My almost-a-month stay in Indonesia ended with a farewell party hosted by the Ministry of Tourism at Alila Seminyak in Bali. It was a night full of fun, surprises, and appreciation. That night, I found it hard to say goodbye to the people who had been with me every day for the past 3 weeks. All things come to an end.
Most of my friends flew back to their countries. I, on the other hand, stayed in Bali for 5 more days without an itinerary at all. It was a big adjustment after being pampered by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia. Gone were the days that I would stay in 5-star hotels. Now, I had to settle for something I could afford. So what did I do in Bali for 5 days and 4 nights?
I spent most of the day in Alila Seminyak, one of my favorite luxury hotels. I ensured that I made the most of my time with new found friends since it was our last day together. After our event, I decided to visit one of the most famous beach clubs in Bali. It is called Potato Head Beach Club. Adjacent to Alila Seminyak, the beachfront bar and flat 500 sqm. lawn flanked by an infinity pool are all within the grounds of the delightful ‘amphitheater.’ I love the vibe of the bar. We sat by the table on the floor with pillows as cushion while listening to music. Service was fast. Food and drinks, however, are a bit pricey.
Bali Golden Tour hosted our 2-day tour in Bali. We checked out late from the hotel, so we did only a half-day tour called Uluwatu Tour. It includes a visit to Uluwatu Temple, watching Kecak and fire dance performance, and Jimbaran Beach dinner. Uluwatu Temple, also called Luwur Temple, is one of the six Sad Kahyangan Temples, the main spiritual pillars in Bali Island.
Uluwatu Temple sits on a 70 meters high cliff overlooking the Indonesian Ocean. Because of its location, we had to climb a long stone stairway to reach it. Take note, there are hundreds of monkeys along the path outside the temple. Although they look tame, they’re annoying, as they would grab food off a visitor’s hand and snatch visitors’ belongings. I swear they’re scary. One of the guests’ belongings was snatched away, so they called a “Monkey Whisperer” to convince the monkey to return it. After that, though, the old lady asked the tourist to buy some items she was selling.
People are required to wear sarong as well as appropriate clothing when visiting temples. There are sarong and other clothes for rent. The best time to visit is before sunset. There is no public transportation going to and from the temple, so it’s necessary to avail of a tour package.
Before the sun had set, we watched the Bali Kecak and fire dance performance. It’s a one-hour performance which starts at 6:00 pm. What makes the Kecak special is that the accompanying music is a harmony of human voices and the gamelan suara. A choir of a hundred men or more sit in concentric circles, swaying, standing up, lying prone as the story develops. Amongst the swaying masses, voices of the storytellers can be heard telling the unfolding tale.
We ended our day with a dinner at Bali Jimbaran Bay Beach, which is located near the airport, so planes landing and taking off are a usual scene. The area has both a lovely beach and exotic seafoods.
I also booked a 3-day-and-2-night stay at Amazing Cabin Hostel. I love the privacy their dorm type rooms offer. The beds are comfortable. There are tables where you can put your laptop. I also like that there’s a personal electronic safe under the bed. The place is quiet but hard to find. From there, you can walk to Kuta Beach and Beach Walk Mall.
We left early in the morning the next day for the second day of our tour. It was the last day of some of my friends’ stay. We wanted to make sure that we could visit as many spots as possible. At first, we planned to visit Ubud Monkey Forest, but our guide, Wayan Paul, advised against it because the place was crowded. Instead, we went to another monkey forest called Alas Kedaton Temple. I’m not a fan of monkeys. Although the monkeys there are actually tame compared to those in Uluwatu. Alas Kedaton Temple owns the natural environment that has lots of greenery and fresh air, providing for a calm, quiet and holy atmosphere. We were the only guests that time. Our guide put the monkey on my friend’s shoulder. Which I couldn’t do. There is also a bat show in the area. Our next destination was the famous Tanah Lot Temple. The temple was built on a 3-acre rock that can be reached by walking for a few minutes. It’s only 20 meters from the coastal lip. The temple is a famous tourist destination in Bali, as it offers a spectacular view of the sunset.
Aside from temples and monkeys, another point of interest in Bali is Rice Terraces. This time we visit a lesser known rice terraces called Jatiluwih. Our rice terraces in the Philippines look better, or we probably viewed it from the wrong side. The Batad Rice Terraces remains to be my favorite. It’s still your call if you want to see it.
Among the temples we visited, my favorite is Ulun Danu Beratan. There were fewer people, the climate was a bit cooler, the view was relaxing, the travel was worth it. The picturesque landscape and cool atmosphere of the Bali uplands have made the lake and the temple favorite sightseeing and recreational spots. In fact, they have become one of the most photographed sites. This is what I imagine when I think about Bali.
Days 4 and 5
I moved back to Seminyak. I preferred the place to Kuta. Fewer people, more upscale, but still affordable. I stayed at Primera Hotel Seminyak. The place is clean, decent, and really affordable. I got mine for less than P1,000 or US$20 per night without breakfast. It’s near restaurants and bars, so I spent most of my last 2 nights partying. Seminyak is home to some of the famous gay bars in Bali. As I strolled down the street, I saw a gay bar located a few meters from our hotel. Nothing blocks the view inside, so passersby can see the spectacle. I was so shocked to see a muscular guy dancing onstage while wearing only an underwear. I rarely go to any gay bars here in Manila, so I was a bit surprised that Bali, Indonesia allows it knowing that majority of their population are Muslims.
If you want to enjoy the gay life in Bali, stay in Seminyak near Jalan Camplung Tanduk. That’s where you can find some famous gay bars like Mixwell, Bali Joe, Facebar (f bar) and bottoms up.
Going back to the airport is easy. Just remember to take Blue Bird taxi. I believe it’s the most reliable in Bali. Just beware of fake Blue Bird taxi cabs. The company has a very good reputation in Bali that’s why many are trying to copy them.
That was the end of my almost-a-month stay in Indonesia, which started in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Lombok and Labuan Bajo. If you want to check my travel stories, kindly click on those links. I hope to revisit Bali, Indonesia to discover more exciting places since I covered only a small part of it.
I would like to thank Bali Golden Tour for making my Bali trip memorable. If you want to check their tours and rates, kindly click on this link.