Bali Safari Park, Monkey Forest, Uluwatu Kecak
Trip Start May 20, 2010
3Trip End May 24, 2010
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We had booked a pick-up service of "Daisuki Bali", a Japanese speaking guide & tour company, and they picked us up at Hong Kong Restaurant at 8:30
Bali Safari & Marine Park Official Website
Judging from the website, the park looks fun...
We left the park for Ubud at 1:30. The first destination of Ubud was the rice terraces of Tegallalang. I thought Ubud was not far from the safari park, but it took a long time to get there, because the roads were so narrow and it was difficult to drive fast. Anyway, Tegallalang was a bad choice, or maybe the worst choice. We had lunch in a small restaurant located on the hillside with a view, but comparing with the other great sites we visited in Indonesia, the rice terrace was nothing. In addition, it was not a right season for the view. There were full of Japanese tourists in the restaurant and I thought the rice terrace were popular only among Japanese.
Next, we visited Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary. I liked this forest very much, although we didn't have time enough to explore around the forest, but we barely reached fascinating Temple of the Dead. Monkeys and banyan trees made the forest mysterious and I loved its atmosphere. The monkeys were very meek, although I had heard that some of them tried to snatch tourist's belongings. Touching and feeding were prohibited by our guide. because they bite us sometimes, although they looked docile. Anyway, we had to rush the sightseeing there and left for Candi Uluwatu, because we had a plan to see a sunset and to watch Kecak Dance beginning at 18:00
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Official Website
It includes a photo gallery.
Unfortunately, Uluwatu was just a temple on a cliff seen in the distance, because it was cloudy on the day and we couldn't see the sundown. However, the other purpose to visit the temple was Kecak Dance. When we arrived at Uluwatu, it was 10 past 6 and the dance show had just begun. So we dashed to the venue, watching out for naughty monkeys around there. The guide told me not to let go of my glasses. Although the venue was full of audience, the staff found room for us to sit. The dance was mixed with a drama of Ramayana story. To put it exactly, the drama was the main of their performance. (We understood the story, thanks to an interpretation leaflet given at the ticket office.) It was quite touristy, but all the audience seemed to enjoy it and they made a picture time for the audience at the end.
Kecak Dance - Balinese Culture Show
As for dances, videos are more tangible than photos. Check out this one.
Our final destination was Angsa Putih, a Legong dance restaurant. It was a spacious restaurant with a stage and a music band obviously for rich tourists. We watched the dance performance, eating Indonesian cuisine. I thought it was not a bad choice, but there were not many guests and all the other guests looked Japanese. The cover charge was hefty 10%. On our way to the airport, we dropped by a souvenir shop, led by the Daisuki Bali guide. Honestly, it was a kind of scam. Although the goods were not as cheap as the guide said, I bought two chocolate and tea boxes respectively. After I came back home and opened one of the chocolate boxes, I found out the box was too big for their content. It was the same with the tea boxes. The box contained "only one tea bag" wrapped by paper. Because we trusted the Daisuki Bari, we were very disappointed at the scam. As the last destination, the guide recommended a beauty salon for us, but it was out of the question, because we didn't visit Bali to pamper ourselves.
All in all, Bali was much more touristy, boring, and expensive than Java. It is not too much to say that you can't see anything top-rated of Indonesia in Bali but its tourist population. I don't know why Bali is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese tourists. I heard that the number of the Japanese tourists in Bali was declining and I believe it should be.
Bali Travel Doc Series
The video is divided into 5 parts. It is not a simple introduction of Bali, but details varing from Balinese life, religion, arts, and so on.