We left Kuta around 9 am, driving out Kuta area heading to west Bali through the main street that leads to Tanah Lot Temple. We took the village roads that come out at Meliling on the main street that goes to Gilimanuk along the west coastal region of Bali
By the T-Junction at the village of Antosari, we make a right turn up to Belimbing village. We made a stop by a little Warung on the right side of the street that has such a gorgeous view over mountains, rice terraces, and the southern peninsula of Bali. There are various kind of tropical vegetations grow around the wrong’s garden such as cocoa, clove, durian tree, coffee and vanilla bean. Right behind the Warung there were 3 huge bats or flying foxes hanging on a little bougainvilleas tree. They are like pat for the family who own the Warung. The Warung itself sells cold drink, coffee and some local snacks, so it is really a great spot for a coffee break while enjoying the scenic view over rice terraces or wandering around their tropical garden.
Across the street there was a lady selling Durian fruits so it was great as my friend Jan was willing to get one to taste, so we walked across the street and bought a Durian for 15,000 Rupiah which was a good deal as it was quit big one. I put the Durian on the back seat and the strong smell of it filled up the car and having the air conditioned on was not a good idea as it made the smell really stronger. The fruit is smell like hell but tastes like heaven…
We left Belimbing village and driving north towards Pupuan Village. We kept enjoying the scenic view over the green rice terraces all the way up. We made a stop by Pura Mekori where there were number of monkeys on the entrance, by the side of the road. The temple is built in the middle of the tropical rain forest which is the home of the macaque monkeys that hang around by the entrance where there is a small shrines by the road side where the local passers by make a short stop for a little prayer and there is an old man priest there who patiently bless everyone with the holy water. The people who stopped there placed a little offering on the shrines and do a little prayer before being sprinkled by holy water by the priest. As there is a little cake by the offering, the monkeys were hanging around by the little shrines to steal the cakes from the offerings.
We continued driving north through windy roads by local villages and still enjoying the great view over rice terraces, coffee and cocoa plantations.
When we got to the market town of Pupuan, we made a left turn, driving again through local villages with its spectacular view over lush river valley, mountains and view over west coast line. We arrived by a village named Bunut Bolong. There is a huge tree which the local called Bunut that grow in the middle of the road. They carved through the bottom part of the tree which arches the street and the cars have to drive through the tree. There is a little temple under the trees where some local passers by make their offerings. Nearby the tree there is a little Warung that sells food and drink.
We left Bunut Bolong and kept driving down the windy roads, passing by many villages until we arrived at the T-Junction by the main road towards Gilimanuk. We took a right turn heading to Medewi Beach where it is well known for the surf breaks. There were numbers of surfers by the time we got there as the wave was really great. There were few tourists and mostly local young surfers. We checked in by Medewi Beach Cottages where it is right by the beach. After lunch, we drove out again to visit Pura Rambut Siwi which is north of Medewi Beach Cottages. It is approximately 3 km up the road by the black volcanic sand beach. The temple is built by the beach and you can have a great view over the Indian Ocean, green rice paddies on the other side of the temple. We could see the eastern part of Java by the temple area. The temple was built around the 16th century by a Hindu priest who was coming from Java, named Dang Hyang Nirartha. The temple was just being renovated in some part and the new gardens have just been created. It is an elaborate temple one with beautiful Balinese carvings painted in gold leaf. We walked into the inner courtyard of the temple to get a close look to a number of shrines. We walked out from the main courtyard by the west side gate, to a little path that goes down to the beach where there is another smaller complex of temple just right by the beach with a black and yellow tiger’s sculpture, but seemed to be more like Panthers for us. There are a couple caves on the right side wall of the cliff under the main temple, with its small shrines by the mouth of the cave. We walked along the beach and suddenly we got accompany of hundreds of local elementary students who were doing a day excursion with their teachers. We took pictures of those kids and everyone was really excited to be in the picture. We walked back to the parking area by walking along the beach along with those school kids. Hundreds of the school kids were packed in a truck that transport them around for the entire day visiting different places on the west Bali region. We think that they should hire a bus for a better safety.
