Bali Journals

10 Days in a Tropical Paradise

An April 2003 trip to Bali by Koentje3000

Rice fields near Ubud Photo, Bali, Indonesia More Photos
Quote: The biggest tourist attraction in Indonesia is most famous for its surf waves and beaches. But away from the overdeveloped beach resorts are beautiful rice fields, age-old temples, and big volcanoes in gorgeous scenery.

10 Days in a Tropical Paradise

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Overview

More rice Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
The island of Bali forms, together with a few smaller islands, the Indonesian province of Bali. This beautiful island, situated between Java and Lombok, gets its main income from the tourist industry. Most visitors come here on a package tour to one of the southern beaches. At times, the island may look like a cheap Australian version of Ibiza, with bars, loud music, nightclubs, hookers, McDonald's, and other stuff that comes with that. But there is still time and space to get away from these things. When we were there, tourism was taking a break, still recovering from the 2002 terrorist attack on the island and the 9/11 aftermath. Currently, tourism is picking up where it left off, meaning more peopl...Read More

Jimbaran Bay

Restaurant | "Jimbaran Beach"

Jimbaran Bay Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
The beach town of Jimbaran is a little more upmarket than Kuta, but it is much quieter here, with only a few bars with loud music, no nightclubs, and less hassle. But, no matter where you stay (we didn't stay here), be sure to come to the beach of Jimbaran at least one time. In the evening, the locals set up tables and chairs on the beach, and then the feast can start. A few beach booths open up, and you go choose from lots of fresh seafood. The people offer the catch of the day, namely clams, shrimps, fish, and even lobster or crab. They will barbecue or cook whatever you've chosen and bring it to your table with vegetables, plain rice, and some chili sauce. The food was really excellent and th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran Bay
Bali, Indonesia

Kuta Beach

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Attraction

Kuta Beach Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
Kuta is a very famous beach resort on Bali. Its decent surf beach, cheap accommodation, and great nightlife attract tourists from all over the world, but mostly from Australia. It's located only 5km from the Ngurah Rai international airport, even closer than the capital of Bali, Denpasar. People, many of them Australian, come here on cheap hotel deals, like a 14-night beach holiday. There are large hotels on the beach catering only to this kind of tourist. Nevertheless, it's easy enough to find a good room for a reasonable price (100,000 to 200,000 Rp) coming here by yourself.Everything in the small town is focused on the demanding western people: there are surfboard-rental shops, a McDon...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Kuta Beach
Jalan Raya Pantai Kuta
Bali, Indonesia 80361
+62 361 755 424

Bali Reptile Park

Attraction

Bali Reptile Park Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
Close to the more upmarket resort town Sanur, you can find the Bali Reptile Park, where you can find many of Indonesia's indigenous reptile species, including monitor lizards, different snakes, turtles, and the huge prehistoric Komodo dragons, which can reach lengths up to 3m (10 feet). It's an amazing sight to see this animal, which only lives on the Indonesian archipel the Lesser Sundan islands, mainly on Komodo island and its small neighbour Rinca, and on Flores island.There is a cage where you can enter and walk right between the ugly iguanas. You can even hold them if you would like. Tickets cost a hefty 70,000 Rp. This is not cheap for Indonesian standards, but the visit is worth it. Next t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Bali Reptile Park
Sanur
Bali, Indonesia

Ubud Tourist Information

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Attraction | "Ubud"

Ubud Tourist Information Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
Ubud is the self-proclaimed art capital of Bali. It is the most-visited town on the island apart from the coastal regions. Nevertheless, it is still a beautiful town in the midst of gorgeous rice paddies. You will pass some nice scenery on the way from Denpasar. Around the town there are a few sights, like Gua Gajah (elephant cave), that are worth a visit, but Ubud itself remains the region's main tourist attraction. The small town with 8,000 inhabitants is dotted with many historical buildings and puras (Hindu temples). A walk around will bring you to many of them, like Pura Desa or the former royal palace right in the city centre. Visit the palace for sure, as it is beautiful. There are st...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Ubud Tourist Information
Main Street
Bali, Indonesia 80571
+62 361 973 285

Sacred Monkey Forest

Attraction | "Monkey Forest Near Ubud"

Sacred Monkey Forest Photo, Ubud, Indonesia
Quote:
This is not the only place in Bali where monkeys are treated as sacred beings, but definitely the most visited one. Due to its vicinity to Ubud, at only 2km, it is easily reachable on foot. In this forest park, the monkeys wander around freely and there is no fence to keep them there. The reason they stay here is the fact that Hindu worshippers offer food and drink to the sacred animals. The monkeys are used to people, so you can get very close or even pet them. Some of them will react rather nastily if they find out that you didn't bring food for them. Be warned, as well, for monkey mothers with small children.In the forest you can find some nice statues of animals, mostly overgrown with green m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2006

