Thursday, December 7, 2017

Side Quest: Conquer Mount Batur at Bali

Last September I got wedding invitation from my officemate, and the wedding is in Bali which is not near from Kuala Lumpur. Because I know both of the groom and the bride, so I do feel that I must attend it.

Then I'm thinking it will be such a waste if go there and do nothing else, so I planned to do another activity, for hiking. I google and find the possible mountains: Mt Agung or Mt Batur, but sadly due to eruption status of Mt Agung so they don't allow anyone to hike. And leave me only Mt Batur as option. I contacted my college friend that local there to help me to book available package with the local mountain guide, because we can't simply hike by ourselves.

Here's my itinerary summary:
  • Friday night: flight from KL to Bali then stay one night at Denpasar. Airport taxi here is quite expensive and use fixed price instead of meter, even though it's only less than 7km distance they charge me IDR300,000 which is crazy. And inside the airport I can't book any online ride sharing due to their airport regulation. Since I'm solo travelling, my friend suggests me to book Go-Jek, it's motorbike ride sharing apps, but I need to walk outside airport via the motorbike parking area around 5 minutes walk from the arrival gate. Surprisingly, it costs only IDR9,000, save quite amount of money here :)
  • Saturday morning: I go directly to Ubud and stay in my friend's guest house: DONO GUEST HOUSE. The place is quite strategic nearby lot of tourism place in Ubud (e.g. Saraswati Water Temple, Monkey Forest, and Ubud Palace). So we just hangout and spend time explore Ubud. The thing I love about Bali is Balinese really take care their Hindu tradition and has beautiful artistic house and temple. My friend bring me to Tukad Kali Unda, it's water dam and famous spot for photographer to take picts. During that time I saw many photographers hire local kids for photo shooting. Then after that, we explore their local market Pasar Gianyar to experience their local food and see local culture.

  • Sunday morning 1AM: the driver pick me up and other hikers from our each staying place, then we reach on the meeting point around 2AM. They serve us hot banana pancake and hot drink before we start to make a move to the Mt Batur starting point. After briefing by the mountain guide, we officially start to hike on 3:30AM. It's quite packed that time, we need to walk and hike slowly due to human traffic jam. But I was quite lucky, because it's really clear sky with no cloud so during the walk I can enjoy star gazing and beautiful Bali landscape. Actually it's considered as easy hike because by 6AM I already reach the top. And the mountain guide serve us simple sandwich and boiled egg for breakfast while waiting for the sunrise. It's really breathtaking moment when enjoy the sunrise, from top I can see Lake Batur, Mt Agung, and further more is Mt Rinjani in Lombok. Here's the panorama picture and my hiking buddies from Germany, UK, and the local mountain guide lady.

  • Sunday night: after the driver send me back to guest house, I took nap for awhile then make a move to Denpasar on evening to attend the wedding at night. 
  • Monday: me and my friend went to Balangan Beach and Uluwatu Temple. On the way back to airport, we stop at coffee farm that serve Kopi Luwak and traditional teas. Basically kopi luwak or civet coffee, is coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. Sounds bit gross, but actually it tastes OK. I always prefer tea over coffee anyway. 

And that concludes my whole journey in Bali. It's quite short, but memorable and nice :)

* It's another posting draft that failed to complete on October. (>.<);

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