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Indonesia: My First Adventure Abroad




For my first trip abroad, Indonesia was a cool and adventurous travel destination because it has much to offer to a traveler like me who loves to see natural beauty and well-preserved landscapes. -June 12-15, 2012
I got to meet different people of different religions and had a chance to discover rich culture. To get to know a different culture was a big experience for me. I regretted nothing. Every person I met is opened, kind and friendly.
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
In Jakarta, I got a chance to meet in person two of my long-time twitter friends - Hengkie and Anggara. It’s been a year since I booked my ticket to Indonesia. With me was my best friend Jonah.
Angga, Hengkie, Me and Jonah
We toured the city and visited some of the national places in Central Jakarta. One of which was MoNas.

Grand Indonesia
After a day tour in its capital city, the next destination was Bali. Here, we got to meet Made, Irfan, and Muri - Jonah’s colleagues, who also planned their vacation the same time as ours. Made is a Hindu, Irfan and Muri are Muslims.
Mas Made, Mas Irfan, Me and Jonah
Bali, the land of the gods, is an island with cheerful natives making spirituality a way of life!
There are a lot of statues of deities around the place which portrays their devotions and strong religious foundation.

Here is a picture taken when we were on the road. Almost all of the statues are well-preserved. These serves as an attraction as well
Statue somewhere near Denpasar Airport

With its intricate designs, I was amazed by the craftsmanship of these huge emblems of Hindu Gods.
Sculptures located at the Entrance of the New Kuta Beach
A lot said Bali is a paradise but for some it is not. Well, for me, I think it is a cool place for vacation. You may not find the most beautiful beaches in Bali but for me, it has a complete facility for vacation. For beaches, I agree to Filipinos who have gone to Bali that Philippines has more beautiful beaches but hey, I want to experience dipping myself to other beaches too! 
Above pictures of the New Kuta Beach. The locals called it Dreamland. For me, it is somehow similar to our very own Boracay. The differences are that the sand is not that fine and it is not yet crowded. 

We were able to have a picture with this Aussie too but we weren't able to got her name! :D
We were also visited another beach where most people just spend their time listening to Yoga music and watching the sun sets down. -Sanur Beach.
A beach nearby our accommodation was our last to visit. It is the old Kuta Beach.
There is more to this place than just beaches, surfing and the night life! Everywhere you go in Bali, for sure you will find a temple. As a matter of fact, almost every house has its own shrine or temple. As they say, “It is said that there are more temples in Bali than there are homes”. Usually, temples are ornamented with intricate stone carvings. 
I also noticed that Balinese dress their temples and every day they offer basket of flowers to their gods. In every sidewalk, it is normal to see bunch of flowers too. They religiously do this every day. Being confused that time, I asked Made and Irfan why Balinese just put flowers along the sidewalks and they said that it is a basic ritual of giving back what has been given by the gods. 

The temples are primarily Hindu with a mixture of Buddhism. The Balinese practice an ancient Hindu sect revering the three gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. And tada!!! I know these gods because I studied them when I was in 2nd year high school. Thanks to Mr. Neofidel Ramirez, my Asian History instructor! :D

Temples in Bali are also classified into where they are located –facing the mountains, village temples, aligned with the sea to appease the sea deities and water temples.

Here are some of the temples I got to visit during my stay:

Garuda Vishnu Kencara Cultural Park
Entrance to Vishnu Park

Make a wish and do the rituals.
The Head of Vishnu
This statue stand 23 meter or 75.5 ft.

It was known that Vishnu's carrier is Garuda - a mythical bird of the Hindu and Buddhist sect. Here is a large statue of the mythical bird where Indonesian Airline was named.

Goa Gajah Temple, Bali Elephant Cave Temple

Pura Tirta Empul (Temple of the Holy Water)
Entrance of the Holy Water Temple
Most people take a dip for them to be cleansed of their impurities.

Pura Tanah Lot
It is best to visit this place before the sun goes down. It has a scenic view of the Indian Ocean.
Another foreigner that we met. He is a Mike, a German who speaks Filipino.We found out that he has a Pinay fiance. It's good to know that our fellow Filipino do teach their foreign mates our native language.
He heard us speaking in Filipino and he butt in saying, "Kuya, can you have my picture taken? and I was like "KUYA?!" and start conversation. :D"

Pura Luhur Uluwatu
This is temple that I will never forget. This is also called "THE" Monkey Temple. This was the first temple I visited but the last in my temple review list. Guess why? *grin*
The Cliff and the Indian Ocean
When visiting public temples they will lend you a cloth to wrap around your waist if you wear shorts. This is a way to respect the place. By the way, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the beautiful temples here. There dwelt a lot of monkeys. Precautionary signs have been put at a few places to remind about their aggressiveness. And YES! I did experience their silliness. I didn’t take my hat off and I was attacked. Hahaha! I was near the cliff!!! That made me follow rules from then. Hahaha! BAD MONKEYS!!! 
This temple built in the 11th century is facing the Indian Ocean and was located in the edge of the cliff to protect the island from evil spirits according to my research. 
For me, this is the most spectacular temple in the island because of its location and natural beauty. 

I wasn't able to see what was inside the temple as it is forbidden but the outside view from two different points of it is enough to satisfy my love shooting photographs.
Despite of the modernization, Balinese still preserve and follow their traditions. This is one thing I admire about the natives. I noticed that many of the natives do wear their traditional clothes specially their Balinese hat. Lucky me because I got to watch the Barong dance while in Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. :D
The Barong Dance
About the food, Indonesians like other Asians are fond of spicy food. I love spicy food too but I never thought that theirs are extreme!!! Anyway, I enjoyed Nasi Goreng and this “porridge” called chicken yakiniku.
Nasi Goreng
I would say that my Bali trip would not be complete without trying Bali Water Sport activities. It was in Bali where I first experienced parasailing and other water sports activities! I really enjoyed the beautiful panorama of Tanjung Benoa and the surrounding area!!! We were lucky enough to be included in Pak Muri’s birthday treats. :)


Me, Mas Irfan, Mas Pak Muri and his wife, and Mas Made
Souvenirs? Yes! Travel will not be complete without something to be bought as a remembrance. In Bali, most of the tourist attractions have souvenir booths but the place where you can get the most reasonable price and a lot of variety is Sukawati.
Sukawati is the place to buy souvenirs. Painting, wood carvings, shirts and other accessories are available here. Like here in the Philippines, to get cheaper price, all you need to do is haggle. It is also recommended that you have a local to guide you of the normal price of the items here.
My first travel abroad has opened my eyes to so many things in the world. I had to admit, I was afraid to go out of the country before this trip. But, I came to my senses and told myself that I should not be afraid stepping outside my comfort zone for this international trip. It also helps me to build network and relations with others, so I am exposed. Perhaps one of the most wonderful things you can do in life is to explore the wondrous diversity of our planet through travel. With this, I think that the most certain experience for me being in other country was to find out that even among the differences there are still similarities than I had expected. For sure, this will not be the only trip outside the country. :D
Great experience would be an understatement.
Where was your first trip abroad?

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