The long awaited holiday came. 5 days 4 nights trip to Bali from 1 to 5 August 2015. It was meant to be a budget trip as I still have 2 more trips to go for this year.
We flew by Tigerair to Bali. I bought it at early fare deal which was around S$190. The flight was 2 hour and 40 min. It was the first time I felt a bit fearful of turbulence in the plane. As I was seated at the second last row, I could hear the trays behind shaking. There have been news of other airlines cancelling flights in and out of Bali due to volcanic ash threat from Mount Raung. Upon reaching the airport, I bore in mind what I have read online – took blue bird taxi instead of airport taxi, as it would be cheaper. The cabfare to Harris Hotel, Seminyak was IDR110k.
Harris hotel staff were friendly and they never failed to greet us with a smile. They had an unique way of presenting their wet towels for arriving guests. There were also welcome drinks i.e. fruit juice for us. I noticed that Harris Hotel promotes healthy lifestyle. It has a juice bar. In our washroom, the tissue box has quotes such as ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and ‘doctors recommend to have 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day’.
The room looks smaller than what is shown in the picture on its website. Nonetheless, it is still value-for-money. Anniversary set was also prepared for us. Surprisingly, the gym looks posh sufficiently. We paid for breakfast at IDR80k per person.
We had lunch at Warung Ocha, a recommendation that I found online. Google map was not reliable as it brought us to dead ends. By following motorbikes, we found the path to the happening streets filled with shops, cafes and restaurants. It was only a 10 min walk from Harris hotel to Warung Ocha. The only thing we like about this restaurant is the ambience. Food was nothing appealing.
At around 4 plus in the late afternoon, we took a cab to Jimbaran Bay, which costs around IDR 110. I wouldn’t recommend renting a car there as the roads are narrow and you have to be aggressive in order to pass through. Renting motorbike or bicycle is recommended as it is cheap and makes the trip convenient. We wanted to make our way straight to Cafe Bagus (online recommendation) but the cab driver said that there was a ceremony and hence could not turn into that lane. He dropped us at a random restaurant, which made us wonder whether any collusion was involved. Anyway, we just kept walking along the beach and admiring the beautiful sunset. It was a long walk but the view was splendid.
The joke is that when we finally reached the correct area, we ended up not patronising Cafe Bagus but Mama Donny. We thought it was Cafe Bagus but the first person who came to pull us was actually someone from the first stall i.e. Mama Donny, which we did not notice initially. Mama Donny is just next to Intercontinental resort (a very impressive, grand resort!). Nevertheless, the meal was satisfying. We ordered the IDR 300k seafood package. It was a pleasant experience dining on the beach with a sunset view. When darkness fell, it was yet another unique experience of dining under the stars. It is an experience not to be missed if you go to Bali.
We spent the second day with an intended Ubud tour. I hired a driver for IDR500k, excluding entrance fees and meals. Hiring a personal driver enabled flexibility in the itinerary. The driver first dropped us at Ubud monkey village, where 200 monkeys stay at.
Next is Ubud market.
We followed the sign to Ibu Oka, where we tried Babi Guling, suckling pig. We ordered the special dish at the price of IDR 55k. It is a must-try Indonesian dish.
Our next stop is rice terraces at Tegallalang Village. Ticket is priced at IDR10k per pax. However, nobody really checked the tickets and there was no entrance booth. The ticket booth is a 5 min walk away from the rice terraces, got to cross the road to reach. We saw a few nice cafes offering good view of the rice terraces. The seats at the cafes look comfortable. If you are there, it is worth a try relaxing at these cafes. The rice terraces look like a place for some mini hiking, you can climb to the opposite side.
On our way to Madu Sari Mountain Restaurant, the driver dropped us at a coffee plantation. This is not in our itinerary but I must say it is an interesting and short learning journey. A guide brought us around, showing us the fruits for coffee and cocoa. She also explained how Luwak coffee came about (explanation is in the picture below). We tried Luwak coffee for only IDR50k, along with 7 different beverages for tasting. We bought coconut coffee powders from the shop as it is an unique flavour.
Upon reaching the top of the mountain, we had to pay entrance fee of IDR65k in total. Madu Sari restaurant was very packed and it was rather hard to capture the waiters’ attention. The waiters would also try to hide their ala carte menu as they would prefer their customers to take up the buffet option. Despite these, I must say that the restaurant does offer a stunning view of Mount Batur.
However, due to the limited attention given by the waiters, the limited lunch options given and the overpopularity of the restaurant, we decided to have our lunch at the restaurant beside Madu Sari. Though it does not offer an open space for taking picture with mountain scenery behind, the restaurant offers a more peaceful atmosphere while letting customers enjoy the food with a view of the mountain and lake.
Tirta Empul aka Spring Water Temple was up next. Here are the rules. Our driver provided us with Sarong. For girls with long hair, rubber bands were also provided to tie up hair.
At the end of our itinerary, we requested that the driver dropped us at Kuta, an area near Seminyak of which we had not explored. Heard from our driver that the maximum that we should pay for the cabfare from Kuta to Seminyak is IDR50k.
For day 3, I booked for us a water sports package which comprised of jetski, flyfish, parasailing, snorkeling and taking the glass bottom boat to turtle island at the price of IDR580k per pax. We did all these at Nusa Dua beach. Transport was provided. The jetski ride was accompanied by the staff. I had seen flyfish on Korean variety show and have wanted to give it a try. It was fun. We waited for an hour plus for the parasailing as there was a tour group in front of us. Each person was only up in the sky for a minute or two. Though you are up there alone, parasailing wasn’t as scary as bungy or skydiving. It was a bad choice to go snorkeling at Nusa Dua beach as we could barely spot a fish.
We paid an additional IDR20k each to go to turtle island. There was a guide who brought us around for a short tour. We got to take pictures with the turtles, bat, eagle etc. Our guide was willing to go back to the beach with us just so that we could pay him for the drinks, and hence we gave him a tips.
It was a scenic drive back.
At night, we had dinner at Sante Fe Bar & Grill. In comparison to The Bush Telegraph Pub where we ate at the following night, Sante Fe offers good food at a reasonable price. There was also a superb live band which offered impressive music.
Day 4 was a chill and relax day. Woke up for breakfast at Harris hotel and had lunch at Warung Ladhu. It is a nice cafe to laze at.
We then took a buggy ride from Harris hotel to the beach. We were brought to the area set up by Harris hotel.
Wanted to visit the famous Potato Head Beach Club, my boyfriend and I walked along Seminyak beach. If you do walk along the beach, the beach club has a giant stage facing the sea. The beach club was packed with people when we were there in the evening and it was rather difficult to get a good seat.
At night, we tried a budget massage at a massage parlor near Harris hotel. It is called Santai Day Spa. This shop does not look as dodgy as other cheap massage parlors and the place was quite big with at least 2 storeys. I did foot massage for IDR100k and my boyfriend did back massage for the same price. My masseuse was a lady who was pregnant for 7 months. Nonetheless, she exerted sufficient strength on my aching legs which made the massage an enjoyable one. Gave her a tip of IDR50k, as she only earned 1 million rupiah per month and was still working as a masseuse even though she was pregnant.
On our last day, we took a cab to Seminyak Square in the attempt of spending the rest of our rupiah. There wasn’t much to buy though. We had our lunch at The Coffee Library.
All in all, I think 5 days 4 nights is a reasonable length of time to spend in Bali, where we covered Seminyak, Kuta, Jimbaran Bay, Ubud and Nusa Dua. Looking forward to the next holiday!