(26 Feb – 2 March, 2009)

Returned a few days ago after 5 days in the island of the Gods. It has taken us this long to admit that our Bali experience has ended. I travelled with my lovely people. My deeply thanks to all my lovely people who made my trip possible.
Day 1
Our flight was at 19:50 pm and we had to be there at least 1 hour to 45 minutes earlier to check in our luggages and other stuffs. Thank God there wasn’t any delay or rescheduled for our flight, if not, it’s going to be one grumpy holiday trip for us. It was a 1, 5 hours flight. By the time we reached Bali, it was nearly 22:30 pm. We spent our evening in the plane, with beautiful view from the outside. We stayed at The Oasis Kuta Bali which is located in the heart of Kuta and only five minutes away from the famous Kuta Beach and Kuta Square. Our rooms faced the pool which was great.
Day 2
We woke up early in the morning to start our tour around the island. After breakfast, we decided to stroll around the local area, Kuta and Legian. We walked around the Kuta beach and bought a few things e.g. Accessories and clothes and a few other goodies – girl stuffs :). After doing some shopping, we decided to have lunch at a little restaurant called “Warung Made”. I ordered “Nasi Goreng Babi” and it was delicious easily the nicest thing i’ve eaten since I’ve been here.

After lunch we went back to our hotel and decided to try their leisure facilities out, a pool. The swimming pool was very tempting to people who had been travelling all day. Later in the afternoon, cousin of my friend picked us up and brought us to Menega Café at Jimbaran bay for dinner and sunset. All the restaurants are along the beaches and you can listen to the waves hitting the shore while a group of performers will sing English, Mandarin or Malay for you for a small donation. We sat down and enjoyed the scenery while having dinner and a few quiet beers. We got hassled a little by passer-by’s wanting us to buy some of there stuff… e.g.. beads, watches and all kinds of different things. It was an awesome scene to have dinner.

Day 3
Woke this morning knowing that today was going to be a good day. I had organised for Made Nyoman’s friend, Soni or bli Made (that’s what we called him) to pick us up around 9:30am for another day trip.
If you want to travel in Bali, get a local tour guide or van driver. It is close to impossible to move around in Bali if you don’t know the way. Every road looks the same and their main roads are within housing estates. To go from one place to another, you have to zig-zag, criss-cross many housing estates, roads, small lanes, back lanes, God-knows-where places before you can reach your destination. It’s literally a maze. The fact that most of the roads are one way isn’t helping either.
Our driver reached the hotel right on time and off we went to our first stop, Pasar Sukawati (Sukawati market) to shop for some souvenirs and cheap dresses. Remember you have to bargain a lot. If you can bargain, you will get a good price. I made some playful bargaining with one lady for a dress. The price went from Rp 75,000rp to Rp 30,000 in about few seconds. If you want large quantities of cheap sarongs, dresses and t-shirts, Sukawati might be for you.

We then went too Padangtegal’s sacred monkey forest. The entrance fee was Rp. 5,000 per person. They didn’t try to snatch anything from us though. There’re a lot of tourists in the monkey forest. The tourists were very excited about the monkeys; the monkeys were very excited about the bananas and the peanuts they tourists brought along. Some monkeys acted nice and posed for the cameras, some other went after tourist to beg for fruits. Two monkeys were caught in the act of vulgarism! yes, some sexual actions! hahaha what an exhibitionist!
Tired of observing the monkeys, we went to Babi Guling Ibu Oka (Ibu Oka’s Suckling Pig) for lunch. The most famous babi guling place in Bali! It should be on the top of your ‘To-Eat” list to eat babi guling, Bali’s traditional dish when you visit Bali. There are a lot of shops selling babi guling in the entire Bali, but it is advisable you come to the famous shops. As far as I know, Ibu Oka is the most famous one.
We returned the hotel and relaxed a bit before we got ready to go to Uluwatu Temple, a 1000-year old Hind temple, to watch Kecak dance and Fire dance. It was an amazing example of traditional Balinese dance. Over 100 dancers were gyrating, twisting, singing, groaning, shreaking and every other possible expression humanly possible of the body, mind and spirit. Elaborate costumes, colorful body paint and terrifing masks were the order of the night. The finale featured a Balinese man, apparently in trance, walking through and kicking a huge pile of burning coconut husks all about the stage. It was totally amazing.

