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Published: December 5th 2015
Ngurah Rai International Airport
We left the apartment at 5AM and arrived in Bali at 3PM after connecting in Taipei.
On November 26 we woke at 4:10AM excited to be off for a hot break to Sanur, Bali. KAS celebrates American Thanksgiving so there was no school on Thursday and Friday. Everyone gets a 4 day weekend. It was 19.4C with a wind, what a shock as this is the first time we have seen the thermometer under 20! We closed the windows and headed for the airport.
We had downloaded the mobile check-in app to check in BUT when we got to the airport, our phones wouldn't connect to Wi-Fi. Lesson: TAKE a screenshot of them so you don't need Wi-Fi access. Our flights to Bali were uneventful and we managed to watch a couple of movies, read, eat a good meal and nap during the 5 hour Taipei to Denpasar leg of the journey. What fun when we reached the Bali airport...none of our 6 debit and credit cards worked in the machines! And the currency kiosks couldn't exchange our Taiwan NT. Finally a security guard suggested we walk to the domestic terminal where there was a bank of ATM's and try our luck there. There, we were at last able to get cash and also exchange 1000
Mahabharata Statue at Denpasar, Bali
We drove past this most amazing statue as we made our way from the airport to Sanur, about a 40 minute ride.
Taiwan money for 250 000 rupees.
The exchange rate when we were in Bali was about 10,430 IDR (rupees) for 1 CAD. We ordered a cab (150,000 IDR) for the 45 minute ride to the Oasis Lagoon Hotel in Sanur. It was around 4PM by the time we checked in. We settled in and then off we went to explore the area. The street was lined with many restaurants, travel kiosks, shops and spas. We pulled into a bar after Maurice exclaimed that he'd had enough walking and we both needed a beer. Bintang is the local beer and tastes quite like Pilsner in Canada. After visiting with a fellow from Holland we decided to take his advice and have supper in the night market. He informed us that it was very safe in Bali and it was only about a 15 minute walk. We had a little chicken, shrimp, fish, spicy vegetables and rice but no beer; the market was Hindu and they didn't serve alcohol. We shopped a bit and then walked back to the hotel where we had a quick swim and then were off to bed!
Early next morning, we could hear roosters crowing
Oasis Lagoon Hotel Lobby
We were very pleased with our hotel.
in the distance, dogs howling and doves cooing. What a great way to wake up in Bali! The hotel served a terrific breakfast buffet and then headed to the beach. The Oasis Lagoon had an area on the beach which was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. We found it, got towels and front row chairs on the sand overlooking the water. The view was stunning! There is a barrier reef which protects the beach from the ocean waves in the Badung Strait. Because the sand was so hot, Linda had to run across it to get to the water. We alternated between laying in the shade under the umbrella reading and swimming in the warm shallow water. There was a little convenience bar about 20 meters away which served nice cold Bintang! In less than 2 hours, we were already feeling the sun, and so we decided to shower and walk the beach.....in the shade, ( Yep, we were burnt in such a short time). We walked as far as the Grand Inna, checking it out for Annette and Lionel's up coming trip to Bali in February. , Sanur, Bali has a lovely boardwalk which is lined
One of the Swimming Pools
We made good use of the pool. It was refreshing to take a quick dip before heading off to bed for the night.
with small shops and restaurants. Lunch on the beach was awesome! The local food was saucy but not spicy. What spectacular views!
We parted ways as Linda went to get a haircut and head massage while Maurice headed down the street for a 90 minute Balinese massage. We met after at our pool where we cooled off before catching a cab to Kuta for their world famous sunset. Sanur has a wonderful quiet beach and is mostly visited by middle aged (like us) tourists and young families, many from Europe. Kuta, just on the other side of the airport, is known as an ideal surfing location and is occupied by a younger more boisterous crowd, many from Australia. We were dropped off at the Hard Rock Hotel, crossed the street and walked through the wall separating the street from the beach. We strolled along enjoying the sights and the crowd before settling in for a beer. There were locals manning small beer stalls with beach chairs by the wall. A 20 year old local brought us each a beer which gave us access to use his chairs....good deal for all! Bintang costs 20,000 IDR in the grocery stores, 22
The Other Pool
They had 2 pools separated by a bridge that was touching the water. You could only access the second one by swimming under the 2 meter wide bridge or renting a pool side room.
in the convenience stores and only 25 on the beach. We watched the sun set while sitting in chairs, enjoying a bintang, watching the surfers and the crowds and visiting with our chair seller. His job was picking up the beer at 7AM and selling cold drinks to tourists for a 5,000 rupees profit per drink until 7:30PM....everyday.
Later we went to an oriental/ western/ Indonesian restaurant where we had a million rupee meal of manis shrimp, oysters, Indonesian fried rice and Indonesian salad... And 2 big (500ml)Bintang! It was a little pricier than expected but we enjoyed choosing the manis and oysters from the tanks. We cabbed back to Sansur, exchanged NT at the Circle K at a good rate, then headed back to the room.
