The beauty that Bali is! Tiny Island offering the best of views.

Tripoto
5th Sep 2018
Day 1

After much planning and researching, we finally packed our bags and left to have a relaxing holiday in Bali. The whole idea was not to visit any of the touristy destinations but explore some untouched, unexplored country-side beauty. But to avoid missing out on the touristy part, we decided to also include Kuta in our list of places to visit. The only reason was to explore the famous temples of Tanah Lot and Uluwatu. We booked a hotel near Kuta Beach for 2 nights and took a cab to take us around the these famous places. We were caught by surprise - excluding the excessive crowd, the beauty of these places is the reason they became so famous. A small piece of first-hand advice - avoid wearing short dresses/shorts since they will give you a sarong to tie. Opt for a comfy jumpsuit (for women) or a knee-length dress. Even though tourists are not allowed inside the temples but they are quite strict when it comes to dress code!

In my opinion, do add these places to your itinerary when you are in Bali next! Kuta beach can surely be avoided since it is just another beach with a no. of vendors selling a variety of things.

Mesmerizing Sunset Views at Batu Bolong (which is in the same premises as that of Tanah Lot)

Photo of Batu Bolong Beach, Pantai Batu Bolong Street, Canggu, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Tanah Lot Temple during low-tide

Photo of Tanah Lot Temple, Jalan Tanah Lot, Beraban, Tabanan Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma
Day 2

Just another beach with no great views

Photo of Kuta Beach, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

After spending a tiring day 1 exploring Kuta and Tanah Lot, we were set on our next place to visit - another famous temple - ULUWATU. Bali is full of temples and few of them at extremely good locations. This one is a major tourist attraction but worth the hype. The view of the ocean with cliff on side is superb. Though we did not get a good view of the sunset since it was cloudy but spending time there was good. The place is very crowded and a lot many people choose to watch Kecak dance for which you need to purchase a separate ticket (50k IDR per person). The entrance to the temple is 60k IDR per person and you need to wear a sarong to enter the place (as is the case with almost all temples in Bali).

Superb

Photo of Uluwatu Temple, Pecatu, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

While on the way to Uluwatu, our driver stopped at a coffee place which also serves Luwak coffee. For those who don't know, Luwak coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world and is actually made from the poop of civets! The coffee garden was very well-made with the entire process explained nicely and then came the coffee-tasting session with a no. of different flavors of coffee. We bought the Luwak coffee to taste and found it similar to any other coffee.

Ganapati Idol at the entrance of Luwak Coffee

Photo of Luwak Coffee, Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Different Coffee Options

Photo of Luwak Coffee, Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Extensive Coffee Menu!

Photo of Luwak Coffee, Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

World's most expensive Coffee - Luwak Kopi

Photo of Luwak Coffee, Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma
Day 3

After exploring and getting tired, finally came the time for relaxing. We had found out a nice offbeat beach destination in East Bali. We chose Candi Beach Resort & Spa at Candidasa for our next 3-day stay.

Candidasa is a lovely small village and Candi resort and spa is surely a gem around 2kms from Candidasa. The place is on east side of Bali and not very touristy. We were looking for a place away from the hustle-bustle and party scenes of Bali and this totally lived upto the expectations. The beach is perfect - white sand and turquoise blue waters on one side and a hill and lots of palm trees on the other side. We had booked Ocean Bungalow which had beach view but not uninterrupted - it was pool view and then beach view. The staff is amazing - very courteous and helpful which is usually the case in Bali (never had a bad experience with people anywhere!).

Private Beach at Candi Resort & Spa

Photo of Candi Beach Resort and Spa, Sengkidu, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Lush Palm Trees all around in the resort

Photo of Candi Beach Resort and Spa, Sengkidu, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Views to die for - the island lightly visible in far distance (on left) is Nusa Penida

Photo of Candi Beach Resort and Spa, Sengkidu, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma
Day 4

We opted for snorkeling at the blue lagoon beach which is a 10-15 mins boat ride from Candidasa. There were amazing varieties of fishes and the boat ride was great too. Beautiful views all around with Mt. Agung as the backdrop!

Day 5

Next, we headed to explore places around Candidasa and took a cab to explore Lempuyang temple and view of Mt. Agung. Mt. Agung is an active volcano in that region and we were informed by our cab driver, that the volcano erupted few months before we traveled and that the airport was closed for few days and still we were not allowed to visit within a 4km-radius of this volcano.

