Farewell to Asia

5 months has flown by, and it’s time to leave Asia behind for now. I’ve had the most incredible time traveling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, The Philippines and Indonesia. Bali has been an incredible adventure, and I have plenty of more stories to share. New adventures await for me in Australia and the South Pacific. I’m beyond excited to explore a new continent, visit my dear ol’ friend Tonje and get acquainted with the Polynesian culture. We have a fully packed schedule, all our flights is booked from Australia and all the way to San Fransisco. We will stop by countries like Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Hawaii. The country I am most excited about is without a doubt, Papua New Guinea. I have no idea what to expect. I’ve heard the stories, I’ve read all the travel guides and news articles but I don’t know one single person, who’s actually been there. No one who can give me first hand travel tips. This is fairly an unknown territory. Not just for me and the people I know, but for people in general. That’s why I’m so excited to share with you guys my experiences from this mysterious country. And let’s not forget the dreamy white sand beaches of Fiji. I spy 1 month of lazy beach bumming in Solomon Islands and Fiji. My flight is being called for Brisbane so I’ll cut it short. Thanks for everything Asia, it’s been one hell of a ride! Australia, let the good times roll.

Love Chris.

Bali loving

Hello fine folks, time has flown by and it feels like yesterday I landed here in Bali. My apologies for not updating as much about my everyday activities, I’m working on a different type of content, were I give you tips on things to do in the different cities I visit. This is more time consuming, but it’s a different type of travel posts. I promise I’ll be better at daily updates, also to throw it out, I do post Insta stories and snap stories with a more behind the scenes of my every day life on the road. I absolutely love to travel, but it takes it toll on the body and the mind. When you are constantly packing in and out every 3-4 days, every now and then you just need to take a break from it all so you don’t loose your mind. Bali has been that break for me, and I think it’s good to just let your soul get some peace from the constant social media world we live in. But let’s get to it, what have I been up to these past 2 weeks? Of course you post the best pictures you have, but sometimes you gotta say fuck it and just show the world, what really goes behind the scenes. Besides those picture perfect Instagram posts, this is what it actually looks like when me and Morten is traveling together. Oh what fun times we have!

P1090160We first landed in Kuta where we spent two days. After 15 hours of traveling and no sleep, we weren’t keen on doing much. We spent the first day treating ourselves to a nice dinner while watching the incredible Bali sunsets. The day after we slept in, walked around to see what the city was like, and ended the night with a blast of Bintang beers and a very drunk Christine. Let’s just say I can’t hold my liquor the way I did when I was 18. There isn’t really that much to do in Kuta, the surf is great, the nightlight is cool and the Nasi Goreng is delish, but it’s not my favorite cup of tea. The day after our blow out, two hungover backpackers got in a car and headed towards Seminyak. P109021622563612_1807198275974320_1661151991_o

Now Seminyak, is a town I can get behind. If you are wondering where those picturesque cafés and restaurant all those instabloggers post pictures from, that would be Seminyak. Basically all I’ve done here in Seminyak, is eat my way through all the fancy ass cafés, wrap my hair in a hair scarf, put on my big ass hoops and let my bohemian spirit fly. The food scene in Seminyak is insane. I feel like I’ve eaten like a queen every single meal. There is a ton of vegan and vegetarian options. My belly is little bigger than what it was when I came from The Philippines, but who wouldn’t want to eat their way through Bali. I mentioned earlier in this post that I’m working on a more tip related post, so all the cool places will be posted within the next days to come. I can easily see myself spending a couple of months out of the year in this city. It’s very fast paced, packed with travelers of all kind, but you go with the flow. From the glittery dark sand to the amazing atmosphere in Mexicola, Seminyak is a place to put on your map. 22396762_1800402669987214_1147678092_oP1090527P1090405P1090722P1090724P1090808P1100031P1090853

