We woke up with the chirps of birds and a temple prayer far away, gave us homely vibes instantly. We made our way to the restaurant for breakfast which was so so . By then our driver arrived (actually he arrived an hour before but didn’t want to disturb us when we were having breakfast so waited at the lobby. Not knowing this we had a slow breakfast.)
Bali cannot be experienced in 3 or 4 days. It is huge hence we need to travel length and breadth to visit the various attractions in Bali. The best way to have this experience is by booking a private driver just like what we did, its more economical and you will have privacy.
Our driver Vindra Kumar, was a young man from Waguz tours, which was recommended by one of Aj’s friend, Florence. Their service proved true to her statement “Excellent”. English was good and was very helpful in giving tips about certain places in Bali. On our day 1 we decided to visit few temples and to explore major tourist areas. We gave the list of temples we wanted to visit to our driver Kumar. He decided on the travel route and the first temple we visited was Batuan Temple.
It is named after the village Batuan and is an active place of worship for locals. Unlike temples in India, here we can enter wearing shoes but wearing sarongs is a must. There is a counter at the entrance that provides Sarongs to all visitors for free. Entrance to the temple is also free, guests are free to donate any sum as per their wish. It is a huge temple with large compounds. There is an innate calmness in the atmosphere that allows you to appreciate the architecture even more. There are various shrines inside the temples each depicting a story.
Batuan Temple Complex
In front of the main shrine
Inside the temple compound. The platform behind us is a setup for playing musical instruments.
The temple pond inside the complex. The center idol here is a turtle.
We spent around an hour in the complex before proceeding to our next stop Tegenungan Waterfall.
Tegunungan waterfalls, view from the top of the hill.
Tegunungan lies on the way to Ubud, thus made in to our itinerary. It is a great place for swimming or to just enjoy nature at the foot of the waterfall. The entrance fees of 10k rupiah (approx SGD 1) is collected near to the car park. There are a number of restaurants that act as a lookout and shops selling sovereigns, hats, drinks atop the waterfall. We climbed down the steep stairs to the foot of the waterfall, very good trekking experience. One can sit and relax with such a view for a very long time.
Being a predominantly Hindu populated region, there is no dearth for temples in the island of gods. Our next visit was to Goa gajah, the elephant cave temple.
At the entrance with our driver Kumar.
Goa gajah temple complex
It is one of the world heritage site. The temple features a combination of both Hindu and Buddhist religious elements, it comprises of a large courtyard filled with stone relics, bathing pool that immediately brings back you to temple ponds in India and a cave with elephant face that acts as an entrance. Entrance fees to the temple was 15000 rupiah(SGD 1.50). Sarongs were provided for free at the entrance. There are people trying to selling you sarong outside but our driver advised us that you can get it for free inside.
Fountain water spout statues in sacred bathing pool
The cave entrance where idols are carved into the rock.
The Ganesha idol inside the cave
A pic from the countryside
The Sacred Monkey forest
Ajay is a big monkey fan so a visit to the monkey forest was a must. It is located in Ubud. It is a temple complex as well as a natural reserve. The moment you enter the complex, monkeys of different sizes will join you from all the sides. Most of them are looking for bananas and if you are kind enough to give them bananas they will be more than happy to sit on your shoulder. Entrance fees was 150000 Rupiah (15 SGD). There are 2 vendors selling bananas inside the complex. My advise is do not buy from the vendor at the entrance because the moment you walk in with bunch of bananas you will be surrounded by monkeys from all directions and trust me you don’t want to hide them in your pocket either they are smart enough to even check your pockets. There is another banana shop inside the park near to the temple where you can buy and relax near the tree. The staff will help chase monkeys if they try to snatch from you. Its 50,000 rupiah for a big bunch of bananas and you cannot bring outside food.
Aj was so excited when he saw a monkey at the entrance happily gave him a banana, within seconds he was surrounded by many some were quite fierce even jumped on his hands and grabbed the bananas.This is what happens if you get over excited 😛
Our little abode
My moments with a friendly monkey 😀
Entrance of the temple complex. can u spot a little monkey ?
Rules and Regulations, trust me they are serious!
Tegallalang rice terrace
Vast greenery all around, layers of rice terraces. The best thing to do here is to dine at one of the restaurants overlooking the terraces and that’s exactly what we did. Amazing breeze and there was a traditional music from far which we could hear while eating.
A table for two overlooking the rice terraces.
Nasi campur Indonesian style!
There was no entrance fee but a donation of 10000 rupiah.
Mount Batur – The active volcano
After a sumptuous lunch we reached our final station passing through various strawberry and orange farms. We could easily recognize how the geography of the place changed as we started from a relatively low beach side to a cool breezy hill station. Temperature turned really cold when we reached Batur. We watched in awe the stunning Mount Batur, wish to trek this mountain one day. We had hot tea at one of the roadside shops spent some time watching the clouds move above us and started our journey back to kuta.
We visited the famous Krishna stores on the way back to buy gifts and souvenirs. They have really good collections at affordable prices.