TRAVEL GUIDE: KUTA & ULUWATU, BALI, INDONESIA #2
We continued our adventure with an activity which Kuta is well known for: Surfing at Kuta beach, where we’d watched the sunset the evening before. The beach is located next to the main tourist area and hotels and although the beach has some charm, it is not one of Bali’s top beaches. We rented a surfboard from one of the local surf shops for the equivalent of a few Euros and rode the waves for an hour. It was fun, but the waves can be violent – so stay safe!
After heading back to the hotel to freshen up, we began our first day trip in Bali. We’d planned to head south from Kuta to visit the southern peak of the island, Uluwatu. Our first destination was Pantai Tegal Wangi, which is a beautiful secluded beach south of the airport. On the way there from the hotel we drove through Legian and Seminyak, which are known for their exclusive restaurants, boutiques and beach-clubs – it’s almost like another world compared with Kuta or other parts of Bali.
We travelled to Pantai Tegal Wangi with a taxi and stayed there briefly to admire the beach, the waves and the stunning view. There was also a beautiful temple located just next to the beach, so we decided to have a look whilst we were there. However, as beautiful as it was, we soon realised this wasn’t really a tourist hotspot, so we wondering how we’d make it to our next destination. Luckily, a local passed by in his pick-up truck and offered us a lift back to the main road – we were really lucky!
Realising we weren’t going to see many taxis along the way, we decided to hire a taxi for the day, which cost us around 30€ - not cheap for Bali, but we were happy to pay as we were still ‘new’ and hadn’t worked out the best way to travel… yet.
The next stop was just 10 minutes’ drive: Dreamland Beach. Another small and secluded beach on the west coast with beautiful white sand and views out to sea. We walked along the beach and admired the views along the coast.
The next stop, another few minutes’ drive down the coast, was Bingin Beach. Our taxi driver waited for us in the carpark whilst we walked down a steep footpath which was narrow and winding, but ended at this beautiful beach. There were houses and hotels, and beautiful flowering trees overlooking the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing, however we still had more to see, so after 40 minutes we moved on.
However, we were starting to get hungry, and on the way we saw what looked like a nice restaurant – so we asked our driver to stop. This was our first proper meal in Bali, and it was so good! California rolls, bean salad and a wrap – delicious!
After our lunch we went to the Padang Padang Beach, where you can find lots of little monkeys.
From there, we headed to the Uluwatu Temple, located on the south tip of Bali. It is a relatively large temple and one of the most well-known in Bali. This was the first sight which really took our breath away – from approaching the temple along a footpath with a view out to sea, to the beautiful pathways around the temples and the stunning scenery over the cliffs. The temple area is also planted with a lot of trees and is lush green – and if you come at the right time, there are often ceremonies or religious dances taking place.
To end a perfect first day, we decided to visit the Rock Bar located at the Ayana Resort. In contrast to what we had seen so far, this was 5-star luxury. We entered the resort and headed towards to bar – we didn’t realise there was a waitlist, so we got a number and had to wait. Unfortunately, our table wasn’t ready in time for the sunset, however it was so beautiful to watch from the pool area of the hotel. Our table was soon ready and we headed down to the Rock Bar and even though we’d missed seeing the sunset from here, it was still an incredible experience to sit, relax, eat and listen to the sound of the waves in the beautiful candlelight.