Bali Day Seven: Jatiluwih & Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Travel Blog

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Rice terraces, the Balinese money shot

After lunch we headed back down the mountain the same way we came in the direction of Jatiluwih.  The road was quite windy and narrow once we left Bedugul behind.  Before actually reaching the padi fields our car was stopped by large group of villagers and children who requested a toll from us before we could see their fields.  Norman paid them so I'm not sure how much it was but I think it was a nominal fee.  Upon entering rice terrace country we were quite amazed by the beauty of this man-made creation set in the shadows of Mount Batukaru.  Every where we looked there were terraces.  We saw very few farmers and we assumed it was due to the hot afternoon sun. 

Towards the end of the road there was a small section of empty warungs and shops where Norman stopped to let us explore and walk around a bit.

I thought he was cute
  I managed to capture a photo of a farmer and his cow and a small temple.  Norman later told us that the temples that dotted the field were in honor of Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice.  Up close you can see how the water flows from one tier to the next in a beautiful succession made possible by human ingenuity and gravity.  Supposedly the water flows all the way down to Denpasar.  We took a multitude of photos but unfortunate we were there before the rice started to sprout so our photos show mostly terraces of brown water.   Being surrounded by this magnificence agrarian scene made me think of Van Gogh's wheat fields and one could only imagine what he could done if he made it to Bali.

Among the terraces the Balinese also built many rest houses which they use for their afternoon breaks as well as for sheltering for their cows.  Norman told us that the cows serve as a secondary income and the farmers can fetch around $750-$1,000 per grown cow.  On the way out Norman told us how Michael Jackson once visited Jatiluwih and asked to buy the place.  The locals told him it was not for sell which is easy to imagine considering that each plot is shared by multiple families.  What followed was a brief conversation on Michael Jackson's talent and music.  Norman happened to have some of his music on hand so for the rest of the ride down to Tabanan we listened to Micheal Jackson's hits.

Along the way we stopped at a tiny fruit stand since I mentioned earlier to Norman that I enjoy durian.

Le Meridien's lovely golf course. Supposedly one of the best in Asia
  Norman bought a few of them and had part of one cut open.  He gave us each a pod which we had a hard time finishing since they were so rich.  The taste of the buttery, creamy sweetness brought me back to my mom's favorite dessert made of sticky rice and durian.  If you happen to be a fan of durian make sure you attempt it one day as it is hard to find in restaurants or on the streets. 

After seeing villages past by and amusing ourselves with photographing a motorcyclist carry around a large load of eggs we arrived in Tabanan.  The roads in Tabanan were large and it look like a smaller, less commercialized version of Denpasar.  We continued south to the edge of city to Tanah Lot to catch the sunset.

A sunset Bintang
  By the time we pulled into the parking lot it was almost 5PM.  The place of buzzing with cars, stalls and people.  Judging by the size of the parking lot alone I would have to say that this is the biggest tourist attraction on Bali.  Norman dropped us off and told us to wait for him while he parked the car.  When he reappeared he lead us through the small village of vendors, shops and restaurant to the water's edge.  Once by the sea and in clear view of Tanah Lot there was more room for people to spread out and we let out a sigh of relief in appreciation of our new found spaciousness. 

Along the south side of the park we found a small road that leads up a hill to a group of shops and warungs that overlook Tanah Lot.  We continued on that road until the row of warungs ended and found ourselves at Le Meridien's beautiful golfcourse.

Finally, the sunset
  The course had a good vantage point of Tanah Lot so we snapped a few photos before descending down to the tide pools from their resort.

Once we reached the actually temple it was like Disneyland with people lining up for various things.  Some were in line to be blessed by holy water officiated by the Hindu priests while others were in line to see the Holy Snake.  I was mildly interested in the holy water but when I saw some of the worshipers drinking the stuff I decided it was the wrong line for me since I was not taking another chance with un-bottled water holy or not.  After walking to the north side and watching people take pictures with a giant snake we decided it was time to grab a seat at a warung to watch the sunset. 

bernard69 says:
great blog!
Posted on: Jan 19, 2010
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Rice terraces, the Balinese money …
Rice terraces, the Balinese money…
I thought he was cute
I thought he was cute
Le Meridiens lovely golf course. …
Le Meridien's lovely golf course.…
A sunset Bintang
A sunset Bintang
Finally, the sunset
Finally, the sunset
The tourist at the foot of Tanah L…
The tourist at the foot of Tanah …
Tourist taking pictures with a gia…
Tourist taking pictures with a gi…
Hows that for fragile cargo?
How's that for fragile cargo?
Tanah Lot
photo by: Mezmerized