My husband, my son and I, we love nature trip so much considering we live in the high building in the middle of the hustle and bustle of big city life. Nature is an escape. As long as we can choose where to go and lodge, we would love to pick somewhere in the middle of nowhere every time we go on vacay, instead of cities. So there we were, staying in the middle of West Bali National Park, near Menjangan Island.
Bali is always our favorite local destination. View of beaches, mountains, people and their culture never fail to amaze us over and over, hence we visited Bali repeatedly. It’s a complete package ! Until now, we’ve already explored south, east and west Bali and still crave for more.
First time I found a lodging inside West Bali National Park, I was thrilled so I could not wait for our trip to come. Our travel goal that time was snorkeling and free diving in West Bali and Menjangan Island. There were several resorts but Bajul Eco Lodge by Plataran won my heart. Why ? It’s about budget first and foremost. Haha. This lodging is a budget lodging version of Plataran Menjangan resorts and spa. Nevertheless it’s not bad at all because we still can enjoy all facilities provided by Plataran. What makes it different is just the room style and decoration. But we love it so much. It’s so comfy though !
The resort staff welcomed us so warmly even though we arrived late nite that time. Since the location itself is inside the jungle, there were two staffs waiting for the guests in front of the gate and escorted us entering the jungle to find our lodge. We couldn’t see anything when we reached the resort but then got surprised in the morning with an exotic and beautiful surroundings. To be honest it’s beyond our expectations.
Awalnya begitu masuk kawasan Taman Nasional Bali Barat, sempat deg-deg an karena hari sudah gelap dan penerangan di jalan sekedarnya. Belokan menuju penginapan sempat terlewat dari jalan raya. Akibatnya kami harus memutar agak jauh dan berhati-hati memperhatikan setiap tanda. Jalan menuju hutan Taman Nasional Bali Barat beraspal namun tidak semulus jalan raya. Sebaiknya tidak menggunakan mobil sedan apalagi yang rendah.
You’ll never get bored staying inside the jungle like this especially if you love being in nature. Karena lokasi nya yang berjauhan dari satu spot ke spot lain, Plataran menyediakan transportasi khusus di dalam Taman Nasional. Kami tinggal rikues kepada staf yang berjaga, mobil semacam golf car ukuran besar akan datang beberapa menit kemudian.
Here are what you can do in the middle of West Bali National Park.
1. Enjoying sunset and sunrise
Of course you’ll be pleased to watch sunrise and sunset every single day and sunbathe to your heart’s content moreover if you visit Bali in dry season when the sun is shining so brightly. Not far from our lodge, there is a dock with mangrove trees surrounding where we can enjoy sunrises and sunsets during our stay. So pretty !
2. Trekking and bird watching
We would not miss our chance to explore this place by foot. It is something impossible to do in our hometown. A resort staff is available to accompany the guests exploring the jungle. You’d better request for a trekking trip a day before, either trekking only or bird watching. Having company to walk is compulsory because there are many wild animals roam free around this park. Monkeys, deers, all kinds of birds, leopard cats, even snakes, you name it !
3. Staying side by side with wild animals
Yep ! Since you lodge in the national park, so the wild animals share their space with you. But you don’t need to worry, it is totally safe after all as long as you keep your distance and please do not annoy them.
It was our first canoeing experience and was so marvelous. There were no one else but only us four as though that was our private beach. Canoeing is easy and super fun. Be ready to get tired because of paddling. The staff provided all necessary equipments to canoeing including safety jacket. He watched us from the dock to make sure we were safe during paddling.
5. Snorkeling and freediving
West Bali National Park is surrounded by coastal waters so we can enjoy water sports, such as snorkeling and freediving. We don’t need to pay anything for snorkeling or freediving if you do around the dock, no need any preparation (boat, lunch, guide, etc) for that. But once you plan to dive in Menjangan Island, you have to reserve a freediving tour from the resort. It costs around 1 million IDR per person.
Again, for the budget reason, we ended up with local agent who arranged our free diving trip to Menjangan Island.
6. Dinner under full moon, in the middle of jungle, along the beach
We had never planned for this. It is absolutely our luck ! Alhamdulillah. The staff told they held an outdoor independence day dinner at one of their restaurants and offered us to join. And we said YES for another experience but never expected a heavenly dinner.
Ini namanya rejeki karena semua serba kebetulan pada saat itu, kebetulan sedang ada perayaan makan malam tujuh belas agustus dan kebetulan malam itu bulan purnama. Lokasi dinner di luar, di pinggir pantai, diterangi bulan purnama dengan sajian makanan enak khas nusantara melengkapi malam kami saat itu.
7. Endemic tree planting
Before going back to Jakarta, we participated in endemic tree planting program by Plataran L’Harmonie. It is a program to restore the native ecosystem by planting and preserving native plants. Platararan staffs have already prepared everything needed for this program. We payed for the seeds 50 USD or around 700 thousands IDR and that mini plant was given our names : Syaltout, Sheika, Zola and Alfon. As a matter of fact, the cost was not only for the seeds but also was intended for planting and after care.
Ada yang menarik dari program penanaman ini. Proses penanaman diiringi dengan tabuhan gamelan sebagai ritual sukacita dan rasa syukur pada alam. Cerita lengkapnya bisa dibaca dengan mengklik link di bawah ini.
So, that is the story of our West Bali trip featuring om Alfon, one of our best friend who make this journey more agreeable. For us, especially my son, this was the most wonderful local trip we have ever had.
Are you interested to explore this part of Bali ? 🙂
Happy traveling ! 🙂