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Old 6th September 2017, 21:44   #1
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Default From the chapter of our life, called Bali

Prologue

From last one year, after we (Atul and I) got married, we have been planning to go for a vacation somewhere outside India. The first option and destination we both wanted to go was New Zealand but after figuring out every possible expenses we would incur; the overall cost was going far beyond our budget. Hence, NZ was completely ruled out. Next couple of places were Maldives, Seychelles and Bali. Maldives and Seychelles though beautiful and tempting to go, were once again shooting up to a higher budget. Some of our friends and colleagues suggested that Bali is mesmerizingly beautiful and a must go place if we love hills, mountains, green lush paddy fields, sea food, ocean, and beaches. Pictures floating on the internet were quite tempting and beautiful, quick budget check on Google for Bali trips were fitting perfectly as per our estimate. Instantly we both agreed and our destination was made final – we were going to Bali.

The planning started right from the month of January. Atul started with contacting folks from Thomas Cook and Make My Trip for a best deal. The one which was best came from Thomas Cook – Rs 35,000 approx. for two person including stay for 4nights/5days, breakfast and site-seeing of some of the major attraction in Bali. By March we confirmed and did our package booking with Thomas Cook. Subsequently around April, we got some good deal with the flight fares (flight was not included in the package) and immediately booked our tickets – Rs 50,000 approx. for two people (BLR – Chennai – Kuala Lumpur – Bali, Denpasar, Kuala Lumpur – Cochin – BLR).

From April our wait till August 12th started and as days passed by we were more and more excited to embark on our vacation together.
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Old 6th September 2017, 21:45   #2
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Default Re: From the chapter of our life, called Bali

Day 1 – 12th August

Though our flight today was at 7:50pm in the evening, our day started quite early today. Packing for the trip was done over the week days and only some minor last moment stuff was left out to pack. We had a lot of things to finish before we go off for the vacation, the most important one being fixing the display of my iPhone. For some weird reasons, the display was acting absurd and I had too much of difficulty in operating the phone. With me relying heavily on my DSLRs and iPhone for pictures, we decided to give it a quick shot and see if it can be repaired in this last moment. Rode to Marathahalli to an authorized Apple repair store, he mentioned that water had entered inside the phone hence the problem. While he replaced my entire phone display and screen (costed me Rs 7900 including GST), Atul and I finished our breakfast quickly in a nearby hotel.

From here we went straight to Bannerghatta Decathlon outlet for some essentials shopping for the travel. Around 2pm we reached home, got our lunch home delivered and did some final packing. Got ready, booked Ola for airport drop and waited for the cab to arrive. Cab came around 4:45pm, loaded the luggage and yes, the trip to Bali officially started. We both were super excited and all the way the only talks we could do was about what we will do, what to see, what to eat, etc. etc. I was also relieved that my phone was working fine and I could now click and post pictures on the go.

By 6:15pm we reached airport. Our flight carrier was Indigo till Chennai. Cleared all formalities of checking in baggage, taking boarding passes and security check. By the way, we were informed that our flight was delayed by an hour or so and will now leave Bangalore around 9pm. All we could do was wait and have dinner in the meanwhile. Went to KFC, had our dinner and wait for the time to board the flight. By 8:30pm the boarding into our flight started and in no time we were in our respective seats. Sharp 9pm we started our journey to Chennai.

By 10pm we landed in Chennai. Took our baggage and headed for the international departure terminal, it was a bit far away and someone mentioned that we can avail the shuttle service right outside. I have been to Chennai airport but only travelled domestic hence didn’t have much clue about the international terminals. Waited for some 10 mins, no shuttle, we decided to take a walk and reach the terminal. Took some solid 15 mins to reach the gates. Nonetheless, entered the gate and headed towards the Air Asia counter for our boarding passes. This was followed by Immigration and clearing security check gates. Our flight to Kuala Lumpur was at 11:45pm and the boarding into the flight started somewhere around 11:15pm. Finally, the international leg of the journey started and in no time we were high up, flying.
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Old 6th September 2017, 22:38   #3
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Default Re: From the chapter of our life, called Bali

Day 2 – 13th August

So here we are, into the 2nd day of our trip and flying somewhere above the south east Asian countries. Reached Kuala Lumpur airport around 8am in the morning and next flight to Denpasar – Bali was at 10:30am. Once again cleared all the security formalities and waited for our next flight. KL airport is one of the systematic and well maintained airports I have seen, which helps a traveler with smooth transitions and no hassles. We walked towards our respective departure gate and decided to have our breakfast in the meanwhile. Boarding for the flight started at 10am and in some half an hour we were on our flight to Bali.

