Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Sun, sea and sand with nature and culture in the island of Bali

{ July 2009 - Bali, Indonesia }

We went to Bali, Indonesia for four days in July 2009. While we, or rather, I am not a "beach" person, we thought that a short trip to Bali would be great pick-me-up from the daily work life. After doing countless research, we decided to spend our time between Sanur (quiet "family" beach), Ubud (the cultural centre of Bali) and Seminyak (the party and shopping central - after Kuta, that is).

Day 1 (18 July) - Singapore to Sanur, via Denpasar

Our flight landed in Denpasar around noon, and we went straight to Sanur. After resting for a short while in our hotel, we walked out to search for lunch and the beach. Lunch was a simple Nasi Campur, which literally means mixed rice. It has rice, noodles, eggs, vegetables and satay sticks (grilled meat on satay).


We saw some interesting Balinese architecture in the houses we passed in search of the beach. And here is a lone "leaf-less" coconut tree in someone's garden.


The beach in Sanur is calm and quiet, although I have to say that it did not take my breath away. Spent some time sitting by the beach, enjoying the view and the sunset, munching on grilled corns sold by the beach, and visiting the quiet "market" selling clothes and paintings. We ended our first night in Bali with a dinner by the beach, with sand under our feet.

 


Day 2 (19 July) - Sanur to Ubud, via various towns


We had the intention of waking up bright and early to watch sunrise and walk along the beach. Well, sleeping took priority, and we continued sleeping till the sun was up! We arranged for a car to drive us up to Ubud, and to stop us in various towns along the way. We ended up stopping at various towns and shops making and selling different things - silverware, batik, painting and woodcarving. It would be interesting if you have not seen those things, but being from Malaysia, the painting of batik is pretty much similar between the countries. 

 

As we go towards the north, we stopped at Goa Gajah (which means Elephant Cave) and Yeh Pulu which has carvings on the wall (below).


We finally got to Ubud in the afternoon. There was one main road running across the centre of the town, with shops (and lots of tourists) along the road. Walking along the roads, we visited a few places. Right in the heart of Ubud is the Ubud Palace and the Puri Saren Agung. Apparently, the local royal family still lives there.


Walking up north, we were met with an imposing gate opening towards the private temple of the royal family - Pura Marajan Agung. Balinese are mostly Hindu, but their practices seemed to be different from the Hindu elsewhere. It would be quite interesting if we had the chance to witness the locals praying and practicing in the temple.

 

 

Walking towards the west of the Ubud Palace, we saw more temples....



 

until we reached Pura Taman Saraswati. It is a beautiful temple, with ponds in front, overflowing with lotus. We watched a dance performance there that night. There were also dance performances in the other temples, but we decided on this just because of the wonderful temple and pond.



The short time that we were in Ubud that day showed us that there are definitely more to Bali then just sun, sea and sand. I loved the local culture already, even if I saw more foreigners than locals.

1 comment:

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