We had arrived in Bali the evening before with a direct flight from Dubai and started our first day nice and early with a private tour.
Mr. Z and I were determined to see as much of Bali as we could over the next four full days and had no intention of spending hours lounging about the white sand beaches and instead decided to head inland to take in the countryside and some of Bali’s most famous temples.
After a fifteen minute drive out of Kuta (where our hotel was located) we reached the small winding roads that twisted through rice fields and lush forests before we reached the Royal Temple of Mengwi.
The temple was built in 1634 by the King of the Mengwi dynasty and to this day is still in full use.
Regular ceremonies, some stretching over multiple days are still held here by the local people.
The temple was very large and gave a great introduction to Z and me about the importance of temples in Bali and their relevance to the local community.
Directly after, we set off even further inland stopping at a small restaurant where we sampled the local cuisine.
Shortly after lunch we set off for a plantation that was by far one of my favorite experiences of the entire trip.
We stopped at this plantation to try the famous luwak coffee.
For those that don’t know luwak coffee is considered the world’s most exclusive and expensive coffee because it is created by a small type of forest cat (though I think they look more similar to ferrets) who eat a specific type of coffee cherry plant. This then passes through the cats system and is eventually excreted. These droppings are then collected by farmers who dehusk – by hand – the coffee beans which have passed through the cats.
Might sound gross but this stuff sells for a pretty penny around the world and having the opportunity to see where these cats naturally live and see the process for ourselves was really a special experience.
We ended up leaving this plantation with a whole KM of the stuff as well as different blends of teas and other coffees.
This plantation was so peaceful and offered so much I didn’t want to leave – but we still had so much to see.
The next stop was to the botanical gardens in the misty mountains which is the home to more than 2,000 species of plants and flowers.
The temple was originally constructed in 1663 and is still used today in many ceremonies which give praise to the water goddess Dewi Danu.
This lake provides water for much of the surrounding farm land and thus is vital to the local peoples way of life.
We had an absolute feast of sea foods and stir fries all washed down with a local rosé.
Bali was already completely winning us over.
Tomorrow would be another early start so with our bellies full of delicious local food we headed back to the hotel, wrapped ourselves in the crisp white sheets to catch a few dreams before tomorrows adventures.
For a little sneak peak before I put up the remaining posts on our Bali trip I created this short overview video of our entire trip. Hope you enjoy :)
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