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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Farewell, Bali

We are leaving for home today. It seemed too soon that our holiday has come to an end. It felt like we had only just started our holiday! :( But we are starting to plan for our next all-girls holiday in 2 years' time lol.

On our last day, we went for our free one hour Balinese traditional massage at 9am. The massage was really soothing and relaxing. After the massage, we had a really heavy breakfast lol.

Muesli, yogurt, fruit salad


Nasi goreng

Mee goreng

Our "Farewell to Bali" photo at Ranadi Villa

We arrived at the airport at 12pm and proceeded immediately to check in. There was a bit of hoo-ha at the counter as our check-in luggage was 7kg overweight! On the spot, my friends repacked the luggage, several times(!!), until we had exactly 15kg for check in. This was the first time I experienced packing the luggage at the airport up close and personal! :P
After the successful check-in, we proceeded to the immigration. My three friends got through without a word uttered by the immigration officers. However, when it was my friend, HM's turn, the officer asked her questions. At one point, HM turned and pointed at me, saying I was her friend. When it was my turn at the counter, the same officer looked at me and then at my passport. He looked in disbelief and gestured to his fellow officer to look at me and both of them started speaking in Indonesian and laughing. I was quite lost and looking a bit scared, not understanding what was going on until the officer spoke. He said he couldn't believe my actual age as he thought I looked only 20. Hahaha. Thanks :P
Our flight took off on time at 1.50pm. We were kept busy writing birthday cards for one another lol. All too soon, we touched down in Singapore.

Although we were all glad to be back, we really enjoyed our all-girls holiday together. There were plenty of wonderful shopping, fantastic food, great laughs, and excellent company. We are looking forward to our next all-girls trip in 2 years' time lol.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bali: Eat, Spa and Play

Today is a day of pampering for us. :) We had our breakfast at 8am. We had American, International and Indonesian breakfast. As usual, our American and International breakfast came with juice, fruit salad, cereal/muesli, yogurt, toast, jam, eggs, and coffee/tea. The Indonesian chicken porridge breakfast, not only looked good, tasted good too. :)

French toast

Poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and salad

Scrambled eggs with mushroom and baby potatoes

Indonesian chicken porridge

We had an hour to spare before our spa treatment at 10am, Ranadi Spa. We decided to go the shops near our Ranadi Villas. We spent most of our 1 hour at the first shop we entered lol. I bought 3 items from the shop because the dress style is just so me lol. I am done with shopping for myself lol. :)

At 10am, we went for our spa treatments. I took up the 2.5 hours Ranadi Traditional Spa package that included an hour Balinese traditional spa, exfoliating lulur scrub, traditional facial, flower bath and a healthy beverage. I had a couple's treatment room all to myself lol. The spa treatment was really great - my muscles felt relaxed and my skin felt clean, smooth and soft. My friend said I looked radiant after the spa treatment. :) There was also afternoon tea provided with each spa treatment.

Ranadi Spa couple's treatment room

Semi-outdoor shower and bathtub

My flower bath and the ginger tea for me to sip when I am in the bath

Afternoon tea: Indonesian cakes and iced lemon tea

Our guide, Susila came at 1pm and sent us to Seminyak Square for some shopping. I bought another dress for myself and clothes for my girls lol. We set off for Rock Bar, Ayana Resort and Spa Bali at 3pm. The Rock Bar opens at 4pm and it is one of the more popular bars around in Bali so we needed to queue to get in. We arrived at 4pm and there was a queue already forming. At least there were only 10-15 people in front of us. By 4.20pm, our group took the elevator/lift down to the Rock Bar and got a table with a view.

Some photos from the cliff top while waiting to get down to the Rock Bar

The travellator/ lift that will bring us down to the Rock Bar

Us in the queue

The Rock Bar as we are travelling down to it

The coastline on either side of the Rock Bar

We ordered some finger food and drinks and chit-chatted while waiting for the sunset. As it was really hot, we asked for huge umbrellas to shade ourselves from the sun. :P

Summer Rolls (Rp55,000): rice noodles, mango and mint, plum sauce; Rock Lobster Spring Rolls with Tamarind glaze (Rp90,000); Calamari Fritti with spicy tomato sauce (Rp80,000); Beef Chorizo Corn Dogs with sun-dried tomato hollandaise (Rp65,000)

Orient Spices Fried Chicken Wing with pickled cucumber and soy chilli sauce (Rp60,000)

Potato Wedge, Curly Fries and Pita Chips with herbed olive oil and spiced dukkah (Rp50,000)

The sunset was once again beautiful and breath-taking. Going to the Rock Bar was a fun experience. We left around 6.40pm and there was a long queue to get into/ down to the Rock Bar lol.

