Travelling Asia: Bali

Bali

Heat, Bintang, rice fields and endless pool days.

It was early on a Saturday morning when we woke to leave for the airport, travelling to Bali. The night before my friend Ashlee and I had a function on, so it was a late night.

But it would all be worth it.

Our flight on Garuda left at 9am heading for Denpasar Airport. After a quick nap, watching part of Inside Out and San Andreas and getting my lips severely stuck to the Weis Bars  we landed at 1:15pm. I couldn’t fault anything on the flight, the service was great.

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Febri’s Resort & Spa

As we walked off the plane the humidity just hit us, my favourite feeling, hot weather!!! After a freezing Melbourne winter it was time to soak up in the sun!

Ashlee’s mum, step dad, brother and step brother met us at the airport with Agus, the driver who was outstanding the whole trip. It was only a short drive to our hotel, Febris Resort and Spa in South Kuta.

The place was decorated Balinese style, it was very clean and the service of all the staff was truly amazing. Everyone was always friendly and always offering their help.

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Febri’s Resort & Spa

First thing was first, pool time. Even though we had lunch on the plane I’m always so hungry on holidays so we ordered lunch from the hotel. I had the Caesar Salad, it was delicious. We then headed for the walk up the street and went into the fish tanks that eat your dry skin, I’ve already done this before but I loved it, even though I’m super ticklish.

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Fish Tank

For dinner on our first night we headed to Mozzarella a really nice restaurant with great cocktails and beautiful food. I had the Salmon, which was only $13 so cheap! But after dinner we couldn’t keep our eyes open so we headed to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.

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After the best sleep, we headed down to start our day with breakfast. What is the best breakfast to have ever?! Waffles of course! So waffles with caramel sauce and chocolate chips was the only way to go. After we ate we got ready to be picked up by Agus and his other driver to head to the Bali Zoo because it was cheaper than the Safari Park.

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Bali Zoo

Ashlee and I booked to ride the elephants at the Zoo, so for entry and the ride was $95AUD. We named ours Dumbo because he kept flapping his ears, which would brush our feet. He was one of the biggest and so cute!! Our ride went for 30 minutes, which was just enough.

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After that we went on to explore the Zoo, but firstly we had to pay to feed the elephants. The Zoo was pretty small and their wasn’t as many animals as we thought but it was still good to have a look at. I think next time I would pay more to go to the Safari Park.

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For lunch we headed to a restaurant overlooking the rice fields, due to a massive drought in Bali they were dry but still really beautiful to be overlooking. We ate lunch on the pond in a thatch hut it was really relaxing. The Nasi Goreng was delicious. After lunch we headed for a drive to Ubud to have a look at the market, the area was beautiful and has a lot of amazing shops!

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Rice Field Restaurant

The market was fairly big, but of course got very repetitive like all markets. If you are wondering where to go in Bali, Ubud would be a beautiful place to stay.

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We headed back to Febris to get ready for dinner at Potato Head Beach Club, a catch up with our friend Chels – there is always someone you know staying in Bali. When we got there we found out some famous DJ from the UK were playing, Hot Chips. The menu at Potato Head was expensive compared to other places, but the restaurant was so nice, the atmosphere was great and the food was amazing! I had squid ink pasta with fresh seafood and a crayfish on the side, so yum. The DJ wasn’t really that great – not sure how ‘famous’ – but it was a good night!

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Day three we tackled Poppies Lane! These tiny lanes had so many stalls and with no air the heat was insane. I love to barter so I was in my element. For every basketball jersey, AFL or NRL merchandise, DVD’s, CD’s, runners, souvenirs and pretty much anything you can get in Bali, Poppies Lane is where you want to go. Just be careful of the motorbikes, people use it as a road!!

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After Poppies I there was no way I could do Poppies II ,so we headed for lunch at Hard Rock Cafe! Being a glass collector I can to get my Hard Rock glass and eat more potato skins, they easily have the best! After lunch we walked back to our resort via the beach! The water was quite cold compared to Thailand but we didn’t actually go in any deeper than our feet.

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Hard Rock Cafe

For dinner we walked to the restaurants along the beach, we found a really nice place outside to eat. I had the chicken curry, which cost about $6 and the Piña Coladas were only $5! The food was so nice, the one thing I do hate about eating outside in the heat is the hot food makes you work up a sweat when you eat. Eating along the beach is so beautiful.

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Kuta Beach

On the Tuesday we headed to Waterbom, which was around $35 if you went to Diana’s shop to get a 15% discount – this shop is close by. Unlike Wet N’ Wild in Australia the technology they had was incredible. You don’t have to carry money on you for lunch, snacks etc. but you are given a wrist band that you put money on and they scan it through the day.

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You also get a wrist band that all your photos go on that are taken by photographers during the day. Some of the rides were pretty scary, but by far the best attraction was the lazy pool, so relaxing I could actually spend all day in those.

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It was a big day and we were so exhausted when we got back that we just had dinner at the hotel. I had Soto Ayam, which is like a chicken soup. It was beautiful but extremely filling, also we tried Bin Tang! I’m not a beer drinker at all so we had the lemon radler and it was actually nice!

