“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes
A Balinese holiday isn’t complete without a visit to any of the thousand temples spread around the island. I consider myself lucky that my first impression of Bali is in the town of Ubud. The cultural and religious aspiration emanates from the core value of it’s people. Inspiration rifts through the ornate walls of this artists’ colony and infuses art in every intricate details of handmade structures. In Bali, there can never be too many temples, and I’m smitten.
After an exciting yet exhausting day of climbing Mount Batur, Yen and I were bound to explore more temples further to the west coast of Bali, hunt for the best bargain shops and go on a gastronomic adventures in a sunset beach view. We packed our bags and left our humble abode, my heart promised to be back for banana pancakes and more. Our host arranged for our van to take us to our next destination. Nothing like a bad weather can ruin our holiday itinerary.
Our first stop is to the highlands of Lake Bratan near the mountains of Bedugul. To the shore lies Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, one of the major water temple in Bali. On a drizzling and foggy day, the mystical backdrop plays peak-a-boo to hopeful tourists.
Offerings and religious ceremonies for the lake and river goddess, Dewi Danu are regularly held here. The temple complex can get really crowded, so if you aim for a more picturesque view of the temple, might as well walk around in it’s massive display of lush garden. Canoes and boats are also available for rent.
It was still drizzling when we left, and our driver slash guide suggested that we go for lunch first before our next stop. Time to sample some local delicacy, and what better meal to satisfy an appetite of a meat-lover like me? Aha, Babi Guling!
We settled ourselves at a Warung (small eatery) called Merta Sedana 2, nearby market and located by the road to Bedugul lake. They only served Babi Guling or Roasted Suckling Pig, a closed call to “Lechon Baboy” of the Philippines. Mmmmm, mouthwatering! Some may find it weird but since Philippines got almost the same staple meal, I was thrilled that Indonesian loves it too. The pig is stuffed with different spices, skin and innards are fried to crisp and sometimes made into soup. Yes, it’s edible.
Our next stop is the famous rock formation of Tanah Lot where Pura Tanah Lot is set as one of the seven sea temples around Balinese coast. During high tide, the temple looks deserted in the middle of the sea while on low tide, visitors can walk through the rocks to reach the base of the temple.
It was surreal to see Balinese offerings everyday, more so, witness a hindu ceremony right then and there. Religious ceremonies are done regularly and tourist are able to participate to establish harmony with the Creator.
The walking path to Tanah Lot is buzzing and bursting with souvenir shops and a girl can’t resist. Yen is the best in bargaining 101.
Shopping in Bali Tips: With all the markets we’ve been to in Ubud, Kuta, Seminyak and Tanah Lot, the best deals for bargain-hunters are found in Tanah Lot. All others are stuck at touristy prices. Put your haggling skills to the test.
After endless minutes of sweeping through the stalls for trinkets and cheap finds, we finally made our way to our hotel room, home for the next couple of days in Seminyak. Dropped our bags and headed to Jimbaran Bay for dinner by the beach, under the stars. Ah, sounds heaven for honeymooners, right?
Meantime, Yen and I bond over seafood. Safe to say, I’m on a seafood diet. I sea food, I eat it. I died a little. It’s so delicious and it’s so expensive. Well, the price of having an amazing sunset view at the beach.