Wednesday, December 13, 2023



Bali is a popular tourist destination and one of the islands in the Indonesian archipelago. It is located in Southeast Asia, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Bali is known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, vibrant arts, and a blend of traditional and modern attractions. Bali is predominantly Hindu, and its culture is infused with Hindu religious practices. The island is characterized by diverse landscapes, including lush rice terraces, volcanic mountains, and beautiful beaches. Mount Agung, an active volcano, is the highest point on the island. Bali is often referred to as the "Island of the Gods" due to its spiritual atmosphere. Visitors can explore numerous temples, including the iconic Tanah Lot and Uluwatu temples. I was fortunate to visit this beautiful place and have briefed about this below.

Day 1: Arrival in Bali and Tanah Lot

I arrived at Denpasar airport by noon, cleared the formalities and immigration and took a cab to my hotel. Fortunately, my stay was near the airport and it did not take more than 15 mins to reach my hotel. After check-in, I took a quick rest and then started on the trip. My first destination was Tanah Lot temple, one of my bucket list destinations to travel. I booked a Grab bike and requested the rider to drop me back to my hotel. Tanah Lot is one of Bali's most iconic and picturesque sea temples. The temple is located on a large offshore rock, which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Situated on the southwest coast of Bali, near the town of Tabanan, the temple is perched on a rocky outcrop just offshore. Tanah Lot is a sea temple that is dedicated to the Balinese sea god, Varuna. Tanah Lot is particularly famous for its stunning sunset views. The temple's silhouette against the backdrop of the setting sun creates a mesmerizing scene, attracting photographers and tourists alike. Tourists can only view the temple from outside and they are not allowed inside the temple. I ticked off the destination a beautiful sunset view, went for a tummy-filling dinner at Spice Mantraa, an Indian restaurant at Kuta. A good night rest awaited after the dinner.

(Tanah Lot temple)

(Entrance to the temple)

(Sunset at Tanah Lot)

Day 2Nusa Penida East Island trip

Nusa Penida is an island southeast of Bali, Indonesia, and it is part of the Nusa Islands, which also include Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Penida is known for its rugged and relatively untouched landscapes, stunning cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. The trip is divided into two - East Island and West Island. I chose the East island as it is less crowded. From the mainland, one must reach Sanur harbour to catch a boat to Nusa Penida. There is a boat every half an hour from Sanur in the morning until 10AM. It is better to pre-book the boat ride to avoid the crowd. After a boat ride of about 45 mins, I reached the Nusa Penida Island. Since I had already pre-booked a trip, a cab was waiting for me to show around. Some of the locations here on the east island are tree house, Diamond beach, Atuh beach, Teletubbies hill, Bubu beach. A brief stop at Bubu beach for a refreshing drink helped regain my energy. I returned to Nusa Penida harbour to catch my boat back to mainland at 4.30 PM. Again, after a 45 mins ride back, reached Sanur harbour and caught my cab back to my hotel for a much-needed rest. For dinner, I went near the Discovery mall. The Dolce Vita is an Italian restaurant and the food was very delicious. After a sumptuous meal, I lied down for a good sleep.

(Harbour at Sanur to catch boat to Nusa Penida)

(Boats at the harbour)

The first stop was the tree house. This is one of the popular Instagram locations in the island. A tree house - a private property - is a photographic place. A steep climb down the hill, takes you to the tree house. There is a queue to click photos (chargeable). The view from here is impeccable and was worth the climb down. On the way, one can also view the Thousand islands and Diamond beach. After a 20 min wait, I had my photos clicked and started my ascent back. It was very hot and the steep climb sapped me out.

(Nusa Penida boat pier)

(Diamond beach)

(Tree house)

Back on the road, my next visit was the Diamond beach. It is known for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beach is nestled at the base of a cliff, and visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the coastline. One can climb down the cliff to enjoy the beach.
While one side is the Diamond beach, the other side is the Atuh beach. It features dramatic cliffs, rock formations, and a natural rock arch. The beach is a great spot for relaxation and enjoying the natural scenery. I had no energy to climb down and hence only enjoyed the view from the top of the cliff.

(Diamond beach - view from the entry side)

I had my lunch at a nearby restaurant and proceeded to my last stop, the Teletubbies hill. This area is named after the popular children's television show due to its rolling, grassy hills that resemble the landscape from the show, Teletubbies. The view from Teletubbies Hill offers a unique perspective of Nusa Penida's interior.