Photo before we left the Rock Bar

We stopped at two factory outlets on the way back to our villa. But most of us didn't buy anything as the prices still seemed quite expensive despite being factory outlet. :( For dinner, it was a simple affair. We packed Nasi Goreng, Rendang Mutton, and Fried Chicken back to our villa. We also ordered room service: Mee Soto and Fried Tohu lol. Although dinner was simple, it was filling. :)

After dinner, we started to pack our luggage because it is our last night in Bali. I think we overbought the peanuts lol. :P

Friday, 29 July 2011

Bali: Eat and Play

We would be out the whole day today for our day trip. Since our guide would be coming at 9am to pick us up, we had our breakfast at 8am. We could choose to have either American, International, Continental or Indonesian breakfast. We chose both the American and International breakfast which included fruit salad, fruit juice, cereal, yogurt, toast, eggs (cooked to our preference) with bacon/mushroom/tomato/potatoes and coffee/tea. We were so full that we could hardly walk but what a good start to the day lol.

Us at the villa restaurant

Scrambled egg white with salad. YUM!

Fluffy pancake. Delicious!

The two HMs lazing on the restaurant daybed after a sumptuous breakfast lol

Our guide, Susila, arrived promptly at 9am and off we went for a full day of activities. First stop, rather spontaneous and not in our list of TTD, was the souvenir shop! Haha. We spent close to an hour there and everyone came out of it with shopping bag(s) full of goodies, namely peanuts! NO joke lol. :)
As we continued with the journey to Ubud, we made another spontaneous addition to the itinerary. We wanted to try suckling pig lol. Susila was really good and on the spot, he helped us to replan and rearrange our itinerary schedule. Now we were off to have the first installment of our lunch, suckling pig at Ibu Oka, Ubud. :)
We arrived just as the restaurant opened at 11am. We ordered a special (Rp30,000): rice, vegetables, pork roll, fried meat, sausage with pork skin; a separate (Rp50,000): rice, complete meat with soup; and Roasted Pork skin (RP40,000). The dishes were delicious! A tad spicy for me but still delicious. :)

After our lunch (part 1), we drove on to Mount Batur and Lake Batur, Kintamani. As it was on higher grounds, the temperature was a lot cooler and it felt quite comfortable. The scenery was beautiful.

Mount Batur

Lake Batur (crater lake)

We moved on to visit Batur Temple or Ulun Danu Batur Temple. We wore sarong before we entered the temple grounds. This temple, built in 1926, is the 2nd most important temple in Bali.

For the third time today, we had a spontaneous stop at the coffee plantation and spice garden lol. The plantation person explained to us how the kopi luwak coffee or civet coffee or "cat poop" coffee is processed. The gourmet coffee is made from the ripest coffee berries which has been eaten by and passed undigested through the digestive tract of the civets. This process takes place only in Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Bali resulting in kopi luwak coffee being the most expensive and rare coffee in the world. Indeed it is expensive! A 60g bottle of kopi luwak coffee (for my mother) costed me S$35! :P

The coffee sampler set - chocolate coffee, ginseng coffee, vanilla coffee, lemon tea, ginger tea, and two different types of black coffee

Photo with our friendly guide, Susila

After the plantation, we rushed to our lunch (part 2) at Bebek Bengil, dirty duck diner as it was close to 2.30pm. On the way, we took a quick look at the rice terraces. It was really a quick look, out of the car, took the photo and back in the car haha. We arrived at Bebek Bengil just before 3pm for our lunch. The restaurant is right next to padi fields and has a really nice, traditional ambiance. The food was sumptuous! We ordered 2 sets of Balinese Smoked Duck (Rp187,000 per set for 2 persons, need to order 24 hours in advance) and a set of Crispy Duck (Rp82,000). We were so full that we couldn't finish the food and had to pack one of the whole smoked duck home as supper lol.
At the rice terraces before our Crispy Duck lunch

Balinese Smoked Duck: whole duck smoked with spices wrapped in Beatle nut leaf, served with Balinese sate (satay), vegetables, steamed rice and 2 fruit punch (each set is for 2 persons)

Crispy Duck: half a duck steamed in Indonesian spices, then deep fried, served with salad, rice and Balinese vegetables

The padi fields surrounding the restaurant

We were off to the last place on our itinerary, Tanah Lot Temple. It was really crowded because a lot of tourists come here to watch the sunset. We took some photos of the temple before we settled at one of the cafes to watch the sun set. The sunset was a really lovely sight. :)

Tanah Lot Temple at low tide

Our shadows lol

The sun setting

We returned to our car very quickly after the sunset before the traffic jam. We managed to get back into Seminyak around 7.30pm. As we were really full, we decided to do some shopping instead of having dinner. We asked our guide to drop us at Supermarket Bintang Seminyak where we bought some stuff and we shopped at the shops along Jalan Raya Seminyak. :) It was 9pm when we returned to our villa and we had a light dinner with our whole smoked duck from lunch lol.
It has been a long and tiring day but really enjoyable. We had lots of good food and good laughs on our day trip. :) Tomorrow is a day of pampering for us.