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Bali, Indonesia

Island of Gods and Demons

Bali, the island of Gods and Demons is a truly holiday paradise from the sun and sea to ancient ruins and temple and of course last but not least a shopping heaven as well. We can get almost anything under the sun especially the handicrafts that of great quality.

As comparison to some of the wood carvings and painting in Bangkok or even Malaysia, I think the quality is better and the most important is that the price really affordable for any man on the street.

Other than recharging during the holiday, we will be learning the art of bargaining with the locals. At certain places, the price can be slashed up to 70% of the offered price. In fact, it’s kind of their culture for such kind of bargaining. I was told that colour of the plastic bags that were used to pack the stuffs purchased was some form of communication among the traders / sellers. Those hardcore customers who are very good in bargaining will be given black colour bag and those not so difficult to handle customer will be given another colour. Hehe… Interesting right? Anyway, it maybe just some rumours spread.

Accomodation
On the first night of my first visit to Bali, I was staying at Sheraton Laguna Bali. It was such a great resort and we had a great time there enjoying the hospitality of their staffs and the great surrounding around the resort. In fact, the swimming pool was so huge and it’s enveloping the whole resort. This reminded me of Sheraton Phuket. The similar kind of set up that was so familiar to me. We had a dinner buffet at the resort and enjoying the traditional dance. Even though the selection of food was quite limited, it still made the meal fulfilling to me. We enjoy the food as much as the traditional dance performance. Managed to get up to the stage and dance with them. Haha. It is such an interesting experience for me. In fact, when I visited Bangkok in year 2002 during the Loy Krathong Festival, I joined their dance as well. It’s fun and great as we just blend with them and enjoy the great moments of celebration. After the dance performance, unexpectedly there was a musical band moving around from table to table performing songs for the diners. I should said that most of the us enjoying the great time.

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Sheraton Laguna Bali - the bedroom

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The next day, we checked out from the resort and move to another resort – Bali Tropic. It’s an authentic kind of Balinese resorts with all the carvings of the demons and gods of bali. It was such a great hotel whereby, I felt localised. As compared to Sheraton, it’s too international kind of feel as I stepped in to the resort. Bali Tropic gave me different kind of impression of Bali. Full of mysteries and at a time it gave us fearful kind of feelings. In fact, the hotel operator was telling us about all those ghost stories when we checked that evening after visiting some of the interesting places in Bali. It really scared my other travel mates. It was very “pantang” to them to hear that entire weird and scary story about the place whereby we will be staying for at least two nights.

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The final place where we moved to before leaving Bali was Mecure Kuta. This resort is located next to Hard Rock Hotel, where all those party goers will rock every evening. It was so happening to stay in Kuta area. We can enjoy the sea view right from the hotel restaurant and the pool as well. The beach was another happening place at Kuta whereby people will be hanging over there from the early hours of the day till late in the evening. Most of the time the sea would be full of surfers and watching them surfing was another interesting experience for me. The way they glide on the water, the way the waves moved, the laughter’s of the surfers and of course the people just made me love Bali so much.

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Kuta Beach from the top of Mecure Kuta Resort

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Places of Interests

There are a lot of interesting places worth for our visitation during the holiday at Bali. For instance, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Mount Batur, Bedugul, Sukawati, Sangeh, Kintamani, Kuta, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Mengwi Village and etc.

The first temple visited during the trip is Uluwatu. It is located at Southwest of Bali. This temple is a precariously located at point of a sheer cliff on the island southern peninsula. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the most holy and important temple in Bali and it commands a superb position on the tip of the sheer rocky promontory jutting out over the Indian Ocean. It is such a great experience to be there as I managed to enjoy the magnificent views over the serrated coastline that really stunning and this is another hot spot to view the sun set. The interior of the temple is not accessible to the public just like most of the temples in Bali. However, the temple structure is relatively small and any visitor will be able to view most part of the temple from the exterior walls.

