21 Dec - 31 Dec 2009 Lovina


Republic of Indonesia
Never mind Indonesia, welcome to Bali, the Island of Gods
Kalibukbuk
Clean and spacious twin room (garden bungalow) with air-con and breakfast for IDR 3,500,000.- or US$ 370.- per month.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Angsoka Hotel in Lovina, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:









Mourning over the death of the 633 million turkeys, 2.6 billion ducks and 52 billion chickens which were killed for food worldwide in 2009 CE, cooling off at the sparkling hotel pool and reflecting on the challenges, achievements and learning opportunities which we had encountered in this first complete backpacking year of ours (for the two of us together: 44 domestic and international take-offs with more than 60,000 air kilometres on the list of our sins thus leaving an XL-size carbon footprint for our grandsons) and searching on the horizon of the Bali Sea for "greener" travel goals for the new year of 2010 CE (hopefully, with less air travel): Northern Thailand and Bangkok, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Sulawesi and Sri Lanka.



Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2009 Map Konni & Matt

Click below and see more Konni & Matt Pictures


Facing Bali
© Konni & Matt


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18 Dec - 21 Dec 2009 Kuala Lumpur


Chinatown
Adequate double room with wifi and shared bathroom for MYR 35.-  or US$ 10.- per night.

Click below for an interactive road map of the friendly Bird Nest Guest House in Kuala Lumpur, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:








Enjoying a wonderful big-city life (in a pre-Christmas mood) in Cooler Lumpur, our number-one place in Southeast Asia, so far, and realising the not-so-subtle distinction between Bali’s “conditional friendliness” (under the condition that one spends money) and the rather unconditional, natural friendliness of Malaysia's Malays.



Purchasing two brand-new European Community biometric passports (with the surveillance state’s cynical small print on the last page: “This passport contains sensitive electronic technology and should be handled with care…” - maybe, this tiny design flaw will soon be overcome by its perfected successor, the compulsory chip implant for each citizen) for only MYR 470.- or US$ 135.- per book from the German Embassy in Kuala Lumpur; chips ahoy, but so sorry mein Kanzler, we are not fully ready yet to get chipped:

When they microchipped the Alzheimer patients I remained silent;
I was not an Alzheimer patient.
When they microchipped the diabetics and the AIDS patients I remained silent;
I was neither an AIDS patient nor a diabetic.
When they microchipped the military I did not speak out;
I was not in the military.
When they came for the activists I remained silent;
I was not an activist.
When they came to microchip me, there was no one left to speak out.

Flying the c. 2,100 km back to Bali (Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai Airport) with Air Asia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”) in a clean Airbus A 320-200 from Kuala Lumpur (LCCT Sepang) for all inclusive MYR 146.- or US$ 40.- (one way) per person and being issued with a non-extendable 30-day visitor visa ("Visa on Arrival") for Indonesia (cost: US$ 25.- per person in cash, collectable on the spot).


Click below for a summary of this year's travels

Click below and see more Konni & Matt Pictures
Photos 2009-18 Bali


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19 Nov - 18 Dec 2009 Lovina


Republic of Indonesia
Never mind Indonesia, welcome to Bali, the Island of Gods
Kalibukbuk
Clean and spacious twin room (garden bungalow) with air-con, breakfast for two and early-morning wake-up calls from crowing roosters and screaming pigs, which were regularly killed at dawn in order to become the carnivorous Balinese Hindus’ revert babi guling (spit-roast pig), for IDR 3,500,000.- or US$ 370.- per month.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Angsoka in Lovina, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:









Matt: Driving the hired jeep over the mountains and through the daily traffic jam back to Kuta, the paradise for male and female bogans of all ages, and then taking the Perama Tour +62361750808 shuttle bus (IDR 120,000.- or US$ 12.50 per person) from Kuta back to Lovina.



Enjoying Lovina’s laid-back beach-town vibe, getting plenty of R&R and having a relaxed down-time at the Hotel Angsoka +6236241841 on the volcanic black-sand Bina Ria beach - swimming in the sparkling hotel pool (with a pool bar and with a fierce-faced stone naga [a mythical serpent] as water inlet), enjoying the manicured tropical gardens (packed with angsoka flowers after whose the hotel is named), being pampered by the ever-helpful hotel staff (and learning that a smile and a nod to a request is often translated as: “I have no idea what you are talking about, but you seem to be happy enough to think that I do.”), reading historical fiction about the East and preparing our travels for the upcoming year 2010 CE.



Laundering for IDR 10,000 or US$ 1.05 per kg (washed, dried and ironed) at the local laundry on Jalan Bina Ria. 

Matt: Relaxing with the regular help of Wati’s traditional Balinese full-body massage (long soothing strokes from head to toe) for IDR 60,000.- or US$ 6.30 per 60-min session.



DM Konni: Scuba diving, together with experienced PADI DM Wayan from Sunrise Dive +6236241182 (IDR 250,000.- per dive, all inclusive), the SW walls off Menjangan Island with pelagic fish, sea turtles (Bali is the site of the most intensive slaughter of green sea turtles in the world - more than 30,000 are killed and eaten annually) and great coral growth.

Hiring “No. 47 Bambi Eva”, a traditional Balinese perahu fishing boat with dug-out hull and bamboo outriggers, for IDR 120,000.- or US$ 12.50 for the morning (many thanks, Adek for your excellent service) and snorkelling over the reefs off Bina Ria beach thus spotting a pointy-nosed titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) and a plethora of smaller fry.



Watching religious, exotic Hindu ceremonies consisting of hypnotizing prayers, colourful offerings and graceful legong keraton dance performances, accompanied by the complex metallic rhythms of a gamelan orchestra, during the biennial festivities at the local pura Dalem (Temple of Shiva) right on the beach at Kalibukbuk.



Touring the mountainous hinterland of Bali’s N coast by a hired 100 cc Yamaha Mio motorbike (IDR 40,000.- or US$ 4.20 for a 12-hour rental from L.A. Tour & Rental +6281337031942) and exploring (i) Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan, two volcanic crater lakes with tiny villages and abandoned temples on their shores, (ii) Bali’s single Buddhist monastery, Brahma Vihara Arama, and (iii) the hot springs at Air Panas Banjar which percolate amid lush tropical plants.



Taking a chauffeured car for IDR 300,000.- or US$ 31.50, thank you, Alex, for your professional driving, from Lovina on Bali’s N coast over the central mountain range to the airport, then contributing to Indonesia’s ongoing democratisation of corruption and paying the new passenger service charge of IDR 150,000.- (US$ 16.-) per person, despite owning an “all-inclusive ticket” from Air Asia, then crossing both the Bali Sea and the Java Sea in order to renew our tourist visas for Indonesia and flying uneventfully the c. 2,100 km with Air Asia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”) +622129270999 in an Airbus A 320 from Bali (Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai Airport) back to Kuala Lumpur (LCCT Sepang) for almost (see above) all inclusive MYR 45.- or US$ 12.- (one way) per person and being issued with a 90-day visit pass for a “social visit” to Malaysia on arrival (free of charge).



Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2009 Map Konni & Matt

Click below and see more Konni & Matt Pictures
Photos 2009-18 Bali


Recommended books - click below for your order from Germany

For your order from the United States click here
For your order from Canada click here
For your order from the United Kingdom click here