Day is getting late and the sun was about to sink behind the Horizon, we headed back to the hotel for our night stay. I stayed by a little home stay named Gede, next to Medewi Beach cottages, cost 50,000 Rupiah/night. It is a very simple room with cold shower. It has a little restaurant with good food and it is right by the beach with its great view over the beach.
We left in the morning after breakfast at around 9.30 am, drove back to the main street heading North West towards Gilimanuk again. The road was quit busy with all the trucks and Lorries that are going and returning from the island of Java. We drove into a small road before a Moslem mosque, a couple hundred meters from Medewi Beach Cottages to a small natural port for the local fishermen. We parked the car by the end of the road, right by the beach. We walk around the beach where there were many Jukung, traditional outriggers and fishermen who were just returning from the Indian Ocean for fishing. The women were waiting on the beach with baskets and big bowls for their husband’s catches. One by one of the fishermen were coming back off shore with some catches for the morning. Dozen of men on the beach were waiting to give help to the new arrival fishermen to get their boats off the shore by carrying them on their shoulder. They were given some fish as a reward and bring them home for their family. They carry the boats quit a bit away from the coats line to avoid it being drag out by the big wave during the high tide.
The women were busy getting all the fish out from the boat and carry them in a bamboo baskets or plastic bowls.
We left the fisherman village and drove back onto the main road and driving up towards Gilimanuk. We drove a few kilometers up the roads and made another D-Tour to the Cape of Perancak that’s well known for its Ancient Hindu temple and fisherman Perahus. The size of the boat or Perahu is much bigger than those ones at Medewi Beach and has bigger motors on it, huge fishing nets. The boats look really beautiful with all its ornaments and painted in different colors. There are decoration that’s a made like a dome of the Moslem mosque and some with a little Hindu’s Shrines. They also get a special name like, Istanbul, etc. it shows a special love and pride that they have for their boats.
We sat by a little Warung, drinking cokes while watching the activities of the fishermen cleaning and maintaining their boats before going out to the Ocean.
We drove back to the main street, kept driving up and made a short stop at the City of Negara to make a quick look at a huge temple in the middle of the town called Jagatnatha temple. The temple has a huge garden on the front, a Wantilan (Open Pavilion which is normally use village’s gathering and entertainment hall). It is built in the area of the local government buildings. After taking few pictures and look around the outer courtyard of the temple, we continued driving up towards Gilimanuk and by the huge sign of Bendungan Palasari, we turned to the right, driving through coconut farm, and nice clean villages to Palasari which has a manmade lagoon and huge Dam which is used for irrigating the rice paddies of the region. We got to Palasari and followed a small and quit a bumpy road that’s going to a very fancy villa called Taman Wana which is built above the Lagoon, it is quit a way from the village. The drive over to the villa was really fabulous as the view over the rice terraces, cocoa farm and coconut are truly beautiful. The rate of the villa was quit expensive which ranges from US $ 250 – US $ 1000 for the Suite Villa. It has a helipad as well as a limo service to pick you up from Bali International airport. It has a beautiful garden and great view over the lagoon.
After lunch at Taman Wana Villa, we drove back to Palasari to visit the huge Catholic Church that was built around 1955. The Church is decorated with Balinese style of carving around the outside and a huge Balinese Split gate by its entrance. We wanted to have a look inside but the main door was shut and locked, so we were just walking around it and took some pictures.
We drove back to the main street to Gilimanuk and made a short stop by Pura Segara Rupek, on the left side of the street by Bali West National Park. We walk to the beach and could see East Java clearly from the temple outer courtyard. The temple is surrounded by the forest which is part of Bali West National Park.
We left the temple and be back on the street and by the T-Junction before the port of Gilimanuk we turned right took the road towards to Singaraja, driving through the forest, seeing a couple deer and monkeys by the roadside. We got to Labuhan Lalang, the little port to get a boat over to Menjangan Island which is known for the best snorkeling site in Bali. We walked over the port to look at all the wooden boats. The island could be seen from the port and there were few tourists who were just returning from Menjangan Island for their day excursion.