This temple is located on the highest cliff of Uluwatu. Finally, we arrived at Uluwatu temple, notorious for its naughty monkeys. I was told to hold on to my camera and shades while walking past the monkeys, because they might jump on me and grab them. The view at Uluwatu was indeed awesome. The sounds of waves could be heard even while we were climbing up the stairs towards the temple.
Our next stop was Nero Restaurant & Bar for dinner. A good Italian restaurant in Kuta. It has a minimalist interior with gray, white and red tones. One of best spots to stop for a beer or a cocktail along this lengthly street! The food was good but you go for the atmosphere, music and scene.
Day 4
Began the same as the other. Waking up at 8:00am and heading straight down to breakfast. This morning we decided to visit a few more interesting places. First we went to Pasar Oleh-oleh to do some more shopping. Then we went to Pura Taman Ayun (literally “temple of the swimming garden”) is a complex of temples in Desa Mengwi in the south of the island of Bali. The temple was built in 1634 on a river island by the prince of Mengwi.

Later Bli Made’ drove us to Bedugul for sight seeing. Bedugul is another highland in Bali which is like1300 feet (meter?) above sea level. There’s a lake up there, it was formed after the volcano went dead, very similar to Lake Toba. The weather is very cooling and there’s even strawberry plantation nearby.
After Bedugul we went to see the magnificent Gitgit Waterfall. The path to the waterfalls was lined with huts filled with wood carvings, sarongs, t-shirts, etc. and all the store owners were trying to get us “just to look”. We headed straight for the waterfall, and when we finally saw it, the word that came to my mind was “powerful”.
We were once again on the road and the next stop was Dreamland beach. The color of the sea was so beautiful, with blue color in one side and green color in another side. I had never seen any view like this before. I was so astonished seeing it. “Dreamland”… is the name of this beach. It is located on the west coast of the Bukit Peninsula in Bali, Indonesia. It was my first time in Dreamland. I heard that lots of foreigners like to surf there, but I didn’t see any surfer there at that time. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t the right time to surf? We were walking along the beach, enjoying the touch of the sand in our feet and the beautiful view of the sea. Unfortunately we could only be there for only a short time. After taking several photos, we went back to our hotel with a beautiful memory in our mind.

After getting back to the hotel and relaxing for a few hours, we decided to have late dinner at Vi Ai Pi restaurant and continued down the street to Sky Garden. It was a really scary place full of super drunken tourists and ‘sexy girl’ Balinese dancers in tiny outfits haha.. But we absolutely had a great time.
Day 5
We woke on day 5 around 8:00am. We soon after headed straight down to breakfast. Bli made’ then came up to our room to say our goodbyes and helped us bringing our luggages, we couldn’t thank him enough. We became friends right from the start and everything he did was crazy but amazing at the same time haha… We Checked out and left the hotel at 9:30am to catch our flight at 11:00am back to Jakarta.

My Thoughts:
Bali is one of those places in which you have to go and experience. It offers so much in rich culture, and also a spiritual experience as well. This Island of the Gods is a nice place to have your holidays, as everything is slow paced and relaxing. With beautiful and splendid view of sunsets, sunrises, seas, mountains and greeneries, its a really nice island to explore. However, there are more than just sight seeings in Bali such as snorkeling, swimming at the beach, para-gliding, spa, massage and etc., but with only 5 days to spare in Bali, everything was kind of packed and rushed. I would suggest a two weeks trip would be better as you get to really chill yourself.
Bali is cheap if you know where to go, and it’s also a great romantic place as well. If you’re newly weds or just want to go somewhere exotic with the one you love, with beautiful sunsets and wonderful sights, it’s sure to make a good romantic getaway. And the people there are really nice and very hospitable. From the beautiful beaches of Kuta to the magical temples of the mountain tops. Bali has great things to offer for the traveller who wants to get away from it all, and have peace of mind in Paradise.I will definitely come back!
Signing off,

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