Over the Good Friday weekend, we hopped on the plane again – this time to Bali! This is going to be a pretty detailed post, as much as possible.
PS: Picture quality might not be as good as expected because everything was shot with my S5 and Jeremy’s HTC M8, since we decided that it was impractical to bring my DSLR along for the trip due to its bulkiness 😦
The thing about window seat view is this. It never, ever gets old 🙂
We touched down at Denpasar at noon thereabouts, and a man approached us, asking if we needed a lift to the hotel because prior to the trip, we didn’t book any drivers. So it turned out that this man is in charge of a car company, where its drivers will be dispatched to drive people around Bali to explore and whatnot. This turned out to be a good choice, as the driver that he assigned to us was friendly and really brought us around for food and massage 🙂
So we were headed to Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa – our home for 4 days. 1 of the most beautiful hotels ever, and Balinese hospitality is really warm and welcoming – more reason for us to come back to Bali in future! 🙂
When we got to Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa, it was around 1+pm, and check-in was only at 3pm, so we decided to explore our hotel for a bit. The concierge told us that all guests were entitled to have complimentary drinks at the bar, and it was really refreshing in this hot weather!
The bar area, which was extremely airy and comfortable for guests to unwind in 🙂
The presence of a lot of wood in Balinese architecture really appealed greatly to us, because it added a warm and earthy vibe to the place. Our hotel was really roomporn worthy!
When we finally checked into our room, this was what we were presented – Deluxe Pool View Room, on the first floor *insert lovey eye emoticon* It was so beautiful, and we totally dig the bathtub with the screen, because we could slide it open to get a view of the TV to watch Channel V 😀
Here’s 1 of the man looking extremely with his beef burger and fries at Chess Bar and Grill – the hotel’s beach bar!
1 thing about Nusa Dua though – it’s a pretty exclusive location (think of it as the Balinese version of Singapore’s Sentosa Cove), so it made getting around on foot to explore quite difficult. Plus in general, it would be easier for tourists to get around by hiring a driver 🙂 But that said aside, I love our hotel a lot!
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa
Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua North 4, Bali 80363, Indonesia
Our driver brought us to this massage place called @ease in Kuta, and we both did Balinese massage! 😀 First ever Balinese massage experience, and it was sweet relief for our muscles. It was so relaxing that I actually fell asleep!
Jalan Sunset Road No. 999, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 1000-2200
On our way back to the hotel, we were hungry and wanted to try a bit of the local food, so our driver drove us to this particular place. I forgot the name of the place, and unfortunately the food didn’t really appeal 😦 In part it was also because it was 930PM when we reached, hence the best parts of the food were all gone by then.
Jimbaran at night.
We decided to call in room service for breakfast, and what we got: Assortment of breads, cornflakes with cold milk and orange juice. I know this is going to sound weird, but this is the first time in my life I’ve ever ordered room service when on vacation/staycation. And the breakfast was comforting yet simple too! 🙂
Our driver drove us out to Gianyar for horse riding! 🙂 The view was absolutely breathtaking when we rode out to the beach, though I had to admit I was actually quite scared when my horse (mare) started to canter.
For those who aren’t aware, horses move in 4 ways: Walking, trotting, cantering and galloping. I guess you could say that cantering is the equivalent of jogging, and honestly I was quite worried that my horse would go wild and start galloping, because I wasn’t confident that I could ride a horse well.. Riding a pony in the past doesn’t really count!
This was 1 incredible experience though, and somehow it was quite therapeutic riding horses on the beach. My only gripe was that the sand on the beach was black, and that there was a lot of litter and debris all over the beach due to a recent festival there. If ever I’m back in Bali again, I’d definitely want to do horse riding too! 🙂
1 of the most awesome sights and sounds ever – crashing waves.
After horse riding! 😀
Next up, we did white water rafting in Ubud.. 1 of the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life and the whole experience was worthy of a movie scene when out raft crashed onto a low hanging branch and we all fell into the water, despite best efforts to hold on. So we ended up drifting down the rapids for a while before managing to get back onto our raft (minus 1 oar). Thankfully there were other teams doing rafting too!
My only regret was that we didn’t have a GoPro, because the view that greeted us when we hiked down the hill to get to the rapids below was incredibly beautiful. Imagine rice fields everywhere and cool breeze despite the tropical heat *insert lovey eye emoticon*
After the crazy experience of whitewater rafting, it was luwak coffee tasting next! This is 1 of the highlights of the whole trip, as luwak coffee is an Indonesian trademark 🙂 En route to the coffee plantation, this was the view that greeted us when we were in the car!
