Friday, June 1, 2012

My Bali Trip, 17 - 22 May

I was in Bali for 6 days 5 nights , from 17th until 22nd May.
My overall trip experience is average at best due to certain reasons.
It's a free-and-easy trip.  I hired my own driver and make our own plans.

Here's the itinerary :

Day 1
Flight from KL to Danpasar Airport (Bali), 3 hours flight.  Touchdown at 6:50pm.
Asked my driver to pick us up from airport.
Had our dinner at Ayam Tulang Lunak, which is pretty good.
Check in to Hotel Febri's.

I booked the driver, Pak Bagus, for 4 days at 350k per day.
Although the driver don't speak English, he's a really good driver.
Unlike other drivers, Pak Bagus has no time limit, number of locations nor request for any additional fee.

Room in Febri's Hotel is quite clean, but it doesn't provide tooth brush/paste.  So bring your own.
The other downside of this hotel is that it is not sound proof.
The location of hotel is quite close to Discovery Mall, about 10 min walk.

Day 2
Checked out from Febri's Hotel after breakfast and head to Ubud.
First location is Gunung Kawi Temple which is about 2.5 hours from Kuta.
Be warned that you have to climb lotsa steps to reach the temple itself.  Rough estimate is about 100 steps of staircase.  Along the way, there are stalls selling knitting clothes which is relative cheap, 20-40K each.  Btw, do take note all entrance fee has gone up since April 2012.  It is now 15k per person for Gunung Kawi Temple.

Next stop at Pura Tirthe Empul, ticket @ 15k per person.  It's another temple which is just 5 minutes away from Gunung Kawi temple.  Here, u can see some people bathing with the holy water and there's a pond filled with lotsa fish.  On the way out, there's a bunch of stalls selling caps, t-shirts and hats.

On the way to Kintamani, we stopped by Alam Bali Kopi Luwak, who is famous for Kopi Luwak. Each small cup costs 50K and well, I think Malaysia's coffee is better.

After another 1 hour of drive, we finally reached Kintamani..
Along the way, there's a police stop asking for money but the driver paid for it.
The weather was hot and we were sweating from all the climbing and walking.
It was a relief to be at Kintamani, which is at the peak of a mountain overseeing a volcano, the wind is cool and refreshing.

One last stop before reaching Ubud town, Tegalalang, a paddy field.  Ticket is priced at 5k per person.
Even though we paid for the entrance fee, we didn't go down as we were all tired and hungry.  It's past 3pm.

We had our late lunch at Nuri's cafe, the famous spare ribs.  It was indeed quite nice.

After Nuri's, we walk a bit around Ubud Royal Palace and surrounding area.
The Ubud Royal Palace is free.

Decided to call it a day as the sky are getting dark although it's only 5pm.
Checked into Junjungan Ubud Hotel & Spa.  The service is extremely good.
It's about 10 min from the Ubud town and the hotel provide free shuttle service to Ubud town.
The room was clean and smells good.  It's definitely a much better hotel than Febri's in Kuta.

After getting ourselves refreshed, we took the hotel's shuttle service to a restaurant in Ubud town for a light dinner at Tropica restaurant.

Day 3
Wake up early in the morning to have our breakfast in the hotel's cafetaria.  We have already pre-ordered from the menu on the previous night.  Again, service is good.  The food taste pretty good as well.  I actually enjoy the breakfast.

At 9am, we depart for Pura Taman Ayun.  Ticket at 15k per person.   It's about 30 min drive from where we stay.  Just walked around the temple as no one is allowed to enter.  There is a small lake at the side of temple.  Other than that, it's just another temple.

Then we moved on to Pura Bedegul.  It's about an hour drive uphill.  The Bedegul Lake (with temple inside) is at the top of the hill.  Yep, a lake at the top of hill, but not as high as Kintamani.  Even so, the scenery and the chill wind blowing at us is a welcome sight.  Ticket is 30k per person.

By then, it's already noon.  We decided to walk opposite Bedegul Lake to try Ayam Taliwang in one of the shop and we regretted it.   I think the more famous Warung Sedap, which is just 10 minutes from Lake Bedegul, is nicer.

We stopped by Candikuning wet market.  Thought we could get some titbits from there, but walk around and couldn't find anything that suits us.   Went back to car empty handed.  By the way, Warung Sedap is just along the road.

Then it's a long drive to Jatiluwih.  Was told it's basically a hill filled with paddy fields.   We stopped at the foothill to have a quick look and decided to give it a pass.  The sky was getting gloomy.

We continue our way to Tanah Lot which is quite a distance away, about 1.5 hour drive.
It was 4pm when we reached Tanah Lot.  The sky clears up a bit, fortunately.  It's still about 1.5 hour before sunset.  So we walk around a bit for shopping.  Loads of stalls here sells hats at a reasonable price, 20-25k after haggling.  Then we finally go in to Tanah Lot.   Ticket is 40k per person, and 5k for car.  There's a long stretch of shops on both sides of walk, selling bunch of stuff.  We focus on finding a good spot to watch sunset.  Then we wait and wait and wait.  Tanah Lot is basically located at the low land, where you can see some big waves splashing on to the shore, which you stand about 30m away.  After some time of waiting, alas, the sun was blocked by some thick clouds while it descend into the horizon.

