I knew full-well when we set off on this trip that I’d have to confront many issues that morally outrage me such as the global sex trade, homelessness and animal cruelty. These issues are prevalent enough in so called ‘developed’ countries like the UK but we found that as soon as we hit Indonesia they became even more visible; in particular we were struck by the plight of Indonesian street animals.
Compared to Australia and New Zealand, we found travelling in Indonesia a bit of a challenge. For a start, we were dealing with a completely new language that neither of us spoke; we were travelling huge distances by often dubious public transportation, coping with strange new foods and an unfamiliar currency – that’s all part of the fun when it comes to travel though, right? When you are heading to a new country though it’s nice to have some insider tips; if you're planning to travel Indonesia we've put together some tips to help you make the most of your trip.
One of the things we had been looking forward to about Indonesia was the prospect of slowing down after two hectic months of zipping around New Zealand and Australia. Back in London I’d organised 60-day visas so that we’d be able to stop and catch our breath once we arrived in Indonesia. I had pictured us staying in luxurious, cheap hotels where we could go swimming; I imagined days filled with relaxing and exploring combined with plenty of time to write and catch up with freelance work – it would be perfect.
Ubud became, without a doubt, our favourite place in Indonesia - a cool, leafy haven away from the strangeness of Java, the bars in Kuta and the fierce heat of the beaches in Lombok and the Gili islands. Overall, we had a pretty tough time in Indonesia; the six weeks we spent there were marked with struggles, tears, illness, frustration and plenty of soul searching. Ubud, however, became a kind of refuge for us and we look back on our time there as the most serene during our six-week stay – here are the highlights of our time in Ubud Bali.