Category

Adventure

A Day to The Far East of Bali

Everyone wants to travel at one point or another to cool off from life’s routine worries and hard work. But travelling is not only about visiting from one place to another, it is more about satisfying one’s inner yearnings for taste and class. Many people assume that travelling to the far east of Bali is time consuming, which is not entirely a wrong assumption. However, it is actually doable for a day trip.

Some destinations in the east coast are just magical! They are a combination of unspoiled surroundings, remote locations, intense vistas and snuggly warm people. For adventure lovers, this is probably it; an opportunity to engage with the natural wonders. In addition to that, the presence of Balinese historical sites along the area is such a delight for those who want to go deeper into an understanding of Balinese culture. Definitely worth the time and effort!

Starting early in the morning is a must. Driving 2.5 hours from Denpasar, you will reach at Candidasa. You can make a quick stop here. Feel the tropical climate and smell the fresh morning air from the ocean, it creates an intoxicating perfume to mark the start of the day.

Driving another 30 minutes further up, you will pass by Bugbug village. Since you are here, you may want to consider visiting Bukit Asah Bugbug. If you are looking for a silent and a peaceful scene, this semi-hidden spot offers green hills with the exotic expanse of blue sea. While hearing the roar of the ocean waves, embrace the blowing cool breeze to maximize the relaxation of your solitude. Morning visit doesn’t attract many visitors, which is a perfect time to retreat from the frenetic city.

Moving on from your solitary moment, the next stop is the neatly crafted garden of Tirtagangga Water Palace. Quite well known for its holy water and religious ceremonies, this location consists of three separate complexes each having its own set of ponds and attractive sculptures which simply add to the beauty of the overall water garden. As you enter the place, the first thing that comes into view is a long row of sculptures of guardian figures. You will also notice the neatly placed polygonal stepping stones to tour the area over the ponds and pools. Pools in the complex have designs from the olden days and created with natural materials like sandstone. There are a lot of stories behind the creation of this garden.

 

Another historical site nearby is Ujung Water Palace. Located at Tumbu village, a short distance from Tirtagangga, Ujung Water Palace was basically the resting and entertainment place for the Kings of Karangasem and their guests. On similar lines like Tirtagangga, this place has a beautiful park with huge fish ponds surrounding the heritage buildings. From the highest level of this palace, you can have an enchanting view of the sea line and hills with absolute greenery. It also displays the beauty of Mount Agung and nearby green terraced rice fields.

 

Driving another 30 minutes to the north, slightly after lunchtime, you will arrive at Amed Beach. Almost 90 percent of the population in Amed relies on fishing, which explain the traditional fishing boats line the beach area. Apart from fishing, hospitable people can also be spotted selling salt, trinkets, and other items to support their families and the community. Unlike in the southern coast, the local people of Amed are genuinely warm and friendly to visitors. With the large number of tourists flocking to this part of the island each year, this village has transformed from quiet fishing village and is currently on verge of change. Amed village has now become backpacker’s area near the coast with ease of access to Jemeluk Bay, which is the next stop.

Jemeluk Bay is only a short drive up from Amed Beach. Be prepared for a bumpy road! However, the view is breath-taking. One of the first beautiful glimpses of the Jemeluk Bay is from the sunset point. Along with the scenic view of Amed Beach coastline, it is easy not to capture Mount Agung of your sight. Several options for lodging have come up in this area along with new restaurants and shops popping up, making it a much sought-after tourism destination.

With easy access, Tulamben Beach is located 30 minutes’ drive from Amed village. Overlooking the Lombok strait, the sea water in this beach is calm and clear with gradations of bluish green colour. Rich in marine bio life with a thousand-year-old shipwreck and coral gardens, Tulamben is an all-year diving destination for the diving enthusiasts. A perfect place for underwater photography. With the overall surge in tourism, the small village of Tulamben is developing.

