The peaceful and rural island of Nusa Lembongan lies about 15km southeast of Bali, a short jet boat ride from Sanur. In 2012, I finally made it out to Nusa Lembongan. I was not disappointed. I spent five days in a Balinese paradise at the beautiful Mushroom Bay. My days were spent walking, swimming, reading, practising my bahasa and generally enjoying the quiet, laid-back lifestyle of Nusa Lembongan. It's the perfect retreat from the world.
In 2013, I was lucky enough to spend six more days in this Indonesian paradise. The island is becoming more popular with tourists, but still there is very little vehicular traffic on what roads there are. Mushroom Bay beach features a new restaurant, and there seemed to be a few more boats in the bay. I worry that the Indonesian habit of building seawalls, in the mistaken belief that they protect sandy beaches, may one day see Mushroom Bay lost to the tides, as has happened to neighbouring Tamarind Bay. Nusa Lembongan is a delight if you enjoy walking with many empty roads and footpaths.
I started my trip to Bali here at Crystal Divers doing my EFR Instructor Trainer Course and finished the diving part of my trip here with a days diving. I was impressed with the professionalism and hugh standards in customer service at the dive centre on both occasions. the centre operates a free minibus pick up and drop off service around the local hotels which makes the diving even more convenient.
The diving was excellent and the ratio of guides to clients meant that a really personalised service. I was able to complete a deep dive to 40m on a one to one basis as there were no other divers diving that day who were looking to deep dive. The days diving allowed for an optional third tank which meant that I could get the most out of the day. Dive briefings were comprehensive and the attention to detail was impressive. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and I thoroughly enjoyed the three dives that I did.
Unfortunately it was raining during my visit. Otherwise, it's large park crafted on limestone. I didn't watch the Kecak Dance but enjoyed my late lunch at the restaurant with a grand view. Take your time time to absorb the air there..mine was fresh and clear on the day as it was raining. Many school children in bus loads were there too as it's a popular destination among the locals.
I often come to Bali with friends or husband, this time i'm visited Bali Safari with my family. Courius with billboard advertising that i ever seen in Bali. The Safari journey was nice , combine between african savannah and Balinese cultural , we can see the animals with safari bus in their habitat wildlife.
Things that i love most is Elephant Back Safari, ride the elephant with comfy saddle around 30 minutes. The unforgatable moment is we can enjoy the elephant bath in the river and ofcourse can interact with this sumatran elephant closer is the moment that i won't forget.
If you're looking for a beach to just kick back and relax on then look no further than White Beach in Padangbai. From the ferry port you take the road to the right and it is about a 10 minute walk up a hill. You pass a small temple on the right hand side and then take a left turn up a road that can best be described as rubble. Once you get to the top you just follow the path down the other side. The beach is big enough to have some little bars where you can get an ice cold drink and something to eat but also small enough to escape the notice of many tourists. All in all, it is well worth the walk and if you feel lazy enough, there are locals around who will take you back up the hill on their mopeds for a few rupiahs.
Scuba diving was the main reason that I chose to visit Bali. The outfit that I chose to dive with was Geko Divers, a PADI 5 star dive resort, mainly because when I visited the shop they listened to my requirements and were prepared to put together a series of dives that met my needs. I did twelve dives in total with Geko Divers over a period of six days and I was very impressed with the whole set up. Divers are paired up according to ability and so none of my dives were cut short by another diver running low on air.
The atmosphere was relaxed but dive briefings were comprehensive. The local Dive Masters were very knowledgable and this further added to the experience. The Dive Centre has three boats which meant that boats were not too crowded although admittedly I was diving in low season. I had all of my own gear but the rental equipment was in good condition and well looked after.
Overall I would unreservedly recommend Geko Divers for any standard of diver.
While there are a number of 18 hole golf courses on Bali, most of them associated with one resort or another, none can match the beauty and challenge of the world class Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club. This course is brilliantly laid out in a valley just below Pancasari not far from Bedugal in the central mountains of Bali. This is a long course, being just over 7,000 yards from the blue tees. It is about an hour drive from Ubud, an hour and one half from Sanur and two hours from the Kuta/Legian area.
