Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bali - Bedugul and Tanah Lot

The main places we visited on our second day in Bali is the hill resort of Bedugul and the picturesque Tanah Lot. Before the rather long drive to Bedugul, we first headed to Sukawati for some shopping. In fact prices in Sukawati is cheaper than at Ubud (according to the ladies who knows better) so this is the best place for souvenir shopping if you can find what you want here, though the selection may be more limited.

One feature in Bali is the endless devotion to worship and prayers and you can find shrines and mini temples (for want of a better word) everywhere and people are making simple flower offerings all over the place and many are placed on the walkways so be careful not to step on these.

After shopping, it was time for lunch. This time it was at a restaurant call "I Made Joni" in Ubud recommended by our driver. The place is just off a main road in Ubud, right next to paddy fields as are many restaurants in Ubud. So it was very relaxing for the body and the eyes with all the greenery next to your dining table.

Also the food is cheaper compared to other similar restaurants, according to the driver. The crispy duck here cost 85.5K rupiahs compared to 100K to 200K elsewhere. Readers may want to comment if this is correct. Anyway, the crispy duck was crispy down to the bone and other dishes were also good so we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch in the serene and green surroundings.

We then made our way to Bedugul. As it began to rain, the journey was slow and it took us about 2 hours to reach Bedugul by Lake Bratan. The main attraction here is the boat ride across the lake to reach the Pura Ulun Danau Bratan, a tiered pagoda-like temple. Unfortunately, it was raining and we did not want to take the boat ride as it seems to lack safety features.

There was nothing much in Bedugul except for the cool climate and strawberries on sale nearby and a large tourist restaurant and souvenir shop. For those with limited time, I would not recommend the trip to Bedugul, especially if the weather is bad. Others may disagree.

It was thus a wasted afternoon but this was luckily compensated by the visit we had at Tanah Lot, our next stop. The main entrance is just like any other typical temple entrance.

However, once you reached further in, the scenery is very different as you will be going towards the sea. The famous temple is built on an island and you can walk across the straits to visit the temple when the tide is low. Most tourists just take in the view from the shore and enjoy the postcard scenery.

There are other beautiful looking islands (or out-crops into the sea) around, this is one of the most picturesque.

Some youths were even seen to be surfing in the sea.

We did not stay to watch the sunset as the weather was not too good. So we went back to the hotel and the ladies had the room-service massage.

Ronald Kwok

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