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Barnabás Csiszár, the first-place winner of the IBS World Tour, won a trip to Bali for a whole week. He had a great time there and he shared his stories and experiences with us.

As my prize for the IBS World Tour 2023, I decided to go to Bali, Indonesia with my friend.

As soon as we arrived, we could feel the goosebumps on our skin, indicating that we were no longer in Europe. It was evident that we had traveled over 14,000 km. Darkness had set in by the time we reached our destination. It was immediately apparent to us that the locals were exceptionally hospitable. After a slight detour at the airport, we called a taxi that transported us to our accommodation. Along the way, we had the opportunity to observe the urban bustle of Southeast Asia, an entirely new experience for us, along with the unique traffic habits of the locals compared to Europeans.

Our accommodation, the Bali Intercontinental Resort, was situated along the enchanting Kuta Selatan coastline—a true paradise, as if taken straight from a Hollywood movie. After unpacking and taking a short break, we ventured out to explore the nightlife near the hotel and sampled the local cuisine at a restaurant.

Day 2 was dedicated to relaxation and recuperation from the trip. Our day started wonderfully with a carefully selected breakfast featuring fresh and delicious ingredients. I seized the opportunity and began each morning with a generous fruit bowl of exotic tropical fruits and a fragrant Balinese black coffee.

Following our meal we headed straight to the beach, where we beheld the captivating ocean in all its glory for the first time in our lives. The water was pleasantly warm. After the beach, we explored downtown, covering miles and miles. Despite having a full stomach from a quick local lunch, we continued our exploration: visiting numerous beaches, temples, and even a couple of Warungs, or family eateries, where we sampled the wonders of Balinese culture.

By late afternoon, we returned to our accommodation, combining a brief beach break with a beautiful sunset on the beach. We concluded our busy day with an extensive seafood menu at an oceanfront eatery where the portions were so large that we could barely finish them, making this a lasting culinary memory.

On the following day, we were greeted by a guide recommended by friends, who chauffeured us to various locations around the island, starting with the Kanto Lampo Waterfall. After a refreshing dip and a bit of relaxation at the base of the waterfall, we continued our adventure, this time heading to the Pura Tirta Temple. Here, we had the opportunity to witness the religious life of Bali, a predominantly Hindu island with a Muslim minority. Entrance to the temple grounds required wearing a special skirt-like garment, a Sarong. Although our car-bound status prevented us from participating in a ceremony involving bathing in holy water, we still encountered a Hindu tradition distinct from our own culture. We thoroughly explored every corner of the temple and then perused the craft market surrounding it.

We continued our exploration in nearby Tegalalang, visiting the renowned rice terraces. After a satisfying lunch, we hiked through the valley that envelops the rice terraces. While we wouldn't describe the terrain as particularly dangerous, it was unusual for us to traverse a gorge several meters deep, crisscrossed by fast-flowing streams, using two laid bamboo poles.

Meeting the owner, we pressed on with our march, facing the challenge of the humidity. This did not deter us from reaching the final destination of our adventure: the world-famous tourist spot of Ubud Monkey Forest. Leisurely strolling through the forest, we learned about its cultural and religious significance. Later, we caught a glimpse of it at an open-air theater, where we enjoyed a play. Though we didn't comprehend much of it, one thing is certain: we will share this experience with our grandchildren. The forest left us with many memories, especially encountering the fascinating monkeys.

Upon returning home, we had dinner, relaxed on the beach, and once again immersed ourselves in the vibrant nightlife. That night, we made several new friends.

Since we had been on our feet for most of the previous day, we spent day 4 with relaxing. We refreshed ourselves at the hotel gym and spa, then hit the beach. On a special note, we got to see huge waves that day, a sight we were able to enjoy for a long time even as adults.

In the evening, we went to a local nightclub my cousin had introduced to us hoping to make new friends. We were clueless for a while and felt like outsiders until we started playing cards with two French guys. Although we didn't speak French and they didn't speak much English, we got on very well. That night taught me a very important lesson: you can make new friends and have new experiences anywhere, anytime, if you just try and don't sit in the corner and wait for a miracle. You must actively seek adventure, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.

On our final night, our newfound friends invited us back to the same venue. After a day filled with walking, swimming, and scootering, we departed and concluded our last evening with singing and dancing. I couldn't have envisioned a better ending.

As our trip came to an end, we experienced a bittersweet feeling, being "pleasantly sad." However, deep down, I was glad to be back home, despite the exceptionally long journey. The flight itself was a special treat.

Click below for more photos!