So the magic of Rock Bar, and what makes it such a tourist draw, is that the bar itself is built at the base of cliffs, hovering just over the waves. To reach it, drinkers must descend the cliff wall in a specially built funicular, only large enough for about five people in one trip. Since the bar is typically full up before sunset and guests of The Ayana get priority access, we instead chose to observe from the grassy lawn at the top of the cliff. It's actually a better view from up there, but then the cocktails can't come to you.
Since we'd come all that way, we did take the funicular down and order up a "Rockito" mojito. At 140,000 IDR ($15.30), it's hugely overpriced and obviously the cost of admission to the bar. Even though there's no cover charge, there will be a bill befitting a New York club, not one in Bali. A few American girls next to us had the right idea; they let a middle-aged businessman chat them up and pay for their drinks. It's that kind of place.
Our advice: get in, get the photos you know you're there for, and get out. The evening is best spent on the aforementioned grass lawn becausehey, remember that sunsets come complimentary of life.
Our full "Awesome Day in Bali" series:
· Breakfast at Biku
· Late morning at the "Starbucks Temple"
· Noon drinks
· Seafood lunch on Jimbaran Bay
· Afternoon and evening surfer-spotting on Bingin Beach
*Private car info: We recommend hiring a private car and driver if you plan on doing a full day of sightseeing and touring Bali. It's not particularly luxurious; it's something of the norm, since Bali is huge and the streets are not pedestrian-friendly. Any hotel should easily be able to arrange a car; we got ours through the Anantara Seminyak for $45/day.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher]