A couple friends and I started off the day by finding a small café in the downtown Seminyak area, where I enjoyed eggs benedict. I had a few minutes to check out the downtown area, and soon we were all headed out on the road again.
Typical roadside shop
Our first stop was suggested by our villa driver, a snorkel trip in the Tenjuang Benoa area with Pandawa Marine Adventures. We were all very excited for the opportunity to snorkel in Bali, but unfortunately did not receive the experience we were hoping for! The “snorkeling” turned out to be just about a two minute boat ride off the coast, surrounded by lots of other boats, and we were only allowed to swim within an approximately 50 square foot area. The water was also VERY murky and polluted, and we saw approximately three different kinds of fish and two coral formations (which you had to swim down to, and couldn’t really see anything even if you did). The water was the saltiest water I have ever tasted in my life, and I can only imagine what beyond boat fuel was in that water. However, they gave us bread to feed the fish (not sure if that’s supposed to be in their diet..) but it was neat to have the fish swim right up to you and beneath you.
Boat ride to the snorkeling area
After about a 10 minute boat ride, our next stop on the excursion was Turtle Island. Now, this sounds amazing, but it might as well have been called “Animal Cruelty island.” Let’s just say this place would never make it through OSHA or conducting business anywhere in the US. Stepping off the boat into dirty water with trash floating in it and grimy beaches was not ideal, as we were told to leave our shoes in the boat.
This was probably one of the most depressing parts of trip because the turtle were collected in small sectioned-off areas with little amounts of very dirty water. There were also cages for several other animals like bats, birds, and a snake that literally had it’s mouth taped shut (the tape was coming off) in a glass case with disintegrating cardboard pieces on the bottom. After ten minutes max we felt as though we might contract some sort of illness if we stayed any longer, and requested the boat drivers to take us back. Upon return to the starting point, we spent some time trying to get a refund for false advertising and due to the extremely poor conditions we were taken through. Now, most of my friends and I on the trip are very modest and would only do something like that if it was absolutely appropriate. Trust me, it was (that’s why there are very few pictures). However, we ended up receiving about half the cost in refunds, and left to turn our day around!
Turtle pool at Turtle Island
Afternoon Pick-Me-Up at Nusa Dua
Our villa driver suggested an alternative place for lunch (since our plans had gone awry), and we headed to the nearby area of Nusa Dua. Here, we found lovely beach club restaurants lining a decorated boardwalk right beside a beach that was pristine compared to our prior adventures. We selected a restaurant called The Bay, which had beautiful seating, covered and uncovered, a concert-like venue with a DJ, as well as a lovely pool that we could use. We happily ate lunch there, and enjoying pad thai and happy hour as we tried to get over what happened that morning.
Beach boardwalk by The Bay restaurant
Enjoying the beach life!
Panoramic view of Nusa Dua beach
After eating, we took a short walk along the beach, through a park at the point of the beach, and found a secret passageway out onto the edge of the cliff. We found perfect flowers that had fallen off the trees, and put them in our hair!
Pathway through the park
A secret passageway we found leading from the park to the edge of the cliff lookout
Enjoying the park by putting flowers in our hair
Uluwatu Cliff Temple
Prior to departure, Uluwatu Cliff Temple had been on my list of things to do in Bali. This temple is perched right on the very edge of an incredibly tall cliff, with stairs leading all around the perimeter of the surrounding cliffs. As with any temple, you will be given a sari to wear upon entrance, as you must have your knees covered. The point we first came out at after going through the entrance was about in the middle of one section. To the right you could see a wedding, with the couple taking photos literally on the edge of the cliff. Look closely for the white spec in the photo! To the right, you could see the temple.
View to the left of center, Uluwatu temple on the top edge of the cliff
View to the right, stairs leading along the edge with a wedding on the far point cliff
After walking through and seeing the beautiful architecture we followed the path through another cliff section, coming to a point where monkeys commonly gather. This sounds fun, but beware monkeys can be dangerous. Typically, they are non-intrusive and will not bother you if you don’t bother them. However, don’t look them directly in the eyes, as this is a sign of aggression, or to have any lose items on you (sunglasses, water bottle, tissues etc). They will, and did, take these items off people and eat them, and if you try to get it back you will regret it. My first thought was that I do NOT want to get anywhere close to them, and my second was that it cannot be healthy for them to consume all these synthetic and material items. Regardless, the Uluwatu is a famous and beautiful temple, and I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever in Bali.
Monkey on the railing, no camera zoom used!
They aren’t kidding!
One of my favorite spots on the property was the last lookout point, where you can go right up to the edge of a massive cliff, look over, and see the straight drop below. Creepy, yes, but nonetheless breathtaking.
Favorite lookout point, recorded looking out over the cliff
Group photo at the same lookout point as the video above
Later that evening, we went to dinner at a restaurant called Mosaic, where I got mushroom and black truffle oil risotto. We eventually went back to the villa and stayed up decently late figuring out are villa bill, packing for the flight the next day, and talking about what all we were planning on doing the next day. While the morning started out a little rough, our day came together quite well and once again offered us a few amazing experiences.