Stephen Crosson


Bali - First International Trip

It’s been 5 months since I went to Bali. My memory’s pretty good, but some things may get lost in the shuffle while story telling. With that said, I’ve been debating if I want to even tell the story or just make this a photo series since I created a whole vlog showcasing some of the trip. But even with the almost 20 min long video, it leaves out a chunk of things and I’m not 100% confident the photos will fill in a ton of empty spaces lol. Well, let’s just start and see where we end up.


Since I can’t directly add video (I was gonna show a walkthrough of the airbnb), I’m going to start at our first activity of the day which happened to be the Bali Swing. Kinda crazy to me that off rip, the first day I spent 1,100,000+ IDR ($77.39+) for both Ashley and myself. I don’t even fully remember what it all included other than some lunch that was stale. We got there semi early, so the lines for the place weren’t terribly long. Once it was her time to go, they strapped her in, and told her how to sit. Then I took her “Pinterest” shots.

I’m pretty sure that some of those Instagram models either pay extra or “convince” the people to let them swing without being strapped in, and sitting to the side etc. I wanted to fly my drone in front or above her but didn’t feel like dealing with possible backlash with it only being our first day and first thing lol.

I rode the swing, and after the first push, I was over it tbh lol. “I’m like oh cool!” *Next Push* “Ooook I’ve seen this.” I’m a thrill seeker but swings just don’t do it for me like that lol.

This Bali Swing place is one of several locations on the island and they have over a dozen swings and nests at each location as well. At the start of the blog, I posted one of the nest photos, and I even have one as the Youtube Thumbnail, but here is one more but of her.

The place definitely had some scenic views. Even the stairs were dope to me lol.

We met our new friend Aris while at the Bali Swing. It’s funny how black people always look for other black people and if both parties are cool enough we just click and that’s what happened with Aris lol. So after the girls were satisfied with their pics from swinging, we jointly decided we’d go to the Monkey Forest next. So we headed back to the airbnb so they can change clothes.

This is prob my favorite moving in traffic, street shot I took while there.

I wanna add my iPhone shots and edits in here before her outfit change, just because I really love the edits. If you follow my iPhone only page @steeveaux on Instagram, then you’ve probably seen these already as well as the before photos.

Back to my camera shots.

We got to the Monkey Forest early and while waiting for Aris to arrive, we walked up and down the strip. Some of the monkeys are outside of the forest on the street just living life lol. I lowkey wonder if there’s been any accidents as a result of them running into the street or possibly falling from a tree over the road.

Random man as we walked to the entrance.

I didn’t take many photos with my camera while here, but as I did a lot of video footage with my phone. It was a pretty sizable place with monkeys high up in trees to the high number of them walking around you or interacting with strangers. I wish I had captured video of the baby monkey that climbed on Aris lol. Didn’t hop off until one of the angry ones came around and scared both of them.

So much emotion in the look I got from this monkey.

This image is one of my faves because it’s like he just saw/heard something super offensive, Spongebob said number 11, he’s instigating, or he saw someone lookin like a fine slice of cheesecake.

After we left, we were trying to find food since it started getting semi late. We walked for a little bit and Aris and Ashley paused to look at something so I took more shots of the locals. It was funny to me because I saw a trio sitting outside and snapped a few shots and one caught on, so I chucked up the deuce at them and she did it back lol.

I recall seeing this young girl run and hop on a scooter and so many thoughts hit my brain, one of which was wait is she actually about to drive?? Sure enough, she took off once traffic cleared.

Day 2

Fast forward to tomorrow, this day will prob be short as I barely used my camera.

The plan for today was to go see waterfalls and whatever else we could get into. Only one prob, both of us kinda forgot to pack swimsuits lol. So we took a walk on this second 80+ degree weather day, in search of a place that sells such items. Nothing was close to our place since we stayed in a rural area and not a tourist area.

Half way to my nav point we got approached and caught up by a man named Terry who was a driver/tour guide etc who basically wanted biz. We ended up biting just because it was super hot, we didn’t have transportation already and it was easier to get to where we wanted to go. We said we’re gonna get some swim clothes and he took us out of the area, to another area where his homies have shops, arranged a “deal” for us to buy the stuff, and then took us to a waterfall. Not the one we wanted cause apparently one was closed due to being affected by the tsunami, which was hundreds upon hundreds of miles away so it was a head scratcher cause the area hadn’t been touched. But whatever.

