Friday, February 25, 2011

Bali (Day 2 / Night 3)

On this morning, we bade farewell to the frangipani-lined streets of Nyuh Kuning, as we would be putting up the remaining nights at a different accommodation.

We had a short stop at the petrol station and I was a little confused with what they had:

Motor and Roda Dua... hmmm..... for us in Malaysia, they mean the same thing, don't they?

And wow, Solar? They definitely are big on sustainability! But oh, okay, Solar meant Unleaded. Haha...

From that pitstop, we stopped at Pura Taman Ayun, which is situated in a beautiful park with trees and ponds, near the village of Mengwi.

Built in 1634 by the Raja of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Putu, it is referred to as a Pura Kawiten or family temple, a special temple where the deified ancestors of the Raja and Mengwi Dynasty or religion or Other important temples are honored.

As it was a private temple, we were not allowed entry.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur was the next temple we visited.

According to our guide, this temple is considered a 'powerful' one because this is the temple of the supreme water goddess, Dewi Danu, who the traditional Hindu Balinese, who call their religion Agama Tirta, or Religion of the Water, believe makes the water flow into the rivers and irrigation systems.

The location of this temple is also of significance, as Lake Batur is the lake that provides fresh water to the majority of the rice irrigation systems in Bali. As we continued our journey, we passed through Jatiluwih, a picturesque village with a serene patchwork landscape of green paddy terraces.

Noticing cars stopping at the side of what looked like an eatery of some sort, we thought we might as well answer our hunger pangs and stopped to have lunch at Cafe Jatiluwih.

I gave the roasted rice tea a try, which to me was very fragrant. Glad I tried it.

Bro being the noodle-lover he is, ordered a bakmi goreng.

Dad, Mum and I ordered rice dishes, all local brown rice, like ayam goreng kalasan, ayam bakar sambal kecicang and nasi campur.

We also tried their tahu telor, which wow, was the best! Okay, I am exaggerating it a little perhaps due to my two loves, eggs and tofu, combined into one.

Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the main Bali island. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot, and is a popular tourist icon.

It was not hard to gauge the popularity of the place - there were SO MANY people there!

Literally meaning "Land in the Sea", the temple sits on a large offshore rock, which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. The temple has been said to be started by 15th century priest, Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast, he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later, he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

Thus, the temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirartha’s scarf when he established the island.

In 1980, the temple’s rock face was starting to crumble and the area around and inside the temple started to become dangerous. The Japanese government then provided a loan to the Indonesia government to conserve the historic temple and as a result, over one third of Tanah Lot's "rock" is actually cleverly disguised artificial rock.

The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. Up the hill and round the bend sits Pura Batu Balong.

Where does it remind you of?

Precisely my reaction, too! I thought, "This looks like Great Ocean Road's London Bridge!"

Tonight, we started our stay at a homestay in the heart of Ubud town. Rumah Roda is run by Darta, his wife Suti and his family.

Our rooms were located on the first floor of the three-storey building.

Mum and I took the corner room with a double-bed while Dad and Bro took the other room with a double-bed and single bed.

They had a lovely dining hall, which they open to public on weekends.

Weekends is when they serve a buffet of local home-cooked dishes.

I really liked the rice wine and the fruits which they served with coconut shaving and honey. Yum, very.

We took to an evening stroll in town to digest the food.

And the night ended with something very familiar...


Nava Kishnan said...

Its a lovely place to visit, cannot get enough of Bali although the food is nothing that great.

IuhniX said...

Reading your post make me want to fly to Bali immediately :D

Chrys said...

Nava, the food's very similar to what we have in Malaysia.

Iuhnix, thank you :)

Meitzeu said...

My parents went to Bali before and my sister took awesome photos about there.

I really would love to plan to visit they myself soon!