These words didn’t make any sense to me. Separately they did, but not together in one sentence. I was waiting in the lobby of Mercure hotel at Kuta Beach for my day’s expedition. I was told, we were to go on a VW Safari tour in Bali! Safari in a city overloaded with temples, dances and art & culture? How does that sound? To be honest, I couldn’t really digest it.
After sometime I was informed it was time to leave. In the compound of the hotel, 13 brightly coloured vintage VW convertibles waited for the 40 of us. A VW Safari to take us to Ubud? We all jumped with joy and then jumped into our chosen jeeps! Blue, green, red, yellow dominated over sober shades of browns and khakis.
Equipped with our cameras, selfie sticks and GoPros, we started maneuvering through the busy streets of Bali. We drove past many big shops, boutique stores, massage parlors and some temples along the route. I could notice, the daily routine of locals had started. Office goers on their bikes or cars were also on the road.
Excited as small kids, we all teased and cheered each other whenever anyone overtook another vehicle. But mostly we drove in a train like disciplined bunch. Every car seated 3 persons with an allocated driver.
Today I was in the coolest mode of transport on this island. I had a constant smile on my face. I let the wind blow through my hair. Soon the busy city roads gave way to less crowded ones and we were meandering through sleepy villages, rice paddy fields. And yes, frangipani trees were lined up on both sides welcoming us.
As we neared Ubud, we saw more appealing cafes, furniture stores and art shops. We made a pit stop at one of the paddy fields where we also saw a man made waterfall. I saw dogs guarding the fields from strangers like us.
Another place that we stopped at before moving to the river rafting site was, the Bukit Sari Temple, located within the Monkey Forest. The forest is a quiet place to spend your time. Be careful about your belongings as this is a playground for the monkeys. You can also see devotees coming to pay respect in temples and I guess that also attracts monkeys.
What a day we were in for! It was definitely an exciting way to have a feel of Bali with these vintage VW convertibles ! And it became one of my memorable moments of Bali. I totally recommend you rent a VW convertible and enjoy the trip.
Something about the VW Safari Tours.
They have half day and full day tours. The places that are generally covered in the tours are:
1. Ubud Market
2. Ubud Monkey Forest
3. Ubud Royal Palace
4. Barong Dance Performance.
There are several tour operators providing similar services at around USD 55 per adult which includes pick up and drop from your hotel, English speaking driver cum guide, entrance tickets, lunch etc.
Getting there: There are many flights operating daily to Bali, an international destination. Try Garuda, Indonesia or Singapore Airlines.
Stay: There is no dearth of accommodation in Bali for every budgets. We stayed in Mercure hotel at Kuta Beach.
Disclaimer: My visit to Bali was made possible by Tourism Indonesia. However, opinions are mine as always and are based on my own personal experience.
You may want to read more on Indonesia.
Staying in a luxury Phinisi boat
Exploring Jakarta in 48 hours
Senggarang, the Chinese village in Bintan
Indonesia in Pictures
A Dance Drama called Barong
Top things to do in Indonesia
Evocative Bali Craft
Tangkuban Perahu – Arising out of a legend
Indonesia from Above
Kawah Putih, the white crater
Indonesia : Beyond Bali & Jakarta
Asian African Carnival 2015
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