When author Elizabeth Gilbert coined the book “Eat, Pray, Love”, i thought that she was referring to one place only – Bali, Indonesia. Located 3.2km away east of Java and with about 93.18% population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, this island offers a different perspective on the world largest Muslim population.
Though for most tourist Bali is a place to surf and tan, this island is also known for its ART. Make sure to catch their own play production of the famous love story Ramayana (Rama and Sita), visit local painting galleries or stop by to one of the shops to see a demonstration on how they create silver jewelries. For most part, I am in awe of the paintings made by local artist – such an honest work depicting nothing but the culture and life of Balinese people. Well, I actually end up buying one.
Your Bali vacation is incomplete if you don’t visit the Uluwatu Monkey Temple. On the entrance, there are free sarong and sashes for the visitors since you need to be properly dressed to enter the temple. From the name itself, the temple is populated by monkeys who sometimes are not so friendly – they will snatch your belongings, so make sure that you are not wearing any jewelry, eyeglass, etc. I saw a monkey approached a Japanese lady and taken her earrings in a split second. It’s a bit of a scary and you need help from the locals to get back your stuff by bribing the monkey with food. At around 6pm you will be invited to watch the Kecak Dance (Monkey Dance), it something to see and great way to admire the sunset as well.
If you ask me where is the best place to eat, nothing will beat the small eatery near the Kuta beaches. Soto Ayam, krupuk and Coke on a lazy afternoon is incomparible and you get to meet and share stories with Old Westerners who decided to retire in Bali.
These days Bali is becoming a popular tourist destination for Wedding ceremonies and I can understand why… There is a sense of serenity on this island that makes you want to love and be loved (I was in love when I went to Bali , memories….)