Bali 2013

Gosh, I’m so way behind my travelogues… and to think I’m going to KL next weekend again to visit Bee and her new husband, and also to feast! Ok ok, let’s set that backlog to zero!

If you know me personally, you’d know that I don’t really fancy the sun and the sea. But all in the name of love, I decided to treat Mr Goh to Bali for his 3D2N birthday trip. I planned the entire trip because of planning nightmares during the Alaska trip, and I think the trip was fun! Well, at least he didn’t complain.

So I set off by purchasing a hotel voucher on Groupon. Then I scoured the Internet for cheap air tickets (I chose to fly there via Air Asia, and return via Tiger Airways). The hotel voucher included 2-way transfer so it was a breeze getting there. We had the most amazing room with a private pool, and the weather was gorgeous with perfect clear blue skies.

Lounge area & bed

Lounge area & bed

Bathroom has both rain shower and bath tub

Bathroom has both rain shower and bath tub

Looking out to the private pool deck from bathtub

Looking out to the private pool deck from bathtub

Our room, looking out to the private pool

Our room, looking out to the private pool

Private pool + mini deck?

Private pool + mini deck?

We also went for a massage at a spa nearby (recommended by Trip Advisor of course! You know I won’t be taking my chances by going to a dingy spa) and the surroundings were tranquil.

Non-air conditioned treatment room, but it wasn't warm at all

Non-air conditioned treatment room, but it wasn’t warm at all

What I was staring at the whole time during my massage.

What I was staring at the whole time during my massage.

His bath, before he dirtied the water.

His bath, after he dirtied the water.

His birthday dinner was arranged at PepeNero Bali, a romantic Italian restaurant that provides a great view of the sea. Well, I actually wanted to dine at Sardines coz you could get a great view of the rice paddy fields, but they don’t provide pickup services and so, it was off my list. But I know Bee went there on her”post-wedding, pre-honeymoon” trip and it was gorgeous!

PEPeNERO Bali

PEPeNERO Bali

View at PEPeNERO

View at PEPeNERO

Complimentary bread basket

Complimentary bread basket

Seafood ravioli

Seafood ravioli

Pork scallopini with pear, I think

Pork tenderloins with bacon & pear

We headed up to the roof bar for some drinks after returning from dinner, and we were the only ones on the roof (besides the staff). With the gentle breeze, twinkling stars and the warm ambient lights, it was more than I could ask for.

Main pool, in the middle of the hotel building.

Main pool, in the middle of the hotel building.

Roof bar during the day

Roof bar during the day

Bee & Steff would love it here!

Bee & Steff would love it here!

Intricate stone 'painting'

Intricate stone ‘painting’

Star light, star bright

Star light, star bright

Very cute mushroom lights that changes colour!

Very cute mushroom lights that changes colour!

I had made prior arrangements with the front desk to bring a slice of cake to the room after dinner. And the staff were very observant as to when we returned to our room after drinks at the roof bar. A slice of cake was promptly brought to our room about 15 minutes after we went back to the room, without me having to call or remind them.

Planned a surprise for him

Planned a surprise for him

 Slightly closer to departure date, I chanced upon a deal for Sea Walker activity for 2. Now I know Mr Goh enjoys diving, and he yearns to go diving with me one day (sorry babe, that will NEVER happen). I can’t swim and am terribly afraid of the water. But I did some research on this Sea Walker thingy, and it seems fun. You are equipped with this helmet that supplies your oxygen while you’re in the sea, feeding the fishes. So anyway, it seems fun, and so I went ahead to purchase the voucher.
 
I don’t have photos of this activity since obviously my camera & phone would have to be left in the locker, and I’m too cheapskate to purchase photos & videos from them. But you can easily search for videos on Youtube to see how the activity is like. It’s REALLY fun!! *side note: I just watched a recent episode of ANTM where they went to Bali, and they had this as their challenge – to do a catwalk in the sea, with the Sea Walker helmet*

Day 2 lunch was at a place called Seafood Lagoon, by recommendations of the hotel staff. The food wasn’t very fantastic and not exactly cheap too. To be honest, I was pissed during lunch because I had a few places in mind and asked Mr Goh to ask front desk to help us call for a taxi. He came back and told me that front desk had suggested Seafood Lagoon and he accepted it. AND we had to pay 50,000 IDR for 1 way transport.

