Showing posts with label Kuta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kuta. Show all posts

Monday, May 30, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 5

May 1st, 2016.
Today's the day we move out of the Satriya Cottages and leave the hustle and bustle of Kuta for the more relaxed pace of Sanur and the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar. As usual, we started the day with breakfast at the Satriya, then we headed back to the room, packed our bags and checked out, leaving our bags with the staff at reception. We headed west on Poppies II to Jl. Pantai Kuta and headed south via Kuta Square to Jl. Kartika Plaza. We headed to the Discovery shopping centre for the first time this trip, and spent a good couple of hours wandering the shops before heading to Burger King for a bite. I think this was the first time Lori and I have ever gone to Burger King in Bali, and certainly not something we're planning on making a habit out of. After lunch we flagged down a taxi to take us back to the hotel and ended up negotiating a deal to take us back to the hotel, load up our bags and run us out to Sanur all for 120k rp.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/250 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 42, Kota Denpasar, Bali

On arrival at the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar on Jl. Danau Tamblingan in Sanur, we found the room we'd requested wasn't available, however the hotel were happy to work out a room upgrade to a plunge pool room with what they referred to as a Hollywood bed, being 2 twin beds pushed together into a super sized king bed, which worked out really well for us. However, to make this happen, we would need to give them an hour or so to rearrange our room, which we were certainly able to work with. We took a walk along Jl. Danau Tamblingan, checking our a few silver shops along the way, and stopped at The Glass House, intending to grab a coffee each. Once we got inside and checked out the menu, we instead ended up having a slice of lemon meringue pie and a smoothie each, and we were both very happy with our selection.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/800 @ f/5, 35.208 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 25, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After leaving The Glass House, we headed back to the hotel where our room was now ready, and finished checking in. We headed to the pool bar where Lori and I taught the bar staff how to make our favourite cocktails, a modified Toblerone with vodka, Baileys, Kahlua and hazelnut liqueur and ice, in a blender and given the name Crazy Lori, and my twist on a White Russian, simply a traditional White Russian with a shot of Malibu, that was given the name Uncle Phil for the week. While we were hanging out at the pool bar we met up with a a couple of travellers from Perth, who also ended up knocking back a few of our signature drinks.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/100 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 47, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After happy hour wound up at the pool bar, we headed back to the room, got dressed and headed out to Barb's Sports Bar, just a short walk down the road from the hotel, to watch the Formula 1 from Russia. A Nasi Goreng each and a fair few Bintangs over the next couple of hours only set us back 300k rp (around A$30 at the rate on the day), a fraction of what the same would cost back home. We walked back to the hotel, poured a gin and tonic and hit the plunge pool before bed. It surprised me that despite the plunge pool rooms being highly desired here, hardly any of the pools actually seemed to be getting a lot of use while we were at the hotel.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 4

April 30th, 2016.
This morning we headed out of the Satriya Cottages and headed westward on Poppies II, then south along Jl. Pantai Kuta. A little way along, we stopped in to Starbucks for a coffee, as the hotel coffee just wasn't doing it for us. However a quad shot hazelnut latte from Starbucks certainly did the deal this morning. We walked the length of Jl. Pantai Kuta this morning, through the craziness of the tourist areas in the western parts of Kuta, across Bemo Corner, past a number of local warungs and into what appears to be Kuta's motorbike workshop district. Here we crossed the local river and headed to Toko Central, where I was on the lookout for a new plastic buckle to replace one I'd stolen off my old Tamrac Expedition 8 backpack to repair my Oakley luggage. This was not a problem, it turned out there were quite a few different options on offer, at only 15k rp, and with a gift of a bag of local fruits and treats thrown in from the store manager.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/1600 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 100)
Approximate location: Outside Satriya Cottages, Jl. Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

From Toko Central, we headed a little north and then east again and out to Jl. Sunset, where a short walk south brought us to the surf brand outlet shops. And, you probably guessed it, but Lori found some stuff for Mikah here too, shoes this time. We were ready to take a little break from walking by now, so when we were done here, we hailed a taxi to take us up the road to Carrefour.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/640 @ f/5.6, 44.042 mm (ISO 100)
Approximate location: Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai 120 AB, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

By this time we were getting a little hungry, so before heading upstairs to do our shopping, we dropped in to the A&W in the basement where we shared a mango chicken pocket and fries, with a root beer float (apparently I'm a little weird for liking these) all to myself. Upstairs at Carrefour, we picked up a few basics, things like a cheap pair of thongs for me, some water to chuck in the fridge at the hotel and some small cans of tonic water to go with the Mansion House gin. I'd been hopeful that perhaps a large international chain like Carrefour may have actual bottles of tonic water, but no such luck unfortunately.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/40 @ f/5.6, 40.786 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Fat Chow, Jalan Popies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

