7D6N in Bali (Part 1)

Sunday, April 06, 2014

I'm finally back from my one-month holiday.. Oh boy, yes I know wth "one month?!" It kinda just happened.. Especially the Krabi and Kota Kinabalu trip. Hehe ;)

Basically if you didn't know, I stayed in Bali for a week, Krabi for another, and 2 weeks in KK, which makes up a month! (But seriously, everything passed within the blink of an eye! Wtf the next thing I knew was us packing our luggages and leaving my darling Railay beach.. Sad times)

I'm so thrilled to be planning my next holiday (am thinking of a 2 weeks islands-hopping around Thailand) but that is way too long because currently I'm pok-kai at the moment. (my definition of BROKE, BO LUI, NO MONEHH)

Anyway my first trip was Bali, which we had planned since last October.. and it happened that our trip falls on the week of Valentine's Day! So bahaha we spent our Valentine's Day in Bali and that's where I will get to later.

Well, this post will cover mainly where we went and explored, and of course some tips and tricks to work your way through Bali to ensure you'll have a blast here!
I did ALOT of research beforehand and also took some references from others' itineraries, and came up with my own itinerary! So if you're planning a trip to Bali anytime soon, you'll get a better picture of how Bali is like ;)

Things to we took note of/did before going to Bali

  • Note that their plugs are different from Singapore's, so make sure to get an adaptor!
  • Buy a simcard at the airport! We bought ours and it's called Telkom simPATI. RP 300k for two people which is about $15/person :) 2GB per sim card.. if I'm not wrong.
  • Change your currencies in your own local country. Have heard a lot of bad experiences about changing money in Bali, and even encountered it ourselves. They try to take in some commission though their shop signboard stated they do not take any. And the rate is higher in your own country anyway!
  • Look look but no touch touch ya. Saw on Tripadvisor about the shopping experience.. but I just had to experience on my own! I got a tiny weensy bit interested in a dress so I took a look and the shop owner just kept on mumbling "cheap cheap i give you cheap" in my ears for the next 20 minutes and even blocked the entrance to prevent me from leaving the shop! Well now we all know that Bali is infamous for its aggressive shopowners..
  • Book your tours online/along the streets of Bali. (They have quite a lot of travel agencies) You can bargain up to 50% off the listed price! I booked my tour online at only $40 for two people to a trip to Ubud and Kelud.

Day 1
We took the afternoon flight (Tiger Airways) to Bali so we could sleep in a bit later and have enough energy for the day! Settled our lunch at Cedele (T2's departure hall) before boarding the flight to Bali. Thank goodness there wasn't any flight delay that day :)

Oh no.. guess that he didn't have enough earlier on for lunch :P 

 Supposedly this was one of Indonesian's local food? Forgot what it was called..

Finally reached after a long 2 and a half hours ride.... Bought our simcards and off we go!

Just to be sure, always print out your hotel address in their Indonesian language. Be safe than sorry anyway! We headed out from the airport and went straight to the taxi booth. (ignore all the touters at the gate cos they charge you at exorbitant prices) 

Our taxi fare to our hotel (Bintang Kuta Bali) was only 50k! (SGD 5) 

Upon reaching our hotel, we were greeted by the friendly staffs and also had our welcome drinks :)

Checking in..

Anyway, we got the room facing the pool (AWESOME) so it really had that vacation atmopshere!!
Plus our room was really spacious and squeaky clean. Mad love for the toilet too, which is the most important thing I look for when booking a hotel!

Our room :) 

We super duper love our room pls!! 

We unpacked our luggages before heading out to book our tour for the next day to Lembongan Island for snorkelling and water activities. Super good thing about having the simPATI card is that we could always rely on it to bring us to the best restaurants nearby when we have no idea what to eat for dinner! :P

Super pretty resort along the streets of our hotel.. Next time, maybe :P 

Our hotel is located really near the central of Kuta, so restaurants, cafes, and shopping centres were nearby within walking distance.

We explored Discovery Mall (just a 5 mins from our hotel!) and I was pretty curious how much the toiletries were going for at their local Guardian pharmacy. Glad I did because guess what?! Maybelline baby lip balm at only $1.90?! (ok can't exactly remember the price but they were mad cheap) Wtf I grabbed two immediately and stocked up on my Hada Labo moisturising lotion and other essentials. They were so cheap! Prices you can never get even if you head to JB.. hahaha.

