Bali – Cak, Cak, Cak!
After a late lunch, I was off to Pura Luhur Uluwatu, another temple facing the sea in the southern coast of Bali. I’m going to come out straight and say that this was the most stressful part of my trip in Bali.
First off, beware of the monkeys that prowl the area. They will steal anything that can be removed from you (eg. spectacles, hair clips, cameras, even slippers). Do not touch or provoke them for they will bite you. And if bitten get a rabies shot from the local hospital. You can do a Google search to read more about the monkey nuisance.
The scenes around the temple are incredibly scenic but the monkeys were everywhere and I can’t help but feel they were eyeing my camera, just waiting for me to drop my guard. So I took a few quick shots and scooted off when I was done.
In the evenings, you can catch the Kecak / Fire Dance show too. This is quite a unique show because the dance does not involve any musical instruments whatsoever. Instead, the accompaniment is done by a chorus of men shouting “cak, cak, cak” (hence the name Kecak) in rhythms to accompany the dance.
Now here comes another word of warning. Do not sit in the front row. If you arrive late, stand behind someone, just don’t sit on the ground in the first row. Because the show involves fire and this may actually happen…
This was not part of the show. A sudden strong wind blew hot burning ember towards the crowd and got people scampering. Fortunately, no one was hurt but it was still a rather nasty surprise.
I was also rather put off by the lack of safety standards considering the fiery nature of the show. Overcrowding the stands, lack of emergency escape routes, no fire extinguisher in sight, etc. Something for the organizers to look into but I guess this would be at the bottom of their priorities.
Despite all it’s shortcomings, Uluwatu is still a great place to visit in Bali. The views are spectacular and the Kecak experience is quite a unique one. Just do some reading up prior to your visit, take the necessary precautions and you’ll be fine.