The Nature Sights of Bali
What was most memorable to us of our Bali Trip ten years ago wasn’t the resort we stayed in for a week, nor the food we ate, or the beaches we swam in.
As nature lovers, what we enjoyed most, were the nature sights we saw!
I remember when I showed my boss the photographs, he was going, “Wow! I thought Bali is only about beaches and night life?” It has such a reputation then as Westerners like to visit Bali for its pub and beaches.
Yes, he was so surprised to see the nice temples and scenic places we saw. However, these were only achieved because we made an effort to do it. Out of the seven days we spent, we took two days to fully explore Bali Island of Indonesia with a driver and guide.
It was unplanned and we did it only on arrival by calling up the agency stated on a brochure we had picked up at the airport. It was risky but being young then, we didn’t think much and had no worries about scams. Fortunately, we had a good guide who is relatively good in English and had no problems communicating with us.
These are the places we visited which I would write a little about since I can’t recall the exact details. The photos were taken with a Canon Point and Shoot. However, we didn’t take a lot of scenery pictures then and focused more on taking photos of ourselves so I have only these to show.
1. The Mountain View – Mount Batur
Mount Batur is an active volcano in Kintamani, which is a highland area in the north of East Bali. Mount Batur is actually just a small volcano, but it is set in the heart of a huge crater 14km in diameter and has erupted before. Just next to the volcano is the large Batur Lake which impressed us too. One could stand there for a long while to take in the sight.
As part of our itinerary, our driver drove us up the Kintamani village opposite the mountain and told us we would have lunch there. As we stepped into the restaurant, we were really excited to see the mountain view before us.
I couldn’t even remember whether we enjoyed the food. All I could remember was how exhilarating it felt to be standing up so high with the cold wind blowing over me. With just a table separating us. Could this be why we started searching for various high points in every place/country we visit?
2. The Dreamy Lake – Lake Buyan
Lake Buyan is the smallest lake in Bali located just beside Lake Tamblingan. As it is in the highland, a fog usually blanket the area creating a dreamy feel. We were taken by car to the top of hill known as Asah Gobleg. They even have benches for people to sit on to admire the lake and camping activities around the region. Located in the same area, were other tourist attractions such as Lovina Beach, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple ( a beautiful temple on the lake) and also Gitgit waterfall which we visited too.
3. The Tranquil Forest – Gigit Waterfall
Gigit Waterfall is located in the northern part of Bali, about 70km from Denpasar. At a height of about 35 metres and in a plateau area, the force of the water was quite strong to me. With our limited camera capabilities, we could only take half of the waterfall while standing so close to it. This place took a bit walking to and there were several up and down steps to take through a forested area after we left the car.
I felt it was a rigorous walk but the result was worth it. It was also our first time seeing a natural waterfall! Back then, it was still not well-known and we were glad for the tranquility and cooling mist. We were the only ones there after a group of tourists left!
Don’t be shocked…this was us just married. How time flies! ^_^ Anyway, the water was splashing hard behind us, so we were “rained on” but our guide manage to capture a nice shot. It became my favourite photograph of Bali.
4. The most beautiful sunset – Jimbaran Bay
It’s a must to visit Jimbaran Bay and dine at sunset in one of the beach restaurants. The sunset view was amazing. Look at the huge orange ‘egg-yolk’ and the reflection.
5. The Hot Spring – Air Panas Banjar
Air Panas Banjar, is a hot spring popular with tourists. The water is green due to the sulphur (smells) and it has a warm temperature of 37 degrees Celsius. As it was in hot July when we visited, it seemed crazy to us to dip ourselves into the warm water.
We were not prepared for bathing too so we just walked around the place, admiring the unique structural art of Bali. There are changing rooms but rather small. I noticed that after a bath, people just made use of the outdoor shower to clean a little and wear a beach dress or shorts over their bathing suits.
5. The Panorama – Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Tegalalang Rice Terrace was the first sight we saw with the guided driver. Situated in Tegalalang Village, north of Ubud Bali, the rice terrace is carved downwards from the road. As Tegalalang Village is located on 600 m above sea levels, the temperature is good for farming activity.
We were really glad to be introduced by the guide to this amazing panorama. It was not the harvest season however for this area or the entire area would be a bright green. A rice terrace was something I had always read about in our geography textbooks and wanted to see it in real life. That was why both of us were really excited to see this. We climbed down a little and got the guide to help us take a photo (he took a blurry shot though) while walking a little along the plateau for a closer look.
6. The Sea of Green – Rice Fields
While in the vehicle going places, we passed through several seas of green rice fields too. Green fields and blue sky always make me happy.
With that I end my sharing. Hope this had given you an idea that Bali is not all beaches and night-life! In my next post, I would be sharing a list of temples we visited in Bali.
Read Part 2 – Temple Tour in Bali for the cultural/temple places we visited in Bali!