Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bali Day 2: Walking Along Seminyak Area, Bali

Hello everyone. In this entry, I still will share about my second day activities in Bali. If you read my previous posting, we only can check in our villa after 2 pm. So, we had about 4 hours to kill and we decided to go for a walk around Seminyak area. Basically, in this article I will share about things in seminyak area.


Jalan = Road

Jalan Arjuna

Okay! Arjuna road also known as Double 6 among the local. if you catch a cab, you can easily say going to Double 6 and everyone know the place. Basically, Jalan Arjuna is started from the four junction of Jalan Keraton-Jalan Legian-Jalan Nakula and the end point is Seminyak beach. Walking to the beach via Jalan Arjuna maybe will take about 10 to 15 minutes and along the way, you will see many shops selling souvenirs, beach wears, tattoo services, massage services, handicraf and some restaurants. This street mostly less happening at night time.



Jalan Keraton

From Jalan Arjuna, we go further north to Jalan Keraton. In here, you will able to see alot of stuffs things such as fashion shops, beach wear shops, hotel, holiday villas, interior design and furniture shops, local and international brand boutiques and many more. Perhaps Jalan Keraton is not as havoc as in Jalan Legian, but I personally think that, if you had visited here, you don't have to spend so much time in Jalan Legian because more or less, the view is almost the same. Overall, things here are not cheap tho. The price is almost the same like in Malaysia. Perhaps the target market are mostly to young Australian and other westerners in Bali.



But then, what makes me excited here is the Bintang Supermarket which is located in the middle of Jalan Keraton. This supermarket maybe not so big, but it comprised of everything, from fresh to dried item, including men's and women's department. I can see there are many tourist and expats do their shopping here too. Spending time here, I feel like I am a kid in a candy store. Maybe because I love cooking and shopping cooking ingredient is my best hobby. There are so many instant paste for Indonesian cooking, lots of instant noodles and also can foods.



Besides that, you can buy your Indonesian sim card (starter pack for mobile) at a counter near this supermarket too. If you want to send letter or postcard, just simply walk further behind the supermarket and you will see a post office in orange colour.

Next, after shopping instant paste in Bintang Supermarket, we walked further until we saw a food stall selling Indonesia mixed rice. Oh ya! Before that, during this Bali trip, we need to control our expenses and will decline any feeling to eat in fancy restaurants. We preferred to eat like a local man. The food here is pretty simple but very Indonesian. There are fried chicken, fried tempeh and nuts, veggies and other foods too. Really a basic meal for local people and the taste was awesome. To spice up your meal, ask for a little sambal on the side. But you better watch out, some Indonesian sambal really will burn you to the nerve.

2 serving of mixed rice is Rp 22,000 dan 2 glasses of ice tea is Rp 8,000. Actually this is almost the same price if having food in suburbun area of Kuala Lumpur.





Jalan Kerobokan

Done with our lunch, we walked further (for about 3 hours more) and there were alot of fun things along the road. At the end of Keraton, you will see the intersection of Jalan Kerobokan and Sunset Road which this road will head to Jalan Petitenget and Jalan Batubelig (north further of Kuta side).






In Jalan Kerobokan, there are many Balinese exterior and interior shops, wood furniture, home decor items, lighting and other creative things. You cannot find so many hotel or restaurants along these street, but we found a very small little Bakso stall here. Since the price is really cheap, we ordered a serving of Bakso Chicken and Bakso Beef each. Taste wise, I think it is find because the local also eat the same. 2 servings of Bakso cost us Rp16,000 and 2 glasses of Ice Tea is Rp 6,000. Slightly cheaper compared to in centre Kuta area. 







Jalan Petitenget

At the end of Jalan Kerobokan is Jalan Petitenget. Basically, Petitenget comprised of fancy restaurants (but not so many), luxury spa and massage centre, wedding halls and big villas. We dont walk much here, it was 1 pm and the sun was like, on our head. We scrapped our earlier plan to walk until Jalan Batubelig and go back to hotel by using beach route. Finally we took a cab to bring us back to the starting point at Jalan Arjuna.



Overall, walking along those streets are really interesting. More or less, it gave us some understanding about places to go and what to expect when visiting to Bali again.      

Bali Day 2: Relaxing at Pondok Sara Villa, Seminyak, Bali

If previously you read my my first day in Bali, this is the continuous story about the next place that we stayed after checking out from Airport Kuta Hotel & Residence. We arrived to Pondok Sara Villa a bit early around 10.00am and according to the hotel, check in time will be at 2.00pm. So, we just register ourselves first and place our bag at the counter before going to sightseeing at Legian Street. Actually we were walking for quiet long, approximately about 4 hours and we came back to hotel by taxi cause we were extremely exhausted.


