Semiyak, Bali: Tanah Lot, police and beaches

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Bali is one of those destination that you can dream about as a European traveller. From the time of reading and watching Eat, Love, Pray, it was one place I wanted to visit. I think you can have preconception of the place: I definitely did. At first, I was slightly disappointed. It was not what I was expecting.IMG_20151115_100547

I arrived into the airport late at night. The hostel had told me only to take certain taxis otherwise they will over charge you. Following their instructions was not easy and I could not find where to go. I just wanted to get to the hostel safely at a reasonable price so in the end I just bargained with driver.I felt anxious as he drove towards Semiyak as I didn’t know whether he would take me to the correct place or not. Luckily with the map.me app, I could follow the route. At around midnight, I arrived at the hostel where I checked in. The hostel was a capsule place where the bunk beds are divided by walls. Unfortunately, there were loud, inconsiderate traveller banging around and shouting at the early hours of the morning.

The next day, I rented a scooter down the road and drove to Tanah Lot, which was about a 30 minute drive. The roads were gravel with no road markings and little signs through countrysides with rice fields and little villages. It was just so picturesque. IMG_20151115_120346

Tanah lot is a rock formation on the coast with a temple on a slight hill. The view was just incredible with waves crashing against the cliffs. There were many tourist around with market-like souvenir shops and restaurants but I managed to find some quiet, quaint paths with Balinese style houses.

On the way back to the hostel, I got stopped by the police. I didn’t know what to do. I heard that police will often stop foreigners on Scooters to get money from them so I got told to just drive away. Unlike other Asia countries, they are more strict.IMG_20151115_135749 I was approaching some lights when they turned red so I stopped, but I happened to stopped where pedestrians walk. A police officer came up to me and I pretended I didn’t understand him. When the lights turned green, I tried to drive away but he managed to pull my key out. I went with him to his office where I panicked. He asked to see my Driver’s Licence, where he would have known that I understood English. He tried to bargain with me to get money but I didn’t have any visible cash. The conversation went around he circles, where he refused to give me back my licence and told me I would have to go to court to collect it. In the end, I put my face in my hands, where they reluctantly let me go without paying anything. I managed to get away with it. After this, I was wary about driving but this didn’t stop me. I just made sure I was behind or hidden by the traffic.

For lunch, I ate at a canteen restaurant where I could choose different food from Bali including tofu, egg, noodles and vegetable. It was so tasty.IMG_20151115_142742

In the afternoon, I went to the beach to relax and admire the view but the beach wasn’t as nice as other beaches I have seen. It was seemed dirty.

After collecting my backpack from the hostel, I drove for a couple of hours to Ubud.

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