Tag Archives: Nusa Dua

Riding on the sea: Amazing Bali Mandara sea link


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

It is not yet five years old, as it was opened only in September 2013, but it certainly leaves tourists coming to Bali in an awe. Almost 13 km in length stretching across the Gulf of Benoa, the Bali Mandara sea link is often referred to as pride of Indonesia. This beautiful sea link runs over sea and some part of it through protected mangrove forests, making it a beautiful experience to drive. It gives wonderful views from the road and the sea as well! It is claimed to be one of the “most beautiful” road stretches in Indonesia. The name Mandara is an acronym for Indonesian words — maju (move forward), aman (safe), damai (peaceful) and sejahtera (prosperous).

Toll gates with Balinese architecture style
Toll gates with Balinese architecture style

Bali Mandara Toll Road or Nusa Dua-Ngurah Rai-Benoa Toll Road is a toll road carried by a bridge 12.7 km in length. This highway connects the city of Denpasar and South Kuta, Badung Regency, Nusa Dua and Ngurah Rai International Airport, thus providing additional link to northern and southern parts of Bali. The reason behind construction of Bali Mandara Toll Road would have been to prevent traffic jams on the Ngurah Rai By Pass Road, but slowly it has also become an attraction of sort. This toll road was officially opened on 23 September 2013 by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Whole project took just 14 months to be completed. It was an amazing feat, considering that there was no sort of foreign help involved at any stage.

Aerial view of the sea link
Aerial view of the sea link
Aerial view of the sea link

Numerous academics, scholars and environmentalists had voiced serious concerns over the construction of the sea link, which could have deviated from its approved environmental impact analysis and perhaps dangerously affect both the mangroves and surrounding marine habitat. Local fishermen and nearby fishing villages also no longer have access to their previous fishing grounds. Indonesian authorities however claim that this infrastructure masterpiece was built with environmentally friendly and advanced technology. Undoubtedly, the views from the toll road are breathtaking. Even the local norms and traditions were respected during the construction. You can see the water below the road and green mangrove forests all over the place. To minimise the impact of construction almost 16,000 pieces of mangrove trees were planted after the construction of link was completed.

Mangroves around the road
Mangroves around the road
Approaching the beautiful mainland

Want to know about India’s oldest sea link? Read: Pamban bridge enters hundredth year!

smooth traffic on the toll road
Bikers in the two-wheeler lane

The road runs over the sea and was built using 33,835 concrete columns, some of them through an area of previously pristine mangrove forest. The road has a separate lane for motorcycles on both the sides, thus providing separate drive ways for two wheelers and four wheelers and making it more safe. The length of Bali Mandara Road is equal to Penang Bridge in Malaysia which too is 12.7 kilometres in length.

Massive structure on the sea
Many loops, flyovers on the link road
Already an attraction for the tourists

The road runs through a fragile environment and rough seas. Hence, there are many checks and controls involved. There are strict speed limits and all activities are thoroughly monitored. There is exhaustive system of CCTVs and also a wind monitor to keep measuring the wind sped. Anemometer are installed at every toll gate (Nusa Dua, Ngurah Rai, and Benoa). If the wind speed reach 40 kph or more than the movement on this road is controlled or stopped temporarily.

Travel with me to this Bali Mandara sea link through this video on my YouTube channel by clicking on the thumbnail below-

So next time you visit Bali, get a driving experience on this Bali Mandara toll road. It will certainly be worth.

Have you driven on this amazing Bali Mandara Road? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

Spread the love! Share the post!!
Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Finding Nemo while walking underwater in Bali Sea

It is indeed one of the most adorable and loved  fishes of silver screen and also of aquariums thereafter. Orange Clownfish Nemo has been craze of kids world over after that landmark film – Finding Nemo. Hence watching Nemo in its natural habitat in the sea is indeed filled with a lot of excitement. But of course, this is not about Nemo, it is about walking under the sea and feeling the nature’s bounty around you. Sea Walking is a gem of an adventure for all those who don’t want to go in nitty-gritty of diving. And there can be perhaps no better place for sea walking than beautiful waters of Bali in Indonesia.