(Teletubbies hill)

(Bubu beach)

Day 3: Mount Batur and Tegenungan Falls

Day 3 began with a tour to Kintamani. This is a hill station on the north side of the island. On the way, there was a stop at a coffee plantation. Here, one can taste variety of coffees and teas including the speciality, the Kopi Luwak coffee, where the coffee is prepared from poop of the civet cat. After the coffee tasting, the journey continued to Mount Batur. Mount Batur is an active volcano situated in the central highlands of Bali. It stands at an altitude of 1,717 meters (5,633 feet) above sea level. Mount Batur is a popular trekking destination. The trek usually begins early in the morning to reach the summit in time for a spectacular sunrise. The volcano is still active, and there are areas on the mountain where steam escapes from vents, highlighting the geothermal activity in the region. Lake Batur, also known as Danau Batur, is Bali's largest crater lake and is located to the northwest of Mount Batur. It is a crescent-shaped lake formed within the caldera of the ancient Mount Batur volcano. Both Mount Batur and Lake Batur offer a stunning natural setting, and the combination of the volcanic landscapes, the caldera, and the lake contribute to the unique charm of the Kintamani region. One can also have lunch with the mountain views. Since it is a hill station, the weather was cool with fog hovering around. It made a perfect holiday. After lunch, the next stop was the Tegenungan waterfalls.
(Coffee plantation)

(Coffee and tea tasting)

(Mount Batur)

(Lake Batur)

Tegenungan Waterfall is one of the popular waterfalls known for its scenic beauty. Tegenungan Waterfall is located in the village of Kemenuh, Sukawati, Gianyar Regency, which is about a 30-minute drive from Ubud. The waterfall is situated in a lush green jungle setting, surrounded by dense foliage and natural rock formations. The area is rich in tropical plants and trees, creating a picturesque and serene environment. The waterfall cascades into a pool below, providing a refreshing natural swimming area and people can swim at the base of the falls. To reach Tegenungan Waterfall, visitors typically need to descend a series of stairs. It is a beautiful spot to visit. I returned for a well-needed rest.

(Tegenungan falls)

Day 4: Handara Gate, Twin Lakes, Banyumala Waterfalls, Ulun Danu temple

Day 4 was another anticipated day in the trip. Another visit to a hill station in the north part of the island. After a long 3 hour ride, the first stop was the iconic Handara gate. The Handara Gate is situated in the mountainous region of Bedugul, surrounded by lush greenery and scenic landscapes. The gate features a traditional Balinese split gate design known as "Candi Bentar." This style is characterized by two doors that are symmetrically arranged to form an entrance. The Handara Gate has become an Instagram-famous landmark, attracting photographers and travelers seeking to capture its beauty. There is a small fee to enter the golf course area to access the gate, and visitors are welcome to take photos and explore the surroundings. The background mesmerizing view offers a best photo place. 

(Rice fields in Bali)

(A Strawberry garden)

(Handara Gate)

The next stop was the Wanagiri hidden hills. Wanagiri Hidden Hills is a popular tourist destination in Bali, Indonesia, known for its stunning panoramic views of Lake Tambingan and Lake Buyan, the twin lakes, as well as its iconic photo spots. Visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of the lakes surrounded by lush greenery and mountains. One of the highlights of Wanagiri Hidden Hills is the various photo spots and swings that offer unique and picturesque views. Visitors can swing over the edge of the hill with the lakes and mountains as the backdrop, creating stunning and Instagram-worthy photos. The site also features large bird's nests and wooden platforms strategically placed to provide visitors with elevated viewpoints for capturing the beauty of the landscape. The destination has become a photography paradise.

(Lake Tambingan)

(View from Wanagiri hill)

(Lake Buyan)

(Twin lakes)

A steep climb down through a small road, from Wanagiri leads to the Banyumala waterfalls. Banyumala Waterfalls, also known as Banyumala Twin Waterfalls, is a hidden gem located in the northern part of Bali, Indonesia. It is known for its pristine beauty, lush green surroundings, and the sense of tranquillity it offers to visitors. The twin falls cascade down rock formations into a clear, natural pool below. The lush greenery and the peaceful atmosphere make it a serene spot for nature lovers. The water is refreshing, and the experience of swimming in the natural pool surrounded by the sounds of nature adds to the charm of Banyumala. The trek to reach the waterfalls is considered part of the adventure, and visitors are often rewarded with a secluded and peaceful environment once they arrive. The waterfalls offer excellent photo opportunities.

