Beautiful green rice terraces, huge surf waves, Hindu temples, charming people and awesome dives is what defines Bali. This is not a small island though you can drive all around in a long long day. No doubt Bali remains the top attraction of all South East Asia. This summer of 2017, luckily in the main season in August i found myself in the paradise for 3 nice sunny days. Bali is a great destination for all including families, solo backpackers, culture lovers, surf lovers, hikers, divers or for just simple relaxation and shopping.
This time i had only 3 days to explore and this being a solo trip, i focused on the adventure part which is scuba diving. Next time it will be for the Bali with temples and relaxation and family.
Day 1: Since I was already in Indonesia, i took an early morning flight to Bali from Java. I landed at 7:30 AM and by 8:30 AM i was sitting on my taxi to Tulamben. Tulamben is known as a prime dive destination in Bali and is known for the ship wreck.
Since i had 3 days only and last day i flyout in the evening, i cannot do a dive on the day 3. So i had only 2 days for dives. Most dive shops in Kuta or Sanur area offer day trip for 2 dives. These leave early on morning. So most of them backed out from providing a dive on day 1. I was feeling that i can only dive on day 2.
Finally Bali Scuba Academy, a shop in Sanur told that i can do dives in Day 1 and 2 both. So with the car arranged at airport, i headed straight to the north east coast of Tulamben. On the way i met up Oliver from the dive shop in Sanur and made my payments. I was already booked to stay at Akasa Villa, a simple B&B in Tulamben.
The drive from Kuta to Tulamben is a long 3.5 hrs through the hills and along the coast. Finally at 12 noon when i reached Tulamben, the instructor Mr. Meade was already waiting for me. Not wasting time, i quickly changed and headed to the beach which is basically black rocks from the volcanic eruptions that happened years back. After getting tanked up, we headed down under to the famous ship wreck of USS Liberty. The site is beautiful. Luckily in the second dive of the day, i saw my first turtle of my life. It was a moment to enjoy. What elegance was there in the flight in the water. I just cannot forget the beauty.
After finishing my dives, at 3 PM i was too tired after a long day which started at 3 AM in Java. I headed to my hotel and then after a shower i went to sleep. I woke up at 6 PM and the sun was about the set. Headed to the beach across the street near Bali Dive Resort and spent the evening and had dinner there to call off the day which was so happening.
Day 2: After a sound sleep, i woke up early at 5:30 AM to catch the beautiful sunrise and the Mt. Agung in full glory. The volcano rises just behind Tulamben and is visible from everywhere. Mt. Agung is the highest point on the Bali Island and it dictates the weather of the island. The sunrise was simply brilliant and the mountain changed color from brown to bright red to more earthly green as the day changed.
After breakfast i headed to the coral garden and wall drop off dive sites today. My original plan was 4 dives in 2 days. Morning was calm and much less divers around. We had the sites all to ourselves for the first dive while it was getting busy by the second dive. The wall drop off dive site is beautiful. After finishing two dives, i told Meade that i will do one more at the wreck and then head back to Kuta.
By 12 noon, i finished 3 dives and a beautiful lunch. I returned to hotel and had shower and then Mr. Sujendra the driver was ready for a ride back to Kuta.
On the way back i visited Taman Tirta Gangga and Pura Goa Lawah. Tirta Ganga is king palace while Goa Lawah is a beautiful temple across the sea to Nusa Penida. Thetemple of Goa Lawah had millions of bats inside the cave. After taking pictures we headed to Kuta. I had already booked a bed in the Nuka Beach Inn close to beach and airport. The hostel was easy to find. The beach is very close and the sunset from the Kuta beach is beautiful. The sand is not good but the place is good for backpackers and families with lots of food, shopping and nightlife.
Day 3: I had a nice breakfast in the Nuka restaurant and then with Sujendra already waiting at 9 AM, we started towards Tanah Lot. The drive through the main street of Legian and Seminiyak was beautiful and we reached the high cliffs of Tanah Lot in an hour. The temple is simply breathtaking set inside the sea and being high tide, i could not reach the temple. The pictures will speak for the beauty of the temple. a
After spending an hour in the temple and surroundings, we headed to Pantai Batu Balong just south of Tanah Lot. This is a great place for surfing for all levels. After clicking pictures of surfing and spending some time in the beach shacks, we headed south to Uluwatu.
It took us 2 hours to reach Uluwatu, the famed temple of Shiva along the high cliffs along Indian Ocean. the scenes are out of the world here. The setting of the temple is one of the best we have seen till date. Be aware that the monkeys here will snatch your phone or camera if you are little careless and may drop 1000 ft into the sea. I saw someone loose his camera here.
Now after a long day we headed to Uluwatu Surf Point where the warungs (restaurants) are great to have lunch and see the surfing below. The food is good everywhere in Indonesia and this point was no different. After spending an hour we headed back to Kuta for some shopping and then the flight back home. The time spent in the island was so fast and quick, that it seems 3 days are not enough. Next time a week minimum in the main island with a week for Nusa Penida and Gili is required.
Bali Suba Diving Academy is located in Sanur. I found them through internet and they are good. http://www.scubali.com/
If you are new to diving, then Tulamben is a great place. I dived till 20 m and one dive there was little current. If you want to see Manta Ray and Sun Fish (Mola-Mola) head to Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida has cold waters 18 degrees and very strong currents. The life under water at Nusa Penida is brilliant. There are many good resorts here but for budget friendly accommodation look for Akasa Villa. This is a bed and breakfast with nice fast internet and clean great rooms. At Tulamben, there is nothing to do in evening. You stay in Tulamben only for dives.
If you are certified divers, and want to do more dives, then stay at Tulamben. Take a taxi and reach there. You can do upto 4-5 dives a day including night dives. Do not take day dive trips from Kuta or Sanur as most time is spent on car driving. If you stay you can dive more and cost is less. If you reach early morning in Bali, you can dive on same day but the day will be long.
Kuta is more vibrant and lots of things for you to do. The beach is good, the streets are busy and lots of cheap places to sleep. Nuka Beach Inn is beautiful and clean. Uluwatu is more beautiful than Tanah Lot (that is my opinion). But do not miss any of them.
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