The Last Two Days Of Our Big Trip


Since arriving in Asia 10 weeks ago we’ve tried as much as possible to eat local food and integrate with the local people therefore it important for us to spend the short time left somewhere truly Balinese. We had been warned that the renowned Kuta was something of a Benidorm for the Aussies so despite it’s proximity to the airport we decided to avoid and instead spend our last two days in authentic Oki Wati, Ubud – and was fortunate to be upgraded to the nicest room in the hotel ‘The Buddha Room’. The last days were a bit cloudy so besides regular moisturising in an attempt to save the tan we spent our time doing as most do on their last days – bargaining for cheap presents at the market, eating as much Asian food as possible, overdosing on the delicious fruit shakes and Ice Lemon Tea and getting a massage which was insanely just £3 for a full hour! It was also nice to reunite with fellow Northerners Paul and Jackie whom we had met a few days earlier in Gili Trawangan.

On the final evening we managed to see a Legong dance show at Ubud Palace. Legong is a classical dance in Indonesia that is centered around 3 girls – the palace attendants. The story is based around King Lasem, Prince of Langkesari Daha Kingdom. Although their was many tourist at this particular show we had discovered throughout or travels in Indonesia this type of dancing is a significant part of culture and events such as these can take place every night in most villages and towns. In fact in every country we have visited men and women seem drawn to music and art. This is creativity may have spurred from not having a materialistic lifestyle…?

Bali Flowers

Legong Dance Show – Ubud

Breakfast on the balcony at Oki Wati (fresh fruit shakes, homemade yogurt and fruit), Nasi Campur – going crazy on the Asian cuisine on our final Days, Waving Goodbye.

Sat on the balcony with a rum and coke on our final night in Ubud we reminisced about our big adventure and vowed that we will continue to travel. We’ve had the most amazing time and below are just a few of memories of Asia:

The craziness of India -The roaming holy cows, urban monkeys, over crowded streets
and the constant noise of peeping of horns
The ghats and ceremony on the Ganges in Varanasi
Seeing a leopard at Chitwan National Park
Views of the beautiful Himalayan peaks
Fresh fruit shakes and ice lemon tea
The food! Especially in Malaysia & India
“Looking is free” a cliche throughout Asia
The markets that sell everything from authentic arts and crafts to fake designer handbags
The friendly people we have met – especially our Nepalese friend Min Thapa
The lush jungles, white sand beaches and turquoise waters
The Amazing Temples – Prambanan, The Taj, Bhodubura and many more.
The rick-shaws and tuc tucs
Public transport that always takes three times as long as what they tell you!
Delicious seafood in Ko Chang
Waking to the smell of josh sticks in Bali
Seeing giant turtles in the water at Gili Meno
Being constantly asked for photo’s like we were celebs
The children in the village school in Nepal calling ‘Gora Gora’
The dance we were made to join in at Dubung village
Roksie Wine & Dharl Bhat
The overnight train in India
Rafting in Ubud
Learning Batik Art
Exploring on the Moped
Mountain biking in the Kathmandu Valley
The creative cities
The quirky bikes in Yogyakarta

So goodbye Asia! In approx 26 hours we will be back in rainy Manchester hopefully plotting our next adventure. We would like to say a huge thanks to all those people who have made our trip the best one ever – To Min Thapa & Jamie at Mongolian Trekking for making us part of your family and accompanying us on an amazing trek through the Himalayas, to Raj at GAdventures for making our trip Delhi to Kathmandu the most interesting and exciting trip we have experienced and hassle free! to all the new friends we have met throughout our travels and to everyone who has took the time to read, follow and comment on our blog!

The Gili Islands


Gili Meno
We knew we were going to enjoy our time at Gili Meno as the boat we took from Lombok landed at what could only be described as “Paradise”.

Gili Meno is one of three islands that make up the Gili’s (Gili Air, Meno and Trawangan) located around half an hour east by boat from Bangsal Harbour, Lombok. Meno the smallest and most quiet of the three islands, is a place most people come for quiet time or to snorkel/ dive the islands many beautiful coral reefs. You can walk a full lap of its coast in around an hour (if you can handle the heat!), and it was also a pleasant surprise to notice on arrival that the only means of transport on the Island and in fact on all of the Gili’s is either by a small horse and cart or by push bike.

