Monday, July 30, 2012

Ramadhan 2012: Misato Japanese Sungkai Buffet

Hey guys!

So I finally get to have my first sungkai buffet of the year!

I had a small reunion gathering with my ex classmates Linda, Atiqah and Ai Wen at Misato Restaurant. The reason why we chose there was because of its convenient location and also because we had never tried its buffet in previous years so would like to give it a try this year! Plus, their buffet price is very tempting, only $14.80!

I arrived earlier so that I could have some food photo shoot and also to avoid the crowd. I was told by a friend that most of the restaurants were fully booked on that day as it was payday and it made me feel fortunate and I made the booking a week earlier and even managed to choose a good seats. Some of the patrons had to sit at the upper level dining area which I find it quite a hassle as you need to go up and down to get your food since it's a buffet.

For $14.80 you can get wide array of Japanese food. Fried garlic rice, fried udon noodles, grilled salmon belly, tempura, beef stew and a few other Japanese dishes were served. And of course, sushi was served too. The sushi chefs prepared quite a few types of sushi rolls and don't worry much, the food will be refilled throughout the night.

If you are not a fan of buffet, you may also order items from their ala carte menu.

In my opinion, I would say it really worth a try as it's considered really cheap among most of the good buffet this year. However, do not expect too much as you get for what you pay. So it is no surprise that fresh seafood such as salmon sashimi is not served. Overall, I still think it is really worth trying and would be an excellence place to dine with family ;)

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Dragon sushi boat

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The buffet line


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Japanese omelette and fritters were on the menu too 

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Tori Karaage 

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Spring rolls 

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Mixed vegetables tempura 

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Fried Chicken Chop 

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Fried Udon Noodles 

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Fried Garlic Rice 

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Beef stew and Chicken mushroom 

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Grilled salmon belly 

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Sushi! 

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Sushi!!

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Sushi!!!

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Sushi!!!!

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and more SUSHI!!!!! 

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Fruit platters 

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Jelly~ 

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The chefs busy making sushi 

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First round! 

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Partners in crime :P 

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Oh it was also a belated birthday celebration for Ai Wen :D 


Hunnie Signing Off~

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ramadhan 2012: Fratini 50% Discount

With so many ramadhan promotions going on now, the first one that I actually tried was Fratini.

For your information, Fratini is currently having 50% discount promotion on all its pasta and pizza dishes at all branches.

Being one of the first few fine dining restaurants in Brunei, Fratini has gained its popularity among our local community as well as internationally (it even have branches in Malaysia). There is no doubt in their food quality and we are really big fans of their thin crust pizzas; it's by far the best in Brunei (in our opinion).

Here is the details regarding the 50% discount (on pastas and pizzas only) promotion:
Yayasan: 3PM to 10PM
Gadong: 10AM to 7PM
Kuala Belait: 10AM to 7PM
Jalan Muara: 10AM to 7PM
Seria: 3PM to 10PM

It's only for dine-in and cash sales transactions only.

Below here are some pictures taken during our visit to its Jalan Serusop branch named Piccolo Fratinis and we had their JUMBO size pizza which is about 18". It's really worth trying!

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The interior of the restaurant

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Chee Hwa and SKY; my best buddies! 

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Darth Vader: "I am your father"
Eyeless Kitty: "WHAT?????" 

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This man just couldn't get his eyes off his phone; I guess he prefers the "forever alone" life more 

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And this guy, after work but still looking stressful 

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My pasta getting 'pepperized' 

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Carbonara Linguine 

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The JUMBO size pizza!

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Look how BIG it is! 


Hunnie Signing Off~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Share Tea @ The Airport Mall

Bruneians love bubble tea! And it's a fact.

I still remember many years back when our neighboring country started introducing Kokoberry, my family and I would frequently made a trip down to Miri just to drink pearl milk tea.

Then later it was brought in to Brunei, following Gripps (although it's a restaurant but its pearl milk tea was very popular at that time) and Easyway. The most recent bubble tea outlets would be Each A Cup, Boba Tea and the new kid on the block, Share Tea.

In case you don't know, just like Easy way and Share Tea is originated from Taiwan.

