Places of Interest

Challenge! Are you brave enough to drink coffee luwak?

If you are coffee lovers, you should try an exotic taste of Luwak Coffee. Named as the most expensive coffee in the world, Luwak coffee through a unique production process. The coffee is produced from the coffee beans that have been consumed by Luwak or chivet. The coffee beans would have to first pass through the digestive system and exits. The stomach acids and enzymatic action involved in this unique fermentation process produces the beans for the world’s rarest coffee beverage. The beans are collected, cleaned, roasted and ground just like any other coffee.

Although it through strange process, it has rich, heavy flavor with touch of caramel or chocolate. The body is full and smooth and with long, clean aftertaste. Plus, it has low acidity so it will not harm your stomach.
Now, everybody can enjoy this fine coffee. Many coffee plantations are open for tour. Savor your tasting experience with beautiful mountain view and friendly assistant who will give you broad information about luwak coffee. A cup of luwak coffee is cost IDR 50,000. Other kinds of coffees and teas are available such ginseng coffee,vanilla coffee, lemon tea, ginger tea, coconut tea, etc are served for free.
Want to bring some home? Luwak Coffee is available for sell. Buy Luwak Coffee for your loved ones or be generous host on your coffee break.

The Magical Trunyan

Hidden in the valley of Batur Caldera, Kintamani-Bali, Trunyan is a small village from the early centuries. Famous as the “Bali Aga” village, a native Balinese people. The village exists long before the Majapahit invasion to Bali, more than 1000 years ago.

What makes Trunyan so special? The corpse! Trunyan people retain an ancient magical funeral method. They are protective to their tradition, and it stays unchanged since centuries ago, when their ancestor decided not to bury their dead. Not like other villages in Bali, when somebody passed away will be buried in the cemetery or if the “good day” permits, they will perform a cremation ritual. The people of Trunyan lay down the corpse on the ground, and only covered by a woven bamboo. As a result, you can see the corpse decomposed by the nature. Magically, the stink is absorbed by the giant tree called “taru menyan” and none of you can smell it.

The people of Trunyan retain the graveyards to maximum ten. When the new corpse arrived, the oldest graveyard will be destroyed and new corpse will change its position. The skull of previous dead then moved and arranged in steps next to the graveyards. During the funeral, the corpse is equipped with daily needs, such us toothbrush, lotion, money, clothes and many more. Some corpses even equipped with radio or TV.

Trunyan is an archeological asset of Bali, the people of Trunyan is very proud of their social culture. The Indonesian well-known archaeologist, James Danandjaja has written the magic of Trunyan into a book, “Kebudayaan Petani Desa Trunyan”.

Trunyan is easily reached by small boat ride from Kedisan village for 40 minutes. For IDR 400,000/boat (accommodate up to 8 people) you can experience the magic of Trunyan and its cemetery.

Fantastic Scenery and Fresh Air in Kintamani

(Toya Bungkah and Batur Vulcano)

Kintamani is located in Bangli Regency  | . This place has a very fresh air and sometimes there is being cold and misty. It is really has a truly beautiful scenery. It is about 77 kilometers from Kuta. Kintamani has 2 most popular tourist objects.

Toya Bungkah.

It is Spot of Hot spring water that people believe can cure some diseases. The temperature is about 15-25 degree Celsius. This Hot Spring Water is surrounded by ancient villages such as Kedisan, Buahan, Trunyan and Soongan.

Toya Bungkah already known by anthropologists in year 1930, then in year 1976, Toya Bungkah promoted again by The International Association for Art and The Future which is coordinated by Prof.DR. S. Takdir Alisyahbana.

Then nowadays, Toya Bungkah becomes very famous and the promotion has been success.

Batur Volcano

This volcano is still active. You can see a spectacular view from above. When you come to this place you may pay for some charge to enter both of these places, Toya Bungkah and Batur Vulcano. But it is quiet cheap, only 7.500 rupiahs when I came there. And there also a museum called, Batur Vulcano Museum. In some restaurants provide some information about the volcano, the time when it was erupted and other information about it.

In this spot you also can buy some Balinese gift for your family and friends, u can also bargain here for a reasonable price.

