Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bali - Day 2 (Part 4) - Jimbaran Sunset Seafood Dinner

We went to Jimbaran Bay for seafood dinner. Over there, you get to tantalize you taste buds with a night out at Bali's famous Jimbaran Beach. Seafood restaurants are seen lining the beach with tables & chairs placed on the sand at the oceans edge. The sea breeze is cool and the view of the sunset is amazing. We dined under the stars on an abundance of seafood and was entertained by Balinese live band music. 

Blue Ocean Seafood Restaurant.
 Grilled Ikan Banoeng (a type of local fish)

Grilled Crabs

Grilled squid

Deep-fried squid

Chicken Satay

Our food came with a rather steep price - Rp718,000 @ RM267

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bali - Day 2 (Part 3) - Bebek Bengil & Babi Guling, Ubud

Bebek Bengil (Dirty duck) is a restaurant in Ubud, very well-known for its crispy fried duck served with Indonesian vegetables and delicate sambal . Tasty and mouth-watering! 

This actually came from a secret family recipe, but they eventually shared it… the mystery behind the crispiness is that the ducks are marinated for 36 long hours in Indonesian herbs and spices. After that, they are steamed and deep-fried to get the crispy touch, then voila! The famous Bebek Bengil crispy duck is born…

Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck) Rp68,000 @ RM25.30

Wondering about the name, right? Dirty Duck?? Well, the owner said it was named after their first guests, which was a flock of ducks from the surrounding rice fields that flew into the restaurant and made a real mess with their muddy footprints. Very fascinating! 


Other than dirty duck, their pork ribs are also something you can't afford to miss when you are in Bali. The meat was marinated for very long hours resulting in very tender and flavourful meat. 

Pork Ribs (Rp62,000 @ RM23.10) - very reasonably priced

If you happen to stay or visit Ubud right now or plan to take a trip to Ubud, don't forget to include Ibu Oka's Suckling Pig to your places-to-eat list.

 Ibu Oka is a small, slightly dingy open-air restaurant located smack in the middle of Ubud town. You have to go early (ideally around 1030am), firstly to avoid the queues, but also (and more importantly) to ensure that you won't arrive only to be told that they are sold out (the restaurant only prepares a couple each day). While there are a few variations, order the which translates to a plate full of everything: soft, succulent meat, crispy skin, deep-fried intestines, more pork meat mixed with spices, and a chilli-vegetable relish. This is served with rice. Order your meal, take off your shoes and head into the dining area. Sit on the floor and dig into one of the most transcendental food experiences of your life; it really is an almost religious experience.

 A mixture of meat and skin

 Rp30,000 @ RM11.16

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bali - Day 2 (Part 2) - Kopi Luwak, Ubud

Kopi luwak  or civet coffee is coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. 

A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated, having kept their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.
Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee is coffee made from coffee cherries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive track of the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxorus Hermaphroditus).

After collected, the beans are processed hygienically, and given ony a medium roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop trough the proccess.

Some people try to breed the civet and given a coffee cherries to eat, they won’t succeed. Our Kopi Luwak is origin from wild civet which live mutualism with coffee farmers. Civets use their nature insting to eat the best taste of coffee cherries in the coffee plantation.

Just found a great place to try the civet cat coffee known locally as Kopi Luwak. The place is a small spice, coffee and cocoa farm called Sailand, and is about half way back to Ubud from Kintamani. The civet cats apparently eat only the sweetest wild coffee berries and their stomach enzymes help to break down the bitterness of the coffee bean. Farmers collect the digested beans from the cat dung and sell it to Sailand.
 Kopi Luwak, anyone?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bali - Day 2 (Part 1) - Kintamani Volcano and Batur Lake


Kintamani is the most favorite tourist destinations in Bali with the active volcano of mount Batur and beautiful lake. Kintamani is surrounded by the captivating nature and there are six ancient villages around cauldron of Batur Lake which is often conceived by Bali Age Village. The local people from these Bali Age villages own the unique cultures, houses and life style. Kintamani Area is consisted of some Villages those are Kedisan Village , Buahan, Abang, Trunyan, Songan, South Batur, Middle Batur, North Batur, Sukawana and Kintamani Village . The total of resident in these area are about 15 thousand who are mostly working as farmer, merchant, or work at industrial tourism.
 Mount Batur is located at Kintamani and it has erupted about 24 times since year 1800 and still active up to now. Since the mount erupting, it has impacted to the local society life around this mount, like removing altar (Temple), improve or repairing the village and re-arrange the tradition. Lake Batur is the biggest lake in Bali and functioning as irrigation source to all farmers around it and it is also for all Bali society generally. Kintamani area has been founded some lodging, hotels and restaurants which are located in Kintamani and Penelokan Village. It is a famous tourist place because Kintamani area owns the beautiful panorama and it is encircled by the cold atmosphere. 

Kintamani is beautifully seen at the day time around 10:00 am until 15:00 pm especially having fine weather where entire Kintamani area will be able to be seen clearly. Generally, all tourists who pay a visit to this place will arrive in the day time where they can enjoy the panorama or enjoy the lunch in the local restaurant with lake view. Mostly restaurants at Kintamani generally own very beautiful view where tourist merging into their lunch in this restaurant and meanwhile enjoy the panorama.

