Island of the Balinese - Bali, Indonesia

May 28, 2011. The fateful day Dyanie and I flew to Bali.

Dyanie and I focused more on researching about this Bali trip more than we did in Singapore's leg. Who wouldn't be excited to see the most raved island in south east Asia? Of course, we're not after the beaches. We perfectly knew our beaches in the Philippines are way better. What we wanted to experience is the world famous Balinese culture.

So just imagine how our hearts broke when the Custom Officials in Denpasar airport made us feel we were un-welcomed guests. How could we willingly spend our hard earned money and enjoy this much awaited vacation after those officials treated us unfairly? We were expecting to simply walk though customs like any other passengers, maybe killing time with some airport food and a game of foxybingo, but this was certainly not the case. We lose our excitement. We gained a trauma. What a welcome!

If we had a choice, we could have choose to go home right away. We'd rather spend the money somewhere else. Anywhere except in Bali.

That's what we exactly felt on that fateful evening. And I cant erase the fact that the traumatic incident happened.

May 29, 2011. It's a brand new day!
Im so thankful to God Im an indifferent person! I care very little and I can easily let go. (i know this is a bad trait, but see, sometimes being indifferent has its own advantage. *winks*) And just so you know, I internalized hard so I can write that traumatic blog entry with feelings. LOL

Dyanie and I stayed in Hotel Sorga on our 1st night. This is located in Kuta. A deluxe room with breakfast + free airport pickup costs us Rp.295.000. It's around P1,487 when converted.

Balinese shrine at Hotel Sorga

the rooms

twin room with ensuite bathroom
the room is just right. clean and okay. but the creepy feel is a must-mentioning.

dining area

very basic breakfast of your choice

breakfast is so-so.
ganda, parang walang naganap na eksena kagabi! =)

and yes, this hotel has a pool

Hotel Sorga - Kuta /

Not before we finished our breakfast, our tour guide driver arrived. His name is Nyoman. This is very interesting. I noticed in the "recommended tour guides forum" that almost everyone has the same names. Here's what our driver Nyoman told us:

Basically the Balinese only have four first names. The first child is Wayan or Putu, the second child is Made or Kadek, the third is Nyoman or Komang and the fourth is Ketut. The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth will be another Wayan, Made, Nyoman, Ketut and Wayan again. --- Im amazed! So in Bali, my name would have been Made (pronounced as mah-day).

Anyway, Nyoman charged us Rp350.000 (P1,764) for the 10-hour tour around Bali. This includes the petrol and parking fees. Entrance fees in the temples are to be shouldered by the guests.

Nyoman / 081.239.97709

First thing we asked our driver is to bring us to an authorized money changer shop.

and I quote Nyoman "our money has many zeroes but it's worth nothing"
Rp100.000 = P505

Like most of the time, I always settle with a tourguide who approves the itinerary I made. There are lots of places to go to with so little time. I just compared the photos online and encircled the more interesting ones.

click this Bali Tourist Attraction Map for bigger version

Tanah Lot
Entrance fee is Rp10.000 (P50)
Pura Tanah Lot is a temple that sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Nyoman said they pray here for protection and balance of life.

Tanah Lot

Tanal Lot, other side
our guide said it gets more crowded in the afternoon to sunset time

the temple up close

Aside from the breath taking temples nestled upon the rock formations, this one really caught my attention.

whoa, a surfer rides the big waves!

Pura Taman Ayun
Entrance fee is Rp3.000 (P15)

In Hindu beliefs, this basket offering with rice and flowers is basically a ritual of giving back what has been given by the Gods. It is a sharing that is not based upon fear, but on gratitude to the richness of life.

It is a duty and an honor at the same time. They do these offering 3x a day.

basket offerings with leaf, flower, fruit, and incense stick

Pura Taman Ayun
Its Balinese name Pura Taman Ayun literally means ‘Garden Temple in the Water’. The entire complex was designed to symbolize the mythological home of the gods, Mount Meru, floating in the sea of eternity.

Candi Bentar or split gate of Pura Taman Ayun

behind me is one of the shrines in the complex

Did you know that:

sorry, ladies with menstruation - not allowed
lucky me, it's not the red day!

