A day out in Bali

Bali is a heavenly place. Each time I come here, I feel so relaxed and all I want to do is lounge at the pool, the beach or at one of the many beachside cafés.

A magical sunset in Bali.

A serene sunset in Bali.

Only Bali can separate me from my blog (for two whole days!) :-). I’m not sure how to explain it – when I arrive at the airport, I feel an instant wave of serenity wash over me. Even the chaotic scenes on the roads fail to faze me. Maybe it’s the deeply spiritual character of this island, or its gracious people, or the abundant use of water ornaments, fountains, ponds or waterfalls – the calming sound of flowing water is never far away, at hotels, cafés and spas. Whatever it is, elaborate plans to explore the island simply fade away and I soon find myself asleep under a swaying palm, with a cold beer at my side, in a blissful state.

Rice terraces at Tegallalang

Rice terraces at Tegallalang

And that’s exactly what I did on my recent trip there.

A day out

After a few days, I managed to tear myself away from my lounger and hire a car with a driver for a day trip with some friends. I wanted to go back to a place I’d visited on my first trip to Bali twenty years ago: Gunung Batur. Gunung (or Mount) Batur is an active volcano in central Bali that rises dramatically from inside a massive caldera. It’s a stunning place that’s absolutely worth a visit. The drive to Mt. Batur takes a few hours from the Seminyak (beach) area and there are many places of interest along the way such as temples, silver and batik factories, picturesque rice terraces and an astonishing number of handicraft stores and art galleries – indeed the road from Batubulan to Tegallalang (about 12 kilometres) has got to be one of the longest stretches of handicraft shops in the world. The number of stores selling rock and wood carvings, jewellery, paintings, glassware, furniture and batik is simply astounding. It can be quite overwhelming if you want to find something here – the town of Ubud (Bali’s cultural centre) is a better bet for a leisurely shopping experience.

Balinese village temple

Balinese village temple

We stopped at a family temple (a small temple in a private compound) and a village temple – the intricate gold-gilded wood carvings that decorate the temples are perfect examples of the sublime craftsmanship of the Balinese. We also visited silver and batik factories, a must for the first-time visitor. The UC silver factory was especially noteworthy – watching the masters at work really makes you appreciate the fine ornaments they create so much more. If you have some silver jewellery that needs a good polish, just ask one of the workers and they would gladly polish it for a tip. We made a quick stop at Tegallalang to admire the verdant rice terraces before continuing up to Mt. Batur.

Gunung Batur

Gunung Batur

We arrived at Kinatamani, the hamlet at the edge of the Batur caldera, right in time for lunch. We sat out on the deck and took in the magnificent view of the volcano and the caldera lake. We watched as the clouds rolled in like a massive wave over the caldera rim and into the basin. Simply breathtaking.

“Cat poo coffee”

After lunch, we headed back to Seminyak, stopping at a coffee/cocoa plantation along the way. We were treated to a tasting consisting of various types of coffee, tea and hot cocoa. My favourite was the ginseng coffee whilst the most unusual (and most expensive) was the Luwak coffee. Luwak coffee is made from the droppings of the Luwak cat (a type of civet-cat that loves eating coffee beans). This ‘cat-poo’ coffee is dark, rich and has a distinct aroma.

Sacred Water Temple - the serene koi pond

Sacred Water Temple - the serene koi pond

The Sacred Water Temple

We then continued to another highlight of the day: the Tirta Empul temple or Sacred Water temple is one of the holiest places on the island and is certainly my favourite of the many Balinese temples. It was fascinating to see the locals perform their cleansing rituals in the crystal-clear, petal-filled pools. We chatted with one of the locals and he explained the ritual of going from one fountain to the next whilst saying a prayer at each to cleanse both the body and soul.

We slowly made our way back to Seminyak, passing the Elephant Cave (another tourist attraction). The Balinese countryside, with its rice terraces, forested hills, quaint villages and temples, is absolutely gorgeous.

