I visited the Uluwatu Temple in late October when my friends and I celebrated my birthday in Bali. Although it wasn’t my first time to visit the temple, it was my first time to do a side trip and hang out in one of the more popular restaurant-bars in the area.
Needless to say, I was hooked immediately and I couldn’t wait to go back! I wasn’t exaggerating: we’ve barely left Bali but Arshad and I already booked our tickets slated on the second week of November, with the sole intent of staying in Uluwatu.
Uluwatu is located in the Bukit Peninsula, Bali’s southern limestone cliff-fringed area. It houses one of Bali’s iconic temples, the Uluwatu Temple and drop-dead gorgeous coastlines with strong waves conducive for surfing.
Aside from the popular Uluwatu Temple and the kecak fire dance that commences during sundown, here’s my compilation of the top 5 reasons why I don’t mind going back to Uluwatu (again and again, and again):
1. Single Fin. If I’m being honest to myself, my first compelling reason to go back to Uluwatu is because of Single Fin Bar and Cafe’. Single Fin is overlooking the cliffs, the waves and the entire coast, which makes it the perfect spot for sightseeing. The view in Single Fin is simply amazing! I could stay in Single Fin for hours and hours on end, just reading a book, sipping wine or cocktail or surfer watching (the last one being my favorite thing to do).
Aside from the view, Single Fin offers delectable cocktails and vegetarian dishes. I love their different versions of margaritas and have tried both their classic Single Fin and their rosella margarita.
For vegan or vegetarian food, I’m a fan of their vegetarian nasi goreng. For light bites, I always order their vegan chips and dips, with dips including green lentil hummus, charred eggplant babaganoush and tomato relish. Their chips are made from cassava and sweet potato, which makes them a lot healthier. I loved watching the sunset while stuffing myself silly of margaritas and vegetarian bites. Such is a happy life!
After sundown, Single Fin becomes a cool, chill party place that plays very good house and RnB music. The crowd is mostly filled with foreigners, although I saw a handful of local tourists sampling their delicious spirits.
Define addicted to Single Fin: I went back not once, not twice…but over and over and over again during my stay in Uluwatu.
2. Coco and Poke’. True to its name, this quaint, whitewashed shop that sits quietly beside Single Fin serves sumptuous Hawaiian poke’ bowls and Cocowhip, the world’s first vegan and bio-fermented coconut soft serve ice cream.
We were looking for a place where we can order and eat quickly, without going to a fastfood restaurant when we found Coco and Poke’. You can create your own bowl or defer to their house bowls. We ordered the Aloha and Ohana Bowls, both of which did not disappoint. Packed with brown rice, tuna, salmon, fish roe and avocado, the bowls were refreshing and filling at the same time.
Too bad we didn’t have space for their coco soft serve, but it’s another reason that I can chalk up to justify another trip. =)
Coco and Poke’s details:
3. The amazing beach and the view. These are both more-than-good-enough reasons to stay in Uluwatu. I woke up to this view on a daily basis and thought to myself: “I can stay here forever.”
This gorgeous coastline is a world-class surfing playground, with its wide coastal length opening to the Indian Ocean.
In our first morning back in Uluwatu, I immediately checked out the beachfront. To reach it, we had to go down to Blue Point (Suluban) Beach, which is located closely to both the Uluwatu Temple and Padang Padang beach.
The word “Suluban” came from the Balinese word that means “walking or passing under something,” since we had to pass through a coral reef cave before we reached the white sandy beach of Blue Point.
It’s a long way down the cliffs and an effort to pass through the coral reef cave below but once you reach the beach, everything is totally worth it! Suluban beach offers a jaw-dropping view of the Indian Ocean and the waves are perfect for surfers and surfing enthusiasts.
4. The resort: Blue Point Bay Villas and Spa – Strategically situated beside Single Fin and just right above the cliffs en route to the Blue Point (Suluban) beach is Blue Point Bay Villas and Spa.
We had 3 days and 2 nights to spend in Uluwatu and given that limited time, we had to be strategic in our choices in terms of location. Blue Point Bay is the perfect resort for us.
It had an amazing view of the Suluban beach, a pool, lounge chairs with parasols and an exhaustive cocktails and wine menu. A plus for me is their massive spa where you can get reflexology, hair treatment and full body massage.
The resort offers packages with free breakfast and the restaurant has an amazing view of Suluban, with it’s floor to ceiling windows.
5. The forest monkeys frolicking in the area. Outside the Uluwatu Monkey Forest, you can still find these gray long-tailed monkeys climbing rooftops of restaurants, window sills of hotels and resorts or even walking with the tourists!
Although some of the tourists find them annoying, I actually find them cute! These little furry creatures add an exotic flair to Uluwatu, making the place more interesting and enigmatic.
A word of caution though: some visitors had mishaps and encounters with the monkeys, as they know how to seize and steal mobile phones, sunglasses, wallets, etc. Even in our resort, we were briefed not to leave our things unguarded as there are monkeys wandering around the area. I even saw one early in the morning snatching fruit offerings at the hotel front desk!
The entire Bukit area, surrounded by frangipani trees can actually be considered the entire money forest, so when you’re staying in Uluwatu, expect to come across these furry creatures along the way.
These are but a few of the reasons why Uluwatu is a great place to stay in when you’re in Bali. Overall, I love this area for its relaxing ambiance, clean and plant-based food and its waves. A repeat of this adventure is definitely in the offing.