Day 5: Back to IndiaIt was our last day in Bali so we decided to have Balinese massage one more time. Since airport was far from Ubud and due to heavy traffic jams we were advised to leave early after having delicious breakfast. Our owner dropped us to Airport. We loved Balinese hospitality. Our beautiful trip came to an end and we took lot of memories with us to cherish.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Bali is from June to September
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
During our stay in Southern Bali at Bingin Beach, we rented motorbikes to visit the famous cliff temple of Uluwatu. Some of the hills are steep but the road is basically good. The views are incredible and we were there the day before the start of the festival, Galungan. The surfers at Uluwatu Beach were impressive and the water, crystal clear. While I enjoyed our five days in Southern Bali, I am not sure I can recommend this area over Amed unless you are a surfer. I would rather be in Amed for great snorkeling but maybe a day trip to Uluwatu from Kuta would have been enough for us.
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!
This is a Hindu temple, and a popular tourist attraction. To get there, buy your ticket, and walk (run?) past the numerous vendors selling the usual range of tourist trinkets. Then descend some steps and you are in the temple area. There are numerous Hindu structures, figures and symbols, all in stone. What you are looking for is the entrance to the cave. This is immediately obvious, due to the large, demonic figure carved in and around the cave entrance. Walk in, take a little care as the floor is slippery, and you will come to a T junction a few metres in. At both ends of the T are lingam and yoni statues, and a statue of Ganesha. Feel free to take a photo, everyone else, including the locals does. You can take a short jungle hike on several paths leading from the temple.
Catch a boat from Sanur and you can reach this chilled out little island in 90 minutes. Again there’s not much to do but enjoy the white sand beaches, dinner on the beach and tootle around on your scooter. There are no cars here and just one little road that goes all the way around the island so it’s the perfect place to learn to drive a motorbike. I did (on a manual no less!) and then never did it again (4 years and counting). Bali traffic is scary!
Ubud is a wonderful affordable arts-driven town in Bali, well inland from the tourist-crazy beach areas of Kuta and Legion. It takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get from Kuta Beach to Ubud. In Ubud, home of the Balinese royal family, we saw the Puri Agung Ubud building a bade (cremation tower) and an enormous twenty-foot papier-mâché bull for a cremation ceremony for Prince Tjokorda Putra Dharma Yudha. We didn't have anything else planned so we decided to attend. Johnny, a dive master and member of the local band, T-WRECK, told us we were lucky (b-ungtung in Balinese) to see such a large ceremony — or to see one at all. The last royal cremation occurred two years ago. Many of the locals we befriended in the diving meccas of Amed and Tulamben explained that they could not afford to attend but would have loved to join us on the big day. Wayan, the owner of the Puri Madha Beach Bungalows in Tulamben, who had organized a cremation ceremony for a family member the year before, said that a ceremony on the lower end might cost 200 million Rupia ($20,000 USD) and estimated that the cost for the king’s cremation would be more than ten times that amount. To our surprise, the ceremony was a happy event. In Hindu culture, the burning of the dead is a sacred ritual that frees the soul inside so that it can be reincarnated. During the ceremony, the authorities turned off the electricity in the city so that when the hulking bade moved down Raya Ubud no one would get shocked if it happened to brush against the power wires. As it was explained to me by Wayan, the prince “was very well-liked.” Greg Roach of Spirit Quest Tours told me that much of modern day Balinese society has roots in the ancient Royal Court of Java, cremation rituals included. The ceremonies always utilize the same elements—the bull, the tower, and the burning. “When someone dies, they are buried,” Roach explained, “Later, the body is disinterred and the bones are burned."
Taman Ayun Temple
This four century old Hindu temple is located in Mengwi village, about 18km from Denpasar. The village itself is worth a visit. The temple is separated from the surrounding land by a moat and a series of garden terraces. Entry into the grounds is not allowed to visitor, but the inner buildings can be seen, and photographed. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained, and with lots of tourists.
Lake Batur is the widest lake in this island. It lies next to an active volcano. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery of the lake along with the hot spring by the lake. To capture the glorious sunrise overlooking the lake, you can even opt for a sunrise trekking tour on Mount Batur. Engage in the spiritual mountains while attaining peace amid lush green tress, wide lakes and cold atmosphere.
This beach is very cozy and quiet as it is located on behind the cliff. This atmosphere is suitable for tourists that want a relaxing and do sunbathe. Behind its serenity, this beach has big waves, so it attracts a lot of international tourists’ attention.The attractiveness of this beach is its clean and bluish sea water that makes you want to stay longer. You can play with sand, strolling around the coast or just sitting back.