As is the case with all the Bali temples, you are not allowed to visit inside the temple. However, you still need to wear a sarong and a scarf to go inside. The temple is beautiful with 5 dragons - you can't climb the stairs from the middle path, as we were instructed by one of the staff members before we began to go inside the temple. The thing that we found extremely stupid was that people were standing in a long queue just to get a picture clicked with Mt. Agung in between the temple doors. The views of Mt. Agung are GREAT on a clear day. Though it was very hot when we went there, it is a good place to view Mt. Agung. However, you can surely miss the queue since it is just a picture that you'll get after such a long wait. You can get similar picture with few people around, doesn't matter.

Lempuyang Temple

Photo of Mount Agung, Jungutan, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Majestic Mt. Agung in the background!

Photo of Mount Agung, Jungutan, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Mt. Agung in all

Photo of Mount Agung, Jungutan, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma
Day 6

Next, we headed to our final and most awaited destination - Ubud. We had heard from some friends that they took a day-trip to Ubud from Kuta or Seminyak but we decided to spend 3 days of our trip here and it was all worth it. If you are someone who loves offbeat destinations with not much hustle-bustle around and can survive practically without ANY nightlife, UBUD is the place to be!

We spent the entire day in the resort which also had a private pool with the room. We then rented a bike for our 3-night stay in Ubud and went exploring the area around our resort. The resort was in middle of paddy fields and the village was extremely pretty. Met few of the locals, clicked pictures with them and then got to know about a waterfall nearby. We headed straight to it and to our surprise, there was not a soul around! Extremely rare sight when you are in Bali but we enjoyed the time near waterfall which was all for us.

Soulful green all around!

Photo of Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Our ride for 3 days in Ubud

Photo of Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Friendly Locals always ready for a pic and then ask for money!

Photo of Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma

Manuaba Waterfall near our resort - with not a soul around!

Photo of Manuaba Waterfall, Kenderan, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma
Day 7

We started our day with an early morning visit to the famous paddy fields - Tegalalang. The rice terraces are AWESOME. The views are extremely beautiful but you need to walk a lot - up and down the stairs to enjoy the place. Though the locals there pose for photos / selfies and then ask for donation. Other than that the place is great. One important point is to start early since later in the day it gets really hot and the place gets crowded. We bought tickets for 10k from Ceking Rice Terrace office and entered on the other side of the road around 100 meters from the ticket counter. We tried one of the swings as well and it was a good experience too. Must recommend this while you are in Ubud.

Photo of Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Jalan Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia by Gunjan Sharma
Day 8

We also explored traditional Ubud Art Market. The art market in Ubud is a heaven for art lovers and shoppers equally. Lots of things to choose for oneself and also for gifting purpose. Located in main Ubud, the place is always busy with people. There are a LOT of small stalls with people selling from bags, to dreamcatchers to windchimes to masks to all sorts of interesting souvenirs. If you need to buy something, make sure to bargain and say the amount almost 1/5th of what they ask. If you move away, they'll call you to come back and buy stuff ! I bought a few things for myself and a lot of souvenirs for friends and family at good price.

On our last day in Ubud, we decided to explore the Campuhan ridge walk and monkey forest.

Day 9

Campuhan Ridgewalk: After reading multiple reviews of must-do thing in Ubud, we started early to reach this place and started our walk. We expected some real good views of the paddy fields or forest but it was just average. Though we were early it was extremely hot and nothing to do at all. Just keep walking for some small cafe! The signs to reach this place are not clear. Google maps leave you in middle of the road - you need to look for signs for Hotel Idah. Take a left from the hotel and you'll arrive at the parking from where you can start your walk.

Sacred Monkey Forest: The place is a must-visit in Ubud. Earlier I was a bit skeptical of visiting this place since I am not very fond of monkeys. I have seen some really nasty monkeys and hence did not really want to go. However, after reading the reviews, we thought of visiting the place. The place opens at 8.30AM and we were the first ones to enter. A bit scared in the beginning thinking the monkeys might attack or snatch things from us. But that was not the case. As soon as we entered, the staff was feeding them sweet potatoes and hence all monkeys were busy. The forest inside is dense and has a beautiful stream flowing inside. There are a couple of beautiful balinese temples inside too. Later we heard some voice and saw the staff calling monkeys to feed them again - this time it was corn and bananas. The monkeys are not troublesome when they are busy eating. we saw them eating and also fighting over food. Got to see a few mischievous ones snatching corn and bananas from the staff and running away. Overall a fun experience with close encounters of the monkeys.

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