Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
January 21, 2002
We saw most of these attractions on a small jeep-based tour from Ubud but you could hire a car and driver for a day. Most can be covered in an anti-clockwise circuit loop starting with Bedugul and could be combined with some Central Area Highlights (see separate journal) to form a two-day tour.
2. Near the hot springs (ask directions), at the top of a steep hill is a Buddhist monastery, temple and adjacent warung. Less than 5% of Bali is Buddhist and this is the island's only monastery. It's setting on a lush hillside with views over the north coast is stunning and the resident monks are keen to show people around. Be sure to make a donation. There's a Sukothai-style gold leaf Buddha image from Thailand and several beautiful statues.
3. The markets at Bedugul are small but jam-packed with a range of fruits, vegetables, plants and other trinkets at a fraction of the prices in the south. Further north across the mountains there are many roadside stalls with a reputation for selling the cheapest and best durian on the island. Foolishly, I bought some (very) ripe ones for a friend, but within an hour my travel companions were threatening to throw me and the durian out of the jeep. And that's in a jeep. Can you imagine the smell in a car!
4. Ulun Danu Bratan, near Bedugul, and Ulun Danu Batur, near Penelokan are justifiably famous. The misty atmosphere of Batur's temples and Bratan's attractive gardens and dramatic lakeside setting at the foot of Gunung Catur guarantee a photo-fest. Don't miss out - you'll be pleasantly surprised at the lack of (foreign) intrusion at both sites, and there's usually the colourful bonus of a festival or celebration.
From journal BALI - OOTIFUL