My hotel in Ubud is very close to the Monkey Forest down the street.
If I am being honest I am not a big fan of monkeys. I can watch them at a distance but really have no desire to get close to one. I know they can be mean and nasty. Later in my Ubud visit I learn to dislike them even more (more on that later). Because it is such a big attraction in the area and so close I decide to go ahead and visit the Ubud Monkey Forest.
Upon entering the park there are some fun statues.
From what I understand the monkeys (Macaca fascicularis or Balinese long-tailed macaque) are free to come and go from the park but stay because they are fed and feel safe within the park.
This guy below is not one I would like to get into an altercation with.
I got to see lots of grooming, eating, and other tender moments.
But I also saw some jungle territorial action and some obviously bored animals. Definitely an interesting day visit but can’t say I’ll be back again.
Later in the evening I stop for a cocktail. I let the server talk me into an arak cocktail before I am fully aware of the dangers of that liquor. The drink is called Arak Attack that tastes what I believe like cat pee would taste like. Note: I get sick a day later. This drink could have been the cause of that illness.
It is ten months later and I am still alive so the drink obviously did not kill me but still not one of my brightest choices……
My travels have me out of the country for many months. During that time I am due for a teeth cleaning. Some internet forums recommend Thailand as a safe and affordable country to get a cleaning while I am out traveling. I make sure to schedule a dental appointment for an office in Bangkok many months in advance.
My appointment is scheduled the first full day while I am in town. It isn’t hard to get to the office by the skytrain. The train is convenient and even air conditioned but it does not matter, I still sweat profusely every time I am on the train. Between walking up the stairs to the station and the humidity, I can not prevent the sweat.
When I arrive at the office, it is a fancy lobby with free water and WiFi. I fill out my medical and contact information via a PC in the lobby and it is soon time for my appointment.
The doctor is nice and speaks English very well (lucky for me). He notices the excessive wear on my teeth from night grinding (the last couple years have been pretty stressful in my personal life). He suggest an affordable custom made mouth guard that I can pick up in a few days. I decide to go ahead and do it.
Overall it was a pleasant dental experience. The cleaning used modern techniques and the mold done for the bite guard is quick. I only have to remember to wear this new appliance every night.
Later that day I decide I am going to venture out and check out a rooftop bar that is recommended in online forums.
I take the sky train to the area close by the bar but it is still early. I decide to wander a bit before I go down to the hotel where the bar lives. I end up getting slightly lost by wandering down smaller side streets. It is through these streets that Bangkok comes alive. People go about their business and sell foods and goods right outside where they live. I saw quite a few of these communities in Bangkok.
I finally make it to the Banyan Tree Hotel that hosts the Moon Bar. It is pricey for Bangkok but has pretty views of the city. (Warning this bar has a dress code. It isn’t too strict but I remember that sandals are not allowed. I was allowed in my long shorts though but felt slightly under-dressed).
Since it is fully night time I decide to order a grab taxi for the trip back. It might have been the slowest method back. I soon learn that Bangkok traffic is horrendous and a car is probably the slowest method of getting anywhere. If only I had the courage to order a grab bike!
Travelers arriving in Peru will probably fly into Lima and if they are lucky they get a stay in posh Miraflores.
Miraflores is a relatively safe part of the city Lima. Located by the water, you will be amazed at the steep cliffs that lead down to the ocean. I would assume it gets pretty sunny and warm there due to its location but maybe because I was there off season there was a long lasting morning fog the few days I was there. The afternoons were perfect though.
My hotel was a short walk to this fancy outdoor mall with water views. I didn’t go shopping but I did eat breakfast there one morning.
Miraflores itself doesn’t take that long to explore by foot. There are plenty of good ceviche opportunities to take advantage of as well. I also enjoyed my journey of pisco sours.
Miraflores is a nice peaceful start to a Peruvian vacation, especially if you plan to do some hiking or high altitude activities.
I am at it again. I was looking for something light and refreshing to drink. My new creation is similar to something I have made in the past. It is super easy to make. Just need some fresh mint and lemon (or lime). Luckily we had plenty of mint and one lemon left. I muddled half a lemon with a bunch of mint. Added a bit of crushed ice and muddled some more. I then add 1 ounce each of vodka, st. germaine, apperol and mix with the crushed ice. I fill another glass with crushed ice and poured drink over ice. I then top off with sparkling water (as much as you want).