After our wonderful and relaxing stay in Alila Seminyak, it was time to explore more of Bali! With our hangover from Trip of Wonders: Wonderful Indonesia still in full swing, it was a huge relief to not think of any itinerary and just go with the flow. Bali Golden Tour took care of everything and made sure that we get to know more about the Island of the Gods.
Bali Golden Tour Day 1
While motorbike/scooter is the most popular mode of transport in the island, I must say we were spoiled rotten by Indonesia in the past days. So the four of us (with Cai, Marcos, and Rona) were picked up by Mr. Wayan Paul in a car and bid adieu to Seminyak and our batchmates from Trip of Wonders.
Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu)
First stop is one of Bali’s most popular temple located on the southwest tip of the island. Its cliffside location fronting the Indian Ocean makes it a perfect spot for sunset watching. It is one of Bali’s oldest temples and one of the nine directional temples that guard it against evil spirits.
Kecak and Fire dance
At sunset, most of the people flock to the amphitheater for the much awaited Kecak and Fire Dance. As soon as the seats were all filled up, the reason why the dance was called “Kecak” was soon revealed. This unique Balinese dance was paired with an interpretation of Ramayana. The repeated chanting has the tendency to lull one into a trance-like state while watching the scenes unfold.
Jimbaran Bay dinner at New Matahari Cafe
Apparently, it was best to eat at Jimbaran Bay while the sun sets. Since we opted to spend the sunset at Uluwatu, it became a candlelight dinner instead at New Matahari Cafe. It’s a romantic setting with plenty of ambiance and entertainment, which includes a Balinese dance, to keep you occupied. Although the seafood was freshly cooked, it was too much for us so we didn’t get to finish all of it.
Where to stay in Bali: Alila Seminyak
Bali Golden Tour Day 2
Babi Guling for breakfast at Babi Guling Men Lari
They say you haven’t been to Bali if you haven’t tried Babi Guling. Best known as Lechon in the Philippines, this roasted suckling pig is stuffed with lots of spices and seasonings. Warungs (small family-owned restaurant) along the streets of Bali usually serve a portion of it with vegetable salad, steamed rice, and soup.
I had this with a view of the paddy fields in Babi Guling Men Lari on the way to Tanah Lot.
Another famous temple in Bali is Pura Tanah Lot, built in a rock located in the sea. Because of the crowds, I highly advise to go early so you can enjoy the waves crash into the temple’s rock base peacefully.
Outside of the temple grounds though, the streets are lined with shops, making the area very touristy and quite chaotic at times. We had a hard time finding our way to the parking lot because of the crowd.
Monkey Forest in Alas Kedaton Temple
Since the one in Ubud was always crowded, we were delighted to have visited a quieter Monkey Forest in Alas Kedaton. I admit, just the mention of monkeys put me on high alert now, owing to my not-so-good experiences in the past in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Bagan.
Although a lot less naughty than the ones in Uluwatu, it was still unnerving to see so many monkeys, freely moving around. Aside from the monkeys, there were also giant bats and a large snake to have your picture taken with.
We were escorted by a designated guide who later led us to her shop and urged us to buy from her display. A small price to pay I guess.
Jatiluwih rice terraces
The lesser known sister of Tegalalang Rice Terraces was our next stop. Stopping by the roadside, our driver left us to stare and photograph the wide span of terraces spread out before us. Although it is indeed beautiful, I was a little bit underwhelmed compared to when I first saw Banaue Rice Terraces and Batad Rice Terraces in the homeland.
After walking for a bit, we indulged our grumbling tummies in the nearby restaurant, Warung Jatiluwih 259.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and Lake Bratan
Reminiscent of Baguio due to its high elevation and picturesque lake views, Lake Bratan’s most photographed spot is the temple found also in 50,000 IDR, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.
As the weather is a bit cloudy and rainy that day, the mist enveloping the lake lent an eerie but beautiful atmosphere.
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Disclosure: We were guests of Bali Golden Tour and although the trip was sponsored, all opinions, biases, and comments are still my own.
Have you been to Bali? How was your experience?
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