Bali, Indonesia

2019 HAL World Cruise

Monday, March 18, 2019

 

When cruising to Bali, we dock in Benoa, a community dedicated to the cruise terminal and looking very much like the fishing village it is.  We have sailed into Benoa and watched fishermen, only yards from the ship, pulling in their catch.

Cruise ships are always greeted with music and traditional dance.  Outside the terminal taxis are available as well as drivers offering their guide services for the entire day for amazingly affordable prices.  There are several interesting areas to visit.  Nusa Dua is the resort area with fabulous hotels, restaurants, and beaches.  Denpasar is the capital city of Bali and is the main market area.  Mas is the district of woodcarvers.  Batubulan is known for its stone crafters and sculptors.  Tohpati is the hub of Batik weaving.  Ubud is the artistic cultural center.

On this visit, we joined another couple, hired a car and driver and drove to both a batik factory and a wood carving gallery before visiting the main attraction, Tirta Empul Temple (aka Tirtha Empul).  This temple was founded in 962 A.D. around a large water spring.  The spring is the source of the Parkerison River.  The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu god.  Tirta Empul is famous for its holy spring water.  This is where Balinese Hindus come for ritual purification.  The temple pond is fed by the spring.  After our Temple visit, we visited the Rice Terraces of Ubud where we enjoyed a typical Balinese lunch before returning to the ship.  It was a lovely day.

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As we dock, the customs officials are already on the dock awaiting our arrival. We are quickly cleared and set out for a day of adventure.
We are greeted by dancers and musicians.
We are greeted by dancers and musicians.
We dash out to find Charlie, our driver, and set out on our tour of Bali.
We dash out to find Charlie, our driver, and set out on our tour of Bali.
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1st stop is the Batik Factory, Bali Bidadari Batik, where we watch the artisans at their craft. We wound up buying several batik shirts. What can I say, shopping happens!!!
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Next stop is the Wood Gallery, Sila Galeri, where we watched artists crafting their wares. It was hard to resist the beautiful pieces. But thoughts of packing and transporting large wooden objects kept us souvenir-free this time!
We watched the wood carvers at work.
We watched the wood carvers at work.
The carvings are beautiful.
The carvings are beautiful.
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Different woods are used in different applications. This is wood from the Crocodile Skin Tree. Behind it is an elephant carved from Hibiscus. The ring peeking out from the lower right is made from Magnolia.
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Seeing as this was the day after our Komodo Island stop, I wonder how many cruise passengers bought a carved Komodo Dragon to take home!
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Loved the glass-topped tables! But had to leave for our next stop–Tirta Empul Temple.
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The highlight of our tour is a visit to Tirtha Empul, the Water Temple. Admission 50,000 Rupiah/pp. That equates to $3.50 USD.
This temple was built in 962 A.D.
This temple was built in 962 A.D.
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This is an amazing tree. It’s some kind of orange tree; but the fruit is poisonous!
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When visiting a temple in Indonesia, it always seems we must wear sarongs. I believe it’s meant to show respect.
The pool is used for ritual purification before entering the prayer garden.
The pool is used for ritual purification before entering the prayer garden.
The grounds of Tirtha Empul are beautiful!
The grounds of Tirtha Empul are beautiful!
But we must leave.  It is time to continue the tour.
But we must leave. It is time to continue the tour.
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We continued to Ubud to view the Rice Terraces and then stop for lunch. This is the view from the Dewi Cafe. Fabulous!
This is the view from our table.
This is the view from our table.
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Indonesian food is spicy, something we really like, so choosing from the extensive menu was difficult. But we had no trouble ordering drinks–Bintang Beer is the local brew.
Voila!  The libation of the day is Bintang Beer.
Voila! The libation of the day is Bintang Beer.
Bintang Beer is a Pilsner brewed on the island of Java in Indonesia.
Bintang Beer is a Pilsner brewed on the island of Java in Indonesia.
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And we were very lucky. Rain had been in the forecast but did not appear until we sat down to lunch. By the time we were ready to leave, it had stopped!
As we head back to the ship, we pass shops.......
As we head back to the ship, we pass shops…….
.....and more shops.....
…..and more shops…..
.....and gardens.....
…..and gardens…..
.....and more gardens.
…..and more gardens.
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And then we are back at the dock and setting off for our next port-of-call. We will stop in Java next.

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