Day 3 of our Bali trip was Nyepi, the day of total silence. Its when no one is allowed outdoors or make any noise or turn on any lights for an entire day. The legend says it is to fool the evil spirits visiting on this day (the Bali Hindu New Year) that there is no one on the island, and they will leave the island free from disasters for one year.
But this ruling is hardly enforced in tourist hotels, so we all had great fun the whole day. The kids made a big splash in the 2 swimming pools in the morning and evenings. For me, other than sleeping in and eating, i snuggled up in the cool hotel room finishing my Cormac McCarthy book. We also had our spa treatment.
On the night before Nyepi, the boys in every village try to outdo each other by building large effigies of demons and villains. In the evening, these effigies will be carried to the beach or graveyard to be burnt. Sometimes the villagers built funny effigies – cartoon characters and even drunk tourists.
The effigies (called Ogoh-ogoh) are quite impressive, some have motorized parts that move, all in all we saw almost a hundred different ones throughout the few days.
So after a very restful (for me lah) third day, we set out early again on the 4th day. First stop was Batubulan, a small village between Kuta and Ubud, to watch the Barong dance. Barong is an amusing tale mixed with some modern humour elements about mythical elements, demons and the common folk. Worth a visit if you have the time, altho the entrance fee of Rp80,000 is a little pricey.
Lady doing that weird thing with her eyes during the dance.
Then we wanted to do some serious shopping. Our driver took us to the Artist Market in Sukawati. This market is targeted to locals (although there are still some tourists here) so the prices far cheaper than anywhere else. If you’re planning to shop, forget about Kuta or Legian or Ubud, come here first.
A word of warning tho, the inside of the market is cramped and stuffy. So if you’re averse to it, stick to the perimeter shops outside. But you’ll be sweating anyway, why not just dive indoors to get that killer bargain.
With all that energy expended for shopping, we were hungry for grub. Lunch was at the most famous makan stall in all of Bali – Ibu Oka Babi Guling. We didnt go to the cramped original stall opposite the Royal Palace, we went straight to the newer (and more comfortable) branch in Peliatan outside Ubud.
Herbed meat, crispy skin, deep fried innards. Mmmm… (also tried the Tosro bottled tea here).
After lunch we went downtown Ubud, while the gang went to the Art Market in Ubud, i went opposite to check out the Puri Saren Agung, the Royal Palace and Temple. For a royal palace its pretty small.
Then a quick trip to Goa Gajah. Those are people dipping in the holy water.
The three musketeers posing at the mouth of the Elephant Cave.
It was about 4pm and we took a long drive down to Uluwatu in south. The weather was burning hot and dry, I had a splitting headache trying to keep awake in the car. But shortly before reaching the temple, we were rewarded with one of the most spectacular ocean views on the entire island…
Then it was to the Uluwatu temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu). Anyone who’s been here will tell you about the rowdy monkeys. Make sure you don’t enter without your guide. Ours was armed with a 5-foot stick. But the walk in was pretty well-rewarded. The temple at sunset is beautiful.
For our last dinner in Bali, we did one of the requisites – candlight dinner in Jimbaran. The stretch of beach from the south up to near the airport is lined with dozens of seaside restaurants, ranging from the authentic to the ultimate rip-offs. We had planned to try Lia’s Cafe based on online reviews, but our driver recommended us to check out Sharkey’s. It looked pretty good so tried it.
It turned out to be a great place, we had the fish, calamari, flame grilled chicken served with kangkung and rice. Came up to RM175 for 7 of us. And the band serenading us was pretty good (altho their pronounciation was atrocious).
So after a long day we were glad to reach the hotel.
Next – Last day on Bali.