Sharp at 2.00pm, we arrived to the villa and greeted by Sri, the front office staff and she brought us to our villa unit. We are really excited to see our nest as its really beautiful on the web and hopefully we won't get disappointed with the real one. But hell yeah, our Villa (numbered 18) was truly amazing.



Once we stepped into the door, we can see the clear water (greeny-blue-ish) private pool which was really awesome. This is really good to cool yourself since the weather in Bali was really hot.  


At the opposite side of the pool is the living and open kitchen area. The living area is pretty simple with setting for 4 person, coffee table and a flat screen TV. As for the open kitchen, it is quiet impressive because guest can cook here. There is a gas stove, medium size fridge, cooking utensils, plate, glasses and a microwave too. I am a forever cook. But at that moment, I still didn't figure out about what to cook here since my initial plan is to hunt for Indonesian foods in Bali. 




Next, I would like to bring you to the bedroom. It is very spacious with super queen bed, a very chilling air conditioner, romantic warm light with a huge glass wall in order to allow a natural lighting to your bedroom. This is really a nice room, indeed. 


Move to the next section is the dressing room with big wardrobe and water sink. Not only that, if you think the pool is not enough for you, there is a Balinese style bath up with hot shower pipe. 




If just now I shared about the kitchen right? Yes, I cooked something on that night. Remember that previously we went for 4 hours walking before checking in to our villa? We dropped by to Bintang Supermarket and grabbed some food paste which is really looking good. So, we take this opportunity to sample the paste (we bought some fresh chicken and veggies too) and test cooked it. The good thing is, all paste was too awesome and we bought more the next day. 



So, how about the weakness of this villa? I am Asian, noise is normal. But for some other maybe that is annoying. In certain period of time, perhaps you will hear the neighbor's voices and motorbike sound, but it is just once in awhile. There are mozzies here too, but don't worry because they will prepare a mozzies spray for you to use. The TV is only at living area. So, if you want to watch TV before sleeping, it can be a problem. Besides that, there is no fan at living area, if you feel to hot, just jump into the pool. Last but not least, this villa is not small kids friendly because of the pool. So, be ware if you have one. 

I'm closing my eyes about the bad point of this place. It was still a charming place to stay with price about Rp 1,600,000 from booking.com. Pondok Sara Villa is a nice place for honeymoon maker or for someone who want to relax from hectic routines. We didn't spend so much time at the beach tho. Just be lazy in our villa was nice too. 

Location info: 
This villa is located at Jalan Arjuna (well knowned as Double 6) in Seminyak area. Look for green signboard on your right hand side if you come from the 4 junction of Legian street. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Bali Day 1: Kuala Lumpur - Midnight Arrival - Bali

Hi everyone, I am recently not really active in blogging. My PC at home is broken and the laptop is freaking slow. Some of you maybe previously read about my blog posting about the plan to go to Bali and yes, we just came back on last Monday. 

So, going to Bali was actually a sudden plan. Previously, we planned to go to Singapore to celebrate his birthday. But then, with maximum budget MYR2000 ($600), we don't think will able to have a good 5 days stay in one of the most expensive city in the world. 

Our departure date was on 13th March 2014 and we bouth the ticket one week earlier with price MYR788 ($240) for 2 person. Still a good deal tho because my other pals went to Bali week before at price MYR1100 ($340). 

The flight schedule was at 8.25pm and expected to arrive to Ngurah Rai International Airport at 11.25pm. But, since it is very hazy and too hot at home (after closing all doors and windows), we decided to go to airport much earlier with hoping to fully utilize the air conditioner area in the airport and be away from the breathless hazy area in Puchong. 

LCCT Kuala Lumpur


We departed without no delay, and on that time, what was in my mind is just want to safely arrive and jump to my hotel bed soon. 3 hours on flight, I can't really sleep. We just ordered in flight meal (it is better to buy online because you can save up to 20% compared to buy when boarding). We had Nasi Kuning Menado, a yellow rice with shredded chicken and the rice slightly taste like Malaysian's Nasi Lemak but with additional touch of lemongrass and Asian herbs. This Nasi Kuning Manado will cost you Rp 45,000 ($4) if you buy it when on board. 




Once we landed, it is very funny because after stepping out from the plane, you will need to get on the bus with less then 3 minutes ride to the main terminal what a cute transit? Hahahaha. The process at immigration counter is really quick and its already 12.00am with only us at the arrival time. 

