$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: Bali Mini-Moon - 3 Days 2 Nights

Monday, June 24, 2019

Bali Mini-Moon - 3 Days 2 Nights

KPO and I are in Bali now, waiting at the airport for our flight back to Singapore. Our flight is currently delayed by 30mins so might as well blogged on our adventure while waiting. at home now because I procrastinated for two months before posting this.

We travelled to Bali because we were given 2 nights of free Bali Villa accommodation as part of our wedding package (read more about it here). KPO was grumbling about our super hectic US honeymoon tour so I decided to make this a super chill one (or so I thought).

Day 1

10:00AM - Ngurah Rai International Airport a.k.a Bali Airport pick up
11:00AM - Babi Guling (roast pork) lunch recommended by our driver
2:00PM - Hotel check-in and Spa
4:00PM - Ubud palace & Ubud market
5:00PM - Tegallalang rice terrace cafe for dinner

Our accommodation includes airport pickup to the hotel. Hence, our driver was already waiting for us at the airport when we reached the arrival hall. At the same time, we ordered a sim card from Klook which allowed us to pick up at the arrival hall as well. How convenient.

After we installed the sim card, we followed the driver to his car. He offered to bring us to eat local food on the way to the hotel - the Babi Guling (aka roast pork). Personally, I don't find the food to my liking. It was a bit too spicy and the skin wasn't crispy enough.

Warung Babi Guling Penatih

It was approximately an hour drive from DPS airport to Ubud where our hotel was located. Hence by the time we arrived at the hotel after our lunch, we didn't have to wait too long for our check-in. Our Lagoon Pool Villa was huge. It comes with a garden, a king size bed, huge bathroom with bathtub and a private plunge pool. The entire area was standing at 165 sq meters and was much larger than our BTO.

As our hotel stay includes a free 1-hour massage, we headed out to the massage area immediately after we placed our luggage in the room. The massage was pretty good; It was a tranquil air-conditioned room facing the pool. Both of us soon fell asleep on the massage bed.

After that, we headed back to the villa to pump the two floats which I borrowed from a friend back in Singapore. Klook was renting it at $7 per day per float, so we saved $28! Whee. The floats were surprisingly quite easy to pump with an electric pump though they were gigantic.

Who doesn't love unicorn and pizza?

We had planned to explore Ubud for the rest of the day and were intending to head out to the Ubud Palace and market first. We thought it was going to be easy to GoJek since it was an Indo app, but we were wrong! While waiting at the hotel lobby, a few GoJek drivers accepted our ride and then started messaging us, telling us that Ubud palace is a dangerous place to be in, and bargained for a higher price to drive us there. KPO, being the kiam pok as usual, was sceptical and refused initially which resulted in a few cancellations.

Last if not I cancel...

36k Rp (App) ---> 100k Rp (Driver) ---> 50k (KPO)

Eventually, after approximately 30 min, we managed to get a GoJek driver at a much cheaper price (though he also bargained for a higher price than what was stated in the app) and hopped on. The driver told us on the car that people were not allowed to drive GoJek in Ubud as the people there wanted to protect the local taxi industry. Hence, if they were caught fetching passengers, they would be fined severely. However, I noticed that the supply of drivers using GoJek/Grab was still quite substantial. The drivers probably wanted to entice customers through the cheaper platform, hoping that they may book them for a full day instead.

We didn't stay very long in Ubud Palace. After taking a few mandatory shots, we headed to the nearby Ubud market for some shopping. If you are looking for touristy souvenirs for your friends/colleagues (but must bargain kind), or cheap massages, Ubud market is the place to go. The massages can be as low as SGD 10 per hour. I wonder how do they even make money out of it! We did not go for the massage though, because we just had one earlier in the hotel obviously.

As the sky started to darken, we decided to cab down to Tegallalang rice terrace cafe for dinner. KPO thought the local cab fare was too expensive and wanted to risk it again by taking GoJek, despite signs everywhere which state no private taxi allowed. It took us quite some time before we finally got a GoJek but the driver was too afraid to pick us up at Ubud market. Instead, he requested us to walk 1km down to a private alley. I was a little unhappy as the weather was super humid and I was already hungry but KPO was determined not to take the cabs on the street. See, this is what I need to go through even on my mini-moon just to save a few dollars!! ='(

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

We managed to find the GoJek driver after walking what feels like 3km and constant messaging. By the time we reached the rice terrace, it was almost completely dark. I thought the place would be a lot prettier if we had reached earlier. The food was so-so but the service was not too bad.

