Kuta, Bali

From Borneo we were anticipating the chill zone to be in full effect in the island paradise of Bali. We arrived in Denpansar to a slew of board shorts, surf boards and a mellow feel good vibe. With no place in mind we hastily made reservations at “The White Rose”. The website made it look appealing; 100 meters from the beach, lush tropical gardens, a beautiful infinity pool and best of all, cheap accommodations with free breakfast. Sign us up!

One hour by cab, and a nice dose of mind bending traffic later and we were in the heart of Kuta (the Cancun of SE Asia). Neon lights, prostitutes, drunk Aussies and pounding techno music dominated every inch of pavement and establishment. Yep, it was as relaxing as it sounds and unfortunately the chill zone was not in full effect…

The next morning we quickly changed hotels and ended up at the Kumala Pantai, which was top notch, cheap and on the beach.  But there was one small problem.  Every tourist in Bali had also heard of and made “reservations” at the Pantai.  The front desk assured us that we wouldn’t have a problem staying there and indeed we didn’t, we just were forced to stay in four different rooms, in four different wings, over four days.  Nevertheless, the Balinese people and the beautiful environment were hard not enjoy.  We hit the beach immediately and eased into some “light” surfing, at a nice “beginner” beach break.  It seemed harmless enough from the shore so we grabbed 2 boards and headed for the ocean.  Five minutes later the set came in and we realized that “light” break really meant massive, punishing 10 foot waves, that left us gasping for air.  In fact, if you ever want to know what it feels like to almost drown you should surf here.  It was great.

Of course renting Harley’s was high on the list and a must do for any trip to Bali.  So the next day we dodged and weaved our way through hectic Bali traffic, getting lost in it‘s maze of streets and trying our best to remember to drive on the LEFT side of the road.  We took the Harley’s over to Kut De Ta, a posh bar on the beach frequented by the likes of Paris Hilton, Noel Rosencranz-Engelmann, JZ,  and Clark Stephens (the paparazzi were in full force).  We conquered another punishing surf break by getting … punished.  A few hours later we had a nice dinner with Lauri, a Stanford grad working in Bali on environmental conservation and then it was onto the bar to see the US produce some late game heroics and advance to the round of 16.

Chill Zone: Medium

About Clark & Noel

Welcome to Looking for the Chill Zone, our attempt to escape from the hectic life of San Francisco to find peace, serenity and utter fulfillment in the rainforests, beaches, temples and cultures of Southeast Asia. Yes, our quest to become bikram yoga instructors, live in an ashram and find our spiritual center point is finally here. This blog is co-written by Noel Rosencranz-Engelmann and Clark Stephens, or Clark Stephens and Noel Rosencranz-Engelmann, depending on the entry. Bonus points for those who can tell who wrote which entry. Bonus points for people that cannot.
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5 Responses to Kuta, Bali

  1. David (your fellow PADI) says:

    Excellent blog posts, guys! Looking forward to hearing more about your future chill zone status… The only thing I’d add is, for Christian, please more genie stories!

  2. Click clack, it's Clock! says:

    Gentlemen, great job describing the trip so far. Your combined might attempting to enter the chill zone is inspiring and insipid. Hope you guys had your fortunes read before the trip to see if Clark was going to be mouth kissing some Filipino men…plenty of time yet for continued adventures. Look for D-Snax at one of those minor league MMA fights or the muay thai breakdowns…understand he is fighting down there now as a career choice.

  3. Bradley P. says:

    C, love the socks buddy!

  4. 1 – Clark would be a man-servant in Bali serving ginger martinis to Paris et. al….
    2 – The photo of the orangutan laid out on the foot bridge is the pinnacle of the chill zone. You guys are trying to hard for perfection…
    3 – Looks like a grand time. Hopefully western civilization will still be operating upon your return!! Enjoy.

  5. Lawrence says:

    Great blog! Look forward to reading/seeing more of your escapades!

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