Not far from the beach, Paibon Tulamben Temple is just around the corner. This temple signifies and highlights the Balinese Hindu culture and religion. Like many other temples on the island, Paibon Tulamben Temple signifies the honour shown to the Sea Gods. The temple complex has multiple temples in it and each one is visible from the next one forming a chain. This was built as early as the 16th century during the Majapahit era to offer spiritual protection to the people living in the area.

There you have it! A one-day trip to the eastern part of Bali doesn’t seem impossible to do. Of course, there are still tons of places and hidden spots need to be discovered. However, the list mentioned above suits for either tourists who have limited visiting time and scheduled plans or local people who need to get away from the chaotic southern part over the weekend.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Embracing Life at The Gillis

Life offers stupendous opportunities to everyone to explore and to dig out the real meaning of life as well as to comprehend the intricate and obscure working of nature. As for as I am concerned, the opportunity has been bestowed to me in the form of travelling as it allows me to accumulate the unknown and to complete what is missing.

So, there I was, visiting the Gili Islands. Starting with the most famous one, Gili Trawangan tenders to unveil the uniqueness and different colors of joy in the form of music, parties, excursions and other amazements. Being Human, variety is the necessity of the life, and sometimes we need to enthuse ourselves with the excitements of dance and parties. Pubs, beaches and clubs in the island furnish these desires to its pinnacle and then there is no needing felt to go elsewhere. Gili Trawangan is the place to exert all extra energies. The local pub, Tîr na Nôg, though doesn’t render enormous options but its fresh juices are one of the best in the island. Blue Marlin Café not only excels at rendering the indigenous drinks and food but also provides elegant foreign drinks and food as well. However, too much party and drinking sometimes make the environment unbearable as well and thus compels me to seek out placid and smooth spot.

Gili Meno is the place that alleviates that commotion and ruffle of daily life by providing calm and sedating surroundings. Here the environment is tranquil and nature can be felt more lucidly. As smaller in size and having lower tourists’ density, the place offers me a unique opportunity to completely revive my inner soul with sense of ultimate content. The beautiful beaches incite people to have a walk over it. While walking on these charming beaches, it seems that the nature is uttering its melody through the composition of winds with waves striking the shores. The sun setting scene at the white beach of Gili Meno hazes my brain confusing the scenery with that of the heavens. The aroma of the atmosphere in the evening seems to uttering some untold romantic story. Sasak Café and Ya Ya Warung are two of my favourite dining resorts. In the evening, I grazed upon that lonely bunch of trees. The scenery reminded me of the words of Robert Frost, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

When it comes to Gili Air, the island offers an exquisite blend of traditional values with the beautification carried out by craftsman of science and technology. It is composed of modern resorts with most up to date technologies and at the same time provides the opportunity of seeing natural bounties in its full exposure. Being an epicurean person, it gives me great delight to get taste of several types of food. Bel Air Resort gives the yummy food. Its pasta is one of my favorite dish. The island not only suffices the need of having delicious and luscious food but also comes in hand by providing one of the world’s most sorts after snorkeling spots. For me, it’s not simply the island; it is completely a novel world exhibiting the experiences that can’t be narrated by simple words.

Bus Access in South Iceland

South Iceland offers a rich amalgamation of attractive locations to visit as it has a reputation of being home to the most exotic natural wonders in Iceland. The area offers a splendid blend of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and how can we forget the multiple UNESCO listed historic marvels at Thingvellir. South Iceland is the most regularly and fervently visited tourist attraction. The joy of visiting marvelous locales of South Iceland would become twofold if you tour the amazing sites by bus. So, for your convenience, we are listing the top locations that can be easily reached by bus.

Hveragerði
HveragerðiHveragerdi or the Flower Village is the charismatic gateway town to South Iceland. It is situated in a huge geothermal area. The town features the largest array of greenhouses in the entire country and hence received the nickname flower village. You can visit a number of highly active hot springs that discharge colorful mud and warm water into the air, which needless to say is a rare feat. Also, you can enjoy trout and salmon fishing in the Varma River and berry picking during summers.