Bathing ritual at the Sacred Water temple

Bathing ritual at the Sacred Water temple

If you’re visiting Bali, I certainly recommend this day trip to Mount Batur. There are group tours but it’s much better to arrange a private car and plan your own itinerary. It’s very easy to arrange a car and a driver/guide – the hotel concierge can help but that is often a pricey option. Instead, check with the other guests for recommendations.

Read more about Bali. Search for hotels in Bali.

See some of the photos I’ve taken of the stunning sunsets in Bali.

Tags:

Connect

Follow Velvet Escape on:

28 Responses to “A day out in Bali”

  1. Keith Jenkins 30/05/2013 3:32 pm
    #

    Hi Tim,
    Yes, you can hike up Gunung Batur. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a hike that takes a few hours – I’ve never done it though but I’ve heard that the views from the top are spectacular.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  2. Tim Moon 29/05/2013 9:07 am
    #

    Bali seems to be growing in popularity quite a bit. I guess a lot of entrepreneurs have made the move there. Anyway, that’s a nice sunset photo. Do you know if the volcano, Gunung Batur, is climbable or is it closed off?

  3. Susi 27/10/2012 4:31 pm
    #

    Great Bali tips, Keith! I’m especially intrigued by the cat poo coffee now ;-) I hope I can get my hands on some while being in Bali this week! ;-)

  4. velvet 16/01/2012 9:50 pm
    #

    Hi Hubert,
    If I remember correctly, hiring a car+driver/guide for a day to go up to Mt. Batur (from Kuta/Legian/Seminyak) costs in the region of $100, so it’s cheaper (per person) if there are 2-3 of you. Hope this helps. My experience is that it’s better to check the taxis in the street (make sure you find someone who speaks decent English), ask at the hotel concierge and check with the hotel staff (try the bartender) and compare the prices before making a booking.
    Hope this helps. Enjoy Bali!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  5. Hubert from belgium 16/01/2012 1:33 pm
    #

    We will be one day in bali during our reuise around Australia in march, april this year. Would like to know what is a reasonable price for such a tour by car to the vulcano of mount batur and back…? Thank you.

  6. GoingPlaces.sg 20/02/2011 9:53 am
    #

    I tasted the Cat Poo coffee too when I was in Bali last month and I find it so-so. I prefer my non-poo coffee anytime.

  7. painting with watercolor 25/09/2010 3:50 am
    #

    Not long ago, I did not give a lot of consideration to giving feedback on blog page posts and have positioned comments even much less. Reading through via your nice posting, will help me to do so sometimes.

  8. Family Travel Scoop 10/08/2010 7:19 pm
    #

    I love Bali. It is my favorite place on earth. I went recently with my kids and it was just magical. We had so much fun there. My kids favorite things to do in Bali were the elephant rides and visiting Turtle Island. Great place to go with your kids!

  9. David @ Malaysia Asia 07/05/2010 8:25 pm
    #

    Awesome place which I am yet to visit. Should start planning for it as I won a Fully Paid Holiday for 2 to Bali last year but have not used it…. gahh….

    Thanks for the article Keith, makes me want to go more now.

    Regards,
    David

  10. velvet 24/04/2010 11:02 pm
    #

    Thanks for your comment Sophie. Bali is a pretty incredible place isn’t it? :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  11. Sophie 24/04/2010 11:00 pm
    #

    Ah memories. Haven’t been in Bali in years and years. It was one of the first places I took my oldest daughter (then 4). Such an incredibly easy place to travel around (and just hang around in) with a child. We absolutely loved it.

  12. J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) 05/04/2010 11:27 am
    #

    Hopped over from Ciki’s. Great travel posts, I envy you. Hahaha … I love Bali as well, and vowed to return in the near future. Probably spending more time in Kuta this time, for we spent a little too much time in Ubud the previous trip.