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Touch down at the ‘Island of the Gods’, Bali happened at around 12:30pm. We took 30 mins to clear customs, immigration and collect luggage. Our tour guide, counterpart from Thomas Cook was already at the airport waiting for us to be picked up, he had Atul’s name in the placard. Finally, we were in this beautiful island, it was a nice bright sunny day and the first impression about the place was really amazing. Our guide escorted us to our hotel in a cab and I was overwhelmed by the discipline people maintained on the roads, everyone follows lane orders, no unnecessary overtaking and honking, two wheelers are still impatient like Indians yet follows all traffic rules.

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By 1:20pm we reached our hotel, Sun Boutique. I was a bit disappointed seeing the hotel as I was expecting a much more luxury one, but, anyways it wasn’t bad too. Well-equipped rooms and suites, mini swimming pool, rooftop garden, in-house restaurant, nearby shopping complexes and most importantly, Kuta beach and Legian beach were just 10 mins walking distance away. Finishing all the hotel formalities, we got to enter our room. A nice and cozy deluxe room with a fancy bathroom and awesome view of the city. We took rest for a while and decided to head for lunch somewhere nearby as both of us were famished by now.

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Crossed the road and there was this authentic Balinese restaurant called ‘Hanny Green’, not very fancy one but apparently serves amazing lip-smacking food. We ordered nasi campur (this is the most common Indonesian food, where you get plain rice served with small portions of meat, veggies, greens, egg, etc.) sea food fried rice with fish chips, cold coffee and orange juice. Spent our time here for a while, relaxed and enjoyed the food, with a view of the city – life was just being so beautiful. After an hour or so we headed to our room, got freshened up and talked on what to do for the rest of the day.

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As mentioned, Kuta beach was just 10 mins away from our hotel, we decided to walk down to the beach spend some time there, explore the nearby places, do window shopping and have dinner on our way back. Around 5pm we started to walk towards Kuta beach.

Kuta is the tourist mecca of Bali, popularly known as the sunset beach. Apparently, once a simple, rustic and quiet fishing village, Kuta has witnessed a transformation over the past years due to the rise of various accommodations, dining and shopping options. The rapid growth owes much to visitors, beach lovers and surfers. The view of the horizon along with the setting sun was just spectacular. The golden sky, high rising waves, clean sparkling ocean water, blue sky and fluttering colorful kites just made the picture so perfect. We spend some quality time here enjoying the surroundings, clicking pictures, munching on some popcorns and sitting by the beachside. The feeling was just beyond words and the beauty of this place was second to none. From the far end of the water, one could see flights landing into the airport – most of the time it seems like the flight would land directly into the tides. As it became dark, light lit up the entire coastal line.

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Around 8pm we agreed to head back. The walk back to hotel was through zillions of cafes, restaurants, road side hawkers, ample shops for shoes, clothes, foreign exchange and what not. The place was so lively and vibrant, full of energy and everyone was so friendly.

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By the time we reached the hotel, it was already 9:30pm and not knowing which other place to have food – we once again hopped into our Hanny Green restaurant. Ordered some chicken noodles, chicken sandwich and orange juice. Indonesia is a country where people love to watch MotoGP and that day being Sunday people were hooked onto their TV watching Austrian GP, all rooting for Rossi. We enjoyed our meal watching the race along with other customers. Once the race ended, we paid our bills (BTW, we converted our USD which we got from India into Indonesian Rupiah – 1USD = 13300 Indonesian Rupiah approx.) and headed for the room.

