Monday, May 9, 2016

Bali: Day 2

Rise and shine, peeps!

We woke up at 2:30am today. Gosh it's damn early! Even earlier than the 4am wake up call at Alishan for sunrise. Anyway, we slept around 10:30pm yesterday. Hence we spared a 3 hour nap in the car on the way to Lovina.

A must visit icon of Bali.

We got ready by 3am and of course skipped the hotel breakfast. Hubby looking very sleepy indeed.

Corridor outside our room is pretty neat.

Since it's at the basement, the seating area is enormously spacious.

Look closely what MJ's face made of.

Found this lion mask outside hotel entrance. It is called Barong, a lion-like creature, king of the spirits, enemy of Rangda the demon queen and mother of all spirit guarders in the mythological traditions of Bali. The battle between Barong and Rangda is featured in Barong dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil. The popular dance comes from the Gianyar region.

After about 3 hour drive from Kuta to Lovina, we arrived around 6am. I remember waking up for a few seconds while the car was on top of a hill and milky way seen outside the window no kidding! Anyway, we love the steady 8-seater car.

This is dope! We have never seen this type of sampan before. Brilliant idea for balancing.

All four of us getting ready when it's almost 6:30am.

Excited giler!!!

It was hard to spot dolphins at first but when they came it's really a school! I did get a little seasick chasing the dolphins around.

Really one of the most amazing experience in my life! I wish to see whales on my next holiday.

My most valueble photobombed selfie of all time. Seriously dolphins are everywhere that you don't have to put effort for them to be in your selfie.

Watch the videos below to experience it! Excuse my yelling in the videos I couldn't help it.

I was feeling nauseous by now. It's over an hour on the boat chasing dolphins. But then the captain of the boat offered to take us to see "big fish" and various types of "special fish" for IDR200,000 for four of us. Honestly I wasn't fond of that idea but went ahead to see what's special about it.

When I saw some boats gathered and a few snorkelers, I knew it's bad news. True enough it's much less than expected and no difference than what we experience in Redang and Koh Lipe. Just normal tiny fish minus the snorkeling. RM60 for 3 packets of buns to feed the fish and 5 minute boat ride is totally not worth it for me.

We were told not to tell anyone but I insisted to pen down here coz I don't give a fuck. So my advice is deny add-on when in doubt.

Our patient tour guide, Agus brought us to a nearby cafe for breakfast. I was still very drowsy at this moment.

I love this type of menu...oh by the way, all meals including plus breakfast are included in our tour. I wish every country we go has affordable private tour like this that includes everything. I'm a very lazy planner.

Hubby ordered Indonesian breakfast and the mee goreng beats the western breakfast. So yummy I'm still craving for it as I'm typing. 

I ordered American breakfast that comes with a banana pancake. I love that it resembles a crepe.

We continued our journey at 8:50am and reached this breathtaking view of Bratan Lake at 10am. It was quite chilly here

By the way there are lots of fluffy monkeys here. I believe somewhere here is Bedugul Monkey Forest. Oooh...they are so puffy I can't.

You have to watch this chaotic video where they rush like mad for no apparent reason.

After 20 minutes drive downhill we arrived Pura Ulun Danu. Though the sun is shining brightly you get the feel of air-conditioned temperature. Tickets are priced at IDR30,000. Opening times 6am - 6pm.

There are quite a number of entrance gates to the temple.

An entrance to one of the shrines.

Insta worthy photo. Love the gleaming details.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a major Shivaite water temple. The temple complex was built in 1663 and used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali.

Lake Bratan is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area. Located 1200m above sea level, it's no doubt for the cold climate.

The 11 stories of pelinggih meru dedicated for Shiva and his consort Parvathi. Buddha statue also present inside this temple.

Ain't sure whether you can ride these boats or not.

Next we headed to botanical gardens which is just 10 minutes drive. We missed taking photo of a giant statue in front of the entrance. This photo was taken from Indonesia Tourism Forum just to show my readers.

First stop was cactus house. Difference with Penang botanical gardens is you can drive through the area. Lazy bumps like me appreciate that.

The Eka Karya Botanic Garden is established on July 15, 1959 with an area of 157.5 hectares (389 acres). The garden contains more than 2100 species of plants. Entrance is IDR15,000 per pax and opens from 7am till 6pm. rarely worn bralet. I see many girls wearing mini cropped tops and bralets out in the open but I'm still not used to it.

There were a bunch of young college hipsters playing guitar and singing beside me. Great place for picnic and lepak.

