Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bali day 5

The last day in Bali. We did not do much. We drove down to Denpasar to have a look. Denpasar was the heart of Bali. Our first stop was this monument called Bajra Sandhinew, a memorial built for Balinese People located in Puputan Renon field. The building style (Bajra Sandhi) is taken from the weapon of Ludra God, the god who occupy south west of Bali. This place is surrounding by Bali Government Office and  rich people's housing area.

Then we stopped by Pasar Badung to see if we can find some souvenir.

Main road in Denpasar called Gadjah Mada Road.
Before we go to airport, we stopped by a souvenir shop called Krisna. This shop sells plenty of souvenir at reasonable price, some even cheaper than the one sold on road side (if you don't know how to bargain). Almost all kind of souvenir can be found here. After all, it is very near the airport.

Horse Statue near the airport
So, buhbye Bali.

This trip, i dint get to go to Gili Island, or Lombok, which are both beautiful island, less touch by tourists. For me, Bali had been very much occupied by tourists that most things are made purposely to suit tourists needs. Not as beautiful as i thought.
2nd thing is, i dint get to visit Kuta, supposingly nice town and nice beach, which had been a target for terrorist in previous bombing.
3rd thing is, i dint get to see the night life in Bali, in which Bali is famous for its night life, and also, HIV. Haha.
4th thing is, i dint get to Lovina Beach to see dolphin. awwwwwww
Maybe next time.
Funny though, my trip this time dint focus on beach. Bali supposed to be famous for beaches! zzzzzzzz

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bali day 4

The villa i am staying in, is called Villa Junjungan. The owner of the Villa started off the Villa from zero. Everything was handmade, even the swimming pool was built by himself. He said that Bali had been occupied by plenty foreigners. People from all over the world, The US, Malaysian, Singaporean, everywhere, invested in Bali, over-ruling the economy. Before they know it, the local Balinese had been treated like animals in the zoo. People from everywhere came to see the locals, but all the incomes go back to the foreigners. Many locals still stay in poor, drinking water from the drains. He had been working in Holiday Inn, and was inspired to start a Villa business of his own. So, a lot of facilities are not so complete yet, but he said that he is improving bits by bits. The lights in the rooms were not really that good, a littlte bit dim; the breakfast was too simple; there wasn't any generator, so during our first night, there was a blackout for a while; during our second night, the hot shower ran out of hot water for a few hours; and there was only local channels in most of the TVs. The worse thing is, if you book the Villa through internet, which requires you to pay 10% only, you would have to bring plenty of cash to pay on the spot, and the conversion rate for him, is a little bit higher. Luckily my dad booked through Save all the extra charges.
The whole garden is set up by hand, to save cost, can you believe it?

As the villa is in the middle of paddy fields, we are defended from the blood suckers only by a thin layer of nets. A place closer to nature has a price to pay. Blood.
We started off our day with a visit to the wet market. On the way, we noticed this bamboo looking thing, with a box attached. It means that there is a prayer going on, and the box is for the people to place their offering to God. There is this praying thing on the ground everywhere, and some even spray water at the goods they sell. They still remain their culture pretty well.

Hari Raya Nyepi (silent day) is coming, which falls on the 23rd March this year. In this special day, they have to follow four rules. Rule number 1, amati Geni which means there ll be no fire (no cooking which also means fasting), and no electricity. The whole island will be in a dark. Rule number 2, amati Lelunganan means no travelling. Everyone has to stay indoor. So if any tourist happens to be in Bali on that day, they have to stay in the hotels, and only the hotels room can be lighted, but not the lobby or any other place in the hotels. Rule number 3, amati Karya means no working. Rule number 4, amati Lelanguan means no entertainment. The driver also said that some rich people would travel out of Bali a few days before the silent day to escape from the ritual. In Hari Raya eve, the locals will carry a scary looking giant around the town, to chase away evil spirit, so that they can have their new year peacefully. Thus, we can see that plenty of giant statues were being made in temple, even at nights.

We visited the Wet Market. I am not a big fan of wet market, so the things there dint really catch my attention. I only noticed that they sell plenty of flowers and stuffs for worshipping in the market.

After that, we proceed to Tanah Lot temple. According to my driver, Tanah Lot was built by the third Javanese Priest, Danghyang Nirartha. This priest loves to build temple by the sea around the island. Tanah Lot was one of them. Tanah Lot means land in the sea. The raged waves covered up the path to the temple, and the temple nested on a small hills of rocks. Interesting. Tanah Lot is famous to watch sunset. But as we have short of time, we did not wait until dusk. 