The eleven-storey meru are replicas of the original sacred sites around Bali.

the inner-most sanctuary, with its merus and bales

a Hindu priest inside the complex
(guests were not allowed to enter this site)

UlunDanu Bratan Temple in Lake Bedugul
Entrace fee is Rp10.000 (P50)
Ulun means heart and danu means lake, the temple dedicated to the Gods of lake or waters. The lake supplies the water to the rice field. It looks that the temple symbolizes the nature of surrounding as the respects of nature greatness, since the location is surrounded by peaks of Bali mountain chain.

statues on the way to the lake

UlunDanu Bratan Temple
people pray here for the protection of the sea and mountains

i forgot what these tall elements are for, but Im sure the direction of these elements matter

a temple dedicated for the gods of the lake

Lunch time!
Nyoman brought us to several buffet restaurants, but unfortunately most of them were full. We ended up here in Pacung Indah. Buffet rate is Rp70.000 (P352).

buffet lunch for P352

i like the satay, fried noodles, fish fillet, and spring rolls.

and by the way, the dining area is overlooking the rice terraces

After our lunch, Nyoman asked us if he could bring us to how-coffees-are-made center. We agreed. We were given free samples of each coffee. Great, Dyanie and I were not coffee drinkers!

free shots of coffee for non-coffee drinkers like us. uhoh..

But as a courtesy, we tasted each and every coffee in these cups. Take turns. It's officially a coffee drinking challenge!

drinking coffee is not that bad after all! ^_^

Tirta Empul
Entrance fee is Rp6.000 (P30)
Tirta Empul or Tampak Siring Temple is a holy spring water temple. The sacred spring is said to have been created by Indra and to have curative properties. Guests are asked to wear a sarong (this will be provided in the gate). Again, ladies with menstruation are not allowed.

Tirta Empul

traditional Balinese split gate along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Braham, Mt. Batur, and Indra

worshipers first make an offering at the temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray.

the water in this sacred spring is believed to have the power to cure

others collect the holy water in bottles to take home

On the other side of the Tirta Emoul complex:

an offering led by the Hindu priest


Also found in the complex are these statues:

if only our tourguide Nyoman came with us, I'll ask him about the weapons and handsigns of every sculpture.



Tirta Empul complex is indeed very picturesque.

one with the locals

the traditional split gate

good memories of Bali

Gunung Kawi
Entrance fee is Rp6.000 (P30)
Gunung Kawi is one of the oldest religious places in Bali which contains ‘candi‘ (pronounced chandi) or tombs built to honor an 11th Century king. It is a peaceful place, surrounded by rushing water and local farmers harvesting terraced rice paddies.

colorful sarongs and masks in the entrance gate

200-step staircase going to Gunung Kawi

traditional split gate

Buddhist Temple Complex is used as a residence and as place for meditation.

royal tombs at Gunung Kawi

There's not much to see inside compared to the previous temples we visited. Maybe there's an interesting stories behind these tombs, too bad there's no one in the whole complex except Dyan and I. Creepy!

temples-overload look
in tagalog - nakakaumay sa dami ng temples!

I guessed we had seen enough temples for that day alone. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the history, customs, and beliefs of the Balinese.

On our 2nd night, we stayed at Teba house, it's a guesthouse in Ubud. A deluxe room costs us Rp325.000 (P1,640). I'll say that this is the perfect room we're looking for. More pictures on my next post.

a spacious and cozy room in Teba House

Wayan, a staff in the guesthouse, recommended a nearby Warung (store) for our dinner. Aside from it's cheaper, the food here tastes better than what we ate in our buffet lunch.

satay with peanut sauce, seafood nasi goreng, spaghetti, and pizza
yummy and cheap home-cooked meals! (P300++ for everything)

next post: beaches in Bali

52 responses:

Chyng said...

..and I hope this entry is worth your wait. =)

Anonymous said...

yes, nandito ako sa SG at hindi pa ako nakapunta ng BALI. hehehe...

At dito ako kukuha ng reference.

Gusto ko lang maging milyonaryo kahit ilang araw lang :) LOL

Ang gaganda ng shots!

berl said...

reading this entry reminded me of the book "eat pray and love"....gusto kung makita si ketut, yung healer at magpahula ehehe...

Micamyx|Senyorita said...

Temple Overload nga! :D Hintayin ko yung Beaches in Bali part :P

Ed said...

sayang lang talaga yung initial experience nyo. sarap magbabad sa araw. and ang rich ng details nila.

pero bilib ako sa inyo chyng, lumipat talaga ng ibang inn ah. i'll be too tired to even think of transferring. :D

buti na lang di maalon (red day). ;p

Dylan said...

Definitely worth the wait!

Aside from Bali's temples and sacred grounds, what struck me the most is the killer wave. Parang wala lang sa surfer...hahaha

Want to see more of Bali Chyng!

michi said...

this is it! bali post, i love all the pictures. it seems that indonesians are rich in cultures.

where is ketut? =)

jeanny said...

Worth the wait sya sis. I would love to go to Bali but will think twice. Siguro soon, as in matagal na matagal pa. hehehe.

