Exploring Indonesian Islands!

Tripoto
14th Jun 2014
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 1/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Sunset
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 2/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Sailor Man
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 3/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Culture on the street
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 4/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Summer time!
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 5/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 6/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Tanahlot Temple
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 7/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Volcano Sunrsie
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 8/13 by Chasing Sunsets
View from the room- Jati HomeStay, Ubud
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 9/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Jati Home Stay,Ubud
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 10/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Scuba Diving in Gili Islands.
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 11/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Smoking Priest in the Monkey Forest
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 12/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Monkey Forest God
Photo of Exploring Indonesian Islands! 13/13 by Chasing Sunsets
Monkey Forest, Ubud

Bali is always advertised as a honeymoon destination. I heard a lot of ‘Bali? With friends?’ when my colleagues came to know about my travel plans. Honestly, even I was expecting a quiet place with a lot of couples posing and kissing. Having friends in Indonesia helped us finalize on this location.We chose to stay at Ubud, the cultural destination, rather than Kuta.

 The beaches and the places in and around Kuta are really crowded and very commercialized. I expected it to be just like any other beach destination and right I was! Right from the beautiful Denpasar airport till our accommodation at ‘Jati Home Stay‘ in Ubud, I was impressed. Crossing multiple paddy fields and several creative furniture shops, I was mentally making note of the location so that we could come back.

Ubud is no party place. Places close by around 9pm but a few restaurants and cafes are open till 11-12am. There are plenty of shops with handmade handicrafts and a lot of Yoga places. The streets are pretty with green foliage around with a lot of scary carved rocks.Though the temperature was soaring high and all of our bald heads were getting scorched, life was going on in slow motion those 3 days in Ubud. Eating those satays with peanut sauce and having the famous Bali ‘Kopi’ while playing charades was exactly what I wanted after working like a slave for 3 months without vacation. Watching the Balinese dancers in action and trekking to Mount Batur were the adventurous things we did apart from sipping Mojitos and taking massages all day long. Having switched off my mobile and walking around with no watch definitely helped me as I truly lost track of time especially while we were at Gilli Islands.

Jati Homestay is right in the middle of Ubud. Almost all the places are just walking distance from this location. The people there are very friendly and everyday along with breakfast, the owner will come and sit with us and help us with our itinerary. They even arranged cars for us to go to Mount Batur Sunrise Trek and gave us tickets for the Kecak dance, all at the bare minimum expense.

Photo of Jati Home Stay, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Jati Home Stay, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets

This place is full of monkeys and yes, temples but mostly Monkeys. There are 3 temples inside and all of them are closed for tourists. Mostly people come here to see the monkeys in the forest and it is fun! Do not go in with bananas else the monkeys will climb on top of you. There are a lot of places in there where you would feel you are on the sets of Indiana Jones! A must visit in Ubud.

Photo of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets

All palaces in Ubud are similiar if you are a tourist like me. The architecture seemed the same to me. Ubud Palace was no exception. Right outside the Palace is the Ubud Market which is like a maze with 3 levels. You find everything from clothes to fruits and souvenirs. Steeply priced but feel no shame in bargaining and paying only 10% of the price marked.

Photo of Ubud Palace, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets

Right outside the Palace, you will see several people selling tickets for this dance. This price is already fixed and is mentioned on the tickets. Although I did not understand the story, the dancers were powerful and the costumes and make up left an impression. I do not have any good photos of this dance but you may ‘You-tube’ it to understand what this is all about. The rhythm and the beats of the dance kept resounding in our heads as we walked out of the theatre.

Yes, this is hard work ; Especially trekking at 3 AM in the morning and all I can say is , IT IS WORTH IT!. I packed like a girl with flip flops and no sports shoes and I still managed to trek in the loose volcanic sand and stones for around 1.5 hours to 2 hours. I could see people flashing their torch light at my silver shiny disco flats as they panted and overtook me. But meh, same destination. I met them all up there and saw the same sunrise they did. Raw beauty of nature intimidates me and that is what happened there. Just staring straight ahead while the sun was rising was all I needed to be at peace with myself for rest of my trip. Please pack proper shoes and a nice light jacket to face the chilly wind up there, unlike me.

Photo of Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking, Tegallalang, Bali, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets

This is such a tourist destination. They have an entry fee and you cannot move ahead unless you bump into someone. I was so bumped out when I reached there as I just couldn’t click a picture of the temple without any people in it! But we managed and that put a smile to my face. Only while I was sitting there staring at the temple did the beauty of the architecture struck me; the entire temple carved out of a big rock! It was spectacular.

Photo of Tanah Lot Temple, Tabanan, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets

Gili Trawangan is the party island and the biggest of the three islands. These islands do not have any motorized vehicles and hence the only way to move around is by renting bicycles or in a horse carriage. The place in and around the harbor region is the most developed with a lot of yoga, massage centers, cafes and backpacker rooms. It may not be an appealing place in day time but by night, the entire place is lit up with yellow lights, candles, live music and good food and drinks. We spent almost 4 days at Gili T and enjoyed every minute of it. Diving, snorkeling, watching the sunset, swimming in the ocean, dining by the beach and so on. This may be a usual beach side vacation for some people but I have not seen such calmness in any of the beaches I have visited before. Indonesia has around 18,000 islands and if just these three islands promised me 4 whole days of peace, I am indeed curious to know what the other islands have to showcase.

Photo of Gili Trawangan Island, Gili Indah, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
Photo of Gili Trawangan Island, Gili Indah, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia by Chasing Sunsets
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