New Places, South-east Asia

The best guide to Bali for a first-timer!

My first trip of the year was to Bali in January (it was also my honeymoon trip). Though I love beach destinations, I also felt like I had seen a fair number of beaches and had a misconception that Bali was going to be just another typical beach. But, I was so wrong! Bali was so new and unique and it has the perfect combination of beaches, forests, lakes, volcanoes and shopping!

The first place we stayed at was Padma Legian on Legian beach. The entire hotel was like a themed forest. It also had the largest pool I’ve ever seen. We took all day to explore the hotel, and lounge around in the pools.The next day we visited the beach and checked out some shops. We ate at a warung (these are the local restaurants in Indonesia) and was surprised at how tasty the food was, given the price. We also got a very relaxing foot massage and regretted not staying at this hotel longer. Before, we knew it, it was time for our next destination – Obud!

img_9352   Padma Legian

Obud is supposed to be the cultural destination of Indonesia, and it had an immediate calming effect on us. We stayed at this resort called Sankara Obud, and it was so serene and peaceful that we finally started feeling like we had managed to escape the daily hustle-bustle of our daily lives. In Obud, we found Murni’s Warung, which is supposedly the oldest warung to have been set up. From the Warung, you get a view of the river running over the rocks and it was really mesmerizing to hear the sound of the flowing water. We also checked out Bridges Bali, since it’s supposed to be really exquisite. The setting is beautiful, but we found the place to be a little too stiff and formal for our liking.

IMG_9612.JPG      Sankara Obud

Our last stop was Bingin beach. Now this was a truly isolated beach with the most stunning scenery by far, with the rocky beaches and cliffs. We visited Uluwatu temple which had fantastic views of the waves crashing against the cliff bases. We regretted not visiting it at sunset! We didn’t end up visiting the Monkey Forest, because I’m terrified of monkeys. We went for a late brunch to a place called Sunday’s Beach Club, which has a marvelous setting with its infinity pool overlooking the sea. The sea was particularly rough the day we went, and hence all water activities were put on hold. During our sojourns through the streets of Obud, we also stumbled upon Saraswati temple which is surrounded by water filled with lotus flowers. It started raining while we were there which added further to the mystical beauty of the temple.

img_0198         Uluwatu

On the second last day, I decided that I must see Tanah Lot temple. It was pretty late into the day, and chances were low that we’d be able to see it before sunset, but I was pretty adamant. We got stuck in awful traffic and somehow made it just before nightfall. We couldn’t enter it, but we managed to get glimpses of it. Tanah Lot is literally in the middle of the sea, and if the tide is high, it’s not possible to reach it. But the temple’s setting amidst the waves is really haunting. The foaming waves were crashing on the rocks below the darkening sky, and the picture I took didn’t really do justice to the moment. I just have to make sure I don’t forget that view ever.

IMG_0452.JPG  Sunset at Tanah Lot

It was soon our last day, and we realized we hadn’t seen quite a few of the amazing Bali temples, we didn’t manage to see the majestic waterfalls and we also didn’t get to see the volcano!

I asked my husband, “Do you think we can come back anytime now?”

My husband knows he doesn’t need to really give me any answer.

After a while, I answered my own question, “But, we still have to visit Greece and New Zealand. So, maybe after that.”

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