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Friday, August 24, 2012

Mount Batur , Lake Batur - Kintamani @ Bali

After having visited Tampak Siring Spring , we continued our journey to Kintamani. Kintamani is a highland area in the east of Bali. I have forgotten how long it took us to get there. It was an easy ride for us as the road directly took us to the top where we could view Mt Batur. It was quite windy at the top of the viewing deck located at the roadside. Mount Batur which is in Kintamani is an active volcano located at the north west of Mount Agung. Mount Agung is the highest possible point in Bali island. According to the locals, this volcano has been constantly spitting a small amount of lava. 
 The weather was not on our side as you can see from the picture above. Mount Batur was covered by a huge piece of fluffy cloud. It was hazy and we could not see the mountain tip. What a shame. We stood there for quite some time waiting for the cloud to shift itself but nope.. it was stubborn and decided to stay stationary at its comfortable spot. But that didn't stop many other tourists from standing and snapping photos. 

This is Lake Batur. It is the largest lake in Bali and is crescent in shape. I think the water in the lake should be quite cold as the surrounding temperature is quite cold too.According to the locals, it is also a sacred lake as they mainly survive on agriculture and fishing. This is the best picture I could find from my collection. I know not much to see but at least you guys know that there is a magnificent lake just beside the magnificent Mt Batur. 

As I have mentioned earlier, the small communities living in this area survive on agriculture thanks to the black lava flowing out from this volcano. Its constant flow of lava has enriched the soil with minerals and is ideal for the folks to earn a living from it. Tourism has increased dramatically in this area and has caused a slight jam on the way up.

Things to note from my own experience:

1) Although the weather is cool , don't forget the shades as the sun can still be peeping at us.

2) Be prepared to expect a bad weather with overcast like us. We couldn't have a proper look of the mountain.

3) Due to this spot being increasingly popular among tourist, goods or souvenir sellers are popping like mushrooms after the rain. Firstly, one would approach you to see if you wanted to buy something and then a big group would follow. They would pester you till you gave in. DO NOT ask for the price here is you have NO intention in buying! Please bear in mind! We really had a very bad experience in this incident.

4) Another thing to remember is always to check the things which you have bought. These sellers would show you a nicely carved ornament and packed a chipped one in the bag.

5) I bought some mangosteens thinking that I could have some tropical fruits along the journey. Bought a kilogramme of it and only got 8 mangosteens! Do not trust these guys here in Kintamani... always check before leaving!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tampak Siring Temple Holy Spring- Bali , Indonesia

 Bali is very famous for temples, the locals pay tribute to their Gods every day. So we decided to include a few temples in our itinerary while in Bali. The first temple we went to was Tampak Siring Temple or known as Tirta Empul. It is located in Tampak Siring Village and it's probably about 45minutes - 1hour drive from Denpasar. It is a holy spring water temple and it has an interesting history or fable behind it. Let me give you some idea of what the fable is all the about. See the picture below? You will see this once you enter the temple. This is the statue of (I think) God Indra.Once there was a very powerful king who could disappear suddenly called Bedahulu or Mayadenawa. Because of his power, he became very arrogant and claimed he was a god. He also had a very cruel assistant. God Indra somehow fought against this king and a battle occurred in this area. Mayadenawa poisoned the troops with toxic water in a drinking pond and all the soldiers died. Upon knowing this, God Indra poked into the ground and holy water emerged and revived the dead soldiers - well, of course God Indra won the battle.

There is an altar in front of a big tree where people pay their tribute to the tree. People believe there are tree spirits in all big trees.

I have seen Indians with pots and pans on their heads but never once seen people with combs of bananas on their heads. These two women were trying to sell us ONE banana for A DOLLAR. They probably thought we had never seen a banana before.. (just joking).

Before entering the pool, all of the people would offer something with lit incense sticks.

This is how it looks like from the top. According to the locals, the water emerges from this land could be drunk without the fear of abdominal pain. Will you try?

It looks so clean and clear that I wanted to jump in but was not allowed because we didn't have appropriate clothing with us plus we didn't bring anything to pay tribute to the holy land.

 We were very lucky to visit on that day as they were having some sort of celebration. Men, women and children dressed up nicely in white costumes.

 This is the place where the spring water emerges from the ground. It is situated at the top and can you spot the black spots? It is where the spring water comes out from. I don't know if others noticed it but I am sure I saw the spots moving around in the pool.

Things to note :
 1)  There is an entrance fee of IDR 15,000 per person.
 2)  Before entering the central complex of the temple, visitors must take off their shoes as a respect.
 3)  Not allowed to wear short pants but sarongs could be borrowed free of charge to cover up our legs.
 4)  Ladies are advised to stay away during menstruation.
 5)  Do not climb on the holy building.
 6)  Bring extra clothing if you want to have a dip in the water.
 7)  Ask your tour guide on what to bring if you want to pay tribute to the god. ( I was quite disappointed     when my guide didn't tell us about that... I would love to do that!

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