We continued to drive east to Pemuteran Village, staying at Taman Sari Beach Cottages, a great resort by the beach. It has a lovely big garden, swimming pool by the beach and a nice beach restaurant. We stayed at Ocean View Cottage for US $ 65 which is worth the value.
We made a day of excursion to the island of Menjangan for snorkeling. We arranged the trip with one of the diving company from Taman Sari Beach Cottages that take their clients out to Menjangan Island on a boat straight from the front of the hotel. It was a great boat trip and we got a chance to snorkel at some of the good points of the snorkeling sites there on the island. It is a small island where it has some nice white sand beach, beautiful coral, colorful fish. It was really a fabulous snorkeling that we had there.
We got back to the resort around 2.30 PM and getting ready to continue our trip to Lovina for our next stay, which is around 50 km from Pemuteran.
We left the hotel at around 3 PM, driving east passing the seaside temple of Pulaki and Pabean Temple where there are hundreds of monkeys there by the area of the temple and also along the side of the road, waiting for the people to stop and feed them. We did not make a visit to the temple as those monkeys seemed to be a little aggressive.
We left the area and kept driving east towards Seririt, a little town west of Lovina. We drove straight to Puri Bagus Hotel for a night stay. It is a nice resort by the beach.
Lovina – Amed Beach, East Bali.
We departed from Puri Bagus Hotel after breakfast at around 9.30 am, running a bit late as we have planned on leaving at 9 am that morning. We drove out from the hotel, heading west back to down town of Lovina again as we missed the hot spring the previous day and reschedule it for today. We made a left turn by the crossroads where it has a big sign of Hot Spring. We drove through the smaller road to the village of Banjar and made a short stop by the local morning market at the village where there were dozens of women selling fruits, offerings, vegetables and tropical spices.
We continued to Banjar Hot spring after the market, paid Rupiah 3,000 per person to enter the hot spring where you can go for a great swim. The hot water is being piped into the swimming pool from a nearby natural hot spring by a little temple on the upper side of the swimming area. There are 3 different size of pool and the biggest one in the middle is very much for swimming and the other 2 are for shower. The last bottom one is the tallest fountain which is the warmest amongst the entire fountain. It feels great when you let the water hit your back, it felt like getting such a great massages. On the apposite side of the small river, they have a natural Jacuzzi from a different source of the hot spring where you have to pay a little extra to have yourself in this pool and they also have a massage’s services for about 50,000 Rupiah for 1 hour. A little restaurant is also available above the main pools area where we can have simple Balinese foods. We enjoyed our swim for about 2 hours before continuing our trip to the nearby Buddhist monastery.
We drove through little villages again, up the hill where the monastery sits on the hill overlooking the north Bali Sea. On the top of the hill above the main monastery, there is quit a huge Buddhist Stupa built which is look like a miniature of Borobudur. The view is lovely from around the Stupa where you can see green rice terraces at the bottom of the valley, the view of the small river running through the valley, view of the mountain side as well as view over the Sea.
We left the Buddhist temple and drove back to the main street towards Singaraja, the northern capital, passing down town Lovina again. We were just driving through the town of Singaraja without making any stop here as it was seemed to be a bit busy. We kept driving east, passing Singaraja and made a stop at Sangsit Village, but a crossroad in the market area, there’s a sign on the right side of the street to Pura Beji which is the local Subak temple. The temple is so beautiful with its fantastic carvings all over the gates and the shrines in the inner courtyard. old frangipani grows in the temple courtyards. The temple was firstly built in the 15th-century for worshipping the goddess of rice, Dewi Sri.
After Pura Beji, we drove east following the coastal roads with the view over the ocean, passing the Air Sanih, Ponjok Batu and made a stop for lunch at Tembok Village, in a great resort by the beach named Poinciana. It looks like a very nice resort but it is quit in the middle of nowhere, but would be great to skip or getting away from busy tourist’s area. Lunch was very good and spent about Rp. 150,000 for 2 people with drink and main course.
