summary of bali (2010);

Thursday, May 01, 2014
Bali, the island that is always regarded as Island of the Gods with gorgeous landscape of mountains, beautiful coastline and sandy beaches, stunning rice terraces with a unique culture and heavenly cuisine should be nominated as a paradise on earth. While in Bali, one will never run short of things to do and food to tuck into.

Here's a quick summary of my short trip in paradise:

Right after we landed, we were being picked up to Ubud (central Bali), which is my favorite place in Bali. We stayed at Saren Indah Hotel, where the location is pretty central and just a short walk to the Monkey Forest.

After checking in, we spent the next few hours exploring around with our rented bikes. Not only is Ubud a beautiful village, it's a food heaven as well. Here's a list of some of the must-eat in Ubud,

Crispy duck from Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner). Well, i've heard of people complaining about the crispy duck being too dry and overrated, but i absolutely disagree and love this dish. The ambience was fantastic and you can opt for a private hut overlooking the paddy field. I highly recommend making reservation beforehand and be there before sunset to admire the gorgeous paddy field.

Naughty Nuri's Warung serve the legendary pork ribs, the best i've ever tasted in my life. Trust me, you should never leave Bali without tasting it. The ribs were so tasty and tender, one is never enough.

Cafe Wayan is a popular warung that serve a huge variety of indonesian food. It is hidden in a garden oasis with seating options from pretty pavilions with cushion on the floor or table and chairs nestled among lush green gardens and lotus ponds. I absolutely love their Nasi Campur, and the sate lilit that comes with the rice is so delicious!

Ibu Oka Warung is mainly famous for their babi guling (roast suckling pig). While we were there, the famous special dish that includes a bit of everything was sold out so we only manage to try the set with roast pork and fried skin. Personally, i find it nice but not amazing. I would love to be back again to try the famous special dish.

Well, besides eating around Ubud, we spent the next two days visiting some of the famous spots around Bali. We hired a personal guide, Rai who is very knowledgable and so friendly that we immediately hit off as friends. Not only is he informative, he takes interest in photography hence all our pictures taken by him were beautiful. He is reliable and flexible with our schedule, at the same time gives very good advice and suggestion. I would highly recommend him, so do book him in advance.

Pura Taman Ayun, a beautiful garden temple built on water that is built in the 17th century. Do note that ladies are strictly not allowed to enter during their menstruation period.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Lake Bratan Temple) is my favourite temple among all. This temple sits on Lake Bratan and gives an illusion that it is actually floating on the water. It is a beautiful temple with a stunning setting and gorgeous background.

Tanah Lot Temple is an extremely popular place of interest in Bali that sits on a huge eroded outcropping of rock offshore. This is perhaps the most photographed temple on the island and is certainly one of the iconic images of Bali. Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple is spectacular, and i highly recommend though it gets really crowded.

Tegalalang Rice Terrace is a beautiful and exquisite rice field located in the north of Ubud. We had a quick stopover here as it was drizzling, and was totally mesmerized by it (probably because it's my first time seeing a rice terrace field). It would be great if we had time to drink a cup of tea overlooking the stunning rice terrace.

Pura Besakih (Mother Temple of Besakih) is the largest temple in Bali. It has stepped terraces and flights of stairs which ascend to a number of courtyards and brick gateways that in turn lead up to the main spire. This place is HUGE.

Pura Luhur Uluwantu is one of the oldest temple in Bali located on a cliff top. The temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys, do keep a very close grip on all your belongings else the monkeys will snatch it away. We manage to catch the kecak dance performance during sunset.

We had seafood dinner at Jimbaran Beach before we move to Kuta for the night. Many would come here to catch the sunset, but we were too late for it. There's countless seafood restaurant here, and you should really look around before settling with one.

After dinner, we took off to Kuta and check in to Febri's Hotel & Spa. After leaving our luggage in the room, we jump right into the pool and had an early night. We rented bikes and spent the next day exploring Kuta and the surroundings.

We walk around Kuta beach and find it a little overcrowded with touts selling souvenirs, henna tattoos and massages. I find the beach further down at Legian to be much nicer though quite crowded as well. We had a quick look at the Hark Rock Hotel and ended up taking lots of pictures with their beautiful exterior design. After a while, we rode off with our bikes to     Ku De Ta - the legendary beach club where beautiful, bronzed, bikini-clad bodies laze about in the sun, sip cocktails while watching the sunset and party late into the night.

On our last night, we had a couple of drinks at Jalan Legian, which is the main party area. There's a huge variety of clubs, lounge bar, and pubs that is sure to cater to everyone. Our final day is spent doing some last minute shopping and of course, to have our final massage before leaving this beautiful island. While in Bali, one should always find time for spa and massage everyday if possible :)

I fell in love with Bali and just couldn't sleep the night i was back. And guess what, i spent the night booking my air ticket to Bali for the following year!