Once reaching the hotel, we spent some time by the poolside, sat and relaxed. What a wonderful day it was and our first day in Bali was indeed well spent. Tired yet happy, by 11:30pm we hit the sack and slept for the day.
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Old 7th September 2017, 21:27   #4
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Day 3 – 14th August

Our day started today at around 9am, overslept a bit and woke up to realize that we haven’t have much time to finish our breakfast. Got ready and came down to the in-house restaurant of the hotel for the complimentary breakfast. It was a big spread of food items with things ranging from pancakes, bread butter toast, jam, omelet, some flavored rice, chicken fry, noodles, curry, juice, cornflakes, etc. We took our sweet time to finish the breakfast and enjoy the food. Today we were supposed to visit the famous Uluwatu temple and watch the Kecak dance, the guide informed us that we would be picked up from the hotel premise at around 4pm in the evening, which means we had the whole of the first half of the day to explore on our own. Atul made a plan to visit the iconic Tanah Lot temple. We checked with the hotel folks on arranging a cab for us to Tanah Lot.

Went back to the room, took shower, got dressed and came out for the drive to Tanah Lot at around 11am. The drive was approximately for some 20kms and considering traffic it would take us around one-hour time. The way was through small country roads, tiny villages and green lush paddy fields on both sides. Apparently Bali’s steep mountains and deep gorges make it’s difficult to grow rice, but Balinese have developed a unique terraced system to grow rice, stepped layers cut through the land. The landscape was so refreshing and this made the drive real pleasure. After some mild traffic jam on the way, we reached the temple parking area around 12noon. The cabbie asked us to return at the same place in some two hours’ time after we have seen the temple, he would wait for us to take us back to the hotel. Entry to the temple was Rs 290 per person, paid the fee at the entrance gate and headed towards Tanah Lot. The walk towards the temple is through a market place where you can find different shops selling clothes, house decorating items, foods, souvenirs, etc.

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Finally, we reached the temple premise and the view from here was just splendid. Tanah Lot temple and the vast ocean behind was a picturesque view. The temple is a rock formation and located on the coast of West Bali. It is located on a rock just offshore and was said to be constructed by a Hindu priest, forming an important element of Balinese spiritualism and mythology. This is an extremely popular tourist destination and the whole area is often very busy indeed, especially in the late afternoons, pre-sunset. There is a footpath to the raised cliff area just to the south from where the views of the temple and the sunset behind it are outstanding. We clicked pictures, enjoyed the view and walked through the pathways to explore the entire temple arena. It was already one and a half hour over and we had to head back to hotel before 4pm to be picked up for Uluwatu. Hopped into the waiting cabbie with some light snacks to have on our way back and started towards our room. I picked up some small souvenirs on the way as well. Unluckily, we did get some major traffic on our way back and reached hotel just about 4pm. The guide was already in and was waiting for us, asked him to give us some 10 mins to be back, dumped our extra things and again got inside the other car.

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4:15pm and we were headed towards Uluwatu temple. Some 45kms away from the hotel, this drive took us approximately 1 hour to reach there. We did face a long traffic queue for vehicles getting towards the temple. Once we reached destination, the guide escorted us towards the main entrance and handed over us the entry ticket and Kecak dance entry passes. One can’t enter the temple premise with the skin of the legs being exposed hence everyone needs to wear a sarong (lungi kind of thing). We got our sarongs, wrapped it and started our walk towards the amphitheater where the performance was supposed to happen.

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Uluwatu Temple is a famous Balinese sea temple in Bali. It is one of the nine directional temples of Bali meant to protect it from evil spirits. This spectacular temple is one to marvel with as it perched at the edge of the rock overlooking the sea as if on guard. Without any doubt, this temple is definitely one of the top places on the island to go to for sunset delights, with direct views overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean and daily Kecak dance performances. Balinese architecture, traditionally-designed gateways, and ancient sculptures add to Uluwatu Temple's appeal. What makes Uluwatu Temple spectacular is its cliff-top setting at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean. A small forest lies at the front and hundreds of monkeys dwell here. They are believed to guard the temple from bad influences. The serpentine pathway to the temple is fortified by concrete walls on the cliff side. It takes about an hour to get from one end to another as there are several fenced points along the way to stop. The views from the bottom of the water surging up against rocks and the ocean horizon are remarkable.

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After exploring the temple premises for some 45 mins, it was time for the Kecak dance performance. By the time we reached the arena, it was already full and had to stand outside the main entrance and observe. The Kecak Fire Dance is one of Bali’s most iconic art performances, famous for its dominant use of human vocals in place of instruments to accompany the dance-drama at its core. Visit to the temple is not complete if one doesn’t see the show. Just around sunset time, which looks marvelous at this point of time, a troupe of 50 male dancers enter the stage chanting choruses and shaking hands, and then one by one dancers in elaborate costumes artistically enters the stage re-enacting episodes taken from the Ramayana epic. A fire torch is placed right in between the stage and all the acting happens circling the fire. The play goes on for more than an hour and finishes around 7pm. It is one of the most beautiful performance I have seen over the recent times.

