Zoe Bennfors

On a gap year between college and university, heading to South East Asia in March for 5 months. Feel free to follow the bits n bobs I will get up to!
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  • Day29

    Gili Air

    July 20, 2017 in Indonesia

    Arriving relatively late to Gili Air Sacha, Pernilla and I were welcomed into our homestay by a lovely Indonesian family who provided us with a free welcoming drink of iced coffee (my new found favourite drink). We then settled into our homestay which was perfect for what we needed, having just the space for all 3 of us. Sacha wanted to go visit and say goodbye to his volunteering friends, whilst Pernilla and I decided to stay in, exhausted after a hectic week. We had a slow evening and went out for dinner, which looked over the sea and beach. However, once we had eaten we didn't hang around long as we just wanted to be in bed for an early night.

    Woken up the next day to breakfast delivered to our room which was a delightful, their iced coffees are definitely some of the best I have ever had. After a slow start to the morning we decided to be active and go snorkelling as hadn't done it on Gili T. So we spent the next hour watching the colourful fish wonder around coral. Despite not being as incredible as Nusa Lembongan, the fish were still fascinating and it was a fun thing to do. After returning the snorkelling gear, we decided to chill on the beach for the rest of the day before going back and grabbing some money to head out to dinner.


    Wondered the beach, sat on the swings and just chilled. Great way to end mine and sacha's week.

    Early rise to get our ferrys, said goodbye to Sacha and saw him off to Lombok to meet his family while me and pernilla headed back to the mainland for my final days left in Bali!
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  • Day17

    Gili T

    July 8, 2017 in Indonesia

    The journey there was exhausting. With the ferry being over 2 hours late, I was hot, sweaty and very bothered by the time I made it on. Not that you could expect anything else in Asia, having spent nearly 5 months there I had learnt these delays you just have to take in your stride and not worry too much about. Boats not being my favourite mode of transport didn't help either though. However, at the port I did bump into a girl I had worked with in Cambodia, and was lovely to see her and be updated on what she had been up to in the 4 months since I had seen her. Her job is based on Gili, so I was bound to see her a lot over the next few days while I was there.

    I arrived to Gili T a couple of hours later, after what happened to be the most terrifying ferry journey of my life even if I did get there safely. I met up with Sacha and was great to see him despite his awful 'facial hair' that he had apparently been growing for month but the fact was I probably had more of a moustache than him. He introduced me to all his volunteering group, which happened to be all girls, however he certainly wasn't complaining.

    With lots to catch up on, we went out for dinner on the beach and I had my favourite meal, Nasi Goreng, accompanied by a Bintang. With the sun setting it was a perfect first evening on the island after a stressful travel day.

    Heading back to the hostel it was time for a shower and change of outfit to be ready for when we would head out to the bars. There ended up being quite a large group of us, including Sacha, his volunteering friends and myself. With Sacha there, it would be nothing but a big night and can't say we felt great the next day. However we had plans so had to push on. Getting some food to line our stomachs we went to the Jiggy Boat Party. Despite it being the last thing I felt like doing, I surprised myself and actually had a great time. The boat trip allowed us to see the beautiful islands around Gili as well as the sunset from the boat. Getting back to the hostel I was exhausted and with such high consumption of alcohol in the last 24 hours I decided it was time for a night in.

    Pernilla came to join the next day and we moved hostel due to lack of space in our original one. The one we moved to turned out to be far better than the previous one and I was thankful it had turned out to be a good move. It was great to see her and even better that me, her and Sacha got on very well.

    The next few days left on gili T was full of beaches, watching stunning sunset on the other side of the island as well as taking your classic beach picture wth the swings in the water.

    And sooner than I knew, it was time to move on to the next island Gili Air. This island is known to be far quieter than Gili T and safe to say we were looking froward to a bit of relaxation after a busy few days.
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  • Day16

    Kuta

    July 7, 2017 in Indonesia

    Arrived in busy busy Kuta and having spent the whole day at the beach a shower was in need before heading out to Sky Garden, the famous club in Bali for Liberty's last night out before she headed home. Couldn't quite believe how quickly her time there had gone, needless to say I only had a week left before heading to Malaysia to see the family, it felt surreal that my travels alone were coming to end.

    In Sky Garden you could pay £10 between 5pm - 9pm for all you can eat buffet and then free unlimited drink/. Seeming like an offer too good to refuse we certainly made the most of it. Having 'unlimited' drinks was definitely a dangerous move and certainly set us up for the night. It turned out to be a very successful night and was good to see Liberty and her friends one last time.

    The next day had been planned for shopping however me and Pernilla were a bit worse for wear so struggled through the day not wanting to miss out on the shops before heading to the Gili Islands. Despite this we had a relatively successful day and managed to get around the shops and markets but were exhausted by the end. An early night was definitely in order after a needed Nasi Goreng (my favourite Balinese meal).