We got to the waterfalls, and were greeted by men at a table. Charged us an entry fee, and a guide began walking with us. He took us to two separate falls. The first, I don’t have any camera photos of so I recommend watching the vlog, and the second was this beauty below.

Little mad I didn’t shoot a SINGLE PHOTO the entire trip with my drone. My dumb self only did video smh. So I can’t even add images unless I take some stills from video clips.

Lesson: So when we began to leave (as in walking back to the car), we’re wondering why the guide is still walking with us. Come to find out, he tells our driver we owe him money for the tour. We’re looking at him like hold up bruh. We didn’t even know you were an extra fee or we would’ve went by ourselves. Secondly, he asked for like 150,000 IDR each and we’re like yea no. So Terry talked to him and we ended up giving him I want to say 40,000 IDR total since he sprung this whole fee up on us. He was looking PISSED as we drove off lol. I just don’t believe in springing prices on people. If he wanted to get paid for guiding, that shoulda been out of his mouth the second before he began walking with us in the first place.

After we left the waterfalls, we met back up with Aris at her airbnb. Yall this place was gorgeous! And she found it for cheaper than our place!! We changed out of our wet clothes and the girls began talking. While they chatted it up, I went to explore this place lol.

Then the girls came out a short time later cause I told them we were losing daylight, and we/they did a little shoot.

Day 3

The next day, we met up with Aris to go to the Rice Terrace. It was BLAZING hot this day. Every day was like a consistent 83-87 degrees but today was just another level.

This is probably one of the only decent shots I have from actually being at the Rice Terrace lol.

You have to pay to get it in (or you can honestly sneak it), but once in, if you wanna go further in, and to the higher levels in the rear, you have to pay again lol. They be tryna get they money however they can. We walked around a little bit, and concluded we were over it since it was super hot and the stairs were massive and a lot to climb on the way back out.

We got back on the road to head toward Sanur, which was the area that would allow us to visit another island.

The plan was for us to visit a particular island that had statues in the water and we’d do an underwater adventure. But MULTIPLE people (drivers, and the excursion clerks) told us this particular island was closed from the tsunami a few weeks ago. We heard it was open but they held fast saying it was closed. So we ended up going to Lembongan Island which is about a 30 min boat ride away. The other island btw, was actually open. Some tourists told us they just got back from it smh.

Upon arriving on the island, we were bombarded with people looking to be a taxi for us. Offering absurd prices. It kinda reminded me of the seagulls from Finding Nemo saying “Mine”, but instead they were saying “Taxi”. We found a car driving by and asked him to take us to a location and so he dropped us off for the low. Its a number of things to visit on the island, but we chose a beach…and the beach he took us to (our choice), was whack. It was hardly anyone there for good reason lol.

I never got into the water because just while I saw in the sand, I could see how rocky the area was leading into the water. Ash had on her black water shoes, Aris however didn’t have anything on. I think I gave her my sandals, but then again I can’t fully remember. That water was so full of rocks and shells according them, it was hard to walk in. Which explains why it wasn’t many people at this beach lol. I just flew the drone even though the sun was blinding so I could barely make out anything on my screen.

Then we tried to get to the other side of the island to visit the other beach but drivers were playing games price wise until we came across one guy. We eventually struck a deal with him, who later tried to flip it on us, but I told him verbatim what he told us.

Dream Beach Huts was the second location and it was beautiful. (iPhone shot)

As you can see, a lot more people here lol. Though the waters were definitely more rough, there were still some who ventured out but obviously not too far. The resort next to us had an infinity pool, cafe and beach access. You just had to pay (which I think it was like $10 USD) for a guest pass. So we spent maybe an hour at this place just chilling in the infinity pool and the girls got food and coconut drinks. This is also where I think I jacked my phone up lol. I can’t hear in the ear piece anymore and it’s prob due to me submerging my phone one too many times. I’ve done it in the past but I was watching a clip while editing the vlog and I heard the audio shift and not go back to normal since then smh.