During my Taipei trip back in 2010, I actually passed by the stall (check here) but did not try it because it wasn't in our must try list at that time haha!

Then when we visited Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, we tried Share Tea. I remembered vividly that during our visits to both stalls in KL and KK, we got free drinks. They always had the buy 1 free 1 promotion and we always ended up leaving with 4 cups of bubble tea. And also, they didn't have long queue like we do in Brunei.

I guess that's due to the market difference.

In Brunei, there are fewer bubble tea outlets so in other words, less competition. And again, less competition often leads to higher price tag. However, I do feel that there is gonna be a rise in bubble tea trend as I heard a rumour that there is another franchised bubble tea brand hitting Bru-land soon! Times like this I do feel blessed for living in Brunei as we always get to try out different trend every year (do you remember last year's home made burger trend? haha).

Share Tea is by far the most expensive bubble tea in Brunei. During my first visit to the outlet, I bought 4 cups of bubble tea and the total bill shocked me; $16 for 4 cups. Like I mentioned I always got free drinks from my previous visits in Malaysia's Share Tea outlet so I didn't thought it would be so pricey in Brunei.

However, you can't deny the drinks quality. You get what you pay for. It's not only the most expensive bubble tea in town but also the one that offers "out of the box" drinks flavour. In a day, Share Tea is able to sell its signature Rock Salt Cheese series drinks more than Pearl Milk Tea. I have yet to try it out (will do it soon!) but I have tried the other 4 bubble tea drinks which are Okinawa Pearl Milk Tea, Mocha Red Bean Milk Tea, Handmade Taro Fresh Milk and QQ Happy Family Milk Tea. And all these four flavours are really worth trying too especially if you're not a cheese lover then you might wanna skip the Rock Salt Cheese series and tried these others.

Below are some pictures taken during my first visit to the outlet ;)


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Make your order here

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$20 for 4 cups of bubble tea and it's Medium size some more 

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Staffs busy making drinks 

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The types of cups available 

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They also have tables and chairs in their waiting area 

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First Brunei Share Tea experience ;) 

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Handmade Fresh Taro Milk 

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Do expect such long queue during your visit; good things are worth the wait ;) 

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Another visit and this time I waited 15-20 minutes for a cup of drink 


Hunnie Signing Off~

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Indonesia: Bali - Day 5

Our fifth day in Bali was also the day we moving from hotel to villa which is located at another area of Seminyak.

And again, we woke up early to enjoy the hotel's breakfast buffet. Breakfast was still as good as the previous day and there was a slight change on the main course menu. Nevertheless, it was still yummy! Having such scrumptious breakfast really brightened up my day!

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Scrambled egg, pork sausages, pan fried chicken served on the plate

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I do admit that this is too heavy for a breakfast haha

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This is the omelete and scrambled egg station which I mentioned in the previous post ;)

So after having our breakfast, we decided to have a walk to explore the hotel's nearby area. Initially I wanted to visit the beach club (there is a private beach club which is only accessible to The Haven's hotel guests), but it turned out that it is more than a 10 minutes walk and the weather was so hot that I started to sweat so I demanded and wanted to go back to hotel immediately, LOL!

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The back entrance of The Haven which this is also the entrance to the villas section. Guests may also check in here.

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It was around 8.30am and the locals are getting busy already

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Passed by this shop and something caught my eyes

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What? Steve is gay? I didn't know that! O.o HAHA

We went back to hotel, checked out and waited for our butler from villa to pick us up at the hotel.

Let me story ya a little bit 'bout this villa...

While researching information for our Bali trip, I've came across many reviews written by travelers who had visited Bali and most of them suggested putting up stay in villa instead of hotel. And so I started to research more regarding the most recommended villa in Bali which offers fair price and high level of comfiness. And I found "The Ulin Villas and Spas" and decided to stay there.

Just in case you don't know, I'm a loyal fan of Tripadvisor and also a frequent contributor. Most of the information and itinerary regarding our Bali trip was actually referred to the previous traveling experience and advices provided by the contributors of Tripadvisor (kudos to them!). And The Ulin was ranked number 1 villa in Seminyak at that time which is also one of the reasons why I chose it.

