Bali Trip - Barong Dance, "Turtle Island", Spa & Jimbaran Seafood

Day 4 starts the earliest as we covered a lot of ground...heh! We left the hotel at about 8.00 am to head to a cultural center for a performance of the Barong Dance!

The cultural center which we went to. It was packed, as usual....Peter said there are about 6 cultural centers in this part of Bali alone, and they are almost always packed with visitors every day! How cool is that for tourism in Bali?

The bored-looking musicians waiting for the performance to start...I don't know if it's really because they were bored of playing the same thing over and over again every day, or it's just being bored of waiting to start performing. Either way, it's a big turn off to see their faces like that because they're right in front of the audience! Pfft!

The photo on the left is the whole stage and isn't it? And when the performance started, it was quite interesting to hear the traditional music and stories of Bali. The Barong dance is basically about the fight between good and evil that are represented by the Barong and Rangda respectively. It's a bit long to share the story, and quite hard to explain unless seen in its entirety, so if you're in Bali, go catch a performance! While not as entertaining as say, a movie or any other musicals we have here, it's quite fun to see the antics of the actors (who can be hilarious) as well as the costumes and props that they use to portray the Barong and Rangda.

My favorite actor of the whole cast...he really portrayed the monkey to the T! Granted, he had the monkey mask on, but his mannerisms and what not make us forget that he is an actor playing a monkey! (Yes, that's how good he was)

The whole cast taking a bow after the performance =)

We had lunch after that...we had some local fare again (nasi campur!) but silly me forgot to take photos. LOL! After that we headed to Nusa Dua where we were greeted with the sights of this! Yup, this is the place where water sports are big. Now thinking back, I wish I had tried this parasailing instead of the Turtle Island tour thingy....oh wait, I'm getting ahead of myself! We were told by Peter that he would bring us to go see the fishes in the sea via a boat with a glass bottom earlier on, so I was quite stoked....until we reached here. Even then, I was still a bit psyched coz I thought there would really be fishes and we're heading out further into sea, away from the sports fanatics. Little did I know -_-"

We had paid for the fishes sighting as well as a visit to their "Turtle Island". Old naive me thought it's a natural island where turtles hang out...until the boat captain took us to this place! Let's not mention that the fish sighting thingy was a complete disaster...the water was so murky it's hard to see anything, and because there were so many friggin' boats going up and down they scared off all the fishes. *sigh* This is what happens when there is TOO much tourists...and we are being some of them! LOL! 

Okay, back to the Turtle Island's actually a small patch of land which was cordoned off to have cages and tanks which contain many turtles and other animals for the tourists to look and take photos of. It was a terrible experience for me to say the least.

Case in point: This huge pretty turtle kept trying to get back into the cool waters, but the guides kept dragging it back by the front fins to the hot sand because there are tourists wanting to have a look at the turtle. And these guides kept pushing us to take photos with it! I felt so SO sorry for the turtle...but can't really do much =(

Again, same thing here...see the pretty baby turtle? I didn't want to touch it coz there were people picking them up every few mins from the tank to take photos. Bleh, I felt like a hypocrite typing this out. Suffice to say, while I am smiling, inside it's very disheartening to see the turtles like that.

More turtles at the place...

They even have reptiles too...and again, this was put on me so suddenly I had no time to freak out. But then, after the snake was on my shoulders I saw that its mouth was taped loosely...enough for it to breathe with the tongue, but not loose enough to open the mouth and bite, so it was of some consolation. Yet, the snake felt hot to the touch! Yes, that's how hot it was, and the poor snake was passed around to almost every tourist passing by. 

Other exotic animals in their enclosures. This was the only place where I didn't really have fun at, but it was quite an eye opener to see as well the downside of having too many tourists. I don't recommend the Turtle Island tour, but if you would like to try anyways, be's pricey and not really worth the money.

After an exhausting time there, Peter told us that there's a good spa in Kuta area where we can get a one and a half hour's spa at a really cheap rate, so we jumped at it again! This was the name of the spa!

It's quite the pretty building, with a rather eccentric and colorful roof =) 

The inside of the reception area...prettily decorated too! It was really invigorating and relaxing to have all the tension massaged out of your system, followed by a body scrub and milk bath after! I think I'm starting to get why people love going for massages and spas....too bad the rates in Malaysia are so high! 

After the amazing spa experience, we headed to Jimbaran for dinner! Look at the whole stretch! This whole beach stretch housed many restaurants...all serving seafood with a great view of the sea.

THIS was the view we were presented with when we sat down! How awesome is this??

We were asked to go and choose our choice of food for dinner, so me and my sis went to check it out. No, we didn't have lobster (though I SO wish we did! LOL!) but the cook was nice enough to let us have a look at this gorgeous specimen!

After choosing the seafood and how we would like it to be prepared, we waited for the food to arrive, and enjoyed some snacks like boiled peanuts and grilled corn! There was actually a vendor with a small kiosk selling these, so we grabbed some....they were yummy! Peanuts by the seaside are amazing =) Wash that down with some Teh botol, it's bliss!

Oh yes, we even spotted a couple doing a photoshoot for their wedding photos....I wonder what it feels like for them to be doing their poses while so many people looked on. It would be super intimidating for me though...hehe!

And then our food arrived! Since it was our very last day in Bali, we all decided we'd be a little bit more indulgent than usual and had a huge feast...we had prawns (BBQ-ed and served with a spicy and sour Indonesian sauce! Yum!!), fried calamari, (also super yum!)

water spinach (this was complimentary with the fish that we ordered below, but it was good too! The sambal was superb), mussels (also BBQ-ed and served with another spicy sauce)

Grilled fish - we were told this fish is native to Bali only - that is basted with a sweet sauce (also super yum! It's very fresh, and the meat goes very well with the sauce!) and last but not least, grilled calamari =) Yes, I know I've probably put on 3kg just looking at the food now, but it's SO worth it! Jimbaran seafood is a must have when you're in Bali =)

And yes, we also managed to catch the sun setting in Jimbaran...picturesque is all I can say!

We had our dinner at this place...Bali Sea Cafe. Lovely place, but be prepared to fork out quite a lot as the price for the food here is very steep. Kind of like dining in a posh restaurant in Malaysia, but the quality of the food and the view pretty much make it worthwhile =)

After dinner, we were still not that satisfied yet...I still crave for bakso one more time, so on our way to the hotel, we bought another pack of bakso for supper. Heh! This was from yet another stall (the pasar malam was closed that day so we couldn't try the food again from last night =( ). Not as nice as the day before's, but satisfied the craving for bakso. YAY!

And that is all for my AMAZING trip to Bali! The next morning we headed to the airport SUPER early (think 6am early!) and this is what I caught. As we headed back home to the busy-ness that is KL and Malaysia, I will look back on this trip and reminisce about this lovely, peaceful island that has touched so many hearts. Here's to hoping I will make it there again in the future for more adventures =)
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