This airport is not so big, and we swiftly walked passing the arrival hall and leave the airport. Oh ya, before that, since we arrive late night and to go to our real hotel in Seminyak can be a trouble as we still didn't get use with Bali, we decided to stay in Kuta Airport Hotel & Residence first and leaving to our real place the day later. 

Silly me, if following to my study before going to Bali, our transit hotel is just a walking distance from the airport. Obviously, the real road and Google map can be vary. The main road was look like a highway, and we turn to the right side of the road, but still have no clue about our hotel location. Then we turn again to the left and walk a little to see any landmark as shown in our Google map. But, negative! 

Luckily I can speak a moderate Indonesian language. The first person I asked at a 24hrs convenience store have no idea about the hotel, a parking attendance have a rough idea and show us the way (but we still not really clear about the exact place) and finally, a ojek (motorbike taxi) rider mentioned to me that the location is about 1 km walking from my current point. 

So, we keep walking and finally saw the landmark, Anika Hotel and our Kuta Airport Hotel & Residence is just 100 meter from there. When think it back, I should go by taxi from airport, and maybe it will cost me about Rp 20,000 ($1.80) only. Hahaha. Silly me. I was too worry to get ripped by taxi driver (which actually never happened to me during 5 days stay in Bali - Will share about it later).

Simple and simple. The Airport Kuta Hotel & Residence, Kuta, Bali


About our hotel, it is just a basic hotel with price Rp 205,000 ($18) per night for a standard room. But anyway, even this place is cheap, it is not bad tho. The bed is still comfy, the room was really clean without any bad smell, the air conditioner slowly chill and the water heater was good too. The only small thing here is the TV size, really a small one. Hahaha.

The beautiful sky of Kuta, Bali

Wake up in the morning, I directly walked to the balcony and feel fresh air greeted my face. I can see the roof of other houses at the neigbourhood area and the sky was really blue. Even its only 6.30am, the sky so bright and the street started to be very busy with bike and cars passing by.



7.00am, we went down for breakfast and seriously, the Indonesian style friend noodle was awesome. So, herewith I declared that my first food in Bali is this Indonesian Style Fried Noodle and the best ever. Besides, at the buffet table have some cakes, Indonesian style radish cake (I am not sure the exact name) and fruit plates.

We checked out around 9.00am and the hotel guy assisted us to get a taxi to our next stop, New Pondok Sara Villa in Seminyak

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Noodle Dinner at 西刀鱼丸粉 Restaurant Ah Wing, Puchong Jaya

I think many of our fellow friends know that we normally prefer to have dinner at home. But once in awhile, it is good to see what are other good stuffs to enjoy our there. So, on last weekend, I wandered nearby IOI Boulevard and discover this (I think it is a new restaurant) called Restauran Ah Wing. I can't recall the exact location of this restaurant, but u can make a big round at IOI Boulevard and you probably will see this restaurant on the right side of this commercial complex. 



The unique factor about this Chinese restaurant is the kitchen is at the front side of the restaurant and customer can see how they prepare meals for customers. When we check on the menu, there are two type of food style here is which a clear soup noodle or curry noodle.



At first, we would want to have the curry noodle, but too bad, they run out of stock already. Look at our watch, its 8.00pm and seems like the curry noodle here is a hot selling item. So, I ordered a serving of Loh Su Fun (Dry) and my mate asked for a serving of Loh Suh Fun with Soup. 





Minutes later, we received our meals and seriously, this is really a good one for you to try. The soup is really rich with flavours and the portion is really reasonable. I am yet to visit this restaurant again to taste their version of curry noodle and other side dishes as well.
Price wise, really affordable, between RM5.00 to RM7.90 for each foods on the menu and the cleanliness of the restaurant is obviously guaranteed. No flies, No wet floor and No bad smell. Great! Great! (^_^)

Note to our Muslim friends, this restaurant is non-halal for you.

Article by: C.Lim

Our Budget Calculation & Trip Planning to Bali, Indonesia

Me and my travel mate, Christopher will be in Bali for 5 days from 13th March 2014 until 17th March 2014 for his birthday escape. Actually this is a sudden plan as we previously just want to have a quick trip to Singapore instead. So, this posting is about how we prepare for our trip to Bali, Indonesia?

Our Flight - AirAsia (AA)

We were hunting for the cheapest fare from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar, Bali and my airlines preference should be Malaysia Airlines (MH). But since the departure time for MH is crazy (midnight) and we will arrive too early in the morning to Bali (we have no idea about this place tho. So we decided to book an evening flight from Kuala Lumpur on 13th March 2014 at 8.25pm and arrive to Bali at 11.25pm. As for our return ticket, we will depart from Bali on 17th March 2014 at 6.00am and arrive to Kuala Lumpur at 9.00am. 