Kintamani is located in Kintamani sub district, Bangli Regency and about 50 km from Denpasar Town or about 2 hours by car. All roads are generally in good condition to access to this place. The fog will descend and blanket entire area of Kintamani with cold temperature in particular at late afternoon until the whole of night. The most amazing panorama at Kintamani can be seen in the morning time, when the sunrise emerges on the surface of earth precisely on the mount Batur

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bali - Day 1 (Part 3) - Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot (literally "Tanah Lot temple") and a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography and general exoticism

Tanah Lot means "Land [sic: in the] Sea" in Balinese language. Located in Tabanan, about 20 km from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest 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.

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. 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.
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 Nirata’s scarf when he established the islandIn 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 of Rp 800 billion (approximately USD $130 million) to conserve the historic temple and other significant locations around Bali. As a result, over one third of Tanah Lot's "rock" is actually cunningly disguised artificial rock created during the Japanese-funded and supervised renovation and stabilization program.
Tanah Lot, one of the most popular places of interest in Bali, is located on the coast of West Bali, at the village of Beraban in the Tabanan Regency.

It is also called Tanah Let which means ancient land and also Tanah Lod, which means the land to the south.

The temple Pura Tanah Lot, simple in its construction, is dramatic in its ocean-front location and is one of the main temples in the worship of Balinese gods.

Tanah Lot has a long history in the world of tourism.The temple itself is built on a small promontory which is only accessible at low tide. During high water the rock takes on the appearance of a large boat at sea, such is its shape. Poisonous snakes live in the nearby caves to 'guard' the temple and contribute to the temple's dangerous reputation. Sunset is the best time to visit Tanah lot, when the golden red skies frame the temple and waves crash into the rocks. It is advisable to avoid the tourist crush here as it can be severe.

 Nasi Campur (Rp27,000@RM10)

Ayam Panggang (Rp20,000@RM7.44)

Nasi Goreng Sayur (Rp20,000@RM7.44)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Our very first Bali tour started as early as 9 in the morning. We left Hardrock Hotel in Kuta and headed to our first destination - Pura Taman Ayun.

Pura Taman Ayun was built by I Gusti Agung Anom, the founder of the Mengwi kingdom, a powerful kingdom in the district of Mengwi, in central Bali, until 1891. I Gusti Agung Anom was also the builder of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. He established Pura Taman Ayun in 1634, when he moved his palace from Balahayu to Mengwi. The name Pura Taman Ayun means the "Temple of the Beautiful Gardens." The date of construction is carved on the door with chronogram reading "Sad Bhuta Yaksa Dewa", meaning 1634AD.

The temple is a penyawangan, or place to worship other sacred sites, with shrines to worship Bali's mountain peaks of Agung, Batukau and Batur, as well as shrine to Pura Sada, another important temple in Mengwi. Unlike the majority of temples in Bali, the orientation of Taman Ayun is towards Gunung Batukau, and not Gunung Agung.

Pura Taman Ayun covers an area of 250m by 100m. Originally dating from 1634, it was restored and enlarged in 1937. The gates, split gates and walls were renovated in 1949, and a pavillion, called bale bengong was added. In 1972, the black fiber roofs were replaced, and in 1976, a pavillion tower, called bale kulkul was added.

Pura Taman Ayun consists of a forecourt, a central court and a spacious inner court. The temple is surrounded by a moat with lotuses, giving it the feel of a garden sanctuary. Beyond the moat, the temple lies on a slightly raised ground. A tall stone gateway separates the forecourt from the central court, while the inner court is surrounded by a stone wall. Frangipanni are grown in profusion all around the wall. Within the inner court are merus, dedicated to various deities and spirits. In total, there are 50 shrines and pavillions in the temple complex.

On its festival day, Balinese women would will the temple bearing colourful offerings which they place before the merus.
Temple Structure
As the common layout of temple in Bali, the area of 250 x 100 square meters is divided into 4 courtyards. On west side is the natural pool by constructing dam across the small river on the southern end of the temple area. The temple has been renovated in 1949 on the gates, split gates, walls and meeting hall, and pavilion called " Bale Bengong" In 1972 all black fiber roofs were renewed, the last in 1976 was built the pavilion tower called " Bale Kulkul " and the roof of meeting hall was changed.

On the east side of the main complex there is a meru dedicated to the god of fertility, which is closely related with rice and irrigation, called : shrine of Ulun Suwi " At one side of the east part is a shrine of the spirit warrior Pasek Buduk from Buduk village, a place around 10 kms from this temple site. The reason of the king building a worship to a spirit of Pasek Buduk, due to unending war between Mengwi and Buduk village area. Pasek was the resistant and strong defender and head of the village. Inspired by the bigger necessity to consolidate the kingdom Pasek wanted to subdue to the king by disclosing his physical weakness, and asked the king to build for his spirit a shrine in the temple, and appoint from 4 casts as the adoption of king children. The king agreed and adopted 40 children who then called the clan of " Pasek Batu Bata". It is mentioned that from the clan of Pasek Buduk and those adopted children had grown a strong garrison to support the glory of Mengwi kingdom. Mengwi is the second kingdom of Bali to control Blambangan regency ( now Banyuwangi in East Java ).

Total number of shrines and pavilions in the complex are 50 units. This shrines are not all dedicated to god or holy spirits but some are as ritual facilities, public hall, and decorations.

For Taman Ayun temple, the responsible principal is Mengwi palace assisted by the society in the area of current Mengwi Kecamatan administrative government. During the main ceremony people from outside Kecamatan Mengwi are usually coming for praying, especially those areas before under Mengwi kingdom.

Mengwi kingdom also built Puncak Mangu temple, a big temple behind the mount Mangu across the ridge of south lake Beratan, and Batukaru and Tanah Lot temple were supposed to have been built by Mengwi kingdom.
Here we are at Pura Taman Ayun


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