Friday, October 10, 2008

Toya Bungkah, Kintamani

Sunrise at Batur Lake. View from Lakeside Cottages

Toya Bungkah is the main village with hotels and cottages for rent in Kintamani. It's one of the few villages around the Batur Lake. The Batur Mountain Guides Association is also situated here. Most climbers up the Batur volcano stay here. No night life here people, unless you bring along a large group to make your own party.

The moment you leave the Kintamani plateau and drive down towards the beautiful lake you will notice the distinct acrid smell of burnt vegetation and chicken shit, both key ingredients for the onion and mandarin orange farmers around the lake. 

Besides giving life to farming in the fertile volcanic soil the lake also has abundant fresh water fish.

Its fantastic living by the lakeside. Most of the cottages are very very basic with prices ranging from around USD20 per night. Don't expect any luxuries here. When you Google it you normally get Lakeside Cottages turning up on your search. There are others such as the Analisa, Under the Volcano 3 (dunno where 1 and 2 were) and another called Surya earlier on before Toya Bungkah.  The people are friendly although beware of the dodgy looking ladies going around offering massages, "Picit-picit Pak?" ~ shudder~

A fisherman in the evening. The best times to enjoy the view of the lake is actually after 4 pm when the sun sets over the western mountains. The lake looks gorgeous while Gunung Abang across from Toya Bungkah is bathed by golden sun shine.  The early mornings tend to be mist filled but still has a magical aura of it's own.

Green fresh water algae coated rocks.

The Lakeside Cottages. Looks great but the interior of the 8 cottages is VERY, VERY BASIC. The internet booking rate is about USD23. The food here is not much to shout at so its best to head to Analisa Cafe for some lovely fried or steamed fish. Kiyoko, the owner's Japanese wife is so timid that I was afraid if I accidentally farted she might have a cardiac arrest but she's really nice and tries to accommodate as best she can.

Lakeside Cottages has one of the best views (and the closest to the lake) to just chill out in the afternoon with some hot tea while you look across the lake to the mountains beyond.

This picture was taken the first day I arrived in Toya Bungkah. The dude in the foreground is a fisherman and that is Gunung Abang crowned by clouds (The Batur Volcano is behind me opposite Gunung Agung).

At night when I looked up into the night sky it was almost like a carpet of stars was laid out before me. I had woken up early for my trek up the mountain, about 3 am. I just lay down on the stairs of the cottage and was rewarded by 3 shooting stars over a 30 minute period (2 decent sized, one so tiny i almost missed it). In the dawn you are greeted by the sudden explosion of generators running the pumps for the vegetable plots. The coffee in the warongs is sweet and strong just as the fishermen and farmers like it and not the 3 in 1 shit served at the hotels and lodges. The food is simple but tasty because it's cooked fresh.

Its a beautiful place in it's simplicity but ringed by the grandeur of the mountains that surround it and the lake that gives this town life. Highly recommended for those quiet simple moments.


Han Solo said...

Beautiful pix! I can't wait to go next month :-)

Chindiana said...

Wah Solo! you going to Kintamani again? Nice! Let me know if you need more info.

ah lim said...

cool pix!

Chindiana said...

Ah Lim, bro! Nikon shot tragic... using a filter screwed it up. I need to get back and practice!