Monday, December 19, 2011

Bali - Massage, Spa & Relaxation [Part 4]

17 July 2011 @ Bali

In a blink of an eye, we have reached the last day in Bali. We woke up extra early again to visit the beach one last time before we check out.

I don't know who started it but we were all pushing sand towards JooLi's legs to build her a mermaid tail! She even had starfish and crabby as companion. Haha..

final product

We then played in the water for a while and quickly rush back to the hotel to clean up because our hotel's check out time is 10am.

Upon checking out, we paid Tune Hotel to store our luggage while we hunt for food.

As most shops were still closed for the celebration, we had limited choices of restaurants to dine in. However, we managed to find this nyonya restaurant that sells delicious fried rice.

We had our lunch, do some last minute shopping and head back to the hotel to get our luggage.

At around 3pm, someone picked us up and drove us to Bali Orchid Spa. Yup, we booked a massage and spa package recommended by Agus.

Instead of walking aimlessly at Kuta, we decided to take the 2 hour massage package which consists of foot wash, Balinese massage, body scrub, yoghurt moisturizer and flower bath. And we got it at a special rate.

The massage was good but yoghurt was weird, my whole body felt oily after that. Perhaps I'm just not used to doing these kinda stuff.

The environment was good also, very calming and soothing. Perfect for relaxation after 3 long days in Bali.

Free transportation is included in our package. So, one of the staffs sent us to the airport to catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

One tip if you're going to Bali, remember to keep 150,000 Rupiah for the Departure Tax at the Denpasar airport when you are flying off from Bali. Billy, out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bali - Kuta & Southern Area [Part 3]

16 July 2011 @ Bali

Our third day in Bali started off early with a cock-a-doodle-do. I mean KFC for breakfast. They were having this cheap Deluxe Burger which is selling at around RM2 only.

6 burgers for 5 people

Since we don't have much time to go to the beach, we decided to spend our morning at the Kuta Beach as Agus will be coming in the late morning. He had to go to the temple to pray for the Kuningan festival.

Geared up for the beach!

There were barely anybody on the street as well as the beach. Only a few angmohs were spotted sunbathing at the beach.

I love the sand and the sea but would love it more if the place isn't that polluted with rubbish.

At 10.30, we went back to our hotel to get ready and wait for our driver to arrive. Since we didn't get to try Ibu Oka Babi Guling, Agus brought us to another shop that sells babi guling on our way to Tanah Lot.

Everything is Babilicious

We reached Tanah Lot and we just can't wait to see the temple surrounded by sea water. Tanah Lot actually means "Land in the Sea" in Balinese language.

Wua-Lah! There it was, standing so magnificently in the middle of the sea with the waves splashing to the rocks.

It's believed that there are poisonous snakes at the base of the island guarding the temple from evil spirits and intruders.

After Tanah Lot, we headed to Pura Taman Ayun, which translates "Beautiful Garden Temple".

This place is just as attractive as its name, surrounded by trees, ponds and a beautiful park. A lot of the locals actually hang out at the park.

Too bad the temple was not opened and we can only see from outside.

Reflection shot with Nick's sunglasses

Although the temple is closed, we still get to walk around and enjoy the greenery around the temple.

Little Bridge

Our final stop for the day is the Uluwatu Temple, which was a long drive from Pura Taman Ayun. But it's all worth it.

If you are going there, beware of the monkeys because they are always on a rampage to snatch stuffs from visitors. I have witnessed on the scene monkeys snatching spectacles, caps, hair clips and a wig! So be really careful if you're going there.

The locals were very kind to get the snatched items by exchanging food with the monkey. However, I think this will only encourage the monkeys to snatch more as they know they will be getting food the next time they steal... Hmm...

Eagerly waiting for sunset

The sun finally sets at 6.11pm and the view was breathtaking. To think about it, I've seen several sunsets but never really wake up early enough to watch the sunrise eh.

We asked Agus to send us back to Kuta town for dinner and paid him for his service. We were all tired and starving from the long day and we just settled for A&W fast food. Turned out to be not so fast at all.

Recharged our batteries, we walked some more to shop for stuffs to bring home. That's pretty much the end of our third day in Bali. Last day coming soon! Billy, out.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bali - Volcano, Temples & Rice Terrace [Part 2]

15 July 2011 @ Bali

Day 2 in Bali started off with the complimentary breakfast provided by the hotel. We finally saw some living things at the dining area...

Nothing much to boast about the breakfast. But the view of our rooms from the dining area was marvelous.

Such a beautiful pool in front of our rooms shouldn't go to waste right? We change into our swim wear and took a dip into the freezing pool. I wasn't kidding, the temperature of the water is crazily cold.

Agus arrived slightly later as he stayed pretty far from our hotel. We checked out at 11am and went up north to see the famous Mount Batur & Lake Batur at Kintamani.

Everyone + Agus [rightmost] @ Mount Batur

The clouds were covering the scenery and there weren't much to see up there. The winds were quite strong and cooling though.

After a quick stop at Mount Batur, we headed on to Pura Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring. To get into the place, everyone has to wear the sarong provided.