    Anticipation for the islands sent me to sleep, excited for the week ahead.
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  • Day14

    Uluwatu

    July 5, 2017 in Indonesia

    Due to it being known as the surfers town of Bali, many don't go here for any other purpose. However it is one of the most beautiful areas and has amazing cliff faces overlooking the sea. For a change of hostels, we decided to try out a homestay. For the first time since I had been travelling I wasn't in a dorm. We got our own bedroom AND bathroom, what a treat!

    It had an inviting pool out front so firstly made use of that after some sweaty travel and long car journey to get back to the mainland. The pool was just what the doctor ordered. For the night we decided to go out to Single Fin, where we had been at the beginning of my trip to Bali and even got to see Luisa and Corrie. Was so lovely to see them having spent so much time with them and loved hearing about what they had been up to.

    We organised to go to Dreamland Beach with them the next day and spent the day there. The waves there were some of the craziest I've seen having more strength than I would have ever imagined, realising now that's why surfers loved it so much here. However, to start the day we found a delicious breakfast place called Suka which was a tiny little cafe but had some of the best food in Bali. At the beach we spent the day reading and watching the surfers successfully or unsuccessfully ride the waves.

    Left in time for sunset at the Uluwatu Temple, one of the most famous land marks in Bali. Had beautiful views of the clifface and was perfect for sunset, the temple itself also so elegant site amongst the trees, home to many monkeys. Then it was time to say goodbye to Corrie and Luisa, strange to think the next time seeing them would be in England but wished them all the best for the rest of their trip. Finishing the day with a big burger and headed back to our homestay for an early night and make the most of our own room before we had dorms again.

    Made another trip to Suka for breakfast as felt it would be rude not to and spent the morning and early afternoon at Padang Padang beach before heading to Kuta. The beach was gorgeous and the water some of the bluest I've seen. It was a long trek down as the beach was almost hidden, but we arrived there and almost had the beach to ourselves. This time the waves were smaller which actually allowed us to swim and not be almost knocked out by each wave.

    Leaving to Kuta I can say it was a short but sweet stay.
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  • Day10

    Nusa Lembongan

    July 1, 2017 in Indonesia

    Having not heard much about this island apart from the fact it's meant to be beautiful, I couldn't wait to explore what it had to offer.

    My first impressions when I got there that it was far less touristy than the hustle and bustle of mainland Bali. This aspect of the island I really grew to love as I felt as though I wasn't just following the crowd. I met up with Pernilla again after her quick trip to Singapore and we checked into our hostel and met our other room mate Joe who ended up spending our duration of our island time together. Esme, a girl who I had met on my Mount Batur hike, and instantly got on with was also meeting us on the island.

    The first evening was predominantly a wild goose chase in search of an ATM with the whole island having only 2, the first one having run out of cash which sent us in to panic mode for a brief moment. Eventually we found one and then stumbled upon the beach it was near, known as Mushroom Bay, and sat down to watch the sunset.

    An early rise was in order for the snorkelling trip planned that day. Having gathered a little group of us made up of Pernilla, Esme, Joe and myself it turned out to be an unforgettable day with some amazing sea life. To this day it is still the best under water life I have seen.

    During the trip we stopped off at 3 sights and the coral was stunning as well as all the fish. The first snorkel stop we even saw a manta ray which was incredible! We followed it round for about 30 minutes until it wondered off and we couldn't keep up with it. The animal was so majestic and one of my highlights of my time in Bali. The next location was Crystal Bay and It certainly lives up to that name. The water was so clear I was in disbelief. Below the surface was even more breathtaking. The coral and fish were all colours imaginable and created the most vibrant environment the swim in.

    The last area was just as beautiful as Crystal Bay, however we were getting exhausted having been out for 3 hours so we decided to call it a day and return back to land for a big lunch. After filling ourselves up we found a spot that was in a prime location for sunset and sat to watch the sun go down, a beer in hand.

    Our last day in Nusa Lembongan was spent at one of the better known beaches known as Dream Beach. Another area that lived up to its name as it was certainly a dreamy day. The water was so beautifully blue and was a lovely place to just relax in the sun. We had dinner overlooking the whole beach before returning back to the hostel for a few beers and game of cards.

    The next day it was time to say good bye to the island we had enjoyed so much as well as saying farewell to Joe and our other roommate Mason who we had spent the previous night with.
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  • Day10

    Ubud

    July 1, 2017 in Indonesia

    First day in Ubud met 4 girls, 2 sets of friends travelling together who were all lovely and we instantly grouped together monkey forest
    - rice terraces and waterfall
    - waterfall, clear water cafe - best falafel wrap ever (food again)
    - mount batur - early 2am rise to walk up the volcano, would take 2 hours up 2 hours down. Met s girl called Esme from hostel and happened to get along really well - ended going to nusa together.
    Met up with Castaways ppl beforehand
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  • Day5

    Canggu

    June 26, 2017 in Indonesia

    After slow journey from Seminyak due to the awful traffic, we eventually got to Canggu and decided the first thing we needed was a nap. With Liberty, Anna and Fleur also being in Canggu we were set to see them at the main bar there known as Old Man's. After our nap we got ourselves ready, refuelled and began drinking again. Canggu also being a big surfer town, Old Man's was full of surfers, appearing to be everywhere I looked. 5 minutes after we got there, I bumped into Liberty. It was so strange seeing her after so long and on the other side of the world. Nevertheless it was amazing to have her there. The night was fun but due to so many people being there the place was like a sweat pit and once it was closed we made a quick escape.

