What to do for a day trip!!
With friends visiting us from Australia, and it being their first visit to Indonesia, Bali — we wanted to give them a day trip that would show them some of the island that maybe wouldn’t be a first choice for travellers. There are so many choices for a day trip across Bali, East coast versus West coast, Ubud and the mountain areas, or even central Bali and up to Lovina. And it really depends as to how much time you have.
With much discussion however, we decided upon Tanah Lot Temple, Echo Beach Club, GWK Cultural Park and Single Fin beach bar. And… it actually allowed for us to have a day away from the restaurant that we run, so we were quite excited.
TANAH LOT TEMPLE
After a drive by the Marriot Courtyard in Seminyak to collect our friends, we were on our way. Our driver for the day was David, someone who we have known for over twelve years, and so are very comfortable with. Our first stop was going to be TANAH LOT – TEMPLE OF THE SEA, and even though it’s only about 20km away, it did take close to an hour with the traffic. It is a temple that has been built on a rock formation, and apparently dates back to the 16th century. During low tide, you are able to walk around the temple, but not visit inside, and see the Balinese people enjoy everyday life in the surrounds. As we visited in the morning, it was high tide, which only allowed us to view the temple from the top section. The site has been commercialised, there is an entry fee, and also various market stalls and a variety of restaurants.We meandered slowly throughout the markets that form the entry, with constant invitations to visit each shop. Scarily we came across a guy holding a snake, very friendly he told us but in no way was I going to touch it. My husband did, and claimed it was beautiful. I took his word for it!!
Our walk past the markets, showcased small temples that had recently just had offerings placed, it was great to be able to explain these to our guests, then more steps led us out to a brilliant view of the ocean. The blue of the ocean and the blue of the sky was just mesmerising, along with the ocean sounds. We were able to capture some fantastic photos, with the waves crashing against the rocks. Continuing our walk up the hill, there were many restaurants where you could sit, enjoy the view with a drink or a meal. I would imagine that sunset from this location would be spectacular, and a nice spot for lunch also. We even ventured a bit further and were able to enter the grounds of the Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort, the 18 hole golf course is one of the best in the world apparently, and designed by Greg Norman. As it is situated at the top of the cliff face, the grounds of the hotel offer more breathtaking views.
We were able to look around for a couple of hours, and then made our way back to our driver and headed towards Canguu, where the ECHO BEACH CLUB is located. Its a great drive through Bali countryside, past farms and rice fields, and people living their everyday lives. There are a few restaurants to choose from, and the area has built up since we had visited last, with many clothing stores now lining the streets. Even a Grocer and Grind!
We chose to have lunch at the beach club, with tables oceanside that provided another excellent ocean view and cool breezes. A wide choice of food is available, predominantly seafood. The fresh fish and prawns are on view to choose from, and a buffet salad is included with your meal. A huge selection of cocktails are also on offer. This would also be a fabulous setting for sunset, with open views both north and south. The restaurant has both outdoor and indoor seating, even though the indoors is upstairs, you would still have a pleasant view. The restaurant surrounds are well presented and staff are great.
Our day continues with a stop at Legian for some quick fixed price shopping, and then we head over to the GWK CULTURAL PARK, (Kera Wisnu Kencana). I had heard a lot about the park previously, however I must say that I was a tad disappointed. The entry was complete, but it looked like other areas of the park were yet to be finished. The large statue of Vishnu is a stand-out and the Garuda which in the future he will be riding is also.
You can see other areas which are under construction, and another tall structure, which when complete will one of the highest in Asia. The parklands and rock formations are well worth a look. The park isn’t entirely finished and with a $10AUD entry fee, it may seem steep, but we enjoyed the walk around what will be a lovely tourist attraction when its complete. Apparently there are cultural shows and presentations that are scheduled throughout the day, unfortunately we didn’t get to see any while we visited.
SINGLE FIN BAR AND RESTAURANT
Our last stop for the day was the SINGLE FIN BAR, located at the top of the cliff in Uluwatu. Being Sunday we didn’t realise it would be so busy, and at our age felt a little out of place. Only until the first jug of cocktails was drunk though, then we fitted right in! We had an awesome view of the sunset, enjoyed beers and cocktails, managed to get a table to enjoy some delicious pizza and had fun with the rest of the crowd that was jammed into the place. The DJ played tunes all night, and I am sure the party continued into the early hours after we had left.
Definitely worth the visit, just for the views. it would be good to aim for a less congested hour though.They do take bookings on their website, but mention there are conditions, which I assume for the booth tables with the best views would be a minimum spend.http://singlefinbali.com
All in all, it was a pleasant day, for us as well as our guests. There are so many places to visit in Bali, and on this day we only were able to fit in the above mentioned, but hopefully soon they will be back and we can show some more of this paradise we call home.