Indonesia

Postcard from Seminyak

Seminyak is considered one of the ritzier areas of Bali: it’s not as crass as Kuta or as hippie as Ubud. It has world-class restaurants, excellent shopping and lattes perfectly frothed to meet the high expectations of visiting Australians. Much of Seminyak’s allure is tucked away behind the glass windows of European-esque boutiques or the […]

March 8, 2012 Continue reading…

Why “backpacker heaven” is actually my hell

I’m learning that any place Lonely Planet titles a “backpacker heaven” will be my idea of hell. Cheap drinks, crowded dorms, tanned and lithe bodies strolling the streets without a shirt. Backpacker heavens seem to be idyllic spots that have been ruined in the quest to get young foreigners sunburnt and stumbling. I feel like […]

February 29, 2012 Continue reading…

Where to stay in Bali: accommodation options

Bali has no shortage of accommodation options: you can splash out at an incredibly luxurious hotel, settle into a fabulous life at a villa, make your pennies stretch in bungalows or soak up a traditional family atmosphere in a homestay in a Balinese compound. During my month in Bali, I checked out a few styles […]

February 27, 2012 Continue reading…

What to do in Ubud

What Ubud lacks in stunning beaches and deep-water delights–the breezy, sunny Bali vacation common in Kuta or Seminyak–it makes up in lush green surroundings and no shortage of things to do. The town has a decidedly hippie vibe, cluttered with vegetarian cafes and healing centers. There’s plenty to explore in the heart of the city–don’t […]

February 24, 2012 Continue reading…

Postcard from the back of a motorbike

The best way to see Bali is by motorbike: the lush greenery rushing past, the thrill of speeding around incessant traffic, the chaotic and ceaseless beeping of horns. Once you escape the crowded center of Ubud, Bali seems to open up into one long stretch of rice paddies and palm trees and temples. When my […]

February 23, 2012 Continue reading…

Learning how to cook Indonesian food

While I love eating Asian food, I barely know how to boil rice myself. Seriously. I buy my rice in those frozen packets from Trader Joe’s or gingerly poke at a pot of Minute Rice, with about 50/50 success rate. So thank goodness the Warung Enak Indonesian cooking class take-home recipe book includes a how-to […]

February 20, 2012 Continue reading…

Cycling through the Bali rice paddies

When I was zipping around Seminyak on my hot pink motorbike and saw people cycling through the cluttered streets, my first thought was: ARE YOU CRAZY? Smog, potholes, crazy drivers, the need to create your own lane and create your own throughway in a world without the authority of traffic lights or dotted lines. And […]

February 17, 2012 Continue reading…