(Banyumala Waterfalls)

The last stop for the day was the popular Ulun Danu temple. It is one of Bali's most iconic and picturesque temples. It is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountainous region of Bedugul. The lake and the surrounding mountains create a stunning natural backdrop for the temple. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a water temple, dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of water, lakes, and rivers in Balinese Hinduism. The temple complex consists of multiple shrines and meru towers. The Eka Karya Botanic Garden, Bali's largest botanic garden, is located nearby and is worth a visit along with Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. This again ticked my bucket list places. Again, after a long journey back, a well-deserved rest awaited.

(Ulun Danu temple)

Day 5: GWK Cultural park and Uluwatu temple

The penultimate day of the trip began first with the sport activities. I indulged in scuba diving and jet skiing. From Nusa Dua, the scuba diving was a very refreshing activity. Swimming around a swarm of fishes and feeding them was just awesome. After a dive, a swift ride on a jet ski just enhanced the trip. Post a good lunch, the next visit was to the GWK cultural park - The Garuda Wisnu Kenchana park. The main attraction is the colossal statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana. This iconic monument depicts the Hindu god Vishnu riding the mythical bird Garuda. The statue is one of the tallest statues globally. The park is designed to be a cultural park celebrating Indonesian and Balinese art and heritage. The Lotus Pond Amphitheater is a central space for cultural performances and events. It offers a stunning view of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue as a backdrop. There are other statues like Vishnu and Garuda against the backdrop of the GWK statue. The park can be accessed by walk as well as a buggy, with an extra charge. The advantage of access by walk is the reach to multiple other small places which showcases the Bali and Hindu culture.

(Watersport point at Nusa Dua for all water activites)

(GWK Cultural Park)

(Statue of Vishnu)

(Statue of Garuda)

(GWK - Garuda Wishnu Kenchana)

The final stop was the Uluwatu temple. Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali's most iconic sea temples, perched on a steep cliff approximately 70 meters above the Indian Ocean, located on the southern tip of the island. Uluwatu Temple is not only a significant spiritual site but also offers breathtaking ocean views. The temple is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, the supreme god in Balinese Hinduism, as well as to the spirits of the sea. It is one of Bali's nine directional temples, meant to protect the island from evil spirits. The temple is renowned for its nightly Kecak dance performances. The dance, accompanied by a male chorus chanting "cak cak cak," depicts episodes from the Hindu epic Ramayana and is usually performed on an open stage with the sunset and ocean as a backdrop. Uluwatu Temple is perched on a steep cliff, and its location provides panoramic views of the ocean, especially during sunset. The temple's position makes it one of the most picturesque spots on the island. Visitors are required to wear a sarong and sash to enter the temple premises. There are a lot of monkeys around here and they are quite aggressive. Visitors need to be careful with their belongings especially sunglasses, mobile phones, caps and any eatables. With another beautiful temple visit, the trip had all but ended. The rest of the day was spent in packing.

(Uluwatu temple)

After 5 awesome days, it was time to depart from Bali. My bucket list places were ticked and I was happy and satisfied. This was again a solo trip and I can say that Bali is very safe. There are charges at every place so mind the spends carefully. There are a lot of mini markets where stuff like water and other eatables can be shopped. Indian restaurants are many but are expensive. Overall, Bali was amazing and I am happy to have covered it. Until next time, Cya all!!

Some notes to remember:
  1. USD is widely accepted and can be exchanged anywhere

  2. There are many exchanges for forex but there may be fake ones. Make sure to visit authentic forex centers.

  3. Visa on arrival is available for Indian tourists. eVISA can be applied online beforehand.

  4. Bali local people are very helpful.

  5. Grab taxi and bikes are available and are the cheapest options for local sightseeing.

  6. There are a lot of Indian restaurants in Kuta, Semniyak and Nusa Dua areas but are expensive.

  7. There is a fee for everything and every activity in Bali.

  8. Monkeys are very aggressive. Please be cautious with your bags, money, mobile phones, sunglasses, caps and eatables.

  9. Carry an umbrella or a cap as it gets extremely hot.

  10. Be conscious to stay hydrated.

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