Day 2

8:00AM - Hotel breakfast
9:00AM - Driver pick up
9:30AM - Monkey Forest Bali
11:00AM - Tukad Cepung waterfall
1:00PM - Melting Wok cafe for lunch
3:00PM - Visit Luwak plantation
5:30PM - Jimbaran Sri Gangga Cafe for dinner

The hotel breakfast was so-so in terms of food variety. We spotted some flies hovering around the cakes section and decided to give the cakes a miss.

The driver picked us up at 9am sharp and drove us to the nearby Monkey Forest Bali. Entrance costs IDR 80,000 for adult. The park was huge and there are approximately 700 monkeys living there according to the website, though it felt even more in real person. These monkeys are not afraid of getting near humans and we even witness a lecherous one which tore a woman's skirt. Hence, a word of advice for anyone who's considering to visit, do not bring any food there unless you fancy getting robbed by the monkeys.

Next, we went to the Tukad Cepung waterfall. I chanced upon it on Youtube and was attracted to the cave waterfall. However, when we were there, we could not find the same waterfall and left feeling quite disappointed. Only after that did we realized that we have not explored far enough to reach the cave waterfall. For those who intend to visit the place, you need to be mentally (and physically) prepared to walk/climb quite a distance from the carpark. We will be back again!

I stumbled upon Melting Wok Warung on Tripadvisor and saw many positive reviews there, hence decided it would be good to have our lunch there. The cafe is situated in a quaint looking town in Ubud central. Personally, I think the place is a little overrated. Just thought it was okay only.

After our lunch, the driver drove us to the Luwak plantation. The staff there showed us around the mini garden and explained to us the different plants/fruits that they have. They also showed us the whole Luwak coffee process, from how they extract the beans from the Civet cat's poop to washing/drying/pounding the coffee bean. Lastly, they brought us to a sitting area where we got to try more than 12 different kinds of coffee. I thought this was quite an informative tour and the staff did not hard sell any of their products throughout.

Luwak's shit coffee bean in the making

Our last stop of the day was at Jimbaran as we wanted to have our dinner somewhere romantic. The view indeed did not disappoint. The restaurants there generally lined up their tables parallel to the sea so that the customers can have their meal and enjoy the view at the same time. However, the restaurants there are quite pricey (read tourist trap). We eventually settled on Sri Gangga Cafe. We only ordered a fish, rice and two drinks for IDR 633,000. On top of that, there is a music live band who will go around performing at each table. KPO, being KPO by nature, did not want any live band. However, they insisted on playing and were unhappy when KPO tipped them IDR 40,000. Isn't tipping voluntary? Besides, the music wasn't even nice... The singer sang out of tune a number of times... Overall, I will not recommend going back given the food quality and the price.

Not so romantic live band

Day 3

8:00AM - Hotel breakfast
9:00AM - Nua (laze) around the pool
12:00PM - Hotel check out and driver pick up
12:30PM - Bebek Tepi Sawah for lunch
2:30PM - Galleria Mall shopping
4:45PM - Ngurah Rai International Airport a.k.a Bali Airport

We decided to set aside some time to enjoy the pool in our villa on our last day before we check out. Our friend who frequents Bali recommended us to try the grilled duck from Bebek Tepi Sawah. It turns out to be one of the better meal in Bali. The duck is moist and soft, topped with black sauce and sambal. The restaurant also hires dancers to perform the Balinese dance on stage which serves as good entertainment for the customers.

Not the kind of satay we were hoping for

As we had quite sometime before our flight but did not want to travel too far away from the airport lest we are caught in a jam, our driver suggested visiting the Galleria Mall which is just 5km away from DPS. The mall houses several luxury brands including Bulgari, Cartier, Calvin Klein, etc. but we weren't exactly into shopping. We ended up sitting in Starbucks to play PokemonGo to kill time.

That's pretty much the end of our extremely short Bali trip. For first-timers who intend to visit Bali, I suggest that you may want to consider staying 4-5 days instead. Our 3-day itinerary is really too short to do much. If I had the luxury of one or two more days, I will definitely consider going island hopping or participate in some water activity sports. Till then.

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