I booked the accommodation by emailing the management of The Ulin. The usual process includes choosing the type of villa you prefer, then filling in the credit card authorization form as well as attaching a copy of your credit card (both sides) and email back to the management. When all is done, the management would send you a copy of the villa agreement which contains details regarding check in/out time and services/stuffs included in your package.

We opted for 1 bedroom villa which includes these:
- a 3m x 7m private swimming pool
- open air designer kitchen
- complimentary mini bar (replenished daily)
- air conditioned bed room with a king size bed
- air conditioned living room
- open plan dining area
- private spa gazebo
- spacious en-suite bathroom with soaking bathtub and separate shower
- complimentary internet access
- complimentary airport transfer pick up service 
- free drop off at Kuta and Seminyak areas
- daily breakfast served in your private villa
- complimentary welcome drinks and hot towels
- complimentary 20 minutes foot ritual massage 
- seasonal fresh fruits display upon arrival
- daily afternoon refreshments provided 
and the rests are basically the basic amenities which most hotels provide.

So before leaving Brunei, I forgot to inform the management of The Ulins regarding our pick up time but I did inform them that the pick up area is at The Haven Seminyak. Thus on the eve, the staff made a call to The Haven and asked to pass us a message regarding the pick up. How thoughtful of them!

Our butler came to pick us up in a Toyota Innova and I must say, Toyota still has the coolest air cond of all haha!

I bet most of you guys have already seen the videos of our villa in previous post. Below are the pictures :)

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Private villas located on each side of this long walk way. There are more inside.  

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The welcome towels and a private pool and gazebo at the back. 

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The open kitchen 

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All the kitchen utensils are provided in the villa; cooking pots, plates, glasses, cutlery and etc. 

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The complimentary mini bar! 

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The welcome drink ;) 

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It really made me felt like I was in paradise during our stay in the villa haha! 

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The private gazebo with massage beds provided. Guests may have their massage treatments in their own villas. 

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This be the living area and that door on the side leads to our bedroom 

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Our bedroom :D

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This is the wardrobe/dressing area 

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This is really embarrassing, open bathroom concept! But it was really cool though soaking in this bath tub at night, so relaxing~  

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The toilet amenities provided. I really love their body scrub soap! 

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Of course, with that open air bath tub, it wouldn't be completed without open air toilet. It really made me felt so "weird" and "uncomfy" =.=

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Like most hotels in Bali, the housekeeper only change the towels for you once every 2-3 days. 

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The complimentary fresh fruits display 

It was already mid afternoon when we checked in therefore our butler asked if we would like to have our complimentary afternoon tea set. Of course we said yes! :D

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Fresh watermelon juice!

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And sandwich!

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Ok, right after our afternoon tea Hubby couldn't wait to dip in the pool and here you see his sexy legs *wink wink* 

Next!

It was about 3.30pm and we felt like to explore the island more but couldn't contact the driver that we had hired few days earlier. However, considered ourselves lucky that before our Indonesian friends went back to Jakarta they had left us a name card of Pak Ito and asked us to contact him if we need a tour in Bali. And so we gave him a call and asked him to pick us up.

While waiting for Pak Ito, we decided to roam around the nearby area and these are what we found!


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Boutiques! There are so many chic boutiques that you can find in this areas but most of them seem quite expensive. 

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Other than boutiques, there are so many restaurants and cafes here! 

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Cafe Bali; which is one of the most recommended cafes by many tourists. 

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MAGIC!

At about 4.30pm, Pak Ito picked us up from The Ulins with his driver.

Let me brief you guys a little bit bout Pak Ito...

Pak Ito is an Indonesian Chinese who originated from Jakarta. He has moved to Bali many decades ago and his wife is a Balinese. Pak Ito has been in this industry for many many years that he had even experienced the down sloped of Bali tourism. Other than travel consultant, he is also a wedding organizer. Therefore, if you are planning on having your wedding in Bali feel free to contact Pak Ito and he is able to help you get discounts from most of the hotels or villas. Even if you're visiting Bali for fun (not for the wedding), Pak Ito is also able to give you suggestions and help you to book your accommodation at cheaper rates. Another thing is that Pak Ito was English educated so he speaks really fluent English. He is also able to help you in customizing your Bali tour itinerary.

