Bali Retreat (February 2014) – Day 2

IMG_2593-copyOur second day in Bali and we had breakfast in the hotel like other guests.

Westin’s breakfast buffet was a good one with loads of fresh fruits, pastries and other type of food.

I didn’t manage to take any photos cause of the bunch of people around.

It was still early after breakfast and we decided to take a walk around the hotel premises.

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The view when we left our room in the morning

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Nice ambiance even at ground level

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A pool located outside our breakfast area

DSCF5472-copyThe swimming pool of the hotel

DSCF5473-copyLazy chairs for people to either sun tan or dump their belongingsย onto while they head out for a swim

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Ambiance of the hotel

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Calming environment for guests

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After a short walk, our cab driver arrived on the dot.

He drove his own private car to bring us around because he wanted to earn a little from the whole trip.

He wasn’t pushy on where we should visit or spend our money.

Instead, he asked where we wanted to visit on the island.

Some private cab drivers that offer such a tour package would usually force you to go to places which you are required to spend money on their merchandise.

So with that, he asked my husband what did we like about Bali and what we were expecting to see…

My husband told him that we love the beach and intend to see a few nice ones here on the island.

He brought us to a popular new beach (according to him) called Perdana Beach.

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DSCF5488-copyLook at the beautiful view ๐Ÿ™‚

DSCF5489-copyThe other side of the beach

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The view was fantastic even though the sun light was blinding (I forgot my sunglasses).

We then requested to see the Seminyak beach.

It took us about 20 minutes to get there since traffic was good.

Overall, the beach was pretty clean with people cleaning it constantly.

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Entrance of the beach

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A small restaurant at the side of the beach

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Beach chairs ready for sun bathers ๐Ÿ™‚

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The beautiful sand and sea water of Seminyak

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After Seminyak beach, it was to Kuta beach!

The beaches in Bali are mainly clean because of a few men and women cleaning the area.

This helps the beach since some tourists do not understand the fact that littering is a very disgusting thing to do to nature.

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DSCF5498-copyTraditional entry gate located near the beach

DSCF5499-copyIdols located at the side of the hill leading all the way down to the beach

DSCF5500-copyPretty and simple stalls located at the side of the beach

DSCF5502-copyLazy beach chairs for visitors to enjoy the beach

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We had a short stroll at the beach because of the blazing sun.

Nonetheless, a beautiful beach to be at ๐Ÿ™‚

Uluwatu was next on our list.

Upon arrival, we were supposed to pay the entrance fees required and wear a purple sarong.

Apparantly, monkeys will not harm you in any way as long as you are wearing one of it.

It is believed to be blessed.

So I really recommend spending a bit on that piece of cloth than being a cheap person saving because I saw a lady being harassed by a monkey (she wasn’t wearing a purple sarong).

People would usually stay till night to see the fire presentation, but we were not really keen with it.

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DSCF5507-copySome monkeys chiliing around the area

DSCF5508-copyThe main entrance of Uluwatu

DSCF5509-copyThis open area would be crowded during peak seasons

DSCF5511-copyBrick walls surrounding edge of the hill

DSCF5513-copyA breathtaking view

DSCF5516-copyOur cab driver insisted that we take a photo here at this spot because apparently it is the most popular spot for tourists

DSCF5521-copyPretty traditional looking gate

DSCF5523-copyThe beautiful ocean below

DSCF5525-copyThe long stretch of Uluwatu

DSCF5533-copyThe pretty blue view ๐Ÿ™‚

DSCF5532-copyThe edge of the hill

DSCF5537-copyThe purple famous sarong (please excuse the kangkang pose)

DSCF5542-copyThis famous tourist must take photo

DSCF5546-copyTrying to fit the whole stretch of Uluwatu in this photo

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A long walk from one end to another.

Quite a tiring one I must admit for an unfit person, but the whole experience was worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰

People started pouring in after about 2pm and we were quite glad to be leaving the place.

I doubt that I’ll feel comfortable knowing there’s so many people around me at the end of a hill (any thing can happen, ACCIDENTALLY).

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Our cab driver asked if my husband loved coffee.

Well, my husband loves coffee.

Pretty much answered the question.

He brought us to the most famous stop for coffee, most expensive coffee in the world.

Animal poop.

Yup!

Animal poop is made into coffee and it is also one of the most expensive coffee in the world.

This unique coffee is called Luwak coffee, which is quite well known in Indonesia.

100gram of its powdered substance is about RM50 or more depending on which shop you end up in (if I remembered correctly).