You can see the view during your lunch time; there are a lot of restaurants, so you do not have to worry about food. All food taste very delicious, really great. That is why I recommended you to try it!

The Miracle of Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot is one of the most famous temples in Bali. The picturesque location makes it a popular tourist spot.

It is located in Tabanan Regency at Beraban village, Kediri. It is about 30 kilometers from Denpasar. You can go there by motor bicycle or car. Or if u stay at the Tabanan city, you can only ride your bicycle in your relax time. It is quiet closed only about 13 kilometers from Tabanan city.

If there was a high tide, the temple seems like float above the sea. Tanah Lot has known as tourism object in Bali which is famous of it is beautiful sunset.

There are two temples, one is stand on a big stone and the other one is stand on the bank.

Tanah Lot temple is a part of Sad Kahyangan Temples, that is some temples that becoming joints of Bali islands. Tanah Lot is a sea temple, is a spot for pray to the gods that protect the sea.

According to the legend, this temple built by Dang Hyang Nirartha in 15 centuries. Then his shawl turns into a sea snake that protects the temple. Nowadays this snake still exists and this Holy sea snake has a flat tail. The snake colored black and yellow. It is has a very strong poison, even 3 times stronger than poison of the Cobra.

But do not worry this Holy snake is tame, there is a man beside the snake that will help you if you want to touch this holy snake. While you touch you can also praying and wish for something you. Hopefully your wish will come true.

You can also pray and get the holy spring water there, that comes up from the ground under the temple that stand on the big stone.

Many tourists said that Tanah Lot Temple is a miracle. How can we imagine two temples are standing on unbelievable spot and how the holy spring water comes up above the ground under the temple that stand on the big stone.

So if you come to Bali, you have to go there to watch very closely what the God has created, this is a miracle, I believe in that. Do you?

Sanur, a Relaxed Beach

Sanur is the area on Bali where mass tourism first got a foothold. The 11 floor high Bali Beach Hotel, the first large hotel on Bali, was built in 1965. It is still the highest building on Bali, due to a law made after the completion that bans any building higher than a palm tree. High buildings was considered to be a lack of respect for the gods, and the law is still valid all over the island.

The largest attraction on Sanur is the beach and the many luxurious hotels, and it’s a more relaxed place than Kuta. There are not as many pubs and nightclubs here, even if the number is rising, but if you’re looking for nightlife the distance to Kuta is short.

Sanur, Gunung Agung in the background.Padanggalak on the southern part of Sanur is a historical place; it was here the Dutch arrived in 1906 in order to conquer the kingdoms on South Bali. The arrival 15th of September 1906 was caused by an incident with a Chinese steamer, Sri Koemala, which ran aground outside Sanur and was robbed by local fishermen. The king refused to pay any compensation to the Dutch for their lost goods. This was used as an excuse to invade South Bali. The Dutch invaders were met by the king’s army, and a bloody battle took place before the royal palace in Denpasar was conquered.

Almost the entire royal family then killed themselves in a “puputan”, a collective suicide where they walked towards the Dutch rifles only armed with keris (a seremonial knife) to avoid the humiliation of being sent in exile (see facts about Bali).

During WW2 the Dutch also came ashore here, but then escaping the Japanese. The Dutch also used the Padanggalak beach in 1946 when they tried to reclaim control over Indonesia as the jewel in the crown.

Sanur Beach.Sanur is a popular destination for families with children and people who want a quiet spot to relax, but at the same time to be within short range of the attractions on Bali. The Sanur hotels have in general a better standard than hotels on Kuta, but not as luxurious as on Nusa Dua. The beach is long, about 3 km, and good for relaxation. The waves are small compared to Kuta Beach, and at low water you have to walk far out over sharp corrals to take a swim. At high water the conditions are good for swimming and snorkeling. You can also rent a boat and go sailing, dive or try your fishing luck. Another popular alternative is to go by boat to Lembongan and Nusa Penida, about two hours away.

Shopping is good in this area, and there is a large number of hotels and restaurants, several with reasonable prices. Sanur is strategically located, only a short way to the Ngurah Rai airport. The area is administered from Denpasar. For expats who prefer to stay by the sea this is the preferred area, you can find luxurious villas here with swimming pools, large gardens and perfect lawns.

