|Well at long last it's my turn to post a 'Just Back'. I would just like to
thank this forum and all its contributors for making our holiday so much
better than it would have been. I loved being able to recognise all the
places etc that had been mentioned on the forum. We arrived home yesterday
BIT OF BACKGROUND
We are three 40 something couples. My husband and I had been to Bali about 2
years ago but for the others it was their first time and they were not very
experienced travellers either. I was really looking forward to showing them
around and watching their reactions. It was to be a fairly run of the mill
Bali holiday - a bit of sightseeing, shopping and relaxing. Inspired by the
forum, I'm already planning another trip, maybe next year, where we hope to
travel around Bali but for now we were happy to hang around Kuta and do the
first timers trip (again!)
We flew Garuda from Melbourne direct to Bali. Everything was fine and even
the food was quite acceptable. Hardly any queues at the other end and we
sailed straight through customs. A word of warning about baggage (have read
on forum before as well) Our friends stood for about half an hour waiting
for their baggage, thinking the worst, when they noticed that the porters
had already removed their bags from the belt. Very annoying. By this time we
were already out at the taxi office and had booked two taxis to the Bali
Unfortunately our flight home had screaming children on board so very little
sleep was had by anyone. I don't know who I felt more sorry for - the
children or their mothers! Having left Bali at 11pm we were served breakfast
of Satay Chicken and Fried Rice at 2.30am Bali time!! (4.30 Melb time) By
the time we got home to our outer east home, about 8.30am, we were well and
truly ready for bed BUT our teenage children were eagerly waiting for us and
more importantly our suitcases, so sleep didn't come until the afternoon.
Stayed at the Bali Rani, which we found, was perfect for our needs. Poolview
rooms (133,134,135) ground floor, straight out onto the pool. I had emailed
Ima the public relations lady before we left home to request rooms that were
close together and preferably Poolview - she replied saying that the hotel
was heavily booked and she would do her best. Thank you Ima!
The rooms were not bad but had a very strong musty smell. Soon got used to
this and hardly noticed it after a couple of days. Soap and shampoo are
provided in dispensers in the shower and the young man, Andre, who cleaned
our room each day did a great job. Our toilet and shower blocked but was
quickly dealt with by staff. The staff were all very friendly and chatted
very easily to us. It always makes me laugh when they mention that their
"brother" has a business and would we like to have a leather jacket made, go
White Water Rafting or have a driver for a 'program'. I think the Balinese
are the world’s greatest entrepreneurs.
There were the usual pool lounge hogs but the hotel has a policy of removing
towels after an hour if the lounge isn't being used. The pool attendants
were always able to find folding deckchairs when there were no loungers
left. I would have no hesitation recommending this hotel to anyone.
Because there were six of us we used the transport guys out the front of the
hotel with the vans, who soon got to know us very well. I have a feeling we
were paying too much for transport. In fact I know we were but the others
were happy to pay $AU2 each couple to get around on longer trips and about
10,000 Rp to get into Kuta. We never had any trouble finding a driver with a
van wherever we went.
For our day trips we used Jimmy, a driver we had met two years ago. He
speaks excellent English and has a fantastic sense of humour. He is very
knowledgable about all aspects of Balinese life and was able to answers all
the questions we threw at him. We did the Kintamani, Celuk, Mas, Ubud Monkey
Forest etc... trip finishing up at Jimbaran Bay for sunset and dinner.
After dinner Jimmy did a very good magic act at our table which has a finale
that is absolutely hysterical. Well it was for us because we remembered the
trick from last time and this time got to watch it being shown to our
friends. We also used him for the Tanah Lot at sunset trip.
A quick list of places we ate at:
BREAKFAST(all in Tuban)
Bali Aroma - Lovely setting, good service, small serves of the eggs and
bacon (not enough for the men)
Abian - not bad, again small serves.
Daddy's - Our favourite. A bit dearer than the others but well worth it.
We were unable to find any restaurants near our hotel that served a buffet
breakfast like the ones we experienced last time around Legian. They all had
a range of breakfasts - Continental, American etc ranging in price from
about 12,000 Rp to the 31,000 Rp for the full American breakfast at Daddy's.
Usually a snack at the hotel - hamburgers, chips, pizzas etc.
Matahari's Food Court - the Coles cafeteria of Bali! A huge range of
inexpensive Asian food which you order from various sections and pay for at
the cashiers. It is then served at your table. I had a delicious Nasi Goreng,
which only cost 7,000 Rp.
Orchid Gardens - Jl Melasti, an old favourite from last time. Ate there
twice. Very reasonably priced Indonesian and Western food.
Metro - Jl Kartika Plaza, recommended by a guest at the hotel. Apparently
all the staff are trainees so the restaurant doesn't pay any tax, making the
meals cheaper. The service was excellent but some of our meals were a little
light on. One meal, tuna steak and chips looked like it had already been
half eaten! My meal, garlic prawns was fine. Maybe it will get better as
they become more experienced. As we were only in Bali for 8 nights we were
not willing to give it another go. Too many other places to try.
Tanaya's - Jl Legian, We had Teppenyaki, where you sit around a large
hotplate and the food is cooked by a very clever chef who does all kinds of
tricks with salt and peppershakers and knives. It cost 110,000 Rp each but
was a great evening’s entertainment as well as a delicious meal.
Sharkey's Jimbaran Bay - Jimmy our driver took us there but remembering the
advice on the forum we only ordered the red schnapper and a few prawns. Last
time we were at Jimbaran Bay we fell for the spruiking and ordered up big
only to be hit for $AU90 at the end of the night. Not this time. The fish
was a little over cooked and I wish we had eaten before it got dark, as it
was very difficult to pick at the fish and peel the prawns by candlelight.
With Jimmy's magic act at the end we had a great night.
Right along the beach there were carts that were roasting peanuts and corn.
A memory of corn on a stick at the Melbourne Show, my mouth was watering so
thought we'd try one. Yuk! Dry and tasteless.
Papa's - Jl Pantai Kuta (near Intan) Fairly new place run by an Australian
Italian. Very trendy and upmarket with excellent Italian food. Service was
also excellent with the Balinese staff speaking very good Italian and they
were able to converse with our Italian friends in basic Italian, making it a
fun night. Not cheap by Balinese standards with mains about $AU10 - 15.
NB Drivers know the restaurant as Papa "S" otherwise they get it confused
Daddy's - Jl Kartika Plaza As we had enjoyed breakfast there we thought we
would try it for our last night as it was close by. Fairly average Greek
food and choices of other food available also. Entree Moussaka was lovely
but as an appetiser was just that! Two small 2x2 pieces! Any wonder the
waiter wanted to know if I was having a main meal as well.
Kintamani - I didn't get the name of the restaurant but it was one of the
newer ones on the low side of the road. Fantastic view of Mt Batur , Agung
and the lake while sitting on the terrace eating the buffet lunch which was
reasonably priced. The toilets according to the other women rated a -4 out
of ten. They were definitely a gas mask job. Luckily I didn't have to go.
This is quite long so I hope I haven't bored you to death. If you'd like any
info on anything please feel free to e-mail me. Of course we bought heaps
and did lots but that’s a whole other story. Might post again!
Again the Balinese people were what made this holiday so enjoyable. Their
never ending smiles and their laid back attitudes are so endearing. Nothing
was too much trouble!
Roll on 2002 and our next trip.