Exploring Bali Solo

Tagging along with my dear Hubby on his overseas working trip is proving to be a fun thing for me. Though his schedule was usually lined up from morning till night, I was keen to explore the foreign places even by myself (read about the trip to Phuket last year).

This year, when Hubby went to Bali for his business conference, I tagged along as well. It was a rather short 3D2N trip for me though, as I did not want to take too many days off work and the kids.

I landed in Bali by myself (Hubby went a day earlier) and reached the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Nusa Dua in the evening.

The view that greeted me at the lobby was spectacular!

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Hubby left the room key card at the reception so that I could get into the room myself.

As I rested in the room, I checked out where was the nearest attraction I should visit for the evening. There was nothing much in Nusa Dua. It’s mostly luxurious hotel resorts and the most happening place was Bali Collection, supposedly the largest shopping mall in Nusa Dua.

So I made my way there, using Grab, which only costs RP60,000. I asked the concierge earlier to check out how much a taxi would cost and they said RP200,000! Wow, that was such a rip-off!

When I reached Bali Collection, I was surprised at how quiet the place was (considering that it was supposed to be the most happening place around).

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After walking around for half an hour, I went to look for a place to have my dinner.

This was my dinner, with Netflix keeping me company:

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Being in Bali, a massage is a must 🙂

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Having experienced ‘semi-solo’ travelling last year, I wised up this time and booked myself a tour instead of trying to go around the place by myself. I looked for the most suitable tour online and found one in http://www.getyourguide.com which costs only RM363.67 (including lunch and all entrance tickets) for a 9-hour tour.

I woke up the next day at 7am and went to meet the tour guide at the lobby at 8am. My tour guide-cum-driver was a young man named Cepot.

We’ve used the services of Get Your Guide twice in Bangkok and we traveled in a group with around 6 – 8 other travelers. So I was so surprised when I asked Cepot how many people are traveling with us and he said that I was the only one. It seemed that I had booked a private tour without realizing it. The first thing that came to my mine was, was Cepot going to be chatty and keep talking throughout our trip? Or was there going to be awkward silence throughout the trip as I am not a really chatt person? Well, it was too late to worry about all that.

First stop was the batik factory in Batu Bulan, an hour’s drive away from the hotel. They had a small section to show how batik was painted and a large retail area for all their batik merchandise.

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Next was the silver factory in the nearby Sari Dewi Batu Bulan, which also had a small silver production area for tourists to view and a large retail area.

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I guess these 2 places were meant to make tourists like me to buy more…

The next stop was more interesting…  the Pura Puseh Batuan temple which dates all the way back to the year 944.

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There are 3 temples there, though I can’t differentiate one from the other. Cepot explained about the Hindu religion to me as we walked around the temple ground. Did you know that Balinese are religious people? 90% of Balinese are Hindu and every village has their own temple. And in every family home, they have their individual family temples as well!

After spending about 45 minutes there (with Cepot expertly explaining the meanings of the statues and such), we headed to the nearby artist village of Ubud to have a look at paintings for sale. There was an artist hard at work when we reached.

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Being someone who does not know how to appreciate art, I spent just 15 minutes there browsing through the paintings with no intention of getting any.

When Cepot asked if I want to see the wood carving factory, I told him that we could skip it as I no intention to buy any wooden stuff back as well.

So, we headed to the Monkey Forest which was located in Padangtegal, Ubud. The Monkey Forest is home to more than 800 long-tailed monkeys and they roam around freely in the lush, green forest.

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The forest sanctuary, which covers 12.5 hectare of land, provided a nice walk around the tall trees and free-roaming monkeys.

Here’s a photo with Cepot:

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Next was the drive to the rice terrace which was also in Ubud. On the way there, we passed by many scenic paddy fields, beautifully landscaped against the bright blue sky.

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According to Cepot, the paddy at the rice terrace was harvested just 3 months ago, otherwise it would have been more beautiful.

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My stomach was growling by then. Fortunately, the next stop was lunch.

It was a buffet lunch at Batur Sari Swing in Kinta Mani with a great view overlooking the volcano mountain and scenic lake. The view was indeed spectacular but the food was just so-so. Not sure how much the lunch costs as it was part of the tour package.

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After my stomach had its fill, it was time to move on to the next destination – a popular spot for a popular Bali product. Yup, Bali coffee, or more specifically, Coffee Luwak, also known as cat poo coffee.

So we made our way to Satria Agrowisata to have a closer look at how the coffee is processed.

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There were a few civet cats sleeping peacefully in cages. They actually look quite cute.

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Here’s how their poo looks like:

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After being thoroughly cleaned, the beans from the poo are ready to be processed, the traditional way.

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There were a few types of coffee, tea and cocoa processed at the plantation and I got to sample 8 types for free. If I like any of it, I could just buy it there.

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As I have never tried the Coffee Luwak before, I took the opportunity to sample a small cup at RP50,000. It’s a bit stronger than what I am used to. I tried a few small sips and decided that I haven’t acquired the taste for this exotic Catpoo-chino.

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After a relaxing time sipping coffee amidst the lush greenery, it was time for our final destination.

The Tegenungan Waterfall was located close to Ubud. It looked beautiful but you need to go quite a long flight of stairs down (like over a hundred stairs!). I did not go down all the way, in case I get too tired for the climb back up.

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That marked the end of my one-day tour. I was quite tired by then and the drive back to the hotel took another one hour.

By the time I reached the hotel, it was around 6pm. Having no plans for dinner, I took a Grab and went to Bali Collection again for dinner and another round of massage.

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The next morning, dear Hubby was finally free to have brunch with me before we left for the airport.

The view as we left the hotel was just lovely against the blue sky and ocean.

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Having a tour guide to bring me around on my one-day exploration of Bali has definitely made the trip much more worthwhile compared to the trip to Phuket.

We’ll definitely be coming to Bali again in the near future. There are still so many places that I missed out during this short trip.

So, see you again soon, Bali!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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