Indonesia: Temple hopping in Bali

Another interesting activity to do in Bali is temple hopping, as the island is home to thousands of Hindu temples. Each temple (pura in Balinese) has its own intricate architecture, great views, charming courtyards, and beautiful story. So, during our trip to Bali, we made sure we could visit a few of them.

The Temple of Tirta Empul

It is located in the village of Manukaya in Central Bali. The name Tirta Empul means “holy water spring” because it houses a mountain spring that is the source of a river. This temple is one of the most important temple complex in Bali built circa 960 AD, and considered as a national heritage site. According to the legend, the spring was created by the Hindu god Indra who pricked the earth to let out a spring of sacred water. This temple is popular among locals and tourists alike. Many people go there for a dip in the bathing pools as they believed that its waters have curative properties.

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The Temple of Tirta Empul

The holy water spring at the Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Temple (which means a small island floating on the sea) is one of the photogenic sites in Bali, situated on a rocky islet off the south-west coast surrounded by gently crashing waves in the ocean. The temple can only be reached at low tide, and only the staff can go inside for ceremonies and to preserve the place from further damage. We went there in the morning even though we heard that the sunset there is spectacular just to ditch the crowd. To me, the place is more than the temple itself – it’s good to visit with family, it’s very leisurely and calm.

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

Behind me is the Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s iconic landmark, has stunning and dramatic views, especially views of waves lapping onto the rocks below. It’s built on a cliff about 70m above the sea on the south-western tip of the island. The tourists can walk along the cliff and enjoy the sea breeze and breathtaking views. What I love the most there is the elevated vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. Since many people go there at sunset when the sky is painted with a thousand shades of orange, pink and yellow, my family and I opted to visit the temple early in the afternoon to avoid the sunset crowds. It’s an amazing sight – to see this 11th century temple perched on a towering precipice overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

We truly enjoyed our time there and the temples are absolutely well worth a visit if you’re in Bali.

 Little Lilly travel tips:

  • Beware of the notorious monkeys at the Temple of Uluwatu. They are awful. They might steal your mobile phone, glasses, cap, bag, etc.
  • We heard that there’s a dance show at the Temple of Uluwatu at every 6PM.
  • The entrance fee for every temple was very reasonable and it covers the cost of the use of a sarong.

 

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Indonesia: Kopi Luwak in Bali

Have you heard or tried Kopi Luwak?

On our way to explore the northern part of Bali, we visited Lumbung Sari, one of the Luwak coffee farms as part of the tour.

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

As soon as we arrived at the area, a very friendly staff assisted us. He showed and explained to us how they prepare the coffee beans.

We have learned that in Southeast Asia, there are jungle cats called Civet that loves to eat coffee cherries. The civet’s digestive system uses the fruit of the coffee for nourishment but it is only partly digested. The civet then pooped out the coffee beans. They collected the undigested coffee beans out of the Civet cat poop, and proceed to process: roast, grind, brew, and serve them just like any other beans you can buy from the coffee shop.

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

We’ve also learned that it’s the most expensive coffee in the world probably because of its scarcity and experience value.

At first we were dead set on not drinking the coffee made from animal poop but we figured out “When in Bali…” So we decided to buy a cup of Luwak coffee (and shared it between me and husband).

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

Our experience of drinking a Luwak coffee was really unique. It had a really distinctive aroma. In fact it was chocolatey, winey and had some sort of hazelnut tones. It was rich and delicious. It wasn’t gross or anything. It wasn’t strong and it had very little aftertaste.

They also offered a sample of various kinds of tea. And we got to meet a few of the Luwak too.

Civet “Luwak” is a nocturnal animal: sleeping the whole day long and very active and aggressive at night.

The view from the terrace over the Rainforest was gorgeous, tranquil and breezy. Great for photographs.

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

It was certainly a pleasant stop. It was interesting seeing how the coffee was grown and ground into drinkable coffee. It was special and delightful, so combined with its really bizarre story – I think it’s worth a visit. Don’t miss out!

Indonesia: Rice Terraces in Tegalalang, Bali

It was a bright sunny morning, we woke up early to see a photogenic place in Bali – the rice terraces.

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

The rice terraces in Tegallalang is one of the cultural landscapes in Bali that was classified as a UNESCO world heritage site as it show cases Subak, a traditional, oldest and most complex Balinese irrigation systems and it demonstrates Tri Hita Karana, a Balinese core philosophy of life – harmony – which means harmonious relationship with nature, with other people, and with God.

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

From our hotel in Kuta, we hired a car to venture in the emerald green interior of Bali. It was midday when we arrived there, and the sun was scorching hot. It left us two options since my husband and my son are so sensitive to the heat and humidity: either we buzz up in one of the restaurants/cafes and get a photo and enjoy the view from the top or we navigate the steps down to the valley and spend a little time exploring the rice terraces. We chose the latter option.

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

We ambled through the rice fields up to the highest terrace for about an hour. We rested under the shades of the coconut trees, sipped some water, took some photos, savored the little summer breeze, and indulged ourselves in the scenic panoramic view. It was stunning but we had mixed emotions seeing it – happy because it seemed like we were strolling on a vast shimmering fields of gold and sad because some of the rice seeds were too ripe and no one harvested them – it made us think that it was just there to look good for tourists.

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

As we walked down the stairs, there were heaps of swings for you to rent. The swing looks great though, wished I could get a unique Instagram shot but I didn’t have enough patience to wait for my turn to get on the swing.

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

The entire place is beautiful but they made it into a big industrial area for tourists. From the main entrance (where we parked our car), the street was packed with a plethora of rip-off restaurants, cafes and tourist shops. Nevertheless, if you like a gorgeous, unique and green view, I recommend this place for you.

Rice terraces in Tegallalang, Bali

Little Lilly travel tips:

  • Get there early in the morning to avoid the heat and to beat the massive flow of tourists.
  • There are many entrances down to the valley. I think it’s better to walk down the road from the car-park and then walk down the valley to the other side where they have a big swing tied to 2 palm trees.
  • It’s not suitable for disabled/unfit person.
  • Bring some water and a towel.

Indonesia: 3 days in a gorgeous secluded beach resort in Bali

My family and I are a true beach bum. We love beach! And one of the reasons why we traveled to Bali was to enjoy a private escape to the beach without worrying about crowds.

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

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Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

We lazed at Sandi Phala Beach Resort for 3 days – siesta on the beach, a lot of reading, schmoozing with my boys, sun basking, swimming, playing with the big waves, watching sunset, tasting Balinese food and enjoying the refreshing Bintang beer. We certainly enjoyed the luxury and the privacy.

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

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Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

The tranquility, the beautiful sunset, the breeze, the big waves, the playful blend of aqua colors, the yellow brown sands, the luscious food and the friendly staff make this destination a genuine paradise.

Ma Joly Restaurant

Sandi Phala Beach Resort

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Likewise, we liked the place because it is like half way between Tandag, my hometown in the Philippines and Carantec in Brittany, France. Plus, it was absolutely quiet. We spent 5 full great days in Bali – 3 days at the beach and 2 days to visit other places, was just right to re-charge our mojo, re-energize and re-ignites our passion.

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali

Sandi Phala Beach Resort in Bali