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Published: February 6th 2011
Just the Bird's Head
If this is just the head of the Garuda, can you imagine how big the whole thing could possibly be?
This posting is the sequel of my previous writing on Kuta (entitled Kuta: The beach of the gods), which is part of Kiki's and my summer trip to Indonesia in 2010. As described before that we stayed by the Kuta beach, we then decided to rent a small car for getting around other places. The rent price for the gas was very fair, around 20 euros per 24 hours. Kiki gave up the driving thing to me, which I understand fully, considering the traffic mess and crowd in Bali. Not to mention that in Indonesia we drive on different side than non-UK-European countries. We drive on the left side of the road, which actually the right side by the way.
One morning after having breakfast at the hotel, we left for Uluwatu Temple. On the way, we visited Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural site. This site is an unfinished project of a supposed-to-be-the-tallest Hindu monument on earth. The selling point of the site is actually the unfinished-ness itself. So the actual design is a huge statue of Wisnu (Vishnu) riding his sacred Garuda (a mystical powerful eagle in Sanskrit mythology which also serves as the coat of arm of Indonesia). Well
Vishnu armless upper body part
recently, the statue is now still in 3 parts. A huge statue of Vishnu (the chest and head), a statue of his arms, and a statue of the bird. These separate pieces are already huge though, I can't imagine if one day they will really put them together. Inside the site there is a big open space that sometimes used for concerts and cultural events, there is an open theater where Balinese traditional dances are performed every sunsets, there is a museum of the development of the site, souvenir shops, and mostly just open air area with beautiful flowers and fish ponds. We had some drinks in an open coffee shop and I remember Kiki bought some souvenirs for some friends. By the way, the entrance fee costs differently for local tourist and international tourist. It sounds kind of odd, but I paid around 1 euro while Kiki had to pay around 7. I mean, it's not like it's not affordable anyway.
Around midday we continued the trip up to Uluwatu temple. This is a site by the sea with a Hindu praying temple on the cliff. This part of the coast is different, it's not a beach kind
The Indian Ocean
The bird-eye view from the temple
like Kuta, it's a cliff with no beach. The view was amazing, you can see the clear blue sea under you when you stand on the temple area. The temple itself is located in the woods, the home of zillion monkeys. It's a sacred place for the Hindus, so visitors also have to follow the rule, which is pretty easy: your lower body has to be well covered, at least until your knees level. No need to worry, if you happen to be wearing short pants or skirt, you'll get this purple traditional sarong with yellow belt for you to wear around your waist. I got one because I was wearing a mini dress, but Kiki didn't because he was wearing his surfing pants that were slightly under his knee long. However, it's not Kiki if he's not curious, so he asked one for himself, had the ticket guy helped him to put the sarong on him. About the monkeys, I think I kind of heard long time ago, I'm not source what the source was, that once it was a kingdom that the people get cursed to become monkeys. But anyway, the monkeys are protected inside the park, and
Some are rubbing each other, some are cooling down in the pond, some are swinging on the trees
well treated I must say, we saw some really fat ones. They are not that wild, but they are kind of naughty. If you don't keep your belongings carefully, they might take them forcefully from you. Most things they are attracted to are glasses and hats, or foods though. The monkeys are everywhere, they're not in the cage like the ones in the zoo, they're on your way, above you on the tree branches, behind you following you walking, but trust me, you don't have reasons to be freaked out, they well behave and are very cute if you don't disturb them.
The entrance fee was very cheap, I believe around a euro for each. The main shrink is closed when there is no ceremony, but we did see around, and we did walk along the pathway by the wall of the cliff. It was a very nice sunny day as it everyday is in any tropical country. We spent maybe an hour just sitting down in the shadow of a big tree where we could see the monkeys playing while we enjoyed the sea breeze. Later that afternoon we were curious to check out the new safari park in Bali, which is the third safari park in the country (the first is in West Java and the second is in East Java). I will explain about what the safari park is in my next section about our travel to East Java. Anyway, when we got to this Bali safari park, it was closed already, because we arrived at half past 5, since we spent hours getting lost (well I didn't know Bali that well, and we didn't have GPS). However, we spent the day very nicely though! For us, as long as it's the sea and the sun, nothing can go wrong.
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