This course is meticulously maintained, and being in a cooler area of Bali, it enjoys a misty fog most late afternoons and early evening rolling down from the surrounding mountains, which means this course is never burned out or dry.
In addition to its championship 18 holes, the club has several very comfortable bungalow type accommodations, an excellent dining room serving both Japanese and international dishes, a well stocked pro shop, bar, men and women’s locker rooms and all the facilities one would expect with a world class golf club. The caddies are excellent, and they all know the course and the greens very, very well. Forgot to bring your clubs? No problem, as the pro shop has an excellent choice of full club sets, both for the right as well as left hand golfer as well as golf shoes for rent. This course is an excellent value, and they regularly offer two or three day bargain and all inclusive packages.
I am constantly amazed by the quality of live music all over Southeast Asia. I am not talking here about traditional local music much of which is also excellent but effectively Western pop and rock music which seems to be so popular everywhere there.
Readers of my other pages will know that I am a musician of sorts myself and until the airlines made it so prohibitively expensive to do, I always used to travel with my guitar. This was the case when I visited Bali in January 1997. I was there for 21 days and I reckoned I played somewhere or other on 19 of those days.
I picked up a few "beer gigs" (i.e. paid in beer rather than money) and also managed to end up playing for a number of nights with the guys you see in the images. They were the house band in the Wina Cafe in Kalibukbuk on the North of the island. I believe it has either gone now or changed name. I am offering this just as a very general tip regarding the music scene on the island.
These musicians, like so many others here, were superb and not one of them read a note of music, everything was learnt by ear. I had been singing with the guys for a few days and one evening some travellers asked if we knew a particular song, something by Deep Purple as I recall. They didn't know it but asked if the travellers had a cassette of it they could borrow. This was duly produced and put to one side. I appeared the next evening and the band asked me if I knew the song requested which I did so they said we would run through it at the soundcheck. They had got it down absolutely perfectly in no time flat, it was incredible how good they were. We played it that night to the great delight of the travellers and were plied with much Bintang beer by way of thank you.
I know this is a very personalised tip and the specifics well out of date but I am sure there is still some ecellent live music here, it is just a matter of looking for it and asking round. If you have found this tip other than via my Bali homepage I should explain that these images were taken on my non-digital, cheap and pretty rubbish camera so apologies for the quality. Also, I know it is not professional to smoke onstage and none too clever to do it anywhere. If there are any younger readers looking at this, don't do it.
If you are travelling in the interior of the island you will see monkeys everywhere. Do not ask me what particular type of monkeys they are as I am no zoologist but have a look for yourself.
In many places you will find stands selling hands of bananas for a few rupiah to feed the animals with and this can be fun although I should offer a word of warning here. The monkeys have got so used to tourists feeding them that they have become very bold and can even be a little aggressive. I was also told to hold on tight to my camera as they have been known to snatch them. You have been warned. If memory serves after all this time this was on the road between Denpasar and Ubud.
If you have come to this page other than via my Bali homepage, I should explain that these images were taken in 1997 on a non-digital and pretty basic camera, then subsequently scanned into my computer and I apologise for the quality.
I am not by nature an adrenaline junkie and the very concept of bungee jumping or parachuting is total anathema to me. One adrenaline type activity I absolutely adore though is whitewater rafting. So far I have been lucky enough to have rafted in Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and here on the lovely island of Bali.
I genuinely have no recollection of who I booked through for which I apologise but that information would probably be out of date now anyway as it was in 1997. I offer this tip merely as a general pointer to a great activity.
I don't know if it was because it was off season but the day I went rafting there were only one other couple whom you can see in the photo. to make up numbers a youngish member of staff was recruited as the fourth paddler. Everything was laid on, transport to the river, complimentary (non-alcoholic) drink etc. The boat and safety equipment all appeared new and well maintained and after the safety briefing we were off. The rafting was fun but it was certainly nothing near the Grade 4 advertised. There just was not enough water and we even bottomed once or twice.
The guide must have sensed that it was not really scaring the life out of me, although my companions did a fair amount of screaming, and he let me guide the boat for a short period on a particularly calm stretch which was fun. I should add that he was keeping a very close eye on me so safety was not compromised.
