Six Days of Happiness....
BALI, the island of the Gods
From Phuket... a short jump: 2600km
From Paris, it is a little further away: 12,400km
MY FAVORITE PICTURE
I had just walked through the immediate surroundings of Thanah Lot's temple, already happy and satisfied with the few pictures taken of this superb place. My way then made me pass in front of a shaded "sala" under which some "elders" of the neighbouring village were sitting to observe the hordes of tourists coming and going on this fabulous site.
I was slowly approaching these men who seemed very peaceful.
Showing my camera while making an explicit gesture to make it clear that I wanted to take a picture, I wasn't sure at the time what their reaction would be...
To my great surprise, the welcome was so spontaneous, so direct, so frank that I was surprised. I really didn't expect that. I didn't even know it could still exist in our time!
Without the slightest hesitation, the man, smiling at me with a very soft smile, put himself in position, joining his hands worn out by work as if to greet me, and his wonderful gaze fixed my objective without leaving it. Every time the shutter sounded, I thought in my head "great, great". I knew that one of these pictures would be beautiful, would be superb.
The deep look of this old man, his wrinkles that are so pronounced and that reflect a long life spent probably too often in the sun and in the fields, touched me and I have a wonderful memory of it.
Landscape photos... it's very beautiful, but a look like this is worth all the landscapes in the world, this look that is the symbol of this island of Bali where the welcome is so special and (probably) incomparable.
SIX DAYS OF HAPPINESS
Called "the island of the Gods", we can say that this island is known all over the world... I had to go there at least once for the pleasure of discovering a truly welcoming and smiling population, with beliefs and habits very different from what I have come to know in my adopted country. Sure that after six days (not counting the 2 days of travel) we can't know everything, nor see everything, far from it, but I had the immense happiness to discover incredible landscapes of beauty that I really appreciated and I didn't have to be asked to bring back a beautiful collection of photos that I come to share here for the most part.
Located 2,600 kilometres from PHUKET, BALI is located at the same distance (about) from the equator as Phuket (about 900km)... one being in the northern hemisphere (8°N), the other in the southern hemisphere (8°S).
From Phuket, 4 hours by plane take you to a real paradise, to the delight of the eyes.
If you ask me if it's worth it..... I'll answer YES, YES, YES, YES, without hesitation!
BALI is an island about ten times the size of PHUKET, so you won't be able to visit the island in a day. Traffic near the main town of DENPASAR as well as in the tourist districts of KUTA and SEMINYAK is very dense. The roads have largely remained as they were originally, i.e. very narrow, with the impossibility of widening them because of the existing dwellings, and traffic has increased considerably, which means that any car journey is a real problem and that it is better not to be in a hurry. The ideal is still the scooter you can sneak around on, but after a day you feel tired. To go from one point to another, here, we do not count in kilometres, but in hours... the notion of kilometre does not mean much in the end...
For the visitor arriving from Europe, it is certain that the way of driving will surprise... as for me, trained all year round in Phuket, my adaptation will be without any problem although there are some differences...
The Balinese, on the other hand, are almost indescribably patient. They move slowly, without any agitation. Much less "crazy" than Thai people behind a steering wheel or handlebar, driving on this island is finally done without any problem, especially when you are used to driving in Thailand. I do not know the official statistics of the island of Bali, but I would not be mistaken in saying that the number of accidents is much lower than that recorded each year in Phuket. Having circulated for a whole week from morning until late in the evening, I didn't see a single collision or accident, and I only heard the siren of an ambulance once, that is to say....
The Balinese, on the other hand, are almost indescribably patient.
They move slowly, without any agitation. Much less "crazy" than Thai people behind a steering wheel or handlebar, driving on this island is finally done without any problem, especially when you are used to driving in Thailand. I do not know the official statistics of the island of Bali, but I would not be mistaken in saying that the number of accidents is much lower than that recorded each year in Phuket.
Having circulated for a whole week from morning until late in the evening, I didn't see a single collision or accident, and I only heard the siren of an ambulance once, that is to say....
Upon arrival at Bali Airport you can easily obtain a 30-day tourist visa, cost: 25 USD
Plan to bring this amount in USD, it's easier.
The local currency is surprising and is part of those games that can be called "puzzles"... if you haven't done a mental calculation in a long time, I promise you a beautiful gymnastics of the mind...
For 1 € you will get about 15,000 Rupiah, and for 1 Baht, you will only get 350 Rp.
The ticket opposite of 10.000Rp represents: 0.65€ or 28 Bahts !
As for taxis, they are numerous in Bali and have nothing to do with the "mafia" of Phuket: the prices are quite correct. When I got back, I took a taxi from Seminyak to the airport. I was lucky, the trip only took 20 minutes and the bill (meter) was 52,000 Rp (3.40€ / 145 THB). Indeed, nothing to do with Phuket!
My 6 days in detail...
Below, you will find a tab by visited place... just click on it to discover the beauties of this wonderful island
All Articles about Bali
The Film: « Toute la Beauté du Monde (2006)»
Marc Esposito's film (2006) was a big part of my desire to discover Bali.
«Toute la Beauté du Monde -> "All the beauty of the world" is worth at least four things: Marc Lavoine (the image of the "French-lover" par excellence), Zoé Felix (fabulous seems to me a weak word), the landscapes of Bali (sufficient pretext to see this film), the piece by Tim Buckley (unknown genius of the most beautiful American musical period, creativity level) "Sweet surrender" to the credits.
So all right, the story is a bit "photo novel", but what a beautiful postcard....
A short excerpt from this film that attracted me to Bali !
Main Musics of the film...
Anang & Krisdayanti (Sudahi Marahmu)
Tim Buckley (Sweet Surrender)
If you ask me the question: "Will you ever go back there?"
My answer will be: "YES, it's very likely, and with great pleasure! »