Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Indonesia: Bali - Summary

Helloooo readers!

As promised I'm gonna write a summary entry regarding our recent trip to Bali. Like I mentioned in the previous post, we did not draft any itinerary/schedule for this trip thus everything was planned last minute. But thank god, we still managed to visit most of the "must visit places" in Bali such as Jimbaran Beach, Ku De Ta and etc.

In this summary, not only that I will include our itinerary but also some details like our traveling expenses such as flights, accommodation, transportation in Bali and etc. But before that, let me brief you guys some information regarding Bali.

I bet most of you are already aware that Bali is actually part of Indonesia and the meaning of its name is known as "The Island of Gods". This is also why over 90% of the Balinese are followers of Hindu while the rest of the population are mainly Muslims, Christians or even Buddhists. Thus, don't be surprised if you see some restaurants or warung serving pork. In fact, most of the restaurants here serve pork and the signature Balinese dishes are Babi Guling (Roasted Pork) and Pork Spareribs. Honestly, the trip wouldn't be completed without trying out these two dishes.

However, fret not if you're a Muslim because Halal restaurants can still be found in certain areas. Just remember to do your homework before traveling and be extra cautious because unlike Brunei, the eateries in Bali usually don't put up the halal sign. Make sure you ask the staffs before deciding to have your meal there. One good thing is that fast food restaurants such as Burger King, McDonald's, KFC are serving halal food but probably not beef. This is because Hindu followers do not consume beef. Thus, you can see that these franchised fast food restaurants only serve chicken so that it can cater everyone.

Bali is slightly smaller than Brunei and is made up by different cities on the island. The most prominent cities are Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud and Denpasar (which is its capital city).

I gotta say I am deeply touched and inspired by the Balinese culture. Bali has just too much to offer, too much. I've always been nagging about visiting Bali since many years ago and when I finally stepped on the land of Bali, it was just like a dream came true. After this trip, I finally understood why do people keep revisit Bali over and over again. It's just simply an amazing place and I am looking forward for a revisit soon (hopefully!).


Here are the details:


Flights

As there is no direct flight from Brunei to Bali, we had stopover in Kuala Lumpur instead.

Round trip from Brunei to Kuala Lumpur
Total Bnd 481.28

Round trip from Kuala Lumpur to Bali
Total RM 1364


Visa

Not required for Bruneian passport.


Accommodation

#1 Mecure Hotel, Kuta

Type: Superior Room
Length of stay: 2 nights
Breakfast: Not included
Total: USD 276.50

#2 The Haven, Seminyak

Type: The Haven Room
Length of stay: 2 nights
Breakfast: Included
Total: USD 266

#3 The Ulins and Spa Villa, Seminyak

Type: 1 bedroom villa
Length of stay: 2 nights
Breakfast: Included
Total: USD 778


Transportation

In my opinion, traveling in Bali is ain't easy with your own transportation. Similar to Brunei, most places in Bali are scattered around the cities. I've seen some foreigners rented motorbikes and taxis are also available in most places so it's pretty convenient. But still I prefer hiring a driver that come with a car. By paying either a full day rate or half day rate (depending on your needs), I can have the driver driving us around the cities to places where we want to visit. However, mind you that he is only a driver thus do not expect him to give you detailed explanation regarding the Balinese culture, places and so on. If you prefer the latter one then it's better to hire a tour guide.

For the first few days of our transportation, we hired a driver from Sila Bali Tours and his name is Nyoman. The rate we paid was IDR 450,000 for full day rate; for half day it is IDR 300,000.



Itinerary

#Day 1

#1 Do not forget to bring sunblock!
Although similar to our climate, Bali does get rainy some times but still most of the times it is very sunny. Hubby and I got few shades darker after this trip, no kidding!

#2 Drink more water!

#3 Be cautious with money changer!
Always remember to change your currency with authorised money changer ONLY. Money changers are available in most places but each can charge at different rates. Some might be lower and some might be higher but always stay alert with the ones that have ridiculous high rates because it is very likely that it's illegal. So what I suggest you guys is to check out more money changers and observe the rates then choose the one with the rate which you think is reasonable. Don't be greedy! Another thing is that always put an close eye on the actions of your money changer and remember to count the notes. If the money changer dropped the notes, call off the deal and get back your money because you wouldn't know if he or she is trying to trick or cheat you.

#4 Ignore the guys selling you VIP cards!
During our trip we saw quite a few locals preying on tourists trying to convince them to purchase the so-called hotel privilege cards. Firstly, these guys would brief you regarding the benefits of having this cards such as free hotel accommodation in any hotels internationally and then they would either bring you to their office to make the payment or pay them right on the spot. This is actually a tourist trap. Their company never existed nor the usage of this privilege cards. These guys are usually seen wearing dark green buttoned shirt and riding on a bike. If they start talking to you just ignore them.



Hunnie Signing Off~

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