Sacred Monkey Forest
Village Of Padangtegal
Ubud, Bali
+62 361 973 285

Kecak Dance

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Attraction | "Kecak & Fire Dance (Ubud)"

Kecak Dance Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
When you visit the nice town of Ubud, you should stay here at least 1 night and go to a Kecak dance performance. One of the most expensive performances (100,000 Rp) is the spectacle in the royal palace, but there are a few cheaper alternatives around town. Check with your hotel to get an idea of them. Be careful with street sellers, as apparently there are counterfeit tickets around, but do buy your tickets at least a few hours in advance, as the performance might be full otherwise. The one we visited was a short walk away from the palace and cost about 60,000 Rp instead. The dance focuses partly on a circle of men chanting "chak chak" and throwing their arms in the air, and partly on a few nicely ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2006

Kecak Dance
Banjar Tengah
Bali, Indonesia 80571
+62 361 973 285

Pura Taman Ayun

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Attraction

Pura Taman Ayun Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
The small village of Mengwi is a few kilometers west of Ubud. The town's claim to fame is the great Pura Taman Ayun temple complex. These buildings, many of them dating from the 17th century, are surrounded by a moat. It was constructed as the family temple of the royal Mengwi Dynasty, which gave its name to the town. There are many temples inside the complex, most of them having an odd number of roofs made of straw, as is the habit in Balinese Hindu temples. The maximum number of roofs is 11, representing Shiva, whereas nine roofs are given for Brahma or Vishnu and less roofs to smaller deities. You need a sarong to visit Pura Taman Ayun, but if you don't have one, you can get one at the entrance for...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2006

Pura Taman Ayun
Mengwi Village, Badung Regency
Bali, Indonesia 80351
+62 361 222 387 (Bal

Lake Bratan (Danau Bratan)

Attraction | "Danau Bratan (Lake Bratan)"

Lake Bratan (Danau Bratan) Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
On the road between Denpasar (65km) and Singaraja (20km), Danau Bratan is a gorgeous lake situated in the highlands of central Bali. It fills an extinguished crater of an ancient volcano and sits at over 1,200m above sea level, making it much cooler than the beach resorts or other places on the island. There is a beautiful 17th-century temple right at the lakeside, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan, devoted to the goddess of the lake. She is worshipped for her fertility by the local population. There are a few animals kept at the temple site, like a lizard and a toucan, that are worshipped as well. They are quite tame, so you can take a picture next to them if you want to.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2006

Lake Bratan (Danau Bratan)
North Of Bedugul, Next To Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Tabanan
Bali, Indonesia 80235
+62 361 225 649 (Reg

Lake Batur (Danau Batur)

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Attraction | "Danau Batur (Lake Batur)"

Lake Batur (Danau Batur) Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
The origin of the Batur area was the collapse of an ancient volcano. In the more than 100 sq km caldera left from this disaster, a new volcano cone was formed, namely Gunung Batur (Mount Batur, 1717m). Next to the mountain, a new lake (Danau Batur) came to existence. The volcano is still active and its latest eruption was in 1999. The village Penelokan is situated close to the lake. There's an amazing view from here of the lake and the volcano. However, the viewpoint is simply crowded with Indonesian people all trying to sell you the same stuff. We were the only tourists around at that time, so it was a terrible experience. Normally in Indonesia people leave you alone when you say tidak (no) ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2006

Lake Batur (Danau Batur)
Batur Tengah Village
Bali, Indonesia

Pura Besakih

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Attraction

Pura Besakih Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
The Pura Besakih temple complex is considered as the Mother Temple of Bali, the most important Hindu temple on the island. It is located on the slopes of Gunung Agung (Mount Agung), the highest mountain of the island, at more than 3000m and still an active volcano. In 1963 an eruption of the Gunung Agung partly destroyed the complex, but it has now been restored. Due to its importance there are always many Balinese people present, and there are lots of ceremonies held during the year to celebrate certain events. Probably the oldest temple in this place, it dates back from prehistoric times when it was a sacred place to the local pre-Hindu culture.The temple complex is very big, giving room for ab...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 20, 2006

Pura Besakih
Besakih Village, Rendang
Bali, Indonesia 80871
+62 361 222 387 (Bal

Lovina

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Attraction

Lovina Photo, Bali, Indonesia
Quote:
Lovina is one of the most touristy places at the north coast of Bali. After all, there is a great beach here and it is one of the best snorkeling places in Bali. The coral is not very colourful here, but there are beautiful species of reef fish. When we snorkeled here, we saw a few humphead wrasses together. This huge, ugly fish is a very friendly animal. I had seen them before, but never in a school. On the beach, you may notice the brightly coloured fishing boats. Despite the many tourists in Lovina, it is a much more quiet alternative to the noisy Kuta beach town. There are many cheap places to stay and eat around town. A good way to get around is by renting a bike. But beware, as some steep roads ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 20, 2006

Lovina
Six kilometers west of Singaraja
Bali, Indonesia 80235
+62 361 225 649 (Reg