Kubal Villa & Restaurant Seminyak
Day 1: SeminyakThe moment we landed at airport we could see beautifully decorated traditional gates and some of the statues dressed in Bali style with masks as a warm welcome gesture. However, the foreign feeling was still missing at the airport. Since our hotels and cabs were pre booked we didn’t faced any problem in commuting. Our first destination was Seminyak. Our cab driver Mr. Ram was already there. He was an interesting guy and our tour guide as well. One thing that fascinated us was their major religion was Hinduism and 90%of population smoke there starting from school. On reaching our destination we quickly headed to our Villa. We booked: KUBAL villa which costed us around 6200 per night.Travel tip: If you are in big group you can book villas from AirBnb to save money. On reaching our private pool villa we were mesmerized by the place, facilities and hospitality. Backed up with all modern amenities it was perfect place to begin our luxurious holiday with.
Finn's Beach Club
Finn's Beach Club, Semara Villas, Uluwatu - Also only accessible by hill tram, or the inclinator (as its fondly nicknamed), Finn's Beach Club not only offers a gorgeous location but excellent value for money and super friendly service. It wins The Yum List award for Friendliest and Best Value Beach Bar in Bali.
Next on our list was the most amazing Tegallalang rice terraces. The sheer beauty and nature leaves you speechless and awestruck. Pls wear very comfortable walking shoes if you are keen on trekking through the rice terraces and taking some awesome pictures (which by the way I strongly recommend). In the evening, we did what we do best - Shopping and Bargaining!!! Any Ubud trip is incomplete without a visit to the Puri Saraswati temple, which opens to visitors only once in a while.
For me, sunset is the best and most important part of the day, akin to closing the day on a perfect note. The Sunset point at Pantai Berawa seemed to be the best way to end my day in Bali. And as I enjoyed the harmonies of the ocean waters with the medley of the winds, I sipped on a Balinese drink and revered the moments that made my trip to Indonesia so special and memorable.
Its a very calm place in North Bali. Very less crowded.. Great Beaches! Ultimate relaxation- Good Resorts- Dolphin Saling! Yoga & Meditation! We stayed here but went diving to different places! My training was undertaken at Zen Dive Resort which has a 5 star PADI Certified Dive Center. I had 2 days of Theory lessons with 4 modules and an exam after each. 4 confined pool sessions to do the skills. Same were to be dine as a test to get certified in the sea before you start your fun dive!
Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
En-route, we visited Gunung Kawi and Tirtha Empul. Gunung Kawi is a temple complex, where 10-rock cut shrines have been carved into around 23ft of cliff face. There are five temples on the east side, which belong to King Udayana, his wife and three sons. On the west side, there are similar temples that belong to the king’s minor queens.
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
Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul is a holy water temple, sourced from the sacred Tampak Siring spring. This 1,000 year old temple has largely been unchanged. The temple houses purification pools for locals who practice Balinese Hinduism. The temple's long rectilinear pools are carved out of stone, and feature fountainheads that fill the pools with the holy spring water. Worshippers first make an offering in the inner-court temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe, pray, and collect the water in bottles to take home. The water is believed to have curative and prosperous powers. I certainly felt refreshed and renewed after taking a dip!Tirta Empul Temple includes the traditional Balinese split gate architecture (photographed below) along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Braham, Bali's Mt. Batur, and Indra. On the grounds is a large community pavilion, where you will see many families and tourist relaxing and taking in this wonderful site.Tirta Empul is located in the village of Tampak Siring, you can drive independently via google maps (as I did) or have your hotel's concierge arrange transportation. The drive is spectacularly scenic, you will cross narrow bridges, see verdant junglescapes and paddy fields, venture through tiny villages, and come across hundreds of ancient temples along the winding road. The drive is 30 minutes from Ubud.
If you’re just going to see one temple then you may as well make it the biggest and best. Besakih or ‘Mother Temple’ is impressive any time but even more so if you can visit during one of the big ceremonies that happen only very rarely. I’ve heard tourists having a lot of problems visiting here because they’re forced to hire a guide so I say wear balinese dress and find a balinese family to bring you :)
Pura Tirta Empul
1. Pura Tirta Empul or Holy Spring Water TempleA sacred setting in the midst of the Gianyar town, this Hindu temple attracts tourists and locals for the purpose of immersion in the blessed water and prayer to the Gods. We spent half a day here learning about the history, culture and traditions practiced by the Balinese people. Distance from Ubud: 11km
Bali Island Villa
If you are a firm believe in value-for-money, stay at Bali Island Villas! When it comes to private pools in a villa, a lot of villas in Bali come with a tiny plunge pool or pools that gives you perhaps four to five strokes max. The pool for each villa at Bali Island Villas is wonderful, gives you a chance to actually swim! The deck chairs are perfect for sunbathing and there's even an outdoor bed upstairs for an in-house massage session!
