Trip to Bali, Indonesia

If you like paintings and woodcrafts, Bali is the place for you. If you want to see unique and exotic culture, then Bali should be among your list of must-travel destination.

We went there 2 years ago simply because we wanted to go to another country. My husband who attended a Red Hat convention under the expense of his company, brought us (except my son) with him. I didn't do any internet research before the trip since I didnt have the time to. The trip was just after the Hari Raya holidays which we celebrated in Sabah. Internet line was bad in my hometown. Our flight was 2 days after our flight back from Sabah and you can imagine the unpacking and repacking we had to do. And a month after that, my husband and I  had physically and mentally prepared for our pilgrimage to Mecca which is compulsory to go once in one lifetime if you can afford it.

Don't ask me about the airfare because I dont remember it. When we travel, husband always take care of transportation and accomodation and I, the rest.

Why would I write about a trip taken so long ago? I have so many pictures of it that I would like to share with my readers. Never mind if they had seen them somewhere. I know.. the rule in blogging is not to cramp lots pictures in one post and words should not be long.

Well, Bali is not really a place for Muslims to have a longer stay. 3 days would suffice since halal food was so limited during our stay there.  I digress. According to one of my friends, there are many halal food outlets now in the form of wrongs, restaurants and fast foods. 3 days actually are not enough to go around Bali especially for the ladies who likes beautiful things.

In Bali, my husband and I stayed at Conrad while our children at  Benoa Beach Resort next door. Both hotels are in Tanjungbenoa (southern Bali) which was just 15 minutes from the airport. We hired a van through the hotel receptionist and got a driver, Pak Putu who was very accommodating. Since I didn't do extensive research on where to go, I simply requested he brought us to the best shopping centers in term of price and goods. For other places of interests, I referred to the map provided by the hotel. So, here were the places we went to but not in the order of the day.

GUNUNG BATUR, KINTAMANI, the furthest place in our itinerary. We went on the last day and the pace was furious since we had to cover a 'lot' of places.

 Mt Batur, 1717 meter, less higher than the Cameron Highland. Dark clouds descended on it and it was drizzling a little after that. We went just to look at this volcanic mountain. We should also have gone to Lake Batur, too. The mountain had experienced 2 eruptions, in 1926 and 1994
We had late lunch at a muslim restaurant. The fried talapia was quite dry..not recommended for those with teeth problems. Ha ha. If you muslims want to find a restaurant with a place to pray, make sure you buy your meals there. That's the rule. No eat, no pray. Our regret? Not praying first before we left, thinking we would find a place to do it later. Our driver told us we would arrived at the next destination in 2 hours. Ok, sempat..but we almost missed our zuhr-asr prayer.

I couldn't remember whether we drank this.
 The usual practice of agressive sale in tourist areas in Indonesia.
We were here for a couple of hours before we set to the next destination, Tanah Lot at south-western part of Bali. Pak Putu didn't follow the same route down and it was so fascinating to see the country life of the Balinese. The sombre dark look and beautifully carved exterior of the Balinese homes in the countryside were so exotic to me. I didn't  sleep throughout this entire journey should I missed something exciting. The traditional culture certainly has not lost its root and spirit here.
 We made a short stop here at the roadside because we had to rush to Tanah Lot. And it was raining. Pak Ketut Putu really drove like crazy along the narrow road but he was very efficient. Sometimes my heart felt like it was in my mouth!
We passed the thriving arts and crafts town of Ubud which I regretted not visiting. This is a shopping heaven. It was dark because the rain was coming. According to Pak Putu, this is a holy site for the Bali Hindus and therefore, Muslims are not allowed to pray here. 

We arrived at TANAH LOT located at the northeast of the southern tourist area of Bali 40 minutes before sunset. A temple was built a long time ago on a rock formation at the edge of the sea.

Pura Tanah Lot. We didn't walk to the temple as it was getting darker. 
Nothing much to do here except gazing at the waves hitting the beach but the scenery was a perfect backdrop for photoshoots..

There were many beautiful sights in Bali but this one was certainly not one of them.

We were also brought to a coffee and spices plantation up north before Kintamani and to a cultural center in Denpasar where we watched Barong and Kris. 

The Bali travel won't be complete without trips to its painting, crafts and batik centers at Desa Batubulan, Celuk and Batuan, which are located along the road between Denpasar and Ubud. 

My husband bought  a few paintings here. A few of the paintings shown at its gallery were considered x-rated and I won't post them on this blog :/. I dont care if other people said they are only arts.

Tired faces, waiting for the paintings to be taken out from their frames and wrapped.

Batik fabrics and clothes were sold here at this traditional retail store (I forget the location). I didn't consider them cheap.
 It was all under one roof, the manufacturing and the sales
I bought 2 3.5m batiks here, and my husband, 2 batik shirts. US dollar is accepted here and I cant remember if the MR can be used too.

Sari Dewi is located at Celuk
 We had the opportunity to watch the 'crafters' making silver rings and bracelets. And they were friendly, answering our questions and explaining the process. I remember acquiring a lot of information from them but had lost them down the memory lane. Ha ha.

Last but not least, was shopping for souvenirs and home decorations to bring back home.
-to be continued-

Thank you for reading and visit me again.


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