29 November 2016

Escape to Bali

In the beginning of last October I had a short business trip to Bali and a chance to walk around Bali for one day. It has been 3 years I never been to Bali. Foreigners might not waste opportunity visiting Bali often if they live in Indonesia. Just take a look at one colleague of mine from UK who went to Jakarta 4 times this year for business trip ALWAYS ended his trip with few days holiday in Bali. Yet here I am going to Bali not even once a year.

I arrived in Ngurah Rai Airport around 10.45AM. I heard that we could not find legal taxi easily in Bali Airport that you have to walk outside the airport to get one. Many rental cars are waiting in the arrival halls but need to bargain; not convenient at all. There are online car services in Bali such as Uber and GrabCar, but they could not easily take guests from the airport because they would be confronted by those rental cars drivers. I tried to order Uber anyway, then the appointed driver told me to meet up in Departure hall, to avoid rental car drivers in Arrival hall. We then safely went out from the airport.

It took about 30 minutes and IDR50,765 to my hotel in Denpasar city. I checked my Uber receipt and surprised to see discount IDR50,000 on my trip. I practically paid nothing for that trip. I just found out Uber gave me discount IDR50,000 each for 5 trips on that day! Was that because I used Uber in another city for the first time? I was so excited. Today's journey was gonna be sponsored by Uber, yayyy!

I checked-in to my hotel just to drop my bags and not expecting to be able to go into the room because it was still before noon. But they said my room was about to finish cleaned up so I could go inside in short time. Ok then, I waited in the lobby while checking my office email. Not long time, I was given the key to my room. I took about 1.5 hours to relax a bit, take Dzuhur prayer and check my office email again (I was there for business tho).

Around 1PM I took my second discounted Uber trip to Warung Khrisna in Sanur, recommended by a friend who lived in Bali before. This restaurant offers Nasi Campur Ayam (mixed rice with chicken). Nasi Campur is a Balinese food usually comes with pork, but this restaurant serves Nasi Campur with chicken so it was safe to eat for Moslems. Other than meat, this rice meal also comes with spices, veggies, peanuts, eggs, crackers, spicy chili sauce and Sate Lilit (another Balinese cuisine). One portion of Nasi Campur Ayam plus orange juice cost me IDR35,000.

From Warung Khrisna, I walked about 900m to Pura Blanjong. It was a bad idea because (1) 2.30pm was soooo fucking hot, (2) the roads were not pedestrian friendly, (3) nothing much to see in this temple. Okay, perhaps there were many to see, but I didn't explore much. When I came there, the entrance gate was closed but not locked. I opened it and let myself in, but not too long. It was so serene and quiet that made me scared being alone there, like being in out of place. It's like if I saw a tourist came sightseeing in a small mosque of my neighborhood, strange right? I think that temple was mostly for praying purpose, and not for tourism at all.

Pura Blanjong

After that, I ordered my third Uber to pick me.up from Pura Blanjong to Nusa Dua complex, which cost me around IDR70,000. Here I just realized that Uber in Bali charged toll fee and parking fee automatically to my credit card. In Uber Jakarta, the toll fee is separated from the bill. That's why when we're about to pass the toll gate to Nusa Dua, I immediately grabbed cash (IDR11,000) and gave it to the driver so he could pay the toll, and the driver did not inform me anything about it. Then in my bill I was being charged again another IDR11,000. I could file a refund tho, and in the end it was refunded by Uber in the next 5 days.

Anyway, Nusa Dua area is really a nice place. It was a very clean, tidy and secluded complex with luxury hotels along the beach, nice pedestrian walks, trees and gardens. No wonder most conferences and seminars are held in hotels in this area. Actually I had been here 10 years ago when I was still in the university. The lecturers of my department held a joint IT conference with a university from Japan, and some students were asked to help. I was one of them. We were there to work and not much time to enjoy Nusa Dua. This time I planned only a short time here, just to see the Water Blow (couldn't get the epic photo though), but ended up walking around there until sunset. I enjoyed my time just sitting on the beach, watching people swimming, and strolling on the green roads. I also stopped by the large mall there called Bali Collection. What, can't go without visiting malls? Well the mall was quite different than usual big malls in Jakarta. This semi outdoor mall only has one floor with beautiful Bali decoration and sells cute Bali art things.

