Welcome to the Paradise Island : Bali


We were waiting for the summer vacations to begin. This is not because we particularly enjoy the hot and humid climate but because we had been planning for months for a trip to the beautiful island of Bali.

Bali is a small island of around 5000 sq KM in area and is a province of Indonesia. Although Indonesia is a Muslim country, Bali is a province where more that 80% of the population practise Hinduism. Bali is an extremely popular tourist destination in South East Asia. What makes Bali so popular is its diverse geographical conditions like the beaches, the lush greenery, the active volcano, the waterfalls and even the mountains. It is not just the geography but the culture, practises and the people that make Bali a very preferred tourist destination.

Now planning a short trip for a week to Bali was an extremely difficult task as there were too many beautiful places that we wanted to include in our itinerary. Ms Radhika from C World, Trivandrum, helped us to make a 7 day programme that included the essence of Bali. Since we were travelling with a 6 year old, we did not want to push in too many things in a day and wanted ample time for rest. Ms Radhika scouted all the available flights to Bali and finally we zeroed on Singapore Airlines that was flying to Bali with a stop over at Singapore. So all things done, we were packed and ready. Our little boy, had been counting the days since the beginning of the summer vacations.

We took a late night flight from Kochi International Airport to Changi Airport, Singapore. Zavi hadn’t flown in an airplane since the onset of Covid-19, so the experience of flying was totally thrilling to him. We boarded the flight and he was super excited to see the in flight entertainment screen and immediately put on his favourite movie. As the flight started to taxi along the runway, Zavi’s expression started to get more exciting and finally when the flight gathered its maximum speed and gave a thrust and flew into the air, Zavi was awestruck. He did not have any words to express his feelings. The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. We landed at Changi Airport, Singapore in around 4 hours. The Changi Airport, Singapore is rated as the Best Airport in the world and one of biggest in the world. We landed at Terminal 1 and we realised that we had to go to Terminal 2 for our next flight to Bali. Since our layover time was only an hour, we quickly looked for the shortest route to Terminal 2. We understood that the Sky Train was the best option. So we boarded the Sky Train and headed to Terminal 2. The Sky Train is like a typical metro system and it was a first time experience for us. And it definitely was a good experience. Before boarding onto our next flight to Bali, we were instructed to fill in the Visa on Arrival forms online and keep a QR code ready that was generated after filing in this form online. Now by this time Zavi was too tired and jet lagged as his good night sleep was interrupted. He slept off as soon as we boarded the next flight to Bali. Our journey to Bali was also quite uneventful but as we got ready to land, the view from the aeroplane was amazing. We landed at the Ngurah Rai International Airport and we really did feel like we were going to land into the sea. The feeling was not in a scary way but in a very beautiful way. We quickly woke up Zavi and got down and headed straight to the visa on arrival counter. We expected a huge queue and a lot of delay. But to our surprise, although there was a small queue, the queue moved really quickly. When it was our turn, we just had to show the QR code, our passports and the details of the hotels we booked. The fee for the visa was USD 35 per person. We quickly made our way to collect our bags and in no time we were outside trying to spot the person who was supposed to pick us up

Ms Radhika from C World, Trivandrum had already shared with us the name and contact details of the person who was supposed to pick us up from the airport. We contacted him and there he was waiting right outside. So we were greeted by Mr. Ari Pradana, he got his vehicle and we were ready to go, to start our Bali trip.

Rama Beach Resort

The first item in our itinerary was to check in at our first hotel- Rama Beach Resort. We were glad that the resort was pretty close to the airport since we were pretty much tired and wanted to freshen up. Our journey to Bali was pretty long. The first thing that caught my attention when we reached the resort was the extremely cheerful smile of the staff starting from the security personnel at the gate. As we made our way to the lobby, we saw that there was a big statue of Lord Ganesha in the lobby. We were greeted with cold fruit juice and without much delay, we were escorted to our room. As we made our way to our villa, I found greenery in abundance and an overall relaxed vibe. The restaurant was pretty much big and pool facing. The common pool in particular looked really inviting. But we didn’t jump in we had opted for pool villa because we were sure that our Zavi would love it. We had planned to take rest for an hour or two and then head out to our first place for sightseeing. But Zavi had totally different ideas. As soon as he saw that we had a mini pool in our room, he wanted all of us to get in. The room was decent sized with a huge bathroom and a nice outdoor area with our private pool. Zavi wasted no time and he wanted his swim suit immediately. Although we were dead tired, we finally gave in. We had some good pool time and finally after around 2 hours we were freshened up and ready for lunch. I already had a fair idea that we would not find it difficult to adjust to the food here at Indonesia. We ordered two plates of chicken satay with rice and prawn crackers and peanut sauce. The food was delicious. With our tummies full, we were all set for our first destination.

Ulluwatu Temple

Ulluwatu Temple is one of the most popular tourist destinations at Bali. As the name suggests, it is a Hindu temple. We were totally looking forward to see the difference between temples in India and at Bali. But unfortunately, due to religious reasons, which we totally respect, no tourists are allowed inside the temple complex. We are supposed to wear a sarong (a cloth covering our lowered body) while entering the temple. The temple is situated on a cliff.