    After a late night me and Pernilla thought a pool day was required so spent time at the hostel by the pool with a few people we had met the day before and a girl who I had met in Laos. After the whole day in the hostel we thought we would go out and explore Canggu a bit more and have dinner. We found a delicious restaurant and had a bowl of goodness including one of my favourites, falafel.

    The next day we headed to Potato Head Beach Club, going for drinks with Liberty in the evening.

    Having not had a proper time to catch up with Liberty we went to breakfast together just the two of us and made our way to an area by Canggu Beach called The Lawn. It was so nice to be able to chat and admire the views just the two of us and be able to see each other and it not be on a night out. Later on Fleur, Anna and Pernilla came to join us and we spent the rest of the day there. The food was amazing and The Lawn itself was a lovely place, however the weather was slightly overcast which was a shame. Later that day we said our goodbyes as we both had to get on and pack as we were moving on the next day.

    Having had a very restful and fulfilling day it was nice to go back and get a good nights sleep.
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  • Day2

    Potato Head Beach Club

    June 23, 2017 in Indonesia

    Being one of the most prestigious and well known beach clubs in Bali the demand was high. In order to get a bed you had to arrived 30 minutes before opening time which was 9.30am. Having had slow traffic on the way me and Pernilla were worried that arriving with 10 minutes to go before it opened at 10am we wouldn't get a bed. However, being the first one in the queue for it to open we successful got one of the few remaining beds. The beach club was absolutely stunning, having an infinity pool containing a bar right in the centre looking over the ocean.

    Being extremely expensive, we began the day with a iced coffee and lay on the beds to enjoy the sun seeing as our one was in the best sun spot for that time of day. At midday we had a snack of nachos to keep us going. They were delicious and devoured quickly.

    The rest of our time was spent in and out of the pool and on the sun beds, napping and reading and generally having a relaxing day. Spent the rest of the day in and out of the pool, lying on the sun beds. I almost felt as though it was a holiday within a holiday. Having had quite average weather for my first week we were so lucky having clear blue skies the whole day.

    Before sunset we shared a meal of fish and chips as well as a chicken bacon sandwich, both going down a treat. The sunset was beautiful despite being a bit cloudy. However it was clear it was the spot to be for sunset with an influx of people coming to eat and use the pool at that time.

    Very content we decided it was our time to leave and went back to the hostel for a shower before heading out and having a drink with Liberty, Fleur and Anna.
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  • Day1

    Seminyak

    June 22, 2017 in Indonesia

    Still getting used to being on my own again having travelled for the past 6 weeks with Corrie and Luisa, I arrived at my hostel around midday. It was a bit of a palaver getting there as the hostel had changed destinations so at first had turned up at the complete wrong location. Nevertheless I got there safely which has always been my continuous thought process throughout my trip. Luckily for me the hostel was one of the most sociable I've experienced in my travels. First night involved 20 of us getting a 'party bus' to Single Fin in Uluwatu. On the bus I was sat next to a Danish girl called Pernilla who ended up being my travel partner for the whole of Bali and now a best friend. After watching the sunset at Single Fin we met up with two of her friends she had met earlier on in her stay and enjoyed a few drinks with them before it was time to leave on the bus home at 12am. Stopping off at McDonald's on the way home made it a good end to a busy first night out.

    Feeling a bit worse for wear the next day was a relaxing one, which involved getting my nails done, visiting the beach and the markets and exploring Seminyak. Getting back to the hostel and I was persuaded into going out, which wasn't exactly hard and made the most of happy hour before heading out to the main bar / club known as La Favela.

    Another slow morning but saw to a very yummy breakfast before some more shopping as the weather remained extremely overcast. Being the last leg of my trip I didn't hold back spending and treated myself to a few items from a shop I fell in love with and probably could of spent a lot more money than I did. The sun decided to come out in the afternoon so me and Pernilla thought we would make the most of it and head to the beach. Covered in sand we showered and got ready for our last night out in Seminyak. Met a really good group of people at the hostel who all carried on the evening at La Favela into the early hours, finishing the night off with battered halloumi.

    The next day we went for breakfast at the same place as the day before as we didn't think we could have better food anywhere else. At midday it was time to checkout and head over to Canggu.
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