Sanur beachThe golden beach, the excitement of first Bali beach, the sunny weather, a cool breeze, and my first Nasi Gorang at Segara Sea side, all was the perfect combination to start my holiday. Day 2: Tegenungan waterfall, Wood carving workshop, Goa Gajah, Kintamani, Batur temple The first morning in Bali started with a beautiful sunrise and a sumptuous breakfast. While I was embracing the banana pie, dragon fruit, watermelon juice, Wayan was waiting in the lobby. He quickly made it to my first planned spot, as of many others, Tegenungan waterfall. It’s beauty, accessibility have made it very popular, so you may expect lots of company there. Also, as in most of the places in Bali, you have to climb lots of steps to reach the waterfall. There are lots of structures made beside the pathway, don’t forget to have a snap with them. You may look for someone asking for money to take a snap, but there are none. If you are lucky, you may find a monitor or two, so keep your eyes everywhere.
Tegenungan waterfallAs I grasped the natural beauty of the waterfall, Wayan planned to show me sone artistic side of Bali, and took me to one of the wood carving workshops. It is really amazing how the locals make beautiful structures there. I grabbed a wall hanging made similar to Goa gajah. Built in the 9th century, Goa Gajah sanctuary depicts fusion of Hindu and Buddhist influence. The menace faced cave entrance, bathing pool, river, relics filled courtyard in middle of jungle is surely a place of peace.
Goa GajahFollowed by the ancient cave, Wayan drove me to the far nort of the island. As soon as I reached the cliff, I discovered myself standing on the crater of a huge volcano! In front of me was a deep valley. Where the valley ends, anither peak is emarged. The caldera is so large that on some later part, volcanic eruption created another crater in the caldera. Words and pictures can’t do justice to the magnificence of the scenary, you must witness the volcano to get awed.
Batur templeAdjacent to the volcano is Batur temple. When I arrived around 3 pm, locals were offering their prayers. I could not explore much to get the picturesque view of the temple. Day 3: Ulun Danu Bratan, Banyumala waterfall, Jatiluwih rice terrace This was the only tour I booked before coming to Bali. As I found not many people come out of Kuta, and those who reached Ubud, only few of the go to these places, I determined I have to see these less touristy places. Among these, Ulun Danu Bratan is the most famous, and also visited by locals. Hence I planned to visit this as early as possible. Starting at 9 from Ubud, I reached here around 10:30. Already many tourists had come by that time. Still I managed to get some clear pictures.
Ulun Danu BratanI didn’t spend much time at the temple. Rather I was much excited about the waterfall next. I had to bike for 20 minutes followed by 20 minutes of trekking. Its location far from cities, difficulty of the route has kept it very secluded. Not more than 5 people were there. The huge waterfall, its cold water, serene environment, natural pool ware perfect to be on top of the places I visited in Bali. I will definitely write about this in details at some later post.
Banyumala waterfallAfter spending more than two hours at the waterfall, and filling myself with another round of Nasi Gorang with the view of twin lakes, I started for the world heritage site: Jatiluwih rice terrace. It was getting cloudy and dark. If it was not Bali, I would surely think about the safety as the place was deserted with no one in sight and no street lights. I wish I came here during monsoon where the rice was not harvested.
Lunch at Twin Lakes
Jatiluwih rice terraceDay 4: Tegalalang rice terrace, Tirtha Empul, Ubud monkey forest, Ubud palace, Tanah Lot temple My last day in Ubud. I spent this day visiting the most visited places around Ubud. All are very touristy, but worth visiting. Tegalalang rice terraces is the place where you take your iconic Bali photo. What makes this place different from Jatiluwih is that, you can see the terraces on the opposite side of the valley when you are standing on the other side of it. Hence, no matter how you pose, your background is always the rice terraces.
Tegalalang rice terraceFamous for its holy spring water, Tirtha Empul near Tampaksiring gives out fresh water regularly, where Balinese Hindus go to for ritual purification. Apart from the bathing structure, there is big temple ground to roam around. I had to tie my hair too to enter the temple.
Tirtha EmpulFamous for its notorious moneys, Ubud monkey forest is house to the famous Balinese longtail macace. I was very cautious as I watched lots of YouTube videos where the monkeys are seen to steal things from tourists or even bite them. Taking extra care of my phone and shades, I preferred to keep myself a little distant from them. Rather, I enjoyed the natural beauty of it. The magnificent tree in the centre of it reminds me of the movie Avatar!
Ubud monkey forestAt some walking distance from the monkey forest is the Ubud royal palace. It is also called the Ubud centre. Built with the traditional Balinese architecture, this place took marely a few minutes.
Ubud palaceIf you are planning a visit to Bali, don’t return without visiting Tanah Lot temple. Separated from the main land, and connected with a rocky beach which gets submerged during tide, this temple allows a visit only during low tide. When the waves breat on the temple rocks with huge splashes, this place is surely a sight to get awed. I was lucky to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunset behind the temple when the temple itself becomes a silhouette in front of the red sky and ocean with the splashes of waves.
Tanah Lot templeDay 5: Uluwatu temple and Jimbaran bay After checking out from Bali, Wayan took me on a long ride to Uluwatu. From the pictures on websites, I thought I have to walk long to reach the temple. But the temple is near the gate. I had to walk long along the cliff to get the famous view of the temple on the cliff when the ocean waves are washing its foot few hundred feet below. The view is so spectacular I forgot about the monkey. And my very much loved shades were gone 😪
Uluwatu templeAbout half an hour drive from Uluwatu is Jimbaran bay, famous for its seafood restaurants. The restaurants are setup along the beach beside the roads, but their tables are arranged on the beach just above where the waves are breaking. With the roar of the ocean, setting sun in middle of it, and local people singing for me with guitar, I had my most romantic dinner here.
Jimbaran bayDay 6: Nusa Dua With 4 days of heavy travel, I kept this day relaxing. When the resort have everything one needs to spend a day, it is easy to have a day with sunbath, swim, dart, swin, pool, chess and sea watch.
Relax at Bali TropicRead my article “One week in Bali: Where to Stay” for more. Day 7: Bali collection
Bali collectionThis day was dedicated to shopping. When you have the beautiful Bali collection at Nusa Dua, what else does a girl need? Dresses, silver jewellery, bags, souvenirs, fancy jewellery, this place is all in one collection. Adding to it, there are lots of seafood restaurants so that I could spend the last drop of money I had spending within the complex.