Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cost of a Bali Vacation

How much will a Bali Vacation Cost? Well it really depends on:
  • Where you are flying in from? Air tickets probably make for most of the cost unless you are living in a very expensive Villa. Unless of course you will like to take an budget airline. Which should be fine from Singapore since it is just a 2 hour flight. Unless if you are with kids of course, Silk air makes the flight very enjoyable for us. The TV, ice cream and toy he got on the plane really helps.
  • Where are you staying at? Bali have a wide range of places. From expensive villas to bed and breakfast. We stayed in a hotel that cost less than $100 SGD a day which is quite nice and reasonably clean. Do your research and book early. The price was not all that different for nicer places.
  • Places where you go and things that you do.
    Naturally, activities like spa and water sports and eating at expensive places will cost more. If you have a budget constrain, perhaps try to do a variety. Go to at least a nice place like Jimbarang or Bebek Bengil for food. There are convenience stores around where you can grab food and drinks too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yummy Seafood at Jimbarang Bay

This is the ultimate place for a romantic dinner. Your dining table is on the beach, on the sand, The waves just steps away. Musician planing and singing, candle light dinner. Delicious seafood grill over sugar cane....

Just a short 10-15 mins ride from Kuta, Jimbarang Bay is one of the must stops for dinning in Bali. Prices can be expensive though, especially if you let a tour guide/driver sent you there. Friends who had wanted to go to a particular restraunt there got guides who told them they don't know which one it is and end up at the same expensive place I went. So, if you have resturant you want to go, try calling up the place and see if they will sent a driver to you and sent you back FOC. Many restraurants and spas provide such services in Bali

Monday, March 2, 2009

Uluwatu Temple

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is located on the cliff facing the southwest of Bali. Located high above the cliff, the temple offers spectacular views.



Go at sunset to enjoy the beautiful sunset and watch their Kecak Dance performance in the open air theater. There are many aggressive monkeys on the temple grounds so guard your belongings with care. This little monkey climb onto our backpack and took our mineral water before we can figure out what is going on.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Turtle Island, Moncot Sari Turtle Farm

This was a pleasant surprise. We had no idea of its existence until our guide bring us to a beach at Nusa Dua. There, we were introduce to a number of activities we can do from scuba diving to skate boarding...of course those are not the stuff we can do with a 3 yr old.

We finally spot the item - to take a boat ride (with clear fiber glass bottom so we can see the marine life beneath) to the turtle island and back. It cost USD50 per pax on the menu. But we manage to bargain it down so SGD 50 for the 3 of us.

The boat ride is nice and start out gentle. The water is clear but there were not too much marine life beneath till we stop at a spot with plenty of fishes. We were given bread to feed the fishes with silver and purple stripes and the 3 yr old have a great time doing that.


Turtle island, as in the name sake is a wild life farm that rears many turtles. The big ones are big enough for our 3 yr old to ride on and we can see little baby turtles and touch and hold the turtles with the help of the designated guide from the farm. Besides turtles, there are hedgehogs, snakes, iguana, bats, eagles, hawks and falcons as well as squirrels and rabbits as part of the wild life collection. Most of the animals are "domesticated and we can touch and hold the snakes, iguanas, bats and falcons if we are game enough. Takers, anyone?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fresh coffee at a plantation

On the way back to Kuta from Kintamani, our tour guide brought us to a plantation where we were serve free drinks as we seat looking at the greenery of the plantation.

It was still drizzling and the hot Balinese coffee and herbal drinks were a wonderful treat for us. We had Bali Coffee, Hot Cocoa, Ginseng Coffee, Lemon grass tea and ginger tea. The hot cocoa is extremely rich and my 3 year old immediately fell in love with it...his charm won him a second cup quickly. The ginseng coffee has a distinct aroma about it and till now, I regret not buying the powder when I had the chance. Oh, and for smokers, they offer free tobacco leaves which you can wrap in a piece of paper provided and smoke like a cigarette.


I think we must have spent at least an hour there, enjoying the rain and the view of the plantation in the rustic settings and enjoying our hot and freshly make drinks. hmmm the feeling is heavenly.


Nothing in life is free and after the free flow of complimentary drinks, we were invited to look at their fresh products. Their specialty is this coffee call Luwak, which cost Rp30000 (S$4+) a cup. It is an extremely rare coffee and those who had tasted it describe it as being " heavy, rich and strangely complex with hints of chocolate, old wood and hazelnut." Tempting? Well, after finding out about the production process, non of us dare to give it a try.