After Carrefour, we hopped into another taxi, heading straight back to the the hotel to drop our shopping at the room before heading back out and next door to Fat Chow for an afternoon snack. We opted to again go with the two entrees from the other night, Tokyo prawns and chicken in pandan leaf. After a bite to eat and a gin and tonic here, we headed back to the Satriya, dropping in to reception to check up on our pool bar tab. It was pretty reasonable, so we decided to go back for another session. Just a quiet one here today, catching up with our fellow travellers and swapping stories about our days before heading back to the room to get ready to go out for dinner.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/15 @ f/3.5, 18.047 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's, Jalan Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Lori and I decided to walk down Poppies II and see what we could find that grabbed our interest. We ended up at Kori's, a Japanese restaurant with a serious Aussie twist, in a secluded setting just metres from the craziness of Poppies Lane II. The restaurant has a very Japanese feel to it, but with a very healthy dose of Australian items on the menu, including Western Australian beef and Tasmanian salmon.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/50 @ f/4.5, 24.541 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's, Jalan Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

We had a lovely meal here, highlighted by the half shell scallops (pictured above), and accompanied by a drink each. The meal was a bit on the pricey side for Bali, but still a very respectable price at 550k rp for the night. Value for money wise, probably on a par with Fat Chow, and outstripping Sardinia Cafe by a fair margin.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/3 @ f/2.8, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's,Jalan Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

By now, we were both pretty tired, so headed back to the hotel to wind down with a drink, hit the shower and head for bed.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/20 @ f/2.8, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's, Jalan Popies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 3

29th April, 2016.
This morning, we decided to head to Seminyak. Knowing full well that we would require a taxi at some point, we started walking east along Poppies II. Not far from the hotel, we stumbled upon one of those things we always keep an eye out for while travelling, an awesome little coffee spot. Nebula is a cool little cafe and restaurant, serving good coffee and offering up free wifi for their customers. This is definitely recommended for a caffeine fix if you're in the area. In our case, we ended up heading to the coast in the morning instead of inland, so we didn't walk past in the morning again before we headed off to Sanur a few days later.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/200 @ f/10, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Jalan Popies II, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

After a short stop for a coffee break, we kept walking along Poppies II and out onto Jl. Legian, turning north towards Seminyak. We made a few stops on Jl. Legian, picking up a few supplies, including some of the best bug spray we've come across, Balinese company Utama Spice's Bug Begone and some Stop Cold to put a hold on the colds we'd both brought from home with us. A little further on we stopped again to check out a silver shop, although we prefer to do our silver shopping in Sanur, which has a pretty high concentration of silver shops for a sleepy coastal village. Another little walk and we were at the Legian Paradiso, where we grabbed a drink, although 43k rp is a little on the high side for a Bintang. A little way north of here we stopped in to a small supermarket to grab a soft drink, and found more coiled incense burners here, this time for 143k rp, the best price we would find them for on the whole trip. Leaving here, we flagged down a taxi for the rest of the trip to Seminyak.

Left - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/160 @ f/10, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Right - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/5.6, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Popies II, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

At Seminyak, we headed to Grocer & Grind, an Australian owned restaurant, who have recently opened a Sanur location as well. We opened our account here with a coffee each and ordered lunch. A chicken Caesar salad for Lori and a GG Melt (a chicken and bacon burger with melted cheese) for myself. When the food arrived, we ordered a couple of smoothies to accompany it.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/8, 15.1 mm (ISO 160)
Approximate location: Jalan Kayu Jati 8, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

After lunch, we took a short walk to the fairly new looking Seminyak Village Shopping Centre, but left empty handed, finding it just a little too fancy for our tastes. We continued to the smaller of the Seminyak square markets, where Lori picked up a few nice dresses for Mikah. We walked a little further to the larger market area, the Seminyak Flea Markets. Next to the Flea Markets, we stopped at a bar boasting the "coldest beer ever". While they were pretty close (the outside of the bottle was frosted), there weren't any ice crystals in the beer, so the 'coldest ever' claim is still in dispute. Regardless, it was still a good, cold, refreshing beer, and we were now ready to continue on to the Flea Markets. Here we found yet more cool clothes for Mikah before finding a taxi to get us back to Poppies II, where we would walk from Jl. Legian back to the Satriya Cottages.