  13. Leigh 31/03/2010 4:37 am
    #

    The days are getting longer, and we get teased by the odd remarkable day but the Canadian spring is a long way from feeling heavenly. I want to go to Bali NOW and I’ll have a cup of the less pricey coffee please.

  14. velvet 24/03/2010 2:50 pm
    #

    Yup, I’m serious. It has a rich coffee taste and aroma. If they didn’t tell me it was cat poo, I wouldn’t have known… hahaha!

    Keith

  15. jen Laceda 24/03/2010 1:47 pm
    #

    Cat poo coffee — is this serious? Hahaha, I would love to try this, but psychologically, it may make me gag!! Yummm…coffee in Bali! The Indonesians (Java) are leaders in coffee production!

  16. velvet 24/03/2010 11:47 am
    #

    Thank you Simon & Mei for your comments. I love, love, love Bali! :-)

    Hugs,
    Keith

  17. waitinginthedark 23/03/2010 11:38 pm
    #

    Lovely post, Keith. I still remember the peace I felt in Bali, the lovely countryside, the amazing handicrafts. Regarding private car to go around, I made things very simple: I caught a taxi cab parked along the street and negotiated a price for the day. It was a great and relatively (because I was traveling alone) cheap way to move around, stopping wherever I liked and as long as I liked. It was an unusual but fabulous ‘luxury’… :-)

  18. cumidanciki 23/03/2010 11:30 pm
    #

    amazing shots and vivid descriptions keith. You were not joking when you said it was breathtaking. Yea, i remember the Luwak coffee.. to think that it is digested through the GI tract of the cute lil animal before consumed.. and that’s what makes it expensive? LOL, I think I’ll pass. Batur is spectacular. you really did the shot justice:)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Surfers hit the waves in Bali | The Happy Explorer - 19/09/2011

    […] Read the accompanying post: “A Day Out in Bali“. […]

  2. Things to do and see in Bali | Velvet Escape travel blog - 09/08/2011

    […] A Day Out in Bali […]

  3. Motorcycles are a popular mode of transport in Bali | The Happy Explorer - 09/03/2011

    […] the accompanying post: “A Day Out in Bali“. Other Posts from The Happy Explorer:Sunset at Jimbaran beach, BaliBatik painting in […]

  4. He Dared to Eat a Noni Fruit Right Off the Tree! - 31/08/2010

    […] Golf Courses – Bali Golf Discount – Bali Golf Packages | Bali Golf Course – Golf Bali IndonesiaA day out in Bali | velvet escape's blogBest hotels in Bali for honeymooners which love beaches, watersport, relaxing and sightseeing? | […]

  5. Velvet moments: Bali rice terraces | velvet escape's blog - 04/08/2010

    […] the accompanying post: ‘A Day Out in Bali‘. See other Velvet […]

  6. Family bathing at the Sacred Water Temple in Bali | The Happy Explorer - 08/07/2010

    […] the accompanying post: ‘A Day Out in Bali‘. Thursday, July 8th, 2010 Asia TAGS: culture, […]

  7. Bathing ritual at the Sacred Water temple, Bali | The Happy Explorer - 18/06/2010

    […] the accompanying post: ‘A Day Out in Bali‘. Friday, June 18th, 2010 Asia TAGS: culture, […]

  8. Enchanting sunsets in Bali | velvet escape's blog - 25/05/2010

    […] A Day Out in Bali […]

  9. Most Tweeted Articles by National Geographic Experts - 08/05/2010

    […] feet firmly planted in the clouds over Pescare in Italy | Traveldudes.org 2 Tweets A day out in Bali | velvet escape's blog go explore. experience. and be inspired. , velvet escape's blog 2 Tweets London Day […]

  10. Velvet moments: Sacred Water Temple, Bali | velvet escape's blog - 28/04/2010

    […] the accompanying post: “A Day Out in Bali“. See other Velvet […]

Leave a Reply

css.php