As promised, today I'm sharing Part 1: my traveling note in Bali with Miss Noria Hasibuan on last December 2012.
Why do we go?
I must admit that, yes, sometimes I can be a pretty impulsive person. Whether it's something I want to do, somewhere I want to go, something I want to buy, often I get an idea in my head, there is little time between the formation of the idea and its implementation. This impulsiveness of mine has so far prompted me to buy new shoes, join arabic course in office, make-up, watch, and even traveling.
Bored with office stuff, I contacted Noi whether she want to have holiday or no. And viola, we managed to have vacation in Bali within 3 days before the departure date.
Where do we stay?
We stayed at favehotel, one of simple budget hotel at Seminyak. As soon as we stepped to the room, the room was not too big and not too small, clean, has AC, international TV channels, free Wifi, and hot showers (obligatory item for me, hehehe). In my opinion, favehotel was value for money, IDR 500K/night per person.
Day 1 : Potato Head - Blanco Museum - Gunung Kawi Temple - Legong Dance
Before we arrived to hotel, there was drama in airport. I was standing at baggage carousel for what seems like forever when the steady flow of bags onto conveyor belt slows to a trickle, then stopped. My luggage was nowhere in sight. Panic attacked! After asked curiously to Citilink officers what happened and where my luggage was, it was found that my luggage was sending to the wrong airport, it was sent to Surabaya instead of Bali. Oh my.... They convinced us that if they find my luggage, they would send back it to Bali (oh ya.... You have to!). And, you know what, although this was not our mistake, they refused to help us sending it to our hotel. We must took it to airport at mid night by our selves. Thank you Citilink, for your "kind" support.
To please my mood and as per our planning, we directly headed to Potato Head Beach Club at Petitenget. Their food is yummy and they do a delicious mocktails. We didn't ate on the daybed since it was a sunny noon. I must say I was impressed with the decor when we entered the venue, great ambience.
Miss Noi - Potato Head Beach Club
As our main objectives to visit Bali were culture, art, and outdoor activities, so our first destination was The Blanco Renaissance Museum at Campuan, Ubud. Antonio Blanco was a very erotic and eccentric artist whose main subjects were Balinese women. Lots of nudity paintings but they are not vulgar. I am not a painting expert but still enjoyed the display galleries. This museum is totally worth to visit. Oh ya, please remember, they do not allow photograph in the museum, you may take photograph in the workshop or restaurant area.
The Blanco Renaissance Museum : Workshop & Welcome Drink
Our second destination was Gunung Kawi Temple at Tampaksiring, Gianyar. Gunung Kawi is a very peaceful place with amazing views that must not to be missed.
The complex comprises 10 rock-cut shrines carved into the cliff face. They stand in 7 meter hight sheltered niches cut into the sheer cliff face. These monuments are thought to be dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty and his favorite queens (wikipedia).
The steps to the temple offer lovely views of rice fields and a stream in a deep valley. Despite being there when a storm hit and having to climb the steps in pouring rain, it was a very atmospheric place to visit and one of the most memorable places I saw in Bali.
Some offerings at Gunung Kawi Temple
Our last destination in first day was watching Legong Dance performance in Ubud. If you are in Ubud, you must see this dance, a great way to get a taste of traditional Balinese dancing. I especially enjoyed the costumes and the gamelan music that accompanied the dance. A lovely cultural experience. Tips: Go early to get seats :)
|Legong Dance at Ubud|
*Taken from Noi's camera
Day 2 : Barong Dance - Sobek Ayung River - Taman Ayun - Tanah Lot - Biku
We woke up late because last night luggage pick-up at airport. Actually we managed to join Bali Hai Cruise to Nusa Lembongan, but... unfortunately we cancelled it due to my luggage uncertainty yesterday. Next vacation, Bali Hai Cruise will be my first priority in Bali.
First destination in our second day traveling was watching Barong Dance in Batubulan. This story is supposed to be taken from Mahabharata, narrating between good and evil.
The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga's father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occured, but she and her black magic troops were to strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga's soldiers and fight ensued. Rangda casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill theselves, pointing theirs poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong won and Rangda ran away. (http://www.indo.com/culture/barong.html)
The performance was quite interesting, but it took me sometime to understand what they were performing (either the theme was not clear or the performers were not powerful to convey the message). It was boring. The tickets are expensive to our standard, part of it maybe because we hoped for longer performance or breathtaking actions. However the "Keris" show was a bit scary. So I felt it was quite worth seeing after all. Please do bring your camera or handy cam would be even better.
|Barong Dance at Batubulan|
Another things must do in Ubud is rafting at Sobek Ayung River. The place was nice, the water was clean, fresh and the place was quite, it was rainy at that time. The scenery was also very pretty, where you can also see two waterfalls and take awesome pictures. The rock was awesome, there were short Ramayana story crafted at the rock. We stopped for tea, coffee, or coconut water and snack before finishing the trip.
Although tiring, having to climb down and up many stairs to reach the rafting location, resulting in aching arms and legs, it was nevertheless my favorite activity in Bali. We paid 300K IDR/person, not cheap but with Sobek Ayung River, we felt it was worth it. Ayung river was so beautiful!. Amazing and unforgettable experience.
After rafting, we went to Taman Ayun Temple at Badung. Taman Ayun Temple is a royal temple of Mengwi Empire. I loved the prettiness of this temple. It is not massive and hence, a good short visit with some other activity as part of a day tour. The gardens were lovely and well kept. You couldn't go into the actual temple however you can take photos from around it. The architecture of the temple is stunning. Traditional style with beautiful 'maru' with up to 11 roofs. We paid 10K IDR each to get into Taman Ayung.
|Wild flower at Taman Ayun Temple|
|Balinese Pagodas (Maru)|
Next cultural destination was visiting Tanah Lot. If you aware my post: A Glimpse of Bali (Part 2), this was my second time visiting this place. We were lucky to see a ceremony take place in Tanah Lot. How I love to see this kind culture; woman, man, children, spare a lot their time to pray for what they believe faithfully, very tranquil yet peaceful.
As balinese dance hoppers, we watched Kecak Dance in Tanah Lot. Comparing to Kecak Dance in Uluwatu, this dance was so-so. Need some improvement at dancers and property. We felt the dance has no power at all. We paid 50K each for this performance.
|Balinese Ceremony at Tanah Lot|
|Kecak Dance at Tanah Lot|
We ended our second day by eating at Biku. Oh....my favorite tea & carrot cake in the universe. If you don't here, you're missing out :)
|Redwan, Me and Miss Noi at Biku|
Day 3 : Bali Bird Park - Mak Beng - Blue Point - Uluwatu
We called the third day were rest (leyeh-leyeh) & culinary theme. We just go to Bali Bird Park in Ubud, then ate at Mak Beng, then ate again at Blue Point Restaurant (just fruits, sweet cake, and mocktails), watched Kecak Dance again at Uluwatu and ate again at Nasi Pecel. Hehehe, full tummy is the happiest thing before we back to Jakarta.
|Miss Noi :p at Bali Bird Park|
|Orchard at Bali Bird Park|
|Us. Happiness overload!|
|Scenery at Blue Point Restaurant|
|Uluwatu, still my most romantic place|
|Kecak Dance at Uluwatu, still the best among all|
|Blue Sky at Uluwatu|
Oh ya, although we had wonderful days at Bali, do you aware that we even did not hit beach at all? :p
Next Bali trip, I have to go to : Bali Hai Cruise to Nusa Lembongan & Cycling at Ubud. Do you have any idea where to go in Bali? Please share with me :)
All pictures taken from Lumix GF3, except mention from another source.
, by Wulandari