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so·journ 
/ˈsōjərn/ 

Noun: A temporary stay. 

I left for Bali, Indonesia on December 10th for a 10 day solo sabbatical sojourn of sun, sand, sea, and self scrutiny. Here's my journey. 

 

From Wikipedia: 

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia, and includes a few smaller neighbouring islands. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 4,225,000 as at January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 84.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, 12% to Islam, and most of the remainder followed Christianity. Bali is the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. Since the late 20th century, the province has had a rise in tourism.

 

Photos taken mostly with iPhone 4, except the beach shots using Sony NEX-F3. No edits except cropping. Click on the images below to expand. Disclaimer: The photos herein and all other albums associated with Bali Sojourn are by no means a documentary. They're all touristy snapshots.

 

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Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

I had some credits left with Delta Airlines so I booked a trip to Bali at the last minute and was referred to fly with their partner KLM. Flight was supposed to be at 5.30pm but after numerous delays, we were queued up and only managed to get in the air at nearly 7pm. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

I have yet to see a terrible traffic jam in Singapore, but looking behind the plane, I saw a queue on the tarmac. A few of many who were also delayed up due to the bad weather. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Finally reached Bali nearly 10.45pm and was greeted by one of Indonesia's main carrier, Garuda Indonesia... Now I know I'm in Bali. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

After checking in to my private villa, I did what I have been meaning to do for the longest time: SKINNY DIP!!!! Nope, not gonna tilt my camera any lower. Only the privileged can see. XD © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Waking up in the afternoon with the cool breeze of Bali from the storm the night before, I set out on foot to explore my surroundings... only to be greeted by a different kind of roachies that decided to creep out from the sewers when they got clogged from the rain. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

The lane nearby my villa was fit for a car at a time. Most common transport in Bali is the motorcycle but now that everything's accessible by car, you'll see more of them nearer to the town area. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Graffiti can be seen everywhere. Some were pretty well done! "Bali Di Jaga, Plastik Di Kurangi!!!!" means "Take care of Bali; lessen the use of plastic!!!!" or somewhere along that line. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

With natural drainage in the little island, everything tends to clog up after heavy rain. Villagers here looking at the rising water by the river. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

As my villa was at the other end of the infamous Kuta Beach, I thought of what's there to offer along this overhyped beach... © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Guess I should've started from Kuta Beach instead coz I'm basically at it's anus. Or perhaps it's a Tuesday evening after the rain so the place does look desolated. But peaceful without the throngs of tourists. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

A wedding photoshoot in the stormy breeze. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Waves were above 1m so yeah, swimming is prohibited. But saw some daredevil surfers nonetheless. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

With waves crashing onto shore at such ferocity, it created a misty fog that would've made the premise of any horror novels. W Retreat & Spa can be seen in the background behind the trees. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

I tried to get the height of the waves but to no avail. It's high, definitely. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Baywatch Bali. Look at those triceps. Envy. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

The locals bring their dogs here to bathe. Water is an expensive commodity in Bali; most people drink and cook using bottled water unless their stomach lining has been strengthened through years of immunity towards bugs and critters. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

I was told I could actually take an hour's walk from one end of Seminyak Beach to the famous Kuta Beach further south. But was cut short a quart of the way coz the river here was not crossable. So, U-turn it was. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

It was a week before the apocalypse when I took this... you can imagine what went through my head especially being witness to the 2004 Boxing Day tragedy in Acheh, Indonesia. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Saw a rainbow flagged cabana along the way back. This was next to the W Retreat & Spa, Bali. Apparently a cruising place for the local boys and other foreign men. *ahem* © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Balinese are primarily Hindu, compared to the rest of the country as Indonesia is officially a Moslem country. Over 80% of the island's population are of the Hindu faith, and all of them believe in karma, that if you do wrong to others, you'd be reincarnated as a dog. Or a pig. Those who don't wanna end up as either will still treat those that did as kindly as they humanly can... © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

These boys were doing some flips. Such carefree life... © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Most of the buildings in Bali still bore the traditional Javanese and Hindu mix, even this lifeguard house. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

That evening took a cab to the town area. When I arrived the night before I didn't get to experience the nightmare of the streets during the day where there's almost no regards to traffic lights and everybody driving was to each his/her own! © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Yes there's cops around but I have a sense that the locals have honed their kung fu since young to avoid any kind of damage or injury. Of the 100 cars I found on the street, it was surprising to note that there's little to none that has a dent nor a scratch on 'em! Unlike Singapore or Malaysia where things are supposedly more 'organized'. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

I shouldn't've sat in front. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

My driver told me that since the past 3 yrs after the Bali bombings, the government has spent a lot of money to upgrade the roads of the island, and since then more and more cars were brought in. By 6pm, if you do not have the tendency for a heart attack, by all means, be on the road. In 2015, Bali will play host to the ASEAN Summit, so a new airport is currently being built, and all the infrastructures around the island are now being upgraded. For now. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

There's no train nor public buses so you'll have to either rent a car or motorbike, or you'll have to depend on cabs. Here's a tip: Go find the lan-jiao cab! (Blue Bird Group) They follow the meter. If you call, minimum charge is 25,000rp even if your meter is less. You'll be haggling with the other brands. Only the Blue Bird cabs follow the meter strictly in the entire island and they won't bring you on an all-island tour. To call: (0361) 70 1111. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Went for a massage for 50,000rp - that's US$6!! - for an hour, then as I wanted to avoid Kuta until I get to visit it for a whole day, I told my driver to bring me to a bar away from Kuta that is very 'happening'. He brought me to Bali Joe. Good mix of crowds. Until I saw the ratio of men to women. Woops, a gay bar. But hey, everyone's uber friendly there! Then, drag shows! © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Impressions after impressions of the many divas entertained everyone all night. Clubbing is essentially another tourism pull to Bali as it starts from as late as 10.30pm all the way through 3am. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 1
Bali Sojourn - Day 1

Got a few advances by some white men... Sorry not my type. Hehe... Here's "Liza Minnelli". Went back to crash at the villa around 2am. © Evan Hwong Photographs

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