Friday, March 09, 2007

Bali - Day 3 : Ubud & above

Saturday, 3rd March 2007

Ubud - Art Market
Our day started pretty early, by 7.30am, we're having breakfast in the hotel's cafe. Our 3rd day in Bali looked promisingly interesting with our destination today; Ubud Art Market, Kintamani - The Volcano, Tegalalang - Rice Fields Terrace and Gunung Kawi - one of Bali's oldest and mysterious monoliths.

We're informed by Dandy that the journey towards Kintamani will be long and it takes approximately 2 hours to reach from Kuta. We will be heading to Ubud - Art Market first as it is on the way up to the mountain. He also gave us options as to whether or not to stop at some locations along the way to check out locals carving workshops such as silver, stone and wood; each of which is very famous in Bali for their quality finishing and cheaper price compare it back in our country. We're not particularly interested but decided to give it a try to visit the silver carving workshop. I've got to say that I'm very much disappointed because the place was small and the products that the displayed are pretty much outdated and not as polished as it should be. I've been to better one in Thailand but we won't go into detail here. We spent about 20 minutes here, and bought nothing from the place.

We continue our journey heading to Ubud and Dandy asked if we're still interested to check out the stone and wood carving, collectively looking at each other, we told him to skip those two.

It took us another 45 minutes to reach Ubud from the last stop at the silver carving factory. The view of rice fields along the way was amazing. I had the momentary serenity feeling at peace and happy to see the green fields. It was great not having to think about my work or stressed myself out over applications that do not work the way they should but just enjoying the view of rice fields.

We start walking our way down from the main Ubud Market where Dandy drop us. These figurines was on display outside a shop along the Art Market Road in Ubud.

Ben suggested that we stopped by Ibu Rai Cafe, just spending some time having drinks and enjoying the scene in Ubud.

Interior of Ibu Rai's Cafe

Ubud street - Rows of rental vans awaiting tourists to buy their service. It was a common sight in Bali that everywhere you walked, there will be people offering you transportation service, be it motorcycles, vans, SUVs or taxi.

The Art Market in Ubud, colourful and assorted rattan weaved baskets. I'm tempted to buy one but gave it a second thought as I couldn't think of a reason to get one. Maybe they reminded me of my late god mom, she loved this kinda stuff to store eggs or maybe her sewing kits.

There are a lots of interesting art pieces in Ubud. I'm having the thought that perhaps the next time I need an art piece as part of my house interior, I'll revisit Bali again and come here to get one. Apart from that, they do sell other hand made items such as batik, silver accessories, wood carvings, scented oils, candles and coconut shell carvings.

We leave at around 12.15pm and continue hop on the van towards Kintamani.

Kintamani - Active Volcano
The road to Kintamani was still long and rain starts pouring by the time we reached the place. We're not actually at the foot of the volcano but rather on the other side of the mountain which have a restaurant for us to dine in while enjoying an absolutely clear view of the volcano and the lake beside.

It was a fun experience to dine on top of a mountain while overlooking the volcano, enjoying the cool wind over a spread of Balinese buffet lunch. The food served here was not especially interesting or out of this world. Perhaps the the sticky rice with mango/jack fruit served over brown sugar syrup and crated cococut was worth to mention.

The lake besides the volcano came into view once the rain stops for like 10 minutes, only to get heavier later.

The beautiful view of the volcano from where we were seated before the rain starts pouring again.

Enjoying the buffet at the hill top restaurant while eager tourist like us kept themself busy snapping photos to show their friends and family of how beautiful Kintamani was.

Tegalalang - Rice Fields Terrace
We get to stops by the famous rice fields terrace in Tegalalang on our way down from Kintamani. It was a small area with a cafe serving light snacks and drinks in their rattan hut seated on the hill terrace, allowing their patrons to enjoy the food served over the green fields.

The rice field terrace

Patron in rattan huts on the hill terrace, enjoying their time.

More rice fields along the hill terraces.

We stopped here for a brief 15 minutes, couldn't resists a personal snap.

Gunung Kawi
Ben initially resisted the idea of getting into Gunung Kawi. Yes, it was raining cats and dogs but it wasn't like a 10 minutes drive down Bukit Bintang everyday that you get to see an ancient mountain with hand carved monoliths. I insisted that we go ahead as we are already here with umbrella and it wouldn't take too long to walk a few steps more to see what's ahead.

I'm very interested to come here and check out what it looks like in real because the photos shown in the Lonely Planet guide I had was beautiful. I'm not a very outdoor person but sight seeing like this just have my votes.

The main entrance to Gunung Kawi. We put in our donations and dorn the sarong and waist band as required before ascending a flight of stairs into the monolith area and the main temple.

Looking absolutely funny (or ridiculous) in sarong. The colors remind me of high school girls pinafore dress while the green one looks identical to the those that Muslim's boy wears on Friday.

Towards the monolith area and main temple.

Keeping memory, one of the tower in the main temple.

Ben and Noel playing shy school girls in pinafore dress met paparazi MiuMiu! Oh, don't forget the amazing view behind, please do not let them both distract you too much of the real subject.

The beautiful view of the monolith in Gunung Kawi.

I'm very pleased to have come here although the way back up to where we came from literally took the life out of me, and reminder to those planning to come here; make sure you do get yourself mosquito repeller as there are plenty of hungry Balinese mosquitoes here.

Our trip of sight seeing today ends around 4.30pm when we begin heading back to town. We have in mind to visit massage parlour at first but upon reaching Seminyak, the price was rather steep and we made our way back to hotel instead.

We thanked Dandy for his help these past 2 days and hand him his fees besides additional tips that we collectively agreed he deserved. Another handful advice for you on your next trip to Bali, it is considered a normal gesture to give tips for whatever services you received here. Quite unusual for Malaysian, I know :)

With nothing much left to do for the day, we get some rest and shower before gather back in room and play some cards. I had initially suggested that we visit the clubs in Seminyak but after flipping through the event brochure we got from the convenient shop, we found out that the cover charge was rather steep - RP100,000 (around RM40) to get into the famous Double Six Club. It would cost us a total of RM120 to get in the club and it is not guranteed we will have a good time as we're not sure of the crowd and the kind of music plays there.

We scrathed the idea although occasionally Ben would play with the idea of hitting the club and scrathed it again and revisit the same idea which at times pissed me off. No we didn't hit the club but rather just get on the street in sandals and do some night shopping before arriving at Adi Dharma Restaurant for dinner.

Sort of "tuk-tuk" kinda bike, put on display in Rip Curl shop along Kuta Street. Bali have very good selections of surf wear and the Rip Curl here are definitely cheaper than KL.

Tomorrow > Heading Home

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