Orange Clownfish ‘nemo’ in its territory

Sea walkers are the latest craze for the under water adventure seekers and what a place can be better than Bali to do this. Tanjung Benoa in South Kuta district of Badung Regency in Bali is the hub of water sports activities in Bali and it has lot to offer. One of the best among them is the Sea walker, where one walks few metres under the sea with the help of special helmets filled with oxygen. While you walk, you see the fishes and corals around you. You can be under the water for 20 to 30 minutes or more. A thrill and lots of fun, if you are not afraid of water.

Boats in the sea to take you down

The host of water sports activities in the region include snorkelling, sea walking and diving besides the regular ones like parasailing, jet-sking, water scooters and lot more. Sea Walking is fairly new but interesting adventure.

Under the sea for a stroll!

For this activity, once at the beachside base, you are registered. After the paper formalities, one has to change-in in special suits. Then they are transported by speed boats to offshore docking stations which are actually boats anchored in the sea away from the coast.

Once you reach at the docking station, you are given instructions on the process, which is mostly related to sign language that has to used with the instructor. Walkers are given a helmet to wear, which provides oxygen supply through pipe attached to docking station. Walkers are supposed to breath normally. It is a walk, not a dive or a swim. Special rubber footwear are also given here (these are not flippers as of divers).

You go down the sea through a ladder attached to the boat. The instructor than pulls you down further from the ladder and parks you on the sea bed, where you can stand holding specially fixed rails and ropes. Now you are ready for the walk.

With directions from the instructor you walk on the sea-bed holding rails and ropes, enjoying corals and fishes around. You will be seeing many of them for the first time in your lives, as was with me.

Enjoying corals

What is interesting that, you even carry bread with you to feed the fishes so that they gather around you and one has the few of being surrounded by the fishes under the sea.

After spending around 20-30 minutes under the sea and walking around, you are taken back to the boat, through the same ladder.

Back to the boat after thrill

Its an exhilarating experience and good one for first timers who don’t have an exposure of going under the sea water. With safety of life jackets and oxygen helmets, it is a safe activity for even those who don’t know to swim.

You can watch a video of my sea walking experience on my YouTube channel by clicking on the link below:

With many competitors around in the Tanjung Benoa area of Bali, rates are often bargained. We did this activity for 600K Indonesian Rupiah (roughly 2800 Indian Rupee). Don’t forget to carry your water proof cameras for capturing memorable experience, but if you don’t have it, than sea walking operators will click your images with their cameras, but of course for a handsome amount.

A slice of Balinese paradise

Outside the hotel, Melia Bali

Bali itself is a dream destination and staying in Melia Bali adds zing to this dream! Its an ultimate Balinese hospitality and captures all the aura & beauty that can be associated with this beautiful island. It is a big beach resort and actually staying here is itself a complete holiday with there being a private beach and all sort of activities.

Also read: Bali is the top destination in the world

Nusa Dua area is distinctively calm and serene

Hotel is in Nusa Dua area, which itself is a calm and secluded area reserved for top class hotels, quite far from tourist frenzy at Kuta or what is like in Ubud. That might not be of liking to all, but certainly favourite for those who love to be in calm and serene place.

Also read: Bali from the sky – few captures

Once you enter the hotel, you will feel how it is like to be in a high end hotel in Bali. You will be welcomed traditionally with flowers and coconut.

Traditional welcome!

Hotel has a beautiful lobby, befitting the mood of the place. It is such a big property that you won’t find too many people (guests) around at any place, else than the beach area.

Hotel is not a high rise. It is often said about Bali that there as a rule you can’t have a building higher than a coconut tree. Hence only the main section of hotel has three floors. Rest all villas and apartments are spread in sprawling coastal greens. Overall, there are 494 accommodations in ten different categories.

