Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Imagine a 'secret jungle' with inquisitive monkeys who rule over sacred temples and century old banyan trees. Sit quietly and hear the sounds of rushing ravines.....drift a little.....see and smell the vivid colour of flower offerings and sweet Balinese incense. This isn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World," it's the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest, a must-see attraction for any visitor to Bali, 'Island of the Gods.'While staying at the spectacular eco-conscious Fivelements Puri Ahimsa wellness retreat, I ventured out to one of Bali's most popular attractions, the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest. Officially known as the Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, the site contains 27 acres of protected grounds, 605 long-tailed macaque monkeys, and three 14th-century temples.The forest is located minutes from the main strip of Ubud, the 'Cultural Heart of Bali.' You can purchase bananas on-site to feed the monkeys, make sure to carefully conceal the fruit in a backpack because the monkeys will at random, jump on to you for a free meal. This is all apart of the fun. When you are ready to feed them, take one banana out at a time, this will prevent any accidental bites. I have read many reviews about aggressive behavior from the monkeys, I did witness it for myself, but was never bitten. Most aggression cases have happened because of improper feeding; if you take one banana out at a time, watch your surroundings, and do not taunt the monkeys (especially the mature ones!) this will help to ensure a safe and highly enjoyable interaction. Also note, if you have no bananas, food, or hand-held items the monkeys will typically be unfazed by your presence, allowing visitors who want a little distance to have a great time too. I give this attraction a 10/10, it's literally a 'barrel of monkeys' fun!
At Gili T, I lodge at a dorm (hotels can be expensive so dorms/ bunk beds are a cheaper option) and make my way to the other end of the island towards Bali. The island can be covered by foot. You can also hire cycles. Bars and cafes cover the full diameter of the island, so I walked across town coming across locals and bare lands. The sun casts hues of purple &amp; you can spot Mt. Agung from the island. Walking the diameter of the island, you feel eclectic. The lights, music, people and colours. Funnily enough, Gili T was more of a place where Europeans came to meet fellow Europeans. Do catch hold of this crepe seller on the road-side (best Nutella crepe ever). After a morning swim at the beach, I head back to Lombok.
Lot of amazing cafes, restaurants, Bars & night club..!! Fantastic Shopping.. Very lively place in South Bali! While diving I met a girl from Swiss who was working in China. Apparently she became my Diving buddy! After we finished Diving, we planned our trip ahead to Seminyak.. We made more friends enroute.. Friends from Philippines.. We visited Tanah Lot as it is considered to be one of the most beautiful sunset points in Bali! Since it was our last day and we did not know when would we meet next.. We went partying at Potato Head Beach Club! It would be one of the best located clubs with an infinity pool facing the sea! It was just one of the best trips of my life..! I miss Bali..!
It is believed that the Roro Anteng and Joko Seger (king & queen) family made a commitment to offer their last child to the god as an offering if the volcano blessed them with childern. This ritual was broken by the family & they decided to run away. At the time when the family was trying to hide, there was a sudden volcano eruption which swalled ONLY the last son of the Kesuma. This crater is where you would be visiting. It is highly believed that what ever you wish for here with your heart it will come true. Hike to Mt.Bromo we get to wake up to watch the the sun rising across the beautiful valley with the volcano as your backdrop. This will be your best Photo pop you can think of in this region. What you see in pics is what you will experience here. The Sunrise point is an unique experience you can get only here. Walk across the "Sand Sea" & reach the "Crater of Mt.Bromo". An unique experience to walk upto the top of a volcano mountain Hike upto Mt.Bromo on day 2 evening & sleep on top of the hill. Get up early for the sunrise experience , hike down to base by 230pm & head to malang for lunch. Quickly after lunch head for Surabaya & take a night train to Banyuwangi.
"So this is the place I should have been for the last two months", was my first thought as I wound my way through a sexily curved hill. Padang Bai is a small, annexed fishing village with a little bay, a secret white sand beach (that's the beach's actual name) a few warungs and guest houses and some deep emerald hills directly behind. Despite its' fishy orientation there's a freshness there that is missing in South Bali. It's the lack of bike fumes and rubbish. Most people pass through on their way to get their rocks off on Gilli-T. Big mistake, this place gets my vibe.
