Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bali Island

If it wasn't for a friend's wedding, we would never had visited Bali Island this past November. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. More genuine, down to earth and less commercialized compared to Phuket Island.
With the start of the rainy season, we were drenched daily from the heavy downpour during the 5 days we were there. Fortunately, our driver always had an umbrella ready for us before we step out of the car. Didn't realize Bali is such a huge island. Took us at least 45 minutes of driving just to go anywhere.
Went to Jati Luwih rice terraces, Taman Arun Temple, a live cock fight match, Tanah Lot Temple, Agung Rai Museum of Arts, Jimbaran Bay, a cooking class and did the flying fish and underwater ocean walk. Flying fish was not as fun as I had anticipated. Laying flat on our backs in the flying raft provided little views while up in the air for 10 seconds or so. Can't beat parasailing for that matter. Ocean walk was quite fun but scary even though we were only 20 feet underwater. The underwater currents tend to pull us one way or another, so we stayed put at one spot holding on to the railings provided. It was nice getting up close to the fishes or rather they were getting into our faces. It felt like we were the ones in an aquarium and the fishes were watching us through our helmets.

View from our villa on Ketewel Beach- Mt Agung on the right and the distant Mt Batur to the left. 

Green moss on rocks by the beach.

Fisherman spreading out his fishing net ready to cast into the ocean. My husband was able to buy 3 good sized fresh catch from a local fisherman on the beach for US$10. Made for a very tasty breakfast and lunch.
We had grilled fish for breakfast and this was steamed fish with tofu for lunch in addition to the curry fish below. Very good eats. Compliments to the chefs at our villa.  Every morning, the chefs would make us breakfast to order and we were fed well with noodles, rice, pastry, eggs, sausages, bacon, fresh local fruits, freshly squeezed juices and coffee. We skipped lunch most day as we were still full by then.

Beachfront Puri Kamadewa at Anapuri Villas- Bali's hospitality at its best. Amazing place to stay albeit a little isolated. Top notch service, beautiful grounds, private, tranquil, great place to unwind and be pampered.

The grand bed in the up stairs master bedroom. Airy, quiet and best of all, I didn't encounter any mosquitoes at all. Behind this wall is a huge bathroom with rainforest showerheads and a full body shower system that I love.
Fantastic place to soak and lounge. 
Infinity lap pool and hot tub to swim or sit and relax.
One of the many temples on the way to Taman Arun Temple.

Taman Arun Temple- can't remember why I chose this temple to visit out of so many temples in Bali. It has a small botanical garden and an art gallery. We came across statues of a cock fighting ring here and my husband who had never been to a live cock fighting game decided he just had to see one that day. Thanks to our driver, 30 minutes later, we were at a real live match. I've no idea where the exact location was. We each paid a small entrance fee of US$0.25.  We were the only non locals. No females, either. Very bloody and gruesome as the cocks had sharp blades attached to one of their feet and they fought to kill.
Taman Arun Temple grounds
Jati Luwih rice terraces. Had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the rice terraces. Nice views but average food.
On the other hand, Gianyar's Babi Guling roadside stall- so good. Not the most sanitary but can't forget the tender meat and crispy skin with the added spicy sour vegetable sauce.

On the way to the Tanah Lot Temple, we had a durian and mangosteen feast by the roadside. The king of fruits were sweet and slightly bitter with a drunken aroma.
The queen of fruits-very sweet. Couldn't stop eating them.

Tanah Lot temple- crowded even though it was drizzling that day. Can't get a photo without someone's head in it. With the overcast, there was no sunset to be had and the temple looked dreary in every photo that I took. Too bad.