Saturday, 20 January 2018

Bali: The land of 'good vibes'.

Why the title? Read on to know the answer.


Lembongan Island, you gorgeous thing!

To start it off, I researched & re-researched about Bali for about 2 months before finalizing the travel and the hotel. The hotel we picked was at Nusa Dua, which has a line of 4-5 star hotels. Travelers usually prefer to stay at Kuta, which has budget friendly hotels and is also THE happening place. I wanted to stay away from the whole hustle and chill by the beach. 

Made a list of to-do's way before the trip and kept changing it with time. Other than the basic must-dos, we did not stick to the plan! Everything was impromptu.


TRAVEL


We chose to fly with Jet Airways (both ways). ONLY TURN OFF: we had a broken 2 liter Chivas Regal and David Beckham perfume bottle in our baggage during our return journey. Though I sweared at the airline, I thought to myself, "Maybe those guys were having a bad day (!?)". That is the effect Bali has on you. GOOD VIBES ONLY.

UP ABOVE the Singapore skies!

Adios Singapore!

We took a overnight 5 hour flight to Singapore (slept the entire journey after dinner and few drinks), From Singapore, it was a 2.5 hour journey with Garuda Indonesia (DO NOT sleep off, the view  outside is too amazing to be missed). I expected some Bali cuisine to be served on the flight, but we got served Butter Chicken and alcohol of-course. Not complaining. 


You will find Garuda in every nook and corner in Bali.
This one was a beautiful sculpture at the airport.

The best part about Bali Airport, 'Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport' is that, it's right at the beach. For once you would feel the flight is making an emergency landing on water. I actually kept asking my husband, 'Where are we gonna land?", "Are we landing on water?", 'I don't see any land!" etc etc, and BOOM we landed! Sounds kiddish but yeah, it was a 'goosebump' moment for me.


HOTEL


We stayed at 'The Grand Mirage Resort' (Nusa Dua). This is a huge property with a beautiful private beach, delicious food, brilliant service, a swim up bar and most importantly a very welcoming ambiance. They have seating (bean bags and beds) right at the beach for guests to unwind!! Also, our day began with a hearty and delicious breakfast at their sea facing restaurant. I'll give this hotel a 10/10.


Imagine this being the early morning view!!
#MajorMissing

Don't remember the name, but this was
one super strong cocktail!
Burning those wedding calories by the
swim-up bar!

Dilly dallying at the hotel!

Are'nt they pretty?

Welcome drink.

The housekeeping staff would leave these in our room whilst we were away! #CUTE


I have to mention one thing about the service in Bali, people here are super interactive and are forever trying to make you feel comfortable in their land. They all love INDIA and SRK and Bollywood!!! Like they would actually say movie dialogues and sing movie songs. On our trip to Lambongen Island, one of the singers did sing "Tum pass aaye" for us. SWEET!






Never witnessed a beach wedding, I got to do so at our hotel. Imagine walking down the isle, which faces a beach and having someone sing, 'Beautiful in white' - Made me want to get married again. WISH I COULD! 





FOOD

Most of the restaurants in Bali will have a live music session on every evening (and they sound super good!). 10/10 restaurants we went to were open air ones (which is a fact with most of the restaurants there) and had a live music session. I'm a foodie and I was in 'awe' of their food! From steak, to fish to veggies, I have no complaints with our choice!

Fooood!

Rolled ice cream!!!!!!!!

How I loved their presentation!
Nasi Goreng: Indonesian Delicacy!
The Bali Beer - BINTANG!


Chickeeeen & Friessss!
That's how we be lunching!

AROUND BALI


Go for a Spa...


Some much much needed pampering session at Galuh Bali Spa. This went for a good 4 hours, which gave us enough time for a super power nap.




Study Balinese history and explore the unique Bali Architecture...

The entire museum architecture is made of black lava rock. Do go till the top via a flight of spiral stairs to have a top view of the beautiful city! I did not click a picture of the view as it won't do any justice even if I did.

Ensure you have a guide to explain the history etc!

Bali Museum

A hall which summarizes the struggle of Balinese people.


Explore Legian Street, Kuta... 

