I tend to post a lot about games, game design and everything games in general whenever time permits. Blaming ‘time’ for being lazy is a sorry excuse. To experience different times and moments, I and wifey finally decided to take ‘time out’ from our game development schedule and go on a fun filled vacation… Bali!
I would like to present a gist of our adventure in Bali with some pictures and free tips 🙂 This isn’t going to be an exhaustive moment-by-moment ‘what to do, where to go’… more of a ‘we did this’ and it was ‘fucking awesome!’ No, seriously, there will be some takeaways in case you are planning to visit Bali so keep reading 😉
August 29 to September 4
We started our journey from Kuala Lumpur on August 29. In case you struggle to find a decent place to eat at KL International Airport and love European cuisine… just take a chance with ‘Dome’. Fantastic place to munch, gracious soups and heavy sandwiches 🙂
August 29 – Day 1
After checking out various places to visit in Bali, we both narrowed down to stay at Ubud and Seminyak. This way, we get to see the best of the scenery, greenery and rice fields of Ubud and clean and less-crowded beaches of Seminyak region.
Checked in to Green Field Hotel and Restaurant on August 29.
A true scenic and tranquil view of rice fields and away from the super-busy, narrow streets of Ubud. Look at the beautiful view you deserve!
Green Field Hotel and Restaurant is a true ‘hidden gem’. Wonderful staff, beautiful rooms with serene views of fields, cold breeze and amazing breakfast. Location of this hotel is its main highlight – close to so many tourist spots!
Our first visit was meant to be at either Goa Gajah, Mask Museum or ARMA… instead we stumbled upon a ‘Cat Cafe‘… which was wonderfully kitty xD and so close to our hotel!
By the time we reached and left Cat Cafe, it was almost 6 pm. One thing to note is that almost every tourist place in Bali closes by 5 pm. So, we just walked around in Ubud till late night, had some nice Balinese food and slept off. Gearing up for the day ahead.
August 30 – Day 2
Early morning, after filling our stomach with some heavy breakfast we left for Campuhan Ridge Walk (without a guide). Do note – if you really want a guide here, you might have to book in advance by sending an email or hire nearby guides. We went ahead without a guide though, just roaming around the ridge.
After a decent walk in Campuhan, we were on our to visit Ubud Palace. The heat was killing us… we decided to refuel ourselves. That’s where we found this interesting ‘Vegan Ice-Cream’ restaurant. The Chef over there also conducts cooking classes!
Finally, after having 2 scoops of Vegan Ice-Cream (try Vanilla, its better than their coffee chocolate flavor), we reached Ubud Palace (not too far from Campuhan Ridge Walk). Much of the Palace was closed for renovation. So, it didn’t take us more than 15-20 mins to see the entirety of it.
Next on my itinerary was ARMA… not the famous war game, this one expands to Agung Rai Museum of Art. Beautiful place with 2 main complexes – Traditional Bali Art and Modern Art work. Everything over here is excellent! A definite, must visit for artists and anyone remotely in love with experiencing some amazing artwork. Apart from the well maintained art museum, their entire compound has beautiful architecture, animal structures, greenery and a free ‘coffee/ tea’ with the entry ticket.
It was almost evening and the place was closing down. Then, we made our way to what looked like an amazing ‘Paradise for coconut lovers like me’… Tukies!
Tukies Cafe in Bali is a coconut joint, here you get everything engulfed in coconut ❤
For dinner of the day, I was really in the mood for some Pizza! If you love Pizza’s do not miss ‘Mamma Mia‘ in Ubud. Great variety and amazing value for money. True, original Italian taste 🙂
August 31 – Day 3
Fresh after waking up, eating muesli with bread and eggs in Hotel, we made our way to one of the most famous place in Ubud – Tegallalang Rice Terraces!
Absolutely breathtaking views! Do prepare to climb and walk your way to heavenly landscapes.
Do keep in mind – as you walk on terraces, explore your way, you’ll come across several ‘Donation boxes’. Idea is to put Rupiah here and move on to explore further. Many of these boxes have a ‘minimum Rupiah’ – so make sure you put them first and then move ahead. Do not forget to go all the way up! It is completely worth it!
