Singapore Changi Airport – Denpasar International Airport – STAY: Bali Kuta Resort and Conventional Centre
This was one of the most looked forward Fridays as this marked the start of our long-awaited trip to the Island of Love – Bali!!
We flew from Singapore at 9.05pm and arrived at Denpasar (Ngurah Rai) International Airport at 11.35pm. Our driver for the entire trip, Mr Bagus, picked us up from the airport and sent us straight to our hotel – Bali Kuta Resort and Conventional Centre, where we stayed throughout our stay in Bali. Mr Bagus offered a pretty reasonable rate for only Rp 350,000 (S$45) per day per car which can cater up to six person (Toyota Avanza) plus 2 ways free airport transfer on the first and last day! Sound like a deal?
Sadly, this is the only picture of the resort that we have, which we booked through Hotelclub for S$100 per night for a Junior Suite. Well, I must admit that it did not live up to our expectation. Rooms are quite different from the nice pictures that are shown on the website. Overall, the resort is pretty run down. Given that there are so many other options, we will definitely not come back again in the future. To be fair, though disappointed, we shouldn’t expect much for the price we paid.
And, this marked the end of our Day 1.
On a random note, there is no time difference between Singapore and Bali.
SEE:Tampaksiring – LUNCH: Kintamani – SEE: BAS Nature Bali Plantation – TEA: Alila Villas – SEE & SHOP: Uluwatu Temple DINNER: Jimbaran Bay
Our first stop was Tampaksiring Temple, which is also known as Pura Tirta Empul. This Hindu temple is built around holy water springs, where Hindu devotees purify themselves by means of ritual bathing. It is believed that the sacred springs have a wide spectrum of healing and purifying properties.
Entrance fee is very cheap. It costs us only Rp 15,000 (S$2) per person. And don’t forget to wear a sarong which can be rented for free at the entrance of the temple.
Offerings made of flowers, rice, leaves and food can be found everywhere, for instance, at the entrance of homes, temples, before and on statues etc. The offerings are made on a daily basis by the Balinese as it is believed to bring prosperity and good health to the family.
Upon entrance, we were greeted by this amazing architecture. It ‘s such a beautiful and tranquil place to walk around.
Close up of the purifying pool with 12 fountains that disperse the holy spring water.
Next, we continued our journey up north east to Kintamani, a highland area where the active volcano Mount Batur and Lake Batur are located. It was an easy 45 minutes ride to reach the top of the village opposite Mount Batur.
Being touristy, we stopped by Batur Sari Restaurant for buffet lunch. We opted for the outdoor Gazebo seat to enjoy the cool breeze and the breathtaking scenery while filling our stomach with some local delicacies. Forget about the food, it was mediocre with the price slightly at a higher end (around Rp 90,000 / S$11.50 per pax).
One thing to note is that there are plenty of souvenir and fruit sellers along the street. They can get pretty annoying when a number of them start following and pestering you to buy. Do not ask for the price if you do not intend to buy.
KOPI LUWAK PLANTATION
On the way down the hill, we dropped by at the BAS Nature Bali Plantation for a cup of the world’s most expensive coffee – Kopi Luwak.
In Indonesian language, “kopi” means coffee while “luwak” means civet cats. Now, something very interesting.. or you can call it disguising. Kopi luwak is made of Balinese coffee berries which is processed in a very unique way. The civet cats choose the ripest and sweetest coffee berries for their diet. The consumed beans then undergo some fermentation in the luwak’s digestive system before their exit. The intact beans pooped are then gathered, washed, dried, roasted and brewed.
If you don’t want to spend so much for just a small cup of coffee, don’t worry, you can still sit down and enjoy the lush scenery at the coffee plantation while sampling some complimentary coffees / teas of different flavours, i.e. arabica coffee, ginger coffee, cocoa, ginger tea and lemongrass tea etc. I personally love the ginger coffee and lemongrass tea.
As we are not coffee enthusiasts, we can’t really tell the difference between the luwak coffee and the normal coffees. Some claim that the coffee is sold for its story rather than its premium quality. What do you think?