Who watched “Eat, Pray, Love” and didn’t fall in love with Bali? Well I certainly did! That’s why I promised myself to go there someday, to see its beauty up close. It finally happened in March last year, Chie and I thought it is the perfect place to celebrate our ninth anniversary together. We’re lucky to be based in Singapore where airlines such as Jetstar and Tigerairways offer cheap fares to most south east asian countries all year round so there’s no need to plan trips way ahead of time. Flight from Singapore to Bali takes 2h 45m.
I have been to Bintan Indonesia before, it is one of the go-to places together with Batam and Johor Bahru among those living in Singapore whenever there’s a one or two-day holiday. It is a nice place to relax, the beach is beautiful but Bali is on a different level. I am still in awe of it’s beauty up until now, and it’s one of the places I’d love to come back to in the future.
Accomodation: We stayed at THE SPOT in Legian. It is easily accessible because it is near the Ground Zero Monument which was built in the memory of a terror attack considered as the deadliest attack in the history of Bali that took place on 12th October, 2002. It has a huge marble plaque with names as well as nationalities of those who were killed in the attack.
The hotel has different themes for every room, each with its own style with a pop of colors. It also has a restaurant which serves good complimentary breakfast and a small pool at the rooftop, as well as a spa service near the lobby. Water dispensers were available on every floor so that’s a plus, unlike other hotels that provide only 2 bottles/day. It was a good value but if ever we will go back to Bali, I’d like to try a different hotel.
Monkey Forest: About an hour and a half from Kuta was the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary located in Ubud. It was both a nature reserve and a hindu temple. Indeed, there were monkeys everywhere! Just remember to be careful with your belongings as these monkeys are notorious for taking tourist’s stuff.
Batuan Temple: A beautiful Hindu temple set in the middle of Batuan Village strategically located beside the main road from Denpasar to Ubud. Batuan Temple was beautifully designed with Balinese architecture and antique Balinese ornaments. I must say, I really love Balinese architecture.
Dreamland Beach: Kuta beach was too crowded and polluted for us so we searched for a better beach. Our driver took us to this 100-meter stretch of white sand beach that leaned on a steep of white stone cliff overlooking the amazing view of Indian Ocean. It was popular among surfers with it’s big and powerful waves. If only I knew how to surf…
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK): A cultural park covering approximation 60 ha area located in Ungasan, Badung Regency, or about 10–15 minutes driving from Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport. It was devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu, and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion.
It was a huge place with a lot of pretty spots to take pictures. The statue of Vishnu was gigantic, 23 meters tall. The cultural show was interesting though I must admit the performance freaked me out a little.
Uluwatu Temple: My favorite among the places we visited. The view was absolutely amazing! Do not miss watching the sunset here. Its spectacular cliff-top setting at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean will take your breath away.
How we got to all these places? When we arrived at the airport, we hired a taxi to bring us to our hotel, the driver then offered to take us to different tourist spots in Bali during our stay. He showed us a brochure and just let us chose wherever we wanted to visit. We gave it a go because it was reasonably priced and we were able to chose whichever place we wanted to visit without the constraints of a fixed tour, and we had the whole van to ourselves.
There were so many places we still missed to see. I don’t want to go into details how we wasted half a day of our stay through some marketing crap. It still frustrates me whenever I remember what happened but hey, it’s a reason why we must come back right? 🙂 R.