Article by Indonesia Photo

Lovina, The Beauty of North Bali

Lovina is located just southwest of Singaraja in the Buleleng region, it covers an area of about 8 km including the Anturan, Tukad Mungga, Temukus and Kalikbukbuk villages. Lovina has a growing number of shops, restaurants and hotels, but is not by far as crowded as Kuta. The hotels are spread along the coast, with the majority in Kalikbukbuk, which also has some activity in the evenings.

Lovina has always been a favorite destination among backpackers, but lately also more exclusive hotels have been raised here. More and more people will discover this area which has a more relaxed atmosphere than southern Bali.

A beautiful sunrise is the reward for getting out of bed early in the morning.The conditions on Lovina and the surrounding area is good for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The best spots are on the reef a little bit outside the coast, to get there you should pay some to take you there with a boat. Trips will also be arranged by the local diving centers, and you can do a PADI diving course here. The beach is narrow and consists of black volcanic sand. There are almost no waves because of the corral reef that protects the coastline.

If you are lucky you can see another activity here; bull racing. In this area the most important thing about a bull race is not the speed, but the style. The bulls are all dressed up with colorful decorations.

Dolphin safari just outside Lovina, a few dolphins can be seen in front of the boats.To join a dolphin safari is quite popular, but can be a frustrating experience with about 20 boats at full speed chasing the poor animals until they are forced to dive again. if you are lucky you can have a short glimpse before they disappear. What may make this trip worthwhile is the beautiful sunrise, this early you can still clearly see the high mountains before they disappear behind the clouds which usually cover them all day. You will have to get up about 4:30 in the morning to join a dolphin safari.

Lovina is a perfect place to stay when you explore the rest of North and Central Bali. You can get around with a bemo, but you better rent a car or a motorbike, the prices are quite reasonable.

Goa Gajah, The Elephant Cave

The mysterious Goa Gajah (elephant cave) is one of the oldest relics on Bali. The exact time of origin is uncertain, but archeologists estimate the cave to have been built around year 1022 AD. This was long before Majapahit entered the island, and also hundreds of years before the first Europeans set foot here. The site is a mix of Hindu- and Buddhist symbols, among them the cave with the entrance in an artistically carved cliff, a bathing pool with fountains, a statue of the Buddhist goddess Hariti, as well as several other Buddha figures.

The cave was only known by the locals until 1923, when a young Dutch found the place after hearing some conversation about a monster head with elephant ears.

The left wing of the cave: three linga, symbols of fertility.It soon became apparent that it was rather a head of a demon, not an elephant, but this misunderstanding probably gave the cave it’s name. Another explanation for the name is that it comes from the statue of the elephant god Ganesh, a third explanation is that Javanese writings from 1365 says that a Buddhist hermit lived near Lwa Gajah, the elephant river. This probably points to the Petanu river close by and probably also to the cave, which is quite similar to hermitages found on East Java. Yet another interpretation of the name is that the cave was created by the legendary giant Kebo Iwo, who also according to the myth built Gunung Kawi and Yeh Pulu. The demon above the cave entrance should then be a portrait of the same Kebo Iwo.

The demon is in fact meant to protect the site, this is quite common on Bali were demonic faces like this is found on temples and other buildings all over the island. Who this particular demon is meant to portrait is still disputed, except for Kebo Iwo it has been suggested that it is the witch Rangda or maybe Shiva Pasiputi. Shiva Pasiputi divided the cosmic mountain Mahameru in two and created the rival mountains Agung and Batur, as well as the characteristic split gate that can be seen everywhere on Bali. The fingertips of the demon seems to push aside a jungle of carved animals, cliffs, leaves, waves and demons.

Three of the statues in the old bathing pools.The cave is manmade and has the shape of a T, it is two meters high and one meter wide. It contain 15 niches which is regarded as proof that this was not a temple. At the end of the left wing there is a one meter tall, four armed statue of the elephant god Ganesh, at the end of the right wing there is three half meter tall “linga”, fertility symbols of the Hindu God Shiva. On the walls there are some old-Javanese writings which has helped to establish the time of origin of the cave.

