Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Greet the sun as she gradually rises from below the horizon radiating the most brilliant colors over Sanur Beach, while the soft white sands embrace the oncoming waves: a perfect picture of a beautiful sunny morning, where nature displays her fascinating features at the tranquil, laid back retreat of Sanur, east of Denpasar, capital of the fabled island of Bali. Located just 25 minutes from the international airport, 30 minutes from the Kuta area, and 15 minutes from downtown Denpasar, Sanur is renowned as Bali's first beach resort and is actually where the early tourism industry grew on Bali. Sanur is also recognized as the largest village in Bali where its people - as with the rest of east Bali- are particularly friendly, welcoming and accommodating. Despite the locals’ activities and the abundance of restaurants and accommodation, it is surprising how un-crowded and peaceful Sanur is. There are many activities to try as well as beach resorts and restaurants but these are all spread along a long coastline, creating a secluded feeling where the action goes unnoticed to sunbathers and loungers on the unspoiled beaches that continue to maintain the traditional Balinese feel. Sanur beach is a long stretch of beautiful white sand lined with palm trees that shade dreamy footpaths, market stalls and relaxed beach cafes. Along the beach are traditional Balinese Bale (raised shaded open verandas for lying down or relaxing). Most are no longer in use although a few are sometimes occupied by fishermen who fish in these waters. The waters of Sanur are protected by a long string of offshore reefs, creating large, warm shallow, safe lagoons that are perfectly clear and excellent for swimming, snorkeling and a whole array of water sports. Surfers will be pleased to know that the reefs around Sanur produce some of the best waves in the world in the right conditions although they can be very shallow at low tide. But there are more consistent waves beyond the reefs good for surfing. Sanur is also the launching pad for visitors who want to dive and explore the splendors of the nearby island of Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Lembongan is approximately 8 square km in size, and is one of three neighbouring islands, the others being much the larger Nusa Penida and tiny Nusa Ceningan. Many areas around the island are good for diving and snorkeling, with abundant marine life and healthly corals. Surfing can get a bit crowded, but the waves are good. There are several white sand beaches away from the main centers which are virtually never crowded. Sanur Beach was first introduced by A.J. Le Mayeur, a renowned Belgian impressionist painter who arrived in Bali in 1932 and soon immersed himself in the culture of the island. He married a noted Balinese Legong dancer named Ni Polok and made her his model. Here he created some of his famous masterpieces. Today, the house of Le Mayeur has become a famous museum where visitors can view some of his artworks and gain an insight into the romantic aura of the time when Le Mayeur was one of a handful of expatriates. As a place where tourism first flourished in Bali, Sanur has some of Balis’ historic hotels. Built in 1965, the Inna Grand Bali , formerly called Bali Beach Hotel, was the first five star and the only high rise hotel in Bali. After its construction a new law came into force where in Bali no hotel may be built higher than a coconut tree. Here are also the Sanur Beach Hotel (Initialy called Hotel Garuda) and the Bali Hyatt. All of these hotels still operate until today with that certain touch of modernity that offers that nostalgic ambience for those who knew Bali decades ago before the onrush of tourism. But even today Sanur still maintains that pleasant ambience with places shaded by high and age old trees that continue to radiate the serene magic of Sanur.
Friday, October 4, 2013
For more than a thousand years, Balinese worshipers have been drawn to Pura Tirta Empul, whose sacred spring is said to have been created by Indra and to have curative properties. The tradition continues almost unchanged at the temple today. History Legend has it that the sacred spring was created by the god Indra. His forces had been poisoned by Mayadanawa, so he pierced the earth to create a fountain of immortality to revive them. An inscription dates the founding of a temple at the site to 926 AD. Ever since - for more than a thousand years - the Balinese have come to bathe in the sacred waters for healing and spiritual merit. What to See The Tirta Empul Temple includes the traditional Balinese split gate along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Braham, Mt. Batur, and Indra. There is also a large open pavilion in the main courtyard, useful for relaxing in the shade. But the main attraction here is a long rectangular pool carved of stone, filled with koi and fed by the sacred spring via 12 fountains. Worshippers first make an offering at the temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray. Many collect the holy water in bottles to take home. Nearby there are two smaller pools fed by the spring. Overlooking the temple on a hill above is a suprisingly modern building: the Government Palace, built in 1954. Originally a residence for Dutch officials, it was later used by former President Soekarno during his frequent trips to Bali. Pura Tirta Empul is located in the village of Tampak Siring, accessible by public transportation from Ubud. The souvenir stands outside the temple specialize in the local craft, carved bone jewelry.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
“Excellent guide” 5 of 5 starsReviewed September 27, 2013 NEW Dewa accompanied us during our trips as Gede couldn't make it. A word to describe Dewa would be, Excellent. Dewa is always ahead of time, friendly, has good command of English, attentive to our many requests and has many stories to tell about Bali, Hinduism etc. During our trip to Lovina, he went the extra miles to prebook the dolphin sightseeing transport, at a competitive price. Similarly, he went the extra miles to accommodate our requests to reschedule certain activities, stayed with us for quite late at night, used different roads at different times so that we get to see more of Bali and many others attention to providing us with an exquisite taste of what Bali has to offers. As for Dewa, our arrangement was made via email and he was always quick to reply, and helpful in suggesting itineraries. I highly recommend their service! Visited September 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
“Good Service” 4 of 5 starsReviewed September 22, 2013 NEW Gede was recommended by people in tripadvisor and after exchange a few email we book him on our second day of our trip. Before we left he did told me if he is not available he will sent his brother to bring us around and I'm fine since he is as good as him. On that morning I was abit worried if he will turn up since we only book him thru email. After breakfast his brother Kutut Soma turn up punctually, he is neat and driving a big and comfortable car. Throughout the whole trip he patiently explain to us the culture of bali, he speak good english. He is very accommodating and patient, he do not force us to those place we do not wish to go and during meals time he will wait patiently for my 6 years old daughter who usually take a longer time to eat. I will definaetly use him or Gede again on our next trip to Bali