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When the play got over, sea of people started to walk towards the exit gates. Our guide walked us through the crowd and in no time we reached the parking lot. Once again we picked up some light snacks for the way as both of us were hungry with no lunch done for the day. We reached our hotel around 8:30pm. The guide bid us bye and asked us to be ready for the next day’s tour. Keeping all our stuff inside the room, we headed straight out for dinner. Nearby there was this sea food serving restaurant named ‘Bali Nikmat’. Decided to get in here for some authentic food. Place was pretty neat, with different kind of fish, crabs, lobsters, etc. Ordered some clams, pecking duck and crabs along with iced tea and orange juice. Food was extremely good, lip smacking and equally costly too.

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Done with dinner around 10pm, we took a walk back to the hotel, spent some time in the lobby (that’s the only place the Wi-Fi of the hotel works fine). 11:30pm and we decided to retire for the day.
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Old 17th September 2017, 15:34   #5
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Day 4 – 15th August

Happy Independence Day! Well from Bali though. We got up fairly early, at 7:30am, as our plan today was to visit the famous Bali Safari and Marine Park, it would be a day long tour. We freshened up, went to the dining hall for our breakfast and just in we got a call from Rui, our tour guide for today that they were stuck in traffic caused due to a major road accident and would be 45 mins late in reaching our hotel. We got some additional time to finish our breakfast peacefully, go up, get ready and wait for the car to arrive in the lobby.

The cab reached the hotel around 10am, an hour late. Rui introduced herself and the co-passengers to us. Two elderly couples were already inside, so today we have company. The safari area was 31 kms away from our hotel and would ideally require some 45 mins to get there with the usual traffic situation. The journey was pretty normal with exchanging small talks with the fellow passengers. Around 11am we reached the parking lot of the zoo. Rui asked us to wait until she got the entry tickets – Jungle Hopper pass worth Rs 3500 approx. per person. The entire tour of the park would take almost 4 hours and Rui asked us to meet her in the parking area by 3-3:30pm. While everyone waits in queue to be taken to the main safari gate, one can find many souvenir shops along the pathway. Soft toys of all animals, tee shirts, fridge magnets, stickers, park branded cups, mugs, bottles, etc. are something that one can purchase. A safari bus comes in and takes us towards the main zoo section.

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Bali Safari and Marine Park is not actually a real safari but an open zoo with imported wild animals from different continents. The safari homes hundreds of amazing animals representing over 60 species, including some rare and endangered ones such as the Komodo Dragon, Orangutan, mynah, etc. Once we reached the main entry gate, the main zoo section started. It had wide range of animals like varied species of fishes, turtles and piranhas. What excited me the most was a leopard sitting and relaxing on the branch of a tree which was less than 50 mts away from the place where we were standing, there was only a water pit between us and the leopard. Everyone thought it must be an artificial statue of the animal until he started breathing heavily, woke up from his sleep, gave us all a look and went back to sleep again. I have never seen a leopard so close in my life, hence the excitement was beyond words (though we didn’t spot the animal exactly in the wild). Some of the other wildlife we saw here were Sumatran Elephants, Sumatran Tiger, White Tiger, Leopard, Komodo Dragon, Wallaby, Malayan Tapir (a large mammal looks like a pig) and many others. There was a special enclosure named as ‘Tigers from Ranthambore’, for White and Royal Bengal Tigers from India. There were some fascinating and beautiful birds as well. The elephant enclosure even allowed people to feed them at the cost of a minimum fee. We also experienced the elephant parade that happens every day at around 12:30 noon.