We decided to take our dinner at Ubud area.  Our driver says it will take 1.5 hour to go back.  Well, we don't know where else to have dinner.  So here comes the fun ride.  The road was dark and narrow.  Yet, there's a bunch of motorcycles who loves to ride in the middle of the road.  The driver patiently waiting for opportunity to overtake these bikers.   I found myself to be wide awake, probably due to the adrenaline rush, hehe, from the way our driver drives.  We manage to reach a restaurant called Bebek Johnny, in just 1 hour.   We were totally amazed at how the driver manage to navigate around the small roads and overtaking those bikers.

The dinner, the most expensive, and the worst in taste in this trip.  We oredered crispy duck, some flying fish and curry chicken.  None taste good and yet very expensive.

Day 4
Had our breakfast in the Junjungan Hotel for one last time.  Check out and leaves Ubud.

Head straight to Sukawati, a place of shopping and haggling.  According to the driver, this place is now stuff with low quality goods.  Clothes, paintings, souvenirs.  Nothing caught my attention.

Moved on to Kuta, some batik producers which also sells some top quality batik.  Very expensive.  Wasted an hour here.

Had our lunch at Mozzarella Cafe, a western-cuisine for a change.  Price and taste is average.  Many says it has awesome service.  Nothing special to me.

Continue with more shopping around Kuta for mostly biscuits and cakes of Bali.  When we are done, we moved on to Discovery Mall.  A high class shopping mall.  It's getting late, 5pm.  There's quite a jam in the city.  Decided to go straight to Jimbaran Bay for our seafood dinner by the beach.

It's about 5:45pm when we reached Jimbaran Bay.  We found Lia's Cafe towards at the end of a stretch of seafood restaurants.  Found a table by the beach and settle in.  You can watch a nice sunset here too.   Our order, 1kg of almost all the seafood, 500g of crab and 500g of clams, a combination of 2 different set.  Total damage is 418k.  Very cheap in my opinion.  Food is all bbq.  It comes with soup, salad and drinks, either coconut or soft drinks.  Enjoy the dinner very much.  When it's dark, table is lighted with candle.  It became candlelight dinner by the beach.  Quite romantic really, especially there's a group of musicians playing and singing some songs.

Went back to Febri's to check-in.   Since I found myself still feeling energetic, I came out to walk around Kuta.  Opposite Febri's, is actually a long stretch of Kuta Beach.  We didn't know the way to the beach actually.   So we walk along the pedestrian walkway, which is very narrow.   Took us 15 minutes to reach Discovery Mall, and another 10 minutes to reach Kuta Square.  By then, all shops is ready to close.  Saw McD selling ice-cream, bought one and enjoyed it hehe.  Then walked back slowly to Febri's.

Day 5

Breakfast in Febri's.  It's a buffet style with limited choice. 

Today we head to Nusa Dua.  Since it's still early, we round Kuta a bit and wasted about an hour in the jam.  Our first stop in Nusa Due is a beach where all the water sports is at, para-sailing, jet-ski, water-ski and turtle watching.  Well, we just watched for a while and left the place for our lunch.

Nothing to shout about on the lunch, some Balinese food in Nusa Dua.  Loads of mosquitoes.

Our driver told us Geger beach is now quite dirty.  So we decided to skip it and I regretted it.  We stopped at Dreamland instead.  Entrance is 15k per car.  Had to take a van down to the beach.  The beach is beautiful and water is clean.  Sands are soft.  A fun place to hang out a while.  It is at this place that I decided to give away my spectacle to the fish.  Stay here for an hour.

Moved on to a Chapel known as Tirtha Uluwatu.  It's an elegant place where couples gets married.  Beautiful place with beautiful scenery but no photo taking allowed.  The package starts from USD3.5k and food is not included.

Then the final destination at Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, another place to watch sunset.  Unlike Tanah Lot, Uluwatu is at the top of a hill.  You can see the huge waves splashes against the wall of the foothill.  It offers a better sight than Tanah Lot.  However, we still didn't manage to watch the complete sunset as it is still blocked by clouds as it descends.   Oh, be wary of the monkeys here.  They will take your things in exchange for food.  The tickets is 20k per person, sarong included.

We thought we still have time, so we went to have a 1 hour body massage at a  place recommended by our driver.  It's a lot more expensive than in Ubud.  Honestly I don't find the massage good.

Had our dinner at a restaurant opposite Febri's, Kunyit Bali Restaurant.  It is relatively expensive and the food doesn't seem to be fresh.  The only thing I like is the crackers it served before the main dish arrives.

Paid the driver with 100k as bonus.  A good driver overall.

Day 6

Packed our stuff.  Had our last breakfast in Bali.  Had an hour to kill before leaving for airport.

Went out to walk again but didn't venture far this time.  Goes thru Discovery Mall to the Kuta Beach and walked back to Febri's.

Took hotel's shuttle to airport.  Remember to keep 150k per person for Bali airport tax.
Home sweet home.

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