Right next to the botanical garden is a strawberry farm.

Unfortunately strawberries were not in season in that farm so we barely picked any.

Feeling extremely thirsty, we requested our Agus to bring us for strawberry refreshment. That abandoned cluster is PI Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel & Resort. Just Google Bedugul palace Hotel and the word "ghost" is associated with it. Agus told us that it was built in 1997 by Suharto's youngest son, Tommy Suharto and it got abandoned after crisis.

We settled at a very scenic cafe overlooking strawberry farms and hill slopes.

Strawberry everything! From strawberry bruchetta to strawberry springrolls and dumplings.

They even have strawberry infused pizza and spaghetti.

Strawberry nachos for the win.

Since we will be having lunch in a short while we ordered fresh strawberry smoothies even though very tempted to try strawberry pizza.

Another vain insta shot.

One of the most famous dish in Bali is babi guling. We had our lunch around 1pm at dunno what warung. Btw we weren't sitting on chairs but on a platform and so the legs. As you can see there are chairs in the warung but we chose the traditional way.

Is it me or is food in Bali kinda salty? I like the fragrant unpolished rice and crispy pork skin. Not sure what the other parts are. The salad or herbs has a queer taste not to my liking but if you love ulam you might like it.

With full stomach we arrived Pura Taman Ayun at 2.15pm. Tickets are priced at IDR30,000 per pax and opens from 8am till 6pm.

Taman Ayun literally translates as ‘beautiful garden’ and is generally regarded as one of the most attractive temples of Bali. The compound consists of main sanctum, Garuda shrine, Meru (pagoda shrines) and cock-fighting pavilion.

I notice most tourist pics in Bali are all about traditional gates. The locals even construct gates like this at their homes so don't mistook for a temple.

Pura Taman Ayun was built in 1634 by the Raja of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Putu. It also serves as Pura Kawiten or family temple, a special temple where the deified ancestors of the Raja Dynasty of Mengwi and important gods of other temples are honored.

The Taman Ayun temple is boardered by broad canals and it can only be entered via a bridge leading to a richly ornamented candid bentar, the gate which gives access to the outer courtyard (jaba) of the temple.

The jaba jero (3rd and most holy courtyard) is only accessible during important religious ceremonies, such as the odalan, the day on which the inauguration of the temple is commemorated.

The odalan of the Taman Ayun temple takes place every 210 days on a day called Anggara Kasih, the Tuesday of the week Medangsia of the Balinese Pawukon calendar.

So there you go, a bit of Balinese culture. Travel gives you an interesting outlook of different cultures.

Almost every junction and roundabout you can find religious statues.

Welcome to Tanah Lot! Another attraction marked off from my travel list. We arrived here at 3:30pm so there's plenty of time before the 6pm sunset. Entrance priced at IDR30,000 for foreigner and opening times from 7am till 7pm.

Mandatory shot of the temple. We prayed for low tide today and our prayers were answered beyond what we asked for. Super duper low tide! Tanah Lot literally translates as "land sea" is a rock formation that houses pilgrimage temple. Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Later he told fishermen to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, the sea god.

My signature jump everywhere I go.

In 1980, the temple's rock face was starting to crumble and the area around and inside the temple started to become dangerous.The Japanese government then provided a loan to the Indonesian government of approximately US$130 million to conserve the historic temple and other significant locations around Bali. As a result, over one third of Tanah Lot's "rock" is actually cleverly disguised artificial rock. Yeah, we gotto understand that ancient architectures needed restoration so don't expect everything to be real.

Very uncomfortable to walk on dead corals. Behind me looks like a luxurious golf course by the ocean.

We did what most couples do lmao.

Tanah Lot, Jimbaran, Kuta and Uluwatu are most tourist populated places in Bali but we still had a blast. We finally made a move at 5:30pm after some bargaining and shopping.

Agus dropped us at Plengkung aroud 6:50pm for dinner and all 4 of us agreed this restaurant serves the best food we had in Bali.

Food in Bali is so cheap.

Hottest sambal ever so proceed with caution. We love the cumi mentega though it's the first time we tried squid cooked in butter sauce.

For dessert, I ordered bird's nest. It's not exactly the real bird's nest or will cost a fortune. The jelly strips resemble them hence the name.

Yummy! Plengkung is highly recommended.

After a long day outdoors, we chill in our room with Bintang. The taste is mild and similar to Skol. Goodnight and look forward to Day 3 where we will visit even more temples.

 Click HERE for itinerary and budget. Enjoy the video below...

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