The accommodation we stayed in was pretty unique, it was based around one of the traditional Lumbung buildings once used to house rice off the ground and away from moisture, but the area for the rice had only side walls (no front and back panels) allowing sunlight and a sea breeze to flow through from the beach immediately in-front. It was also a nice treat to fall asleep under the protection of a mosquito net only listening to the sound of the ocean and the calls of the local crickets and birds.

Our boat leaving for Gili Meno, Lombok in the background.

The traditional Lumbung with a modern twist

Our own beach

Rachel in her element.

Snorkelling & Diving
On our first day we decided to get some Snorkels and fins and go out and see what was living in the crustal clear turquoise waters. We were amazed to see many different types of Marine fish then blown away when we noticed a big hawks head turtle very casually and elegantly swim by. We were both pretty excited to have seen such a beautiful creature out in the wild in its natural habitat.

Inspired by what we had already seen we thought it would be crazy not to see what lies a little deeper in the water and so booked ourselves onto a beginners diving course. This involved being taught some of the basic skills and hand signals required to communicate underwater, and showed us how to use the equipment needed to dive. I immediately felt comfortable under the water but Rachel was a little more nervous, although by the end of the session we were both happily swimming along enjoying the beautiful corals and marine life. After the initial dive I was really keen to get in the water again so asked if I could join them on the boat for an afternoon diving at Halik Reef just north of Gili.T. The dive took me down to 12m with a visibility of around 20m, I was spoilt rotten by the number of different fish and marine life on offer including a shole of Big Bumphead Parrot Fish, Lion Fish, Scorpian Fish, Manta Rays & Hawks-head Turtles to name a few!

The diving boat – preparing to go under.

Gili Trawangan
After a couple more days of snorkelling and quiet time we decided to head across to Gili Trawangan the livelier of the islands. A harsh contrast to Meno to say the least, Gili.T was much busier, louder and had a lot more amenities that Meno didn’t have – but had a cash machine we were in need of! The snorkelling was still good here if you went out early morning when their wasn’t many fishing / shuttle boats going by, and being so close to Meno meant we still had the same beautiful turquoise waters surrounding us. After a couple of nights we were ready to move on to finish our trip in Bali, where we are to fly home from. Rather then face the dreaded Kuta beach we had heard so much about (nothing good what so ever) we decided to go back to the calm of Ubud for our final two nights.

Lombok – West Nusa Tenggara


Lombok is an island in the province of West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. It takes only 1 hour to get to Lombok from Bali on a speedboat but is thought to be a considerably different place. The landscape in Lombok appeared to us to have all the best features of the ones we had witnessed throughout our travels in Indonesia – lush jungle, volcanic mountains and blue water beaches surrounded by palm trees. The native people of Lombok are predominately Sasak, migrants of Java, they are culturally similar to the Balinese but follow Islam in opposed to Hinduism. The Island has many mosque and it is very common to be awoken by the loud speaker call to prayer at 5am.

One of the highlights of Lombok was watching the local children play and surf in the ocean after their day at school… The people here lead a simple way of life compared to the UK but seem very happy and contented. At sundown on our first day we were lucky to witness a traditional Sasak wedding. The sound of the drums from a local band/dance group was the first thing to grab our attention, this was quickly followed by the chants of excited children and locals who ran to join in the celebration. The people continued to dance the night away until the brightly dressed bridesmaids and new bride and Groom had arrived to the beach by fishing boat and finally seated for their wedding breakfast.



Children playing on the beach after school – Senggigi

Sunset surf

The local band playing at a Sasak wedding. Locals surround them to join in the celebration, the children copy the dance moves of the group.

The bridesmaids waiting for the bride and groom to arrive.

On day 2 of our trip we decided to rent a moped and explore some of the Island. Every corner we turned on the windy coastal road we saw views of the stunning west coast line and surrounding mountainous jungles. We stopped to view and ‘attempted’ to photograph our next destination the Gili Islands, not so far away but difficult to see due to their flatness these islands have been referred to as the pancake Islands.

The Gili’s – if you look carefully you can see the 3 islands on top of the ocean.

Beautiful coastline and lush jungle.