A trip to Bali is not complete without a trip to the infamous rice terraces. Where to find the rice terraces? Well Ubud of course. If the constant honking of car horns turns you off, then travel no further than the cultural hub of Ubud. It’s very, very relaxing. The word I feel best describes Ubud would be tranquil. Ubud is more slow paced, a stronger influence of the Balinese culture and here is where you come to get in touch with the Indonesian nature. We only planned on spending 2 days and then travel to Gili. But after a couple of hours trying to plan with our hostel host what tours to take, we quickly agreed that we would need more than 2 days. One day I will deff come back and travel to Gili, but when you have 2 weeks, and we have plenty of beaches planned after Bali, you prioritize what you normally won’t come by. We spent our days here soaking in the beautiful nature, trekking up Mount Batu volcano to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises, I have ever seen. We visited the Jatiluwih ricefields, stayed with a local family where we dined in their backyard temple, and treated ourselves to a 4 hours luxury spa treatment, in one of the best Spa’s in the world. When in Bali, right? Hmm, what else? Yes, yoga and meditation. Ubud attracts yogis from all over the world. I missed the morning flow session, but I tried Qi gong, which was interesting. We can safely say that Ubud was a success. 22396824_1800402683320546_1367924688_oP1100404P1100582P1100695P1100701P1100739P1100600P1100144.jpg

And last but not least, Bali is famous for it’s incredible diverse marine life. Ya’ll know that  I identify as Ariels long lost Norwegian cousin, I couldn’t leave without jumping into the blue and hunt for Manta Rays and Mola Mola. Our friendly host, and now friend drove us to Sanur so we could catch the boat over to Nusa Lembongan. When you want to dive, there is several islands to choose between. The most common islands near Bali is Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Ceningan and Gili. Your best chance to spot Manta Rays is around Manta Bay and Manta Point. These two spots is 30 minutes with boat from Nusa Lembongan. We chose to dive with Dive concept. Now diving here is more expensive than other places, but it’s worth the money. Morten finally finished his open water! Yay and congrats my friend! On his birthday, he saw several Manta rays while snorkeling. Happy birthday Morten! I already have my open and advanced, so I jumped in the water. Normally I just skip the wetsuit, but the water here is freezing. This time I put on layers of dive equipment because I felt like I was freezing my balls off. But not 2 minutes after depending down, our guide points of two huge mantas! Holy christ they are so much bigger than I could ever imagine. This marine creatures are so elegant and gentle. I lost count on how many mantas we saw, but I saw a black manta 3 times! There was turtles, and on our way from Manta Bay to Crystal Bay there was dolphins jumping in front of the boat and Merlin/Swordfish playing in the water. In crystal bay we dove down into a cave filled with bats!! Best day ever I squealed with joy. We dove back down into the water and tried to hunt for Mola Mola, the weird looking sunfish. The current was too strong, and we couldn’t leave the area with corals. All I saw of the Mola Mola was the contour/shadow far away from the drop. Also we saw lots of boxfish, an octopus, sea snakes and a ton of colorful fish. Thumbs up for diving here, guys! P1100812P110082722496937_1807198279307653_1162500353_o22532198_1807198289307652_1794772399_o22641910_1807198295974318_1154103917_o22555972_1807201759307305_1847148836_o22546783_1807201762640638_1621202053_o

Now we’re back in Seminyak just relaxing before our next flight tomorrow. You will have to come back tomorrow to find out where our next destination is. Have a beautiful day everyone. P1100825

Love, Chris.

Jatiluwih rice terraces – a unesco treasure

It’s 9.00 am and we’re headed towards our next destination. My legs feel like sticks, my eyes are getting heavy and I doze off in the car. When I wake up an hour later my eyes are met with green lush rice fields. “Are we here now”? I ask Morten, “No it’s 30 minutes more before Jatiluwih rice fields.” The rice fields is so green, the driver explains that the best month to come and visit is October, as next month the fields turn yellow. And today is a really good day with the weather he says. As we drive on I gaze out on the open endless fields with all it’s greenness. I’m in awe of how beautiful the Indonesian nature is, and can’t understand why I haven’t come here before. Bali is such a diverse island. Ubud is without doubt one of my favorites. The atmosphere is so relaxed. Ubud is the perfect place to get away from the crowds, do some yoga and meditation, get acquainted with the balinese traditional culture, munch on vegan food and enjoy the nature. That’s what we did yesterday, a day filled with adventure from climbing Mount Batur at 4.00 am to witness the sunrise, and visit a unesco heritage site, the Jatiluwih rice fields.

