Bali: The Isle of Gods Day 3

20th March 2010

Have you ever experience a situation whereby you are dead sure that certain thing is going to happen but yet in the end was caught by total surprise to the point of despair that what we are so darn sure didn’t happen? Well today is one of those days! My brother in law, J was due to join us today and the plan is to pick him up from the Ngurah Rai Airport in the noontime. We woke up late (Intentional) and plan to start our day slowly… hey, we’re in Bali right? What’s the hurry? I never liked hectic holidays like those offered in tours as you have to move from hotels to hotels and spots to spots and adhere to their timing… Geez, how does one enjoy those? OK, enough digressing. J supposed to board the flight at 1000hr and we gave him a couple of calls around 0930hr but no one answered the call so we thought he’s on the way or something. So I proceeded to prepare breakfast for my lovely wife while she snoozes. When breakfast is ready, I wake her up to enjoy our breakfast at the nice little hut outside our room. When we’re done, we received a call from J and his conversation with my wife is somewhere near to the following:

B: Are you boarding already?
J: Nope, I am still at BR’s house. Why the need to go so early?
B: Huh?!?!?! You flight is at 1000hr!
J: Is it? But my flight itinerary shows 1530hr.
B: The timing has been changed to 1000hr. I thought you have performed the online check-in, how could you not know?

J: Nope, I didn’t do any online check-in
B: Mum didn’t print the itinerary for you after the change? I already mentioned to her…
J: … I guessed she printed the one with the old timing…
B: …

To cut the story short, we are dead sure that J is going to join us at 1300hr but due to such an incident, he only managed to join us in the evening. So the morale of the story is, always check with the airlines the day before to double confirm whether the flight has changed its timing.

Choices of Body scrub offered in Murano Spa

Since we have more time now, my wife and I headed to Murano Spa for some local Balinese massage and spa. Murano Spa is located 3 minutes walk away from Astana Kunti and is a good landmark to look for if you are going to stay in Astana Kunti. The interior of Murano Spa is modest but yet beautiful and the masseurs are very professional too. The pricing for the spa package is truly the bargain of the century! For a full 3.5 hours spa package which includes full body massage and scrub, head massage and head scrub, it only cost us IDR420,000 per pax and that is only S$65 nett or US$46 nett. Unbelievable? Believe it! We even managed to negotiate the price lower for a higher number of pax. Try it out! You will not regret it. The website shows a higher price for the package though so don’t book online but rather go there and make the purchase. Their website is listed here.

This is the best couple room in the whole Spa! You've been told.

Spa bed and the Jacuzzi tub in the background

The management also throw in fountains to make the spa session
more wholesome. Ask for Balinese music if they haven't played it already.

Small things like these tells you how much
effort they placed in details. Great spa!

After your session, you may want to sit here
and sip (perhaps the best) ginger tea and
chow down some tasty cookies.

After the relaxing spa, we next headed to Legian beach for a walk and to see what’s really cool about this place. I know you must be thinking “Going to the beach after a spa? Shouldn’t it be the other way round?” Well, I agree with you… its OK, we can still go back to the spa again. Legian beach is nice but not fantastic as compared to other places. There are many vendors along the beach renting surfboards, providing temporary tattoo services, selling cold beverages, selling/renting archery equipment and if you are hanging around the beach, you might even be approached by the local Ibu (Indonesian salutation for woman) that offered on-the-spot Gado Gado i.e. the Indonesian version of Rojak (For other foreign nationals, Gado-Gado is a type of fruit salad with bean sprouts and fermented bean curd served with peanut sauce dressing).

Surfing boards are abundant along the beach
for rental, so no worries mate!

Legian beach view

Legian beach in a different sort of view

We next looked for lunch and both my wife and I wanted something local so I made the call to have Nasi Padang (Literally Rice on the Field). “Which stall?” My wife asked and I just told her “No Worries, I know where” and proceeded to drive to one Nasi Padang stall that I remembered while we are driving around town the other day looking for Astana Kunti with Pak B. To be fair, any local stalls would do but for my case, since it’s the one that I know so I just dropped by (Impressed the wife too :p). In a Nasi Padang fair, each person will be served with a plate of steamed white rice and next, you will be served with 10-20 (Some even more) small plates of dishes. The Nasi Padang that I had in other parts of Indonesia sometimes even have some bizarre dish and one of those being Cows’ brain curry… Sorry to ruin your appetite but they are more. For a Nasi Padang session, you might ask what my wife did i.e. “How are we going to finish all of these??” The answer is… You don’t have to. You will only be charged for what you have eaten. What happens to those that you didn’t? Well, they go back to the original tray/pot where they came from. If you have not finished one of those plates, they also go back… gross? Well, that’s Nasi Padang and of course, you will not use the spoon that you placed in your mouth to spoon the goodies, duh… you use a separate clean spoon to do so, thus the dishes will not be contaminated with cocktails of saliva from God knows who. So it is clean, delicious and cheap for so many types of local delights. Must try!

Great stuff at great prices in Seminyak area. Cost us about IDR68,000
and that is only S$10.50 or US$7.50 for two!

We remembered seeing a sign board telling that there is a Carrefour (Planet Hollywood too) in Bali and is somewhere near to where we are staying, so we headed there to buy more stuffs for our breakfast and some souvenirs for friends and colleagues back in Singapore. If you are on a budget and doesn’t want to spend too much on meals, you may do your groceries from Carrefour and prepare your own meals. Astana Kunti comes with adequate cooking equipment so its ideal.

During my last trip, I have missed visiting Tanah Lot and am too cheapskate to go with one of the many tour operators. The drive up to Tanah Lot took us roughly 45-60minutes. We managed to reach Tanah Lot just nice enough for me as the sun is about to fully set and that provides great photography opportunity. This location is a must visit and in my initial Itinerary, I intended to visit Tanah Lot even in the early morning to beat the crowd and take a photo of that beautiful temple in dawn. The Le Meridien Bali is located beside Tanah Lot temple and it provides a beautiful view of Tanah Lot every evening. I am tempted to stay a night or two in this hotel on my next trip.
[Tips: No entrance fee is required for Tanah Lot! Yay!]

Pura Tanah Lot during sunset

Its about time that J is touching down at the airport, so we quickly make our way there and no thanks to the confusing road signs, we got delayed as we are directed into Kuta area and there is a massive traffic jam along the main road. We only need to go along Jalan Gusti Ngurah Rai the all the way and a right turn would bring us to the airport. After picking up J, we headed to Rumours, one of the steakhouse along Jalan Kayu Ara. To be fair, the price of the food is reasonable, but the food is not really what I would call good. Of course, the fact that I had great dinners consecutively for the previous two nights left me expecting more tonight but nope, didn’t score a hat trick here. The steak place is open concept and one may smoke freely in any corner of the restaurant so for you smokers, this may be the place and for someone like me… I should’ve known better after reading reviews about this place.

That’s about it for the day and before I sign off, you may want to get some desserts after your meal and if gelato is your thing, you may go in deeper towards the direction of the beach from Jalan Kayu Ara and you will see a QuikSilver shop on your off-road right side. At the end of the shops, you will see a grocery place that sells gelato, cakes and beverage. It has cozy place for you to sit in and the free wi-fi is really a bonus.

Till the next posting, happy reading!

Pura Tanah Lot after sunset

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