Lemon's mix: Bali Part I

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bali Part I

Till now, one of my more far-flung holiday destinations was Bali in July 2013.

When I was planning this vacation, at the top of my sightseeing list were undoubtedly the temples, the rice terraces and the tropical forests. But once I arrived there, I realized that Bali has even more to offer than originally expected.

My husband and I spent the first week of our Bali vacation in Seminyak. Seminyak is the boutique shopping capital of Bali with beautiful accomodations, multicultural dining spots and great bars. I particularly enjoyed the Red Carpet Champagne Bar. A bar with free appetisers and really tasty drinks, served by costumed waiters. Awesome!!! But the center of Bali's nightlife is Kuta and it took us just 15 minutes (by taxi) to get there.

The Beach in Seminyak is more of a fine brown sand with a very rough surf, but since our hotel had an infinity pool, most of the time we just stayed at the pool and enjoyed the sea view from there.

The Seminyak - Beach Resort & Spa © Lemon's mix

Over ninety per cent of Balinese are Hindu. But the Balinese Hinduism (also called Hindu Dharma) originated from Java and is a blend of Shaivism and Buddhism. And as soon as we arrived in Bali, we noticed everywhere the Balinese Hindu beliefs and practices:

 Offerings to the gods of Bali (Canang sari) / Stone statues © Lemon's mix

The small offerings are a daily ritual to appease the gods and ward off negative influences. The offerings are made from organic materials like coconut leaves, palm leaves, bamboo strips, flowers, rice, etc.

The (stone) statues can represent gods, goddesses, guardians or demons and you can see them in Bali as often as temples. And let me point out, that almost every home in Bali has its own temple!

But one of the most important and picturesque temples in Bali is the Royal Temple of Mengwi, also known as Pura Taman Ayun.

  Pura Taman Ayun © Lemon's mix
Pura Taman Ayun © Lemon's mix

The Royal Temple of Mengwi was built in 1634 and is a stunning piece of architecture. The whole temple complex has three areas and is surrounded by water.

Another very beautiful temple is the Pura Tanah Lot which is dedicated to the guardian spirits of the sea.

 Pura Tanah Lot © Lemon's mix

Tanah Lot itself is a rock formation on the island's West Coast and a very famous spot for watching the sunset.

We also had the chance, to try the most expensive and unique coffee in the world.

- Kopi Luwak -

On Bali, where the coffee is made, you can try a cup for 4 USD. But let me explain, what's so unique about this coffee.

Luwaks are Asian Palm Civets who are eating the choicest ripe coffee cherries, digests the soft outer part of the cherries and then excrete the remaining beans. Afterwards the farm workers collect the excreted beans, wash them, roast them and voilà, you have the most expensive coffee in the world. And this is how it looks like:

Kopi Luwak / excreted beans © Lemon's mix
Kopi Luwak / washed beans © Lemon's mix
Kopi Luwak / roasted beans © Lemon's mix

I guess many would say, that the Kopi Luwak tastes incredibly good but to be honest, I did not notice any big difference to regular coffee but maybe because I am also more of a tea drinking type.

And after our Kopi Luwak tasting, we finally went to the rice terraces:

rice terraces © Lemon's mix

Unfortunately there was not really much rice growing but still, the view was stunning!!