Sharing our discoveries with you as we travel this journey in life…
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Though this was an unplanned itinerary in our Bali trip, I guess we’re glad to arrive at Jimbaran Beach for sunset and seafood dinner after a relaxing evening at Padang Padang Beach. Arranged by our tour guide Mr Gusti, we reached Ganesha Seafood Restaurant about 5.30 pm ready to chow down. An elephant God as the icon, Ganesha is certainly Hindu that resonates to the faith of majority Balinese.
After got off from Suzuki APV, we were ushered through the restaurant to greet a massive white sandy beach. Jimbaran Beach is wide and a very long sandy bay. Dining tables and chairs are laid on the shore and guess what? Our table was reserved and they were the first class seats, without any blocking view of the beautiful coastline, the horizon and the vast Hindi Ocean. Ganesha is not the only restaurant here, there are more than a dozen of them, set up at waterfront to welcome frenzy visitors!
From a typical shore of South Kuta, Padang Padang Beach became popular overnight after Julia Roberts was filmed here in Eat, Pray, Love. Since then, visitors are crowding this short beach that sits 10 minutes away from Uluwatu Temple or 20 minutes from Kedonganan Beach. We arrived in the evening before heading to Jimbaran Bay for sunset and seafood dinner.
What are the interesting stuff and things to do at Padang Padang Beach?
The journey to Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple was as if taking ages. Zig-zagging, up down the slope, the view had flipped from the bustling concrete jungles to the real green, with sights of convenience stores, villas and motels poked out occasionally. From Tanah Lot Temple, we took almost 90 minutes to reach the entrance of Luhur Uluwatu Temple that sits in South Kuta at the end of Jl Raya Uluwatu.
At last, we alighted from APV Suzuki at 3 pm. Before leaving, our driver – Mr Made reminded us to watch out for monkeys. Apparently, the monkeys that made home at Uluwatu Park likes to snatch visitors’ food, sunglasses and even earrings. After paying for a small entrance fee, we put on sarong/sash out of respect as of Balinese tradition. We then stepped into the ground of Uluwatu Park, looking forward to an ancient temple on steep cliff and gorgeous Pecatu landscape scenery.
For Balinese, Tanah Lot is a sleepy town that comes alive as a result of a temple that floats on the sea! For tourists, Tanah Lot Temple is a must-visit owing to its magical atmosphere. Beautiful ship-shaped temple, stunning view of rocky out-crop on the shorelines, endless splashes of eerie waves, it is truly inspiring allowing your senses peeled to all of these wonderful stimuli.
Although most people recommend Pura Tanah Lot to be visited in the evening to watch sunset, it also means hoards of tourists are there. Hence, we opted to differ. Escaping from the crowd, we arrived before 10 am in hunger to complete one of 10 things to do in Bali. Small fee is required but strangely, Tanah Lot Temple doesn’t provide sarong/sash rental like the others.
Unlike the coastal areas such as Kuta, Legian or Sanur, Ubud sits right in the middle of Bali island. Less rowdy, Ubud is more divine for vacationers that are up for nature, culture, arts and spiritual. In other words, Ubud is the place to see the faces of an authentic Bali and Balinese. And after Julie Robert’s Eat Pray Love movie filmed in Ubud, everybody wants to go to Ubud on their first Bali trip.
If you’ve been following my food posts, there are probably only a couple restaurants out of many hundreds that I would never recommend to my readers. Ironically, I Made Joni that is about 5 minutes from Ubud Downtown is one of them. Stay away from I Made Joni Restaurant! All I can tell is we were conned to walk into this restaurant.
Believing our driver cum tour guide was not likely to recommend ‘something not-that-bad’ to tourists, we decided to stop looking at the cheap and good foods in Ubud Downtown. Instead, we landed at I Made Joni that was claimed to offer a stunning looking view at which we couldn’t expect much as darkness had already crawled in by 6:30 pm.
Despite growing up in Asia, eating rice as a staple, you must be wondering why I was still amazed when it comes to a spread of massive emerald green of rice field. Trust me, the view of Bali’s rice field is unique. Majestic, if I am only allowed to use a word to describe it. Unlike the paddy or rice fields in Malaysia or Thailand, Bali’s rice field is beautifully carved line by line, cascading over steep hill slope hence it is like a postcard picture of a green waterfall blending with coconut trees that one would not seen a spot of skyline neither the horizon!
We passed Tegallalang rice terrace after Bali Pudina’s Luwak Coffee farm but decided not to stop because it was drizzling. Just a shot from the window of our vehicle to satisfy our curiosity of this popular tourist attraction at which it is.
Call me ignorance, but I didn’t know that Bali is somewhat famed for its coffee since the Dutch era. Named after the island, Balinese coffee is commonly served in restaurants and hotels. Having said that, Kopi Luwak or Luwak Coffee however is another type, somehow a highly commercialized coffee. An icon of Indonesian coffee, Luwak Coffee has a steep history traced back to Dutch colonization where coffee farming was a significant industry in Sumatra and Java. Priced between US$17 to 100 per 100 g, Luwak Coffee is one of the most expensive coffee in the world.
No trip through the beautiful island of Bali is complete without a visit to the Gunung Kawi Temple Tampaksiring, that is located 35 km north east of Denpasar Downtown. Our second destination after a brief visit to a batik factory near Celuk on second day in Bali, we finally arrived at Jl BayuBrata Tampaksiring by 11 am.
Who tells you Bali is an island of temples? Besides people with smiling faces, Bali also offers a vast breathtaking view of volcanic caldera beside a massive spread of ocean. A typical range of any camera is unlikely to capture this fantastic view. Imagine an active volcano Mount Batur, serene Lake Batur and a stratovolcano Mount Agung – the highest peak of Bali. All are promised in a stretch of panoramic.
Bali Mount Batur & Lake Batur Tour
40 Minutes later after Gunung Kawi Temple brought us a buffet lunch at Panca Yoga Restaurant in a tourist-congregated spot at Penelokan. Honestly, food was nothing to brag. A row of restaurants loaded with tourists can tell the price is certainly upscale. But the cool climate and dramatic view are something to die for!