I am glad, you still enjoy Bali though.

More pics please.

dyanie said...

For those who are asking where is Ketut as seen in the movie Eat Pray Love, uhm medyo busy kasi sya. Fully booked ang sched ng lolo nyo. Note. P1k (cinonvert ko na para mas madali ang usapan) ang fee nya. :D Just ask your tourguide na dalhin kayo dun.

dyanie said...

Ms. Wiki as in wikipedia, isdatchu? Haha! Natandaan mo ang mga fees kahit hindi ka naman nagsulat hahaha!!

Tamaaaaa, ganda lang sa larawan. Parang walang naganap haha!

Teh, buti nalang hindi yung haggard na picture ko ang pinost mo yung sa may stairs haha!!

Axl Powerhouse Production Inc. said...

oo napanood ko nga yung nangyari sau about that...
anyway.. grabe ang ganda ng Indonesia.. buti na lang napreserve nila yung mga magagandang heritage nila.. sana ganito rin yun sa atin ...

yung food.. whahahha naglaway ako bigla... ang sarap...

khantotantra said...

worth it.

kapansin pansin at tumatak sa akin yung dami ng zero sa pera nila... hahahah. parang pangmilyonaryo sa dami ng 0.


yung ganda ng indonesia ay nacapture mo sa shots

Anonymous said...

U took great pictures! Wat camera are u using?

Rizalenio said...

Wow! Thanks for this visual trip, Chyng. Love all the photos.

Mel said...

Bali!!!!! Pareho kayong beautiful, parang wala ngang nangyari the day before. :D

Liz Gilbert detailed the Bali culture in her "Eat Pray Love" book, including the Balinese way of naming their kids. Kulit noh, pare-pareho sila pangalan. Confusing siguro sa classroom nun. :D

Sige, pag ako naka-get over na sa trauma ng kwento nyong dalawa sa immigration ng Indonesia, then maybe I might just try go there. :)

More Bali posts, Chyng! ;D (Oo, demanding ako like that. Haha!)

kg said...

ang ganda ng pics mo chyng! bali is beautiful! :)

ano yung kakaibang feeling dun sa isang in it will make the hair on your back rise ba na feeling yan? he he!

ang gaganda nyo ni dyanie...parang hindi natrauma!

Dea said...

Good to know na na-enjoy niyo pa naman ang Bali after your traumatic experience at the airport! Thanks for your posts, I'm learning a lot. We'll be going to Bali for one of our honeymoons, this is really helpful. I'm looking forward to your next post.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Wow! Dami nyong napuntahan! When we went to Bali, we mostly stayed in our guesthouse and on Kuta and Legian beach... We were taking a break kasi after our suicidal treks in Borneo. Sana I researched more noon, napuntahan namin sana ibang places.

lakwatsera de primera said...

I enjoyed this visual tour Chyng, ito lang ang masasabi ko, masarap, maganda, makulay at nakaka inlove. Buti na lang itinuloy nyo pa rin ang pag-ikot sa Bali.

tina said...

Wow, daming temples! :D

Great to see that you had a good time pa din despite of what happened. Mahal pla ng fee ni ketut :D

chino said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed the trip despite of what happened in Bali..Be safe

Renevic said...

weee.. nice waves photo. ms.chyng you have so many money, millionaire, rupiah money=so cool :)

gillboard said...

chyng, i'm surprised you posted the country's beauty inspite of your horrendous experience getting there.

but in any case, kashare share naman kasi yung mga napuntahan ninyo. :)

marxtermind said...

Pagkabasa ko nito, gusto ko na ulit sa Bali! :)

Photo Cache said...

i really didn't care much for bali as a destination to be honest with yuo. it didn't make any of my list, bucket or otherwise.; but the photos you showed are making me take a closer look at bali. the history and culture and the temples are tempting reasons to go. i'm not really a beach person, but i look forward to your etnry on the beaches of bali.

Kate said...

Nagutom ako sa food pics :) So glad that you still managed to have a wonderful time in Bali :)

*mOmOt KuYiT* said...

naman! worth na worth ng wait :)

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

It is worth the wait - sensory overload pa nga :)

I still commend you for posting a trip report - I was thinking you'd suffer a mental black-out after that traumatic experience tapos kalimutan mo na lang ang Bali.

killrfillr said...

Ang ganda ng mga kuha..andaming templo. Akala ko surfing lang talaga meron dito.hehe Mas maganda ba talaga waves dito sa Bali?

docgelo said...

beautiful bali naman talaga! huwag lang maiisip pinagdaanan nyo, yun ang nakakaumay hindi yung dami ng temples na pinuntahan nyo.

mishi said...

hi chyng! been ages, hru? u knw dat im with you with your traumatic Bali experience but watching Eat,Pray,Love yesterday and reading your Bali post today, gusto ko pa ring i-experience ang Bali! Thanks for this post, ang gaganda ng pics! ^^

nathalie said...

nice photos as usual.. :)

Robbie said...

