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open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

Bali has a bad rap. The Indonesian island is known as a bastian for bogans (Australian for redneck), with an Australian dying in Bali every 9 days. While Kuta is the epicenter of the madness, the tourist imprint definitely extends to the rest of the island. The capital, Denpassar, has significantly less foreign visitors and proved to be an amazing place.

Like anywhere else, the people make the place. My two CouchSurfing hosts for Denpasar, Nina and Lina, made Denpasar a special place for me. The food they introduced me to was so good it warranted its own post. When I wasn’t eating, I managed to see a few things around town.

Nina took me to see nearby Uluwatu, a temple located on a beautiful cliff and home to monkeys. One of the monkeys stole Nina’s glasses and held them captive up in a tree! She also took me to beautiful Padang Padang Beach for sunset.

After one of our many meals, Lina took me for a walk around a track that surrounds a national monument. The track features a stretch of stones imbedded in the pavement. If you feel pain while walking across the stones barefoot, it means you’re sick. After about a hundred meters, I appeared to become ill. That evening we hit up a night market and had some goat. The market was a decent size and I was the only non-Indonesian person there!

Lina’s brother is a Bali beach boy and took me to spend an afternoon with him and his friends at Double Six Beach. They surf, rent boards to tourists, and chill on the beach playing chess all day. It’s a lifestyle I envy and respect. That evening we all went to Kuta to experience the insanity. It was what it was and I had a great time.

My favorite part of Denpasar was visiting the little warungs and food places that my hosts frequent. Hanging out with locals and eating what they eat, where they eat it is one of my favorite things to do. They took me to so many awesome little places that I never would have went to on my own and knew exactly what to order.

I really enjoyed my time in Denpasar and it was all made possible by Nina and Lina. I highly recommend finding some locals and truly experiencing Bali’s capital city. It’s a great place!

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