Not so much Waterblow

Nusa Dua Beach

I ordered Uber again to take me back to Sanur, with pickup point in Bali Collection. The first Uber driver asked me to cancel it because he did not dare to confront many car rental drivers (illegal taxi drivers) that were waiting in this mall. I reordered Uber again and this time the driver asked me to walk few metres to meet in BIMC Hospital instead of Bali Collection, again to avoid those car rental drivers.

Next stop was dinner in Warung Mak Beng in Sanur, recommended by the same friend. This friend of mine was working around Sanur before so she knew nice foods around Sanur better than other area, so I had lunch and dinner today both in Sanur even though my hotel was in Denpasar and I went sightseeing in Nusa Dua. Both meals were worth it and full with local people. When I told Uber driver to go to Warung Mak Beng, he asked me whether I lived in Bali or often visited Bali because not many tourists knew this place. The menu was only one: fish soup and fried fish with super spicy chili sauce. It was very nice. One complete fish portion and orange juice cost me around IDR57,000. It was located near Sanur beach and the ferry port to cross to Nusa Lembongan island. On the street already near the restaurant, I was being charged IDR5000 for I-don't-know-what ticket. Why should I pay just for passing a public street? Very strange.

At 7.30pm I ordered my last Uber for the day. My transport expense that day was less than IDR80,000, Uber cheap! I went back to my hotel (early in Bali time) to try the hotel spa, but it was full, gahhh! It was so disappointed because I already thought about it since I checked-in the hotel in the morning. Ohh God, I am ready yet to work tomorrow before taking the spa! Haha.

The next 2 days were full working without any chance for sightseeing. I managed to get a spot in hotel spa on the next evening. I also tried several more Bali authentic cuisines such as Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk (spicy chicken), Ikan Bakar dan Goreng Khas Jimbaran (grilled and fried fish), and Bebek Tepi Sawah (fried duck). All Balinese foods are so much spicy, and I thought my Sumatera tongue could handle it but I was wrong. The rice portion of every meal there was huge that I thought I could not finish it. But no, I could, because the rice was covering the spicy taste.

Balinese Foods

All 3 days in Bali I always took Uber to go anywhere, it was so convenient. On my last day, I took Uber from my workplace to the airport and asked the driver to stop by in Krisna Oleh-Oleh to buy some souvenirs home. The driver was not waiting too long, because I knew and listen down already what I wanted ro buy and I shopped fast.

That was a nice short break from hustle and bustle of Jakarta city. Hope to visit this Indonesia paradise more often in the future.

Warung Khrisna
Jl. Kutat Lestari No. 4, Sanur, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80228
Opening Hour: 07.00-17.00

Warung Mak Beng
 Jl. Hang Tuah No. 45, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali
Opening Hour: Monday to Sunday 08.00-22.00

Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk
Jl. Merdeka No. 88, Renon, Denpasar, Bali 80239
Opening Hour: Monday to Sunday 10.00-21.00

Ikan Bakar dan Goreng Khas Jimbaran
JL. Pulau Kawe, No. 57B, Pedungan, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80114

Bebek Tepi Sawah @ Krisna Gallery and Resto
Jalan Diponogoro No.146, Dauh Puri Kangin, Kota Denpasar, Bali 80222
Opening Hour: Monday to Sunday 10.00-22.00

Krisna Oleh-Oleh Khas Bali
Jalan Raya Tuban No.2X, Tuban, Kuta
Open 24 hours

Read also my review of the hotel I stayed in Bali during this trip.

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