The bathing place in front of the cave was not discovered before 1954. It then became apparent that the whole complex has been an important religious site in old Bali.

Parts of the statues in the bathing pools were first found close by the cave, and later the bathing pool itself were excavated. The bathing pools are divided in two, one for men and one for women, each part with three water sprouting statues. The statue parts first found fit perfectly to the parts found by the pools. Another bathing place were later found further down the hill, with steps leading down to it. These findings is said to be the most important done on Bali since WW2.

The old bathing pools.To the left of the cave there is a statue of the Buddhist goddess Hariti, a child-eating witch worshipped in India. She converted to Buddhism and transformed into a fertility goddess and a protector of children. On Bali she is also known as Men Brayut, a name often used on poor women with many children. South of the cave there is a small shrine with two Buddha figures, or it used to be two until 2000 when one was stolen. Close by there is some fragments of old relief’s, probably much older than the cave.

Goa Gajah can be difficult to find on your own, from south you drive towards Gianyar, by the “baby monument” after Batuan you continue straight ahead towards Ubud, then turn right at Teges towards Bedulu. The site is on the right side two kilometers before the Bedulu village. You know you’re there when you see the large parking lot and the many souvenir stalls. From Goa Gajah it is possible to take a walk through the rice fields in Bedulu and to Yeh Pulu, it is recommended that you pay one of the local kids to guide you.

Article by Indonesia Photo

Besakih, Balinese Mother Temple

At the foot of the great Gunung Agung mountain sits the most sacred of all Balinese temples; Pura Besakih. A more spectacular location for this huge temple complex would be hard to find. If you are lucky to visit on a clear day you can see Gunung Agung (3.142 m), a background that can give anyone a religious feeling. There has been a temple here for more than one thousand years, it is first mentioned in an inscription from 1007 BC.

Today’s role as the “mother temple” were achieved during the 15th century, when Bali became independent from Java and got it’s own ruler; Batu Renggong. He ordered the construction of nine temples, of which Besakih was the central one. Since then there has been continuous expansions and Besakih now consists of about 30 different smaller temples.

Tall pagodas, so-called meru. The more levels, the more sacred.The largest temple is Pura Penataran Agung, which has a large shrine in honor of the holy Hindu trinity Brahma, Wisnu and Shiva. Symbols of this trinity can be found in temples all over Bali. The most important ceremony in Besakih is called Eka Dasa Rudra, which is held once every hundred years according to the Balinese calendar, that is 115 years after our calendar. Last time, in 1963, it had to be cancelled due to a major eruption of Gunung Agung.

About 2.000 people lost their lives during this eruption, but miraculously Besakih was almost undamaged. A new ceremony were held in 1979, this time with more success.

Pura Besakih, on a clear day you can see the great Gunung Agung in the background.The site is open daily, try to visit early in the morning before the mist is too dense. The best time to visit will probably be during one of the many ceremonies, when hundreds of Hindus in lovely traditional cloths and carrying offerings meets to honor the gods. Even if the Besakih complex is huge, each single building is not so impressive on it’s own. In front of the entrance you will find the inevitable souvenir stalls, where you can by a sarong which you need to be allowed inside, or you can rent one by the entrance.

Many so-called guides will offer their service, it is perfectly ok to say no, in any case agree about the price in advance. It is no problem to explore the site on your own, but be aware that most of the temples are closed for entrance by none-Hindus.

Besakih is a good starting point for a hike to the top of Gunung Agung, you can hire a guide for the walk here. There are no high standard hotels around Besakih, but you will find some restaurants and simple accommodation.

Candidasa, a Place to Meditate

Candidasa can be a good alternative if you’re looking for a pleasant place to stay a few days while you explore East Bali. This is a tourist area about three km long, located along the main road from Semarapura (Klungkung) to Amlapura. A large part of the business is owned by people from the Bali-Aga village Tenganan not far from here. The name Candidasa is probably derived from “Cilidasa” which means “three children”.

The tourist industry here probably began with the first visitors to a Hindu religious society; Ashram Candi Dasa, who came here to meditate in the middle of the 1970’s. The society still exists today, and people still come here to pray, meditate and study the philosophy of Gandhi. It is said to be the only society of it’s kind in Indonesia.

