Bali has been enticing the globe with its own charm. We travelled to this beautiful Indonesian island in July. Everything from splendid beaches, blackish active Volcanoes, foaming waterfalls, ancient temples, to its entwined culture casted a mystic spell upon us. From adrenaline junkies to solitude seekers this paradise has bountiful things to offer.
Now what this heavenly place has in its magic bag? If you have couple of days to spend in Bali, how would you pick amongst the brimful of choices? Here are our stories from the nooks of the island and various ways in which its taste can be savoured.
Endless blue beaches
Sitting on the sand of a vast bluish beach at Nusa Dua, I was lost in thoughts. People around us were busy in diving, snorkelling, surfing and other kinds of water sports. A man was parasailing with his red and blue coloured parachute attached to a boat. Banana boats were at their full speed, spreading the waters away. The sea shore was a hive of activity. There are plenty of breathtakingly beautiful blue beaches on the coastline of Bali.
Mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets
On an early morning we were strolling at Sanur beach to get a first glimpse of rising sun which was little disappointing. Because it was a grey morning and thick clouds started to gather around as though they were masking our hopes. At last a faint orange line appeared, grew bigger into a circle and then lost behind the canvas of clouds.
Waiting for sun at dawn in Amed beach didn’t go in vain. A lovely sunrise was eye pleasing and a hot coffee which we bought from a small shop on the beach was an added bonus.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu and Pura tanah lot would be best places to view sunset, but one can expect bustling crowd during the peak time.
We were so surprised to see temples with peeking pagodas, a spilt gate (candi bentar) and a main gate (Kori agung), lotus throne, radiant umbrellas which were a far cry from what we generally have in India. People draped in Sarongs were carrying tower of fruits and flowers adorned with cilis as an offering to God. It seemed like we are in Shangri-La.
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Balinese Dance forms
On an evening in Uluwatu, with a view of great Indian Ocean across, we were sitting in an amphitheatre. People, humming like “chak chak”, came rushing into the centre. They were followed by Rama and Sita, dressed with vibrant silk robes and golden crowns. Yes it was Kecak dance depicting the whole story of Ramayana in an hour! If you have Uluwatu sunset in your checklist, then Kecak performance is something not to be missed. When you are staying in Ubud, you could watch the Keris, Barong, Kecak and other traditional dances, as every night there would be multiple shows in the area.
Scuba diving and Snorkelling
Do you want to do something that is really adventurous? Then scuba diving is a must do. Imagine a shipwreck covered with all those colourful sea creatures and school of fishes swarming around in the whole blue underwater world. How pleasurable isn’t it?
Hiking the Volcano
Just after midnight we left the homestay for hiking the Mount Batur. It was long walk before the daybreak. When we reached the top it was still dark. We were very tired and drowsy but our efforts were rewarding. We saw the view of majestic Mount Agung volcano standing tall, with its peak kissing the sky. At the foothill of Batur mountain, rested the gorgeous lake Batur. We were one of those lucky people who got a chance to see the scenic sunrise from the hilltop.
Visiting Bali’s countryside
We were sitting in a small shop surrounded by coffee plantation with a gushing white waterfall in sight. It was drizzling outside with the fog wrapped trees around. We were fortunate enough to spot a white crowned forktail that was fluttering amid the bushes, displaying its black and white feathers but it escaped from our lens. Away from the city, this little serene place made an everlasting memory in our mind.
If you want to know more about Balinese people visit their traditional villages. Here you can meet the locals and listen to their stories.Visiting Tohpati village for Batik paintings, Mas village to see artistic wood carvings could be a way to get the grasp of their culture.
These are our stories. Have you been to Bali? What are your experiences ? We would love to hear from you.