Hello, I just came back from a short trip to Bali. It's my 1st trip. Had been wanting to visit Bali for a long long time but didn't managed to find time to until last week.
Day 1: We took the last flight on Singapore airlines which departed Singapore at 7pm. By the time we arrived at the airport in Denpasar, it was already 9.30pm. Custom check-out was smooth and quick. The hotel driver was at the arrival hall to meet and transfer us to our hotel in Ubud.
By the time we arrived at our hotel, FuramaXclsuive Villas and Spa in Ubud, it was already around 11.30pm. After check-in, the reception staff ushered us to the hotel restaurant for our complimentary dinner, which was a godsend as we were so hungry!
It was after midnight when we finished dinner. The reception has already loaded our luggauges in the buggy and we were transported to our villa. I will be writing a review on our accomodation shortly.
Day 2: We started our day at 11am(yeah I know it's kind of late but we tend to be rather lazy while on vacation). Our driver, Sila, arrived very punctually to meet us. Due to hectic work schedule, I didn't really have time to plan our itinerary. So in my emails to Sila, I requested him to do all the planning for us. I also mentioned to him that we preferred a leisurely pace.
Indeed, Sila did not disappoint. First, we stopped by a temple(sorry, forgot the name)for a warm up visit. Thereafter, he drove us to Tanah Lot. He said that Tanah Lot is better in the evening with the sunset but due to time constraint, we had to visit it during the day. Anyway, it was still spectacular, with the waves crashing against the shoreline of the temple.
Thereafter, Sila drove us to Kuta for lunch. There are plenty of shops in Kuta but we didn't stop. Sila pointed out the site where the terrible bombing took place in 2002. It was a brief solemn moment as we looked at the site which is now just an empty field.
We stopped by for lunch at this restaurant in Kuta(can't remember the name). Food is ok.
Next stop is Discovery Shopping Mall. We just had enough time to enjoy a foot reflexology and a cup of coffee before we head to Uluwatu for a temple visit and Kecak dance performance.
We really enjoyed the temple visit at Uluwatu. It's located on top of a cliff so the view is really spectacular! Plus there are lots of monkeys running around, some with babies clinging to the mother monkeys. Be warned: do not wear glasses or sunglasses here coz the monkeys are going to grab them. Hold on tight to your handbags too. One of the monkeys tried to grab my bag and for a minute or so, I was involved in a tug-of-war with the monkey. It's really funny! I saw another monkey grabbed a dollar note from another tourist.
After we have taken enough pictures and admired the views, Sila ushered us to the open-iar amphitheatre where the Kecak performance was going to take place. We really like the ambience and the backdrop of the open skies and ocean. Maybe this applies only to this time of the year but the weather was really cool and windy.
We enjoyed the Kecak performance tremendously although some tourists got up halfway and walked off. Too bad for them becoz the grand finale was spectacular with all the blazing fire. By then, the sun has set and the flames from the fire made the whole place beat with a very primitive and entrancing rhythme.
After the performance, we followed the crowd and found ourselves at the parking lot. Sila appeared almost instantly before us and brought us to a sumptious seafood dinner at Jimbaran beach. The name of the restaurant is Ganesh. He said they are honest and good.
There are tables along the beach but as it was an extremely windy night, we choose to sit indoor. We ordered just fried fish and steamed garlic prawns. The are very well made, especially the steamed garlic prawns.
After dinner, Sila drove us back to our hotel in Ubud and the journey took around 90 minutes.
Day 3: Today we started even later at 11.30am as we wanted to sleep in and have a lazy morning. It's a cloudy day but we didn't mind as we are not fans of strong sunshine(we live in the tropics where sunshine abound all year-round so clouds and rain are a welcome change!). Sila said we're going to visit the volcanoes at Kinta Mani today but first, we stopped by the Elephant Caves, which turned out to be quite a let-down as there's nothing much to see there. So, we proceeded to our next destination which is an important temple in Bali called Tirta Empul.
The temple compound is beautiful. On this day, the Balinese were celebrating the Full Moon so the temple was packed with pilgrims and worshippers. Most of them were dressed in traditional Balinese costumes. We passed by a large pool where crowds of people were queuing up. We learned that the waters in this pool is reputed to have healing powers. That's why some of the pilgrims even brought plastic containers to fill with waters from this pool.
After lingering for quite awhile at Tirta Empul, Sila drove us on to Kinta Mani where we had lunch at a buffet restaurant. We were seated next to the window so the view was fantastic. After a while, the clouds have descended on the lake and mountains so we couldn't see anything. However, we enjoyed the cool, fresh mountainous air.
On the way back to Ubud, we stopped by a coffee plantation and factory where we sampled the local coffee, called Coffee Lewak and strolled around the small and lush plantation. Besides coffee, lots of local fruits and spices are grown there too. Btw, coffee Lewak is a local specialty. According to the guide, a kind of animal is used to find ripen coffee beans. This animal will consume the beans and thereafter excrete the beans. The excreted beans are then processed into coffee powder. Although this sounds gross, the coffee is actually rather nice.
It started raining after our plantation visit so we decided to have an early dinner. We wanted an early evening just chilling out in our beautiful villa. Sila drove us to Warung Enak, a restaurant in Ubud. He actually suggested Cafe Wayan but we wanted to try Warung Enak first. We ordered their Rijstaffel set meal, which turned out to be just ok. Maybe we are just fussy due to our regular consumption of Indonesian and Malay foods in Singapore.
We are going for a quad tour today so at 10.30am, the driver from the quad tour company came to pick us from our hotel. The journey to the embarkation point took about 1 hour.
Prior to the commencement of the tour, we were actually quite put-off because there were a shortage of auto-gear quad and we couldn't drive manual ones. The organizer suggested that we take the buggy but we declined because first, it's not what we signed up for, 2nd, we saw that those returning from riding the buggy were all splashed with mud! In fact, we realized after our quad tour that a buggy is probably not as comfortable as the quad because the wheels are comparatively smaller and the seats are lower.
Eventually the matter was resolved within a couple of minutes when the organizer found us a brand-new quad that is automatic and we joined the group.
The tour itself was really fun! We rode through sugarcane plnatations and villages. Village children would wave to us as we passed by. So sweet!
After the tour, we were served a simple buffet lunch before proceeding back to our hotel. We reached the hotel at 3.30pm and decided to go for a spa treatment at the hotel's spa.
By the time we came out from the spa, it's dinner time. So we took the hotel's shuttle service to Ubud for dinner at Cafe Wayan. Now, the food at Cafe Wayan was superb! So was the service. We also like to ambience at the restaurant.
Time to return to Singapore. Although we didn't get to see and do everything, we have enjoyed the trip very much. Most importantly, we get to relax and enjoy the cool, rainy season in Bali.