After our happy hauls (eh.. I'm not the only one who did shopping at Guardian hor HAHA) we settled at a nearby italian restaurant. According to Tripadvisor, they had a pretty decent rating and the restaurant also seemed to be one of the more popular ones along the street.


 They had such lovely service and attentive staffs! And there were lots of europeans in the restaurant too, so means that the food has to be good right?

I ordered a pizza.. yes, for MYSELF and only myself. But the portion was SO huge that my bf couldn't finish it for me too.. :P 

Bf's beef steak, mashed potato and salad.. He was a little disappointed because he asked for rare medium and it turned out to be well-done -_-

We didn't even request for them to help us take a picture but they politely asked us if we wanted to. So attentive plss!! And so nice.  

Overall the food was just okay, but value for money given the portion of the food.
It's located just opposite Discovery Mall so it's rather noticeable.

Day 2
A day trip out to Lembongan Island!

(Note: I am not sure if they have closed the area temporarily because if you guys have heard, 9 japanese divers actually went missing in the same area the day after we went. The waters of Lembongan is well known for its strong undercurrents and have been known to kill several experienced divers in the past, even those who have logged more than 40 dives. Can never predict what will happen when it comes to Mother Nature..)

We booked our tour with Marcus Tour Agency just a one minute walk away from our hotel. They picked us up as promised, and off we went! Boarded the super huge ship that has buffet breakfast and lunch, and the dining area looks like a restaurant itself.. There were also bands performing live and an upper deck so we could look out to the sea!

 At the upper deck

It was about a 30-45 minutes ride to the pontoon at the Lembongan area.

The pontoon looks like this!

In case if you're wondering what is the pontoon like, it's an all-in-one entertainment platform that is build on top of the waters of Lembongan and you could take up amateur diving courses, snorkelling, seawalker activities, submarine tours, banana boats, parasailing, playground slide (into the seawater!) and many more while also enjoying a massage/sunbathe at the upper deck.

We went for snorkelling instead! Since I couldn't swim I asked for a float and a life vest. HAHA damn kiasu but no way am I going to die the day before Valentine's Day!! (anyway the currents were really quite strong so I was quite scared to venture further hahah yes I am damn noob I know that)

And banana boat.. Omg super fun!! 

Went for a short tea break before resuming back to the water activities!

They also offered a free village tour at scheduled timings so we hopped onto the boat and went for the tour! 

Look at the beach and the water.. It's SO BLUE!

Went to the local batik shop and this 80 years old granny was weaving a batik.. The guide explained to us that every batik takes 3 months to complete and every small detail has to be carefully paid attention to. Kudos to the grandma..

For most of the villagers residing in Lembongan, seaweed farming is their main source of income. Your sushi seaweed wraps come from here people!

Went to the edge of the island and found many crabs too.  

A short 5 minutes walk to the local temple. We didn't go in because most of us were underdressed. :P According to the guide, we must be modestly dressed before entering the sacred temples of Bali. 

This multi function hall is the meeting point for all men in the Lembongan village. Any meeting/major life changing decisions will be made here. Even weddings are also held here. Such a memorable place!

Walking along the streets of Lembongan village 

A local grocery shop 

During the tour, we also learned quite a few things about the local villagers' cultures.. 

We passed by a graveyard but they had no names nor anything. The dead bodies were only merely buried by soil and covered with baskets and some flowers.
Didn't even looked like a proper burial so the tour guide explained to us that those belonged to the poor villagers who have no money for a proper burial. It cost about US$10,000 to have a grand burial because of the effort and manual labour involved - killing pigs, cows, chickens as offerings and many more. Quite sad to see all these stuffs :( 

 After the tour, we left the village and went back to the pontoon for our submarine ride and lunch before heading back to our hotel! :)
One thing grateful about the pontoon was that they also have showers and lockers so we don't have to worry about our belongings and can shower anytime after our water activities.

 Back at Kuta - and more shopping to be done! :P

Fyi, this place was where the 2002 Bali bombing took place...  

Settled our lunch at a Mexican salad shop (well, holiday doesn't mean unhealthy eating right?!) and went back to our hotel to rest!

Day 3 (Valentine's Day yo!)
Woke up at 7am to go for a bicycle ride around Kuta and also do some exercises with an awesome view of the sea!

Yes, we packed our sports shoes, our attires into our luggages so to keep ourselves active!