There were many people praying and bathing with the holy water inside the temple. It's kinda happening in there. Carvings and architecture of the buildings were quite impressive too.

As the temple is near the mountain, the water in the pool is extremely cold. You can see the locals shivering right down to their toes. How they tahan ah... Geng!

We walked out of the temple and saw some stalls selling Tipat Tahu. Bought 1 plate to share out of curiosity. It consists of fried taufu, crackers, peanuts, cili padi and some sauce.

Next, we went to the Tegallalang Rice Terrace for photo. There isn't much to do there as you can't really go all the way down to the paddy field. The view was beautiful but the photo above pretty much sums up the things that you can see there.

We still have time to spare and we decided to go to our backup plan - Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave). This attraction is towards the South of Ubud town.

As usual, we gotta get wrapped up with the sarongs before entering.

There is a little cave which you can enter through a humongous mouth of the carving on the wall. Nothing much inside there.

On the outside, there are holy water where you can wash your hands and face with. The water level in the pond is getting really low and the fishes gotta swim slantingly. Poor fishies.

When we get out of Goa Gajah, the driver sped off to Kuta town, which is the most happening town in Bali.

But just like the condition of the first day, we got stuck in a massive jam before reaching Kuta.

I'm amazed by how they stack up their plates

Our tummies were growling for food and so we asked Agus to bring us for a local lunch. He brought us to this little shop that sells Nasi Padang - pretty much like our Chinese mixed rice in KL.

We reached and checked into Tune Hotel in the evening. I was having slight fever and so I stayed in the room to rest while the others went out for a walk.

They came back for me to have dinner together and we explored more of the Kuta night life.

We walked along the streets and somehow bumped into this memorial of all the victims of the terrorist bombing at Legion Road, Kuta.

I don't feel very safe walking on the streets as people like to stare at you and some would even ask if you would like to try their "Magic Mushrooms". We didn't know what exactly was Magic Mushrooms until Agus explained that it's a kind of drug that can make you "fly"~

Later in the night, we went to this street near our hotel that sells lots of local food. We tried Bakso, Babi Guling and Teh Botol.

We actually wanted to taste the famous Babi Guling Ibu Oka at Ubud town but they were closed for the Kuningan festival. Due to this grand festival which happens twice a year, most of the shops and restaurants were closed. Dang! Bad timing! Billy, out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bali - Ubud Town [Part 1]

14 July 2011 @ Ubud, Bali

I have heard so much about Bali and many people around me have been there. So, I really wanted to see this place with my own eyes.

My friends and I finally touched the ground of Bali in the afternoon. I was worried that the driver we hired wouldn't turn up as we didn't pay any deposit to him. Luckily, we spotted him almost immediately after we came out of the arrival hall.

The very first thing he asked if we're hungry. He then brought us to a restaurant full of other tourists who had just touched down like us. Seems like a common place for taxi drivers to drop their passengers off for lunch there.

Well, that was our first meal in Bali.. Not very impressive though.

Right after lunch, we headed straight to Ubud, where our hotel is located (or so we thought).

Beautiful carvings can be seen all over on the way to Ubud. And the best part of the journey was the traffic congestion, terrible terrible traffic congestion. That costs us 2 hours to reach Ubud.

First group pic: Nick, LiJing, Radikah, JooLi and Me

Upon reaching the town, we quickly got down and visited the Pura Saren Agung (Royal Palace) as it's getting dark soon. At the mean time, our driver Agus went to ask around on the location of our hotel.

We then headed on to Pura Taman Saraswati, which was just next tot he Royal Palace. The drizzling rain was getting heavier and we had to find shelter while waiting for the rain to subside.

LiJing and Nick hitting the gong

We stood under the shades of the nearby Starbucks Coffee, but the impatient us still wanted to take photos under the rain. Thus, we take turns to take photo using the pinky umbrellas provided by our driver.

After 10-15 minutes, the rain finally stopped! We walked on into the compound to see what's inside.

Entering the sacred part of the temple required everyone to put on sarongs. The sarongs were provided and oh my there are all so flowery pretty!

The sky was getting really dark and we hurried back to our vehicle where our driver was waiting already. He had no luck asking for direction and the location of our hotel is still unknown.

So we drove further and further away from the Ubud town going towards Kintamani until we reached a road which was almost pitch black. He stopped again to ask for direction at a convenience store and we finally found the Raffles Holiday Hotel!

The road to go into the hotel was dark and creepy and there were no signs of living creatures in that area. Kinda freak us out a bit until the staffs came out to greet us.

We moved in our luggage and was wow-ed by the room. It's a simple glass room with an attached open-air bathroom. Awesome concept.

One of the rooms we rented was much bigger than the other 2 - the Junior Suite. It has a living room, dining area, kitchen and really big bedroom and really big bathroom. We utilized the space there to throw our very own party.

Cheers for the adventure of the first day

Luckily we made a smart move by buying some food and drinks as the place we stayed at is far away from civilization. We had dinner, drank beer, played games and had lots of fun for our first night in Bali. Billy, out.
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