Back in September 14-18, I had a fun four days in Bali with my college best friends slash Makati roommates. It was the first time for all four of us to be together again after four years since Zenie left the Philippines to work in Jersey Island in UK, so it was a really fun bonding experience. It was also to celebrate my birthday.
We booked flights when Jetstar had a sale and booked our rooms through Asiarooms.com. We loved that the latter didn’t charge our credit cards upon our booking. The hotels themselves charged us upon our checking out. Our first hotel was located in Kuta, the center of Bali. We had chosen a two-room apartment in Harris Residences in Riverview. We fell in love with the place upon opening the doors. So pretty! They also had wifi, so we immediately got busy checking in to Facebook. LOL.
|The living room|
|The master bedroom|
|The dining room|
We were hungry, so we ordered some bolognese and carbornara pasta from room service and also bought some soda from the convenience store right outside the hotel. Gay couldn’t get enough of the carbonara. Then we went through a bunch of tourist brochures that we had picked at the airport and proceeded to go through them to find the best tour deals to book. We finally earmarked a couple and resolved to call them the next day.
We woke up the next day and had a buffet breakfast c/o the hotel. They had a pretty good selection, and we even dared to try their local ginger drink.
Last night, Gay had surprised us with matching Levi’s t-shirts (she works for Levi’s), and we decided to wear them that day, along with the Rubi bracelets that Zenie and I had bought for us four to wear. The t-shirts had “rag dolls” written on the front, so we laughed that we were no longer the huggables, but were now going to call ourselves “rag dolls.”
|Rag dolls t-shirts from Gay|
I called up the the above and scheduled a tour for us. They sent a driver to pick us up at noon, and we really liked him, he was so nice. He drove us to Tanah Lot where we asked him if we could have lunch first because we were so hungry even though we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel earlier.
We walked into this nice looking restaurant outside the entrance to Tanah Lot. We all ordered fresh coconuts to drink and Gay once again ordered carbonara, declaring that the hotel’s was better. I had sweet and sour fish and it was good.
After eating to our fill, we stepped into Tanah Lot to admire the view of the temple by the sea. Now I’ve seen lots of temples in Thailand and Cambodia, but this was the first one I’d seen on the sea and its beauty struck me.
We took pictures from afar then walked towards it, until we could dip our toes into the cool sea water. I loved the feel of the cold sea breeze blowing against my body. It felt so refreshing and relaxing.
|Tanah Lot Temple|
Our next stop was Padang-Padang beach, which we had to reach by walking through a narrow gap between fissures of boulders. We hadn’t realized that it would really be a beach for swimming in, so we hadn’t thought of bringing swimwear.
So we just took off our slippers and walked around in the sand, admiring the view – both of the beautiful beach and the beautiful people. The place was seriously packed with vitamin A! There were even some who looked like they were photoshopped. LOL. We could seriously have lost our guts to strip to our bikinis, even if we had not forgotten to bring them.
Later on, our driver told us that this was where they shot a scene with Julia Roberts for the movie Eat Pray Love.
|Padang-Padang beach, location shot for Eat Pray Love|
We didn’t stay long and proceeded to the next stop, Uluwatu, the forest of monkeys. We were asked to wear sarongs over our shorts and our driver told us to take off our sunglasses and hide everything else that could easily be snatched out of our hands by the aggressive monkeys.
Luckily we experienced no untoward incidents regarding that, but my friend Betchie, who went to Bali the week after we did, told a story of how she ended up playing tug-of-war with a monkey who had gotten hold of one of her flip flops, and she had lost. A local had then given the monkey some food in exchange for the slipper, then promptly asked for 5000 rupiah for the service. Okay, so it’s a business, it seems.
There was one incident with a monkey, however. Gay was posing in front of this wall when a monkey found its way behind her and was getting ready to jump – on her, it seemed, but one of the locals yelled just in time, causing Gay to run off before she became a monkey landing pad.
|Walking through Uluwatu in our borrowed sarongs|
|Monkeys all around|
|Sita dances for the crowd|
After that, our driver drove us to Jimbaran beach, Bali’s seafood centre, where we were led to a table set on the beach itself. A very friendly waiter named Sigit greeted us and told us we already had set meals and just needed to choose our drinks.
While waiting for him to serve our food, Maya and I schlepped off to a grilled corn stand that we had spotted on the shore. Eversince we had one earlier, at the Padang-Padang parking lot, we couldn’t get enough of grilled corn. Once again, the seller was very nice, and when he found out we were from the Philippines, he said, “Jose Mari Chan!” (a Philippines singer) and promptly burst into his song, “Beautiful Girl.”
|Grilled corn vendor on the beach|
We headed back to our table, and on our way there, some tourists from a table we passed by jokingly asked if the corn was for them. I replied, “Sure, ten dollars.” They laughed and said, “Okay, can we pay tomorrow, same time, same place?” I laughed and moved on.
Upon reaching our table, we attacked the delicious corn before our platters of food were served. There was fish in a delicious blend of herbs and sauces and some side dishes. We finished every morsel, cleaning up the fish down to its bare bones.
There’s just something about the sea breeze coupled with the soothing feel of the cool sand on one’s toes that revs up one’s appetite.
|Dinner on the seafood beach|
It was the perfect way to end our first complete day in Bali. I would highly recommend that tour.
We had to sleep early, though, because we had an early day the next day. Why? Because we were planning to see the sunrise on top of a mountain!
Continued with… Mt Batur Sunrise Trek