This is an art gallery, which exhibits paintings of naked and topless Balinese women from a half century ago. Great. It is also a restaurant, cultural centre (Balinese dance), and is based around the work of the late Spanish artist Don Antonia Blanco. This guy arrived in Bali back in the 50s (Franco’s Spain), was given land by the local King, and proceeded to spend his life painting nude Balinese women. Now his home is a gallery. His paintings are certainly worth a visit, he could wield a brush, but no photography allowed.
Fivelements Puri Ahimsa
It was the midnight hour, the air was balmy, and a gentle breeze lapped by. You could hear the powerful sound of water all around and smell the distinct scent of dew forming over river rock and moss. Nature ruled this mystical world. I stepped forward onto a meandering path, it led to a dimly lit bamboo pavilion. I paused and drifted into thought, "Where am I, is this really happening?" Back to the present moment, I was at Fivelements Puri Ahimsa, a holistic wellness retreat that aims to share the Balinese way of life, nurturing a greater harmony with spirit, the environment, and one another. Fivelements is located in Mambal, a story-book village twenty minutes outside of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Lake Beratan Temple Tour
When we arrived at Lake Beratan at the top of the mountain we were quite hungry. We parked on the edge of the lake and umm and ahh'd over which Muslim bakso stall to eat at. We spent the equivalent of 50p on our lunches of bakso soup and nasi goreng, and once full we ventured to the botanical gardens and Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. The temple rests on a platform that protrudes in to the vast lake, clouds fringed the surrounding hills and we were shrouded in a protective grey fluff that began to quickly descend towards us like a mother intent on swaddling her toddlers from a bath. We were overcome with a highly meditative feeling of peace and safety, however the threat of rain in those grey comforting pillows and the coming night, take us away to find our bed, and some beers beforehand. The journey back saw us enjoy the great curving bends of the mountain road in the precipitous mountain air, while we saw the same bikes over take us and drop back over and over. Tired, smelling like road, the setting sun got into our eyes. We high-five'd children leaning out of a slow moving truck which which passed in the opposite direction.
This is an impressive looking temple, and if you like temples, this is a must see. Though, as you approach, you will be approached by locals who wish to offer you their services as a tour guide. These people will invariably say that they cannot ask for payment, as they are a Hindu, but that you can make an offering to them, depending on how well you consider their tour guiding to be. Personally, I prefer an upfront price (something you can negotiate with), rather than this pseudo-modesty. Also, these guys in reality, know little about the Temple. So, don’t expect too much. If you do accept their offer, say 20,000 rupiah ($2) is an acceptable sum, though they will tell you that the previous visitors paid them $10 (or $20, or whatever).
Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang
The main temple is Pura Penataran Agung. This complex plays host to at least 70 festivals each year. Make sure to set your itinerary accordingly. Travel Tip- Make sure you buy a sarong before going. Politely decline if you don’t want any tour guide. Beware of the groups at the entrance who will demand donations from you. Don’t give in to any pressure.
Ayana Resort and Spa
1) Ayana Resort & Spa - Rock Bar. This place will make you happy with its outstanding service, cocktails and the best sunset you can witness in Bali. Make sure you reach there by 4:30pm so you can chill for a bit and enjoy the view. 2) is KuDeTa - again this place has its own charm with beach beds, sitting by the pool or just chill by the bar. 3) Potato Head - This place is a retro styled bar, with cocktails and smoothies, you can enjoy the ambience and some quick bites.Well, Bali has a slow paed life, not much chaos around you, lets you unwind, soak up the sun by the beach, and relish those well known cocktails. But for those poor non-vegetarian people out their make sure you mention you do not prefer any pork or beef by the side in your dish, provided you are ready to try some novelty.
RESTAURANT: Mozaic-BaliSIGNATURE DISH: Shaved Fennel with Kaffir Lime American Chef Chris Salan trained in Cordon Bleu and worked in Michelin star restaurants of Paris and New York, before publishing several cookbooks that have been widely received. His restaurant, Mosaic, has won prestigious awards, including the Best Asian restaurant in the World Gourmet Summit, 2015. He is also a jury member of Top Chef Indonesia.The Philippines