Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bali Rhapsody

To rest is to walk a longer journey. This time, we are journeying to an Indonesian island called Bali. Couldn't afford anything more extravagant or exotic like Seychelles or Maldives since our Kris Flyer miles were limited, thus Bali seems a good place to spend an intimate week at.
Am always enthusiastic about boarding SQ coz of the food and free drinks! On the palate, flavouring pan fried fish, chicken rice and of coz Bailey's on the rockz. Wasn't too pleased with the service though. Apparently, they stopped giving out towels two seats before me. The stewardesses (who were caked up with tons of makeup) were probably more interested in entertaining some Koreans who were seated rows in front.

Arrived at approximately 709pm. The trip was a mere 2hr 10 mins. It's amazing how near we are to Bali compared to BKK, yet the amount of miles required for redemption isn't proportionate. Anyhow, prior to arrival, we were told that the villa was overbooked and we had to look for alternative accommodation on the last night, but were pleasantly surprised by the front office who told us that we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom villa (w one room locked) and private swimming pool (instead of simply a jaccuzi). Imagine the joy I had! The villa was meticulously decorated with rose petals. Felt like it's my second honeymoon!
Stylish bedroom slippers!
Spent a bomb even b4 embarking on the journey

My first La Mer buy! FINALLY! For the sake of vanity, I gave in to temptation, gave up thriftiness and bought this puny bottle of eye concentrate. It will supposedly help in reducing dark eye circles, puffiness and fine lines. Major concern these days! Trying not to smile too much! Apparently, many swear by it. I hope the price justifies coz at $254 (@ the airport mind u), it's a hefty amount to pay for just a small pot!Well, for spending well over $350, VISA had a lucky draw and guess I was "lucky" enough to get myself a Snowman.

Lounge and indulge! Even before we saw daylight, we could not resist the private pool which was calling out to us. Night swim under the stars amidst the cacaphony of sounds made by crickets and possibly frogs (sweetie spotted one apparently!). There wasn't much to do after moon-gazing and settling down, thus we ventured to the streets. Lighting wasn't quite sufficient and perhaps we were located at a more secluded part of Bali (Seminyak), thus the shops were pretty far off. Fortunately for us, we chanced upon a roadside stall selling satay. SEDAP! 10 sticks for a mere 10,000 Rupiah. That's like SGD1.50! True foodies would appreciate its aroma. I didn't dare buy a whole lot coz of hygiene reasons, but regretted the moment I sank my teeth into it! Coupled with beer, it was the most amazing thing I had the whole day!

The next morning, we woke up bright and early. Couldn't sleep well the night before as the bed was a tat too soft. Nothing beats SERTA at home. Was awoken by a menacing mosquito who decided I was supper at 3am. However, these did not dampen my mood. The leaves crunch merrily under my feet as I make my way through the terrace. Sun-tanning at my private terrace, swimming in my private pool, enjoying my favourite magazine, that's ultimate indulgence!
The day progressed with a little shopping spree. A holiday wouldn't be complete if one does not shop. Unfortunately, we couldn't find much. Perhaps too skeptical and "trained" by the Thais and Chinese, we were afraid that we'd be fleeced thus did not buy anything. Even at the Surf Factory Oulet which was offering discounts up to 70%, there wasn't anything that caught our eyes. Some of the items there were old and dusty, not to mention out of season.
Grocery shopping excites me much more. With the large array of instant noodles, we had a good time grabbing almost every other flavour on the shelf! We stocked up on booze (mainly for him) and chips (salmon Teriyaki flavour was awesome) Oh, did I mention, I felt thoroughly healthy that I had fruits with every breakfast! NO MORE CONSTIPATION!Lunch was at this little coffeeshop called Warung Italia. Recommended by D, I thought it wasn't gonna be all that crowded but I was wrong! The Carbonara which i ordered was amazingly thick and tasty and the Calamari (not your typical fried ones), was stuffed with ingredients which will blow your mind!
Dinner was at Jimbaran Bay. Being foreigners, we had to do what other tourists did. Get fleeced! haha...however, it was truly an experience to embrace. soaking in the panoramic sunset views whilst indulging in BBQ seafood along the beach, this was a first for the both of us.
Couldn't resist taking a picture of this lonely Ja-gong (corn) cart on the beach!
Was trying to be artistic with photography whilst waiting for the sun to set. Somehow, the sun sets very slowly over there.

White beaches, turquoise waters boasting an array of beautiful natural corals etc, what more could I ask for! THe ridiculous thing however was, we managed to get "front-row" seats and were staring at the sunset the whole time. I was almost blinded. Fortunately I had my shades with me!