Calfish
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Stripped Gharial
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White Royal Bengal Tiger
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Common Iguanas
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Komodo
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Hornbill
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Leopard
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Scarlet Macaw
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Mini horses or Ponies
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Giant Tortoise
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Once we finished our walk through the zoo enclosure, we waited for our turn into the safari bus. The safari bus takes through three zones – India, Africa and Indonesia. Here the bus navigates through different types of animals like spotted deer, Himalayan bears, Nilgai, black bucks, African hippos, zebras, camels, ostriches, baboons, wildebeests, tigers and lions. This was a great tour and I was super excited seeing all these animals. Some of the lions were just a hand away from us, though we were behind the glass inside the bus. This tour took us around two hours to go completely across the park. If someone wants to hang around and spend vacation inside the park, they can opt to stay inside the park as well amidst these animals (obviously under protected circumstances). Special breakfast in a glass enclosed restaurants with lions and tigers around can also be pre-booked.

Wildebeest
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Hippos
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Gibbons
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Tapir
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Big Red Bull
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Ostrich
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Zebra
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Lazy Orangutan
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Sleeping Tigers and Lions
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By 2:30pm we were done with the seeing most parts of the park, got really tired and decided to hop inside a restaurant for some food. Ordered chicken burger, chicken dumplings, french fries and mixed fruit shakes. We relaxed here for an hour until it was 3:30pm and we needed to exit the park and head towards the parking lot. On our way back, we picked up some goodies from the souvenir shops. Rui told us that the other two couples haven’t returned yet and we need to wait for them. After some 15 mins, they showed up and we started our drive back to the hotel. Traffic took us nearly 90 mins and we reached room by 5:30pm. Thanked Rui for the amazing day, we went inside the room. By now both of us were tired to the bones and in no time we both slept off.

When we got up, it was already 8pm. I was already hungry hence we stepped out from our room for a short stroll and hunt for food as well. While we walked down stairs a thought came into both of our minds, tomorrow would be a free day for us and we are open to explore any places of our choice. Nusa Dua, water-sports kingdom of Bali is well known however, it is known to be quite expensive too. Neither I nor Atul was interested to go there hence decided to ask the front desk folks to guide us about what all places can we go. They connected us to a local taxi guide who was incidentally there in the hotel itself to drop one of his passenger. He spoke with us, understood where exactly we wanted to go and spend the day. Finally after some discussion, deliberations and negotiation of price, three places were agreed upon – GWK, Dreamland Beach and the Pantai Pandawa (Pantai means Beach). Well, Jacob, his name, bid us goodnight and promised to come day morning around 10am.

After he left, we both started to walk outside the pathways, came across this small eatery which was serving hot noodles, fried rice and some amazing varieties of chocolate pancakes. We ate pork fried noodles, sea food fried rice and choco chips and butter filled pancakes. Ate till our stomach was full and the pancakes were heavenly.

Walked back to the room, once again sat in the lobby area to use the Wi-Fi. Around 11pm went inside the room and immediately hit the sack.
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Old 17th September 2017, 15:58   #6
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Some more pictures from Day 4

Few clicks here and there from inside the park
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Piranhas
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Aquarium Fishes
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White Macaw
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Yellow Crested Cockatoo
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White Royal Bengal Tiger
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Female Impalas
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Hornbill
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Giraffe
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Asiatic Elephant
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A kind of sloth, forgot the name
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African Rhinos
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Hamsters
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Porcupines
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Mountain Goats
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African Wild Bulls
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Old 18th September 2017, 22:26   #7
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Default Re: From the chapter of our life, called Bali

Day 5 – 16th August

Woke up around 8am in the morning and as mentioned earlier today was the free day for us, we can choose which places to visit. Based on our plan we will go GWK, Dreamland Beach and Pantai Pandawa. The cab guy we spoke to yesterday evening called us and informed that he would be reaching the hotel by 10am. We got ready, packed the backpack with necessary things for the day, went for our breakfast rituals and sat in the lobby for him to come pick us up. The city experienced some rains in the morning however, it was bright and sunny now. The guy, Joe, reached the place sharp at 10am and we hopped inside his car and started for GWK. On our way, we did some currency exchange as well.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana, also known as GWK was 14kms away from our hotel and depending on the current traffic it took us 30mins to reach here. This place is a cultural park covering approx. 250 hectares of area and is devoted primarily to the Hindu God, Vishnu/Wisnu (as they would like to spell and pronounce) and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion. We reached the parking lot and the entire area is surrounded by high raised walls, beautiful Balinese sculptures, statues of animals, lush green trees, flowers and far off view of mountains and rivers. Tickets for adults was Rs 285 and cameras were allowed for free. Joe parked the car, asked us to walk around the place, explore and return back in some two hours or so. The sun was scorching harsh but thankfully the pathway was well shaded with trees. The alley had many clothing, food and souvenirs shops.