Both - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/640 @ f/8, 15.1 mm (ISO 320)
Approximate location: Jalan Kayu Jati 8, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Back at the hotel, we made our way to the pool bar for a few drinks with our fellow travellers before heading back to our room to get ready for a banquet the hotel was putting on that night. Apparently they do this 3 times a year, and the cost of 200k rp per head (plus drinks), we were assured, would be money well spent.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/80 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Satriya Cottages, Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Dinner was a feast, set around the pool area, featuring Babi Guling (suckling pig) and a huge range of chicken, fish, salads and soup. This was followed by an equally impressive array of desserts. Everyone ate well, and the pool bar was kept busy ferrying drinks to the tables all night. Traditional Balinese dancers and a local cover band entertained us throughout the evening before we wound the night up with a late night dip in the pool.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 2

28th April, 2016.
We must have been still on Perth time, as we were up around 7am this morning, although we forced ourselves to laze around the room for a while before showering and heading to the breakfast area, upstairs of the Ninety Degree's restaurant here at the Satriya Cottages. I'd be lying if I said the breakfast here was the best in Bali, but you could certainly find something to keep you happy each day.

After breakfast we made the short walk west to Jl. Pantai Kuta, and this time we turned left, to head south. After a few stops along the way, we made our way to Matahari at Kuta Square. Before we could get in the door, Lori was bailed up by a timeshare salesman offering scratch tickets to anyone that would stand still long enough. When we finally got clear, we headed inside and were instantly set upon by perfume salesmen and women. However, we were able to shake them fairly easily and headed upstairs, where I picked up a pile of new shirts and trousers and some toys for Mikah, while Lori found piles of new clothes for Mikah.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/125 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 400)
Approximate location: Satriya Cottages, Jalan Popies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
By the time we were done shopping at Matahari, we were getting pretty hungry, and we both knew exactly where we wanted to go for lunch. We made the short walk to Gabah at the Ramayana Hotel and found ourselves a table by the pool. For me, I was hanging out for some Balinese food, and I opted for an Ayam Betutu, a local spicy chicken dish, accompanied by a Martini (real this time) with a Bintang chaser. Meanwhile Lori opted for a Gabah special Nasi Goreng and a couple of their 'Very Berry' smoothies. The food here has never disappointed us, and the view by the pool is certainly very relaxing.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/320 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 400)
Approximate location: Jalan Raya Kuta 1, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
After lunch we walked back up to a CocoMart bottle shop we'd checked out on the way to Matahari, where I picked up a bottle of Mansion House, a locally distilled gin. Indonesian spirits can be a bit hit and miss, however at less than a quarter of the cost of an imported bottle of Gordon's Gin, I figured it was worth a try. It was only after I returned home I found that a bottle of Mansion House had been implicated in a methanol poisoning case several years ago (I'm happy to report I did not end up blind or in hospital as a result of drinking this gin). From here, we flagged down a passing Bluebird Taxi for the short trip back to our hotel, dropped our shopping at the room and headed to the pool bar. Lori proceeded to educated the barman on the correct way (in her book anyway) to make a Toblerone, and I ordered a Bintang.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Gabah @ Ramayana Hotel, Jalan Bakung Sari 81, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
While we were drinking at the pool bar, we met up with a few fellow travellers, also from Perth, who had flown across on the Jetstar flight that left Perth half an hour before our Garuda flight. Craig, Gavin, Wade and their families had come to Bali for a couple of weeks away together. As it turned out, Gavin crews for an east coast Super Stock racer, Steve Norman, when he's racing in Perth, and Craig's wife, Michelle, works for the same company as Lori.

After a few hours exchanging stories, we decided it was time to think about dinner, so we headed back to our room, got changed, and worked out a plan for dinner.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/100 @ f/5.6, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Gabah @ Ramayana Hotel, Jalan Bakung Sari 81, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

We walked back out to Jl. Pantai Kuta, and up to the Beachwalk Shops. We'd spotted a few places here we were interested in eating at, and the Sardinia Cafe was at the top of that list. We managed to snag a table out on the balcony and ordered a selection of tapas including salt and pepper calamari, cut like french fries, mushroom arancini, salmon skewers, grilled prawn skewers and soft shell crab. Of course we had to wash this all down with something, and for me that was a gin and tonic or two, while Lori found a smoothie more to her liking. We were pretty full by the time the desert menu came around, but we managed to make room to share a pannacotta, which Lori has spotted on the menu when we'd been here the day before.

We headed back to the room for a night cap before bed and I broke out the Mansion House. It turns out that while it may not be the best gin in the world, it's perfectly serviceable for a lazy gin and tonic. What's more an issue than finding a suitable bottle of gin, is finding tonic water in anything bigger than a 300mL can here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 1

April 27th, 2016
So now that we're back and things are kind of back to normal, it's time for me to type up some of my notes and upload a few photos from the trip. We flew out early on a Garuda flight that leaves Perth at 7:50am, we prefer this flight out, despite the early start, as it sees us landing at Ngurah Rai airport in Bali around lunch time, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/1000 @ f/11, 47.621 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Airport Ngurah Rai 12, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
After a fairly uneventful flight from Perth to Bali, we made our way through customs and immigration, heading out of the airport terminal with the intention of heading upstairs to the drop off area and hopping into a newly empty Bluebird taxi, however before we could get up there we managed to negotiate a deal with a local driver with a Suzuki APV to get us to our hotel on Poppies Lane II in Kuta for 100,000 rupiah.  Given that this is at least 50,000 rp less than the usual price from the "official" taxi stand at the airport, we figured it wasn't worth lugging our bags upstairs to try to get a better deal and away we went.

