Thursday, January 18, 2007
Bali sightseeing photolog (part 1)
Just 4 days - how do you begin your vacation on a land that has EVERYTHING to offer?
Well, we finally more or less divided our time into two parts - sightseeing vs shopping and leisure. So after arriving in Bali in the late evening, we made it free and easy for the rest of the night - where we explored some eatery as well as checked out the famous HRC (Hardrock Cafe) in Bali!
Needless to say, it was too exciting to sleep early on the first night (however, we did not go clubbing after leaving HRC at midnite) We dicided to sleep in a bit so we got a guide to come to our hotel only at noon the next day..
Our itinerary was to visit two main places - Tanah Lot - a rocky temple on an island, and Uluwatu - a temple on a cliff. Along the way, we also visited Taman Ayun - the Royal family temple.
It was a blazing hot day - contrary to what i read in three separate weather forecast over the Internet which all said Bali would be cloudy during the time of our visit.. hmmm.. it turned out that the following days were mainly hot and sunny, with cocasional showers at night.
The entrance toTaman Ayun
Ok.. fortunately none of us are having that time of the month..
Inside Taman Ayun temple
A small art village in the temple
Trying to mimic the `creature's expression! ;)
Posing in front of the three towers
A dog spotted when we exited the temple.. (there were many dogs whereever we went, I don't know whether they are stray or otherwise..)
After another hour of drive, we arrived at Tanah Lot...
The entrance to the Tanah Lot temple
Some huts selling paintings
The grand doorway leading to the temple in the sea..
Posing with a local guide
The sunset terrace
The rocky temple on a small island just off the shore
We had lunch at Tanah Lot - there were lots and lots of stalls selling handicrafts and souvenirs as its a tourist attraction.. in fact we came across so many of them wherever we went that I somehow felt its `supply exceeding demand'.
Speaking of buying things.. one of the `skill' or `art'(depending on how u see it) you need to know is to bargain! The vendors hike up a price of a good a great deal! And of course, having been to places like China a few times and seeing my own mom's expertise in bargaining, I'm quite adept to this `skill'. In fact, the way I bargained seemed to astonish my travel partners for the most they could do is to cut the offer price down by half but I managed to do it to 70-80 per cent even!!
Anyway.. after Tanah Lot, we drove south to Uluwatu and arrived in the early evening to get ready for sunset!
The awesome cliff.. we either have to wear a sarong to cover up legs or don on a `holy belt' to show respect when visiting the temple
One of the peculiarities of Uluwatu is the wild monkeys there!! These creatures are quite scary as they were out to get food and would not hesitate snatching things like glasses, hats and other loose items from passerby.
We were repeatedly warned by our guide. But alas, i was wearing glasses that day and without them I would be practically blind! So I had to hold onto it tight while making my way to the temple. However, my hat I was holding almost got snatched by a monkey. Luckily I was stronger than him/her!
My friends took many more pix of the monkeys but I was too worried about my glasses and hat etc.. that I couldn't take pix of them!
Before sunset, we watched the Kecak Ramayana & Fire Dance - which is touted as one dance you shouldn't miss in Bali. It was perform on a `stage' overlooking the sea. Well it was interesting, the singing/chanting was good and the costumes were awesome. But to me, I got a little impatient sitting through same `music' background and similar movements on hard stone for 1 hour so I went to take pictures of sunset instead!
The traditional Kecak dance which was quite a spectacle
I managed to take a few facets of sunset from the holy cliff temple of Uluwatu
After the sun went down, we left fo Jimbara Bay - which is famous for its seafood dinner on the beach! The prices were not cheap at all.. so we budgetted for the less costly seafood.. it was quite nice enjoying our meals at the breezy sea-side. Oh yeah, the food was good but got cold quite fast unfortunately.
When we returned to Kuta, we decided the night was still young and went for a walk along Legian Street, which is off Poppies Lane.
Took a pix by the monument that commemmorates the victims of the first Bali bombing - that killed many tourists from all over the world. Bali was bombed again for the 2nd time.. but the terrorists could never bomb away the beauty of the island..