The next day we were whisked away to various places of attractions. First up was white water rafting at Ayung River. Despite it not being a very steep slope, the adrenaline was pumping for me. Adrenalin junkies may not agree with me. My muscles might have had the most exercise in years from the climb down and up from the river to base camp. I'm still aching all over despite the many massages we went for. The forest was dense and the whole time i was so afraid I'd trip and tumble down! My hairs were standing on their ends literally when we finally arrived at the bottom of the river. The ride was rather bumpy but fortunately we were paired up with a Russian couple who were pretty strong. The competitive streak in the Russian guy came on later on and we stroked our way to beat two other teams! nice Fun! Later, our driver drove almost 2 hours to Kintamani which is an active volcano and Lake Batur next to it. The rice terraces were amazingly geometrical over at Tegallalang.
Went over to Pasar Ubud, hoping to get some good buys. Wasn't impressed by the price and variety. Everything seems to be from the same factory. There was a clear lack of creativity. At the end of the day, we merely bought a tissue box for 30,000 rupiah. The seller wanted to charge us 80,000! Siao! Do we look like Carrots? Across the street was the an ancient King's Palace. little girls were practising their traditional dance moves in the compound. The place is characterised by its rich culture and heritage.
Tanah lot was the last stop of the boasts an ancient temple on the sea. It's supposedly the best place for sunset. Pity it was high tide then, thus we could not cross over. Nevertheless I hope the Gods heard my prayers!
Hugeass bat we saw at Tanah lot!
Had our sinful dinner at Mama's German restaurant along Legian. Several Caucasians were streaming to the place so I guess the food's pretty good? I'd say for that price (abt SGD40 for two), the food's very decent. The mash potato could do with more flavour but they redeemed themselves with the onion rings. Sweetie had pig neck's steak!
Even during non-festive periods, the street boasts a small but vibrant nightlife scene. A memorial was erected to commemorate the bombing which happened 2002.

The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on 12 October 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The attack was the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia, killing 202 people, 152 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 240 people were injured.

The attack involved the detonation of three bombs: a backpack-mounted device carried by a suicide bomber; a large car bomb, both of which were detonated in or near popular nightclubs in Kuta; and a third much smaller device detonated outside the United States consulate in Denpasar, causing only minor damage.

Crazy people in a crazy world!
Ahhhh...soaking in the sun once more. The many villas in Bali up the ante on the idyllic white sand getaway with generous options of culture, adventure and food! You can totally bask in the sun without the hordes of tourists!

Rented a motorbike on the last day for a mere 50,000 rupiah (SGD7.50) for 24hours and ventured along Kuta Beach. Many dreamy restaurants were littered along the beach and one could lounge around and have afternoon tea. It's also a launch pad for beginner surfers. Strolling along the area, we later bumped into a promoter who was trying to "sell" his hotel. Seeing that he wasn't hard-selling, we entertained him quite a bit. There was apparently a lucky draw happening and guess what? I won myself a wk's stay either at Bali, Phuket or Goa! Sweetie on the other hand got himself 2 T-shirts ..haha...For 2 hours, we had to listen to their presentation and go for site inspection. At the end of the day, naturally they wanted us to join their holiday ownership program. It sounds like a feasible plan should you holiday a whole lot. The accommodation and package prices were unbelievably attractive. Especially for longhaul trips, it's definitely worthwhile. However, given our lifestyle, time and budgetary constraints, we could only reject and simply take the prize! Lunch had to be postponed to 4pm due to the presentation. Was dying to have some local delicacies, thus we tried out Made Warung as recommended by our driver Rode. Turned out almost every dish we ordered came with rice! The inconsiderate waiter did not pre-empt us! Either that or he thinks we are gluttons! Quality of food was passe.

The last night ended with a good break backing (literally) Shiatsu massage at Griya. Was a little annoyed that the therapists kept chatting and that the couple room was awkwardly spaced. Nevertheless, the body felt relaxed. Didn't feel like coming back, but then again, staying too long will make a person lethargic. oh, guys, do remember to keep spare change when you are departing. We were taken aback when we had to pay 150,000 rupiah for airport taxes! knowing that tourists would not have spare cash, they ingeniously placed their Money Changer nearby. We ended up changing SGD10. Silly.

Back home. Lounging comfortably in my swan chair. Received excellent news. This year, no one marred my reputation. All my PSLE students attained excellent results. Out of which, several scored A* for English. A subject typically tough to score an A*. Despite Math being tough this year, several also saw As or A*. I'm proud of you guys!!! Over and above, I received my scores from The College of Teachers. I've attained a DISTINCTION for my course in Creative Writing no less! *SMIRK SMILE*

There's more to life than increasing its speed. Get your rest. Slow Down. I know I have done so, Have you? Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. :)

PS: my eyes are damn blur after blogging for hours! Horrendously long post!


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