I only took some photos at the beginning of the experience and not during the tasting session :p

I was quite fascinated that an animal’s poop can be used as coffee…

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DSCF5504-copyHerbs and other things growing in the shop’s garden

DSCF5503-copyA very nice green environment for people to taste different type of teas and their famous Luwak coffee

DSCF5549-copyThis is where they “cook” the poop

DSCF5548-copyDifferent type of dried plants from their garden and the animal poop

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After our animal coffee experience, we went to our last destination in Kuta.

Shops were selling things that I wasn’t really interested in.

HOWEVER, I saw the most beautiful wooden salad mixing bowl, which I regret not getting.

I personally think it is worth getting their handmade items.

Beautiful and affordable ๐Ÿ™‚

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I managed to purchase two dresses here from a shop.

Handmade dresses ๐Ÿ™‚

Then bought a couple of t-shirts from Hard Rock Hotel at the Kuta beach.

I assumed that I would be buying quite a lot in Bali, but it was quite the opposite.

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A clean street without much rubbish to be seen

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A very pretty hotel located at Kuta ๐Ÿ™‚

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A nice wall promoting alcohol and food for this bar

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A very nice entrance ๐Ÿ™‚

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Shops selling mostly clothes and random things

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This shop selling clothes, bags and other tourist things

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Temples are located every where around Bali

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Another row of shops selling almost the same thing as the other shops

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Motorcycles are a popular thing in Bali even with tourist riding it

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Beach clothes anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Our lunch was pretty cheap for such a filling meal. This is my share, while my husband gobble up his. Grilled prawns with mash potatoes and cucumber juice ๐Ÿ™‚

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The famous Kuta beach

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Quite a pretty beach with people enjoying the sun ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Rock Shop which I bought a few shirts from

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Their signature electric guitar in front of their Rock Shop

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Another signature of the hotel – surf board

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Sunburn and sore backs, we went back to the hotel to soak everything off.

Had dinner at one of the restaurant in the hotel.

Overall, the whole experience was pretty nice.

Left with a full tummy ๐Ÿ™‚

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If you would like to chill outside while having dinner

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Wide open space of the restaurant

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Complimentary bread (tasted yummy with butter) *yums!*

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His meal: Grilled chicken with vegetables

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My carbonara which tasted good piping hot ๐Ÿ™‚ Super creamy!

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Had a good warm yummy meal and a nice bath in the hotel room.

Hubby booked us a spa session that is pretty famous in the hotel itself.

I didn’t manage to take any photos because I didn’t wanna leave my camera in a changing room locker.

The whole experience was pretty damn good ๐Ÿ™‚

Something that was a great positive in the entire trip ๐Ÿ˜€

*loves*

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Check their Heavenly Spaย website (and yes, their reception area of the spa looks exactly like that)

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On our last day, we wanted it to be relaxing after breakfast.

But guess what?

After breakfast, we head over to the pool to have a swim.

However, SOME people wereย not considerate AT ALL.

A man just started talking on his phone LOUDLY as if everyone needed to hear whatever he needed to say over the phone.

Everyone found him to be quite irritating and some decided to leave the pool for the beach instead.

I decided to stay and enjoy the huge pool.

Swam for awhile and relaxed for awhile on the lazy chair.

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After spending time at the pool, we walked around the hotel grounds for awhile more and headed back to the hotel room to pack up since we had to check out by 12.00pm.

Flight was later in the evening and we didn’t know what to do.

But the hotel was pretty amazing having a lounge area for guests to stay in while waiting for their flight.

They have a kids area for younger kids to be entertained, a private pool for guests to swim in in case you didn’t want to leave for the main pool, movies on tv to keep adults occupied and just comfortable chairs to sit or sleep in while waiting.

Quite a good deal as compared to waiting in an airport ๐Ÿ™‚

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A very beautiful cabana view

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The raked sand behind the cabana

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The road leading to the spa area

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Another beautiful set of cabanas

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Lounge area for guests who checked out from their rooms

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Kids area for them to rest or play while adults have their corner

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A private pool for waiting guests

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A beautiful pool to rest in before heading to the airport ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The whole trip to Bali was as mentioned, mixed.

It was not as relaxed as I thought it would, but the hotel was fantastic (minus rude tourists and loud).

But be prepared to have some spare change to check into the Bali airport.

You are required to pay at least RP75,000 (RM20++) per person to check in.

It is a compulsory airport tax to pay before you exit the country.

I was honestly unprepared for that and dug out every penny I had left in my pocket to pay that airport tax.

For those first timers, it is good to keep some spare change in your pocket to pay for that.

To wrap things up, Bali was alright but not what I expected it to be.

I might want to spend more time in the hotel next time if I ever do return ๐Ÿ˜‰

I loved the spa too much.

Hehe.

Toodles!

Bali Retreat (February 2014) – Day 1

Both my husband and I madeย an impromptu flight purchase to Bali in December 2013.