Most of the facilities is located along the road from Semarapura to Amlapura.Like Kuta this area can offer a large number of accommodation in all price layers, but is a much more quiet place where the local people are more relaxed and pleasant. The most negative aspect is the lack of a good beach, caused by a good example of human greed and lack of respect for nature. In the 70’s this was the beach everybody should be at on Bali, and the tourist industry flourished. To speed up the development the coral reef just outside the Candidasa beach were used as material to make cement for new buildings.

This should not come as a surprise, but without the protective reef the sand was washed away. Suddenly the beautiful beach had disappeared. Some ugly T-shaped concrete barriers were built to try to rescue what was left, but even if some of the sand has come back the beach is too small. The currents caused by the large barriers makes swimming almost impossible. Fortunately this experience has been taken into account during other developments on Bali.

A freshwater lagoon full of lotus flowers beneath the temple.On top of the hill overlooking the village is an old temple, and on the opposite side of the road a large freshwater lagoon full of lotus-plants. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and Hariti (se Goa Gajah), and serves both Hindus and Buddhists. The fertility goddess Hariti was always surrounded by children (after she converted to Buddhism and stopped eating them), and couples who want children come here to pray. A statue of Hariti stands by the road, a long stairway leads up to the temple.

Candidasa is not far from other main attractions on East Bali. You do not have to drive a car to explore the nearby area, you can rent a bike or just take a walk in the hills behind the village or to Tenganan, were old rituals in a traditional Bali Aga society is still being maintained. The walk to Tenganan is 5 km long and will take about 2.5 hours from Candidasa.

The small islands in the background is a good place for snorkling and diving.In Candidasa you can also enjoy the view towards Nusa Penida, or on a clear day all the way to Lombok. Other activities here can be shopping, and of course to enjoy a good dinner in one of the many restaurants. There is a large variety of seafood here. In the evenings there are regular dance performances.

Even if the beach is not much to look at there are many possibilities for water sport here. Not far away there are several good beaches where you can swim, and outside Candidasa there are some small islands with very clean water and good conditions for snorkeling and diving. You can get there in 30-40 minutes by boat, preferably with some locals who knows the ever-changing currents.

Article by Indonesia Photo

Goa Lawah, The Bat Cave

There is no doubt why Goa Lawah, the bat cave, has got this name. Thousands of noisy bats fill the air in and around the cave, with a sharp smell of bat droppings covering the ground in a thick layer. It is also said that pythons live inside the cave, feeding on the bats. The entrance to the sacred cave is at the foot of a hill. According to legends it continue all the way to the base of Gunung Agung via an underwater river, and surfaces inside the Pura Goa temple (the cave temple) within the Besakih temple complex, about 25 km away.

A legend describe how a prince of Mengwi once entered the cave and came out in Besakih, but later nobody has tried to repeat this journey.

A Shiva temple with shrines guards the entrance.Today it is not allowed to enter the cave, which may be fortunate. This is also home of Naga Basuki, the mythical and sacred dragon of the Agung mountain, caretaker of the earth’s equilibrium. He is honored with offerings in the temple outside the entrance.

A Shiva temple guards the entrance, with several shrines covered in bat droppings. Pura Goa Lawah is like Goa Gajah one of the oldest attractions on Bali, probably dating all the way back to 1007 AD, founded by the holy man Empu Kuturan. A meeting should have taken place here in 1904 where the princes of Bali made a plan to stop the Dutch invasion.

Pura Goa Lawah is one of the most important state temples on the island. The temple buildings in front of the cave is new, similar to other newer temples on Bali.

In and around the cave there are unknown numbers of bats in the air and hanging upside down on the cave walls.The site has undoubtedly become a tourist trap, with many souvenir stalls and very persistent hawkers. When you have fought your way through this you will see an interesting place, but probably not be able to hang around for long because of the smelly and noisy bats. After the visit can have a relaxing walk on the beach just opposite the main road, with an excellent view towards Nusa Penida.

Goa Lawah is located along the main road on the south east coast of Bali, about 9 km east of Semarapura (Klungkung). This is an interesting road along the coast where you can enjoy hills, forests and rice fields.

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