Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Glorious Bali Island - Part 1

Before leaving for Bali, there were some friends who went there a few weeks before I do. I jotted down some of their tips and advice on places to visit and must-have food. From their photos, the place looked yummy so I was quite excited about this trip. After all, I have been waiting for this since last year. Yea...My buddies and I have been eagerly anticipating this trip down south for almost a year.

Here goes the list of my travelling companion; Chee Heng, Chee Leong + wife, Sue, Bird + girlfriend, Evonne and last but not least, Steven.

The AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar was slightly delayed till 5.40pm. It was a 3 hours flight so when we reached there, it was already 9pm. Our assigned driver for this trip was Ma-de (pronounced Ma-thir), and he picked us up from the airport to the hotel I have no idea how it would look. When we reached the hotel, it was a surprise that the hotel turned out to be quite fine. Credits to Ma-de, our driver for the good job well done in arranging our accomodation!

This is the hotel that we stayed in for the 1st night, Hotel Bali Segara. The room rate was 250, 000 rupiah per room for one night. In local currency, that will be about RM80. A very good deal if not for the faulty air-cond in my room.

If you are looking for an inexpensive and moderately good hotel near the airport, this is recommended. It is only about 5 minutes away from the airport.

This is the main entrance of the Bali Segara Hotel.

The doorway to the secret garden. This place was quiet and serene at night, truely Balinese with its architectures and dim lightings. We spent the night chilling at the pool with snacks and Bintang beers!

The best room went to Bird+Evonne. It has a very nice bathroom and a pantry adjoining the bedroom. Perfect for couples! And at 80 bucks per night, I think this was a pretty good deal.

It was a sleepless night for me on my first night in Bali. Excitement, not getting used to the new environment or the faulty air-cond? One of these might be the cause or maybe it was all the reasons mentioned. Still, I was quite hyped for the programmes planned ahead for the day ahead.

All of us planned to move about for this trip. We were going to stay overnight in Ubud for the 2nd night, so we have our luggages loaded onto the back of the van. In actual fact, we have our backpacks in the van for the whole trip since we were moving like nomads. XD

First stop for the day, Nusa Dua. I did not really catch the name of this place, but I think this should be Tanjung Benoa which is famous for water sports such as banana boat, para-sailing, jet ski and such. The beach was not the best, and there were a whole lot of motorboats and jetskis parked around the beach.

We did not indulge ourselves in any of the watersports. It was darn hot eventhough it was only around 10am. And in my humble opinion, these water sports are available everywhere, so why waste our time. It was better that we explore other interesting part of the island. Hence, we left after a few snaps of photos.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural ParkNext, our driver drove us to the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Jimbaran which was dedicated to Lord Wisnu and his Garuda. This was a much more interesting place to explore and everyone had to pay a small entrance fee of 30,000 Rupiah per pax.

The park spanned across 20 hectares of lands, consisting of natural limestone, amphitheater, festival park, souvenir shops and the main attraction which were the sculptures of Wisnu and the Garuda. The park was built and designed by Nyoman Nuarta, one of Indonesia's foremost modern sculptor.
Shown above is the Statue of Lord Wisnu, one of Nyoman's work, which stands at 23m tall.

It seems that there was much controversy surrounding this cultural park. Due to the lack of fundings, only 20% of the initial project has been completed, and constructions had been completely stopped since September 2004.

I do hope they continue and complete this project soon. There are so much prospects in this park and I am sure it will look great when it has been completed as initially planned.

This is Lord Wisnu's companion and ride, King of all birds, the magnificient Garuda!

An overview of the statues of Lord Wisnu and his Garuda.

Lord Wisnu's hands an arms. All these sculptures were located a good distance from each another. These sculptures looked like they were waiting to be together as one, which will hopefully be done in the near future.

The sculpture of Lord Wisnu's face. This was inside a gallery called "Balairung Dewi Sri", and among others were some paintings and other sculptures.

This is the proposed design of the complete Lord Wisnu riding his Garuda, spotted inside the gallery as well. If the designs were to go ahead as originally planned, this sculptures would towers above everything else on the Bali Island, making it the highest structure ever to graze this mystical land.

Look out for sculptures such as this on the many limestone walls.

This is the "Plaza Kura Kura", Tortoise Plaza. In Balinese mythology, the tortoise is regarded as the Earth support from natural disasters such as earthquake. It is believed, the tortoise can hold the earth and buildings from various disasters.

Pura Luhur UluwatuAfter that, we travelled a short distance to Uluwatu, a high temple located on the Southwestern-most of the island to guard against the evil spirit of the ocean. The name Uluwatu actually means "Land End's Rock". True to its name, this temple sits at the edge of a steep cliff and towers above the surf breaks down below.

There was a small entrance fees as usual, and the sarong was available for rental. Except for Chee Heng, everyone's shorts were too short, so we were required to wear the sarong and sash. Chee Heng's shorts was longer so he was only required to wear the sash. Above, you can see Chee Leong and Sue wearing the sarong with the sash.

An interesing road sign at the entrance of Uluwatu temple. It read, If you're not "somebody", please do not litter anywhere. It rhymes in the Indon language, not so when it is translated.

A mythical being sculpture that looked like a griffin on the outpost tower.

Beware of these primates that roam around inside Uluwatu. There are loads of them here. They are fierce and will steal things off you. So keep your glasses, shades, earrings away, and make sure you have your camera and beg safely intact with you.

The "Candi Bentar", a split gate which was usually found at the entrance of holy site. And they are usually accompanied with mythical being sculptures flanking on both side of the gate. These sculptures could be in the form of monkeys, elephants, dragons and griffins.

Floral sculptures on one set of the wall.

Walls and walkways that stretched across the edge of the cliff.

Waves after waves of sea blue water breaking against the rocky cliff.

The magnficient view of the steep cliff and the waves breaking against the rocks.

Kuta BeachIt was in the afternoon, and finally, we were at the famous Kuta beach. In my humble opinion, Kuta beach is the heart of Bali for tourists. This is a must visit place and most people stay around here when they are in Bali.

Above are Chee Heng, Sue, Dom, Steven, Evonne and Bird at the Kuta beach.

There were many people surfing on the Kuta beach. Presumably, most of them were beginners as surfing schools were available nearby and the waves were just suitable for beginners to pick up their skills in riding the board. I have wanted to pick up the skills here but time just did not permit me and my mates.

Topless sunbathing at the beach was a common sight.

On the left: There were plenty of these stalls in red along the beach. Selling drinks from Coke to Bintang beer!

On the right: Baywatch lifeguard post ala Balinese style.

Walking around the famous Kuta town. This is the stretch of hotels and shops facing the Kuta beach with loads of luxurious resorts and hotels, restaurants, and nightlife activities spots. This road is usually jam packed with vehicles as it is one of the busiest on the island.

End of Part 1.

Click here for Part 2 of my Bali trip and another entry of Balinese Food


cheeheng said...

The hotel looks even nicer in photos... hahaha...

Andrew Yep said...

yea can be very deceiving indeed. hahaha

James said...

Good post bro! More! more! Actually.. I only believe 60% of what i see in photos... LOL!

clive said...

candid of topless rock~~i also felt very sien on the nusa dua beach, guess bali beach is not the nice place to visit.

Andrew Yep said...

60%, tat's too little man! You gotta go there and feel it!

7thlovechild said...

wahhh... damn stress can't go bali wei...

Andrew Yep said...

haha...what's so stress?
U mean all the travelings or the naked chicks?