» Indonesia: No It Did Not Burn Down VII – Bali: Selamat Datang di Bali (welcome to Bali)
Indonesia: No It Did Not Burn Down VII – Bali: Selamat Datang di Bali (welcome to Bali)
We left Java for Bali. It is very different from other 17 thousand Indonesian islands. Many holidaymakers chose it as the place for vacation. Nature on the island is diverse and there are many contrasts. The atmosphere is wonderful and extraordinary. But to get such impressions we had to travel across the island first. We intended to travel through and through the central highlands. This would allow us to learn about the terrain and decide on which volcano to climb. Our route ran from the south to the north and back to the south in the tot al length of 200 kilometers (13 hours of ride on a scooter).
We started our journey in Legian town. The town is near Kuta, a famous holiday resort where are endless souvenir shops (literally), bars, restaurants, and hotels. All buildings are not allow to be taller than a palm tree…
We travelled across Mengwi (make sure to see Taman Ayun temple) and then we followed the main road to the north. You certainly will notice a golden wall of the Tranquil Palace in a village which smells after strawberries. Pohon and Batukan mountains create beautiful background to the palace (both mountains over 2000 meters tall). Another place worth making a stop is Bratan lake. It is known for Ulun Danu Bratan, a Hindu temple in Candikuning village (30 000 IDR – about 60 CZK to enter). Mountain Catur looms large behind the temple. Usually volcanoes in this area are usually of cone shape. Their area is mostly covered with tropical forest.
Couple of kilometers down the road there is turn to Pucak Manik waterfalls above Buyan lake. Along a two-kilometer long ride above the lake you will be often accompanied by monkeys. Also, the turn towards the waterfalls doesn’t look particularly safe. It is in really bad shape. The sand-stone rock goes steeply down so not particularly safe feeling when riding a scooter! However, it is so beautiful around there that it just fuels you up to continue. Around in the valley are coffee trees, cocoa trees, tangerines hanging from the trees and they are delicious.
Three boys sitting on chaise below the sighboard saying Pacuk Manik offered us different trips to this hilly land. We were under time pressure so we decided to take the shortest which would take us to a waterfall closest to us. The admission fee is 15 000 IDR per person (about 30 CZK). Not many tourist travel to this area so it is likely you would enjoy the waterfall all alone. We cannot but recommend you to take another trip to the surroundings. Nature here is wild and lively. For instance, a four hour trip costs around 200 000 IDR (about 370 CZK). While on the road you can take a bath under waterfalls. Allegedly great trips are around Munduku. It is situated couple of miles down the road along Buyan lake.
We already know what you can do around Bratan and Buyan lakes. Still, we don’t know much about the surroundings of Batur lake. Unfortunately, no mountain road connects both lakes. It means you have to either travel up to the north across Singaraja town. And this was the road we chose. People who want ride the canoe will find this road their main destination for the river and waterfalls make this activity great here.
We were pleased to see so low prices on the island’s northern part. Classic rice costs 8 000 IDR (about 16 CZK). A cup of coffee and a popsicle cost us 5000 IDR (about 10 CZK). In the south, we would 200 CZK for more or less the same. You can also learn about culture of local inhabitants as well as about their daily life.
We still sit on our scooter while looking forward to see Batur volcano and its surroundings. It is a volcano of long history and you can read about it next week.
GPS: (Bratan lake) 8°16'30.4"S 115°09'59.0"E
Text and photo: Martina Brožková
We start our month long trip across Indonesia in its capital city of Jakarta (Java island). We did our best to leave it as soon as possible. Our first stop was on Muria peninsula, central Java (it runs into the Java Sea in the north).
Goa Giri Putri cave temple sometimes go by the name of nearby village of Goa Karangsari. High limestone caves are situated on the east coast of Nusa Penida, half way between Sampalan and Suana. As this is a temple, you have to wear a sarog, a piece of cloth wrappend around your waist to cover your lower body. If you don't have one you may rent one for 5 000 IDR (about 10 CZK).
