A sanctuary where Monkeys roam free and cause a little havoc!
The Sacred Monkey Forest is a definite attraction you don’t want to miss! At time of publication, the entrance fee is a mere IDR 50,000 which is approximately USD$3.50 or €3.00. The park without Monkeys already justify the cost, but with monkeys, well it is a whole lot more fun!
As you wander the immaculate paths of the forest, you spot the Balinese Long Tailed Monkeys everywhere! About 600 of these Macaques are roaming the grounds, protecting territories and being mischievous. 5 different groups rule the forest and sometimes, you will spot them fighting over territory.
When not swinging from tree to tree, they may try to steal your sunglasses, so beware and leave all valuables in your room. Do not feed these adorable animals – you may regret it. They could bite trying to get more. It is very important to follow ALL of the rules posted at the entrance, otherwise you may learn the hard way, and quite frankly, deserve it!
In addition to beautiful walking trails and monkeys, there are rivers, bridges, temples, statues and a cemetery in this sanctuary which is approximately 10 hectares or 27 acres. Sometimes, there are special shows, so always be sure to check the schedule if you are in the area.
Coffee Beans and Animal Defecation resulting in a delicious brew. Swing in!
Top things to do in Bali – Alas Harum is one of a few coffee plantations located in Bali. What makes them special is how their unique flavours are realized. We went for a tour to find out their secret.
A knowledgable young lady was assigned to us upon entrance and we were quickly on our way. She explained to us how the animal Kopi Luwak, also known as an Asian Palm Civet consume the coffee cherries (I thought they are beans). Normally a disaster to have your coffee plantation eaten away, in this case a sort of blessing.
The civit or luwak defecate (poop) the partially digested fermented cherry out and humans harvest the fecal matter which is then cleaned, roasted, and sold for a premium price.
The entire process is very controversial due to the fact that nowadays, the animals are caged and force fed to produce the quality outcome. Supposedly, they only consume the best quality of coffee cherries, thus resulting in a superb roast.
We watched how, traditionally, the coffee cherry is roasted over an open fire before being crushed by a huge wooden mallet and then brewed into a delicious cup of coffee.
It was brought to our attention that not only does Alas Harum produce one of the most expensive coffees in the world, they also grow tea. Of course, what is a visit to a plantation with sampling the wares? Our host led us to a terrace overlooking the extremely steep green hills of the property where we were then brought an entire tray of tea samples and a crown jewel coffee.
Truthfully, the majority of the teas were delicious. The coffee, albeit good, had a little too rich of a price for my liking and I found it ever so slightly bitter. The view was amazing!
Tip: While visiting the plantation, why not go for one of those crazy swing rides that are plastered all over Instagram? You can swing single or double the pleasure 😉
Plantation Name: Alas Harum AgroTourism Address: Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Serving traditional Balinese dishes, Warung De Koi is a great place to stop for a cold drink and meal with a view.
Restaurant Name: De Koi Address: Jl. Tirta No.25M, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Note: This is based on my personal experience.
This restaurant is a great excuse to go watch a mythological cultural show, take in some waterfalls and eat from a traditional inspired menu while sitting in the rice fields. Bali pure!
Gardens surround the eatery and the seating areas are as diverse as the food on offer. You can choose to sit at traditional low tables with cushion seating or at western regular tables with chairs. All eating areas are private and overlook the vast rice fields.
Bintang beer is a wonderful compliment to the delectable dishes. Servers are dressed in traditional clothing and serve everything with a big smile.
We chose to try the Balinese duck – Bebek Betutu – and the spicy shrimps – Sambal Udang. Although the duck plating was beautiful, I think we all agreed the shrimps were the winner.
A spectacular, traditional Balinese cultural show of dance and music – the Jambe Budaya Barong & Kris Dance.
A mythological story of good vs. evil comes to life on stage. Just a short 20 minute drive from Ubud, this is a piece of culture you may want to include in your list of things to see and do while visiting Bali.
This Bali highlight, Budaya Barong and Kris Dance is one of those things you will either love or hate. Mixed reviews are across the internet. Simply put, if you do not like culture, why travel? Seriously, this is a unique piece of Bali mythology passed down for generations – since the 12th century!
Time: 1 hour / 5 acts Cost: 100,000 IDR per person / USD$6.75 / €5.75
An age old story of good vs. evil; Bali Mythology through dance.
This cultural Balinese highlight included the evil witch Rangda a demon queen fighing the good lion Barong. Who wins in the end?
The Barong Kris Dance plays out through 5 acts which come to a dramatic climax before calm is restored. Sometimes a little funny, sometimes intense, always colorful and magical. Balinese dance with traditional music and great acting by professionally trained actors. This is Bali culture at it’s finest!
Where can I see it? Jl. Pasekan, Batubulan Kangin, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia How long is it? Approximately one hour Tel: (0361) 2770291 Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – call for show times
Nestled in the limestone cliffs of Mount Lovćen on the beautiful Adriatic Coast, Kotor Montenegro.
Kotor – beaches, shopping, cruise port, cathedral and the best preserved Medieval town in the Adriatic!
We arrived in the cruise port town of Kotor via a gorgeous coastal drive from Dubrovnik, Croatia. The border crossing was a little uncomfortable – read more about the Croatia Montenegro border crossing at the end of this blog.
The waterfront was a perfect place to go for a walk and stretch our legs. Beautiful vistas and friendly people were already preparing for the cruise ship arrival. After awhile, we headed through the thick stone walls into the old town.
Like most old towns, enchanting architecture, lots of shops, restaurants and ice cream. Beware of the many gypsy beggars and make sure your pocketbooks are secure.
The town is not big, so it is an easy walk – even in the heat.
Cruise Ship Cruiser Info:
For those of you who are lucky enough to be cruising into Kotor, this is a tender port. How to:
1. Exit the tender area and go left across the little bridge to the park. Walk to the waterfront for tours. Some available tours include the Blue Cave, Kayaking, Canyoning, Budva, Jaz Beach, St. Stefan Island (Sveti Stefan) and more.
2. Exit and go right to the Old Town
3. Exit and go left to get to the swimming / beach area.
All of the above options are within walking distance.
Border Crossing Info:
Huge line up at the border. We wait 45 minutes on the border before we are finally stamped out of Croatia.
Then we are in a shorter line to be stamped into Montenegro. The customs police are very short fused and when they see our passport, ask for ownership. Then they ask for our green card. We have no idea what they are talking about and they are getting angrier. Finally he calms down and tells us it can be BOUGHT at the little shop in FRONT of us, to park and get it – he kept our passports, but he had also calmed down when he realized our naive innocence. I am not sure how we were supposed to have this green card when we arrived, if we were not able to buy it before passing through customs. Anyway, it is proof of international insurance, we buy the GREEN paper (which is white) for €15 without complication, present it to him and move on.