We left Poinciana and back on the road heading to Amed with a short stop at Tulamben which is known for its diving and snorkeling resort. We intended to go for snorkeling at the wrecked but the wave was quit rough and it was quit late in the afternoon where we wouldn’t be able to have a good vision underwater. We sat by the beach for 10 minutes before driving back to the main street, down to Amed. We started entering Amed when the sun was setting behind the great volcano of Mount Agung. We drove along the road by the coastal line and enjoying such a great view along the beach with its colorful fishermen Jukungs that are parked along the shores. There are hundreds of them. We finally got to Villa Santai that we did book in advance as we were worried of not having a room there. It is a small resort by the beach but quit nice.
Amed – Ubud.
We went out on a traditional outrigger for fishing with the local fisherman that we have arranged via the hotel the night before. It was exciting to be on a little motor Jukung, that’s what they name the traditional boat. It has a little motor as well as a sail. They only use the sail when they are having enough wind. We went quit far out to the sea and caught some fish. We did the fishing on the boat for about two hours before heading back to the hotel. We got back to the hotel and gave all the fish to the fisherman to bring home for his family.
We got ready to leave the hotel for our trip to Ubud. We checked out from Villa Santai and be back on the road again, driving south along the coastline of Amed. It is a great view over the coastline with hundreds of Jukungs which are parked off the shores. On the right are simple houses of the local villagers on the mountain’s side, quit steep which is surely making the people having great exercise every single day.
When we got to the south eastern corner of Bali Island, we could see the view over the Indian Ocean and also the sister’s islands of Nusa Penida and Lembongan in a distance. The other excitement was driving over an old bridge that’s crossing a dried river, the bridge was making such a terrible noise when the car driving over it, it was really scary. We thought that the car would just got stuck if it was just one of the wood got broken a part. We were very lucky that the car got over it and we could breathe again.
We passed all the small villages and finally got to Taman Sukasada, it is one of the water palaces for the former king of Karangasem. There was an entrance fee that we had to pay to enter the palace and it was Rp. 10,000 per person. And additional of Rp. 2000 parking fee had to be paid when leaving the area. The water palace is surrounded with huge lotus ponds with some little fish in it. There were a few buildings that are spread around the area of the water palace. It has a great view over the ocean from most part of the palace. It also decorates with some stone sculptures around the garden and some water features. The most part of the palace was recently rebuilt as it was damaged by the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963, but we could still witness some of the original part of the building. There was an old man that kept following us around and was trying to be our guide but we were just ignoring him even if he kept following us when we were walking around the water palace.
We left the water palace and driving pass the mosque nearby the Palace, took the left turn by the bridge crossing the river and was coming out at the T-Junction at Jasri. We kept driving following the main road and made another stop at Candidasa just for a quick look. They were working on building Dike on the beach to stop the erosions which has been hitting the shore for years. We drove on and heading to Padang Bai, the port for a ferry to get to Lombok or Nusa Penida island. We drove in through the road by the white sand beach nearby the port and stopped at Topi Inn for a great lunch. There were dozens of fishermen boats that are parked on the white sand beach there and we saw some divers were just coming back from their dive trip at the Blue Lagoon.
After lunch, we drove out from Padang Bai and back on the main road heading to Kusamba, the black volcanic sand. We drove straight to Ubud via Klungkung, Gianyar and made a stop at Teges Village, east of Ubud to have a look at a wood carving village. We stopped by Budiasa Shop which displays dozens of huge fabulous wooden sculptures. The whole building there were filled up with different sizes of Wood Carvings. There was a man at the shop that helped us to look around and informing us about the artworks and also giving info on the prices. It was around 5 PM at the time so there was nobody working at the workshop. We left the shop without purchasing anything but the man gave us a business card. We went straight to the Greenfield Bungalows at Pengosekan Village. It is a nice accommodation that has such a great view over the rice paddies.