Coffee Luwak is the result when coffee berries are consumed by Asian Palm Civet and the beans were passed out undigested. The enzymes of the civet's stomach supposedly break down the coffee's protein and add to the flavor of the bean...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kintamani

After almost 2 hours, we finally reach kintamani bali from our Kuta Hotel. It is a bumpy ride though small roads. It is time to get off school on our way there and we see many school children riding scooters and motorcycles on their way home, in the rain. It makes me think how luck children in Singapore are.


I read somewhere that that it is best to visit Kintamani early in the morning. Well, I learn why when we got there. There is fog every where and we can't see the lake or much other than the black volcanic stones scattered everywhere. It is still raining hard after we make our round over the mountain. Our guide brought us to this restaurant which have a view of the volcano ( when there is no fog, that is) We sat outside and with all the fog, it is like sitting in the clouds. It is very cold up in the mountains, making me wish I had wore something thicker.


The restaurant is nicely decorated and offers a buffet style lunch but the only thing we like is the satay and crackers. The baby high chair is way too high- higher than the table. But I guess people come here for the ambiance. The ambiance does not come cheap, buffet lunch for two + drinks cost a total of Rp. 287000 (about S$39)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pura Puseh in Batubulan

Batubulan, which means "moonstone" is a village situated half way between Denpasar to Ubud. It is famous for its stone carving. As our van drive through the village, we were welcome with sights of intricate stone statues displayed along the road.

Our guide bring us to the Pura Puseh temple. I am mesmerized by the beautiful and detailed carvings of deities throughout the temple.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

GWK Cultural Park

We stop briefly at GWK Cultural Park and it is well worth it. Tickets cost Rp. 15,000 per person. If you are there with a driver, add another Rp 5000 for parking.

GWK's (Garuda Wisnu Kencana) main attraction is a gigantic statue of Wisnu & Garuda. It is a majestic sight and worth the high flight of stairs up to the top. An added bonus is that you can see a panoramic view of Bali from the park. The grounds are beautiful and huge. Overall, a great experience!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bebek - Crispy Duck

The famous Bebek is a must try dish for those visiting Bali for the first time. The more famous and authentic place to try this is Bebek Bengil or (Dirty Duck Cafe) in Ubud. However, the tour that was included in our package included the same dish at a different restrautant in the same vicinity.

It is still an enjoyable experience. Padi Prada is a lovely place with vines dangling from the roof top. It is a pleasant meal with a nicely presented set and a soothing view of a padi field right besides the hotel/restaurant.

The meal Prada Crispy Duck Set Menu, which include:

Appetizer:
Serombotan “Klungkung” (Urapan sayur Bali – boiled fresh vegetables and spice lime sauce & shrimp paste )
Soup:
Cream chicken corn soup
Condiments:
Traditional Balinese chili sauce, cracker and hot chili sauce.
Main Dishes:
Flavored Balinese Rice
Balinese sate lilit
Balinese crispy duck with 3 kind of Balinese sauce
Steam fish in Banana leaf (pepes Ikan)
DESSERTS:
Seasonal fresh fruit
Mineral Water

The duck is a little dry. and the soup is rather salty. But hey, it's crispy duck!
I totally enjoy the duck,so did my 3 yr old. All of us love the crackers. The stem fish and satay that is slightly spicy so we help . The chilli is good too.

Hmmm will give this place 4 stars out of 5 for this place.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kecak Dance

" It's the only dance which I like" Kat, who had seen all the dances at Bali told me as I asked about her experiences. A search on the web tells me that it is the dance to watch if you are only going to see one dance in Bali. Inquiring about Kecak dance with our guide point us to the one at Uluwatu Temple. It is a temple on the cliff and offers beautiful sunset views. You get to see the dance at an open air theater facing the sea. It cost 50.000 Rp per pax, starts at 6:00 pm before sunset and finishes after dark.

A traditional story is told through the dance and we are given a detailed story line on what each scene is about. The male dances chant "Kecak kecak" repeatedly thoughout the dance.

My 3 yr old son quite enjoy the dance especially when the story line involve a white monkey after seeing so many monkeys around the temple. He got pretty excited after dark as they make a boom fire right in the middle of the theater. We choose the wrong seat though. If you go, be sure to choose the seat facing the sea. You will get the full view of the sunset as you watch the dance.



Things I love about Bali

1. Yummy Seafood
2. Beautiful Padi Fields
3. Lovely smell of the potporri
4. Soothing Music
5. Friendly People
6. Great Massage
7. Abundance of beautiful art pieces
8. Beautiful sculptures
9. Being Close to Nature
10. Something to do for everyone

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