Let’s explore Indonesia: Bali

by Adaeze Anyibama

THE TRUTH OF BALI

Bali Bliss: Elephants, Rice Terraces, and Heavenly Adventures

Bali, the Island of the Gods, lived up to its name on my recent trip. 

I was in a constant state of admiration and mesmerisation (There are no words to describe)

From encounters with gentle giants to breathtaking landscapes and iconic swings, every day was an adventure. 

Here’s a glimpse into my unforgettable Balinese experience:

A Day with Gentle Giants: The Elephant Sanctuary

My journey began at the reputable MASON ELEPHANT SANCTUARY, a haven for rescued elephants. Here, the focus is on their well-being and preservation. Instead of riding them, I observed them in their natural habitat, feeding them treats and learning about their unique personalities. Witnessing their playful spirit and intelligence was an indescribable experience.

Rice Terraces: A Canvas of Emerald Green

Ubud’s rice terraces share the same location as the Bali swing, and so you can get a two for one experience, watching the fields from atop a swing. Lush green paddies stretched as far as I could see, sculpted into intricate steps by generations of farmers. The gentle breeze carried the scent of earth and the soft murmur of water flowing through the irrigation channels. I wandered along the paths, soaking in the serenity and marveling at the dedication of the Balinese people to their land.

It is important to note most of tourists sites are far away from central UBUD, so prepare for a full day on the road.

Tegenungan Waterfall: A Refreshing Cascade

Hidden amongst the verdant jungles, I discovered the Tegenungan Waterfall with the help of my wonderful guide. The cascading water plunged into a cool, inviting pool, perfect for a refreshing dip. Lush greenery surrounded the falls, creating a scene straight out of a fairytale. The sound of the cascading water, along with the chirping of birds, was a symphony of nature’s beauty.

I should warn you reaching the waterfall is quite a hike, be fore-prepared.

Soaring High on the Bali Swing

No trip to Bali is complete without a swing amidst the jungle. The iconic Bali swing offered a thrilling ride with a breathtaking view. Soaring high above the trees, I felt the wind rush through my hair as I took in the panorama of the surrounding landscape. If you are acrophobic this might not be a good idea, The swing guides are gentle and make it look really easy though, It was an exhilarating experience.

Heaven’s Gate: A Touch of Divinity

Perched on a hilltop, Heaven’s Gate, or Pura Lempuyang, offered a glimpse of paradise. The majestic gates framed Mount Agung, Bali’s sacred volcano, creating a picture-perfect postcard moment. The perfect Bali postcard! Did you go to Bali if you didn’t see the gate? The serenity of the temple and the panoramic view leaves one in awe of nature and what the people of Indonesia have done with fusing culture and nature.

I started the day at 5am as it was a 3hr drive, arrived Lempuyang at about 9am and was still met with a long queue of people waiting for their turn at the gate’s picture spot. At 9am I was no. 99 on the queue and according to my guide, that was on a good day. It is compulsory to tie a cloth around your waist before one can enter the temple, be sure to wear clothing that cover the shoulders as well.

Once your number is called, you have to go straight for the poses so make sure you practice before it’s your turn as it is over in 2 minutes.

I had a good hour to while away before it got to my turn, so I took a detour to another site with stunning views.

Beyond the Highlights

While these experiences were the pinnacles of my trip, Bali offered so much more. I wandered through bustling Ubud markets, savored delicious local cuisine, and learned about Balinese art and culture. Every interaction with the friendly locals was a heartwarming reminder of Bali’s rich cultural heritage.

A Piece of Paradise Found

Bali stole a piece of my heart with its stunning landscapes, Breath taking sunset, captivating culture, and the warmth of its people. It’s a destination that offers something for everyone, from adventure seekers to nature lovers and culture enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush on the swings or a serene moment at a temple, Bali has it all.

So, if you’re dreaming of an unforgettable escape, look no further than the Island of the Gods. You might just find your own piece of paradise in Bali.

SIDE BAR: Nobody talks about the heat in Bali, I visited in February and the humidity was humbling, Makeup washed away with sweat and just discomfort being on the road, visiting these sites in such heat.

Mosquitoes and sun flies are also something to look out for, so better go prepared.

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