Bali had been on my list for quite awhile since I love beaches ๐Ÿ™‚

But, our experience there was mixed with the good and bad.

Pretty hard to explain myself even to say it out loud.

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A popular photo that most people take before flying off for a holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

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Early morning flight with the sun shinng very brightly into the airport

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Since our flight landed in Bali in the morning, we had the advantage to visit the island in the afternoon and evening.

A day not wasted just on traveling in the plane or cab due to heavy traffic ๐Ÿ™‚

However, the ride from the airport to the hotelย was quite a pain in the ass due to security checks (we took a cab, which costed about roughly RM75).

No. 1: Security stopped the cab at the entrance of Nusa Dua to scan through to car for any weapons or bombs

No. 2: We were scanned at entrance of the hotel with a metal detector and a guard looking into my handbag for any suspicious kind of weapon and etc

Even though I sort of understood the necessity of security within just a small area of the island, but with all of those checking and stuff, it did not feel like holiday at all ๐Ÿ™

It did not feel inviting nor happy like how a holiday should be like (Quite a turn off if you ask me).

Other than the annoying security checks, the hotel was beautiful.

Ladies danced to invite you into the hotel and placed flowers on your hair as a way to welcome you ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pretty ladies welcoming you with a traditional dance and a flower place on your head as a gift ๐Ÿ™‚

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We didn’t manage to check in since the room wasn’t ready yet.

Instead of loosing time waiting for our room to be ready in 2 to 3 hours, we decided to head out to visit Tanah Lot.

We requested the hotel to book a cab that uses a meter for payment rather than being charged for locations.

If we were charged based on locations that we were heading to, we would be broke by the end of the vacation.

Our recommended cab company was Blue Bird.

Don’t be fooled by other fake blue cab that looks like Blue Bird.

Those are pretty costly.

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Our first location in Bali was Tanah Lot ๐Ÿ™‚

Reviews online stated how romantic the place would be during sunset with your other half, but I seriously beg to differ.

Winds were blowing so hard that a few hats blew off their owners head and it landed at my face.

Rubbish flying all over the place even though there were people with goodย efforts in cleaning the area.

I would also like to mention that rubbish were flying pass my legs like autumn leaves brushing by when wind blows.

We thought of seeing the sunset as recommended, but honestly, I didn’t see much romance in that with my eyes squinting constantly due to the bright light.

Not such aย romantic place Tanah Lot is ๐Ÿ™

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An empty space I assume that it is used for ceremonial events

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Tourist and strong winds blowing the whole area

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A very nice view ๐Ÿ™‚

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The signature temple located on a huge rock (you can’t enter the temple on top)

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A bunch of tourist

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And another bunch of tourist with a beautiful view

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A beautiful tower with kids and aunties being fascinated with something

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A lovely view of the signature place

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The view of the temple on the other side of the beach

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Rocky beach with rough waters

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Walked through the market at the entrance of Tanah Lot and the stalls were selling food, drinks, clothes and souvenirs.

I didn’t buy anything but two bottles of water from one of the stalls.

Most things sold there can be found in Malaysian markets such as in Malacca and Penang.

So… There was nothing much to purchase…

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Just me at the market with the locals and tourist

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Different things sold in the market

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Headed back to the hotel after some tan at Tanah Lot and heavy traffic.

Thank God for our cab driver because he knew how to use other smaller routes that could cut through to the main road.

It saved us some time and got back to the hotel before dinner time.

We checked in and a nice room was ready for us to check in ๐Ÿ™‚

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Our room with a balcony outside ๐Ÿ™‚

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A small walk in wordrobe with a safe deposit boxย 

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A pretty toilet and bath tub ๐Ÿ™‚ A vanity table with a huge mirror is also available on the left of the room.

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A pretty flower ready on the bed waiting for us ๐Ÿ™‚

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We didn’t feel like having seafood for dinner that night and ended up calling for room service.

The best part of it all, they brought a dinning table with them to set in our room <3

I didn’t see them setup the table but everything was arranged when I came out of the shower.

The meal was quite good.

Had pasta with meatballs and fried rice ๐Ÿ˜€

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Pretty table with dinner ready for me after shower ๐Ÿ™‚

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Another view of the lovely table of foodย 

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Look at the beautiful setting of our dinner table

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Complimentary bread ๐Ÿ™‚

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Meatball pasta with tomato sauce *yums!*

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Nicely flavored fried rice ๐Ÿ™‚

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After a nice shower and meal, we took a walk around the hotel.

Although the lobby was always constantly busy with guests, the rest of the hotel was pretty calm and quite (found this to be untrue during breakfast the next day).

Overall, our first day in Bali was quite an experience.

Our second day is another story entirely…

I’ll share that in my next post ๐Ÿ™‚

Toodles!