Our first day in Bali had us exploring Kuta Beach. After all the moving we did in Yogyakarta, we decided to just have a relaxing day enjoying our time in Kuta. After checking in the hotel we went to the beach and walked around the town. While we were walking we saw long poles everywhere. Apparently on the day we arrived, the Balinese were celebrating Galungan, a holiday commemorating the legendary battle of good versus evil, or the triumph of the spread of Hinduism in Bali. All throughout the island they had erected curved bamboo poles with offerings placed on them. It was really a spectacular site to see.

The next day we decided to hire a car to explore the island. The first day we ventured around the Bukit Peninsula south of Kuta. We first went to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, which is a work in progress. While there we saw some Balinese dancing, which was amazing.

Afterwards we went to Uluwatu, a Balinese sea temple, known for the monkeys that live there. The views of the sea from here were amazing. We were able to get close to the cliff face to look down to see the waves crashing against the cliff. We also got to see a lot of monkeys. Many were friendly, but some of them were quite aggressive. After the wonderful experience at Uluwatu, we went to a couple of beaches.

The first beach we went to was Padang Padang Beach. It’s a small beach surrounded by cliffs, and you have to go through the rocks to get down to the beach. We spent some time on the beach and had a wonderful late lunch there too. After lunch we went to see Tegalwangi Beach. This beach is gorgeous and not a lot of people come here, so we were able to enjoy it in peace. The views from this beach to the island of Java were also great! By this time we were exhausted and were ready to head back to Kuta for dinner and bed.

The next day had us going to Ubud for some culture and nature. We first went to Ubud Palace; we then went to see Pura Taman Saraswati. It was one of the most beautiful temples I’ve ever visited. There is a lotus pond in front of the temple that adds an ethereal quality to the temple. It was simple sublime.

We then walked down to the river near Parahyangan Jagat Payogan Agung Gunung Lebah so we could go walk along the Campuhan Ridge. Walking just a few feet and you venture out of the town into a natural oasis. It was a gorgeous and peaceful walk. At the end were some rice fields that we enjoyed seeing.

When we came back to Ubud we had a late lunch and got ready to go see Mount Batur and Batur Lake. We drove to Penelokan village for the view. It was quite spectacular! On our way back to Kuta we stopped to enjoy the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. This day was one of the best of the trip.

 Our third day had us going to Tanah Lot temple. This temple is another sea temple. During high tide it is surrounded by water, but at low tide you can walk to the temple. It was beautiful. There were, however, a lot of people there.

After Tanah Lot, we went to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple up in the mountains. This temple is famous throughout Indonesia because it’s on the 50,000 rupiah note. The temple is next to an alpine lake and is gorgeous. I really enjoyed this temple.

The last temple we saw that day was Pura Taman Ayun. This temple was unique in that there wasn’t a lot of people there. In fact we could walk around the temple without anyone bothering us. It was a nice end to our last full day in Bali.

On our last day we just relaxed at Kuta Beach since our flight left early that evening. We enjoyed walking along the beach and doing some shopping. The last thing we got to do was experience the sun setting on the beach. It was a wonderful way to end out time in Indonesia.

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