Pronunciation: Leg-e-yan Street


This street is the pub street of Bali! Go club hopping, do some street shopping, soothe your hunger pangs and dance the night away! Explore this street to get the hippie feels! Never did I think that the night life in Bali would beat the one in Goa! The street will remind you of our very own "Titto's Lane".

MUST GO: Sky Garden! Your cover charge will include one drink. This place has an array of pubs inside. Every level is new pub! Do keep hopping around here because it's effin brilliant!!!


Skydome: EDM Paradise in Bali!

My kinda music: Live performance by Solidaz at Bang Bang, Sky Garden.

My Moet.


Water sports...


There is something special about adventure sports in crystal clear waters! This was suggested by our guide and we are glad. For non-swimmers like us, dive walking and feeding the fishes (about 20-25 feet under the sea) was an accomplishment. Also, they make couples do the typical ❤️sign. 

Dive walker: An experience of a lifetime!


Visit surfers paradise, ANYHOW!!!

Blue point beach / Uluwatu beach happens to be a surfers paradise and a treat to the eyes.

You will have to climb down a multitude of stairs , but mark my words, it is A SIGHT TO BEHOLD!
Beware of the Monkeys though.



View!
Can we go back?

Luwak Coffee...


Have the famous Bali coffee at the Taman Ayu plantation, which rears Mongoose for some obvious reasons.


Around the plantation...

The plantation ends in an open lounge where guests are given tea and coffee tasters.
You like it, you can buy it! The Lemongrass and Rosella Tea where my favourites!

Simple way to explain how the famous "Luwak Coffee" is made: 
Mongoose eats coffee beans > It shits >  The shit is then processed to create the famous coffee!


From left: the seating area in the plantation;
tea & coffee tasters;
the Luwak Coffee

Sunset point...


View sunset at this cliff-side Uluwatu temple. Anyone wearing a short dress will be asked to wear a sarong. 

View from the cliff-side temple!
View of the cliff-side temple.
Balinese people are majority Hindus
 and they follow a set of traditions. You will find these things
everywhere: cars, hotels and restaurants!



Enjoy the Kecak Fire Dance by natives at the cliff-top amphitheater. As the sun sets over the temple, the men dressed in black/red/white sarong, chant as if in a trance, while the performance takes place.


The troupe of around 75 male dancers descend onto the center with extended arms and shaking hands up in the air while chanting their fast-paced, ‘chak!’ (choruses repetitively). The prelude opens the five episodes taken from the Ramayan.



Mahn!

The day cruise...


There are about 7 islands around Bali. We happen to book a day cruise to visit one of them, known as The Lembongan Island. 


It is an hours journey from Bali port. If you have motion sickness, you better sit with the water-sickness bag that will be provided on your arrival at the port.


Our ride for the day!

Enroute Lembongan Island!

Every day cruise has a 3 hour water sports inclusive in the package. Which means, the cruise had a water slide where you can go drop into the sea! Banana boat ride, kayakying etc etc etc. 

Alcohol is available, obviously!
Basically, this was a water themed park in the middle of the sea. 


Cheers!

All the above mentioned plus the Island experience below was how we ended our Bali trip!

OnePlus shot!

View from the Island!

Why not?


***Bali Souvenirs...

Visit the Art Market and pick up some cool Bali souvenirs for your family/friends back home. There is something for everyone!



MORAL OF THE BLOG


The city of Bali is kinda like Mumbai, but with cleaner roads, no sky scrappers, nice people (disciplined & crazy) and more greens! You will find every single bike/scooty rider and the pillion rider with a helmet (which is a rare sight in Mumbai).

As cheesy as it sounds, but words cannot express how beautiful this place is. The people, the location, the food, the atmosphere, the VIBES - all are so good and you just don't feel like saying goodbye. It is a tropical country so rest assured you're getting tanned (level 1000), and I didn't regret it one bit!



NOTE: 5 days are so not enough to explore this place. 


Hence, I'm going back for sure! 



Must-knows before taking off for Bali:

  • Carry currency in Dollars (if you fall short on them, they've got ATMs)
  • Pack a sunscreen of the highest SPF
  • Carry as less clothes as possible (as short as possible also)
  • Beware of people who try to sell you drugs (if required)
  • Bargain when it comes to street shopping or while dealing with any agency/person there for any activity