Great Deals and Visiting Balinese Temples

With five weeks in Bali, we had time to catch up on life stuff including medical, dental, exercise, and of course laying around the pool. I included a lot of the prices of the medical and health things we did so you can see why we spent so much time on these things while we were in Bali.

In Learning About the Balinese People and Generally Checking Out Bali, we told you about Bali and some of our day trips. All of which included visits to Balinese Hindu temples and I promised we would show you the varied and unique temples that we saw on our trips around the island.

Daily Chores, Even in Paradise

Besides hitting the grocery store and doing laundry in the underground parking garage, our time in Bali was spent catching up on lots of things. The first thing we did was walk to the optometrist because I needed new glasses. For a while, I had been having difficulty seeing especially with my sunglasses and I knew there was a problem with my prescription. After a short exam, I was able to order a new pair of sunglasses and a pair of regular glasses for about $250 total (good progressives and nice frames).

Next, it was time to go to the dentist. I found a dentist within walking distance and we both had our teeth cleaned for about $25 each. I also had a filling for $35. We also paid a few visits to a local dermatologist. The next chore was finding a driver. Our nice Aussie neighbors gave me the name of a guy that worked out pretty well. Having a driver is essential in Bali unless you want to use the Grab ride-share service all the time. Grab was fine for short trips that never cost more than a few dollars, but not for day trips. They also have ride share on scooters in Bali called Gojek but I wasn’t brave enough to do that.

Staying Healthy

Between all of these chores, we were able to spend some time relaxing by the pool but less than I had hoped. The key was to get out there from about 10 am until 1 pm when it usually started to rain. Sometimes it would rain for the rest of the afternoon. We were also able to work out daily in the small gym in the complex, Mike even had a personal trainer at $25 per hour.

One of the best things about Bali was the price of massages. I was having 90-minute deep tissue massages that started off with a foot-washing ritual for about $23 per session. Mike decided that he would be fine with a less expensive 60-minute massage for $10 just down the street. I’m really going to miss those weekly massages.

Bali Visa Extension

In addition to writing articles, preparing year-end tax actions, and arranging our day trips around the island, we had to figure out how to extend our visas, because we messed up. Just before we went to Bali I looked into the visas required for Bali. Their Visa on Arrival (VoA) is for 30 days with steep penalties for exceeding your stay. Months before, we had booked 5 weeks of timeshare (35 days). This meant that after we arrived in Bali, we would have to pay to renew our visas. Note to self: check visa requirements before booking lodging in another country.

Anyway, I learned about the process, which if done ourselves would require three visits to the immigration office. Or, we could hire an agency to take care of the renewal and we would only need to go to the immigration office once. You do know which we picked, it only cost about $20 more through the agency and they picked up our passports and dropped them off a few weeks later when the visa extensions were complete. We did have a quick visit to the immigration office but it was easier than we thought it would be.

Visiting Balinese Hindu Temples

When we had time, we took day trips all over the island, mostly visiting the spectacular temples. Bali is full of temples that are all very striking and different. While it is true that after a while all temples look alike, it is worthwhile to describe the seven most interesting and famous ones we saw.

Pura Taman Saraswati

This temple is in Ubud, close to the Palace. We visited with our friends and we were all drawn to the doors leading into the center of the temple. You have to pass large ponds with lily pads and fish on your way to examine the doors.

Goa Gajah

The Elephant Cave as it’s known – Goa Gajah in Balinese – is an ancient temple on the outskirts of Ubud. While the steps down to the temple complex are fairly steep, seeing the elephant carving on the front of a cave in the mountain is worth it. There are also calm ponds, a tranquil jungle, and a Buddhist temple, further down the hill. After our visit to the temple, we had lunch at a restaurant in the middle of a rice patty. It was very peaceful there and the rabbits acted like dogs, pretty entertaining.

Gunung Kawi

The oldest temple complex in Bali where ancient royal tombs are carved into the walls. The ancient architecture is different than anything else in Bali. There is another really long walk down the steps to reach the wall carvings at the bottom of a river valley. The day we visited it was pouring rain. Even with umbrellas, we were soaked by the time we climbed back up to the top.

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Temple is a complex of wooden structures with origins in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, built on a large coral rock separated from the nearby island of Bali. Once joined to Bali, the complex is now separated from the mainland because of erosion.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu temple is the southernmost temple in Bali. The temple is renowned for its magnificent location. The temple is constructed on a steep cliff above the crashing ocean below. There are walkways along the cliff and an amphitheater with frequent performances.

Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Spring in Balinese) is a Hindu Balinese water temple dating back to the 10th century and is one of the holiest in Bali. The temple pond has a spring that gushes fresh water constantly, this is the holy spring. It is probably the most unique and impressive temple we saw with all of the people in the holy water.

Tirta Gangga – Water Palace

This temple was originally part of a palace complex. Like other temples, there are large ponds filled with lily pads and fish. You can even buy food for the fish here. But the unique thing about this temple is the stepping stones all through the pond. You can take the stepping stones to reach the small temple built in the middle of the pond.

What would you want to do if you had five weeks in Bali?

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  1. Looks amazing, so interesting to see all the different temples! Might have to get Bali on my bucket list!

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