A few days out with my sisters was something that had been long pending. It was time for some sunshine with my sunshines. It never had to be a fancy vacation, just some downtime together .All three of us have been scattered across the globe, so fitting everyone in took some amount of number crunching, as well as humongous amount of planning, persuasion and alterations. Post the unwieldy planning routine, we were finally all set to step on the picturesque destination - BALI. At the risk of sounding cliché while quoting Shakespeare, “If there is a will, there’s a way”, we did find our way in the forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, splendid blue water beaches, majestic coconut forests, structured banana farming as well as the artistic coral reefs.
The journey started with all of us landing at Ngurah Rai International Airport at KUTA in mid June. The hottest part of the year had passed and June was with a slight warm day and pleasant evenings with average temperature of 27˚C(day). June also experiences lowest rainfall in the year and that made it an ideal month to kick start the tourist season
DAY 1&2 - KUTA-Cosmo hub of Bali
For long vacations, home stays goes best(catering to the basic needs and easy on pockets). RENA SEGARA HOMESTAY was our perfect choice , spacious well equipped rooms with simple local complementary breakfast (generally fried rice /bread egg), but that was enough for us to kick start our day. The distance from the airport to our accommodation was 11 kms covered in about half an hour. Ngurah Airport has various facilities for airport transfers including airport taxis, busses, motorcycle taxi as well as metered taxi.Try opting for airport taxi as they go on fixed prepaid rates (quotes less than the metered taxi).As there were three of us, airport taxi suited us the best with fare of 120,000 (IDR). Kuta is a beach and resort area which happens to be one of Bali’s first tourist developments. It is a commercialized location best known for its party centric atmosphere and surfing in the Indian Ocean. Kuta, also well known for its nightlife is co-located by Tuban, Legian and Seminyak beaches all within approachable distances. Kuta’s night life scene comes alive ones the sun sets, with some of the Bali’s popular restaurants bars and pubs found along Jalan Pantai Kuta and Jalan Kartika Plaza. Central Kuta also boasts of pristine Hindu shrines and significant Buddhist Temples.
Our two days stay at Kuta kept us busy in exploring the Double Six Beach, feeling the waves and the wind under our skin, sipping fresh coconut water on the silky sand of the beaches as well as exploring the Kuta Beach Walking Street, Beach Walk and Art Market.
Seminyak is half hour ride from main KUTA (much refined and less crowded).
The evening saw us visiting the Uluwatu temple locally known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Beautiful 1hr. Motor ride from Kuta. According to the Archeological Survey of India, the remains found on the site proves that the temple is made of a group of stones that came into existence around the 10th century. The temple is open from 0900 to 1900 hrs for visitors and a fee of 30000 IDR is charged for foreigners. As per the dress code both men and women have to wear a sarong or a sash tied around there waist. Sarongs and sashes are available at the temple for free. Basically skin below knees should be covered.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO : you will witness monkeys in equal number to tourists, avoid carrying any loose items as they are pro in snatching everything in just a fraction of eye blink.
One attraction which I shall always remember was the traditional Balinese dance call Kecak dance(don’t give a miss)which was scheduled after the sunset at the temple open theatre facing the sea and witnessing sunset (what best can be asked).The dance was held in the open stage of the temple and started at 1800 hrs and last for half hr.to 45 mints.. The dance was even more striking because of the dominant use of human vocal in place of gamelan instruments. Make sure to grab early tickets (costing 100000 IDR/per) and early Entry for your choice of seating, we were quick enough.
As the sun went down, exciting nightlife scene takes over Our pub hopping routine at Kuta and Seminyak included Sky Garden Roof top lounge, VH Bali, Bounty Discotheque, Rosso Vivo Dine & Lounge and Ma Jolly Restaurant & Lounge followed by endless photo sessions of the Sister Squad on the tranquil Bali streets.
Cafe Revolver Seminyak- must visit for amazing cold coffee and charcoal burger
CULTURAL TIP– The Balinese People are generally considered to be modest, soft spoken, sensitive and religious, the most followed religion being Hinduism and Buddhism. It is advised to interact with mutual respect and care even when bargaining in the street shopping areas.
MONETARY TIP - Kuta being the commercial hub has a number of money exchangers as well as ATMs which can be used to withdraw cash. It is advised to carry required amount whilst travelling from India and withdraw money as required to reduce hassle of carrying cash as well as for better currency exchange rates. Avoid exchanging money from Airport due to heavier taxes levied.
TRANSPORTATION TIP: motor bikes / scooters are perfect go to for the city drives, costing around 60000 IDR per day. Easily available at every corner and even provided by hotels ( charges exclusive)