all the time since I was surrounded by Cantonese mostly but slowly and surely, I'm getting used to it.
The first thing I ate was obviously Chipotle that my brother kindly bought for me. In addition to that, pizza was definitely in order. It's so good being back to have all the foods that I missed but I also realized how expensive food is here. I'm so used to paying less than a few USD on street food or at my favorite noodle stand that $8.99 for a dish just sounds so pricey to me.
Getting to the Gili Islands was a huge mess though. Unlike Thailand and the Koh Islands, the ferry system is very disorganized. There are a lot of companies at the ferry point of Pandang Bai and nobody really knows what's going on. You just kinda see the ferries come into the port and wait for employees to shout. It was really stressful but totally worth it when you get to the island. I feel islands in general have a really laid back feel and this was definitely the case with Gili T. There is a dock but all the ferries just pull up to the beach where you get off. Our Airbnb hostess, Esther, met us as we docked and took us around the island. The island is the biggest out of the three but still small enough to walk in maybe three or so hours. There are no cars or motorbikes either. Everyone either has a bike or uses the horse carts.
Finally, my last country on my backpacking trip. I arrived in Bali on Saturday night completely exhausted. Jordan didn't arrive until Monday morning so I spent all Sunday resting my ankle and chilling by the pool. When Monday came around, I went to the airport to pick up Jordan and we relaxed at the beach and explored Kuta since Jordan was jet lagged. We also sat at this amazing rooftop bar that overlooked Legian Beach and watched the sunset.
Tuesday we planned all our day trips for our time in Bali. There is so much to do that we decided that we would be adventurous and explore Bali and relax in Gili Trawangan. So we booked everything and explored another area of Bali called Seminyak. Lovely beach but the beach vendors are savage. Women kept coming up to us asking if we wanted a massage while other kept asking if we wanted any of the items they sold. A little annoying but the beach was so nice that it made up for it
The tours we booked with our hotel very much reminded me of Siem Reap where you pay for a tuk tuk and they show ou around the whe day. For 45 USD per day, we had our own driver who took us around Bali from 8:30 am to 7 PM. Our first day tour was focused mainly on temples. So we went up central Bali and visited the Pura Taman Ayun Temple, the Ulun Danu Temple on Lake Beratan, and the Pura Tanah Lot Temple. All absolutely gorgeous. Ulun Danu Temple was my favorite and sits out on the Lake Beratan. Pura Taman Ayun is in the middle of a small village while Pura Tanah Lot sits on a cliff on the South West Coast of Bali. We also visited a coffee plantation where we tried the famous Luwak Coffee. This coffee is famous in Bali because the Luwak eats coffee bean and it's poop is used to make coffee. Jordan said it was good while I thoroughly enjoyed the tea. We also visited many different villages as well. There are so many in Bali that specialize in something. We visited a silver village where I bought a silver bracelet and a Batik village where I bought handwoven and hand painted tapestries. And then we finally, ended the day with visiting a monkey forest. I didn't know there was so much to do in Bali until this day!
Just traveling the world and sharing my adventures and experiences.
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