We got to Bali via fast boat (IDR 300 000 per pax) from Gili Trawangan in Lombok. It took us 1.5 hour to arrive in Padang Bai, where the arranged shuttle van picked us up and brought us to our hotel in Bali.
It was not a smooth journey to Kuta, where we would be staying for the next 4 days. There was a religious procession, causing the single-lane road to be jam-packed. What was supposed to be a 2 hour ride became a 4 hour ride instead.
We finally arrived in Kuta around 5 pm. The shuttle van driver dropped us off at Harris Hotel Residence & Riverview . The hotel was a 15-20 minutes walk to the beach but the hotel provided shuttle vans every hour to designated locations. Our room is spacious, and value for money. We paid IDR 2 300 400 for 3 nights for a family room.
Famished, we dropped off our bags in the room and got us a taxi to Kuta Beach. I would recommend that you use Blue Bird Group taxis in Bali as they are using metered-service and won’t take advantage of tourists like us.
Note: There are a few taxi operators in Bali imitating the Blue Bird Group’s logo, with their logo of “Blue Bird” flying in different directions. To tell them apart, make sure the taxi bears the Blue Bird “Group” name. The keyword is “Group”.
After feeding our hungry souls, we took a stroll along Kuta Beach and watched the sun set in the horizon. Kuta Beach is packed with people during sunset. You get a view of flights taking off and preparing for landing as well. After the sunset, we went to Discovery Mall, which was only a walk away from the beach, just to check out what the mall has to offer. The night ended with my friends getting a Balinese massage at the Smart Spa (IDR 145 000 each). Definitely recommended by my friends. Nothing dodgy, and the price was reasonable. I opted out because I have never been a massage kind of person. Haha.
Sunset in Kuta Beach
We got us a tour guide recommended by my housemates. His name is Bima, but Bima was busy so another friend of him took over – Edward. They are specialised in Muslim tour. He picked us up at our hotel and brought us to a halal food place called “Ibu Hj Maisyaroh” in Kuta. I find the name funny, as it was almost similar to mine. The food was fairly priced and delicious. I ordered milk tea, but it tasted too milky. What I noticed when in Indonesia was that, they don’t really make great milk tea. Ironically though, I love their Max Teh Tarik. You can find them in Indomart and other supermarkets in Indonesia.
After our brunch, we planned our trip in the car as there were a few tours to choose from. (Btw, we paid IDR 900 000 for a 2 days-tour). So we decided for Day 2, we were going to cover:
- Ubud Rice Terrace
- Tanah Lot Temple
It was a 2 hour journey to Kintamani from Kuta. Kintamani hosts an active volcano called Mount Batur. It was quite chilly up there. We had a drink at the restaurant, overlooking the volcano view and the lake. After an hour of basking in the view, we left Kintamani and stopped by a coffee plantation to sample their variety of coffee. Bali is famous for its Kopi Luwak. Kopi Luwak or civet coffee, refers to the coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet, and originated from Indonesia (thanks Wikipedia).
(Above: The lovely views from the restaurant)
Me stirring the coffee beans on the stove
Ubud Rice Terrace
We spent only 30 minutes at Ubud Rice Terrace as our driver was rushing to bring us to Tanah Lot to catch the sunset. The rice terrace looked pretty decent.
Tanah Lot Temple
As we reached Tanah Lot Temple, we literally ran towards the temple as if we were competing in Amazing Race Asia. There was an entrance fee of IDR 30 000 each, of course. Fortunately, we were in time to catch the sunset. There were people lining up at the entrance of the temple, where the monks would sprinkle holy water and dab their foreheads with rice. I didn’t go in though. Anyway, the pictures below were taken during low tide.
Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple
Later that night, we had dinner at Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner). The place is named after a bunch of ducks which were their first guests when the restaurant was about to open. In Indonesia, bebek means ducks. The food there was delicious! I ordered the Ayam Bakar and yes, it tasted good. My friends, on the other hand, ordered Bebek Bengil and the duck was definitely crispy. The price here, I must say, slightly pricey. Be prepared to pay approximately IDR 130 000 per person.
To find out what my friends and I did on Day 3 and so forth (interesting, right? so much for 4 days), please stay tuned to my next post on Bali – Let me Bali you 2.