Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day Two of My 4 Days, 3 Nights Itinerary to Bali - The Island of the Gods @ Indonesia

As i get older, sleep is a luxury and i found myself having insomnia nowadays, even when i am overseas. It tends to get worse when the trip is short as i would like to cover as many places as i could in a limited period of time! 

On our official first day in Bali (since we arrived the night before and i wouldn't technically count it as a day), we were out by 8 am in seek of breakfast as it wasn't covered for our stay in Grand Istana Rama hotel

I could have separately purchased for a buffet breakfast in the hotel but knowing myself, i would only have eggs, toast and jam and that's totally not worth the cost. Furthermore, we would be embarking on a road trip and i didn't want to scramble around for a toilet due to overindulgence!

The beachwalk shopping mall wasn't open for business yet although my main aim was to check out Flapjaks further down the road. I actually inquired the night before if it would be open at 8 am and received a positive response; bloody shop was still closed! 

Without a Plan B, we could only step into the world's most iconic restaurant; McDonald's! Thinking the taste could be consistent across the world, i ordered a serving of hotcakes. Bad move as it was horrid tasting! Singapore's version is way better! Check out my review here

Delayed for a while as there were three cars booked for the road trip and one was late! I was already seated in one and was marveling at the tray of canang sari on the dashboard when someone asked if i could take another car instead.

I happily obliged; no reason not to so long i could get a corner seat where i can freely shoot thousands of photos along the journey. 

Split gateway that leads to the famous yet touristy Kuta Beach

An already-open retail shop even though it wasn't even 9.30 am. 

Traffic in Bali - we didn't encounter any jam at that time but traffic was heavy. The Kuta area we stayed in had narrow roads and traffic was can be a torture at night. What we didn't expect then on day one was an extremely bad traffic jam on the evening that we were supposed to leave for the airport. 

Cloudy day; at least we can still see the pockets of blue sky. I love the rain although not when i am travelling as photo-taking can be a pain in the ass! 

Notice the little dots soaring in the sky? They were kites as the July and August is the period for strong wind and there's even a layang (kite in Bahasa) festival for villagers to showcase their kites and flying skills! 

DK - the first two letters denote the license plate for Bali-registered cars.

Beautiful entrance; in the beginning, i thought such nicely decorated entry would belong to a temple until i realised there were just too many of such structures! Can't be that Bali has so many places of worship! 

A creature with a large body and small head; adjust the proportion a bit and it would look more or less like the lion in a traditional Chinese lion dance.

The car drove into a built-up area with stores selling handicraft and items used in religious rituals. Before long, we arrived at our first destination; Sukawati Art Market!  

Plenty of things to buy if your house has a Balinese them! The steamed corn at the entrance of the Sukawati Art Market was so much more satisfying than the McDonald's breakfast i had earlier! Aside from the art market, i also ventured into the nearby local market known as Pasar Umum Sukawati

Time to meet up with the rest and move northwards in the car to our next item on the itinerary; the main activity hub for Bali is in the South and the North was more agricultural land, where ducks freely roamed the padi fields.

Checking out the Tegenungan Waterfall! For more photographs and the review, click here. Bring extra clothing and remember to shower in the spring water! And do make sure to visit the area with many stacked up stones

On the road again; unlike my trip to Hokkaido (self-drive), i don't think i can survive self-driving in Bali! Too many cars and roads are narrower!  

Such a pretty house! Or was it a temple?

With a local holding to the steering wheel of the car, i posed my question to him and was surprised to hear that many temple-looking buildings were in fact private houses! Hence, please don't anyhow barge in; thinking it's a public temple! 

Kite flying again; according to the driver, kite competitions are big events in Bali and prizes for the winner can be very lucrative! 

Did i mention before that the Balinese ladies can balance many things using their head?!

Dislike dark clouds! And you know what i usually do when i see them? I would start to sing the nursery rhyme "rain, rain, go away! come again another day!"

It's a pity we didn't manage to explore the surroundings after lunch as we were apparently quite behind on time and there's another place we had to visit. 

Cantik Agriculture Luwak Coffee - why i typed "had to"? Because my personal view is that visits to luwak coffee plantation is a tourist trap with astronomically-priced coffee powder! Having said that, we were not forced to buy anything although i will not include this in my future trips to Bali.

Exploration of my first Balinese temple; the Pura Tirtha Empul (Holy Spring Temple) where you can participate in body cleansing rituals in purification pools with fishes swimming within! 

Nearing the Tegalalang rice terrace that everyone said was a most go! Visit the link here for more photographs and my frustration with the 'donations'! 

By all means, pay it a visit if you have never visited the rice terrace in China! What i experienced at Longji in Guangxi province was way more spectacular! 

Totally shagged out and with the sun setting, we knew we wouldn't be able to catch the supposed amazing sunset at Tanah Lot temple which was strangely out of the way and shouldn't be included in our itinerary.

It was a car journey of more than two hours back to Grand Istana Rama hotel and after resting our feet for more minutes, we headed out to the streets again in seek of Bali's most famous food; Babi Guling

The original store i wanted to try was closed and we had to walk much further away. Felt a bit guilty as we had about 8 persons but i did suggest they could check out the other dining establishments along the way.  Anyway, many shopping opportunities for the shopaholics! 

Objective cleared at the crowded Warung Babi Guling Bu Dayu!

I was pleased with the Babi Guling at Warung Babi Guling Bu Dayu (check out review here) but some felt it was overly spicy and hence, couldn't finish the meal. So what did they do? They decided to have comfort fast food at KFC! 

For me, i am not agreeable to look at them eating and decided to roam around! Found this cute dog that definitely had an owner. Despite the many dogs i spotted in Bali, dog poo on the streets was rare compared to Bangkok. Nevertheless, please continue to keep a lookout! 

The empty temple appeared to have some activity deep within its compound as i could hear the loud traditional music. As i was alone, i decided to keep my feet to outside the premises.

A friend recommended the Astor Wafer Sticks! Not too bad even though i would still cast my vote for Julie's strawberry love letters! 

Body massage at Smart Spa! It's rated pretty high on TripAdvisor for the Kuta area and you know what, no talking inside so that you can truly relax in the quietness! 

We were the last customers to exit Smart Spa and the street we encountered as we stepped out was a far cry from the bustling one just a few hours before. 

Strolled past Hard Rock Cafe again; honestly, i don't understand why so many people want to take pictures with the Hard Rock Cafe. In Singapore's Hard Rock Cafe, the phenomenon didn't appear. 

Last stop; convenience stall where we can stock up on mineral water! 



  1. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos, nice reading this post of your trip

    By the way, I had linked you up in my blogroll. Cheers!