The first thing we had to do was wear Sharong like Uluwatu temple, no entry into the temple if your legs are exposed in any way. Kura Kura plaza is located in the main entry to the Wisnu statue, it is supposed to be the statue of a turtle, described as the foothold point that guards the earth from jolt. Turtle sculpture is believed to guard the building’s force from natural disasters. Wisnu plaza is on the highest ground in GWK where the statue is almost close to 20 mts. The cultural park has become one of the favorite places in Bali for art and cultural performances, exhibitions, and conferences. GWK, once completed, will be one of the world’s tallest statues and erected on the top of the hill, with a magnificent panorama of Bali.

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After crossing the Wisnu statue, one can let go off the sharong and come towards the Garuda plaza. Garuda Bird is a bird from the mythology, described as having a body of half-man and half-bird. This personal ride of God Vishnu symbolizes loyalty, trustworthy, and sacrifice. Apparently, Garuda is also a symbol of freedom from every shackle and deprivation of human rights. From here the view of the outdoor area, also known as the Lotus Pond is just magnificent. It is the large outdoor area with good access and capability to hold a world scale events. From here one can see the actual statue of Wisnu being constructed on the right hand side, this will apparently be humongous in size. Currently with only around 25% complete with the existing upper part of Wisnu body, Garuda’s head, and Wisnu’s hands, eventually, the GWK statue will be able to be seen within a radius of 20km from Kuta, Sanur, and Nusa Dua.

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Covering these places, the path leads to a large shopping arena where one can buy amply souvenirs from GWK – printed tee shirts, to cups, mugs, water bottles, photo frames, home decors, clothing, sharongs, etc. We also got a copy of the photo taken at the entrance with a small fee, photo framed with Wisnu’s statue behind. Exited the arena and walked back towards the parking lot. On our way we had some rolled ice creams. Joe was waiting for us and by 1:15pm we headed towards Dreamland beach.

Dreamland beach was 8kms away and we reached there in just some 20 mins, by 1:30pm. Once again Joe dropped us in the parking area from where shuttle services takes the tourists towards the actual beach location. Dreamland Beach is among the collection of ‘hidden’ beaches of Bali, stretches of white sand secluded by limestone cliffs that line the rugged coastline. This beach is a heaven for surfers, day-trippers and beachgoers who enjoys some of Bali’s best reef breaks near the shore. On the beach sand, there were lot of deck chairs and parasols for rent, one can also enjoy a cheap massage from the professionals. There were ample souvenir shops as well. We walked around, clicked some pictures, and enjoyed the nature around us, the deep blue sky and the ocean horizon till the far end. Never knew how time flew by and both of us were famished, time was already 2pm. There were many local eatery shops along the beach line and we hopped into one of the shacks, ordered grilled chicken, pork ribs and veggie platter with rice and salad along with some beverages. Food was extremely yum and the view of the sea right in front of us was breath-taking.

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Spent an hour finishing with our lunch, decided to head back towards the parking lot. A bus was already waiting, we hopped in and in 10 mins reached the cab. It was extremely hot by now and the AC inside the car was too relaxing. Had some quick fruit juice and started our drive for Pantai Pandawa, Pantai in Indonesia means beach. This beach was our last destination for the day and some 13 kms away and would roughly take 30 mins depending on traffic.

Pantai Pandawa is a great addition to Bali’s collection of gorgeous beaches, located towards southern Bali. The road leading to the beach is amazingly marvelous with an outlook of the blue sparkling Indian Ocean. Hidden behind large carved limestone cliffs, this beach is certainly a global tourist destination. With 17thAugust marked as Indonesian Independence Day, the entire road was dressed with red-white flags and huge drapes of clothes. The sight was magnificent and something to cherish for life. Along the huge gigantic cliff, there are six white stone statues draped in colorful Balinese waistcloths, namely Devi Kunti, hero Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Hence the name Pantai Pandawa or Beach Pandawa. One can have great photo opportunities here, both against the giants cliffs and to the picturesque distant horizon and the stretch of Pandawa Beach from this vantage point.