Our driver was set to pick us back up around 3:30ish to take us back to the docks so we wouldn’t miss the boats.

After the boat ride, getting back to the city from the beach was the HUGEST headache. Pretty much the company we booked to get there was supposed to have a shuttle for us to get back and we even paid for that and it was on our receipt, but they were saying it wasn’t included etc and it’s like it’s clearly written RIGHT HERE that we are to have a shuttle. Tempers were flaring lol. They were acting like they couldn’t read at that point and finally after us giving death glares they finally got someone to take us back lol.

Day 4

On the last day, I took a stroll.

While walking, I was stopped by two women who were out taking a stroll themselves. They had at least 8 dogs running around them. Two were puppies. They asked if I was lost or taking photos, and I told them somewhat of both lol. They asked where I was trying to go, and it was a breakfast spot I pulled up on Google that said it was in the vicinity I was in, but they said there’s nothing over here called that. So the younger woman offered to give me a lift to where she thought it might be. We just had to go back to her house and she’d give me a ride. So I walked with her back to her place and all the pooches followed. Like this little guy here.

She’s from Australia, but had been living in Bali for the last several months. I forget her occupation but it was something dealing with the community there. We hopped on her scooter and she began driving. She had no idea where it was so she offered to take me to one of her favorite spots instead.

Yes I ordered sweet and savory don’t judge me. That food was amazing and the view from where I sat equally matched.

After breakfast, I began trying to find my way back. I stumbled across this GIANT stair case and thought it would be my luck that the shortcut back to the airbnb is this way smh.

Some while later after mastering the stair path and walking through back alleys I got back to the airbnb. Ashley wanted to go back airport early (our flight wasn’t slated to leave until 1a Monday) and I didn’t want her to travel alone cause we’re in a foreign country lol, so I just said whatever and went with her. After HOURS of talking, I finally convinced her that we should leave the airport and enjoy the last day in Bali because who knows if we’ll ever come back. I hopped on Google, found what’s close enough to the airport and learned of Kuta Beach.

We ventured back out and got dropped off in what was basically a tourist hot spot lol. Did not know this. It was restaurants, retail stores, hotels, people, everywhere! They dropped us off close to the beach so we stopped there first. It was SO MANY people at this beach. I kinda wish I threw up my drone but I didn’t want anyone to hassle me during take off and touchdown.

Then we took a walk around to go find souvenirs for our families. Bali is a country where you can definitely barter. They wanted to charge me 250.000 IDR for two t-shirts that I knew I could get cheaper elsewhere. So I told them I was gonna leave and they stopped me and asked what do you want for it? I said 125.000 for both and they agreed lol.

We hadn’t really seen a single sunset since we’ve been there, so I made it a point that we catch one at the beach. So we headed back. Upon arrival, it was prob the most gorgeous sunset I’ve seen in awhile.

It was a grand way to end our trip……..

…but it wasn’t over.

Nightfall came and we still had a number of hours before we could even get through the first checkpoint in the airport so we stayed at Kuta Beach and walked the tourist streets. After eating McDonalds (it didn’t seem as bad in their country lol), we caught a GoJek back to the airport so we could go rest before they’d let us in. Before this point, I’ve never heard of a repackaging room in my life. When I say that while we sat/laid down in this room, waves and waves of Asians flooded this room in increments of 15 or so minutes, opening their suitcases, changing clothes, resealing things, being loud, doing crazy things to close their suitcases again, it was mind boggling to see. I did like three time lapse videos of them all coming in one after another lol.

Day 5: (Extra)

We made our flight to Korea, but hit a snag; the Delta flight back to the U.S. ended up being canceled. Had an issue with the plane so they didn’t want to take off. So we were stranded in Korea for a full day lol. I WISH we got to explore the city like we wanted with our new found time, but things didn’t go as planned smh.

But I managed to snag some images before the day took a turn lol.

Hope you guys enjoyed the story from what I remembered and could divulge, or at least the images if all you did was look at those lol. Again, if you haven’t seen it already, I have a vlog from this trip on my Youtube channel or you can view the video below!


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