Saturday, 21 June 2014
Day 301 - Different Sides of Bali
After the rather touristy last two days, this started even more touristy with a drive around Ubud to see the rice fields and landscape around.
By itself this is a good way to see the smaller villages and some of the real life of a place but when you end up at a viewing point towards some rice terraces and get asked to pay in order to enjoy the view and take a photo it all gets too much.
I mean, paying to see the landscape that is there anyway is just crazy and really put me off Bali. Then you stop at a small place for lunch just to get asked for money to buy books for the kids across the streets, before being quoted inflated prices for food.
Next you go to see a temple with some local guiding you around and explaining about it (uninvited) just to ask for a very high tip in the end (which he didn't get). I was pretty fed up at hat time and actually thought about leaving tomorrow.
It all feels like some kind of theme park and kind of fake and set up for tourists and to make money off ignorant and unsuspecting tourists.
Then something caught my attention at the place next to the temple I saw quite a few locals hanging out at the market hall next door.
While checking it out, I finally got to experience the non tourist side (since I doubt many tours feature this). Gambling and cock fights.
This was actually quite interesting as I have seen it in Vietnam and Thailand before but here they use knifes so this seems quite strange. It also dawned on me why the guy doing the temple tour asked for the high tip, it was the buy in amount required to bet on one of the fights.
People will have varying opinions about this but since it's part of the culture I found it quite fascinating and interesting because it did feel real and not set up for tourists.
The evening was just hanging out in Ubud and catching a bit of the dance performance in the local temple, another tradition but more aimed at tourists.