Bali Indonesia - Top Honeymoon pick
Bali is an island with rich black soil. It is located on the Sunde shelf in the Bali Sea which is fed by the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is an exotic island with interesting people and a captivating culture. I will try to pass on my love of this island by telling you about their wildlife, beaches, fruit, temperature, temples and religions.
Macaque Monkeys at Uluwatu
The only wildlife I saw while in Bali was the Macaque monkeys and Fruit bats. Bali does have the Muntijak deer which is of great interest in evolution studies because they have the lowest recorded chromosome numbers with the male having seven and the female six chromosomes.
Bali is home to the Chevrotain mouse-deer which is only three generations from being extinct. The waters of Bali are home to the Dugong which is related to the Elephant. The Dugong was inspiration to the Ancient seafaring tales of mermaids and sirens. They have the Banteng Cow, Pangolin - Anteater, Cuscus - Possum, Wild Pig, Black Panther, and Dolphin which are well known animals.
I loved the free range monkey forests with the Macaque monkeys. I had opportunity to visit two monkey forests and several temples that had many of these monkeys. Bali also boast to being home to the slow Loris monkeys and Leaf monkeys. The Loris monkey is endangered and the only primate that is poisonous.
Surfers and Sunbathers
The best time for sunbather's to visit Bali's beaches is April to October. The beaches have less debris from tides. For the surfers, May to September, is the time the Antarctica current brings the largest swells. The nirvana cave entry beach of Uluwatu is great during both the wet and dry seasons. During the wet season the waves are thinner and you will need the right board. The swell size at Uluwatu is from the left and goes from 3 feet to 12 feet depending on the day. Padang Padang is best during the dry season for beginner surfers.
The fruits of Bali are unforgettable. I remember having a large plate of fruit for $1.00. The plate was loaded with Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Papaya, Jackfruit, Star fruit, Mangosteen, Pomelo, Salak, Rambatan and Sour sop. The fruits are exotic and have unusual textures.
The Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Papaya and Star fruit are fruits we get to enjoy here in the continental United States. Some of the other fruits will on occasion end up here, but there are some of the fruits of Bali that do not transport well and are best enjoyed on the island.
The Jackfruit is the world largest fruit weighing up to 80 pounds. It is a huge, spined, oval fruit. the peal is not eaten. The sweet flesh and seeds are editable. It smells like rotten eggs.
This large yellow or green citrus fruit, Pamelo, is spongy and has a sweet white or pink flesh., the pink flesh can sometimes be bitter.
Salak is also known as snake or snakeskin fruit. It is not pleasant or inviting to view with its dark brown color and rubbery peal. It is exotic, because it looks like a snakes skin and is a tasty acidic delight.
Rambatan is a hairy fruit and the white flesh that is sweet and succulent. It has a thick, red rubbery peal. The flesh is light pink and has an acidy taste.
The lime green Sour sop is aromatic and messy. It is has a creamy flesh texture and is pulpy like an orange or grapefruit.
My very favorite fruit is the Mangosteen. It is round apple-sized and deep purple. It exudes a reddish, thick, juicy, sap which can stain clothing. You can easily remove the thick purple peal to reveal a white inner flesh. It’s nickname is “blood fruit.” It produces a sweet strike to the taste buds.
Bartering for the Bargain
The prices were great in 1990 when I had the privilege of visiting Bali. The hotel room cost me $8.00 a night. You could get a large plate of lobster for $5.50. To buy things in the open market you had to barter. If you were the first to the shop they would give you really good prices to get you to purchase something. They felt it was "bad luck" if first customer did not buy. There were some shop keepers who would close for the day if you did not buy.
What’s the Weather Like?
The average temperature in Bali is 80 degrees year around. There is between 6-10 hours of sunlight daily. The average sea temperature is in the lower 80 degree range year around. Bali has wonderful breezes which are refreshing.
I visited two caves Goa Gajah an eleventh century “Elephant Cave” and Pura Goa Lawah which is a “Bat Cave.” Both caves are places of worship. I visited the inside of the “Bat Cave” it was full of very large fruit bats. The floors were covered with deep piles of bat guano and it was packed so tight it was like walking on a paved road. The cave had a foul smell, but watching the bats ranging in size from 2 ½ inches to 5 ½ inches in size was fascinating. As the evening fell we watched dark clouds of bats circle and enter the caves. We also visited the Elephant Cave. I was with a friend who refused to go inside the Elephant Cave because the local belief that you would have "bad luck" if you pass through the entrance of the cave. I viewed the “Elephant Cave” from a safe distance. I could only see bats, guano, and darkness.
Seven Spectacular Balinese Temples
- On the side of Mount Agung is the Mother Temple of Pura Luhur.
- I viewed Tarah Lot Temple from a distance. If you choose to view the inside you will have to come prepared to swim. Tarah Lot means “Land in the middle of the sea.”
- Pura Luhur at Uluwatu is my favorite of the temple. Uluwatu is a 11th century temple. Luhur means “Something of divine origin.” I was instructed to go just as the sun was setting to see the boats returning to the shore. I hired the taxi to be at the hotel in time to see this sight. I arrived about an hour prior to sundown. Giving myself enough time to walk the quarter of a mile up the steps to the top temple. I peaked the top of the temple steps just in time to see the fleet 13th century style ships heading to shore. It was a strikingly, elegant view as the boats, single file, crossed the horizon of the Western sky headed for shore.
- Pura Tirta Empul, built in 926 AD, is said to have healing waters.
- Pura Ulun Dana Bratan, build in 1926, is the second most important temple, after the Mother Temple.
- Goa Lawah Temple, built in 1007 AD, is carved into the rock surrounding the entrance to bat caves.
- Taman Ayun Temple, built in 1634, in Megwl means “beautiful garden” and is a family temple.
I only visited two of the temples; Uluwatu and Tarah Lot.
Captivating People of Bali
Religions of Bali
It was Easter when I visited Bali. I had hoped to visit a friend in Java, but did not make the connection. I tried to reach a Christian Church to get the time of the Resurrection Service, but never reached the Pastor. I did find out that there was a Catholic Church holding a service connected with the Hotel.
Bali is a country that worships in the religions of Buddhist, Hindu and Moslem. I am not sure which religion was being practiced when the people put out their offering each day. They offered food and flowers to their god for "good luck." I observed that these offerings were eaten by birds, ridden through with bicycles, walked upon by people and swept up at the end of the day. This experience left me feeling their offerings were in vain.
This is just a few of the wonderful things found in Bali. I took a boat ride on a lake which is on an inactive volcano, watched a shadow puppet show on the beach at sunset and saw many beautiful terraced rice fields. There was a lady carrying thirty or more baskets on her head, I attended a traditional (non-tourist,) Barong-Rangda Dance. I was sitting Indian style on a concrete temple floor for four hours listening to tinkling finger cymbals and watching a gruesome dance of good and evil. Your airplane ticket is the most expensive thing about your trip, but once you get there things are reasonable priced. If you are planning a honeymoon, Bali is the ideal place to spend it.