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4.50 

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The island of Gods! Bali Day 1
Feb 09, 2009 10:41 AM 15790 Views
(Updated Feb 09, 2009 11:02 AM)

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When she told me that vegetarian food is not available in the flight, I got a sense of what I am going to eat for next few days.


We reached Nugurah Rai airport at around 9 AM in the morning. After taking visa, we were able to come out of the airport in 20 minutes. I saw a man holding my name. He came from the hotel where I intend to tay.


I felt that I reached Kochi from the atmosphere over there. It took just 15 minutes to reach out hotel Mathahari bungalow in Kuta.


From there website, I expected a hotel away from city in a calm environment. But it was disappointing to me that the hotel was just on the busy street in Kuta. But after checked in, I saw that the hotel has got ample space behind it and has also got a nice garden and swimming pool.


We came out to do some money change and we saw plenty of money changers around there. But I have got an advice from my friend about the way they display attractive rates and then cheat us when they give money. So we found a proper money changer which my friend told to me before.


The guide was already waiting for us in hotel around an hour before the stipulated time. I have shown him the plan for each day which I made before and he agreed with it.We started our first day trip at around 11 AM and soon we came out of Kuta town.


It was much bigger that what I expected and soon we started seeing Sanur beach area. There we could see Nusa Penida ("Nusa" locally means "Island")as a whole. We decided to stop for breakfast and we were manage to find a hotel. It was "Hare Krishna" pure veg. restaurant. Nasi campur was worth eating.


My first meals in Bali was very nice. I understood, just like in Kerala, Bali people also like spicy food. After having food there, we resumed our journey. Soon we reached Goa Lawah (Bat Cave). "Goa" means "cave". This bat cave is situated on the west of Soka beach.


On the entrance, you need to pay some Rp 3000 entrance fee and you have to wear "Sarong" to enter the temple which will be provided by the temple authorities. They will help you to wear it. A lady seller selling small souvenirs, gave us a small garland made up of bamboo and watermelon seeds free of cost.


She told us that it will give good luck to us. We then walk forward to the cave and we could see a nice temple which is known as Pura Luhur Srinjong temple. There are no main Deity for temples in Bali. They believe the presence of Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma everywhere.


They also believe to have the presence of spirits in trees, mountains etc. Balineese believe in ambivalence. i.e. They believe in the existence of both good and bad in everything. This ambivalence is symbolized by covering trees or temples by a Poleng cloth in which the chequered black and white pattern represents the balance between bad and good.


Poleng clothes are usually put in places where strong spirits are lurking, to balance their possible bad influence. The temple is open only for religious activities and you are not suppose to enter the cave. But we observed large number of bats covering the cave completely and we understood that is is not possible to enter inside the cave even if they allow us to enter.


I also saw a huge Barong mask kept on the temple. When we came out, those ladies who presented us the garland, were waiting for us to purchase something from them. Near the beach, we also saw cocks kept for "cock fighting". Later we came and spent sometime in Soka beach and left from that place.


From there, we went to Candida beach which is a calm beach on the east cost. We can see lots of sailing boats on the beach. A beautiful view of few small islands and scenic views of mountains and trees from this beach are worth mentioning here. From there, we came all the way back few kilomters and took turn to reach Klungkung.


It has Taman Gili (Island garden) which is the last remnant of the splendour of the old kingdom of Klungkung. Located in the heart of the town, it houses the splendid painted ceilings of the Kerta Gosa (Hall of Justice), the Bale Kambang (Floating pavilion) and the Semarapura Museum. The amazing paintings n the ceilings mostly depict the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata.


The painting technique follows the unique and elaborate style of Kamasan wayang paintings. These paintings are collective effort of many people wherein a main artist does the sketch, another does the painting, and others finish the fine details.


We saw Patung Kandapat Sari statue on the main junction of Semarapura town which is regarded as the landmark of Klungkung regency. From the "Palace of justice", we can see another monument which is well-known as "Puputan", a counter-defence of The Great King of Klungkung against the Dutch soldiers.


After spending sometime in the floating pavilion, we left from there.On the way, we went up to Jambul hill where, we could see beautiful rice terraces. The scenic beauty of Nusa Penida, Lombok strait, Rice terraces etc from a single view point was amazing.


From high land, we were able to witness the beauty of the nature beneath. Soon we reached the biggest temple of Bali - Pura Besakih which is also known as the "Mother temple" situated at the foot of Mt. Agung which is the highest peak in Bali.


The sacred Mt. Agung is an active volcanic mountain which is clearly visible even from an aeroplane above clouds. For more details and details of next days visits, visit: weekendoutings.blogspot.com/Important facts to know about when you plan a trip to Bali:Stay: Matahari Bangalow mataharibungalows.com/Guide: Mr. Pineh pinehbalitours.com/Food: Mr Pineh can suggest many good places for food. Be prepared to eat lots of banana productsBest time to go:


Anytime except Balineese new year and December-January (crowded time)Cheap flights are available from Singapore by Lion airwaysTravel time from Singapore 2hrs 30mins (Lion aiways provides only non-vegetarian food)Change money only from authorised agents. Others will cheat you for sure.Everyone expect tip from you. So be prepared to give tips to local guides, hotel, restaurants etc.Spa and Massage: Many places in Kuta, Ubud etc.


Costs for major attractions:Most places entry fees are around Rp 3000Pura Besakih: Bargain. We got for Rp 50, 000Scuba diving: US$30Parasailing: US$10Volcanic mountain sunrise trekking: US$50.We got reduction as we booked it through Mr.Pineh


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