Still, you can't deny that the place is really beautiful and that the culture is really worth visiting. I don't mind going there, sans the hassle of course.

I would've enjoyed those free coffee shots!!!! :D

And ang weird naman ng naming system nila. Magiging magkapangalan tayo! Hahaha.

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

Ayos pa rin naman pala kahit sa mga karumal dumal na pangyayari. =]

Surprisingly mura pala sa Bali ah

lady firehawk said...

ang ganda rin tlaga sa Bali, un nga lang parang mahirap na pumunta dyan kse super higpit ng immigration nila.. I love their temples.. like q si Ganesh, he is one of my deity/ Hindu God among others..

Ian said...

Wow, parang nanood ulit ako ng Eat, Pray and Love ni Julia Roberts sa posts mo... then naalala ko yung fave kong hit Korean TV series - Memories of Bali... nice posts and yup overload sa temple ang Bali pero magandang cultural experience yan. Dream ko din makapunta dyan... kasi parang napaka-fascinating ng place.

Hindi ko din akalain na mura din dyan ang mga tours at yung st accomodation nyo affordable na ha pero decent naman... magandang compensation yan despite of what happened during your arrival. Makaka-recover ka din.

dong ho said...

so true. wihtout that bad experience it could have been one beautiful experience.

ganda nga ng place. no wonder it's most of the time on the top spot of the best islands in the world.

And just so you know, I internalized hard so I can write that traumatic blog entry with feelings. LOL>>> hahaha...

Badet said...

The photos looks like you guys enjoyed Bali despite what happened. Just like you, tinutulugan ko lang din minsan yung ibang bagay, nasa Bali na rin naman kayo so might as well make the most out of it, and you did! =)

Love the photos!

pusang kalye said...

yun.laway factor ako sa mga despite tuloy sa nangyari sa inyo ni Dyanie parang gusto kong lumipad sa Bali bukas na bukas din.hahaha.galing ng mga temples tas parang yung material ng roof is kugon no? meaning walang bagy sa Bali? well maintained eh. Buti nalang di yang mga magagandang temples na yan ang tina-target ng mga terrorists nila sa Indonesia. 2x na pala nagkaroon ng pangbobomba dyan.:D

at ang mura ng mga entrance fees at hotel ha.pwede na.kala ko naman kabuhayan showase ang bali. yung layo lang talaga no? pati yung tour,mura na.:tara, balik tayo!!!:D

Pang said...

Stunning photos Chyng! Glad that after that fateful day, you experienced the good side of Bali. Keep on traveling and keep on inspiring us to travel. :)

SunnyToast said...

Ganda ng mga pics..parang eat pray and love pero yon nga lang ang kwento ay mas

Sana hinanap nyo c Ketut! at baka yun na ang sagot sa pag ibig nyo dalawa ni

bertN said...

I'm looking forward to more of your Bali entry. Btw, super pics!

Arvin U. de la Peña said...

gusto ko tuloy makapunta ng bali..

bang said...

Ganda ng pics Chyng! minus the traumatic experience :-)

Water and Wine said...

Nice photos of Bali Chyng!! =)

Malditang "Kura"cha said...

At buti naman worth it ang nakita nyo sa Bali. Imbyerna kung CHAKA. Anyway, Para akong bumalik sa Highschool pag tinitingnan ko mga pix mo. hahah! Naalala ko ang World History. (World history na puro asian countries ang book features.) Sobrang rich in culture. Kumbaga satin, ethnic sila. Nakakabilib na keri nila ipreserve. Alam ko sa Pinas temples ganun din ang rules sa Red Alert. They consider it as madumi kasi.

I had a great time kagabi kasama kayo. Hihihi! Sa uulitin.

Nicole said...

ganda! ;)

lzlpio90 said...

hahaha..natatawa ako dun sa part na "lady with menstruation is not allowed"... bakit dw?


Ruth said...

very nice chyng. Ill share it with my team, we're planning to do side trip in bali ;)stay safe!

docgelo said...

hello chyng! musta?

i just recommended this post to my colleagues here who will visit bali. sana makatulong sa kanila this informative post, particularly the contact details of your driver-guide on this trip.

Andi Pantoja said...

Hi Chyng, mga what time kayo nagstart mag tour nito?

Chyng said...

hi andi!
mga 8 or 9am. =)

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