Impact Publications : MiceBTN_62
Page 24 • MICEBTN - FEBRUARY 2016 BAli, iNDONESiA BAli, iNDONESiA Rare wildlife, hot springs, shrines ... interCon Bali adds ‘special’ day tours with volcano-top restaurants, plus a birdwatchers’ paradise and much more INDONESIA’s InterContinen- tal Bali Resort has introduced a new service called ‘In the Know’, offering destination tips and arranging treks and excur- sions for hotel guests. Dewi Karmawan, director of Public Re- lations and Marketing Communications says the service is popular with visitors looking for a more challenging experi- ence on the island. “Bali’s most visited mountain is Gunung Batur, which rests within the gigantic caldera of an extinct volcano measuring 11 kilometres in diameter,” he said. “On the floor of the volcano is Danau Batur, Bali’s largest freshwater lake. It is the source of the rivers and springs for the entire eastern half of Bali, and irrigates most of the island’s rice fields. “At 1,717 metres high, Gunung Batur is by no means Bali’s highest volcano, but it is Bali’s second most sacred mountain after Gunung Agung, and has erupt- ed more than 20 times during the last two centuries. Tourists visit the locality, known as Kintamani, to enjoy an Indone- sian buffet lunch in one of the many res- taurants that sit on the ancient crater rim, with spectacular views of the mountain and the lake. Also positioned on the rim of the caldera is Pura Ulun Danu Batur, Bali’s second most important temple, dedicated to Dewi Danu, goddess of lakes and rivers. The temple was origi- nally situated at the foot of the volcano but was destroyed in 1926 by a violent eruption and subsequently rebuilt on the rim. The upper cone of Gunung Batur can be climbed and descended in a few hours. Upon reaching the top, your guide will prepare a unique breakfast of baked bananas and hardboiled eggs cooked in the natural heat of the volcano.” After the descent, Dewi recommends the hot springs on the shore of Danau Batur to ease any aching limbs. “Gunung Batukaru in the Tabanan Re- gency is the island’s second highest peak and Western Bali’s axis mundi, defining our ‘kaja-kelod’, mountain-sea orientation. “Located in an area that boasts the greatest biological diversity in Bali, its higher alpine slopes are filled with moun- tain streams, flora and fauna, including the rare black leaf-eating monkey, small forest deer, butterflies, flying lizards, por- cupines and the lubak (mongoose). The area is also a birdwatchers’ paradise. “Here, local guides lead visitors on anything from gentle hikes through the food forests to challenging treks to the 2,276-metre summit. The spectacular view from the top extends across all of Bali’s nine regencies. On a clear day, the central and eastern volcanoes create a backdrop to the stage. High on the slopes of Gunung Batukaru is Pura Luhur Batukaru, the ‘Lofty Stone Coconut Shell Temple,’ which venerates the deities of mountains and lakes, and was the ances- tral temple for the royal family of Taba- nan, whose descendants still maintain the shrines today.” Dewi says it is well worth visiting this atmospheric, mystical and deeply spiritual place and pausing for a while to contemplate or meditate. The hot springs on the shore of Danau Batur is recommended on the way back to ease any aching limbs. Besakih Temple with Mount Agung in the background.