A few thoughts and photos from my trip to Bali with Helen last month.
Sanur and Ubud
Our first stay was right on the beach, in the resort of Sanur. It’s a quiet place, particularly compared to Denpasar (the capital) and Ubud, our second destination…
The view from our hotel beach in Sanur, looking south. (Excuse the photo quality, it was taken on a disposable.)
The view at breakfast: a fisherman wading out at sea.
Ubud is further inland, about 40 minutes north of Sanur. It’s known for its arts scene and there were plenty of market stalls selling handcrafted goods. We of course took our chance to do a bit of bartering! (We bought a couple of kites and a small wooden owl!)
A market seller un Ubud prepares flower petals to sell for for Hindu offerings.
We stayed at Uma, a luxury hotel located a short distance from the centre. The whole experience was pretty amazing: the room, the food, and the pool were all top notch!
On our last morning we went on a short guided walk through the local rice fields in Ubud.
Hinduism is a huge part of Balinese life, so there are temples (Pura) and offerings everywhere. Many temples are in spectacular locations: on the edge of a cliff, on a lake, or on a rock heading out to sea.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu.
The Kecak dance at Pura Luhur Uluwatu.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.
Rice fields make up a big part of the landscape in Bali. We hired a driver who took us on a trip round some windy mountain roads to check out the Jatiluwih rice terraces, the largest in Bali. The terraces were vast, and the views spectacular (unfortunately difficult to capture on camera!).
We went on a few guided tours to various places on the island. One of my favourites was a bike ride down a mountain. It was a great chance to explore some of the mountain villages that we’d previously driven through.
Overlooking a mountain village at the start of our bike ride. Those decorated arching bamboo poles (Penjor) were up to celebrate Galungan, an annual festival celebrating the victory of good over evil.
The gentleman that let us have a tour of his house.
A girl at a coffee plantation.
We also went white water rafting, and snorkelling, which included a boat ride on one of these:
Jukung boats at Padang Bai, where we explored the coral reef and swam with the fishes.
The food in Bali was pretty good. Lots of rice and some really good barbecued fish and meat. Unfortunately, no matter how careful we were with what we ate, we still managed to get a bout of Bali Belly, which was rather uncomfortable for the last few days of the holiday (and plane ride!). Luckily it didn’t really stop us from doing much.
Barbecued ribs at Naughty Nuri’s.
The bar at Naughty Nuri’s.
We saw quite a few of these mischievous monkeys, particularly around Uluwatu. They will grab almost anything (mostly sunglasses), even flip flops off your feet! Fortunately we had been forewarned, and left all our loose items in the car.