Also read: White water rafting in Bali

Main section of the hotel

Hotel has every other facility, one can think of, including spa (YHI), yoga and treatments. Service is very good, staff is hospitable and food quite good. Rooms are clean, spacious and aesthetically designed.

There are also some suites with there own pool alongside there bedrooms. A pool is shared by few rooms. These are some of the best rooms in the property. Resort also has 56 premium lagoon access rooms. Lagoon access suites feature a private patio, which gives direct access to the resort’s new lagoon just steps away.

Also read: Sea on fire – Sunset at Bali beach

Suites with pool

There are also some garden villas (precisely ten), which form the top notch of accommodation in the property. All villas are in secluded compound which includes a walled tropical garden, a private plunge pool, outdoor dining area, a sunken bathtub as well as outdoor shower. Every villa has a true Balinese architecture with high class service.  It gives a totally different perspective of paradise.

Also read: From the Bali album: Royal attires for pre-wedding shoot!

Garden Villas (notice the names)

In order to showcase the traditional Balinese Hindu culture, there are many villas named on Hindu gods and there is even a temple in the complex.

Melia Bali also has a traditional Bali Hindu temple in its complex. Temple is known as Segara Amrta.

Temple inside the complex

As with all beach resorts, private beach is one of the biggest attractions and Melia Bali is no exception. Whole day, you will found guests relaxing here, enjoying water sports and other activities. Beach and pool area are the most beautiful. There are a few restaurants on the beach itself.

Same can be said about the pool area. Since there are host of pools in the whole property, you will never find any pool crowded, Hence you can have your own private moments here.

Pool area

Hotel has a beautiful landscape. Contemporary tropical architecture, bold decor and spacious gardens express the essence of Bali. There is a Sorrento Mediterranean Restaurant, Lotus Asian Garden Restaurant, Sateria Beachside restaurant, Sakura Japanese Restaurant and 24 hour El Patio coffee shop as well as Melia Bali Bars.

Beautiful landscape

Resort enjoys an excellent location just 15 kms from Ngurah Rai International airport. It is walking distance to Bali collections, which is a shopping centre, food and entertainment mall and a museum. It is 850 metres from Bali international convention centre and 750 metres from Nusa Dua Convention centre.

True Balinese vacation

Nusa Dua-ITDC area is recognised for its safety due to the international level of safety standard and security systems practiced by all hotels in the region. But if you need to venture out in the city and be the part of the hustle & bustle, then you need a transport, as the city is bit far, although there is a shopping mall nearby. Our stay in hotel was not quite long, but was quite impressive as far as we were able to experience. Tourists long remember their stay here and leave some wonderful memories like this one below, which even hotel likes to preserve.

Long-lasting memories

Bali from the sky – few captures!

Its fun to be on window seat of a plane, provided you are interested in capturing images. And if images are from a beautiful beach resort like Bali, then you just can’t stop clicking. How different it is to see a place from the top, then being there! A lot perhaps. Lot changes with the change of the angle and perspective. Eye angle is more wide than  ever. The view and the perspective, both become more holistic. Hence the idea of beauty also changes!

So here starts the fun-

Plane looks like walking right into the sea!

Bali from sky11

… or along it! Is it quite close for comfort or just thrilling!!

Bali from sky12

It looks more normal now-

Bali from sky1
Games of the window seat!

Quite different to see a beach resort from up in the sky!

Bali from sky2

… but it still looks amazing with all those boats and yachts lined up!

Bali from sky3

The three shots of the sea link from Denpasar towards Nusa Dua. The view is equally fascinating as was to actually travel on that bridge-

Bali from sky4

….its big. We don’t have anything like this in India, I presume (not undermining Worli sea link in Mumbai).

Bali from sky5

…. right on the top. Want to get airdropped here!

Bali from sky6

You can also see the difference in the colours of the sea in different patches..

Bali from sky7

On to the other side of island…

Bali from sky8

Now getting farther and higher… seeing more of the land-sea divide.

Bali from sky9

Leaving behind the land but with lots of memories stacked up in baggage!

Bali from sky10