I finally got a job here in Singapore! Before I had to start at work, I thought it would be good to go for a short trip, just to have some fun before routine starts … again!
Out of the numerous travel destinations in South East Asia, we settled on Bali, Indonesia. I’m always a believer of budget travels. What’s the point of staying at a luxury hotel/resort when you spend maximum time away? We looked at some of the top suggestions on Trip Advisor and booked the AtanayaHotel on Sunset Road in Kuta area. It was a neat and clean hotel with hospitable staff and a roof top infinity pool.
When the plane landed on a runway surrounded by sparkling blue sea, somehow I knew I would enjoy this place!
Here is how we explored Bali in the 3.5 days we had at our disposal:
Day 1: checked in at hotel at 11:00am. Relaxed for a bit, freshened up and changed. Headed out to Semniyak street for lunch – went to a great vegetarian café called ‘Earth café’. It’s a cozy place with a rustic feel and serves a range of super healthy food and drinks.
Headed to Kuta Beach on foot. This beach is quite long and there are plenty of vendors for renting out sun bathing recliners. It was good to spend time on the beach but I would think twice before entering the water there. It’s great for surfing though due to the high waves.
We spent the evening roaming around on semniyak street, window shopping at the various stores and finally landing up at Mykonos, a pleasant little restaurant serving Greek cuisine.
Day 2: at 3:00 am in the morning, we headed to Lovina for the Dolphin watching trip. We had booked a tour the night before, arranged by our hotel for 1 Mn rupiah or approx. 120 SGD. It included taxi ride to and back from Lovina, the dolphin tour in traditional boat and a stop at Lake Bratan on the way back.
It took us about 3.5 Hrs to get to Lovina beach from Kuta. From there at around 6:30 am we got into one of the traditional boats and headed out to catch glimpses of dolphins in their natural habitat. It was a breathtaking view that early in the morning as we headed out to the sea and had the pleasure of witnessing a beautiful Bali sunrise. There were about 10-15 other boats along with ours. After spending some time on the water we started to spot dolphins. We saw pairs and families and even saw them do those quick jumps out of the water. It was fun and exciting and we enjoyed it a lot! What I didn’t like about the trip – as soon as someone spotted dolphins all boats started speeding in that direction. My guess is that this will scare them away or annoy them. In my opinion, the boats can head out to sea and anchor at some place. Since, there are so many dolphins in that area, most likely tourists will be able to spot them better if they are quieter. Also, this will not annoy the creatures.
|Sunrise at Lovina|
|Dolphin watching tour, Lovina
Dolphin Watching Video
An hour or so later we returned to the beach and had a good breakfast at one of the many seaside cafes. As we headed back to Kuta, we started to see hills at a short distance. I asked our driver to switch of the air con and rolled down the window glass. The air was nice and cool. It was such a refreshing splash of pure cool wind that it woke me up and enlivened my senses. That’s what is so great about Bali – there are beaches and then there are hills, making it an attractive destination for all sorts of activities.
Stopped at Lake Bratan for about 30-45 mins. It’s a nice Lake with Ullun Danu temple built at its edge. It was pleasant to just stroll around there but there is nothing much to do here unless you have a picnic lunch packed – so we hit the road soon. Back at the hotel, we crashed!
Went to Central Kuta in the evening, sat on the rocks by the beach for sometime, then strolled around in the Discovery shopping mall in the area. I wanted to buy this nice looking jute bag at a souvenir shop but didn’t , thinking I’ll get something better elsewhere. But, I never did … it was so pretty! Landed back in Semniyak and had dinner at Sasa Ristorante. Just two phrases are enough for this joint – great food, pathetic service!
Day 3: Lazed around at the hotel by the pool side in the afternoon. Then headed out for the most awaited and wonderful experience of the whole trip – we were going to get a Balinese massage … yay! After all the travelling and walking around we thought it was the best way to conclude our trip. We had booked massages at this spa called Bali Green Spa. Nothing very fancy about the place but not bad either. They give you massage in your own private gazebo with attached bathroom. The massages were excellent! It relieved so much stress. After the massage, I felt so light, almost zen like! Then we were served this hot tea with ginger and honey, it was quite nice actually.
|Private gazebo at Bali Green Spa|
In the evening we headed to Nusa Dua. We had heard that beaches in this area are quieter and cleaner. And, in fact that was the case. We went to the geger beach and it was prettier and bluer than Kuta. Spent the rest of the evening back in kuta shopping around a little bit. Just a few things like a jute handbag (yes, I bought one but not the same one), bali chocolates and stuff.
Day 4: Went to check out these sports factory outlets selling regular casual wear, beach wear and accessories. A couple of them had a good collection with moderate prices. Deepak picked up a couple of t-shirts and shorts. Then back to hotel and to the airport … ciao Bali!
We had a great time on this trip where we combined some activities with a good amount of time carved out for chilling out, and also getting ourselves pampered at the spa. And with Deepak, I always get to try great food! There is so much more to do in Bali, we can easily go on another trip and I’m sure we’ll have loads to do.
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