SM-N910G - 1/25 @ f/2.2, 4.8 mm (ISO 250)
Approximate location: Fat Chow, Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

After checking in to our hotel, the Satriya Cottages, which are pretty much at the beach end of Poppies II, we decided to go for a walk, heading north along Jl. Pantai Kuta, past Kuta Beach and into Legian.  On the way we checked out the Beachwalk shopping centre, which is another Discovery / Lippo Mall type of shopping mall, with mostly well known western retailers.  One of Bali's handful of genuine Oakley stores is here, with a pretty decent range of gear, and equipped to make Oakley Custom sunglasses while you wait, as are most of the Vault stores.

From the Beachwalk, it was back out on Jl. Pantai Kuta, and further north till we got to Jl. Melasti and turned right. A little way up the street here is Sheppy's Bar, where we stopped for lunch.  For me that meant a Nasi Goreng and a couple of Bintangs, while Lori opted for the healthier Chicken Caesar Salad accompanied by a Toblerone cocktail or two.

SM-N910G - @ f/2.2, 4.8 mm ()
Approximate location: Fat Chow, 
Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
From Sheppy's, we kept on walking, eventually ending up on Jl. Padma Utara at a little salon that Lori remembered from a previous visit.  In we went for a foot massage and a pedicure each.  After that I needed a drink, so we wandered back to the Y-Bar, which was only about 50 metres away, and found a spot at the bar.  This was the first lesson of the trip. Just because the menu says 'martini', you shouldn't really take that at face value in Bali.  At the Y-Bar, it turns out a martini is just a shot of vermouth on the rocks.

By now, we were thinking about heading back to the hotel and making plans for dinner, so we made our way to Jl. Legian and started walking south.  Along the way, we popped into a fixed price shop to see if they had any coil incense burners, they didn't but of course "my brother does", so we do a little shopping and sure enough, in a few minutes someone turns up with a couple of options.  We end up negotiating a deal involving some clothes and the burner, and end up paying around 150k rp for this burner, which turns out to be a pretty decent price at the moment.  We found a general store selling them at 143k rp later in the trip, but no one else came close.  Hardy's, who are normally pretty good, were chasing more than twice that amount.

We kept on walking down Jl. Legian and around 500 metres from the intersection with Poppies II, we flagged down a Bluebird taxi, trying to explain to the driver that we were happy to go the long way around to the hotel (Poppies II is one way, and you have to enter from the coast end), but somewhere in the translation this got lost and when he got to the corner of Poppies II and Legian he dropped us off and said 'it's a short walk', well, we knew it wasn't that long a walk, and it was a walk we ended up doing quite a few times, but myself being new to the area had heard a few bad stories at night, and wasn't sure what time the lane went from just plain busy to a place you want to hold onto your belongings tight.  As it turned out we never had any problems at all, but the latest we walked home down the lane would have been around 9pm.

This evening, we were still pretty early, and trying to work out what to do for dinner.  As we walked past Fat Chow, a small Asian fusion restaruant we'd heard good things about, we decided to drop in and see if we could book a table for later on that night, as it turned out, we could, and did.  We headed back to the hotel, dropped our shopping and hit the shower.  Freshly showered and dressed a little better than we had been during the day, we made the short walk back to Fat Chow for dinner.

SM-N910G - @ f/2.2, 4.8 mm ()
Approximate location: Fat Chow, Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Tonights meal was one of the best on the trip, starting out with entrees of Chicken in Pandan leaf and Tokyo prawns, prawn wrapped in egg noodle and then deep fried.  We followed this up with Nasi Campur (my pick) and Pataya Pork Ribs (Lori's pick).  Dinner was accompanied by a couple of gin and tonics for me, and a couple of Pink Geishas for Lori.  For desert we shared a sweet martabak with what Fat Chow call the Choco Crunch topping, basically a mix of muesli, Nutella and chocolate.  The whole meal and drinks worked out just shy of 700k rp, a pretty good price for a big meal and drinks, although you can certainly do cheaper in Bali if your budget dictates.  By the time we'd headed back to the hotel for an early night, we'd already made plans to come back to Fat Chow again before leaving Kuta in a couple of days.