Monday, March 26, 2012

My Bali Trip 2 - Kintamani,Terraced Fields and Kopi Luwak!

One tip for those visiting Bali- At the airport, there will be a lot of free brochures from the various travel agencies which would have details on the various tours they organize i.e. the different tourist places that they combine in each of their trips, maps of Bali and information on other tourist activities that you can indulge in.You would not use all of their services but the contents would be very useful in planning your itinerary during your stay there .

Mt Batur and Lake Batur
There are some active volcanoes in Bali and Mt Batur is a popular one and the beautiful Lake Batur is situated at its foot.
Our tour guide took us to Kintamani, a village from where you get breathtaking panoramas of the volcano and the lake beside it.
It is imperative that the weather is clear and not foggy in order to fully experience the picturesque views that nature offers here.
Luckily when we went the weather was cool and pleasant , yet clear.

View Of Mt Batur and Lake Batur

Mt Batur looks as if someone took a giant brush and created some black strokes on its back. It's a shade of dark green interspersed with black - areas where the molten lava had flown and from where the volcanic rocks and sand are now being excavated for use in construction industries .The lake looked like a sheet of silver next to the mount and together the beauty they presented made one realize the meaning of tranquility .There are quite a few restaurants in kintamani overlooking Mt.Batur . We went there around 2 pm and were quite hungry. Our driver took us to one of these restaurants and it was one of the BEST meals I have ever had . Steaming food in chill weather is one of the heavenly experiences on earth and if the food is delicious and you are having it immersed in a magnificent spectacle laid in front by nature , what more can you ask for ? The prices were pretty nominal considering all of this .
There are treks organized by the tour operators to Mt.Batur . They pick you up at your hotel in the wee hours of morning around 3 am and take you to the foot of the mount . Then you trek all the way up and you would be on time for the sunrise which is supposed to be spectacular. We did not do any trekking - chanceless with a little one with us . For those interested, I am assuming that its worth a try.

Lake Batur Closer Shot

There are boat rides offered in Lake Batur which they said took you to a temple on the other side and a fruit and vegetable market and then back.

Tegellalang Terraced Rice Fields
Another natural feast to the eye in Bali are its terraced paddy fields. We visited the ones at Tellalalang close to Ubud where our hotel was located.
These are level strips of land cut out into the hill sides where paddy is cultivated.

Terraced Rice Fields

Sipping cool coconut water in one of the tea shops overlooking these fields, we gazed in awe at the steps of green stretched over a large area sprinkled with coconut trees here and there.
Speaking of tender coconuts the ones we had in Bali are some of the biggest I have seen.
The contents are a little excess for one person to consume at one shot.

The terraced rice fields at Jatiluwih are also a popular tourist spot but we did not cover those.
Coffee And Spices Garden
The tour guides normally offer a visit to the Coffee and Spices garden as one of the activities.
They apparently get a commission from the plantation owners for the merchandise sold to these visitors.
For those who had no idea how a coffee or cocoa plant (or is it tree?) looks this would be very interesting.I did belong to that category and hence it was fun.
Additionally we came across something that was far more interesting than all of this.
There is an animal called Luwak in local Balinese. Its a mammal about the size of the cat and the English name is Asian Palm Civet.
Image Courtesy : Wikipedia Commons

This animal loves to feed on ripe coffee berries. The coffee beans after getting processed in its digestive system are released in its excreta. These beans that are picked from its droppings are powdered to make a variety of coffee called Luwak coffee. This coffee is supposed to be have a unique and great taste and is one of the costliest coffees on the island. The folks at the plantation were raising one Luwak purely for producing this coffee. The poor thing was in a cage and hence could not get a proper picture. Got the above one from Wikipedia Commons.
They have a shop selling their agri-products and for marketing purpose they normally offer samples of the various coffee they have to the visitors. Ginseng Coffee, Lemon Tea, Ginger Tea, Ginger Coffee ..For a couple of minutes we were like the highly paid tea/coffee connoisseurs , taking sips from multiple cups spread in front of us.They asked us if we wanted to try Luwak coffee. My husband and I quickly shook our heads left and right with a big 'No''No'. After knowing the origin of the coffee we did not feel like trying it :)


  1. The mountain and lake is simply beautiful. those terraced rice fields are superb..
    And who wound want to taste a coffee made from animal's poo- totally makes me want to say eeeeks!

    1. 'Who would want to?' I told ya...Its one of the costliest coffees there :D

  2. sounds like it was one hell of a trip. mera number kab aayega :((

    1. Bahut Jald :)
      We wrapped as much as we could in three days....Awesome place to visit Sujatha...

  3. lemme see if i can comment now.

    this indeed sounds like a wonderful and weird experience and lovely pictures again.

    loved everything in this post except that Luwak being caged :(

  4. Thanks Debajyoti.
    Yeah, the Luwak being caged was pretty sad. Even I hated it.

  5. WOW, I envy you now....Will surely plan it...:)

  6. :) Do plan it Saru....You will definitely enjoy it !

  7. Ah! Bali seems to be a place as fresh as dew drops

    1. Yes Abhyudaya, its a very nice place. Thanks for stepping in :)

  8. This sure is a exciting trip.

  9. Yes Rajesh, For adults and kids alike :)

  10. Nice post. Luwak coffee, never heard of one, but very interesting.Will keep away from it, if offered.:-)


    1. Ha ha! Even I had the same reaction - 'Interesting but no thanks ' :)