Friday, February 12, 2010
The Breathtaking Bali, Indonesia - 2009
The land of paradise, that’s how people described Bali. After a year of not travelling abroad, my hubby and I (and my son, of course) decided to try Bali this time. All arrangements on flight tickets, hotel and ground itinerary were handled by ME. After several bouts of travelling, I think I’m getting really good at it! I made my homework before departing to Bali on where to go and what to do there. We ended up staying in a small-but-pleasant Balinese hotel in Kuta-Legian district, Bali Sorgawi.
We made our way on foot to explore the Kuta area as we arrived, taking the opportunity to window-shop along the Kuta Road from one end to the other. It was quite a long street with rows and rows of outlets selling souvenirs, clothing, paintings, home décor, food and even massage parlors, all of which came at a good price.
We took a few pictures at the Bali Bombing Monument, somewhere along the Kuta Road. It was rather poignant and heart-wrenching to see the long list of names being engraved on the monument – a memoriam dedicated to those who didn’t survive during the Bali bombing a couple of years ago.
Sightseeing was one of our main agenda in Bali. We went to almost all the must-see places. Mount Batur in Kintamani was an incredible sight. The view of this volcanic mountain from afar, surrounded by a lake was so overwhelming. Good thing we had our al-fresco lunch there, overseeing the mountain in a chilly-crisp mountain air. It was so beautiful that I almost cried. Seriously!!
The charm of Bali was so ever-present at Uluwatu. The view from the pura (temple) right on top of the hill cliff overlooking the Indian ocean was so astounding. There are no words to best describe how beautiful the scenery was.
But, beware of monkeys here! Better keep your shades, hair crunchies and even your camera pouch properly guarded or these creatures will snatch them away before you know it.
We managed to get to Tanah Lot even though it was quite late in the afternoon. There were thousands of people, mainly tourists wanting to see the sunset but the weather was not that kind on us that day. So cloudy was the day and so, there was practically no sunset for us. We ended up having a drink at the Sunset Terrace and just enjoying the scenic outline of Tanah Lot Temple. This ancient Tanah Lot Temple is set on a big rock surrounded by the sea water. Simply amazing!
Since we haven’t completed our itinerary, we continued our journey to Ulun Danu, Bedugul the next day. It was far from Kuta. The road was meandering, as we had to climb a steep mountain. The Pura (temple) was set on a lake, the most picturesque temple in Bali, I would say, because of its traditional Balinese architecture and the reflections on the water made a remarkable silhouette. Absolutely great for photography.
Goa Gajah was our next stop. It was another temple yet with another astonishing history behind it.
Tempak Siring was another old temple we visited. We reached there just in time for their prayers to set forth so we didn’t quite get to see the interior of the temple.
Well, it’s ok though. I’ve had enough of temples in Bali anyway. Let’s talk about some other things.
Dinner at Jimbaran was truly, truly amazing. It was a good spot for eateries where you can find a whole stretch of Food Outlets along a beautiful sandy beach, with each and every outlet offering gorgeous and sumptuous looking seafood dishes at a reasonable price. But, of course, you are not there just for the food, but also for the ambience i.e. dining by the Beach, entertained by a 4-piece Musician and if you’re lucky, you will also be served with cultural performances on stage. Sunset is also breathtaking at Jimbaran.
Oh, the Jagung Bakar (baked corn on cob) was pretty enticing too, you must try it if you ever get the chance to be in Jimbaran. It makes a very good appetizer before your hearty dinner is served.
Shopping can be everywhere in Bali, be it in Ubud, Seminyak, Kuta or Tanah Lot, but the best shopping ever would be at Sukawati.
We didn’t forget to hop-in to our must-buy outlet, The Hard Rock Café Bali.
Overall, what did we buy in Bali? The list will go on and on, from fridge magnets (of course) to dresses, flip flops to placemats to handbags, t-shirts to paintings and many many more, just name it, it will be in our list.
And oh yes, the Kecak Dance also known as the Ramayana Monkey Dance, you just have to see it to believe it! The story of Ramayana and Sita was beautifully choreographed into an astonishing musical theatre… but without any music. Just the sounds and voices of hundreds of men chanting their prayer –“Kecak…cak…cak…cak…kecak!! …”