All in all we still feel very very lucky to have him guided us during our Bali trip although it was only for 2 days but still it was really worthwhile! If we are to make a revisit to Bali, it's for sure that we are going to hire him again :D

So during our ride, we informed Pak Ito that we were pretty hungry and wanted to grab some bites. He
asked if we have tried any seafood in Bali and we said yes, at Jimbaran beach. But according to him, there was another place which also offers best and romantic seafood in Bali as well as sunset view. And that place is Melasti Suraya Mandala Restaurant.

Situated at the cliff, Melasti Suraya Mandala Restaurant is most popular among diners who seek for having romantic dinner while enjoying the amazing sunset view. Melasti is located at Tanah Lot, the temple which Hubby and I had visited on our day 2 in Bali. Initially, we did not want to return to that place as we had visited it but since Pak Ito highly recommended the restaurant so we thought why not, plus this time we were visiting the restaurant which is located on the other side of the temple.


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The parking lot, it's pretty obvious that Suzuki APV is Balinese's most favourited car hehe! 

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Bright and sunny but the sea breeze making me felt so cool~

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It was still early when we visited thus not many people yet 

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But some of the seats were booked and here you see three ladies trying to secure a table for themselves 

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And here is where we were seated; having our seafood dinner facing the big blue sea under the bright sun! 

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The menu! Similar to other seafood restaurants, Melasti also offers seafood meal package

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It was pretty scary to look down the cliff 

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I don't know why but this kinda remind me of LOTR haha! Nature at its beauty! 

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Diners may opt to sit inside the restaurant too 

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A local staff feeding the pigeon

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So cuteeeeeee!

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Another side of the dining area


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The fruit juice included in our set meal 

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Kacang~

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Corn soup 

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The waitress served these condiments on our table which already made our table full even before our food was served =/

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Spice up your life! 

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First dish 

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Grilled clams and prawns 

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A squid dish; this was really really delicious! 

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Grilled fish

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There were more patrons coming in after we had finished our meal :)

To be honest, the food here is much more expensive than Lia's Cafe and the only dish that we really like is the squid. Other dishes were average. So I would say that only if you want to enjoy such dining experience at the cliff top restaurant to enjoy the sunset view then you might want to consider dining here.


Total damage: IDR 715,000 (inclusive of service charges and tax)

Melasti Surya Mandala Restaurant (Tanah Lot)
Tel: 03617 437127



After our meal, Pak Ito decided to give us a tour at the Tanah Lot temple. This is for sure a good act after having such a heavy meal.

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A hawker stall selling all sort of drinks and even pop mee

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More stalls here

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If you still remember, during our first visit to Tanah Lot Temple it was actually in the morning thus bright sun, blue sky. This time we visited it in the late afternoon and it was so different. 

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I never thought that the change from blue to golden sky would make it looks such a big difference and it was really pretty! 

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As usual, since it's a tourist attraction thus there are always many people 

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Look how strong the wave was! It's no doubt why Bali is known as one of the world's best surfing spots  ;)

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This Balinese is carrying a Canon camera and printer around asking tourists if they want to take a picture at a charged rate. After printout, the picture would be framed nicely. 

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Pak Ito found us a good spot for sunset watching. But unfortunately, the sunset on that day wasn't as pretty as it was supposed to be :( 

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There was this sign saying no entry but still many people (especially couples) went down the cliff to sit there and enjoy the sunset. It's no doubt a suicidal act. 

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Instead of sitting on the rocks by the cliffs, some even went further down so that they could have better view. 

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And I managed to capture a shot of this guy doing "I'm sexy and I know it!" pose haha!

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Bye bye Mr. Sun!

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Oh ya, there was this Taiwanese couple who was doing their wedding photo shoot there as well 


Next was shopping time!

We told Pak Ito that we needed to buy some local snacks and souvenirs back home for our hungry family *evil grins* and asked him where in Bali can we get it. And so he brought us to Krisna.

Krisna is a place where you can find all sort of local souvenirs and snacks such as clothes, sarungs, hand bags, key chains, mugs, slippers and etc. It was like a shopping paradise for us! Ok, maybe just me haha! The store was really huge! Pretty much similar to Giant Rimba and what's more its business hours is 24/7 okie! So niceeeeee can?