Paragliding at the Pandava Beach This is one of the best things we did in Bali (another bucket list ticked, while I would like to do it again but in a different terrain now). Its best to book it online in Bali. The guys are super safe and not for a moment did I feel scared or unsure. Within moments of getting into the gear I was up in the sky with wind in my hair, sun on my face and clear blue water and white sand underneath. Pandava beach is one of the best beaches in Bali &amp; the view was spectacular. It was a ride of a lifetime, till I started feeling sick (guess my vertigo problem kicked in ☹️). Overall, it’s a must do in Bali
North and east Bali are more into live bands rather than clubs. The south eastern islands have a few party places. Gili Islands have great beach parties.Some tipsExchange your currency at Legian Street, everywhere else in the Island will be lower rateCarry water bottle and fill it when you find water dispenser, you will save tons of moneyEat at Warungs, same food in a restaurant will be double the priceTake your own medicines and bandaids and first aid kit, doctors are extremely expensiveThere is no public transport and taxis are expensive, so either use a bike or take shuttle buses
Its one of the most favourite tourist destination. It has a magnificent view of the Mount Batur, which is still an active volcano and serene calm lake batur flowing down the lane. The temperature here is at least 15 degree less than the temperature of bali. We were fortunate to witness a mesmerizing sight of both rain and sun at the same time during our visit. You may just choose a restaurant with a view of Kintamani to sip a coffee or get high over a few bottles of local Lemon flavored "Bintang" beer.Although we didn’t go ahead for a trek, but for those who love to do it, can actually trek over mount Batur. It is a 2 hour trek to see the sunrise, and the rays creating those sprinkle of diamond dust look on the lake.
Mount Rinjani is the flag-bearer of Lombok’s tourism. I had picked a 3D2N tour from Ecco Tours –Wayan Nate. He was of terrific help on the night I reached Lombok and was always available in case of a trouble during my trip. It was an early start on the first day to the base camp which is a 2 hrs drive from Sengiggi. There are two start points to the trek, Senaru and Sembalun. Ours started from Sembalun, which houses the official Rinjani Information Centre.The initial part of the ascent is more of walking and you will come across many groups on your way. August is a busy month for trekking Rinjani. It is important that you are trained for ascending non-stop so that you are not stranded while panting. The climb until lunch is not too strenuous and the break is important to regroup since the next fraction of the trek only stops when you reach the crater which is your camping spot for the night. This part will be very challenging but the very first sight you catch of the mighty Rinjani – you will be smitten! Reaching the crater, you are in awe of being above the clouds. The Rinjani range on one side and the calm Segara Anak lake on the other. Catch the sunset here while preparing the camp; we call it a night at 7PM. Be warned that the temperatures sink as night dawns and the winds will not let you sleep. But hey, how often do you get to sleep under the stars aka bintang!?“Hello” says our guide at 2:30AM, it is super chilly in the tent. Getting in the open will require multiple layers from head to toe. After a quick tea, we make our way. The first look towards the summit and you realise you are under an endless blanket of stars, it is a moment to behold. The moon shines bright as we make our way over the notorious volcanic rocks under torch lights. In the first 30 minutes of the climb, I wanted to give up. But my guide dragged me on and I am indebted to him for that. Slow climbs and the horizon starts turning crimson. I was now gritty to pick up speed and catch the sunrise at the summit. I catch the sun rising while still climbing and the summit is still about 1.5 kms away. I have to get to the top; I push myself at snail’s speed against the slayer winds while many who have summit make their way down. Later, somewhere around 500m to the summit, my guide says that time is short and we need to descend. It aches even now that I could not summit but that moment was everything I could have wanted. Being at that windy altitude with the sun and the moon in concert above you over that deadly rock face was nothing short of a feat. That’s when Rinjani thought me (a go-getter) to lose over its might!Back at the base camp, we wind up the tents and descend for the hot springs. Passing by the calm Segara Anak lake; the hot springs are a must visit, to relax and loosen those muscles after all that hiking. Some groups camp/ swim around the lake. It is a pretty spot to capture the landscape surrounding baby volcano Mt. Barujari.
Ubud is 40 km from Batur and is said to be a cultural capital of Bali. Ubud enjoys cooler temperatures than the coast. It once served as the major source of medicinal herbs and the healing tradition in still deeply ingrained in the people here. If you are looking for beads, Buddha, barong and Balinese traditional carvings, silver jewelry, pearls, handmade leather bags, Batik scarves and pashminas, Jalan Raya Ubud is the place for you. You will get some of the best deals here. The culturally rich vibe of this area is waiting to entrap you. The traditional market is from 5am until 9am. Spend some time relaxing at Bali Botanical Day Spa with a range of revitalizing treats. At night retreat to Oka Wati’s Homestay which has been sheltering tourists since 1980. Once you are here, you know you are in the right place away from all the noise. Spend a quiet night here in the middle of Ubud in the rustic charm of this house.