This is our second family vacation trip to Bali. Our first trip to Bali was in 2008. However, this time around we have added 3 new family members, yes, Wei Hor, Jun Ing and of course the everybody’s sweetheart, the lovely Kimberly! Everyone was excited and looking forward to this trip.
Arrived at Ngurah Rai International Airport at around 8.00 pm by Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM from Changi Airport, Singapore.
Our tour guide-cum driver and his friend were there to fetch us. The Bali airport has transformed tremendously since our last visit there. It is now big and spacious with modern building to cater for the large influx of tourists to Bali. However the luggage claim was real slow, we waited for more than an hour to get all our baggage!
Soon we were on our way to our hotel, Courtyard by Marriot at Seminyak. Check-in was smooth and fast as we were the only guests checking-in at that time. It’s worth to mention that the security check at the hotel is very strict. They even have X-ray machine to scan your luggage before you are allowed to go into the hotel!
Our first itinerary for the day was to visit Uluwatu Cliff Temple as this is the tourist destination which we missed during our first visit to Bali. On the way, our tour guide suggested we pay a visit to Turtle Island. Sounds good, right? We agreed. You need to take a boat to the island and it costs USD 45 per pax, quite expensive! After much negotiation, it was agreed at around USD23 as we paid in IDR currency. The boat ride takes about 20 minutes! Mind you, there’s no safety measures taken for the passengers as no life-jacket is provided! The boat has a glass bottom for you to view the undersea creatures. We were anticipating to see turtles swimming in the natural environment underneath the boat in the water around the Turtle Island.
Upon arrival at the island, we were disappointed to find that we didn’t see any turtle underneath the boat! Instead we were taken to the island and paid an entrance fee of IDR 10,000 per pax. At the island, we only saw some turtles in a concrete pond and also in an enclosure of the sea water. The condition of the water was in deplorable condition. The water was murky and smelly. It’s definitely not being well maintained! There are so many turtles all cramped in a small area. Worst of all, we had to wade through the murky water to get a close encounter with the turtles. Other than turtles, there are other animals like python, bats and birds.
After leaving the island we had lunch nearby before proceeding to Pantai Pendawa, a new tourist destination in Bali. Here you get to see the beautiful scenery of the cliff and beaches. However the weather was very hot! So we didn’t stay too long, just took a few photos and left.
Soon we arrived at the Uluwatu Cliff Temple. The road to Uluwatu is narrow and winding and is heading uphill. At the temple, you need to climb up the steps to the top to get a panoramic view of the cliff and beach. In fact the scenery is magnificent.
By the time we were back at the hotel, everyone was exhausted! Dinner was at the Gosha Restaurant nearby the hotel. After dinner, we went for a drink at the famous Frankenstein Pub. Of course Kimberly they all didn’t follow us. There we enjoyed live music and some performance. The place is full of angmohs!
Woke up early in the morning. All of us went to the hotel swimming pool to enjoy our morning swim before breakfast. The pool is big but the water visibility is not so good.
After breakfast, we went to Sanctuary Villa at Changgul to visit some relatives who were there for a holiday too.
Then we proceeded to Tanah Lot, one of the Unesco Heritage Site in Bali. The place is full of Hindu worshippers. We didn’t stay long either as it was getting dark and began to drizzle.
On the way back, we stopped at Seminyak Square to shop around. However, it was a complete let down as there is not much shopping you can do here. So we just hung around before going back to hotel.
As it is supposed to be a free and easy trip, so we didn’t start our journey early. After breakfast, we were on our way to Goa Gajah, an ancient temple built in the 13th century. There are many up and down steps to climb and it was quite taxing as we had Kimberly to carry along. So didn’t go up to the Buddha Temple at the top of the hill. Anyway, it’s worth visiting this temple.
After that we proceeded to Holy Water Temple. It was full of devotees as this was the praying season for the Hindus. You could hardly get near to the water pond where you could seek good fortune by bathing at the pond.
Then we went to the famous Ubub rice terrace to experience ourselves how the farmers plant rice at the terrace. In fact it was a rare scene to see the creativity of the farmers making full use of the undulating land to turn it into productive plot of land!
Lunch was supposed to be at the famous Restaurant Tepi Sawah, which is famous for its crispy bebek(duck). However, luck was not with us
as it was fully occupied. So we had to make do with another similar restaurant, Joni Restaurant to try the famous crispy bebek. Well, we can’t compare as we had not tried the other restaurant. I would say not bad.
In the evening, we took the hotel buggy to the nearby Seminyak beach to catch the sunset. The beach was full of tourists, all waiting for the sunset. The wave was very strong, not suitable for swimming. Anyway, this beach is famous for wind-surfing.
Checked-out at noon and hang around at Seminyak area before going to the Airport for our flight back to Singapore. Bali has become very expensive and congested. Don’t think we will come back again for another holiday here in future!