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Waterbomb

Day five was definitely my favourite day of the holiday. We swam with dolphins!! When we got there we were given a drink on arrival and were told to wash all sunscreen or lotions off our body in the shower. I have loved dolphins for a long time and when I did a dolphin swimming experience in Queensland it was nothing like this. We actually got to swim with them, it was incredible. An experience ticked off my bucket list and I will never forget it!

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For dinner we headed to Bubba Gumps, a restaurant chain dedicated to the movie Forest Gump. The memorabilia was awesome with props from the movie and they have the mascot shrimp to get photos with. I have a shrimp scampi, which was so delicious. The waiters sung every time you ordered a margarita and we pretended it was my birthday so I got a little birthday cake and everyone sang to me! It was the best night and so entertaining.

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Bubba Gumps

The next day Agus took us on a drive to the Temples by the Lake to have a look. It was a beautiful drive to the temples and just a really nice look into Balinese culture. Woman with their periods weren’t allowed into the temples, it is always interesting to learn about different cultures.

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Temples by the Lake

We then went up the mountains further to a view overlooking a village, it was stunning. There were also wild monkeys on the side of the road, they are so cute but I never get too close or trust them. Definitely don’t look them in the eye!

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Temples by the Lake

We headed back down the mountain and stopped at a fruit market. I bought  purple sweet potato chips and some potato chips drizzled in a brown sugar syrup, they were so different but really delicious – a sweet and salty mix – as well as some mandarins, mangos and strawberries. We got to try all the different types of fruit the stall owner had, they were so fresh and beautiful!!

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For lunch we stopped at a restaurant overlooking a gully of what looked like rice fields. The view was incredible, the grass was so lush and looked like what you see in tourism advertisements. I had satay chicken, which is so much sweeter and nicer than in Australia. For a drink and my meal it was only $6!! So cheap and delicious!

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Fruit Market

We headed up to Febris and went to the beach on sunset to watch in sun go down, wow! A must do!! It was so stunning, there were so many on the beach watching it go down! After that we headed to the same restaurant on the beach as a few nights back. I order the Indonesian fried chicken, it wasn’t as fatty as the fried chicken at most restaurants in Australia and the coating had a nice spice.

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Temples by the Lake

Friday, our last full day, we all went for a drive to Uluwatu to have a look around. Uluwatu is famous for the surf competitions they have, the resort they had overlooking the ocean looked amazing! The water was that amazing clear blue and the water looked so warm. Then we headed to Nusa Dua, a really nice area in Bali. We headed to a resort restaurant for lunch. I wasn’t feeling very feel due to having a headache so I had a salad for lunch, I know boring. The tide was out so snorkelling and swimming wasn’t an option.

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Village & Monkeys

On the way home we headed to military/police/gun shop. It was a shop where the police, navy, army and security etc. bought their uniform, weapons and equipment but tourists are allowed to buy it! Absolutely crazy!! I bought so Polisi (Bali Police) badges and an NYPD hat, it cost me about $20 all up!

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Uluwatu

For dinner it was off to Bamboo. The AFL finals were on so we watched that at dinner. Again I had Satay, this time a mix of beef and chicken. We also tried Bali Cider, for $3 it was really good and a great price! After dinner, around 9pm Ash and I decided to go for a walk to see what nightlife we could find.

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After walking around for ages with guidance from the trip advisor app, we were about to give up. We couldn’t find anything!! We were planning on just going from minimart to minimart buying drinks, but we go into a taxi and he took us to the nightlife area. First we went to the Engine Room.

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Bamboo

Downstairs was packed and upstairs was dead. There was even a stripper pole on the dance floor, it was hilarious. After that we headed to Sky Garden, which is meant to be the best nightclub, but after seeing they wanted a $15 entry we moved on.

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Sunset at Kuta Beach

We found this nightclub called Bounty I only went to it because they were giving out free headbands. But when we went in, it was packed and the music was awesome, hits and RnB! During the night they even had body builders and show girls go on stage a do a show!! It was hilarious! By the end of the night, Ash and I were up on this little stage with an Aussie who was on footy trip! Definitely one of the best nightclubs I’ve been to!

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Bounty Nightclub

The next morning we got up to have our last breakfast, so we had the most of it!! We then headed for a walk to do some last minute shopping and check out the Bali bombing memorial. It was so sad to see how many people died and just like Ash and I were out having a good time on holidays when their life was taken from them. So many Australians were killed, it was so horrible and very emotional!

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Bali bombing memorial

We headed to the pool for the rest of the afternoon, then had dinner at the hotel before Agus picked us up for the airport. Our flight was at 11:30pm so I slept all the way home until we got to Melbourne.

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Sunset at Kuta Beach

Everyone in Bali was so friendly, the weather was beautiful, the food incredible. Bali has such a relaxed culture and there is always something to do for those who don’t want to sit up the pool all day. I did however, spend a lot more in Bali than I did in Thailand. Bali has taken on the Australian culture a little bit more than I would have liked, but still a good place to visit for a quick and cheap getaway. Hot tip – organise a driver so you can see what Bali has to offer.

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Sunset at Kuta Beach

Read more on travelling Asia: 

Travelling Asia: Thailand & Singapore

Travelling Asia: Deakin Study Tour for Public Relations, Malaysia and Singapore

 

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