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There are many local stalls selling food, refreshments, parasol shaded sun beds line the coast, various water sport activities and gear rentals, cafes, and stalls serving anything from grilled seafood and local cuisine to sandwiches and burgers. The water at this beach is an exotic combination of blue and green water, so on a fine day like this one can go for swimming, hire a sea kayak, and grab a surfboat or paraglide. We spent some one hour exploring the place, clicking pictures and enjoying the sight. Around 4:45pm decided to wrap up for the day and head towards hotel. Joe met us near the parking lot and within a one hour, we were inside our room. The total fare for the taxi was almost Rs 2500 for the day, which was quite reasonable I believe. Thanked Joe for being amazing throughout the day and hope to see him some day again in our life.

After taking some rest for an hour, we decided to take a walk towards Kuta beach just to enjoy our last evening here in Bali. A lively city, bright lit up roads, preparation for Independence Day, music from pubs, cafes, smiling faces all the way, I was in no mood to leave so early from here. We did some quick road side shopping, picked up few souvenirs for family back home and couple of things for home décor. On our way back, we hopped into a food court which was spread across an open space and each and every stall serving authentic Indonesian food. Got into one of them, ordered some chicken dumplings, prawns fry, sea food rice, nasi campur and cold coffees. Food was lip-smackingly yum and price was reasonable too.

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Lazy stroll towards the hotel, sat in the lobby for a while, after an hour decided to crash. 11pm and our last goodnight in Bali.
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Old 18th September 2017, 22:37   #8
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Some more pictures from Day 5

Few clicks from GWK....

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Few clicks from Dreamland Beach

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Few clicks from Pantai Pandawa

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Devi Kunti at Pantai Pandawa
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Bhima at Pantai Pandawa
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Arjuna at Pantai Pandawa
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Could click Yudhisthir, Nakul and Sahadeva due to too many people surrounding the statues.
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Old 19th September 2017, 21:11   #9
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Day 6 – 17th August

Finally, our last day here in Bali and yet it came so soon. We woke up around 8am, things we wanted to do today was have a relaxed breakfast, explore the rooftop garden of the hotel and later in the day go out for some last moment shopping, and most importantly have some money exchanged. Got ready, went to the restaurant, had our food, chatted for a while and once done, headed straight towards the rooftop. The view of the city from here was beautiful. Roads, fast moving vehicles, people walking for their daily chores, blue and bright sky, and high flying kites of different shapes, sizes and patterns. There were sofas arranged neatly for someone to sit and enjoy the view. After spending some time, we went to our room and decided to do our packing. Flight from Bali was at 9:20pm so we had ample time before we head for the airport. Our travel guide called us too to inform us that they will be at the hotel by 5pm to pick us up for the drive to airport.

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Both of us took bath, did maximum of the packing, took rest for a while and it was almost time to check out from the room, 12 noon. We decided to keep our luggage in the cloak room, go out for lunch, do money exchange and some shopping in the nearby locality. Since today was the Independence Day of Indonesia, most shops were closed and the only place open was the Carrefour Mall. It was at a walking distance from our hotel and wasn’t very crowded. Luckily a currency exchange outlet was open and converted some of our dollars here. Did some quick shopping as well and headed towards Hanny Green food court for lunch. Next to this restaurant there was a big shopping complex filled with Bali souvenirs, picked up some stuff from here as well. By 2pm, we sat down for our lunch – had some nasi goreng, sea food platter, chicken fried rice and cold drinks. This was the most lazily devoured lunch as we had to kill our time to the maximum. Finally, we had to say goodbye to the folks at Hanny Green and cross the road to reach the hotel. We killed some time by the poolside, sipping iced green tea and let the time pass by. By 5:15pm our guide reached the hotel and thus we were ready to head for the airport.

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Reached airport in some 20 mins and the city traffic was comparatively less. The guide wished us a great journey back home and bid us farewell. Until we come back to Bali ever again, goodbye for now. Headed towards the Air Asia ticket counters after security clearing our luggage, the crew gave us tickets only till Kuala Lumpur (KL) however we insisted that since it was a connected flight of Air Asia itself to Cochin, we needed that tickets as well. The crew told us that the tickets he can issue was only till KL and we need to collect another one from KL. He tagged our bags also till KL (this incident will come to haunt us later when we will reach KL). Nonetheless, around 6pm we were done with all our security and immigration checks and we still had more three hours to kill near the gates.