Next destination was Luwak Coffee Plantation. There are several plantations in Ubud… we chose to visit Satria plantation and it turned out to be pretty great!
Luwak Coffee comes from Cevat Cats! Do read up more on it on internet if you aren’t aware about this. Below you can see coffee beans extracted from their Poo. Considered as one of the most expensive coffee in the world. Apparently, also has health benefits!
As part of the tour, you get to sample 12 beverages! 6 amazing varieties of coffee and 6 teas. The guides over there are pretty great at explaining each of them, their benefits and are friendly enough to answer any questions you might have about coffee/ teas. Sampling these beverages is completely free of charge.
What isn’t free is a sample cup of Luwak Coffee! Once here, you must try it out for yourself. It is not everyone’s cup of tea… erm, I mean coffee! Pretty strong, heavy and has an acquired taste. However, it isn’t as bitter/ strong as their original Bali Coffee!
Next up, we visited Gunungkawi Temple. It is a beautiful temple with quite a lot of walking around to do and great scenic views. Do note, when visiting temples in Bali, one must wear decent clothing with Sarongs.
After this, we visited Goa Gajah temple. Do keep your Sarongs on!
No pictures here, but one of the busiest place in Ubud one must visit is the famous Ubud Market! Lots and lots of different items… clothing material, spices, local utensils to Sarongs and everything traditional is out there! Everyone is willing to negotiate nicely, so do go ahead!
September 1 – Day 4
This was the day we were supposed to check-out from Ubud and make our way to Seminyak. Now, one of the most famous tourist place which was so close-by to our Hotel was none other than ‘Sacred Monkey Forest’! Before checking out, we decided to check this place out.
That’s a monkey, lying on the road at the entrance of the Monkey Forest. Now, pay attention… this place is unique. For some, it can be a true, one of a kind, excellent experience as one journey through forests with monkeys roaming, fighting, jumping all around. For some others, it can be a truly horrifying experience. Regardless of what rules you follow, there are high chances that monkeys may just start harassing/ attacking you.
That is exactly what happened with us. Be careful, extremely alert and careful. This is not a joke. These monkeys are wild animals and can be very dangerous. Read all the rules posted outside the forest and try to follow them. Just take my tip – even if you follow them, there is no guarantee that monkeys will leave you alone. There is no Monkey King or Hanuman that can come to your rescue here.
We just had to leave this place within 20 mins after one monkey approached my wife and chew off part of her dress (newly purchased one) and in next 5 mins, another monkey just used me as a stepping stone to reach a branch on the tree opposite to the bridge I was walking on!
Saying that, the forest inside is truly beautiful. If you get lucky, have fun 😉 else just leave this place as soon as possible!
…till September 4 – Day 7
After reaching Seminyak, we checked into a wonderful Villa, Villa Coco… just 5 mins walk from Double Six beach! Again a very friendly staff, beautiful location, spacious and scenic villa with private garden space and my favorite… Hammock!
The Double Six beach is a famous one for surfers out there. There are multiple Surfing schools operating here and overall, it is pretty clean, fresh and well managed.
We came to Bali for relaxation, scenic views and to sit around and enjoy the beach! For all 4 days, September 1 to September 4 – we stayed around Double Six and Legian beach and walked around watching sunsets, surfers and wonderful restaurants… and chilled!
When in this region, do not forget to roam around, visit shops, traditional art exhibitions that sell wonderful items for good price and eat at two of my favorite restaurants… Sacred Ground and Zanzibar!
Here is Sacred Ground… excellent ‘Gado-Gado’, Chicken Avocado sandwich and super yummy Unti (or Dadar)!
Zanzibar over at the Double Six beach is where you should go if you want some excellent Italian and middle eastern food! Yes, I know… so different, yet so awesome!
There are several amazing Spas everywhere! We chose to visit Sicilia Spa in Seminyak and it was wonderful! 🙂
On the final day… we were feeling so sad leaving this wonderful city. Idea was to enjoy, relax and take ‘time out’ and we managed to do just that. Bali was truly a wonderful experience for both of us. We definitely plan to visit this place again 🙂
After saying goodbye to the wonderful Seminyak and Villa Coco, we made our way to the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Hungry again, we ate at Made’s Warung… repeat ‘Gado Gado’ and a burger for me!