“Highly Recommended” 5 of 5 starsReviewed September 14, 2013 My first trip with my parent (who can't walk that well) and my family (with one 3 year old). Gede was recommended by my friend. I am glad that I chose Gede's service. He is a native Balinese who speaks very good English. He is very knowledgeable and able to talk about Bali's culture during the driving. Not every driver can do so (My sister who went there the same days with different group didn't enjoy this kind of service) I asked Gede to suggest the places to visit given the direction that I want to go. As we go along, we always adjust the schedule to our liking (since my parent couldn't walk that well and we spend long hours in eating with the kid). And, he is very good driver and know the road very well. Highly Recommended, will definitely use his services again next time if going to Bali. Visited September 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
“Live Your Dreams” 5 of 5 starsReviewed September 9, 2013 NEW Gede was the appointed driver for my Bali trip with my friends. He had always been punctual with his beaming bright face greeting us while we're still having our breakfast. An extremely knowledgeable man in the Balinese culture, food, roads and sites of attractions with incomparable wisdom. I'm very grateful for his advises as it helped protect us from unwanted situations. A man with an open heart, open mind who graciously shares his homeland to those he meets. I have to say that it had always been a memorable time with Gede - from tourist attraction sites to Balinese food to spending time with the Balinese community. We even enjoyed a well spent day at the Sanur Kite Festival where his sons & their friends were competing, and he graciously shared his life as a Balinese with us. He have a strong command in the English language and is ever ready to respond to any questions. At times, he adds his touch of humor that would brighten the room (in this sense, the van). The pricing provided is reasonable and he is extremely accommodating, providing superb advice in the desired destination. Be it for sight-seeing, shopping or learning about the culture / religion. His services have been a blessing to my trip in Bali. I have to say, I went to Bali for a retreat but I returned with new friends & memorable memories. Visited August 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
“All the reviewers did not lie!” 5 of 5 starsReviewed September 7, 2013 NEW This was my first time heading to Bali. Gede was recommended by my friend, when I mentioned that I would like to hire a driver in Bali for ease of travel. I was very pleased with Gede, as he has excellent English and mild-mannered. I was never pressured to do anything that I don't want to. It was very convenient to have someone who is native Balinese to plan your itinerary. All you have to do is tell him your preference, be it sightseeing or shopping or food hunting. Just to let you have an idea of Gede's excellent services, I told him I want to shoot sunrise, and Gede told me I had to set off at 5am. He did not once indicate that there will be a surcharge due to an early start, but instead he planned my entire day, starting from 5am. I was very happy that my day went superbly well, being able to shoot sunrise and still do all the things that Gede planned for the day. He is very flexible, punctual and professional. For the price I paid, I think it was a great bargain. Since I got back from my Bali trip, I have been raving about Gede's services to all my family and friends. When I go back to Bali again, I will definitely get Gede's services again. Visited August 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
“My First BALI Experience, 29/08/13-04/09/13” 5 of 5 starsReviewed September 5, 2013 NEW Been living in Andover, UK for the last four years and recently returned to Malaysia. Excitement on my mind! The experience further enhanced by Suyasa Gede's professionalism, knowledge, wisdom and information of the beautiful and unique Balinese culture and many places of interest. Gede was highly recommended to us from his previous excellent services rendered. He communicates easily in English and has a high regard for what you would like to experience during your stay. Inform him of your wishes in good time, and he will give his suggestions for you to make your own decisions. Get to know the subtle intricacies of Bali first-hand from Gede, before your visit. You'll be pleasantly surprised. An open mind will lead you to discover the charms and simplicity of the humble Balinese people and their unique traditions. Gede is a loving father to three children and wonderful husband; happy to share stories of his family life and the customs of the people of Bali. My Bali adventure with Gede and six other friends, has given me a real spiritual sense of the term dramatic and romantic insight of this serene country. There is so much of Love everywhere we travelled to; especially heightened by the inter-mingling of the different religions practiced peacefully and harmoniously, side-by-side, within the people, their individuality and environment. I am simply amazed and the WOW-Factor is still ringing high in my person. My gratitude to Gede and the people of Bali, for bringing to Life of all that I have read of Bali. I highly recommend Gede as your Personal Tour Guide cum Driver. Am already nurturing and planning another trip back. I trust Gede to suggest other places of interest that I missed out on this trip, due to time constraint. May the Universe bless me with this request of other adventures to experience next year - with Gede as our Guide and wonderful friends to share with. God and Goddess Bless...
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
“Friendly, punctual, knowledgeable & good price” 5 of 5 starsReviewed September 2, 2013 NEW Highly recommended driver guide. Gede Suyasa is a native of Bali and he is very knowledgeable about Balinese culture, roads & sites of attraction. All you need to do is let him know what sort of places you'd like to see or experiences that you like. V pleasant company cos he has a good sense of humour to boot :) His command of English is pretty good by Balinese standards and replies promptly to email enquiries. Meanwhile, he is easygoing, flexible and accommodative of his clients' needs - never one to insist on his own recommendations but to offer insights, advice and suggestions to your plans. Lastly, his services are ethically priced especially for his full day tour service. I will definitely not look elsewhere for a driver for my next trip to Bali and have been recommending him to my friends and family. Visited August 2013