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Had some light snacks and waited for our boarding time. Around 8:45pm our boarding started and started heading for KL. Most part of the flight was spent sleeping and 1am in the morning we reached KL airport.
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Old 19th September 2017, 21:12   #10
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Day 7 – 18th August

So now our biggest nightmare for this entire ‘otherwise awesome trip’ started. As soon as we wanted to clear the immigration check and head towards the baggage claim we were stopped by the officials saying we don’t have valid Malaysian visa to enter the baggage claim section and need to apply for transit visa. They asked us to contact the Air Asia folks and see if we can get fly through tickets. We rushed to the Air Asia help desk and the gloomy grumpy person there told us he can’t do anything and we must buy transit visa. This was frustrating and disappointing at the same time, no one willing to help us. With the airport official being adamant, Air Asia personnel not helping and not letting us get our baggage we had to give in and decide to get the transit visa. We had to convert our USDs into Malaysian Rupiah, fill forms for transit visa, spend INR 13000 for two people (this was useless and unnecessary as the immigration officer escorted us to the ATM which was just 5 steps away from the baggage conveyor belt). Anyway, filled forms, signed the declaration, paid the cash and got our visas, crossed immigration and collected the bag. Barring money for food and small expenses we were almost broke by now. After this both Atul and I were saddened by the event, well, not that we could do much, headed towards the international departure and our next flight to Cochin was at 6am in the morning. Ticket counters opened at 3am and we had to wait for an hour till it opened and we got our passes.

Clearing all security gates and immigration, we were in our respective gates by 4:30am. Did munched in some food as both were hungry. I wanted to do some duty free shopping on our way back, but had to drop it with no money left – just got some chocolates. Boarding into the flight started by 5:45am and there we are, heading towards our country. Here also most part of the time was passed sleeping and waiting for the flight to land in Cochin.

Finally, back to our motherland around 8am in the morning. As usual, cleared immigration to enter the country, took our baggage and headed for the domestic departures to catch flight for Bangalore. This time it was an Indigo flight, cleared security, baggage check-in and waited for our boarding. Meanwhile, we had our breakfast – bread omelet, idly vada and some tea. Flight was at 10:20am, boarding started around 9:50am. The last leg of our journey and it got over too soon, just some 45 mins. Touch down Bangalore happened, too tired, somehow dragged ourselves and took the baggage, exited and booked Ola to reach home. How splendid a journey may be, but it is always satisfying to reach Home Sweet Home, isn’t it? Braving our favorite Bangalore traffic, reached home by 2:30pm. Yet another amazing journey of our life comes to an end.
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Old 20th September 2017, 07:27   #11
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th September 2017, 13:15   #12
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Awesome trip, Folks. That last event at KL airport must have hurt somewhat though, especially having to shell out 13000/- for just walking to the baggage claim!. Great photos of the safari. Hope you enjoyed it on the whole. Post more photos and forget the rest.
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Old 20th September 2017, 15:06   #13
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Beautifully narrated and amazing pictures. I'm sure the memories are of a lifetime! Your travelogue gives me ideas for my next annual vacation.

All trips aren't perfect, however meticulously planned and the transit visit issue was an unexpected googly. We only get wiser with such experiences.

Keep sharing your travel experiences!
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Old 20th September 2017, 15:39   #14
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Great photos guys!

My wife and I were also in Bali from 5th-3th August this year

And did a lot of similar activities as you

Bali is awesome this time of the year!
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Old 20th September 2017, 19:47   #15
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Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Our family as a group of 8 are planning to go to Bali in mid January, 2018. I had the same doubt on transit visa at KL. I wrote to Malindo Air regarding this, and they replied that a transit visa is not required at KL for onward journey to Denpasar, even if flight is operated by Batik Air.

Can anyone here recently gone to Bali via KL throw some color on this issue, especially whether access between KLIA and KLIA2 is immigration-free? Thanks.

My understanding is if I am transiting within terminal area, then I don't need to do immigration or need a visa. I would need a transit visa if I have to do immigration in order to collect baggage and then check-in the baggage again for the onward journey. From your experience, it seems that we should get fly-through ticket to final destination so that baggage gets transferred automatically and immigration is not required.
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