Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bali 2013 (Day 3)

16 April 2013 (Tuesday)

Whoops! Can't remember what time we woke up today! But it was definitely early cause we had to catch our shuttle bus to Ubud at 11am! The shuttle bus (or more aptly, the shuttle VAN) will pick us up at our hotel at 11am sharp. Therefore we were up early so we can go out and have our breakfast first and do a little sight-seeing before we leave.

Rode our bike to a nearby warung which sells Ayam Bertutu and Grangasem! 

 Nasi Campur and Grangasem Ayam Kampung.

Tried Hydro Coco (Rp 5,500). 
We saw so many posters about it, so much so we were tempted to try it! It was nice , but it definitely cannot beat a freshly opened coconut!

We then visited the memorial site for victims of the 2002 bomb explosion in Legian-Kuta. 201 victims in total. A large number of victims were Australians (88), followed by Indonesians (38), and then Britains (23). 

After the memorial visit, we went back to our hotel, took a quick shower (again), and checked out. The shuttle bus was right on time and we were the first two passengers in the bus. The driver then proceeded to another 2 more hotels to pick up 1 more couple and a lady travelling solo.

OHMAIGOD. Of all times to be caught in a traffic jam, it had to be at 12pm, when the sun is blazing hot, the weather so hot, humid, and unforgiving, and in a non-air conditioned, cramped up van! It was a 2 hour long peanut butter jam! We were moving bumper to bumper and it was friggin frustrating cause I was dying of heat stroke! Walking would've been much faster! Normally it takes only 1 hour to reach Ubud, but we took friggin 3 hours! 

We finally reached Ubud and god it was good to be on solid ground and walking again! They let us off at this local mart next to Bebek Bengil. There were already a few taxi drivers there waiting to take us to our hotel but we decided to walk. It was a long walk! But thank goodness I have Mong to carry the luggage :)

The place we stayed in Ubud was called Nani House 2. Like Favehotel, we also pre-booked this place. Its  unnecessary to pre-book your rooms as there are plenty of hotels available in Ubud for your picking, but we rather be safe than ending up sleeping on the streets. We paid about RM200 for 2 nights. It was along Monkey Street (quite a distance from the entrance of Monkey Street) and is pretty hidden. You'll have to be sure to not miss this sign reading Nani House 2 (pic below) . Its a small sign so do keep an eye for it! Following the sign, you'll then have to walk through a narrow lane all the way till you see the entrance of Nani House 2 on your left.

 The entrance of Nani House 2.

A pretty nice place to stay at huh? And only for RM100 a night!

Our Deluxe Room.
Love the decor!

Free Wifi provided.

Toilet was spacious, and it comes with a bathtub as well! 

Took a quick shower (again i know!) and then went out to rent another bike for 2 days.

Random statue in the middle of the road.

For lunch (super late lunch fyi), we went to Bebek Bengil, a well-known establishment serving the infamous crispy duck. Bebek Bengil was highly recommended on Tripadvisor and by Lonely Planet, so we decided to try it out. 

 Interesting story of how Bebek Bengil got its name.

 The main thing to order here will be the Bebek Bengil (Rp 92,000 / RM30)

Bebek Bakar Sambal Hijau (Rp99,000 / RM33) 

Balinese Sate Lilit Platter - Chicken, Fish, and Duck ( Rp82,000 / RM28)
Do not order this! Tastes just like any normal Sate Lilit you find on the streets of Bali. The only difference is, THE PRICE!

Left: Fresh coconut, Right: Ubud Street (fresh mango, pure pineapple juice, mint leaves and Kara)

Overall the food was mediocre. Don't get what all the craze was about. And our total bill came close to RM140. Super expensive lunch for Bali standards. The ambiance was pleasant and the staffs were gracious but its not worth paying so much for it. Won't be coming back here anytime soon.

There was a paddy field right next to the diner. Decided to take a stroll. 

For those who still don't know what is Bebek, it means Duck.

After lunch, it was free and easy time again! Woohoo! We hopped onto the bike and rode off to wherever the road takes us! 

Paddy fields everywhere.... Reminds me of Kedah.

 Saw local women washing their clothes by the stream.

 More paddy fields...

Stumbled upon this temple in the middle of  one of the villages in Ubud. Its a gem secretly nestled away in the village. There was only one person in the temple when we were there, whom we presume to be the temple's guardian cause he was sweeping and cleaning up the shrines and the walkways. 

I don't know how to even begin to explain what I felt when I was in the temple. The moment you step through the main gates, everything went silent. Yes, absolutely silent, bordering creepy. It was weird! Cause it was pretty noisy outside the temple, what with the motorbikes zooming about, and birds chirping away, and the locals talking loudly among each other, and the occasional car honks. I felt like I was transported into another dimension! It felt surreal! This peaceful little sanctuary was my short escape from the bustling side of Bali.

Pura means Temple.

Absolute silence.

The guardian recommended that we visit Tirta Empul, also known as Tampak Siring Temple, as it was just an half hour drive from here. Tampak Siring Temple, is a holy spring water temple located in Tampak Siring Village, Gianyar. Balinese believe that the holy spring water can heal various diseases, hence this place is always visited by Hindus who will perform rituals to sanctify them self. West of the temple is Tampak Siring Presidential Palace founded by the first president.

The guardian offered to guide us to Tampak Siring temple which we gladly accepted.

There are a few rules to follow when you are in this temple. 
1. Act with respect.
2. No using shampoo, soap, toothpaste or the likes in the pool.
3. Your legs must be covered! There will be sarongs for rent if you come unprepared.
4. No menstruating females allowed!
5. No washing clothes in the pool!

Usually there will be an entrance fee imposed, but since we were there pretty late (5.30pm), they allowed us to freely roam inside the temple free of charge.

Mouldy walls, probably due to the high humidity and water surrounding the area.

Fish pond.

The holy spring water.

We didn't enter the pool cause we did not bring any extra clothing. Not to mention, the bacteria and microbes swimming around in the pool after hundreds of people bath in there everyday. Yikes! I don't think I'm mentally prepared for it!

 Stairs leading to the Tampak Siring Presidential Palace.

We left about 7pm. It was already dark at the time. 
Before departing, I asked Mong if I can take the lead and ride the bike back to our hotel. Lol. Needless to say, I didn't make it out of the parking lot =P

Got back to our hotel, and showered (Its my 3rd time today, if you're counting). Walked along Monkey Street to find a travel agent who can provide us with a reasonable hiking package to Mount Agung. We met Okie Dokie (Im not joking its her real name) and she recommended that we take the Mount Batur hike instead of the Mount Agung hike. Why? Firstly, its cause Mount Agung is 2 times the height of Mount Batur and secondly, the trail is much harder and more dangerous! Even seasoned hikers find the hike very difficult to finish. Most will give up halfway! What more us? So we decided to settle with Mount Batur. It costs us Rp300,000 (RM100) each which was cheap! That's cause we actually bargained our way down! When we tell other hikers how much we paid, they all regretted not trying to bargain. (standard price is about Rp400,000). So lesson is, ALWAYS BARGAIN! 

Meet Okie Dokie :) She is super sweet and super nice! Funny too!

The van will pick us from our hotel at 2am the next morning and our hike will start at 3am. Early hike so we can catch the sunrise at the peak!

Since we have to be up early, we hit the sack as early as 10pm. Well, not before gobbling down a cup of Instant noodles =P 

Mount Batur hike next...