Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bali High: Tishie and Hamil's Travelogue

My bikini from Cocomo, hat from Kultura Filipino

Day 1
We arrived late afternoon then checked into Bonsai Villas before having dinner at the popular Made's Warung II (more on that in a future post).

After polishing off our first Balinese meal. Burp.

Our version of a nightcap: a massage at Chill Reflexology (Jl. Kunti, Seminyak), as recommended by our trusty travel guide. We signed up for the Chill Out massage (a full-body massage, clothes on) and were surprised when two male massage therapists came out. Travel guide failed to mention this crucial point. Suffice it to say that Hamil wasn't entirely relaxed.

Day 2
Went on a 30-minute walk to Seminyak Beach, where Hamil met surf instructor Andy.

The two-hour, one-on-one session cost about $20 (versus the more known schools' $45). My cam-whoring session while relaxing by the beach? Free.

(P.S. If you haven't heard why I don't surf, you could dig up an old issue of Reader's Digest that published the whole story. It was called "Surf's Up," alternately titled "The Day I Wore a Too-Tight Purple Wetsuit, Paddled Myself to Near-Death, Tried to Surf in Freezing California Waters, and Slipped and Landed on My Chin.")

After Hamil's surf session, we walked around the neighborhood and ate before heading "home" to chill at the pool, which we had all to ourselves!

Thank goodness for self-timers.

Then we got all dressed up for an evening at Ku De Ta (more in a future post).

Every travel guide I read and a number of previous Bali visitors we talked to recommended this crazy expensive swanky place. Either the place is a favorite of expats, or was just filled with people who read the same travel guides. Still, it was nice being able to experience a night at this Bali gimik institution. (My credit card might have something to say about it though...)

Day 3
Cendana Resort & Spa sent over a car to pick us up from Bonsai. Trip cost us $30--about half what we spent on our room!

After depositing our stuff in our room, we walked to the nearby Sacred Monkey Forest, where Hamil made a new friend.

(Top) I absolutely love this shot! (Above) Monkey's thought bubble: "What the--?"

We then headed to Ubud Palace, home of the local royal family, and tried to blend into a tour group. The guide, however, was speaking in Japanese. So we just took a quick look around. Apparently, palaces in Bali are nowhere near in size to the ones elsewhere around Asia.

After dinner at a cheap little eatery called Song's Kitchen, we headed to Bumi Bali Spa (slash Restaurant slash Cooking School) for another massage.

Day 4
We decided to hire a car for 10 hours. For $50, we got a car (petrol included), an extremely talkative driver, and a nice tour guide named Yoga. No hidden charges! That's a pretty fair price, I think, considering we covered a lot of ground that day. We started off by going to Gunung Kawi in Tampaksiring, which is about an hour north of Ubud, if I'm not mistaken.

Can you tell my husband's not too thrilled about wearing a sarong (a requirement)?

These carvings, cut from solid rock, were quite a sight to see. But there's something the travel guides don't tell you. At this hallowed site, you have this to contend with:

Repeat 30 times. I kid you not.

On our way back to Ubud, we stopped by some rice terraces to ooh and ahh and take a couple of photos.

Back in Ubud, we had lunch at a warung to sample some babi guling (suckling pig--more in a future food post). Then we checked out of Cendana, headed back to Seminyak, and checked into our dreamy villa at Uma Sapna.

After prying ourselves away from the gorgeousness that was our villa, I asked the boys to take us to Balangan Beach. They suggested going to Dreamland instead--once a surfing paradise, and now a highly commercialized spot that's scared all the surfers away. It's been Punta Fuego-ed, with gates and roads and plots of land for sale. I don't remember how much a couple of sun loungers and a big umbrella cost us but, oh, they cost us. (Worth it though, as the sun was scorching that day!) Our local guides described the sand as "white," and while this beach was prettier than Seminyak's (turquoise water and all), it was more...beige, and couldn't really rival the pristine white sands of Boracay. Ah, we beach-spoiled Pinoys are hard to impress. We did get to see (and feel) some huge 10-foot waves though!

After changing into dry clothes, we hopped back into our car and drove to Ulu Watu. Yoga led us down a path away from the temple. When I asked him where everyone else was going, he replied, "Others are too lazy to walk here. But there's a very nice view."

Dude was right.

We had the option to stay at the temple for about half an hour longer to catch the sunset and an hour-long traditional dance, but we felt it was best to head back.

After saying goodbye to Yoga and his sidekick, we freshened up then walked to Rumours, a restaurant along Boutique Street. (Again, more in a future food post!)

Day 5
We got our 15-minute complimentary massage (ahhhh!) before heading out for the highlight of the day: one of our hundred kisses. Keep checking back for that post! (You wouldn't want to miss it!)

After the adrenaline rush we got, we decided to walk it off. "Let's walk for an hour," said Hamil. I initially balked at the idea, but 1) walking, I found, is so much less of a chore than running what would have been a 10K not-so-fun run, and 2) the company was great! So on we walked, with the crowds getting thicker as we crossed the invisible lines from Seminyak to Legian to Kuta Beach. Walk for an hour we did--until we walked right off the beach and straight into a McDonald's!

A triple cheeseburger. Because there's only so much Nasi Goreng one can have.

We walked a bit more around Kuta, which was pretty busy--speeding motorcycles zooming through narrow streets, barefoot and bare-chested surfer dudes strolling around with beer in hand. Hamil bought a couple of the oh-so-popular Bintang shirts before we stopped over at the Memorial to say a little prayer.

We took a cab back to our home base before again having dinner at Rumours. (What can I say? Hamil loved the place.)

Day 6
We spent the last few hours at La Casa de Awesome, savoring the villa we had to say goodbye to too soon.


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  2. i love that Cocomo bikini, i was supposed to get one too but no size for me. boo!

    that monkey beside you is cute but i was too scared to be anywhere near them during our ubud stay :) and we didnt know seminyak is just near kuta. arrghh! ok, next time ulit hihi

  3. Love your bikini, love your bikini body even more!

    We're also looking into Bali for our honeymoon next year, I'll definitely keep this travelogue in mind we plan our itinerary.

    PS. Andy, whoa! :P


  4. Yvonne, I might have gotten your size. Eep. Sorry about that! I think Seminyak, Legian, and Kuta are all in the same general area. Walkable...at least, if you like walking!

    Dea, thank you! Although the pics don't show my tummy. Harhar. Just look for the best angles (i.e., the ones that hide figure flaws) for your bikini pics!:D And P.S. You'll see a lot of Andy types walking around. Haha


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)