Family Holiday Bali 12th Dec 2011 - 17th Dec 2011
Bali Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
My work takes me to Bali every month since Dec 2010, but visiting Bali for work doesn't really give you much of an opportunity to enjoy the place, Hence, we have been wanting to visit as a family for a long time. We finally planned our Family vacation to Bali from Dec 2011 very early. So, flight and hotel bookings were all made in September 2011. We chose to stay at Hotel Pullman on Kuta Beach.
Day 1(12th Dec 2011) - We arrive at the airport and book a taxi at the "Taksi Counter' for hotel Pullman, Kuta Beach. Rates are fixed, so we get to pay $6 or IDR 60,000 for a drop to the hotel. I must say that this is the best way to book a cab at Bali Airport if you want to avoid the trap of Bali Taxi, which can be very irritating at times. The Taxi counter is on you right hand, as soon as you come out of the airport.
We reach hotel early and as usual have to wait for the checkin as the room is not ready. Typical resort philosophy of a early check out and late check in times. Finally we get the room. We had taken care to book their sea facing rooms and it turns out to be an amazing view from the balcony. Freshen up and order some food. I must say, the food was just about average taste and high price.
We decide to while away the remaining day at the beach. The beach is right across the hotel, walk upto the lobby and cross the road, that's it.
Day 2 - We had already analysed that booking a sight seeing trip through one of those travel agents is a sheer waste of money, unless one has a special need like group arrangements. For a afamily of four, we got a contact through a friend and he offered us a nice spacious car for approx $40-50 a day, whereever we wanted to go.
Barong Dance - We planned a trip to Ubud. The 1st thing we saw was the Barong Dance. Ticket price almost $20 per person and I must say, except a few glimses, I did not really enjoy it too much. On one hand it gives a good flavour of the local culture, but on the other hand, its a little too much and tends to get boring after some time. may the best part was just the two women dancing. they really danced well and professionally.
Batik Weaving - Next, our driver took us to a Batik Weaving place, where some people try and show you live how to hand paint and hand weive a Batik(traditional Indonesia Dress). Also, there is a big shop where you can buy their creations. Very soon we realised how commercialised the place was as you could buy the similar stuff for much less outside. Still, it was a good experience to see hand weaving and hand painting.
Kintamani Volcano - Our driver proposed to take us to Gold and Silver smith, but we decided to skip and straight away to the Kintamani Volcano. I must say, the site is amazing with a Volcano on the top and a river flowing in its feet. Had some food, clicked a few pictures and decided to leave for Ubud. On our way to Ubud from Kintamani, there were plenty of small shops, home shops where we bought a few wood carvings, paintings etc and I must say, the best of the art at a very good price.
Rice Terrace - On the way to Ubud we stopped at a place to see lovely rice terraces. It was quite picturescue.
Monkey Forest - We reached Ubud and first went to the famous restaurant to enjoy Roasted Pig, right in the middle of Ubud Market, dont remember the name now, but we had to sit down and eat. The food tatsed really nice and authentic. Monkey forest was also good, and a special note on Monkeys, they are really really naughty and un-predictable. I had to pick up my 2 yr old in my arms as monkeys were somehow getting attracted to him. may be thought of him as one of their own.
Day 3 - We decided to stay at the hotel and chill ourselves with some lovely massages and foot reflexi around. In the evening we went dining at the Queen Restaurant on jalan Kartika Plaza.
Day 4 -
Tanjung Benoa - We chose water sports and Ulluwatu. Reached Tanjung Benoa, which is a beach in Nusa Dua area and is the hub of water sport activity in Bali. There are plenty of shops there who have differential pricing and same offering. If you negotiate well, you could get very good deals, but if succumb to what they offer in USD, then you get ripped off. And, mind you, the prices are different in USD and local currency. We stuck a deal for snorkelling for 3 people, parasailing for 2 people and a trip to Turtle Island on a glass bottom boat private for 150 USD.
Enjoyed all, snorkelling was little rough, but good experience, Turtle island was ok, many turtles of all sizes there. I held them in my hands and clicked a few nice pics too. There was also a big sea eagle, Bats that you could cling on your fingers and click a pic and snakes you could hold on your neck and click a pic. We enjoyed it overall. best part was parasailing, they do a pretty good job and its quite fun filled.
Then we rented towels and bought a soap cake from the same shop to wash of salts from our body and took some make shift showers so that we dont have to go back to hotel to be ready for our next destination. They have a nice showering area available.
Ulluwatu Cliff - Ate some burgers at the McD on the way and reached Ulluwatu Cliff. At the entrance they told us that there are many monkeys here and the monkeys are very naughty, they could harm you or stell things from you. Well, with two kids in the tow, we decided to hire a guide cum monkey scarer. The lady charged us $10 and took us though the entire temple, also called Ulluwatu Cliff. I must say, the view of the cliff is simply amazing. A nice place to visit.
Kisna market - By now we were fully exhausted and didnt want to go anywhere else, hence deicded to go shopping at the famous Kisna Market. This is a big Oleh Oleh or soveneir shop if you want to carry something back for your loved ones as a Bali memory. Open 24 hours, the prices are also quite reasonable. Also, at a very nominal charge, they made our purchase check in ready for airport.
Jimbaran Beach - We decided to finish off our day with a romantic family dinner at Jimbaran Beach. Our driver took us to Jimbaran Bay and that's when I realised that the two are different. As I had already been to Jimbaran Beach, I wanted to go there only and finally we landed at the Jimbaran Beach. Its a fantastic place, right at the beach with number of restaurants lined up, offering you freshly grilled sea food. the Trick is to reach there by 7, secure your seats first and then come to the back side and choose what you want them to grill for you. In about 20 minutes, they will serve it to you with some veggies and rice.
Food is good and atmosphere is mesmerising. A must visit.
Day 5 -
Semniyak Beach- we decided to laze off the entire day sitting on the shacks at the beach and doing nothing. So, we finished our breakfast and landed at the beach. We hired 2 big chairs for the whole day at $4, amazing, isnt it ? Interesting part is that if you approach one of these guys renting out chairs, they will ask you " for how long?" and if whether you say '2 hours' or 'full day' they will quote the same rate $4. Depends on what you make of it, some people infer it as $4 per hours, some infer it as $4 for 2 hours, we clarified and we got it for $ 4 for whole day, which is the actual price.
So, sat on the chairs, layed on the chairs and just enjoyed the day with long walks on the beach, swimming in the sea, watching people surf etc. Also, had our lunch there itself as there is a lady there who cooks very nice fried rice and noodles. You can also buy your beers and cold drinks right there.
Went off to Flapjacks for the dinner and as ususal, the food was amazing.
Day 6 was simply spend at the hotel swimming pool overlooking the sea and the Kuta Beach. Again, well spend.
We had acutally planned Dolphin watch and Tanah Lot temple for Day 5, but we had to skip it as my wife had food poisoning. But, we will surely do it on our next visit to Bali.
Overall, a very enjoyable and refreshing trip.