SUNDAY, 1 JUNE 2014: DAY 2 TOUR
At around 7am, my husband already woke up and wanted to test the hotel's swimming pool. Since Naomi chose to sleep in her grandparents' room that night, I went down to the pool with my husband. I don't really fancy taking a dip early in the morning because I know the water would be so cold. Thus, my husband swam alone and good for him; he had the whole swimming pool just for himself. He swam for about 30 mins before we all headed to the hotel's restaurant for our Continental breakfast.
Chilling by the pool for few minutes.
After breakfast, our driver picked us up at the hotel's lobby at around 9am and the first destination that I picked for that day was Pura Luhur Uluwatu. My friend who had just been to Bali a week before I arrived strongly suggested us to visit this place because this Balinese sea temple has a not-to-be-missed magnificent view, especially during sunset.
Indian Ocean from Pura Luhur Uluwatu.
Seemingly Uluwatu is located not that far from Kuta, as compared to Bedugul. I think in an hour or so, we've arrived to the destination. I was surprised when I was told that this place hosts a lot of aggressive monkeys because I didn't expect to deal with monkeys during this Bali visit. My husband, Naomi and I had pretty traumatizing experience when visiting a tiny island in Langkawi which was home to hungry and aggressive monkeys, so I would rather not to deal with them again. Nevertheless, since we're there already, we bought the tickets to enter this temple and the entrance fee was Rp 20.000/pax. Just before we moved on to the temple area, our driver briefed us to keep all of our belongings inside our bag, try not to bring any food nor wear sunglasses or other accessories and bring a stick from a random tree branch to chase the monkeys away in case they came near us.
On the way to reach the main temple area.
Forget about the monkeys as the moment we reached the temple, I was totally wowed with the spectacular view of the temple which is located on the edge of a steep cliff above the surf breaks of southern Bali. As one of the key six temples in Bali, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is definitely one of the top islands to go to in Bali as it has direct views overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean.
My favourite spot for taking pictures in Pura Luhur Uluwatu.
We didn't really explore the inner part of the temple nor the small forest surrounding the temple but we took a lot of nice photos here as the view from the serpentine pathway on the cliff side was just simply breathtaking.
Naomi and Daddy.
FYI, I don't think there is a need to hire a 'local guide' to explore the pura because everything is pretty straightforward here and the area to explore is not that big, unless you are keen to hear more about the pura's history. Also, it is not necessary to buy the expensive bananas to feed the monkeys. At the ticket counter, we were asked to buy a small pack of sliced bananas for Rp 20.000 so they monkey wouldn't attack us, but we declined.
Just me and the temple which I didn't enter.
This is another place that is not stroller-friendly in Bali because there are so many steps involved to get to the main temple area. Both my husband and Dad carried Naomi's stroller when we had to go down or climb the steps. Further, there was no bad incidents with the monkeys. These guys were obviously 'calmer' than those in Langkawi so we had no problem wearing sunglasses or taking photos with giant DSLR camera or hand phone here.
After Uluwatu, we opted to go for some souvenir shopping and our driver took us to Krisna Oleh-Oleh Bali in Kuta. Krisna indeed sells a lot of typical Balinese souvenirs, shirts, printed/floral pants, snacks, beauty products and so on. However, my husband and I didn't really buy that many souvenirs from this shop because we thought the quality of the shirts and souvenirs sold here was, in my opinion, not so good. I purchased some packs of Balinese peanut snacks to bring back to Malaysia instead. By the way, my haemorrhoid was killing me that afternoon and I was so tortured having to walk around this huge shop. I constantly sought for chairs and sat on the employee's chair whenever I found any. I was so happy when my Mom finally finished her shopping at this shop and headed to the cashier counter!
Done with the shopping.
Our next agenda after shopping was eating another famous Balinese cuisine for lunch. This time around, I chose to eat Ayam Betutu and our driver drove us to a very crowded and famous Ayam Betutu Khas Gilimanuk Restaurant in Kuta. I liked Ayam Betutu much better than Nasi Babi Guling but this surely a very fiery spicy dish.
Ayam Betutu and friends.
Almost all the tasty Balinese dishes sold in this restaurant were all spicy and not suitable for kids. My Mom ordered Nasi Soto Ayam, which is not traditional Balinese dish, for Naomi because it's not spicy at all.
Nasi Campur Bali for my husband.
After lunch, I told my family that I could not walk far any longer because my haemorrhoid hurt me badly and I was very tired. I just wanted to lie down in my hotel room. They all didn't mind and advised our driver to go back to our hotel first and asked him to pick us up again at the hotel's lobby in 2-3 hours' time.
Just before we got back to our hotel, we made a stop at a random shop by the street to buy a swimming float for Naomi. Who knew that Naomi decided to act very naughty, sat on the float inside the car and bit it? So yeah, by the time we reached the hotel, Naomi's new float was almost flat.
At around 4pm, our driver came to the hotel and while we originally planned to go to Nusa Dua or Tanjong Benoa for their beaches, we cancelled this plan and went to the largest mall in Kuta, Beachwalk Shopping Center.
In front of Beachwalk Shopping Center.
Naomi loves the garden here.
After checking out the mall, my parents were lazy to go out again so we're back to the hotel and ate Chinese food at a restaurant in front of our hotel for dinner.
My husband entertained Naomi at the hotel's kid room before dinner.
This marks the end of our second full-day in Bali.
Car Rental: Puri Bali Rent Car. Car rental was Rp 350.000/day for Kuta area, including driver for 10 hours and petrol. Driver Overtime cost Rp. 35.000/hour.
MONDAY, 2 JUNE 2014: DEPARTURE
As Naomi didn't get the chance to swim or play water in the hotel's swimming pool during our stay in Bali, on the morning of our very last day in Bali, we brought Naomi to have some fun at the hotel's swimming pool. My husband fixed Naomi's float earlier that morning and it was around 8.30am when my parents brought Naomi downstairs. There were many other kids swimming in the pool as well so Naomi got more excited when she saw them. All of us, including my parents, joined the fun in the water with Naomi.
The water was so cold. Brrr...!
Our morning swim session that day didn't last long because we saw Naomi was shivering already. As dramatic as usual, we had to drag Naomi out of the pool because we didn't want her to get cold from swimming too long.
Upon checking out, on our way back to the airport, we dropped by Hawaii Bali, another well-known souvenir shop in Bali. I think the range of products sold, especially the clothes, were better and more interesting than those sold in Krisna. The goods sold here were generally cheaper as well and we bought quite a bit of shirts, pants and dresses from this shop.
Done with the shopping, off we went to the International Airport to fly to my home town for another one-week stay at my parents' house.
So, this is goodbye for now, Bali. That's all for our 4D3N stay in Bali a couple weeks ago.
Accommodation: Kana Kuta Hotel, Bali (booked via Agoda)