A picture i saw, showing a path leading to the temple

Tanah Lot Temple struck by thousand of aggresive waves on a small hill of land, watched by a million people by the shore.
Next Stop we went to Bedugul. I doze off in the car, and dint know how long it takes me to reach the hill. It must be very long. When i woke up, it was raining heavily outside. We stopped by to eat in Saras, which is at Bedugul. The restaurant actually combined with a place to stay i guess. It has around three stories, and the back facing terrace. Nice view though. The price for the food was quite reasonable.

To my despair, the rain did not stop after we finished lunch. It is still raining heavily. We continued our journey to Beratan Lake, hoping the rain would cease by the time we reached, but to no avail. Thus, we rented a few umbrellas to see the Lake.

Beratan Lake was printed at the back of the Rp50,000 notes. Nice view. But when it was raining, the whole place flooded. The locals said that it had been raining like this for the past five days. We waited for the rain to get less heavy, and enter the Lake.
The whole place was flooded due to the rain

Raining Beratan Lake.
How i wish i could take a few more beautiful photos of the lake... ... ...

We left Bedugul and go to Taman Ayun. Taman Ayun was built by the Mengwi Kingdom. Actually there is nothing much to see, but i just simply find the temple interesting and beautiful. So, we went in to took a few pictures.

Bali is famous for Bebek Bengih (Dirty Duck Dinner). But from our location, we are too far from that restaurant, thus the driver told us that Dirty Duck Dinner is the name of the shop. The duck which is famous is called Crispy Duck. So the driver brought us to Warung Dewa Malen to eat Crispy Duck. Well, i had never taste the crispy duck in Dirty Duck Dinner, so i cant make a comparison, but this Crispy Duck that i ate was nice, which cost Rp85k.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bali day 3

Check out the hotel in the morning. We loaded our mini van with luggages and continued our journey north. We went to Ubud. Ubud is a village full of cultural heritage, and thus we decided to see the main four cultures in Ubud, namely batik, silver, painting, and wood crafting. For me, I had seen enough in yogya, but for my dad's collegue and family, all these are something new and very traditional. Most of it is hand made, skillfully hand made.

After the cultural drive, we went to a coffee plantation. Aha! Finally I get to taste the famous kopi luwak for just 50k per cup. Compared to sky high price in europe and 60k in yogya, I must say this is an opportunity. I always thought that the coffee came from cat's dropping, but now that I see the real animal, she looks more like fox to me. And she is not just a cat, but a civet cat (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). The coffee is a little bitter, but with cinnamon stick, it is bitter dry, a mixture of taste from both cinnamon and coffee. (perhaps with some shit as well). Awesome! We were also given 9 kinds of free sample coffee to taste. Niceeeee.

Coffee Bean
Asian Palm Civet 


sample coffee

Nice environment to drink coffee ~

Kopi Luwak

We passed by the village. According to mas putra, every house has to build one ancestral temple for his ancester. The size and decoration of the temple depends on the wealth of the family. Some temples are huge, some are just a small one. And to stay in Bali town, it is impossible for ordinary people. The land and the houses are too expensive. So everything in town is tourist-made. For local who stayed in Bali, they had to stay rural.

In Bali, there are 4 kinds of temple. First, is the ancestral temple where the people worship their ancester. Second is Village temple, where they have to build three temple for Brahma, Vishnu, and Selva. There are 628 villages in Bali, so, there ll be 2000 over village temple in Bali. Third is the  local temple. For example Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, those are all Local Temples. Fourth is Occupational temple. In bali, there are three main occupation in the past, the one for fishermen, traders, and farmers.

Next stop, we were brought up to kintamani mount to see the batur volcano.  We have buffet lunch in Sari restaurant in kintamani which cost Rp70k per person. We had a nice view of the batur mount while eating.

Batur Mount
We went to tegallalang to see the rice field terrace. Well, in my opinion, Dieng terrace is still much magnificient compared to this. The road was so crowded with vehicles. Along the road, there are plenty of stalls selling handicraft.

Our last stop for the day is the Ubud market. They sell local products here, raging from batik to all the handicraft. And you had to cut the price down to 20% to 30% of the offered price. Something like malioboro market but the things they sell is a little bit different.

