Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bali, Indonesia

The Island of Bali!

Date: 19-21 February 2009

Lodging: Kuta Beach Club
Near Kuta shopping area, both designer and local stores, and a walk away from Kuta Beach. Strictly 2 people per room, no compromise! My friends and I were in a group of 5. We thought we could squeeze 3 people in a room... ho ho ho... were we wrong! They menacingly warned us - I didn't want to spend my Bali Vacation in prison! There was no kettle in the room, hot water is upon request and will be sent to the room. The plus side, the hotel was traditionally decorated, very Bali-like... nice~

Day 1: Kuta Town
We reached Denpasar Airport around 8pm. After checking-in, we went for a night walk into Kuta shopping district. During this time, we met with our 'supir' (Indonesian language for driver). We never made any arrangement on transportation prior to the visit. So it was very very lucky that we met Mico. He was really friendly and helpful. We confirmed our adhoc itenary with Mico and prepared ourselves for tomorrow's adventure.

Day 2: Kintamani

Our main destination today was visiting Kintamani, the volcano. It was a long drive up north and seriously, you should leave the driving to the pros. The roads were really small, everybody was driving so close to one another (successfully without a scratch), and there were so many honkings ("Hello there~", "I'm over taking!")... We made a few stops along the way... silver shop, Pura Goa Gajah - historical temple, Pura Tirta Empul - another historical temple, Tegalalang Rice Terrace - beautiful paddy fields on hills. We reached Kintamani in the afternoon. The temperature was cooler and the view of the green, inactive volcano was so serene. However, there were many young kids here selling souveniors to tourists using the pitty tactics... we can't buy from all of them!
Pura Goa Gajah

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

On our way back, we stopped at Pasar Seni Sukawati for some shopping. By 6pm, we found a spot at Kuta Beach for a picnic and to enjoy the sunset. Personally, I feel that the beaches in Malaysia is way prettier than Kuta Beach... no doubt!

Day 3: Tanah Lot, Nusa Dua, Uluwatu
Our flight leaves at 9pm today so we checked-out early, around 8am. We planned to make the best out of our last day in Bali. Our first stop was Tanah Lot. It is a must-visit for all tourists as it is famous for the temples built on rock formations along the beaches. During our visit, the tide was high. We had a beautiful view of a temple on a rock island, surrounded by sea water. At Tanah Lot, you can find a market street lined with souvenior shops - it was the last shopping spot for us.

Tanah Lot

Not in our budget was diving... However, due to Mico's good promotional skills, we decided to go for it! "In Nusa Dua, diving for beginners at depth less than 5 meters does not require a diving license" promoted Mico so convincingly (translated to English from Indonesian)... We might not get this chance again especially that I am not planning to get a license. With my sea-sickness, this is not my choice of hobby. Every remaining Rupiah was forged out from our wallets to pay approximately RM150 for our first diving experience. I have gone snokelling in Malaysia plenty of time... although less thrilling, the view was far better than this. If I was an experienced diver, I would probably cry with dissapointment. But for a beginner, hey, at least I know how it feels to scuba dive!

The last stop is the must-must-go, Uluwatu! The view is the best in Bali. In Malaysia, I have yet to see cliffs outlining a coastline. So I was really impressed and cannot help imagining people committing suicide - scary right? The monkeys were a cheaky bunch. Be sure to take care of your sunglasses, caps - they grabbed these things from your face! Like Abu in Aladdin!

It is finally time for us to go back home.. but not without some drama. Due to our lack of planning and info, we did not know that airport taxes in Indonesia must be paid before checking-in. With no cash (thank you diving!), unactivated credit cards, we were left with one choice, and one choice only. We called Mico (who by that time had reached home and was about to take a shower) and borrowed 150k Rupiah each. I am not sure why he trusted us to pay him back when we reached Malaysia, but he lent us anyway. He is a good man. And now, everytime a friend plans a trip to Bali, Mico's number is given - we are now his unofficial, no commission Malaysian promoter!

Lesson Learnt:
1) Don't forget your passport - Our group of 6 was reduced to 5 due to a certain someone forgetting this very essential thing.
2) Plan your trip. Book a 'supir' before the vacation - Mico anyone?
3) Don't go diving when pregnant - a friend of mine tried it in Bali, didn't turn out well.
4) Put aside 150k Rupiah for airport tax - even if it means less fridge magnets.

Interesting to note:
Bakso Tikus (Rat) is sold here - don't know exactly how to respond to this!
For Muslims, confirm halal-ness of food with your supir. Majority of population in Bali are Hindus, food sold are a bit different than other parts of Indonesia.

1 comment:

Julesness said...

yes!!!!i wish i was there, minus the emergency drama one.hahaha

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