Total flight fare for 2 person: MYR788.00 and we need to pay another IDR300,000 (MYR100.00) for departure tax for 2 person when leaving Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

Our Hotels - Seminyak, Kuta, Tuban


1st Night of the Arrival Date (13th - 14th March 2014)

Hotel Name: Airport Kuta Hotel & Residence

Since we will arrive a bit late to Bali, which approximately about 1.00am, so we decided to stay in a hotel nearby the airport first before leaving our next hotel, later in the morning. At least, we can have early rest and lower the chances of getting ripped off by taxi drivers in the middle of nowhere. 

So, on our first night, we will stay at Airport Kuta Hotel & Residence, located in Jalan Elang No.5 Kuta. It should be a bout 5 to 10 minutes by taxi from the airport.


We will devide our 3 real day trip in Bali into 3 zone, which will start from Seminyak Zone in the north, Kuta Zone on the second day and finally spending time further south at Jimbaran Zone. So, basically, we will stay 1 night at each zone and this will help us to cut our transportation cost (taxi supposedly as we will do lots of walking and sightseeing).


1st Day - 14th March 2014 - Seminyak Zone
Hotel Name: New Pondok Sara Villa

In the morning of 14th March 2014, we will shift to our villa at New Pondok Sara Villa, in Double Six area of Seminyak. Reviewed this villa accommodation from Booking.com and I probably will love the private pool in our unit. From people's review, they warn us on mozzies attack and noise from the neighbours, so we will standby with mozzies repellent and go to hell with neighbour's noise as we will be louder than them. Hahaha.


Since our trip to Bali is a free and easy, we are not going to visit so many historical places or museum. In fact, what we will pass through is what we will see. So, from our villa, we will walk thru Jalan Petitenget and Jalan Batubelig headhing to Seminyak Beach before making a big round in the area  while heading back to our villa. 

From my reading, there will be a lot of restaurant along these two road but, we probably not really fancy on those restaurants but instead more focus on hunting for cheap local foods. In the evening, maybe we will walk further south to see the bar and club scene in the area too. 

2nd Day - 15th March 2014 - Kuta Zone
Hotel Name: Grand Istana Rama Hotel, Kuta

Since we are lucky to start our stay from the north side, we just need  to walk further south along Keraton & Legian street heading to our hotel at Istana Grand Rama Hotel, Kuta. This area should be one of the busiest and most chaos place with mix of Australian, Asian and other tourist from every parts of the world.

 

The same as our previous day, we will explore the Kuta zone by foot too. I will need to send some postcard to my family, friends and myself and we will walk along Jalan Pantai Kuta to the post office at Jalan Raya Kuta before making a turn to Jalan Raya Kediri and go back to our hotel thru Jalan Plaza Kartika.


What to expect here? From my readings, there are so many budget hotels, shopping places, foods, and more foods (I guess). For sure, I will share more about those streets when I've done with the trip. And again, this is just our plan about where to go, and what to do in Bali. 

3rd Day - 16th March 2014 - Jimbaran Zone
Hotel Name: Next Tuban Hotel, Tuban

On this day, I have to say good bye to luxury places and "Hello" to a 2 stars hotel called Next Tuban Hotel. We prefer to stay somewhere in Tuban area instead of going further south to Jimbaran zone as from my readings, it is more expensive there. Since, we will just need this hotel to place our things as 3.00am the next day, we need to go to the airport and go back to Kuala Lumpur.


The good point about choosing this hotel is; Cheap and walkable tothe famous Jimbaran Bay. This is the place where you can have a beautiful sunset dinner by the beach and of course, the scene will be really romantic (^_^)'

Since this place maybe not as big and as busy as in Seminyak & Kuta zone, there are only two main roads to cover; Jalan Kedonganan and Jalan Uluwatu. 

How much is our budget for this mid-range (not too expensive, but not really a backpacking) trip? All inclusive we will spend about MYR2000 or US$327.00 or I should say about IDR7,000,000 only. 

Below is the breakdown in MYR currencies
RM788 - AirAsia return ticket

RM718 - 4 nights stay in different hotel (2 stars, 4 stars villa, 4 stars hotel)
RM100 - Departure Tax for 2 person
RM 60 - Local transportation; Taxi
RM200 - Foods
RM134 - Miscellaneous

I am so excited, and of course will come again to Bali to visit other zones especially Kintamani and Ubud. Next trip also we will focus on the historical places too.