Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2013

Bali Touring

photo(15)

I did not get to see much of Bali until the second night of the conference. All the conference participants were invited to visit one one of the palaces of Raja Majapahit Bali XIX, the current king of Bali, and to have dinner with he and other dignitaries afterwards. We drove what appeared on the map to be a short distance north and east of the conference site but that actually took over 2 hours in driving. I had boarded the “slow bus” which not only traveled last in our caravan but actually broke down (out of gas?) along the way. But we finally arrived and entered the palace grounds and walked around the spacious area.

photo(14)

photo(16)The palace was located in a very lush and hilly area of the country. One section of the grounds contained a bathing area where locals could come and wash away their sins in the local water. Although we did tour that area, I declined to take part in the bathing ritual. :-0)

photo(12)

A short drive away from the palace took us to our location for diner. The evening was filled with local dancing and speeches by the current king of Bali as well as other dignitaries. We were seated in a couple of rooms filled with history displays about Bali.

photo(11)

Friday was a full conference day but we hired a great driver for Saturday and made our way from the hotel North and East to the area called Ubud. Our goal was the monkey forest. Along the way, we stopped (and shopped) and toured at a place where batik fabric designs were made. We bought lots of gifts…clothes, purses, scarves, etc… to find a place for in our checked baggage!

photo(27)

Places in Bali are not that far apart but they might as well be due to traffic and road construction. A trip of 30 km, which in Phoenix might take 30 minutes even with traffic, can take well over 2 hours and such was the case today. However, traveling at a slow rate of speed allows one to enjoy the local sights AND work up an appetite! As we arrived in Ubud around lunchtime, we stopped at a fabulous cafe for lunch and refreshments. The name of our wonderful driver was also Wayan (no relation to the owners) so he posed for a photo outside.

photo(24)

Interestingly, Wayan ordered pizza for lunch.

photo(25)

The rest of us ordered Asian food. My selection: Nasi goreng met krupuk udangĀ  (fried rice with seafood).

photo(26)

We made it to the monkey forest after lunch and enjoyed some fun times with the local monkeys especially the little ones. Can you see ALL the monkeys in the photos below???? :-0)

photo(23)

photo(22)

photo(21)

photo(19)

Our last stop for the day was the local rice terraces just north of Ubud. A quick stop here, more shopping, then we made our way back to the hotel and called it a day.

photo(20)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Bali Bound

photo(2)

Monday, May 4 I left Phoenix, Arizona at 6:39 pm headed, via LA and Hong Kong, to Bali, Indonesia. The purpose of this trip is to attend and present at an international conference (the Open CourseWare Consortium Conference). I will be posting more information about the conference on my professional blog, but wanted to get something started here just for the first part of the trip. I will pick up again here with more trip info when I head to Cambodia on May 12th.

Checking in at Sky Harbor was a breeze and took all of 5 minutes ( as opposed to the hours and hours wait at LAX that I have gone through previously). Not only that, my luggage was checked all the way to Bali! Quick flight on Delta to LA, nice dinner at the Encounters restaurant, and then off to my 15 hour flight to Hong Kong. I did try and upgrade to “premium economy” seating but alas…only coach was available. Fifteen hours, three movies. one meal (I slept through dinner), and hours of sleeping later, I arrived in Hong Kong for a 5 hour layover.

Arrival in Hong Kong was at about 6 am so not much was open except the food court. I immediately helped myself to a bowl of shrimp dumplings soup (yum!) and settled in to wait. Amazingly, a colleague from California was on the same flight from Hong Kong so we connected and spent some airport time together before the flight.

About 30 minutes before we boarded, I dosed up on my usual dramamine pill but also thought I should take my decongestant as well. BAD IDEA!!!! No sooner had I boarded the plane and sat down (thankfully only two rows from the toilet) than I knew I was in trouble of the worst kind to have on an airplane. My seatmate must have thought I was part jack-in-the-box as I kept jumping up and down to squeeze in line between the other passengers as the flight progressed. Finally, I resorted to just standing in the corner by the flight attendant station and alternating between the other passengers as they took care of their needs. What a flying nightmare. Of the 4 hour flight, I think I spent 3 hours and 30 minutes of that time out of my seat. The flight attendants were so sweet and caring and they did their best to make me feel better. Thankfully, symptoms subsided just before we landed and I was able to navigate the landing, terminal navigation, visa and immigration and customs requirements without any trouble.

Upon arrival in Bali, I was amazed at all the familiar looking restaurants, etc.. that I saw. Starbucks (of course…there was one in Hong Kong as well), Burger King, and (biggest shock of all) Cold Stone Creamery! Go figure. If I had felt better, I probably would have tried it just to compare.

photo(3)

A short ride through Denpasar and we arrived at our hotel (pictured at the top of the page). This is indeed a lavish place and I am thankful for a very reasonable conference rate for my room! The grounds are immense as they are for all the hotels in this area. We are in Nusa Dua which is really a segregated tourist area. There are security checkpoints for every entrance/exit to this part of the island (south eastern cost of Bali). The streets are very clean and the area lush and lavish with vegetation. I did something this morning that I have not done in Asia yet…I went out for a 2 mile run. I felt very safe and even saw others (tourists and locals) exercising in the area.

In different parts of the grounds there are these signs that I could not immediately figure out (having no personal frame of reference for them). What do you think they mean??? My colleague suggested that they tell where high ground is in case of tsunami. Now THAT makes total sense.

photo(1)

I saw another sign near the hotel lagoon and thought it too interesting not to share. I had not seen any alligators in the pond as of yet. However, when I went down to breakfast they literally had a fenced off area with a feeding station so people could grab some food and throw it to the exotic birds and the two very small gators I saw. The reptiles looked like babies. I wonder where mama was???

photo

A trip to this part of Bali would not be complete without access to the beach which is indeed just outside of the hotel. The surf is pretty strong and I know there are some fierce tides so I have not yet ventured out very far. I am thinking I might just stick to swimming laps in the hotel pool and not take a chance on meeting any of the local sea life. :-0)

photo(4)

Today is time to recover from jet lag, orient myself to the conference, review my notes for my presentation tomorrow, and connect with colleagues that are attending. I am excited at the list of attendees and sessions being presented in an area that I am very excited and passionate about: OER (Open Educational Resources).

 

Read Full Post »