Heading South and Making Friends with Monkeys

Deciding to get away from the hustle and bustle of the City of Kuta in order to see the “real” Bali we headed south to the Bukit Peninsula. The Lonely Planet Guide advises that Ulu Watu and its surroundings on the Peninsula is ranked in the top 5 in the whole of South East Asia making it a must to visit. Booking a driver to take us to the beautiful beach location of Padang Padang we headed south. The traffic slowly eased the further away we got from Kuta and as the gentler side of Bali showed. Driving through the hilly cliffs surrounded by tropical jungle and the odd wooden shack with an elderly man fast asleep inside the sea appeared and our location. Opting to spend four days on the cliff edges living with a Balinese family we made rest in their home-stay. Simple at its best paying them approx 7english pounds a night. Greeted by their charming (somewhat crazy) daughter we immediately liked the place, especially the great food the daughter cooked for us everyday. High up on the cliff edge a small Indo-esque temple hid away stairs cut through the cliff- side leading to the hidden gem: Padang Padang Beach. It has waters crystal clear- the reef visible through it- the sea calmly eroding the surrounding rock and the golden sand with old coral rock the size of houses littering it. Balinese men in their large- straw hats fishing with their traditional methods off the rocks as the odd traditional fishing boat sails by. In between them all the roaring surf providing one of the best surf locations in the world- also providing much entertainment for those sun dwellers on the beach. For the beady- eyed you can spot the wild- monkies hopping around the temple and trees above the beach. A place that can literally be described as Heaven on Earth leaves one to wonder why many tourists miss it out deciding to stay in the major cities of Bali?

Along this beach when it’s low- tide it’s possible to walk along the exposed reef to the other beaches along the Ulu Watu strip (Bingin/ Dreamland) yet neither compare to Padang Padang.

We spent a day at the stunning Ulu Watu Temple sat on the cliff edges perched hundreds of meters above the sea; it is a sight to behold. Colossal waves crash into the cliffs as cheeky monkeys try and steal what they can off unbeknown visitors. The temple is in itself beautiful; centuries old and crafted to created the awe- inspiring architecture that leaves many mesmerized.

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