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A VISIT TO BALI, INDONESIA

My vacation to Bali and lack of experiencing the culture

As I walked along a beach in Bali, Indonesia, I wondered if I was really seeing it all.

The high school I attended was on spring break when I traveled there with my friend Kasey and her family. Being 16 years old at the time, I was more excited to sit on a beach than do anything else in Bali, and to be honest, most of the time all I did was just that. But one day, we went out to go see and shop at the local street shops.

However, upon returning from my trip, I realized that I might have missed more than I thought.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It is so hot and humid in Bali; I sweat at almost every shop we went into. We had to take our time looking at all the little knickknacks for sale because most of what is sold there is made there.  It also is a great place to bargain for some knock-off material. I bought some fake ray ban sunglasses for five U.S. dollars, and although they didn’t last me very long, it fooled people into thinking they were real. Everything I bought there was unique and cheap. I felt like I was really seeing what Bali was like even just shopping at its market for a day. However, upon returning from my trip, I realized that I might have missed more than I thought.

Kasey and I didn’t have much choice on where we could go. We had a car with a driver that took us back and forth from the villa. Kasey’s parents mostly planned what we would do, but we didn’t leave the villa much. When we did leave though, almost every time, I felt like I was going to diet.

Many roads in Bali are all dirt and very bumpy. There are no stop signs or lanes; it’s a free-for-all on the road. Drivers would get so close to our car that I started to close my eyes so I didn’t have see what was going on around me. Not only is it scary, but it’s also dangerous. Drivers go very fast and people walk in the middle of the street like it is no big deal. Lack of traffic enforcement is something that is normal there. Whether the government just can’t afford to build safer roads, or that is part of the Bali culture that they have grown accustomed too, it was one of the scariest times of my life.

Even though those car rides in Bali were heart-pounding to say the least, I would not have taken away those memories

Even though those car rides in Bali were heart-pounding to say the least, I would not have taken away those memories. I felt like those moments were the most real. I saw the real Bali culture I was missing. I saw people selling food on the side of the roads, families of five on tiny motor scooters, and people just sitting on the side of the road talking. When you see the real, everyday, happenings in a place you’ve never been to; that’s when you see its culture. And I wish I saw more of that in Indonesia.

When you see the real, everyday, happenings in a place you’ve never been to; that’s when you see its culture.

People rave about the sunsets displayed in Bali and how that makes it one of the most beautiful places on earth, but its culture is also what makes Bali so special. I watched the sunset every night I was there, and it was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been, but I failed to see the other beauty Bali had in it as well.

Most of Bali’s income is based on its tourist attractions and because of this, tourists never get to see Bali’s culture unless they go out beyond all the villas and hotels to see it. One of my biggest regrets was not going to see some of the temples and really immersing myself in its culture. All I can do now is go back and fill in every cultural aspect I’ve missed.

People rave about the sunsets displayed in Bali and how that makes it one of the most beautiful places on earth, but its culture is also what makes Bali so special.

To not miss out on the culture of Bali when you visit, see these websites: http://www.indonesiapoint.com/tourist-attractions/bali.html,

http://www.bali-indonesia.com/attractions/

 

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