Archive for December, 2013

Bali in a few words! Part 1: the Recommendations (a)

Tour guide-cum-driver

Before my Bali trip (end of Aug 2013), I sent out a few requests for tour guiding quotations as well as proposals for itinerary for my 9-day trip.

I believe fixing my itinerary was more challenging because I had not booked any accommodation when I sent out the requests, I just knew I wanted to stay at 3 or 4 different places around the island to save time from travelling to and fro as well as to spend more time at different towns. I listed down places that were of interest to me and requested the tour guides to recommend how I should plan my lodging.

Galung’s quotation came back as the cheapest and he was the only one who patiently answered to my various queries and guided me through my trip planning. So this is factor #1 why I am recommending Galung and crew.

With Galung, before Mt. Batur sunrise hike

With Galung, before Mt. Batur sunrise hike

Factor # 2, Galung speaks decent English and is a fun tour guide to be with. He is also someone who likes to engage logical thinking. He shared many funny stories and the following left the most impression on me (and I don’t know why, haha!)

Story # 1

Galung: *not in exact words* Many people denigrated me on internet by leaving all sorts of inaccurate and malevolent reviews in the forums. One was saying Galung and tour guide B are lousy; tour guide C is the best! If such accusation stands, that means he hired 3 tour guides during his trip to Bali!

*SG and I laughed aloud in the background*

Story # 2

Galung: *also not in exact words* It is my bête noire to see tour guides giving inaccurate information to visitors. There was once I overheard a visitor asking what Balinese gates signify. The tour guide replied, “The gates represent Mount Agung and Mount Abang!” How can that be true? The gates are always symmetrical whereas Mount Agung and Mount Abang do not have same heights!

Balinese gate. Mt Agung and Mt Abang? :p

Balinese gate. Mt Agung and Mt Abang? :p

Galung only accompanied us for first half of our trip. The second half was taken over by Plek. Although being very shy and having inferior English proficiency than Galung, Plek is very helpful and has great sense of photography! :p

Plek took this photo for me! I looked a lot slimmer than in (the cruel) reality!

Plek took this photo for me! I looked a lot slimmer than in (the cruel) reality!

Here come the contact details:-

http://www.balifundriver.com/

info@balifundriver.com

+628123644549

Teja Homestay in Ubud

I stayed in Kuta, Lovina, Ubud and Sanur during my Bali trip. Teja Homestay of Ubud is my favourite lodging and has my stellar rating! I will let the photos do the convincing.

Balinese style, tranquil ambience

Balinese style, tranquil ambiance!

Cordial staff! :)

Cordial staff! 🙂

Cute companion!

Cute companion, Chocky!

Cute guard! :) Its co-workers (different species of birds) are as cute!

Cute guard! 🙂 Its co-workers (different species of birds) are as cute!

spacious, clean porch and  room!

spacious, clean porch and room!

Teja homestay ubud bali

Teja homestay ubud bali

Delicious Balinese breakfast is served

Delicious Balinese breakfast is served

Visit this page to make your booking!

Not to bike around Ubud

I visited Ubud during the peak August month. Not only there is no dedicated bicycle lane, the road width is narrow even for the vehicles (1 lane on each bound only), so it is really not bicycle-friendly!

It was really draining to bike around! We tried to bike to Goa Gajah around 4pm We gave up half way due to the traffic condition :(

It was really draining to bike around! We tried to bike to Goa Gajah around 4pm We gave up half way due to the traffic condition 😦

Not bicycle-friendly...

Not bicycle-friendly…

Nasi campur at Gula Bali, Ubud

Gula Bali offers the cheapest nasi campur we had during our trip in a restaurant setting and not warung! And it’s yummy! 

Nasi campur @ Rp. 35,000

Nasi campur @ Rp. 35,000

A restaurant with nice ambience

A restaurant with nice ambience

There's performance of musical instruments too!

There’s performance of musical instruments too!

It’s the time of the month… Planning is needed maybe?

There were some places that I can’t/chose not to visit (was advised by Galung on religious/cultural grounds not to defy the rule for my own good) because….

At Bajrasandy Monument: Women having menstruation are not allowed to go up to the attic...

At Bajrasandy Monument, Denpasar: Women having menstruation are not allowed to go up to the attic…

Similar rule is practiced at Goa Gajah

Similar rule is practiced at Goa Gajah, Ubud

Galung stated that the advice should be taken for all temples in Bali.

Spa

I only visited 2 spas and Sang Spa stands out (a lot better in fact) of the 2!

Sang Spa! In Ubud

Sang Spa! In Ubud

In Bali, I like it when they put flowers on my ear!

In Bali, I like it when they put flowers on my ear!

At Sang Spa, you get to choose the type of scrub you want!

At Sang Spa, you get to choose the type of scrub and mask you want!

Samples are there to help you make decision :)

Samples are there to help you make decision 🙂

Clean and bright setting!

Clean and bright setting!

Rose petals in spades!

Rose petals in spades!
Reminds me of the scenes in the movie “American Beauty”! 😉

sang spa

View from the head rest hole. This small gesture of making it more visually pleasant always makes an impression on me

View from the head rest hole.
This small gesture of making it more visually pleasant always makes an impression on me

To be continued… Stay tuned!

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Inside the glass bottle…

“I want to walk tall, believe in myself, have the courage to ask for what I want and need, and live a life that mattered. I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and know that I am loved and that I belonged. I am desperate to feel worthy and I am hungry for the opportunity to live my fullest potential.” - modified from "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" - Debbie Ford

Under the apple tree…

"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind." - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

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Ich lese….

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Aggie: "But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer?" Norman Babcock: "Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere." - Paranorman
"机遇总是偏爱有准备的人"
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” by Walter Hagen
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, body totally worn out and screaming "WOOOHOOOO what a ride!" - by anonymous
When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous