After a leisurely week in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, hanging out at the many cafes and restaurants, I went back to the Chinese embassy where I had left my passport, only to be told that my request for a Chines visa would not be considered as my passport was “too beat up!”
Huh, well not to be undone, I went home, threw my airline ticket to China away and booked a flight early the next morning to a place that had always called to me. The small province of Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the undisturbed, protected waters of Palau Weh island on the Andaman Sea.
Indonesia has more than 8500 inhabited islands and 127 active volcanoes. I have spent time on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Papua, and Bali. Over 70% of all the earth’s ocean species are found in Indonesia and the diving is pristine and invigorating.
There are really three parts to Bali. The thronging beaches of Denpasar in the south full of partying Aussie s, the north’s quiet beaches and coastline villages where the active volcano lies (there were two earth quakes while I was on the island and the volcano began to smoke two days after my motorbike ride around the base).
Then there is the mountainous interior where the town of Ubud lies, a real hangout for what used to be ‘hippies’, however the new ‘hippies’ are mostly on the world backpack scene, have dreadlocks, eat vegetarian food and practice yoga. Very cool.
After a week I went to a very small village on Gapang Beach where all the serious divers stayed.
A French man and his Japanese wife run a little dive shop there called ‘Bubble Addict’. I became great friends with all the staff and other divers. It was here at Bubble addict that I acquired my Advanced Open Water Diver’s Certification.