📍 Uluwatu, 26th of August 2018. Today was day 2 of our scooter adventures around Bali. Yesterday we went more into the nature, visiting a couple of waterfalls and enjoying the ride through the greens. We were very excited to continue the exploration, as today we were going to visit some of the places Bali is famous for - fun beaches and temples from outside of this world!
To help you navigate
Map & Itinerary
Here below is the google map with key stops on day 1 - 80 km (covered in the previous post) and day 2 - 110 km (covered here). Click on the icon in the top left corner of the map to expand the legend and see all the stops.
Let the adventure begin!
We managed to get up early and headed off to Tanah Lot. It took us well over an hour to get there, a half-way stop for a cup of coffee and some snacks was thus very welcome. Riding a motorbike is really fun, but after some time you start getting all sorts of aches and discomforts. Maybe it is a matter of habit we haven’t developed yet.
Stop 1 - Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is considered a “must see” on Bali, which is why there are buses and buses of tourists arriving there. It is undoubtedly picturesque and worth a visit, but with the amounts of visitors, you start feeling like in a factory. Everyone follows the same route, takes the same pictures, buys the same souvenir. It was such a contrast to the quiet and less popular waterfalls we visited the previous day!
We have figured that the more effort it requires to visit or do something (“effort” can be anything from climbing 25 extra steps to exploring something by yourself), the less tourists will be there. Although it sounds obvious, it helped us better manage our expectations in the future. We took pictures of the temple and walked all the way to the end of the tourist-accessible area. In a quiet corner we sat on the grass and enjoyed a beautiful moment overlooking the ocean (yes, there was almost no one else there).
Stop 2 - Canggu Market
A short stop in Canggu market was a bit disappointing. I suppose we expected something more Indonesian and much bigger. Instead, the small market was full of tourists and expats, drinking organic smoothies and buying bio oils, behind the market - a yoga studio. Nothing against any of that, in fact, some other time we would have gladly joined, but today it just wasn’t what we had envisioned.
Stop 3 - Canggu Beach
Not wanting to waste any time, we left shortly and went to Canggu beach. We found a free sandy spot between cafes and beach clubs, thereby saving some money by not renting any sunbeds. This beach was nothing like in Sanur! There were waves and there were surfers. Both looked very cool 🙂 As we entered the ocean for the first time, we were rather careful and, let’s admit it, scared.
The waves had so much power, both - when pulling water into a wave and pushing it back towards the shore as waves broke. Standing underneath the wave as it rose above your head was paralyzingly frightening. We mostly tried running away from those. This was great fun, but must have looked ridiculous from the side 🙂
Our second attempt of swimming with waves was much more exciting. The initial scare went away, being a bit braver we tried body surfing and jumping over, through and into the waves. To be completely honest, sometimes body surfing felt more like drowning. The everlasting few seconds of panic went away the moment one realised the wave brought them back to the depth of 20 cm. This moment when on the one hand you feel so grateful and relieved for being safe and on the other hand make fun of yourself for being such a baby and for being scared in the first place. This was so much fun, we didn’t want to leave!
Stop 4 - Kuta Beach
Next stop on the itinerary was the Kuta beach. We had to see what was it all about. Kuta has the atmosphere and the setup of a typical resort town with numerous shops selling souvenirs, drinks, massages; neon signs in English and an endless flow of red-faced visitors. The prices were well up as well. It is probably fun if you are in a certain mood, with a certain group of people, with certain expectations from your trip to Bali. It wasn’t really for us, but we were glad we’d seen it. Quick jump into water and we were on the way towards the final destination of today’s route – the Uluwatu temple.
Stop 5 - Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu temple is on the Southern tip of the island and is connected to Denpasar by a narrow passage of land. On the map it kind of looks like that part of the island is trying to escape from its bigger brother. The road leading there went through villages and rice fields, which was a great fun for riding on the bike.
We got to the temple just in time to get the tickets, walk around a bit and look for a good spot to watch the sun set behind a cliff where the temple was built. The highlight of this visit were the cheeky monkeys who had absolutely no fear of humans and have learned that they would get a treat if they steal sunglasses/hat/phone. And they do it masterfully. Even though there are warnings everywhere around the temple to take off any accessories etc., some visitors choose to ignore those and end up chasing monkeys or paying local guides for rescuing their precious belongings. Makes you wonder who’s smarter – humans or monkeys.
If you come early enough, you can also get tickets for the traditional Kecak dance performance around sunset. If you miss it - don't worry, there are many other places (especially in Ubud), where you can see this amazing traditional dance.
The day finished with a delicious yellow watermelon the sisters carried around the whole day (we simply couldn’t find a good time and place to eat it). We stopped at a small shop somewhere on the way back, bought a couple of drinks not to antagonize the owner with our watermelon feast on their terrace and using a small pocket Swiss knife the well-prepared sisters had, we shared the juicy berry while laughing recounting our day’s adventures.
It’s been wonderful Thank you, Anna and Marie, for sharing this time with us 🙂 See you somewhere sometime soon!
What to pack
- Snacks (dried fruits, banana or whatever else) - have a quick bite not to starve
- A big bottle of water
- Long-sleeve jacket & pants/long skirt (for the temples & the evening - it is a long ride back)
- Dry clothes/underwear (not particularly fun driving around with a wet bum the whole day)
- Sunglasses (especially for driving on a scooter - sun/wind/insects - not all helmets have a shield ;))
- Travel first aid kit (better safe than sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
When it comes to shoes, it is really a matter of preference. You have three main options... Flip-flops are easy to get in and out, especially when walking on the beach, but not the safest for driving. Closed shoes are comfortable and safe, but might be more time consuming to put on and off, especially on the beach. A plus is wearing them in the evening when it gets colder. Did we make it easier for you? 🙂 sorry...
We drove in flip-flops, whereas the girls had sneakers on. You can always wear sport shoes and pack flip-flops, but it does mean more stuff to carry.
Daily budget for two
|Bike rental||60k IDR|
|Entrances to the temples||124k IDR|
|Canngu beach parking||2k IDR|
|Supermarket (water, snacks), drinks in Kuta & dinner||260k IDR||Total||466 IDR (apx. 27 EUR)|
Planning to launch on a scooter adventure around Bali and still have questions? Make sure to check out our itinerary 1 - waterfalls or drop us a line. We would be glad to help you with whatever we can