Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bali - sight

I always thought Bali is more of a secluded hideaway for tourists to unwind, to get away from the hustle bustle of big crowded cities. Boy, was I naive! Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, a spiritual scholar or a shopaholic, there is no shortage of places to visit in Bali! Hehe, there is even a trace of our handsome prince here, remember this Yong Joon’s Manstar CF shots? @@ Gorgeous!

Since our interest was to watch the sunsets over Indian Ocean, the hotel concierge arranged to have a chauffeur driving us every late afternoon to the spectacular sunset spots in Bali. This worked out perfect as we could relax and took a dip in the cool ocean during the hot day, then ventured out to enjoy the beautiful scenaries and dinner in the city too!

Uluwatu Temple perched on a steep cliff 250 feet above the roaring Indian Ocean. Founded in the 10th century by a Hindu priest, it was built to ward off evil spirits from the southwest. Don't these interesting shaped temples look like they just came out from a fairy tale?

Breathtaking view of Indian ocean and Uluwatu cliff
Sunset over Uluwatu is a sight to behold, thousands of toursist flock here every evening just to enjoy this moment.
Monkeys have claimed the Uluwatu temple ground as their home. They are considered sacred but very naughty. We saw them snatching sunglasses and hats from a few tourists. See, this one has 'confiscated' the tree branch that our driver used to protect us :)

We were amazed to notice the silhouette of this sacred monkey in the foreground with the temple and sunset as its background, so surreal :)

Kecak dance performances are held at the temple daily around sunset. It is a combination of ancient ritual, dance and drama. Native men sit around in circle chanting tribal rhythms while the characters dress in colorful costumes dance out the story in the center. You see, the entire performance has no musical instrument, the men just chanted out 'tsa tsa tsa .....' in high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow as the background music, so now my son and I always refer this as the 'tsa tsa tsa' dance :)

Tanah Lot temple is most famous for its sunset Kodak moment. It was built around the 15th century on a holy rock island for the worship of the Balinese sea gods.

Just like Kinkakuji (Golden Temple) in Kyoto, there were crowds of tourists aiming their cameras and persistent vendors hustling around. Because no one could get close to the temple ground, it managed to retain its sacredness and mystery in this fantasy setting.

Spectacular sight of the waves against the sunset @@
As usual, commercialism interferes with nature - the many local stores selling colorful touristy stuffs

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK for short) is a private cultural park devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu and his mount, the mythical bird Garuda, who is his companion. It was built on the site of an abandoned quarry mine.

The current statue of Vishnu is 75 ft high, the original plan was for a 480 ft gold plated Vishnu riding Garuda on top of an 11 storey entertainment complex. However, the developers ran out of money and the construction is halted midway. As you see, both statues are unfinished, still the size is humonguous!

Jimbaran Bay is a fishing village and tourist resort in Bali, widely known for the fresh seafood restaurants and its night life. It came highly recommended to us for a candlelight dinner (hehe, for 3 :) right on the beach. Jimbaran Bay is also the site of the 2005 bombing, that's why security check in this area is very tight. See, there are miles and miles of restaurants right on the beach.

You chose the type of seafood and they grilled it for you in the kitchen. I personally find this a bit disappointing as the seafood was not really live and fresh. I felt sick after this dinner, luckily got over it quickly.

Sigh no wonder! It was so dark that night with that teensy weensy 'romantic' candle on the table, I couldn't even see what I was eating. Now when I am back home studying this picture, we ate all these black burnt fishes (and who knows how many more flying insects around us)! Cough cough cough ......

For the remaining of our trip, we decided to play it safe and stayed put in the hotel, what a pampering experience! Thanks for reading, last part - Bali touch .....


bb said...

wow! the sunset pics and everything just look breathtakingly beautiful!

sure looks like you've had a great holiday.

thanks for sharing!

Hyds said...

Hi Jaime!!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful pictures!!Thank you for sharing. Love the monkey on the temple and the sunset.It's awesome. Definitely a place to see.

karen said...

Hi Jaime, sunset pic.was beautiful....what camera r u using ??? I like the Tanah Lot temple it's so unique surrouded by water...ya ya i heard from my friend too that the monkeys r very naughty snatching tourist belongings..hahaa...are u one of their victims too, hehee ???

Tks for sharing n take care ya..


Anonymous said...

Dear Jaime and Bae sisters:
Bali Hi! This is amazing to me specially because I have also visited Hindu temples of Vishnu and his mount Garuda, and Shiva and his mount, Nanda.
And thousands of monkeys!
I hope you also had a fantastic spa experience. Like Bae Yong Joon!
Sarang Hamnida,
josephine pasricha

jenny said...

Dear jaime

Beautiful sunset photos. I went to some of the places before and I miss the sunset in jimbaran beach cause we were late. What a miss ?
but we hv a nice seafood dinner there too.

We went to tanah lot temple early in the morning. Although we can feel the fresh air but a lot of mist and is very cooling. Can't really took photos because of the heavy mist. Yours photos is very clear and beautiful.

Thanks and take care


jaime said...

hi hi princess,

glad you like the sunset pictures. actually it's not as tranquil in real life as there are crowds, noises and I had to worry about tripping over slippery rocks and waves splashing onto us :)

Please take care!
love ..... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Hyds,

You and myoce are expert photographers, love your sunset pictures. hehe, the monkeys are naughty but not harmful, but they are so used to people. Have a wonderful week!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Hi karen,

hehe, I am embarassed as most pictures are taken by my husband. He begins to enjoy picture taking as there are so many events to photograph in Japan. So he is a beginner, I beleive he is using Canon DSLR and some add-on lenses, sorry for not being technical enough. He takes too many shots of the same thing which drives me nuts! So I just use my little camera to capture what I feel right for my little blog :)
Are you an avid photographer?

love .... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Josephine,

I am very ignorant of the Hindu religion but I am sure there are many wonderful stories like Vishnu and Garuda. Vishnu's face gave me the impression that He is like a warrior too.

Hehe, you are so right. How can I miss the Balinese spa experience. Will write about it next. Hope you and your family are doing fine!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear jenny,

So you went to Jimbaran Bay and Tanah Lot. Oh, how come I didn't think of Tanah Lot in morning mist, that must really look like a fairytale! Even though you could not take a picture of that, I hope that misty image will stay in your heart cause it is even more precious. (hehe, reminds me of when I saw Yong Joon inside Osaka Kyocera Dome:)

Please take care!
love ... jaime