Background of luwak coffee: The origin of luwak coffee comes from the poop of the civet cat, so above picture is the dried up poop of the civet cat. The seed of the coffee is actually within the poop!
After the poop has been cleared off!
The coffee beans are being roasted over burning charcoal.. Goes to show how the traditional methods of preparation really go back a long way! Picture on the right: Huge pestle used to pound the coffee beans.
And there you go – luwak coffee powder!
Initially when we looked through the menu of coffees and teas for sampling, we thought we had to choose from the list and that we’d have a hard time choosing because everything was free – except for luwak coffee, which we had to pay 50000 rupiah. Imagine our surprise and joy when our guide told us that he’d prepare 1 of each drink for us to sample! 😀
Luwak Coffee – the real deal when in Indonesia! I’m no coffee connoisseur, but I have to admit that its taste was really strong, and it has to be paired with chocolate to enhance the experience further. The cinnamon stick provided is meant to be stirred into the coffee in order to make its scent better 🙂
We saw a lot of cows outside the coffee plantation when we were leaving!
So we found Starbucks in Kuta!
Behold, this plate of BBQ pork ribs costs ONLY S$12. This place was recommended by my mum’s friend, who is an Indonesian. Naughty Nuri’s was really good – Jeremy and I ordered so much food and we finished up all the mains, it was really that good and the meat was succulent!
In fact, our driver also recommended us this place when we asked about good food around the Kuta area too, and so that was how we ended up there 🙂
Naughty Nuri’s Warung
Jalan Batubelig No 41, Kuta Utara, Bali, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 1030-2230
Jeremy was absolutely determined to conquer Waterbom Bali on this trip, and boy was it a whole ball of fun! 😀 Best Monday ever with zero Monday blues! We managed to tackle a number of slides, save for those that were under construction and 1 ride that we chickened out from because the drop looked pretty crazy.
Jalan Kartika, Tuban, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 0900-1800
We found A&W in Discovery Shopping Centre, Kuta! 😀 Childhood memories galore too! Needless to say we wanted to go in and have their root beer floats!
After Waterbom Bali, this was where we ended up for a quick bite before going to Jimbaran as it was already our last night in Bali. Fast food will always be fast food somehow, but the root beer floats were absolutely awesome!
Horse carriages apparently are quite common in Bali too!
What Jimbaran is like – rows of seafood restaurants along the beach! (Y)
BBQ corn.. This definitely is something that one must try when in Bali!
Jeremy and I saw this pony on the beach while we were chilling at Jimbaran, and needless to say we wanted a chance to pet the pony! 🙂 It had such a gentle temperament too!
This was at New Moon Cafe.. We ordered a red snapper and 6 king prawns for dinner, and it came in a set of a small pot of Balinese rice, sambal kangkong and peanuts *insert lovey eye emoticon* It was so good and fresh too, and we had never had such sweet-tasting snapper before in our lives!
New Moon Cafe
Jl. Pantai Kedonganan, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 1000-0000
The sunset was beautiful too, and we were incredibly lucky and blessed to be able to witness it on our last night in Bali, especially because it had rained earlier in the day :’)
This string quintet came around serenading the customers when nightfall came, and afterwards they asked for tips.. Even if they hadn’t asked for tips, Jeremy and I would gladly have given them because their voices are really good! 😀
It was Jem who noticed them first and told me ‘Hey it’s a Robbie Williams song!’ (Better Man). Soon I started singing along and they came by our table upon noticing me looking at them with that big smile 😀 They asked where we were from, and when we told them that we were from Singapore, they immediately launched into 小薇! 😀 Obviously they don’t understand the language, but the fact that they could memorize the lyrics based on hanyupinyin is more than good enough 🙂 They asked us for song requests, and we asked for Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are.. They started singing it right in front of us.. And I recorded it down too. What more could I ask for!? 😀
Back in our hotel after that crazy awesome night, and we decided to unwind with some drinks at the bar 🙂
Our last day 😦 We had buffet breakfast at the hotel and it was pretty decent! 🙂
Goodbye Bali, it was lovely while we were there. We’d be back 1 day once again! 🙂