Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bali 13-03-08

We woke up as early as 07:30 to get ready for a full-day visit of the Bali Island. Started off the day with American Breakfast Set at the hotel. Both LKC and I had the same breakfast set throughout our stays in Casa Padma Hotel (3 days). They do serve us with other menu such as Indonesia breakfast (nasi goreng/ mee goreng) and cereals set. After experiencing their nasi goreng on our very first meal in Bali, it would be better to play on the safe side.

Bacon with scramble egg, croissant, white bread and wholemeal bread, orange juice and tea
We left the hotel at around 08:30 and the first agenda for the day would be the Barong and Kris Dance at Batu Bulan. This performance represents an eternal fight between good and evil spirits. A Barong (it made some stupid sound, kiap-kiap-kiap) represents good spirit and Rangda represents evil one. Frankly speaking, it was kinda waste of time as the whole performance took us around 1 hour and we did not know what it was trying to deliver. Anyway, as a tourist, we need to know a little bit of their culture.

The Barong and Kris Dance
Next, we headed to Celuk Village which is famous for Gold and Silver works. Their handworks were so detailed and neat. We wanted to buy a piece of silver engraved with a Balinese dancing lady but our bargaining skill failed. The salesgirl offered us 25000 Rupiah each and we tried to ask for 30000 Rupiah for 2. The salesgirl did not want to layan us and put the frames back to the wall and walked away. We tried to walk away in hope that she would call us back to accept the deal but she never do so. embarassing.

Sticking the bead one-by-one

Very fine masterpiece
Then we headed to Mas - the woodcarving centre. We thought that it was a woodcarving factory where they would show us the woodcarving process. In fact it was not a factory, it is just another " souvenirs shopping centre". The goods being sold there were all end products, which means it had already been finely carved. I bought 2 packs of the Bali Coffee and a pair of sandals for my niece.
The next agenda on the list was the Kintamani tour. We stopped at somewhere to view the magnificent view of Mount Batur - still active volcano. We couldn't enjoy the view much as it was quite misty that time and also we were bugged by the local people begging us to buy the souvenirs from them. Even when our tour guide told them we were not interested and to allow us to take the photos first, they still kept bugging us. We did not say anything when they approached us and they bargained the price themselves. We quickly ran back to the van in hope of escaping from them but our mission failed. When Wayan tried to close the door for us, the group of locals blocked him from doing so. These locals consisted of young (as young as baby) and old. The mums were carrying the baby and begging us to buy from them. I remember very clearly that there was girl, should be less than 12 years old, was trying very very hard to beg us to buy from her. She even put the souvenirs on my lap in hope that I would buy from her. Her determination was so strong, she kept on decreasing the price and begging (in very very sad tone) us to buy from her. At one point, I felt like buying from her as I appreciate her enthusiasm and at the same time pitying her. At the end, I did not buy from her as I knew we will be surrounded by them if they see me taking out the wallet.

The misty Mount Batur

Statues built for Nyepi Day celebration
Since it was quite misty and couldn't see the active volcano, we headed to Restoran Suling Bali for buffet lunch. Again, we were "bugged" by the locals during our lunch. They showed us their products from the outside of the restaurant through the glass windows. We quickly finished our lunch and went to the back of the restaurant to take some photos. Thank God, the sky was so clear after lunch. We could clearly see the volcano and the view was just too magnificent.

Looks nice? Not at all.

Back view of the restaurant

Mount Batur volcano

Look at the volcano...don't look at LKC's big tummy.
Next, we stopped by at some farm. Wayan became our geography teacher by showing us different types of plants in the farm. I wasn't a good student. I wasn't paying attention by the teacher was teaching. I was busy taking photos of the plants. I have the photos of the plant but I do not know the name of the plants. Sigh.

Forgot the name...wasn't paying attention...pai seh

Vanilla and buah salak
After the geography lesson, we rested at a small hut to enjoy the drinks served to us and also the cooling weather. We were served with drinks like Mocha (Bali Coffee + Cocoa), Bali Coffee, Cocoa and Ginger Tea. They even gave us some buah salak to try. LKC bought a box of 5 sachets ginger tea from there. Quite costly if I'm not mistaken, around RM2 per sachet.

Resting at the hut while drinking something hot on a cold weather...superb!!

Clockwise from top left: Mocha, Bali Coffee, Cocoa and ginger tea.
Middle: Buah Salak

Coffee bean (before), roasting the coffee bean

Vanilla and bunga cengkih
After the geography lesson, we headed to the holy springs of Pura Titra Empul at Tampak Siring. It is a traditional Balinese water spring temple.

Titra Empul

Titra Empul
On our way to Pasar Ubud for shopping spree, we stopped in the middle of somewhere to snap some photos of the paddy field. The paddy was grown on the hill slope, unlike the one you seen in Kedah.

Very comfy for the eyes
We continued our journey to Pasar Ubud, which is the center of Balinese paintings. I bought some souvenirs, a small painting and some photo frames from this market. It was so tiring shopping at this market as we had to bargain and bargain for every single item.
Our dinner was supposed to be covered in this trip, but Sze Wei's friend recommended to try the Crispy Duck. We did not go to the originator of the crispy duck as it was fully booked for the night, so we opted the more relaxing one (according to Wayan), "Bebek" Tepi Sawah Restaurant. The restaurant was located next to a paddy field, which made the environment so relaxing. We ordered two sets of crispy duck (56000 Rupiah each), one set of smoked chicken (35000 Rupiah) and a set of grilled prawn (58000 Rupiah). The crispy duck just tasted like the ayam kampung goreng, the one we have in Malay food stall. The duck was deeply fried till crispy. It was a bit too dry by eating it alone. The set was served with sambal and fried onion oil. I think the smoked chicken that I had tasted better than the crispy duck. Anyway, it was worth trying.

Tepi Sawah Restaurant

Crispy Duck

Smoked Chicken

Grilled prawn
We arrived at the hotel at around 19:00. We received 15 minutes free massage from the Bunga Bali Spa at the hotel. Since it was still early when we arrived at the hotel, I went for the free massage. I received 30 minutes of free massage as LKC wasn't interested in it. Oh man, it was a very great session. I could hear my bone "klik-klak"ing when the masseur massaged my back.
After the massage, LKC and Sze Wei went to cybercafe to online, while Seah Nee and I walked around the Kuta street. We were looking around for the hair braiding stall but it had already closed. We ended up at the bead accessories shop and bought some bracelets. After walking around the Kuta street, LKC and I jumped in to the swimming pool for swimming. The weather was so hot and it was so refreshing "soaking" in the water while having a can of beer. Both Seah Nee and Sze Wei did not bring their swimming attire, they just sat next to the pool playing 15-20 and drinking beer.
After shower, it was time to makan. For supper, we went to Warung Rama Restaurant, just few steps away from our hotel. We had a luxury meal for supper that night. We ordered a set of mixed grilled seafood, which consisted of lobster, prawns, squid, fish, fries and salad, and a beef steak. The mixed grilled seafood cost 299000 Rupiah (approx RM100) which was really cheap and really very yummy. The beef steak cost 55000 Rupiah. We had beers and played cards before calling off the day.

Mixed grilled seafood

Beef steak