Travelling to Bali/Thailand by Rose Gibbons

Jul 04, 2024

Travelling to Bali/Thailand

…submitted by Rose Gibbons


Brutal ! That is all I can say. A professor in our group of eight worked it out and we were 48 HOURS getting here! An hour and half more for my husband and I considering our drive from LAKEFIELD. The rest of the group were from Toronto. We did miss a day of touring which included Balinese dancers and a monkey forest due to our missed flight. We hope some of these adventures can be rescheduled for later?

Singapore airport was quite an eye opener. Magnificent gardens are within the airport with an array of orchids, tropical trees and bird life . Quite a contrast to the hard surfaces and stark lines of most airports. Singapore is a republic and the richest country in Asia where the average person makes $80 K per annum. It has surpassed Hong Kong as a financial hub. A look at the high end shops and prices tells you there is money here. Many passersby had bags filled with their purchases.

Finally we have arrived at our hotel, five star, Hotel Nikki Bali Benoa Beach. Right on the Sandy beach, it includes a large pool with a swim up bar. Surrounding everything are frangipane trees and colourful bougainvillea. Gorgeous. The warm pool water and exercise felt blissful after so many hours cooped up in a plane and the crisp sheets on the bed were all that was needed for a long afternoon sleep.  Pictures of the Singapore Airport below.

Our Bali Trip Continues…

Saturday, November 4 at Various Locations

Our jam packed day began at 5:30 am. We slept soundly in the afternoon and went to bed early so we rolled out early and were at our hotel dining room by 6:15 am.  What a buffet!  Any type of food you could think of was there, from fish to chicken to regular breakfast fare such as pastries, pancakes, waffles, omelettes cooked to your preference, a variety of juices and tropical fruits…I could continue and the surroundings- beautiful.


Our guide, Dana, and driver, Vistika, took us on a tour which included Balinese dancers.  The dramatic folklore and music were interesting but difficult to follow.  How the actors danced around in their heavy costumes in the heat and humidity was astonishing.

From there we visited silver and goldsmiths to view jewelry making.  At a woodworking workshop we watched exotic wood being transformed into every shape imaginable.

After a lengthy drive we reached the largest temple in Bali, the Temple of the Holy Spring, the water of which is said to be purifying.  Sarongs were provided so we could be fully covered in the temple grounds.  Dana, the guide, explained that Balinese people had four temples, a personal or home temple, a sima temple near a cremation or burial site, a village temple and a clan temple.  The word Bali means Celebration and the year is filled with Hindu anniversaries of temple birthdays, and other special occasions .

Temple of the Holy Spring

By now it was after 2:00 but Dana had a new surprise.  He added to our already packed schedule by taking us to a coffee, tea, cocoa, vanilla and nutmeg plantation.  It was fascinating to see the actual plants these items are derived from.  Small samples were provided for us to try and purchase, if desired.

Now, finally, after 3:00 we were famished and luckily arrived at a restaurant in the mountains which overlooked rice fields.

Naturally the day was incomplete until we had visited another temple after our late lunch, this one high up on a steep hillside.  This particular area was filled with various clan temples.  Each was very ancient and the clans look after the upkeep of their temple. One was devoted to the Kingly clan, another the Businessmen’s clan and so on.  It was enjoyable to see and talk with tourists from different parts of the world.  A small group of Argentineans were delighted to learn that we had been in their country this year.  Their faces lit up when they heard how much we liked Argentina and that we had purchased a Messi soccer shirt for our 6 year old grandson.

A little Balinese girl of about seven years was hawking postcards and spoke several words in perfect French.  Imagine a wee girl learning various words in different languages in order to speak to prospective customers.

Now for the driving:  our daughter would be shrieking in terror if she was here.  First of all, most of the population drives motorcycles.  Our guide says most families have more than one of them.  (His family owns three and so does our driver’s family.)

These vehicles weave in and out, often narrowly missing oncoming traffic.  Added to that, one frequently encounters cars passing inappropriately or your vehicle, going 70 km an hour rounds a blind curve and suddenly a car is parked so that the road is blocked.  I began writing this in the van so I would not have to see the near misses on the roadway.

At one point, the driver ahead of us, rocketing down a narrow winding road, appeared to be about 10 years old and behind him a tiny passenger held on tight. Further on a wee toddler’s head poked out of a side window.  He was evidently standing up, no seatbelt, while his mother drove. I thought he might fall out the window.  Somehow, in all this chaos, we did not witness an accident.

Finally, back in our hotel, at almost 8:00, we thanked Dana and Vistika for a day filled with adventure.