The journey to Ulluwatu Temple was pretty uneventful, with all of us taking quick naps in the car as we were totally jet lagged. Ulluwatu Temple is situated towards the southern tip of Bali and we almost had a hour’s drive from our hotel. The place being one of most visited tourists spots, was swarming with tourists when we arrived. Our guide, Mr.Ari, got us the entrance tickets and guided us through the place. Entry is restricted into the main temple complex and we can walk right upto the north cliff or the south cliff to click pictures of the sunset. We decided to go walk towards the southern side as we had also taken tickets for seeing the ‘Kecak Dance’ and this was going to be held in the open amphitheater at the southern cliff. Although the scenery of the sea with the sunset in the background was beautiful, we were actually a bit too tired to enjoy it. Also there were too many monkeys snatching away stuff from people that we could not enjoy the scenic beauty of the place with some piece of mind. One had to always be alert of monkey attack. But nonetheless, we enjoyed the sunset view from the Southern Cliff.

The Kecak Dance

I personally believe the best part of our visit to Uluwatu Temple was indeed ‘The Kecak Dance’. The Kecak Dance is a depiction of the Hindu epic Ramayana. A brief outline of the story and the acts that were presented were printed and given to the audience at the main entrance itself. What makes this dance really special is that, there were no musical instruments or mics. It was just people singing and making sounds like they were doing beat boxing. The dancers danced to this rhythm. They not only depicted the story but also interacted with the crowd which made the whole experience even more enjoyable. The use of fire towards the end of the show was really a wow moment and I could here people gasping in the crowd. The show was around an hour long but the time just flew by and before we knew it the show was done and we were heading for our special sea side sea food dinner. After a sumptuous dinner we were drop dead tired and just wanted to get back to our hotel.

Taman Ayun Royal Family Temple

Day 2 started with a quick walk to the beach. As it was quite sunny, we did not stay at the beach side for long and went back to the lobby to meet Mr. Ari who was going to take us to two temples. Our first destination was the The Taman Ayun Royal Temple. The temple was situated at Mengwi, which was around 45 minutes drive from our hotel. As we reached the temple, we spotted a procession. On enquiring with Mr. Ari, we were informed that it was procession carrying a dead body for the last rites. He informed us that in Balinese Hindu culture, the dead would be buried only on specific days of the month after consulting their Hindu calendar. On the day of the burial, the departed would be carried on special carriages as a procession with light music and prayers. After catching a glimpse of the procession, we made our way to the entrance of the temple. Here again, we were given sarongs to wear. But this place was not crowded like Uluwatu Temple and the peace and serenity of a temple complex exuded here. Here again, tourists were not allowed inside the main temple complex. The architectural beauty of the place was unique. The high rising roofs of each of the shrines were made of hay. I was shocked to know this first as Mr.Ari had given us this details. But on closer observation, I understood that it indeed was hay. We could walk around the temple complex and marvel at the beauty of this temple. Here we also saw a ‘ Barong’ on display. The Barong is a panther like structure which is considered as the king of spirits. In this temple complex, there is also small museum giving us insights of the royal family. One is free to explore the gardens here as well but as Zavi did not find this place very interesting, we decided to get back to our vehicle and go on to the next temple.

The Holy Shri Devi is the goddess of beauty, fertility, and prosperity which is created arises from the spinning movement of ocean milk. Shri Devi also as the goddess of Rice is the cacti of the Holy Goddess Vishnu Deva

Tanah Lot Temple

Our next destination was the Tanah Lot Temple. We decided to have lunch before heading out to Tanah Lot. Although we wanted to try some small cafe or just visit the neared Mc D for lunch, Mr Ari insisted on taking us to an Indian restaurant. Although the food was on a pricier side, we had nothing to complain about the taste. After lunch, we were at Tanah Lot in no time. Mr. Ari bought the tickets and showed us the way in. He also told us not to buy any stuff from the souvenir shops at Tanah Lot as they were more expensive. This was a good strategy as I saw that Laya did not waste any time at any of the shops, not even window shopping. We walked straight down a lane with souvenir shops on both sides and reached the gates of Tanah Lot. We could see the structure of the temple from a distance by the sea. We made our way down to the sea shore. Here again there were plenty of tourists. But unlike Uluwatu Temple, the crowd was spread all around the beach. We first headed towards a rock where the waves were crashing and I felt we could get good pictures. Zavi loved it here. He totally enjoyed standing in the rocks and watch the waves crashing on the rocks. We then walked to the main temple premises. Here again there was a small touristy thing that some old Balinese men were doing. They were offering some water from a fresh water spring, with some flowers and rice and in exchange we could make some small donations. Like the other temples, even Tanah Lot Temple complex was not open for public. But here the scenery was too mesmerising. After spending some more time by the sea, we walked back. Once we reached back at the gate we walked to explore the place. There were many street vendors too selling souvenirs and small toys. We walked through the garden set up and there were also places for us the take pictures of another temple at the sea at Tanah Lot. As the weather was really hot and stuffy, we decided to head back to the car.

Back in the car, our last itinerary of the day was a family massage. The massage was booked close to our hotel itself. As we made our way back, I noticed that most of the houses looked like temples and I even saw people praying. I enquired with Mr.Ari and he told me that all houses have private temples in their compound. As the houses get bigger, the private temples also get bigger. I also noticed that there offerings at the gate of the houses on the floor as well as on pillars used for praying. I just realised that although I was a Hindu, the traditions in Bali were really intriguing and I was astonished by the fact that everyone followed it. The beautiful culture of Bali was setting in on me.

If you like to read our Bali blogs then catch up with our experience, 


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Rahul Devakumar
Creative Media Studio

We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.


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