October 13, 2014

What to do in Bali, Indonesia?

If the title ain't obvious enough, I was in Bali in the past week!
Bali is known to be a romantic place where couples go for honeymooon or to get maried.

When I was there, I saw a beach wedding and when I was going back I stumbled across another couple who were going to have their wedding photoshoot at the beach. Well, I hate to say this but Bali isn't such a romantic place IMHO. The view was nice, the scenery was gorgeous but...I think even Malaysia has such beaches!

I stayed in Nusa Dua, which is around half an hour to 40 minutes from Ngurah Rai, Denpasar airport. Nusa Dua is a quieter place from the famous Kuta beach. We stayed at Ibis Styles Hotel which have their own private beach club and basically the whole Nusa Dua beach is for private beach clubs from different hotels and the most beautiful is Conrad Hotel.

So, Nusa Dua is basically private and is so quiet I could just read a book and sleep there the whole day! You have the whole beach to yourself as evidenced in the pictures below.

Such picturesque scenery!
I am in love with the tranquility of it.

Ibis Styles Hotel, Jalan Pratama, Nusa Dua is a really nice hotel to stay in.

We arrived late at night at 10.30pm yet there was someone still there to accomodate us because it's 24 hours and the hotel was so kind to upgrade us from our standard double room to junior suite because we were first timers hehe

The junior suite had a living room.

With a TV and a huge size mirror great for #ootd hahaha

Then there's the bedroom

And the toilet with the bathtub.

Overall the hotel was good only that the lighting could have been brighter and another thing was the water. I don't know why we were bathing and washing our face with salt water >.<  Even the drinking water was salty. I mean I know we were staying at beach side but that doesn't mean we need to bathe with salt water in our room LOL

They had their own beautiful swimming pool.

Where you can do yoga hahaha

Or suntan =p

The hotel was so kind when we had an early check out on the last day at 2am and since our room included breakfast, they even had early breakfast for early checkouts so that we don't have to forfeit breakfast which starts at 6.30am. That's the first I heard. So at 1am, we had room service breakfast =)

The people were friendly and the staffs were very kind in helping us out in any problems we had and giving us information and the buffet breakfast was good so I would definitely recommend Ibis Styles for a reasonably priced hotel with awesome service!

Kuta, on the other hand was a totally different world from Nusa Dua. Kuta was 45 minutes to an hour's drive from Nusa Dua and Kuta was filled with tourists. It's a touristy place and it's probably the busiest place in Bali.

Kuta beach was a far cry from Nusa Dua's beach. Every other corner of the beach is filled with people and there were so many nationalities at one beach haha It was very happening and there's shops around and people selling things and you can rent a chair, buy a mat or buy their famous Bintang beer and chill on the beach.

We went there for the sunset. Sunset is quite popular in Bali. Sun sets at 6- 6.30pm(Bali time) so be sure to be there early and get a place.

Legian street is like the Changkat in Bukit Bintang, KL where the row of streets are filled with clubs, pubs and bars.  It is a 15 minutes walk from the beach. We went to the famous 3 floors club, Sky Garden which offered buffet at the rooftop for only 50,000 Ruppiah and eat all you can while enjoying the view.

The second floor was where the music and clubbing were.
On that night, we had good performers and they sang all the popular English songs which was really enjoyable.

Bali is also famous for their spa; facial, massage, pedicure, manicure, temporary tattoo etc etc
Of course, I couldn't help myself to get a good spa package and pampered myself.

Leg massage.

Temporary tattoo using henna.

Everything is to be bargained for. They would hike the prices up so you need to state your best price and negotiate while shopping. It's very similar to Bangkok, Thailand. However, to me, shopping in Bali was quite limited. The clothes were not very appealing as every other stores sold the same kind of clothes. I think they all come from the same supplier so there were really not much choices to choose from. But some pieces were really cheap!

We also went for a one day trip around Bali. The entire trip was 15 hours and we visited many places.
Our first stop was a dolphin tour in Lovina Beach which is famously known for its black sand. It's a 3 hours ride from Nusa Dua and it's uphill like Genting Highlands. We went for a boat ride into the ocean to see dolphins.

The boat ride was really good. The scenery was ahmaziiingggg!
We saw the sunrise and the ocean's water was so blue and beautiful.

However, the boat ride was around 45 minutes just to arrive at the spot where the dolphins come out so if you have sea sick I suggest you do not go for this.

The water was really wavy and choppy because it was very deep into the ocean.

The dolphins were tough to see. If one boat saw the dolphins, every other boat will crowd around and you can only manage to see them for a few seconds before they dive down.

After the Dolphin tour, we went to the 'Holy Hot Springs' where you can dip into the warm water and have a nice warm swim.

Then, we went to Gitgit waterfall which is the highest waterfall in Bali and the surroundings were really beautiful with a cool weather because it's amidst trees and nature.

The water really came from a high level and it was just pouring down; the sight and the sound of the waterfall was therapeutic and I could just sit and watch the waterfall the entire day!

The next agenda on the tour was the temple in the lake in Bedugul.

If you notice, you will see this structure picture in every travel brochure of Bali.
Hindu temples are very popular in Bali because 90% of the population in Bali are Hindus.

We then rested and had buffet lunch overseeing the rice terrace plantation in Jatiluwih.

Our final tour was the coffee plantation where we saw the infamous luwak coffee being made from the animal-luwak's poop!

This animal poops coffee beans and it's being roasted and made into coffee drinks haha
It was quite interesting!

In addition to coffees, they make tea as well and we tasted a variety of cofees and teas.

11 drinks in total in different colours. My favourites were the lemongrass tea and mangosteen tea.

By the end of the tour, we were exhausted!
In total, we've seen from the beach to the plantations in Bali. We covered it all, from exploring to shopping to getting pampered and partying in Bali. Initially, we didn't know what to do other than enjoying the beach and get sunburnt but somehow we managed to spend our time wisely and explored the most parts of Bali =)

Just a caution on the locals trying to hike prices up. You will have to negotiate your way to get cheaper prices. Tipping is a culture there so beware that you need to tip them. Taxi drivers are reckless. I think I almost died in all my cab rides. They honk every few seconds and flash and overtake every other minute -.- The food is very tasty to my standard. I think a lot of MSG/ajinomoto is involved in their food preparation which is so not healthy.

Other than that, the sceneries were breathtaking; both sea and forest. Romantic wise, you might want to stay at Nusa Dua's beach. Shopping can be cheap and overall it was a really good holiday exploring Bali <3

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