Suddenly, it was our final night in Bali. Time passed so fast when you’re on vacation! The rafting pickup car dropped us at Kuta. Our first destination was Warung Souvlaki, as my friend was craving the food from this particular warung. It was my first Greek food, I think. It was good. We ordered 2 dishes to share: Souvlaki Pita and Souvlaki Plate. They have pretty good review in TripAdvisor and even earn a Certificate of Excellence. The fact that my friend craved it tells you it is worth trying. Here’s the only photo of the food. (more…)
Rafting in Bali is safe for everyone. That’s my conclusion based on my own observation. I witnessed families with young children taking part in rafting as if it’s a fun ride in a theme park. But somehow, I got nervous. I worried that I’d fall to the river. What if I fall alone while my friends are still intact on the boat, what if I knock myself on the rock while falling; I know they are ridiculous fears, but they are still my fears. In my previous experience rafting in Bali in 2008 with my guy friends, it was pretty rapid and challenging. I guess these two are entirely different worlds: rafting with guys and rafting with girls. My initial fears were unfounded. Rafting with girls was much calmer and slower, because we told our guide not to let us fall or get wet, lol! (more…)
We stumbled upon Cafe Wayan when we walked along Monkey Forest Road in Ubud. From the outside, all I could see was a small bakery. My friend brought up that this cafe was mentioned in Eat Pray Love. As we entered the cafe, it felt like we entered a different place. It was like a cafe in the middle of a forest. There are plenty of seats, but it feels private. You may choose if you’d like a table-and-chair setting, or sit-on-floor setting (or usually referred to as lesehan). We settled for the lesehan style. (more…)
In the past, I used to think monkeys were cute and harmless. I used to think they were great photo companion. After all, the way they move was delicate, their faces looked innocent and tame. However, my perception was changed completely in 2013. Three years ago, I wanted to get up close with a monkey. I allowed it to sit on my shoulder and played with my hair. My friend helped me take a photo with the monkey, which I was hoping to boost on my social media. After a while, we were ready to move on, I stood up and expected the monkey to get away. But it didn’t. It got defensive and started pulling my hair. My heart raced fast, I was so scared. My friends helped to shoo the monkey, thankfully it let go of me. That was a defining moment for me. From that moment, I knew monkeys are aggressive and I would not ever get close with monkey, never ever. (more…)
Day 5 is the day when our team members have all arrived. We kicked off the day with a breakfast at Nasi Pedas Ibu Andika at Jalan Raya Kuta. “Pedas” means spicy. Nasi Pedas Ibu Andika is well-known for its spiciness, obviously, and its cheap price. They serve halal food. It’s a kind of mixed rice (nasi campur), where you choose the dishes that you want and you’ll be charged depending on the dishes that you chose. There were so many dishes to choose from: potato chips, fried chicken intestine, fried noodle, tofu, tempe, fried chicken, vegetables, long beans, and others. The shop is open for 24 hours, so you can go there pretty much anytime. We went in the morning and the shop was quite empty. (more…)
Jimbaran is the area at the south of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport. The westernmost part of Jimbaran is Jimbaran Beach, which is a pretty long coast line forming the shape of a flipped “C”, thus it’s often referred as Jimbaran bay. Dinner at Jimbaran beach is a good experience for first-timer, however, the price is not quite in the budget traveler’s range.
There are a few clusters of seafood restaurants at Jimbaran beach. The one that we visited is located in the southern part of Jimbaran Beach, called “Jalan Four Seasons, Pantai Muaya.” (more…)
Seminyak certainly has so much to offer. We spent 2 days exploring Seminyak and it was barely enough. Seminyak is located at north of Legian. And Legian is located at north of Kuta. If you stay at Kuta/Legian, it is technically possible to walk to Seminyak, the distance is approximately 4 to 7 km, depending on your actual starting point and destination. We hired a driver on the day we explored Seminyak, so it was easy to get around. We started our day with a brunch at Nook Bali (FB page & IG page).
I was having difficulties placing my order. How could I not? The menu at Nook Bali was so nicely designed, there were western food and Indonesian food. I checked into their IG and found that a lot of people ordered smoothie bowl. But I was hungry, so I decided to order a rice dish. Yup, I ordered Nasi Campur (mixed rice). And, ohh it was heaven!! Except green vegetable and eggplants that I gave my friends, I finished ALL the things on my plate! The satay, egg, tofu, long beans, meat, chili, fritters, tempe, and even the rice! IT WAS SO GOOD! This might be just my personal preference, but if you like nasi campur, you should give it a try at Nook. (more…)
Due to the close proximity, Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park and Uluwatu Temple can be visited in the same day. Both are located at the southwest tip of Bali. It’s best to visit GWK first in the morning or afternoon, and Uluwatu Temple in the late afternoon. The reason is: sunset at Uluwatu Temple is awesome. Furthermore, there is daily performance of Kecak Dance at 6pm at Uluwatu Temple which you should really watch.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) is made up 3 words. Garuda is a selfless bird who touches Wisnu’s heart with his strength and determination during his struggle to find Amertha (a potion of immortality) to save his mother. Wisnu is the God of Vishnu, one of the 3 gods in Hindu. Once Garuda successfully saved his mother, he is entrusted to be Wisnu’s vehicle. Kencana means gold. Both Garuda and Wisnu wear crown of gold. In addition, Garuda is also the national symbol of Indonesia, due to its admirable characteristics in folklores, such as bravery, wisdom, strength, determination, discipline, and many more. (more…)
Even though Courtyard Marriott Nusa Dua Resort doesn’t have its own beach within its resort, it does have a private beach club at Nusa Dua Beach, near Peninsula island, at the easternmost end of Jalan Pantai Mengiat. In the morning of our second day in Bali, we took the complimentary shuttle service of Courtyard to the beach. There wasn’t a fix schedule of shuttle bus timing; whenever we needed the shuttle, we just informed the staff and they would arrange for us. The journey between resort and the beach was quite short, probably between 5 to 10 minutes. The beach wasn’t a private beach, everyone is allowed to go there, however the beach clubs only allow their guests to enjoy the club’s facilities.
When facing the Peninsula island, the beach on the left is not for swimming. There was a signboard written in Indonesian language that say, “Bahaya! Dilarang Turun!” which translates to “Danger! Descending is Prohibited!” My friend was questioning on why the caution signboard is not provided in English language, since most of the tourists are foreigners who don’t understand local language. I totally agree with her. Moreover, there were news about high tide in Bali which hit certain resorts, on the same day that we visited Bali. Fortunately for us, the ocean was friendly on the day of our visit to the beach. Even the sky was so kind to show off its majestic composition and color. (more…)
I am not a luxurious traveler, but I’m not the extreme budget traveler either. I am at the middle of the scale, and leaning towards budget direction. However once in a while, I do not deny myself of luxurious experiences. For our 7D6N in Bali, we decided to stay for 2 nights in high-end hotel and the rest 4 nights in medium-end hotel, simply because we wanted to experience the best of both worlds. My friend searched for the cheapest high-end hotel in Nusa Dua area with private beach, and came up with Courtyard by Marriott. I think I must emphasize here, the private beach is actually a shared private beach with other resorts, but it was a good beach nevertheless.
Here is my personal unbiased review of the hotel, which is broken down into a few categories for easy reference. (more…)