Keropok

Keropok

His fried rice

His fried rice

My fish otak

My fish otak

Marred by the bad experience during lunch, we were unwilling to venture out for dinner on the second night, and so decided to dine in. Surprisingly the in-house restaurant was quite good and not at all expensive. Pity we didn’t find out earlier!

Must have vegs

Must have vegs

Pizza

Pizza

Very yummy cream fettucine

Very yummy cream fettucine

Polished!

Polished!

Our hotel voucher also includes breakfast buffet, the spread was just sufficient. Well, it’s not part of a big hotel chain, and occupancy rates were not high, so probably that was why the buffet did not have a wide variety of food. They did have the usual suspects though: egg station, cereals and fruits, asian delights like porridge and fried bee hoon.

How's your day so far?

How’s your day so far?

Our return flight was not till the evening, so I had arranged for late check out at 1pm. We purposely had a light breakfast on Day 3, so that we can go and try the famed Babi Guling! Man, I can’t believe that Mr Goh has not even heard of it though he has visited Bali before. Evidently, food is not on my man’s mind. I did some research when I was in Singapore, and found that the most famous Babi Guling was a good 2 hour drive away from where the hotel was, so I didn’t even consider that. I settled on a stall, which was reportedly almost as good, and only 10 mins drive away.

Pak Dobiel babi guling

Pak Dobiel babi guling

All displayed out for quick service

All displayed out for quick service

Balinese cai fan

Balinese cai fan

So, what is babi guling? Most parts of Indonesia practise Muslim and so it is hard to find pork on those islands. But Balinese people mainly practises Buddhism, and so they can eat pork. And roasted suckling pig is one of their specialties. Babi guling is essentially a plate of rice, piled with shredded pork meat, a piece of crackling, fried intestine, pork sausage, pork satay, and lawar. They also serve a mean green chilli mix, which makes the whole dish spicy but yet moreish.

 What makes babi guling so yummy is that the pig is typically marinated and stuffed with a concotion of spices such as tumeric, lemongrass, chilli, garlic and ginger. The pig is then slow roasted over a spit fire to let those flavors slowly permeate through the flesh. The fat underneath the skin is rendered out via the intense heat and the skin, in the process, becomes very crispy. Since we had a couple of hours to chill before we leave for the airport, and we had to check out already, we decided to have lunch at the in-house restaurant again. 

Table settings

Table settings

Fresh watermelon juice

Fresh watermelon juice

Caesar salad

Caesar salad

Cream of mushroom soup, that tasted exactly like Campbell's

Cream of mushroom soup, that tasted exactly like Campbell’s

They ran out of the delicious cream sauce, so we had bolognese. Cream sauce was better.

They ran out of the delicious cream sauce, so we had bolognese. Cream sauce was better.

Fried bananas

Fried bananas

Well… I should have known myself… this trip was meant to be a relaxing trip, filled with food and massages and just whiling the time away. I wouldn’t have time to go shopping, besides the hotel wasn’t exactly near a shopping centre. I had decided to purchase some baggage allowance last minute, for “just in case” shopping… in the end, I left Bali with the same amount of stuff I brought into Bali. Paid good money for the baggage allowance which wasn’t used AT ALL.

Cost of this trip:

  1. Accomodation at Amaroossa Suite Bali – Amaroossa Suite room 3D2N – S$273
  2. Air Asia tickets for 2 – S$322 including 15kg baggage
  3. Tiger Airways tickets for 2 – IDR 1,449,800 (about S$155)
  4. Departure tax for 1 – IDR 150,000 each (about S$16)
  5. Sekar Jagat Spa Bali massage for 2 – US$100 (about S$130)
  6. Sea walker activity for 2 – S$148
  7. Food + transport for 2- around S$200
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