Jatiluwih is the biggest rice fields in Bali, and pictures can’t grasp how stunning this scenery is. We we’re pretty exhausted after very little sleep and trekking up and down 1770 meters. But we went on, and it’s the best day I’ve had here in Bali. Everywhere we looked there was green. Even though there is plenty of visitors, it’s impossible to feel crowded as this area is so humongous. The drive from Ubud city center is approximately 1,5 hours, with an entrance fee for 40,000 IDR. This is where you should bring your most flowy dress, fully charged camera and let your hair flow, because this picturesque scenery is not one you want to leave without. Me personally would love to have done that, but after trekking up a mountain at 4.00 am you’re not very keen on posing. You are more likely to sweat your ass off due to exhaustion and sleep deprivation. The Jatiluwih rice fields is beyond words, and you will love it regardless if you bring a flowy dress or not.

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Mount Batur sunrise trek

It’s 2.00 am and my alarm clock goes off. No please god, it can’t be 2.00 am already. I just fell asleep 5 minutes ago. Or at least it feels like 5 minutes ago. But I know I can’t just lay here, I need to get up. Our driver will be here in 25 minutes to take us sunrise trekking the Mount Batur, a volcano that takes about 1 and a half hour to drive, and 2 hours to the top. I’ve seen the pictures, and I just repeat the words “it’s going to be so amazing when you reach the top” like a mantra, over and over again to force myself out of the warmth of my duvet. 2.10 am the driver knocks outside our door. What? He’s 20 minutes early. I try to tell him to be quiet so he won’t wake the girl sleeping underneath my bunkbed, but he keeps at it. We put on our clothes in a rush, grab our stuff and head out the door. We’re on time like we were told, but when we get to the car we see two other people waiting, for us. They’ve been waiting for 20 minutes, even though we were told to be ready at 2.30 am. On the way we pick up another couple and then it’s straight to the meeting point for a quick breakfast with warm tea. It’s cold outside so the tea feels warm and good. There is a lot more people here then we would expect.

20 minutes and we’re on our way to the starting point of the trek. It’s even more cold here so I layer on with a jacket and a scarf. We’re all handed each a torch so we can see where we’re walking. It’s pitch dark and you can’t see more than half a meter in front of you. Of course I’m not wearing trekking shoes, or even sneakers for that matter. I only have Birkinstock sandals. At least these ones give support around my ankle, but still I would not recommend hiking in sandals. It’s sandals or no trekking, so I stick with trekking and suck it up. It’s not too bad in the beginning, but when we reached the last stretch of the top I could feel the struggle and the strain on my feet and ankles. I’m not going to lie, the trek was pretty hard. It’s been a while since last time, and last time I was wearing proper shoes. Poor Morten struggled a bit more, at one point neither of us was sure he would make it to the top. But he did, I did, and we all did. And what awaited us was a glorious view. Words can’t describe the extraordinary feeling of watching the sun rise with a view from 1770 meters above sea level. I can only imagine what the sunrise at Mount Everest must be like. Here’s what the gradual sunrise looked like. None of the photos are edited.

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Oh and while I was doing the time lapse on my GoPro, one of the dogs living at the top managed to knock it down. Thank god the camera survived, but I can’t say the same for my timelapse. When I manage to catch up on some sleep I will upload the time-lapse.

The trek back down was quite amazing as well. It’s a lot of rubble and stones so be careful where you step so you don’t fall. The natural light at 7 am was amazing, so remember to fully charge that camera. The family running the hostel we’re staying at helped arrange this trip for us. We payed 350,000 IDR each and that’s included with breakfast. The breakfast is simple, and only to fill you up, so don’t expect anything fancy. Remember to bring a jacket and perhaps a scarf as it get’s quite cold at the top. Don’t underestimate the wind and the cold at this time of the morning. You wouldn’t want that perfect sunrise to be ruined by the sound of your shivering teeth. What a perfect start on a perfect day. But the day isn’t over quite yet, stay tuned for what we did the rest of today.

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