Start of a new day in Bali, with breakfast at Padi’s in Ritz Carlton. I would have to say their breakfast was ok, with relatively good variety compared to other hotels we stayed during the trip. They had a waffles and pancakes section, an eggs section, Chinese and Japanese breakfast section and a very good fruits bar. With an open-air setting, there was also koi-filled ponds surrounding the restaurant with amazing sea views to top. Pigeons were also aplenty and they don’t seem to be scared of the tourists having breakfast. All in all, the breakfast experience was amazing, though food-wise, they were just average.
After breakfast, we went to check out Ritz-Carlton’s private beach called Kubu Beach. This beach is accessible via a shuttle service from the lobby. Walking is not generally recommended since it is easily a 15 minute walk and one better save the energy for the trek down the flight of stairs into the beach. A two tiered viewing platform with couches was available to admire the amazing view from this beach. Ritz Carlton hotel staff also provided us with cold towels and bottled mineral water after the trek up the cliff.
It was just one hour we spent at Kubu Beach before departing with the chartered car (Kijang Innova again) for our trip to Bedugul. We also tasted some Babi Guling (a kind of Balinese specialty akin to the roasted suckling pig), but it wasn’t as great as expected. The chauffeur though mentioned that the best place to have this delicacy is at Ubud, which was a long detour from where we are headed to.
Our lunch was thus spent at this restaurant on the way to Bedugul that overlooks a valley of terraced rice fields. The satay served at this place was fantastic (pork satay), and you might be suprised at the amount of pork in Bali when Indonesia is a majority muslim nation. Bali is majority (90%) Hindus, so pork is a kind of a major staple for them. After lunch, we went to shop for more of those great mangosteens at the Pasar Candi Kuning, a market that sells Balinese food spices, souvenirs, fresh fruits and flowers. One of the sights on the way to Bedugul.
From the market, it was another short drive to Ulun Danu. This sacred temple for the Balinese has a wonderful setting in the middle of the Bedugul Lake up in the highlands of Bali. In fact the place is shrouded with clouds when we reached and it was cool and nice like the weather in Genting, Malaysia. Enjoying the scenery here would be called god-like, and no wonder then that Bali is often referred to as Island of the Gods.
With the main highlight in Bedugul visited, we headed off to Tanah Lot which is in the area of Tabanan at Southwestern Bali for its famous sunset. If you depart from Bedugul latest by 4.30, you should be able to reach Tanah Lot with time to spare for some photography and venturing the tourist markets in that area as well. Another amazing sunset along the coast at Tanah Lot and it was a really crowded tourist attraction. One reason for its crowd is perhaps of its close distance to the beaches of Kuta and Legian, for those who do not want to venture too far into the depths of Bali.
Just a note, there is a cave with a sacred snakes in the Tanah Lot area, and the place is full of tourists, so naturally you get lots of touts hawking their goods around, from postcards to trinkets. There is even a Crocs sandals shop on the way! With the sunset, it was time for dinner and this time round, we were directed by the chauffeur to Made’s Warung, which was another great place for dinner. The restaurant was in an outdoor courtyard with shops selling traditional sarongs and contemporary furniture surrounding the restaurant. Serving traditional Indonesian food with a mix of Western cuisine, the place is popular amongst the hordes of foreigners in Bali. Their spare ribs was good, so was their french fries, but the chef’s recommendation was the nasi campur, or mix rice which contains various small portions of Indonesian vegetables with the rice in the center. But the Indonesian food just isn’t to my taste. A great way to end up the day is by returning to the hotel and enjoy a glass of Inniskillin icewine which I brought along the trip!