Uncle heng thinks that we should try some local foods, so we end up eating mee ayam. =.=

We then check in our villa. The adults think that we had tried 4 stars hotel in town, so now they wanna try something new. Villa in middle of paddy field. The villa is separate into two building, a few km apart. Here is the disaster. One building got no electricity suddenly, as it is raining. So, we in the end uncle heng and his family stayed in the dark villa, while uncle teoh and my family stayed in the other one with electric.

It is raining heavily outside,plus the air con in my room, I am cuddling comfortably under my blanket. Hopefully the rain will stop tomorrow. The weather had been moody today, with rain during our lunch time  and on our way to our destination. Tomorrow we ll visit those place I anticipated, so may the rain stops.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Bali day 2

Ate breakfast in the hotel early morning. I was wondering why they serve us plenty of beef. And like typical indonesian, heavy breakfast. The hotel offered us free foot massage, but too bad the timing of the therapist is not right. 9am to 7pm? Who the hell will be in hotel at that time?

Outside Turtle Island
At 9am, we left our hotel. Our first destination was Tanjung Benoa Nusa Dua, a beach famous for water sports. We got ourself a boat to visit the turtle island with rp 700 k. Here we get to hug the turtle, and also feed them. Those animals are pretty tame though. Then we also got ourself para-sailing for rp 100k. Hehe. First time on para-sailing. Cool. 4 storey high. I almost see the whole island. I thought of trying snorkeling, but too bad no one wanted to go with me. And they said the coral there was not as nice compared to 10 year ago tioman.

Tanjung Benoa Nusa Dua

At noon, we left the beach. We went to eat babi guling (local steam-like pork) and ayam bertutu (spicy chicken). Well, the driver told us that the shop he brought us is not the local one, there were plenty of commercialized babi guling, so this is just one of them, which he thinks is clean and pleasant. He said that local ppl would also charge high price if they notice we are tourists. Apparently "adults" go for clean and pleasant, thus we paid 50k for one babi guling, and another 50k for ayam bertutu. Well, I dint know the original price, but 50k for a disk is definitely not cheap.
Ayam Bertutu (spicy chicken)

Babi guling
Next stop, we went uluwatu temple. Entrance fees was 20k. We had to wear a sarong to enter. Before we reach the temple, we have to go through a forest with slipper-loving monkeys (so said the local). One of us wore slippers with monkey on it,  and he became the target of the monkeys. The weather was killingly hot. We sweat like being in sauna. There is nice cliff that uncle heng describe as "don't need to go australia to see cliff anymore." There is also a very long path and stairs. And there is temple for prayers that we are forbitten to enter.

Apparently, Ulu means heart, and Watu means stone. This temple was build by the 2nd priest in Bali, named Empu Kuturan. The temple is at the blue sea cliff 100meters high. Talking about hinduism in Bali, hinduism in Bali is a little bit different. Before Hinduism was introduced to Bali, the Balinese pray to spirit. Everything has a spirit, the trees, the building etc, so it would not be surprising to see people dress the trees up, even now. And When Hinduism was introduced to Bali, the people still wanted to worship the spirit, thus the first priest incorporated the tradition of the locals with Hindu, and build the first temple, named Besakih Temple. We did not go to Besakih, because the temple is too far from where we stayed, and the entrance was not cheap.

Hindus supposed to believe in one Supreme God. But, when Hinduism was introduced in Bali, there were many different opinion. Thus, the second priest introduced the idea of God with three manifestation, namely Brahma, Visnu, and Selva. This Priest is the one who build Uluwatu in the 10th Century. so said the driver.

On the way back, we stop at a beach called Padang Beach. it look nice from top, but is a small area among  the cliffs. We walked through narrow stairs between the cliff and reach the beach. Plenty of people here and plenty of nice sea shells.

Then we proceed to Jimbaran Bay. We were supposed to take dinner there. Dinner infront of sunset, romantic. But romance comes with a price. 2 million for a couple set. Goodness, I did rather eat gold. And too bad it was cloudy today. Thus, no beautiful sunset for me. We gave up the gold-meal, and in the end, we ended up in KFC.

Beautiful Sunset at Jimbaran Bay

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Quite a tiring day though, we reach hotel at 8pm. End of day 2. And one thing about traveling with family. It means no night life or clubbing.