Souvenir tip for everyone!

There is one thing that you must must must bring back from Bali which is "Kacang Disco"! It's basically deep fried peanuts which comes with all sorts of flavors such as chicken flavour, cheese, bbq, sambal and etc. If you want extra hot, also have! Trust me, you won't go wrong with this :D

Other things such as hand bags and necklaces are pretty cheap too and I bought quite a lot, lol!


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The entrance to the store

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An elephant statue placed outside the store

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Another service which Krisna provides is packaging service.

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I personally think that this is a very thoughtful service especially for a big shopper and some more the rate is pretty cheap charging at IDR 5000 per box which is less than a dollar in Bnd.

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And here is a picture of the staff packing our stuffs :)

After shopping, we told Pak Ito that we would like to visit the legendary Ku De Ta!

Phewiiiit!!!

We've heard and read just too much about Ku De Ta that we did not want to leave Bali with regrets. Die die must visit it okay?!

Initially we wanted to visit Potatohead and actually made a phone call to make reservation but it turned out that Hubby was wearing the wrong dress code. Anyway, both beach clubs are must visit in Bali so although we only managed to visit one we were still very happy!

Being a beach club, Ku De Ta is most popular for visiting during late afternoon as it was rated one of the few best places for sunset watching in Bali. We were told always during such hours, Ku De Ta would be very crowded and often fully booked (especially the day bed seats). Thus, this is also why we opted to visit it at night.

What makes Ku De Ta so unique and different from clubs that we usually heard or seen in our neighbouring countries is that it is a really high class and luxurious place for clubbing. Most of the visitors are actually foreigners and the price range is of course above mid-range.

The design and concept is undoubtedly one of the best that there are so many rave reviews regarding this beach club. You might think this place is overrated but you would definitely think the other way wrong after you've visited it.

It is certainly more than a beach club, it is a trend, a lifestyle icon.

Other than wine and dine, you may also find Ku De Ta boutique here and Ku De Ta also has its own music albums which are available for purchase. For more information regarding Ku De Ta, you may visit its website here.

Now let me show ya the wonderfulness of Ku De Ta!

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During theme event/party, this area would be the dance floor for clubbers

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The day bed area and it was already fully booked during our visit thus we didn't get to sit there :( 

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Part of the restaurant's dining area

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This is another side of it 

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More :)

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Now you know how big Ku De Ta is and there are actually more seats on the first floor! 

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The bar area and those are their bartenders :)

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Part of the bar seating area and it's dimmer here than the restaurant 

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Clearer view of the day bed section 

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View taken from our seat; so pretty can?!!! The beach is just in front of us and there were a few caucasians swimming in the water at that time. Most importantly, it's a private beach owned by the management thus there are security guards there making sure no trespassers. This is also to ensure the safeness of the guests.  

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My Pina Colada 

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L to R: Pina Colada IDR 110,000 / Mixed Juice IDR 30,000 / Kiwi Blueberry Apple IDR 60,000

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It was such a relaxing night~ Mr. Moon and sparkling stars lighting up the dark sky~  

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Another shot of the beach

Ito told us that Ku De Ta's washroom is really pretty and insisted that we should have a look at it. So, we did! Haha!

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The walkway to the washroom 

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And here is a picture taken inside the ladies and don't worry, I was the only person in the ladies when this picture was taken ;)

Total Damage: IDR 234,300 (inclusive of service charge and tax)

Ku De Ta
Jl. Kayu Aya 9, Seminyak Bali
Tel: +62 361 736969
Website: www.kudeta.net

Next, back to villa for more rest!

Here are some of the pictures of our villa taken at night :D

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The Ulin Villa and Spa 

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On the left it's the reception counter and on the right it's the spa treatment area

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The Ulin is so 'big' that at times it need a buggy to travel the guests and luggage to their private villas

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The spa treatment area; the treatment rooms is located on the left where there are more rooms to be found there. 

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Our private villa at night, very pretty right?! 

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Another shot 

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This is Hubby having his mid night swim :D 


Day 6 coming up soon!


Hunnie Signing Off~