April 3, 2017
Last morning waking up to this view…
Wayan picked us from Sidemen on our last day. For the price of a taxi ride to the airport, he basically gave us a half day tour. We drove through the lush green fields of Sidemen.
Passed the Patung Catur Muka…
And arrived at the Klungkung Palace (Puri Agung Semarapura).
The palace (puri) was erected at the end of the 17th century, but largely destroyed during the Dutch colonial conquest in 1908. Today the basic remains of the palace are the court of justice, the Kertha Gosa Pavilion, and the main gate that bears the date Saka 1622.
The Kertha Gosa pavilion served as the hall of justice. It was the court of the high king of Bali. Cases on the island which could not be resolved were transferred to this site. Three Brahmana priests presided over the court.
The convicts…were able to view the ceiling which depicted different punishments in the afterlife, the results of karma, while they were awaiting sentencing…
The main paintings depict the story of Bima in heaven and hell, but other stories depicted are the Tantri, the Garuda story, and scenes predicting …earthquakes. The ceiling paintings of the Kerta Gosa are one of the outstanding examples of the Kamasan style. The paintings were probably originally done in the middle of the nineteenth century. 
Across the palace stands the Puputan Klungkung Monument, which was erected in memory of the Puputan Incident.
In 1908, as part of the final phase of colonial control, the Dutch attempted to impose an opium monopoly and the Balinese elite chose to make a stand against them. On April 18, 1908, the Raja (King) of Klungkung and his 200 followers made a desperate defensive attack out of his Palace. The Raja was armed with a legendary kris (dagger) that, according to a prophecy, would wreak havoc on the enemy. Instead, the Raja was shot by a Dutch bullet. Immediately, the six wives of the king resorted to ceremonial suicides, or puputan, killing themselves with their own kris. They were followed by the other Balinese in the procession. After the puputan, the surviving members of the royal family were exiled, and the palace was largely burned to the ground. These events ended Balinese resistance to the Dutch. 
It was an interesting history lesson to end our Bali trip.
We were about to go to a coffee plantation again but went to a souvenir shop instead.We ended up buying a ton of gifts there. Totally worth it! (As discussed in a prior entry.) Wayan took us to the airport after and we said our farewells. I can’t believe that was the end of our Bali trip!
On the flight back to Taipei from Bali…
It feels unreal. I just spent a week enjoying the basics that island life has to offer (ok, not super basic, we did have wifi). The last two days in Sidemen felt like a nice detox. It’s such a beautiful island with friendly, gracious people. The only people here who upset me were a couple of rude foreigners I encountered. The locals are generally very polite and you can tell they mean well. Everyone was really nice about us taking pictures and we didn’t feel offended when they took pictures with or of us. It was a lot of fun.
The island is so lush. It’s green everywhere and the frangipani flower trees were everywhere. It smelled amazing wherever we walked.
We had such a great time thanks to Wayan, our driver for the last 4 days. I think him and Bali Golden’s itineraries really created the most memorable trip. Getting around couldn’t have been easier. Wayan was able to help us with planning our itinerary (when where how to go places) and he made sure we paid reasonable prices.
He was so much better than any other driver we had. Our first day, we hired some random person from the airport and he charged us 250k Rupiah for a ride to Seminyak. Apparently, the normal cost is 120k but they do close the roads. Then the first driver we had from the Trans Resort didn’t really speak English and took us to a bad coffee plantation. You can tell he tried though. When Wayan’s child was sick, Ketut was pretty good. His English was great and he listened carefully to what we wanted to do. But he is pretty new to the job so he’s not as familiar with planning an itinerary.
I’m feeling extreme vacation withdrawal already! Even though I’m technically on vacation still. Complete opposite feeling of leaving China. I was so excited to get back to Taiwan that day. But the food, the people, the sun, the weather, the insanely affordable shopping prices, and the rich culture was so exciting to see. This was probably one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever had. I was a bit nervous going on a trip with my mom but she was so relaxed, loved talking to the people and had such an adventurous taste for food. It was fun!
The exchange rate makes everything unbelievably cheap for Americans. Apparently the average monthly income is $120 (or $220?). That’s like half the hourly rate for a consultant in Finance. Insane.
My mom went back to Taiwan and talked non-stop about the trip. I think this was her first time on a trip without a tour group and on an island with the nicest people ever. It was a much deserved trip for my mom and totally worth it!
Now my whole family wants me to plan a trip to Bali for them…maybe I can go back soon!