Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bali Revisited - Day 1&2

I came back from paradise island on Wed evening! and how I wished I could stay longer!!

It's my second trip to Bali in seven months or so.. but I still enjoyed myself just as much. Perhaps the only difference is that I ended buying less things.. well, mainly also because i didn't have the money to spend! :(

Last time my friends and I managed to cover no less than seven temples but this time round, we only did three, as dad and mom weren't very keen on it. Rather dad was more interested in visiting museums and art galleries.. and mom of course wanted to shop! And for me, it's anything goes..

We arrived early afternoon last Friday and checked into Santika Hotel in Tuban, which is just a walk away from the bustling Kuta. So we spent the first afternoon/evening exploring part of Kuta - which meant a bit of shopping, and had dinner at the well known Made's Warong.. but dad didn't think much of the food, even the impressive-looking Nasi Campur. Oh well.. Bali is not known for its food..

We ended the day by taking a horse carriage ride back to our hotel...only thing was the carriage was so old and it was almost toppling over! It wasn't a comfortable ride at all and both mom and I felt pitiful for the poor horse having to shoulder all our weight..

The next morning, after snapping some photos at the hotel compound, which is actually quite spacious and lovely, we headed for our South Bali `tour', starting with a beach which had lots of watersports but didn't interest us, then a museum/gallery at Nusa Dua, and then we paid a visit to the famous Grand Hyatt - supposedly the largest resort in the island.

Grand Hyatt was well, grand. It was simply huge! The swimming pools were amazing.. and there were beautiful landscaping with all sorts of flowers.. but somehow, I had higher expectation.. everything looked too manicured.. and I don't really like large hotels. Well, even with the cash, I would go for something more quaint and quieter..

Still, we took quite a lot of photos at the resort.. it was a beautiful sunny day!

Since our main destination of the day was Paru Uluwatu, on the way, we visited a monument called GWK - basically there were two large stone statues of Prince Vishnu and the Garuda (the mythical bird). The monuments, which were actually quite recently made, were set amidst a landscape of huge natural rocks..

I would say there were three main attractions at the famous Uluwatu temple by the sea.
  1. The spectacular view of the old temple along the cliff of the sea
  2. The `Kecak' dance during sunset
  3. and last but not least... the aggressive and clever monkeys that reside there!

Yep, I think it was the last that had captured many, including our, attention.. Actually unlike my last time there in Jan., we didn't see that many monkeys while walking into the temple. But once we were at the cliff, the monkeys prowled and we witnessed two poor sods whose glasses were snatched by the monkeys! And finally some local guides managed to retrieve them by giving the offending monkeys food. So that's why they snatch things from unsuspecting tourists.. to be traded with food! How smart!

By the time the Kecak dance performance started, it was almost sunset.. and alas, although we had a hot clear day, the sky was a bit overcast and thus we could not see the sun set nicely..

We ended the day with a sumptuous seafood dinner on the beach of Jimbaran, just like what we did last time..

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