After several hours of trekking in the damp jungle, you will hear a rust, raise your head, and there is an orange furry creature swinging from the liana to the liana. The feeling of pure excitement when you see the orangutan in your natural environment. Orangutan? Yes, orangutan. You do not have to go to the zoo anymore, just connect your visit to the famous Bali with the little village of Ketambe in the middle of the dense forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Bali is Indonesia's most interesting island with the capital Denpasar. The air is interwoven with local Hinduism, which differs from classical Hinduism by the added elements of local traditional faith. What certainly Bali cannot deny is the magical nature. Both attract to the island not only a lot of tourists, but also people come here for spiritual renewal, life reboots or just a good rest.
This famous Indonesian island is often referred to as the pearl of Indonesia, a paradise on earth or a place with a magical atmosphere. And rightly so. The local nature is absolutely charming. Bali is especially popular for its rice terraces, but it can offer much more. Let's take a look.
The island of Bali does not have many well-known cities to attract tourists, more visitors are attracted by its picturesque nature and beautiful temples. However, when you arrive in Bali, it would be a pity to omit them completely from your itinerary.
We start our journey through western Malaysia a bit unusually, by going for three nights to the Indonesian city of Medan in North Sumatra. From the airport located in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur several times a day, the low-cost airline Air Asia flies, and in less than an hour you can reach Medan (specifically Kualanamu Airport). It is the largest Sumatran city, the fifth most populous city in Indonesia.
Nusa Penida is situated southeast from very famous Indonesian island of Bali. It features regular ferry lines. Tourist infrastructure there is quite underdeveloped yet it has been improving. Should you prefer less tourist crowded areas and you like amazing vistas and great beaches, I recommend you to spend there three days at least.
It is almost impossible to go to Indonesia and avoid the masses of tourists today. Most tourists end up on the islands of Bali or Gili, some of them continue to the island of Lombok, Java or Sumatra. Would you like to avoid these places? Are you looking for a bigger adventure? Then go even further and discover the natural beauty of Flores Island and its Komodo National Park.
It is night. We are on the edge of Ijen volcano which is famous for its blue flames. To see everything from up close we descended down the crater. Then we saw the first bearer. It was a slim man having a bamboo bar on his shoulder. On both ends there were two baskets filled up with sulfur rocks. We got out of his way. And he passed buy us. While we were descending, the smell of sulfur was increasing in its intensity.
Welcome back! We continue in our trip across Indonesia. Now we are below the summit of Rinjani (we are at about 2350 meters). Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest mountain. The night is upon us as well as the very climb to the summit (3726 m).
The trip to Rinjani is already arranged for us. Next part of our Indonesian adventure can therefore being! There is one main route (if not the only one) for getting up and back down. This trail goes from Senar to Sembalun. The trip’s length could be either 2,3 or 4 days long.
Rinjani volcano is the dominant sight on the Lombok peninsula. This second highest mountain in Indonesia is located at the altitude of 3726 meters. This one is a too much of temptation for any mountaineer.
We are still on our day-long trip on Bali. We leave Singaraja town in the island’s north. Our next goal is the area surrounding Batur volcano.
In our last article you learned more about Mt Muria, the holy mountain. We got there accidentally as we had different reasons why we traveled to Muria peninsula. There is a ferry on the northwestern coast (it departs from Jepara town) and it transports passengers to Karimunjawa National Park. We set aside two days because the ferry can cancel its trip due to huge waves. However, even two days extra were not enough.
We had seen many places on Java. Ijen volcano is, however, something entirely different. Sulfur miners work in harsh conditions here. Tourists pay entrance fee to see this unique thing. Blue flames, another symbol of the volcano, flicker behind the miners. This is the last spot on Java we saw before departing for Bali on the east.
We almost freezed on Penanjakan platform. We enjoyed the view over volcanic terrain and were on our way in jeep back to Tengger’s crater flat bedrock. Then we go afoot (under great volcanic conditions) to Bromo’s edge. The volcano is still active.
Trip to Bromo volcano in Bromo Tengger Semer National Park is probable one of the best travel experiences in Indonesia. The trip is highly organized and most touristic. Despite it is very expensive you will long remember it as a wonderful experience.
Early climb up the summit is done, successfully. We are on our second day in Rinjani territory. Even though we were sick and tired of walking we had to leave Sembalun Crater Rim and continue further on. The night at Anak lake was upon us.
We stand on the edge of a caldera in Lombok’s north. We are in Crater Rim Senar camp. Ahead is a strenuous descend to Senaru village. It is not steep yet long (21 kilometers) and it goes through living breathing rain forest.
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