Category Archives: Bali

Posts that relate to travel in Bali, Indonesia

Seminyak – Motoring Around & Tanah Lot Temple

After a few lovely days on Gili Trawangan, we took a ferry to get back to Bali from Lombok and then another mini bus ride to Seminyak.

After we were finally delivered to our hotel in Seminyak,  we needed to cool off, so took advantage of the hotel’s pool while listening to some music:

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I want this pool for my house

Eventually I was starving and we had both been craving sushi for a while so I researched online for a bit and found a few recommended sushi restaurants in Seminyak.  We ended up at one called Ryoshi, and it was bomb!

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Brian and I at Ryoshi

I heard music playing upstairs at Ryoshi, and we decided to check it out.  I am so glad we did, it was a man named Yeshe, who was born a Germany and is a self-proclaimed “musical nomad” with heavy influences from Zimbabwe and West Africa.

One of his songs had been #1 on the Billboard World Song contest.

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Yeshi

The next day we rented a moto and messed around Seminyak.  For whatever reason, every Indonesian man wants to take a picture with the tall white tattooed girl.  Hilarious.

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My Bali Starbucks Boyfriend, NBD
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Moto Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent the afternoon having lunch on the beach, walking around and swimming in Seminyak…

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TANAH LOT TEMPLE – Living the beautiful life

Brian and I were trying to decide where we wanted to watch the sunset while we were in Seminyak and after some research on google, I decided I wanted to go to Tanah Lot.

We jumped on our moto, Brian drove while I navigated our way to the temple.  We got there a bit beforehand, so had some time to explore the beach in the area and take some pictures on the rocks.

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I.A. VS The World. The World Always Wins.

A lot of people have pictures with the temple during sunset, but the waves were coming in pretty good that day, and I wanted to try to get some sunset and wave shots together.

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Its a great place for sunset, and I highly recommend going there at least one day.  On the way back from Tanah Lot, we found a WINE SHOP.  Score!  And bought a couple bottles to drink back at the hotel.

Now it’s time to say goodbye to Brian, he’s heading up to Ubud to rendezvous with some of his traveling friends, and I’m off to my long awaited and highly anticipated Myanmar adventure.  Bali Its Been Real.

//The I.A.

13 Can’t Miss Things To Do In Ubud

Obama tried to stop me but I finally arrived in Denpasar, Bali  – a day ahead of schedule – as my flight had to be changed to do the APEC summit.  The taxi driver drove me an hour to Ubud and dumped me off on the street in front of a shady day spa.

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The path to Kebun Indah Ubud Bali

I was a little confused, and he told me the place I was staying was “down this street”…. um you mean, sidewalk? And no, that isn’t a cow paddock, its little rice fields that just got done being harvested.

So I ventured down through the “rice fields” past the quacking ducks and was greeted by this woman making Hindu blessings.  There is 16 steps to the daily Hindu offerings or Puja, which include offering food, incense, water, flowers, etc. to the deity.

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I had wanted to stay in a traditional Balinese hut while in Ubud, so here it is:

It was everything I wanted, very simple, clean… and well Balinese :)  I walked around the grounds of Kebun Indah and immediately knew I would love my time in Ubud.

I headed into town to discover if I could find any things to do in Ubud… here is what I found over the course of the next few days :)

Things to Do in Ubud!

1.  Monkey Forest:  Nature reserve and temple right in the heart of Ubud with over 600 monkeys.  Entrance Fee Costs 20,000 Rupiah.

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2.  The “Starbucks Temple” – Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati – Find Starbucks in Ubud and walk behind it.  You won’t believe your eyes.  This is my favorite temple in Bali.

3.  If you like pork, you MUST eat at Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka.  They serve Babi Guling (roast pork) 5 ways there:  Pork stew, roast pork, pork blood sausage, pork crackling, Pork rinds.  Pork, pork, pork + Rice + Baby coconut water = deliciousness.  They also have a variety of “pets” including several funny parrots:

4.  People watch.  The Balinese are really a fascinating culture.  They have managed to maintain who they are even through heavy influxes of tourism.

5.  Campuhan Ridge Walk.  This is an amazing hike to take from downtown Ubud that ends in a rice paddy at a little restaurant where you can have cold drinks and snacks.

