For both of us it is our first time visiting South East Asia. Many of our friends have been and you hear a lot of stories and opinions, but like anything else, the only way to truly know is to experience it yourself.
We arrived into Denpasar, Bali and immediately felt the humid air hit us as we stepped out the plane. Before we knew what had happened we were through customs and spat out into the most crazy of places.
Luckily we had booked a driver in advance, although finding our names took some time, refer to photo above, this showing only about a quarter of the names being held up.
The guy driving us didn’t hang around once we jumped in, wildly overtaking, cutting corners and generally thinking he was driving a scooter rather than a car. His regular method when a situation got too tricky was to flash the hazard lights and put his foot down.
After a tense and crazy ride eventually we arrived into our first stop – Canggu.
Neither of us had any preconceptions about this place – which we have found is often the best way while travelling – you are then not worrying about reaching your expectations. While there we described Canggu in one phrase as ‘beautifully chaotic’.
The road, was full of scooters, people and animals, all trying to find their place. The east meets west influence was so clear, with hipster coffee shops next to traditional rice fields and cows.
At times it is very overwhelming and completely surreal. There was also a real chilled out surfer vibe in the air, which both of us appreciated. Although I managed to cut my foot several times while out surfing at one of the reefs, a lesson learnt to land flat in the water.
Our favourite day here came when we took a scooter ride North of Canggu, out into the countryside. Soon the western influence dried up and we were amongst the locals.
We got lost in one village and children stared at us in amazement, shouting ‘hello’ with huge smiles. We often stopped and watched around us, most the time with our jaws on the ground, we were blown away.
The time in and around Canggu was amazing. Being in a completely different culture and county was not only refreshing but brought complete mindfulness of the situation, as everything was new to us. Bali had certainly welcomed us in a spectacular way and we were very much enjoying every single moment.