Although this was a stop on our cruise, we didn’t book any shore tours, so we decided to just have a walk around ourselves. We were lucky as P&O had put on a free shuttle bus to the centre of town, we got off and walked through the streets and found the local shops and market.
The shops were very inexpensive compared to western prices, but we just wanted to get into a bit of insight into local culture, so we headed into the bustling, crowded marketplace. Wow!! Did we get a culture shock or what, let’s just say hygiene standards just don’t get a look in at this place?
Rubbish next to fruits and vegetables and the smell was just unbearable. Raw fermenting meat in 35-degree heat was not lovely. We took a few pictures then I had to leave. Yeah, I know but your better person than me if you could bare it.
As we walked back, we caught the show outside the local history museum, and it was spectacular, music and costumes locals all dressed up and telling a story through their dance. I was in complete awe, and I was so glad we got to see it just by chance.
We continued walking back through the centre of town and as we passed a school all the children waved and giggled as we walked past. It was like we were mini-celebrities and they all wanted to see us, but obviously, it wasn’t because we were famous but because we were light-skinned and tall, they were fascinated. Adult locals were even stopping the elderly tourists and asking for a there photo with them.
It was an excellent mini introduction to a real Indonesian village, and I’m glad we took a walk off the boat.