Bali

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Bali was a bit overrated for me since then, and as much as possible I tried to veer away from it as I thought it was another hyped up tourist destination. But my mind that needed to be pacified and my body that needed to be calmed gave in and went for it. We initially stayed in Seminyak, in a private villa which exuded a zen, balinese interior.

We hired a private car service since we wanted everything to go smooth and spare us of the commuting hassle. Once we reached the villa, we freshened up and rested a bit before we carried on with visiting some tourist places around. There were a number of temples that we paid a visit to. 

Other than Vietnamese coffee, I also feel in love with Balinese coffee. I find that it is full bodied, rich in flavor and aromatic. It tasted well either as black or with milk. One place that we visited is a coffee farm where you also get to try different variations of coffee. The farm is free entry so you can only give some money at the end as a help to maintain the coffee farm and for those locals who will talk you through the coffee plants.

And there was also the famous Coffee Luwak, which honestly, I don’t find anything distinct to it and I honestly pity the weasels for putting them in cages, making them eat only the coffee beans and cherries and making them digest that. Seriously, I think it’s one of those that needs to stop. It’s a pity seeing them. 😦

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is another place that I fancy during the trip. The weather was really nice when we went  and it was actually cool so it somehow relaxed us up when we visited the place. There were a lot of goers at that time too, I think they have ceremony/prayer during that afternoon. I find that this is beautiful, placid place.

The best part about this place is the water temple itself. It was the first time I see something like it. It may be simple but the picturesque view of that temple on tranquil waters and misty backdrop give out imperturbable vista which in effect, induces you a calming, composed mood.

But…. I honestly don’t like the humongous, green, long snake that surrounds one of the structure.. arhhhhhhhhh

Walking around the place, we also chanced upon mild deer that grazed about.

Came lunch time, we were brought to a local restaurant, an overlooking one and lunch was served buffet style. Nothing special about the lunch, it was just something to fill up a famished stomach.

Next is the famous Tanah Lot temple. A temple on the cliff, a pacifying view similar to the Ulun Danu, well it is probably because of the natural feeling that water induces – a calming feeling hearing the sound of the rushing waves.

It was difficult for me to capture through a good vantage point to picture the Tanah Lot as there had to be a bit of a walk to get one. Also, we didn’t go down further at the temple itself but just asked one of those camera guys to snap us a photo and print it out as a souvenir, quite cheap.

As we were in Seminyak we decided to to try out the local bar, drinking scene. We went to Potato Head as it is one of the most hailed ones. My photos could not do justice to the ambiance of the place as I was only using Iphone 6. I think that this bar is somehow posh, with trendy party goers dressed up well for the night, I actually find my look so laid back and casual compared to them, like I did not fit in. haha.

We went to this so called “Turtle Island” which entailed us to take a bumpy boat ride with a show off boat man speeding his way through the waters and trying really hard to shaken us up and frighten us or probably gave us a thrill, but sorry, I was steadily sitting, enjoying the waters and did not actually pay attention to him.

They were so proud to boast of their transparent flooring boat but actually it was just a small portion at the middle of the boat which was glass and to be honest, you won’t see anything in it. lol.

This tour was a bit of a downer for me. At first I was excited to see the turtles, big ones, small ones. But when I got there and saw the state they were in, I felt pity for these animals. They were confined in this tiled containers and some were on the murky waters which I think they were not supposed to be in. People just lift them around as they wish too and it imposes a risk for them too, what if they got mishandled and they fell off to the floor? Such a pity. 

The turtle island is in Nusa Dua – a place that is a bit more laid back than Seminyak and there are many hotels lining up the street as well as water activities which are skyrocketing in prices. I’d rather just do those in the waters of Philippines which are more beautiful, with pristine, crystal clear waters and way cheaper prices for the same water activities.

We decided to dip in for a while at a beach where most hotels and resorts are situated.

Water is not so clean and clear, there were also some dirt and garbages floating around. I guess the place is also mostly for those who stay at the resorts, you will find it a bit difficult to look for a spot to stay since they would either ask you if you are dining or staying at the hotels. But we managed to secure one spot but we only swam for a while and went on to have our lunch. The driver and the guide bought us to a local food shop.

Some beef soup and pork strips and skin with some egg. The meal was quite ok, I cannot really complain given the very cheap price. lol.

Another that we went to was the so called “Julia Roberts Beach”, which got famous and still associated to the Eat, Pray, Love movie. This stop was also something that I did not like. Upon seeing that beach I wanted to leave it right away. Very dirty (yes, even the water looks murky) and crowded and I just hated the area. There was nothing much in it but just stalls selling sarongs and tourists basking under the sun and some people trying to get to know each other and join each other’s crowds. I definitely won’t go back to it.

On the way to Uluwatu and as we wanted a bit of snack and to freshen up, we chanced upon a quite serene lunch spot which is also a hotel/inn and we were delighted to have spotted some mex food in the menu, so we went for it.

Uluwatu is a place that I find calmly enjoyable. There is the view and sound of the ocean, with an amazing sunset, some people in deep devotion – busy praying, some meditating. We went to see the Kecak Balinese Sunset Dance and you can see the men’s efforts chanting and singing their voices away the entire show. Although I didn’t quite appreciate the storyline and the characters, I did appreciate the efforts put in by the locals to come up with that show. Though the venue was really another astounding one, with the gleaming sunset as your backdrop.

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