6.  Go shopping and barter, barter, barter some more.  Offer 25% of what they’re asking for and go from there.  They’re sneaky:

Amy picks dress, store owner tells me its 240,000 Rupiah,
I tell her she is smoking the “Bob Marley”
she says, ok for you good price, 100,000
I tell her, 60,000,
She acts all offended
She says 90,000
I say 60,000
We finally agree at 75k Rupiah which is… $6.52 USD.
Purse/satchel ended up at $2.61 USD
Bam.  Got this bargaining thing down.  Check out my wares:

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Bartering like a pro

6b.  Apparently the Balinese have an a-typical fascination with Penises.  Buy these for your friends as gifts.  They are everywhere around town.

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7.  Go eat ribs at Naughty Nuri’s.  No description needed.  Just look at my un-doctored unadulterated pictures.

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8.  Watch a Kecak Dance Show.  Or as I like to call it….60 men chanting shirtless for an hour and then in the last 3 minutes a man in a “horse” outfit jumped around on burning coconut shells.  (I wasn’t too big of a fan of the Kecak Dance):

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9.  Take an Ubud Cooking Class.  Read about my experience here.

10.  Take a Bali Bike Tour which also takes you to a coffee plantation and where you can try Kopi Lewak.

11.  Organize a Tour to take a sunrise climb of Mt Batur (an active volcano).  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do this, but it gets good reviews.

12. Walk around Ubud.  There are so many beautiful statues and courtyards all over the city, it’s just incredible.

13.  Take a yoga class.  Ubud is a Yogi’s dream, with so many yoga studios as well as organic and vegetarian restaurants.

EXTRA CREDIT!  Go get your ‘Poot’ Massaged. :)

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There are probably many more things to do around Ubud but this list will give you a good start and includes many of my favorite activities.

Drinking Cat Poop Coffee at a Bali Coffee Plantation

As part of my Bali Bike Tour, we were first taken to a Bali Coffee Plantation, Satria Agrowisata.  As I am a huge coffee and tea aficionado, I was REALLY excited about this part of my day and I had yet to try Kopi Lewak while in Bali.

The first thing we got shown at the Bali Coffee plantation was the civet/mongoose that eats the coffee beans, poor little guy.  People just love him for his shit:

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The lewak/civet (mongoose) that eats the coffee beans for kopi lewak

Satria Agrowista also had several other items they were growing on their plantation and coming from the US, these are things that I rarely get to see, so found them interesting :)

We then were shown how they flame roast the coffee beans over an open flame for an hour.

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Flame Roasting coffee beans for one hour

Finally we were brought to a nice area overlooking lush forest and were allowed to sample MANY coffees and teas for free, that we could then purchase from their store in bulk later.

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Assorted coffees and teas, lemongrass and ginger tea with honey, delish!

Finally we were offered Kopi Lewak if we wanted to try it for 50,000 Indonesian Rupiah or about $4.50 USD.  Now, that’s as much as a coffee at Starbucks, so bring it on :)

Kopi Lewak gained notoriety somewhat recently in the film, The Bucket List, as Jack Nicholson drank it every day because it was rare and expensive unbeknownst to what it was until Morgan Freeman broke it to him:

If you don’t watch the clip… Kopi Lewak is basically Cat Poop Coffee.  Coffee beans are fed to the civet, and its digestive process breaks the beans down and gives it a distinctive flavor, it’s the most rare and expensive coffee in the world.

And so…. here it is the moment you’ve all been waiting for….me drinking my Cat-poo-cino.

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My take, it sucked. Its one of those things you do, just to say you’ve done it… had a bitter finish and I’d much prefer other roasts to this.

After I finished choking down my glass-o-poo at the Bali Coffee plantation, we headed to Mt. Batur to have a buffet lunch and then begin our downhill bike ride back to Ubud.

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Mt Batur Volcano that errupted in 1962

Mt Batur Volcano last erupted in 1962 and it is possible to do a trek up it and watch the sunrise.  Sadly, I didn’t have time for this activity :(  Maybe next time I come back to Ubud :)

As I said our bicycle ride was all downhill down nice roads through rice fields.  At one point we stopped under some trees along the side of the road, there was nothing there, so I was curious why we stopped.  Oh holy hell….

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I can put virtually anything in my mouth, but the thought of putting that spider on me? No.

We also stopped at a local village at someone’s home to see how the locals lived and it was a bit depressing, and I felt like the people were embarrassed as well.  I did not take any pictures because I felt like we were totally intruding, although I’m sure they get some money from letting us come to their homes, it was still very awkward.

We then finished at the bicycle tour owners home for a wonderful homemade Balinese meal before we were brought back to Ubud.

What a great day drinking Bali Coffee and on my bike tour (except for the giant spiders of course) :)