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As dinner time was approaching, we were arranged to have a BBQ seafood dinner at Jimbaran. As we reached the beach, I noticed a lot of restaurant operators occupying the beach with all the tables being set up for customers to enjoy the sun set and of course the famous seafood BBQ dinner. In fact, I didn’t enjoy the meal as the food is just too spicy and the portion served also very little. Anyway, we just ate all of it as we were really hungry after travelling all the day visiting the interesting places of Bali.

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Performance during our dinner at Jimbaran beach
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Another interesting place is Pura Tanah Lot – Tanah means earth and lot means south or sea according to the locals, thus in a way Pura Tanah Lot is famously known as Temple of the Earth in the Sea. It is situated at southwest of Bali is built on a large rock cut off from the mainland at high tide and is a must visit place. We can view the beautiful sunset while enjoying the dinner. The high tide and low tide affects the visit as well. The best time to visit is late in the afternoon during low tide as we can reach the temple and get some blessing from the monk over there who will be praying for us with a small donation. The monk will sprinkle the sacred water and put some rice on the forehead and of course a flower petal on out ear. The temple itself is quite modest, consisting of two shrines with tiered roofs and two pavilions. It was too bad for us as we can’t access to the top of the temple as the access was restricted. We just manage to appreciate it from the entrance and refresh our tiresome with the sacred water.

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Bedugul is on the Bali’s highland retreats, situated 1400 metres above sea level. The three lakes of the area provide the water for the fields, rivers and springs on the plains below the highland. It was a tiring journey for us and for those with limited time in Bali can skip this place as nothing really special or spectacular about the place. If I were to know about it, I might as well change the plan to cover some other part of the Island. The world was so small that I met my ex-colleague of SC dining at the same place with me. It was great to meet her.

The recommended mountainous place should be Kintamani. The mountainous region around Kintamani, centring on the spectacular volcanic caldera of Mount Batur with its deep Crater Lake and bubbling hot springs, is rugged with a high and wild beauty. It is another must visit place for any visitor to Bali. Along the journey to Kintamani, the land rises steadily toward an almost featureless horizon with only the mountains – Gunung Agung and Gunung Abang in view to the east and northeast respectively. Then, the famous lake came to our sight. It was an amazing experience for us. Lake Batur is the largest lake in Bali and it is sacred to the Balinese. Homage is paid here to the life giving grace of the Lake at Pura Ulun Danu Batur. For those who want a different kind of vacation can take a trip up Mount Agung and it will be a great experience as well. For me, I just want a relaxing kind of vacation so I chose not to conquer the mountain.

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Other interesting places that my be visited, include the Pura Besakih - often said to be the greatest of all Balinese Sanctuaries – the most powerful, holiest and sacred of the all the islands found in Bali. It is also known as the Mother Temple of Bali. It is situated at Besakih village about 1000 metre above the sea level on the southwest of Mount Agung. Pura Besakih is not a single temple but a spawling complex consisting of many separate shrines and compounds, unified through ritual and history into a single sanctuary. There are 22 temples, spread along the parallel ridges over a distance of more than a kilometre. Few other places are Tirta Gangga, Bat Caves, Goa Gajah and etc.

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Food

In term of food, one of the unforgettable experience was looking for Babi Guling (roast suckling pig). It was very delicious and yummy. It was a great meal and a real Balinese food. Gianyar town is often said to be the best town in Bali to taste Babi Guling. We found Ibu Oka as one of the popular venue for tourists as well as locals in Ubud...
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Other than that, maybe it's the Dirty Duck at Ubud too. It's very nice but the portion is just too small. So we had other side order, e.g. special rice, bbq pork rib and it;s specialty dessert. it's such an unforgettable experiences for us.
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Other food that I had in Bali....
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Other Activities

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sun tanning

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white water rafting at Ayung River

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Hard Rock Hotel, Kuta, Bali

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Bali Bombing Memorial

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paddy field

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Neka Art Museum

Posted by terrence79 06:41

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