1 year ago I married an amazing person. To celebrate this milestone we treated ourselves to a holiday in Bali. This is a brief encounter of our fantastic trip.
Photo Source: Bradley Merchant Photography
DATE: March 2012
(Sorry guys, this one of those delayed posts. This is from March 2012- Just shy of 1 year- whoops
VENUE: Seminyak, Bali
DEETS OF THE TRIP:
A short 6 hour flight saw us in a new country. I was warned about the extensive delays getting through customs in Bali, but within 30 mins we were outside and hit by the humidity!
Virgin Blue: It was a normal domestic plane and the seats wouldn’t even allow you to recline. We were constantly asked (and even woken) about purchasing food and even a reply of “no thank you, we will not be purchasing any food on this flight” the stewardess still asked us again 1 hr later!
Jetstar: We were not expecting much, seeing we paid very little for the flights, but Jetstar surprised us with a new plane which included seats that actually reclined properly (that is more than 2 degrees!)
Recommendations: Pay the extra money and get hotel transport if you have never been to Bali before. It is so much easier than trying to find a taxi in heat, humidity and your luggage.
Silq Private Residences, Kerobokan: OMG! Pure luxury. There are only 17 villas, all have a private pool, outdoor shower (and indoors), Jacuzzi, butler and attention to all detail. Even the bed was massive- I was afraid I would lose Mr FYF in it! Another cool feature was the all included breakfast. We ordered it for 8am, and it was at our villa on the dot, not a minute past- incredible. We ordered eggs and ended up with toast, croissants fruit, fresh juice, and coffee (as well as the eggs) with the staff setting it up in our room. I couldn’t imagine the price a Hotel in Sydney would charge for this!
NYEPI/ DAY OF SILENCE
Each year Bali literally shuts down, including the airport from 6am till 6am the next day. I found this a huge contrast to Australia, where we party and make plenty of noise welcoming the new year. Our hotel did warn us about this day and provided us with an ‘in-house movie system’. No one is allowed outside the hotel- even if you wanted too, there were police guarding the area to ensure this. Any lights that were not contained by curtains had to stay off. The Hotel did however keep the spa and restaurant open until 6pm for guests. It was nice to have a relaxing day by the pool, getting massages and hearing nothing.
Like many countries including Thailand and Vietnam, Bali is well known for cheap massages. We didn’t venture outside the hotel, instead went for the lazy option (also not getting caught with a dodgy one, wink wink) of the hotels’ own spa service. I loved the idea of holidays that include relaxing, cocktails and massages!
Bali is ridiculously cheap! There are plenty of taxis in the larger towns and cost 75 cents for a 5 min trip- CRAZY! Another option is hiring a scooter for the day for a handsome sum of $5 per day! Please note side mirrors, and proper brakes are not included LOL! The best part of hiring a motorbike is the excitement of buying petrol in the absolute vodka jars! The traffic in Bali is crazy, yet it somehow works. Both Mr FYF and I didn’t suffer any broken bones so side mirrors and proper brakes are over rated and are not required!
We were given some good advice from a friend to skip Kuta, and instead stick to Ubud and Seminyak.
Seminyak is the top end of Bali on the coast and yes, oh yes, full of boutique stores. Be warned, the beaches are not like any of the fabulous ones we have here is Australia. Instead of sand it is dirt, but is a great place to visit as the fresh sea air breaks up the humididty!
Ubud: is like stepping back in time. It is a historical town, without the hustle and bustle of Seminyak. We hired a driver ($40 for 12hrs) to take us there, around an hour from Seminyak and here we spent the day eating and shopping (Oh what bliss!).
Seminyak: Mostly made up of boutique stores with prices very similar to here in Australia (AUD $50-70) for a dress. Unfortunately the heat made it hard to spend an entire day shopping. There are a couple of main shopping strips- with a very cheap taxi trip between them. One main feature that stood out was the limited number of souvenir shops.
Ubud: Was quite different from Seminyak. The shopping was very tourist orientated and a lot cheaper than Seminyak.
Crispy Pata, Kerobokan – This was the only option for the quiet day, as it was on site where we staying. It has both Balinese food and western. I was able to order a me-goreng which was tasty. The best place to sit is upstairs where you over look the rice paddies
(Price- $3-10 AUD, Balinese and Western Dishes)
Cafe Jemme, Kerobokan, a very girly ( think French and pink) interior, but the once you are able to drag your husband in- it is well worth it. It’s a great little place for seafood, and it has wonderful little touches such as the reservation written on a leaf
(Price $8-30 AUD, European)
La Luciola, Kerobokan – We found this place by accident, and thankfully we did! It was amazing. The view was spectacular- right on the beach, and in my opinion was the best place to have a late breakfast or lunch. The staff were fantastic and very helpful. A gourmet cafe menu, slightly more expensive than others (by an Australian dollar or two)- a must eat place!
(Price – $5- 10 AUD, Western)
Biku FusionKerobokan. This was rated highly and recommended by others, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately we were let down by very overcooked fish. However my dish (Corn Fritters) were fine.. However it has a great tea selection – though can be off putting in the Bali humidity and lack of air conditioners. The desserts however were delicious, we went for the tiramisu.
(Tea Room, AUD $5- 15)
SOS Supper Club– This was the best eating experience in Bali! I would also say this is the best place to watch a sunset.
The food is fantastic and service impeccable. This was quite pricey compared to everywhere else, but worth every cent. The meal sizes are huge! Ask for a table on the roof top and close to the edge for an un-disturbed view of the beach sunset!
(AUD $20- 30. Modern Western)
Trattoria, Seminyak- This place look great from the outside but the food disappoints. The service however made it from a drab to an enjoyable lunch.
(Price 5-15 AUD, Italian).
The Deck, Kerobokan – The deck became our local drinking hole. It was between the shops and our villa so it was in a perfect location for us. The 2 for 1 cocktail happy hour was a bigger bonus- in the end I think we nearly got through the cocktail menu! The restaurant behind the bar was great, Asian influenced food and got quite busy later in the night. The service however wasn’t up to other restaurant standards, just a little slow.
(Price 5-20 AUD, Asian and Seafood).
Three Monkeys, Ubud- A fantastic place with plenty of seating. Brilliant cocktails, food and service. I recommend sitting out the back for the un-disturbed views of the rice fields.
(Price 5-15 AUD, Mixed).
PLACES WE WANTED TO GO BUT WERE CLOSED (for the national holiday)
Mama San– we found an advertisement for Mama San in a magazine and were disappointed to find it had closed for a month to be refurb. Need to book for this one- it books out most nights.
Melting wok– Ubud. Rated number one on trip advisor, and serving Indonesian food (which was hard to find). Unfortunately it was closed when we were there (Bali New year)
IF WE WERE TO GO AGAIN:
I would definitely stay in the same Villas (Silq)!
I would also want to experience an infinity pool (a pool which looks like it finishes at en edge of either ocean or a cliff). Bali are renown for the infinity pools.
Even though it was nice to see a country in complete silence, I wouldn’t go back at the same time due to shop closures for the week.
I would go back to Ubud and probably travel further north.
Places I would eat again would be the supper club and Cafe Jemme. I would ensure the melting wok and Mama San are open!
Originally Bali wasn’t a place I was keen to visit, it was the Villas that sold me (private pool and a great price) but after our trip I am definitely going back. Everything is so cheap, and the people are lovely . The best thing is it is only a 6 hour plane trip!