Rediscovering Bali through Mick Jaggers footsteps
Rediscovering Bali through Mick Jaggers footsteps: Sidemen and Besakih temple by Bart Hagemane, GM at Khiri Travel Indonesia.
Slowly the country is opening its world-renowned attractions again to domestic tourism. This creates the opportunity for me to visit and re-discover popular destinations in Bali again…but without the crowds.
Last weekend I visited beautiful Sidemen in the east side of Bali. Sidemen is a quieter alternative to Ubud, with a dramatic scenery of nearby Mount Agung set amidst the rice fields. Already discovered and loved by the likes of Mick Jagger and David Bowie, this is a great destination to hike, cycle, visit nearby cultural highlights and relax for days on end.
Normally a popular destination, it was initially sad to see the impact Covid-19 has on local businesses. Though the friendliness and positive attitude of the local population gives a boost to the feeling that this situation will also pass and business will return.
With no crowds around, and luckily a visible mount Agung (it loves to hide in the clouds) it was a great time to cruise around the area via the small backroads, and take photos of the amazing jungle scenery. The local population love to see visitors and have a chat with us about the current situation, and when i tell them i’m from a travel company they have a great pitch ready why visitors should return as soon as possible. Soon you will be able to experience the area like never before.
A good example was nearby Besakih temple which we visited. The so-called ‘mother temple’ of Bali is a big complex of several temples on the slope of mount Agung. Normally hordes of tourists are brought here, but now we had the place to ourselves. Other visitors were local people praying at the temple and some dogs. Being a dog person myself, I loved the Kintamani dogs who call the temple their home. An actual idigneous breed to Bali, the Kintami has evolved from the local street dogs and is renowned for its loyalty and mellow character.
After a short weekend it was hard to leave the area again. I now understand why Mick Jagger stayed here for an extended time…
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