This is definitely one activity that you should have a try at on Bali. Check more recent information here on VT for details of individual companies etc.
if you have plan to stay in Sanur, you should try seawalker, I visited two months ago in Sanur and very beautiful under the water, I saw nemo and beautiful coral.. I reservation via website and get 10% discount. here it is the website. hope you have amazing experience just like me www.clubaquabali.com
happy holiday :)
Indigenous to all cultures, who can argue that weddings aren't the most enjoyable, festive, fun and colorful events to attend? Weddings in Bali are no less an honor, and no less a great pleasure to attend than any wedding the world over.
In almost fifteen years of living on Bali, we have been to quite a number of weddings, but I am always amazed that among the guests will be a few incidental tourists. They are “incidental” in that perhaps the bride or groom just recently met them, and extended an invitation on the spot. Unlike the typical western wedding, where the guest list is carefully compiled to included only the closest family and friends, Balinese weddings are close to being a public affair.
Balinese weddings often involve two or more days. Certain aspects of the wedding ceremony are held variously at the bride and groom’s family compounds but the emphasis is on the groom’s compound, as in Bali, the woman follows the man into his home and in doing so, must be accepted and taken in as family by the ancestors of her husband’s compound.
Regardless if you are a first timer to Bali, or a seasoned regular visitor, do not pass up this opportunity if you are extended an invitation, even if only a verbal invitation. These ceremonies are beautiful, joyful beyond words, and will leave you with amazing images forever burned into your mind and heart.
You do not need to stay long, nor are you even expected to bring a gift. Your presence is your gift. You will be treated with utmost care and respect, fed with incredible Balinese dishes not found in restaurants, and you will leave with a joyful heart.
In the westerly part of Bali you'll cross into Bali's most sparsely populated district, the Jembrana area, not that many explored by tourists. You won't find that luxury supplies and may stay in simple accommodations, not that very comfortable. Though many Balineses know their way along the coast, visiting the remarkable PURA RAMBUT SIWI.
Here they pray for a safe journey, at the place where the Balinese story of creation was remodelled, now out of a Majapahit, Javanese version. It's about the holy man Mpu Kulputih/Yeh Embang and the Majapahit seer Danghyang Nirartha. The seer offered his hair at the Yeh Embang Temple near a sweet well (dedicated to the Sea Goddess) and the monument was named "Rambut Siwi" (worship of holy hair).
It's a beautiful, quiet place which is connected to the Javanese Southern Sea Goddess RATU KIDUL ...
Alot of people think Bali and tattoo's mixed together equal not good!!! My step dad is Balinese and has known a tattoo artist for 15 years, he has gotten all his tattoo's from him and i got my first one from him 6 years ago. I just recently came back from Bali on 10th Oct 2012 and got a new tattoo from him.
Yes maybe in Bali there is some dodgy tattoo places, but i know here, he wears gloves, mask, makes you check all the new needles with checking the expiry date. I have had my tattoo for 6 years the first one, i have had blood tests and havent caught anything. So i know this guys is the best.
The reason why i got my 2 tattoo's in Bali is the fact it is alot cheaper then Australia, they rip you off in Australia, Bali does it exactly the same way as Australia but for a much cheaper better price.
If your looking for a tattoo artist who is very detailed and good with the eye, then this place is for you.
If you found the Besakih temple complex a letdown (too touristy!), then you should go to Pura Luhur Batukau. At this main temple of the former kingdom of Tabanan no would-be guides, no souvenir sellers. A tricle of tourists find the place, but no crowds.
Pura Luhur Batukau lies at 920 m elevation on the southern slopes of Gunung Batukau, Bali's second highest mountain (2275 m), just within an extensive area of rain forest. Here it is easy to feel the proximity of the deities of nature. At the highest structure, a seven-roofed meru, the people of Tabanan worship the guardian spirit of Batukau mountain.
See the relief of Rama, Shinta and the golden deer for the Ramayana story. After visiting the temple, go down a few steps to the east to a shrine in a pond, only accessible by submerged stepping stones.
Where can I begin? I will keep this brief though: 1. NO hot water in rooms 2128 or 2134 (I had both...more
Jl Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, Indonesia
Good for: Couples
I have now stayed at Tegal Sari 6 times, my husbad and I discovered it about 8 years ago when...more