Bali is beautiful. But it is an odd beautiful. It isn’t strikingly beautiful, not to me anyway. I didn’t instantly see its beauty just as I didn’t instantly see its culture.
Strangely enough visiting Morocco last year hit me harder and quicker.
The thing about Bali I think is that I felt I had to tune out and go with it at first. To be completely honest the one thing we all agreed on was that the majority of the time Bali smells of shit! (That’s not to say that Morocco didn’t).
I think I felt confused. So many people holiday in Bali and speak of wonderful white sandy beaches, clear blue seas, gorgeous unusual temples. I suppose I didn’t have the time or chance to see those places.
For me, Bali’s beauty comes from its people and their culture. Balinese people are the friendliest, happiest most caring individuals I have ever met. I was lucky enough to be immersed in their culture in a tiny village and homestay. Their sense of community and the pride in their community is overwhelming. They welcomed us in with open arms and they treated us like family and friends and did anything they could for us whilst we were there.
Beauty in colour and culture
Balinese culture could so easily be missed by tourists, which is such a shame. As a predominantly Hindu province Balinese people are early risers they pray every day at the temple in their homes and put out offerings to the Gods. It doesn’t matter whether its a home, shop, business, field, temple, mountain there are offerings everywhere! At first they baffled me but now they are enchanting. You learn to hop, skip and jump over these offerings because they are all over the streets.
Offerings are made up with flowers and leaves, water, incense and often a gift to the Gods. Anything from a mint to a biscuit.
Bali is the most colourful place I’ve ever seen. From the bright colours of the offerings to the colourful materials that cover temples to the beautiful traditional dress that men and women wear. On a day of ceremony (which feels like every day!) women here can often be seen in bright lemon or lime lace kerbayas and rather than gaudy it looks stunning!
Even the architecture is breathtaking their buildings with carefully created eaves, wonderful stone carvings, golds, blacks and orange colours can typically be seen. It feels like everything is put together purposefully with an eye for detail. Even the most random of buildings- i saw some sort of small water tower which had beautiful stone carved eaves! Back in Plymouth your lucky not to be constantly struck with 1960s brown or concrete monstrosities!
I came to Bali with a different idea of its beauty, a shallow and instantaneous idea. I’ve left with a true appreciation for an unforgettable and stunning place.