Next morning Aryana was waiting for us. Aryana was the cab driver who drove us from the airport to the hotel on Thursday. He impressed us with his politeness and knowledge about Bali, so we engaged him for the whole day Saturday to tour the Ubud area. Our first stop was to see the Bali Biradari Batik painting. Workers weave baskets, ornaments and cloth, and paint the materials with wax. In
Our First Bintang
We went for a walk down the street to get our bearings and this little bar beckoned. We met a Holland fellow who worked in East Timor and visited Sanur often. He gave us some tips, for example how to get to the night market where we had supper.
only a couple of minutes, Linda had a motif painted on her top. From there we saw The Barong Traditional Dancing. The costumes were very elaborate but the dancers must have been cooking under all that finery!!! I know we were hot just watching them. Next on Aryana's "must see" list was an old traditional Balinese home. Generations lived together in a compound where there was a cooking house, different sleeping huts for adults as well as for the boys and the girls, a garden, pens of chickens and a private temple in a corner. As we left, we discovered that there were stone carvers next door, and watched as they chipped away at the sandstone, creating the most elaborate statues and figurines. From there we visited the Batuan Temple. We were given silky saris to wear, as knees must not show. Saturday was the Hindu day of celebration for 'Science and Knowledge' so there was a lot of offerings (money, food, incense and flower blossoms) being delivered to the temple. The women were in beautiful yellow or white lace tops, the men in white head gear and shirts.
There was a lot of cheering and yelling going on
A buffet breakfast was included in the cost of our room and it turned out to be fantastic. It included made to order omelets, eggs, bacon, sausages, a fruit bar, a salad bar, a bread bar as well as Indonesian food buffet.
right next to this gorgeous Balinese temple and Aryana told us it was cock fighting and that we were allowed to watch and bet. So we did, watch that is! We watched how the men (only men), displayed their roosters. We observed how they decided which cocks would fight and then the betting began. The cocks had the little knife (spur) attached to one or both legs. As the fight was about to get underway the men bet wildly. The cocks were riled up to fight, then released and they went at each other frantically! The fight lasted under a minute with one cock bleeding to death. 2 other cocks were riled up and released to fight. After about a minute one was cut but not killed and tried to escape. Both cocks were placed in a large basket to fight to the death, but the one refused to engage, so the fight ended. It was only then that we noticed a few other female tourists watching the cock fights.
Bali is famous for wood carving. They use crocodile wood, hibiscus, mahogany and teak to create unbelievable pieces of art. They use every part of the tree for tables,
The beach is protected by a barrier reef, so the waves are gentle and the water is warm.
chairs, sculptures of all sizes and then chips are used for incense and kindling. From there we went to an art gallery filled with the most amazing art for sale. The pieces were huge and diverse, modern and traditional. We drove past Ubud to Baturiti where Aryana knew of a restaurant perched on the edge of the highway overlooking rice terrace fields. We enjoyed traditional Indonesian dishes for lunch while gazing at the most amazing scenery. Aryana explained how they cultivated the fields by hand and grew 4 crops a year, 3 of rice and another one of watermelon, corn, or other leafy vegetables. From lunch we headed to the Bali Pulina Coffee Plantation where we were taught how they make Kopi Luwak. Kopi luwak, or civet coffee, refers to the coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. We observed the process and then had a tasting of various flavours, and of course, bought some ground coffee.
Aryana insisted that we head to Gha Gajah to see the Elephant cave. About 1000 people a day visit this cave and the surrounding temple area. Today being a special day, many offerings were left
8 Minute Walk
Our hotel has a beach area reserved for guests. They have towels, loungers and umbrellas set up for guests, and there is a little bar serving cold beer within 20 meters. How good is that?
at the 3 altars inside the cave. We were shown the various areas and took a hike around the paths and to the fresh water spring where we washed our faces and arms to bring on good fortune. We visited another art gallery on the way back to Sanur and loved many pieces.....all to be purchased another time. Our car and driver for the 11 hour day cost us 500 000 rupees which is under $50 CAD, so we didn't mind offering him a generous tip for his efforts. We also made arrangements for him to take us to local market for souvenirs the next morning before delivering us to the airport.
Back in Sanur, we exchanged 1000 NT for 406,000 IDR at the Circle K before deciding on ribs for dinner. We found a tiny local restaurant that served a half rack of BBQ ribs in sauce, a seafood rice dish, 2 large beer and a watermelon cocktail which cost us 300,000 rupees, or under $30 CAD. After all that walking we felt we had earned a foot massage, so we both got a foot reflex/massage for 100,000 rupees for 40 minutes at Riska. One masseuse had us
This lovely boardwalk extends all the way along the beach. There's the ocean, trees and sand on one side, and restaurants, shops and hotels on the other.
laughing with her silly stories! Then we rushed back to the hotel for a swim before the 9PM pool curfew.
Sunday morning, we went for a walk along the beach followed by another massage. We showered, packed and checked out by 10:30AM. Aryana arrived as we were Skyping with Annette and Lionel. They exchanged contact info and Aryana will greet them at the airport in February. Aryana drove us to the local market where we spent a million rupees on souvenirs. Then we headed to the airport for our flights back to Taiwan.
What a wonderful experience! We loved Bali and hope to return spend more time exploring more of this beautiful tiny island and its wonderful warm people!
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