Kintamani is best reached from Ubud, which is about 1 1/2 hour climbing journey through the mountain range.
Before I relate to my experience in Kintamani, a snippet from a travel guide that I read has really summed up what most visitors can expect at this highland town:
|"On the agenda of almost every tour offered in Bali, Kintamani almost universally disappoints; the promises of fresh mountain air and views are spoiled by the aggressive hawkers."|
Indeed, my initial anticipation of visiting a cool highland village with the view of a crater lake died down as quickly as a lady street seller could chase me. The first glimpse of the barren slopes of Mt Batur was enough to entice the indifference. The gushing wind of fresh mountain air hit me with realization that Kintamani could possibly be a piece of heaven on earth.
Soon enough, while I was busy juggling with my camera to capture the spectacular view of Mt Batur, I was already surrounded by a few street taunts trying to sell from cheap t-shirts to batik sarongs. Just as I would politely decline the price tags of temptation, the vendors were short of chasing me down with their arms filled with the cheap merchandise. Indeed, they mean business, pun intended.
15 minutes later, still with incessant taunting that seemed to never abate, the only respite I could found was at an overpriced restaurant which strangely served buffet-only spreads. Here, the taunts were gone, only because there were a number of restaurant staff guarding the entrance door. The food was terrible at best, and while boasting the open-air view of the volcano and Danau Batur, it was already somewhat jaded.
Indeed, at Kintamani, I was trapped between the rock and the hard place - the terrible street vendors pushed me into a disappointingly expensive and insipid buffet lunch.
I'm torn between not recommending Kintamani to everyone. The view, no doubt, is amazing, but I found it impossible to stay clear off the street taunts.