After that, we headed back to our hotel for our breakfast buffet. Okay did I mention that for the past 7 days in the hotel, we have NEVER ever missed a single day of breakfast?! It's damn delicious please.. and best of all, it's FREE FLOW BUFFET muhahaha. Hotdogs, bacons, noodles, porridge, croissants, wholemeal bread, cereals, fruits, salads, omelettes, fried rice and many more!

Looking forward to pancake days especially.. Sadly I didn't capture any photos of the buffet at our hotel because we were just too busy gobbling our breakfast every single day :P

In the afternoon, we headed to our hotel's private beach and relaxed while some of the locals came up to us asking if we wanted to do manicures, pedicures, tattoos, hair braiding, buy their jingly jangly accessories and many more.

Did my manicure and pedicure! (just in time for Valentine's Day) and also a tattoo :P while my bf bought some accessories for his colleagues :)

Went back to the hotel to wash up and dressed up for Valentine's Day!
Whee spending our Valentine's Day in Bali is so damn special.. but everyone around us seemed rather cool about it so oh well.. it's a important day for me cos my bf used to not believe in celebrating Valentine's Day!! Haha and fast forward to this year's Valentine's Day in Bali.. How to not be excited?!

My handsome Valentine

And his pretty Valentine.. Ahem. Hahaha with my fake tattoo! 

Had a quick bite at Discovery Mall's Black Canyon Coffee cafe.  

THIS IS SERIOUSLY DAMN GOOD. Grilled chicken with basil leaves dipped in some thai sauce.. Heavenly! 

After that, since it was way too early for dinner, we went to Kuta beach to hang out for awhile. The thing about Bali is that you can never get bored here!!! There's just too many things waiting for you to explore!

And somewhat our chilling at the beach turned out to be some photo taking session.. Lol.

Kuta's Beach is well known for its small waves, perfect for surfers who are beginners.
About 6pm, we took a cab down to Mama San Restaurant (where I made a reservation for 3 months ago omg HAHA) and it was sooooo gorgeous! The interiors, the impeccable service, and the atmosphere just blew us away.

Since we booked a table at 7pm and it was still way too early, the waiter ushered us to the "chill" area at the second floor whereby we just sat down, ordered a few drinks and browsed through the food menu before going back down for our dinner.

Mama San can be considered as a fine dining restaurant because indeed, the staffs were really particular about everything. Made us feel so welcomed and loved hahaha.

The design of Mama San is really so exquisite yet gives us the nostalgic feeling when we're here.. 

And of course, lots of customers here on Valentine's Day ;) 

We actually ordered quite a number of food from the menu.. Just wanted to try and the waitress's recommendations made us even more excited. There were so many types of cuisines - ranging from thai to indian to chinese and so much more!

Chatuchak crispy pork ribs with green mango peanuts & Nam Yam dressing

 La lot Vietnamese Grilled Minced Pork belly wrapped in betel leaves with nouc cham dressing

 Their DAMN GOOD Pad Thai

Their signature dish of all time -  Crispy Pork Hock. 

Seriously the pork hock is just too big.. even bigger than my valentine's fist! 

And I'm wondering - how the heck are we going to finish off the food on our table?! 

Maybe it's all because of our mindset that we thought that the food would come in small portions. But we were wrong! The portions were really huge (perfect for 3-4 people for sharing) but extremely delicious at the same time.

But the verdict?
Literally one of the best dinner in Bali. Both of us couldn't agree more that the food is way beyond our expectations! You'd think that since there're so many cuisines available there're bound to be some hit and miss but no wayyyyy, in fact the chefs (two of them - one is from australia and the other, from thailand) are so good at them all that we stuffed ourselves as much as we could though we were SUPER full!

Last but not least, how could we not order dessert?!
Mung Bean cake with coconut ice-cream. 
The name of the dessert might turn some off but trust me.. the first bite was love at first... taste?! Topped with fried shallot (yes, weird combination but they complement each other perfectly well) this was the perfect ending for our dinner, not too sweet, not too salty, just perfect. Almost tasted like kaya to me, in fact. 

Easily one of the best dinner in my life.. Omg and at a fraction of Singapore's prices!
A must visit when you're in Bali :)

Anyway, gotta catch up on some sleep right now.
Don't wanna give gym a miss again :( All these feasting has caused me to lose track of my lifestyle arghh.


Click here to proceed to Part 2 of my Bali trip!

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