So, still on our second day in Bali, and after having left the kopi luwak place in Ubud, we headed to Tirta Empul, the temple of the holy springs in Tampaksiring. I have to say that, at first glance, this looked like a total tourist trap, with such an incredibly long queue to buy tickets to go into the temple, but once we were inside, it was well worth it!
When we first walked in, there was an amazing huge tree, around which some archeological investigations were taking place. That tree had a little shrine and it had such amazing energy, it was incredible. I’m not sure what else to say except maybe just that tree would have made the entry worthwhile.
Inside yielded throngs of people queueing up to bathe in the waters of the temple, which come from fresh water springs and which are said to be holy. There were squares and alcoves, each with the fellow below. I’m not sure who he is (Barong, possibly?) but he is ubiquitous.
Notwithstanding the numbers, the place had a quality of serenity. The atmosphere right at the back of the temple, was a little dark though.
In order to leave the temple, we had to walk through a maze of stores selling all kinds of Balinese trinkets, statues, t-shirts, bronze ware etc. It took us ages to walk through and reach the car park. And finally we were headed home. That was the first day!
The second day was a little lazy in the morning. The full party for the birthday had arrived the night before and joined us for our lazy saunter down to Kuta Beach after breakfast. Kuta is really quite quiet in the morning, and it was a pretty pleasant walk, looking at the stuff in the stores (mostly tees, bags, hats and sometimes lighters, helmets etc.).
Kuta beach was unsurprisingly crowded. I honestly have never been to a seaside place as crowded as Kuta ever in my life. The sea looked perfect for riding the waves, but not that great for paddling about.
We then had a quiet lunch, followed by some rest, and then the birthday festivities began.
Firstly, we piled into the van and headed to Ubud, to have a (very late lunch / very early dinner / tea) at Bebek Di Tepi Sawah. The food was served in chalet huts along small paddy fields, I believe specifically grown to give the place ambience. I must say though that it was a fantastic experience and the food was wonderful!
Their specialty was duck and a few of us ordered duck cooked in bamboo, which was succulent and tasty. Most of us though had ordered a variety of satay, all of which was fantastic (except the satayed snails, which I didn’t eat, but apparently tasted good). The prawns as well was fantastic!
After that, we headed to Seminyak for early dinner (again) at K Resto on the beach. The trip from Ubud to Seminyak took what felt like ages. But still, even though we reached there maybe an hour or two after we had eaten at Ubud, I still felt so stuffed. In fact, I feel like we were eating non-stop that day!
Let me preempt everything by saying that Seminyak beach was packed as well, although the streets leading to Seminyak was not nearly as crazily busy as Kuta. K Resto is a pretty restaurant, with bean bags on the sand. We were brought complimentary drinks, followed by so many little appetisers, I honestly cannot remember how many!
After sipping a bit, we headed down to splash a little in the water. The tide was out and most people were heading back. To be honest, the experience was more about the birthday than about the place, although the beauty of the sunset and being on the beach lent a lot to the birthday celebrations.
So after dinner, we headed back to the hotel. Because we were so stuffed, I wanted to go for a walk about Kuta (crowded and noisy though it was). We walked the back lanes and Kuta is really more colourful and interesting, seen in those narrower darker lanes.
The next day was another easy morning, followed by a trip in the afternoon to Uluwatu, to watch the Kechak Dance. And that was the highlight of the trip! Stay tuned!
Have you visited these places in Bali? What do you think?