 

Höfn í Hornafirði
Höfn í HornafirðiHofn town in Hornafjordur is home to the biggest glacier in Europe called Vatnajokull. The scenery at Hofn is breathtaking. The largest national park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park, is also situated here. You can enjoy diverse range of services over here including camping sites, restaurants, swimming pools, hiking trails, golf courses, shopping arenas and multiple museums. The much popular Lobster Festival is also being held every year in summer.

 

Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón The incredible Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon is situated on the edge of Vatnajokull National Park. To enjoy icebergs in a wide range of shapes and styles from charcoal black soot to powder blue chunks and white streaked logs to glass like translucent formations, there is simply no end to their versatility. The Skaftafell glacier hike is the tipping point of your glacier voyage at Jökulsárlón. It is a very popular and picturesque location, where various Hollywood movies have been filmed.

 

Laugarvatn
LaugarvatnLaugarvatn Fontana, located at the mesmerizing Laugarvatn Lake, is a very relaxing place where tourists get to relish the authentic Icelandic adventures and get a taste of the geothermal pools and natural saunas. There are three steam rooms that are called GUFAN. These steam baths are a treat for people from all age groups. The depth, size and temperature of the steam baths vary as these have been built over natural hot springs gradually since 1929 so you can expect the weather to be between 40°C (104°F) and 50°C (122°F). At the Grids, the steam rooms’ floor, visitors can hear and smell the boiling hot spring present underneath, which is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Vík / Mýrdalshreppur
MýrdalshreppurSouth Iceland’s most frequently visited tourist destination is the Vik and in its Mýrdalur district’s western part lays the Dyrhólaey at a 120meter high promontory. It is a popular location where the mystic rock arch is located. The major portion of the fourth largest glacier in Iceland the km2 Mýrdalsjökull glacier is also situated in Vik. Around 600m below the ice you can expect to witness one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, the dormant sub-glacial volcano Katla. Vik features a number of sea and land attractions such as you can enjoy salmon and trout fishing, horseback riding, dogsledding and ice-climbing on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, snowmobile trips, sight-seeing in boats, wool center and fish farm, etc. It won’t be an overstatement that there are very few other locations in Iceland that offer such amazing contrasts of natural attractions than Mýrdalur.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Kirkjubæjarklaustur In olden times, Kirkjubæjarklaustur village was known as Kirkjubær, which means Church Farm. The name refers to the fact that this location served as an important farming estate. The name of the village is also used as a tongue-twister in Iceland because of its complex pronunciation. The Church Floor called Kirkjugólf is a well-protected natural pavement and a famous attraction in the village. It is a natural pavement at the basalt columns. The basalt columns’ shape has been modified by wind and waves and they give away the look of a paved church floor now.

Author: John Grotti

Email: johngrotti@yahoo.com

Le Marais – The City of Light

Le MaraisParis is full of wonderful treasures, but the Le Marais is one of the best jewels in the city of light. Spanning in the third and fourth districts, the Le Marais has become one of the most exotic and popular city of Paris. However, it is quite far from as being a gay area when it had just established a stronghold in the late seventeenth century. The Marais has a beautiful, palpable cosmopolitan atmosphere, where you will definitely feel very comfortable.

 

Actually, the gay community blends with the local artists and as well as the Jewish community, who have a good and strong presence. In addition, to this, the neighborhood is quite very lively. You can easily treat yourself to a bit of shopping and can purchase beautiful and elegant products. The neighborhood perfectly offers a good mix of the luxury labels, specialty boutiques and some beautiful thrift shops.

See the numerous art galleries that are located throughout all the Marais. These walls are quite beautiful as framed by genuine artists. To start exploring the area the perfect place to start is to just take a metro to the Bastille unless you walk from the Notre Dame and as well as the Hotel de Ville. Musse Carnavalet, Musse Picasso, Institut Sudedois and the Le Carreau du Temple are some of the exotic nearby destinations that you can see in the Le Marais.

Freelance Writer: Sue Ann Klosterman Becker

Email: klostermanbecker@gmail.com