Uluwatu, Bali in 35mm

Uluwatu, Bali in 35mm

In my last post I talked about how I wanted to pick up film photography again. When I got the chance to go to Bali for my cousin's wedding, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to trust my ongoing skill with the analog mechanic. Also, since Bali is a very sunny place, I had a good feeling bringing my film rolls with me — they were all Fujicolor C200 and Kodak Ultramax 400 though, one perfect for outdoor sunny places and the other for better versatility.

My family, boyfriend and I boarded the plane on Friday, Jan 18. It was pretty exciting for both of us since it has been years ever since we took the plane to go someplace else. It's not necessarily a personal travel plan for both of us per se but this was better than not going anywhere at all. We didn't think we'd get free time since my cousin's wedding pretty much took two days to run. But, lucky as it was, we got our free time on the third day which was one day before we went back to Jakarta.

Arriving in Bali

When we landed, Bali wasn't as sunny as I thought it'd be. In fact, Bali has been a little rainy which was a first hand experience for me. Nevertheless, rainy season Bali is still bright and sunny, just nothing that will grill your skin. At the airport, all of us including the other relatives and guests were instructed to take the tour bus service prepared by the wedding organizer. It wasn't until we reached the venue that I realized we were going to Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club for welcoming dinner. As its name suggest where 'bukit' means 'hill' in Indonesian and Malaysian language, it had such breathtaking view filled with greenery and fresh air.

I didn't take pictures of our dinner because the sky was dark and I didn't have a high film speed with me to shoot night time. It was a three-course meal that was kind of a-okay but nothing too great either. I've noticed that whether it's sunny or rainy, Bali will always be humid and damp. Most places in Bali do not have air conditioners so we were practically fanning ourselves during the dinner.

After the dinner, we were then divided into groups depending on where we stayed. Like flocks of clueless tourists, we basically followed instructions and plans set up by my aunt. My family, boyfriend and I had our stay at Uluwatu Bayview Hotel, a 4-stars hotel with decent breakfast and design but very spacious and comfortable room. I shared a room with my cousin, my boyfriend shared his and her boyfriend's and my parents had their own, obviously. Even though not all of us stayed at the same hotel, all of us were basically stationed at Uluwatu, the south-western part of Bali. Most people who go to Bali know Kuta for its tourism aspects so Uluwatu was never really that popular. I personally think Uluwatu is very calming and perfect for a peaceful leisure getaway, especially if you are interested in temples, underrated beaches and Bali's latest amusement, the cultural park of Garuda Wisnu Kencana — which is something I'll talk about in the next post.

The second day marked the busiest day during this four days three nights trip. There was the holy matrimony at ten in the morning, cocktail party at five in the evening and then a garden theme wedding reception at Khayangan Estate from 6.30 pm onwards. Rain began pouring in at around 10 pm though so the after party had to be closed down. I did post a few videos and photos on my instagram feed and stories so if you missed them, just check out the highlights. I didn't take my Ricoh camera with me because, again, night photography problem. I did, however, bring my Instax with me.

Suluban Beach

As mentioned, my boyfriend and I scored ourselves one free day where we could go to anywhere we wanted. My cousin (who's my roommate), her family and my family went to join my aunt and the others to Kuta for some shopping, which is something I don't care about when it comes to Bali. As for my boyfriend and I, we decided to call a taxi, went to lunch and then head to Suluban Beach, a random beach spot Google gave me and got me interested due to its 'hidden cave' spot.

The experience of going to Suluban Beach was pretty fun and exciting. I'm so happy to know that my boyfriend is also very enthusiastic when it comes to all things nature related. We took a bunch of photos, so to speak. I even had to replace my film roll midway. Let me tell you that the Fujicolor C200 is amazing for outdoor nature shots!

Warning: in case you missed it, I posted a few instagram stories about my freaky experience of being followed by an unofficial, illegal taxi driver all the way from Suluban Beach to the main road. Apparently, some parts of Bali do not accept online taxis (think Uber and Grab) so they don't like it when you call for them. My boyfriend and I had to decline a lot of shady taxi drivers offering us for a ride. Not only are they shady as hell, they're also going to charge us crazy amount of prices because they know they can. To make matter worse, my anxiety was giving me all these thoughts of possibly getting kidnapped and killed. Fortunately, after walking really far away from the beach, we settled down at a cafe and called for a taxi. It was there my boyfriend and I could finally breathe. This is why in Bali, it's best to rent a car or a motorcycle. We knew about that, of course, but we just couldn't rent one out of the blue. It was, after all, an unplanned exploration.

We had to cancel our plan to go to Uluwatu Temple because the Grab driver told us that the area does not approve online taxis as well. So we end up going to the cultural park Garuda Wisnu Kencana instead which is located two blocks away from our hotel. Good riddance.

I'll talk about my experience at the cultural park in the next post, though. For the mean time, here are some shots taken using my Ricoh KR-5 Super with Kodak Ultramax 400 and Fujicolor C200.

UPDATE 7 March 2019

I've decided not to break this trip into a two-parts posts mainly because one, personal life got in the way that caused the supposedly part two post has been long overdue and I'm just not in the right mind space to babble about tourism spots. Also, I just realized that the photos for my trip to GWK weren't that many (I ran out of film roll midway so I had to use my phone)