Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bali's nature

Nature's green always refreshes me.

Nature's blue always calms me.

How great will it be if we can just leave everything behind and walk away towards peace.

Though our life is like the wave, after every peaceful moment, it's followed by a hit. Shouldn't we just be calm and do something sensible to help cope with the crisis instead of pointing fingers around?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rumours were true

Since a month ago, the rumours were all around. From blogs, newspapers, friends...
I didn't want to believe it.
Now that I know it's true, am I angry? No. I'm just dissapointed. Such a nice place, why?
3k+, a lesson learned.
I MUST always remind myself: "No more long term commitment".

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yoga in Bali

Before I went, I checked out for yoga classes in Bali. I hope I can try attending classes in different countries/places while I travel, to see what I can learn from different culture (in yoga).

I found YogaBarn - a popular place for yoga retreats, in Ubud. 1 class, walk-in price is 900.000 Rp, cheaper than YZ :p I've arranged with the local driver to go there during my 4th day in Bali.

When we reached the junction towards YogaBarn, I saw the lane inside was so narrow, I even doubt a small car can enter. But our driver insist on fetching us to the front of the building, so he entered with his van, very skillfully. The YogaBarn is right at the end of the lane. No cars around but a few motorbikes were parking in front of the entrance. I guessed we should have just walk in.

It is so different from any yoga studios in KL. It's a small hut, with the reception downstair, and the studio upstair, toilet and bathroom is outside opposite the hut.

The studio is not a room, no walls nor windows, it's open-air and have a nice paddy-field-view. It's so windy that I didn't sweat at all after 1 1/2 hour practice.

Every breath I took during the class seemed to have cleansing effect on the body, in the heart, and in the mind.

I like Megan's class, the sequence was very similar to what I've learned here. She tells legends behind the poses while we were holding it. She adjusted everyone with a gentle touch. The massage during Shavasana was great, especially the smell of the massage oil, it was very refreshing and smelled a bit like lemon. (but I forgotten to ask her what oil was it)

Many were surprise I have time for yoga class during my trip. In fact it's 1 of the item in my itinerary :)

Food in Bali

My first dinner in Bali was the Vegatable Kebab in 1 of the restaurant in Poppies street. The price of the food there is at the high side but still consider cheap compared to same standard in Malaysia. The potato + rice thingy was great!

Vegetable Kebab - 26.000 Rp

Bali Guling is 1 of the Bali delicacy. According to our driver, locals in Bali love it and tak bosan-bosan makan-nya (never get bored of it). But when I saw it, I don't understand why. Although I didn't try it, I don't have good remark on it.

1 set of Babi Guling, served with soup and plain rice + 1 bottled drink - 32.000 Rp

Seafood dinner at Jimbaran was included in our tour package for second day. I don't think the food is any tastier than seafood in Malaysia, but it was certainly cheaper, and the sunset there is unbeatable. Fresh seafood + nice scenery, no wonder everyone recommended this place.

There's only 1 cooking style for all kinds of seafood - grill. And all restaurants there actually serve the same food.

It was included in the tour package so I didn't know how much it really cost to eat there.

On my birthday evening, I decided to treat myself a "luxurious" dinner instead of our usual Kuta Beach hawker center. There's this fusion restaurant in the Discovery Shopping Mall, its name "Atmosphere" attracted me.

Besides steaks and all kinds of chops, it has a vegetarian section in the menu. I ordered the Japanese Taufu set, nothing fancy, but the rice was "cute".

1 crab soup, 1 taufu meal, 1 sirloin steak, 1 Rum & Raisin milkshake, 1 ice-cream dessert - 260.000 Rp (10% discount with Citibank Card :) )

Another must-go, is the Dirty Duck restaurant at Ubud. It's famous dish is the Crispy Duck and roasted pork ribs. Having dinner in the gazebo looking at the green paddy field, it's a plus point to the great food.

It was the first time I tried Gado-Gado, steamed vegetables with special peanut sauce, delicious!
Food above + drink - 179.000 Rp

I ordered something called the Es Teler at the Kuta Beach hawker center, it tasted like coconut water, with pieces of Jack Fruits, Sea Coconuts, and other fruits, it was a simple and most delicious drink I had in Bali.

1 for 10.000 Rp

Food in Bali is very similar to Malaysia. Maybe because Malaysians have taken the recipe from there and modified it as local food. There're also many vegetarian restaurants around. Restaurants and food stalls that do not have vegetarian menu are mostly willing to modify their recipe to a vegetarian style. No problems for vegetarians to survive in Bali too.

Shopping in Bali

Everytime people mention about Bali, they talk about cheap things to shop there. So first thing I did when I touched down, was to walk around the streets outside my hotel.

Searching for Poppies from the map got from the hotel.

There're also branded shops. But not sure whether is it genuine.

Continue shopping at the Ubud market on the second day.

More shopping at the Candikuning fruit and vegetable market on the third day. It is located on a hill, so there're a lot of fresh vegetables and strawberries! Although it's called the fruit market, there're a lot of stalls selling clothes, bags and souvenirs.

Another medium size market near the Tanah Lot temple.

Only during the 4th night we have time to explore another side of the hotel, and visited the biggest and newest shopping mall in Kuta - Sogo @ the Discovery Shopping Mall.

Anyone lazy to walk around the markets, can just lie down on the beach, the sellers will walk around with their merchandises.

No matter where to shop, the most important rule to shop here is BARGAIN. At least 1/3 of the price they give. If not, just walk away. As I walked further from the stall, the price "drops" by itself :p

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Arriving at Bali

I didn't sleep much the night before departure, was too excited. I was sleeping most of the time in the plane, which is good because Air Asia doesn't serve food or drinks, and no entertainment.

Luckily the flight took only 3 hours, anything more than that I'm going to be bored till death.

Malaysians don't need visas in Bali, we have a special "fast lane" at the custom.

Kuta is a nice place to stay in in Bali, very happening; 5 mins walk to the beach and marketplace from Ramayana hotel.

I wonder how does the deluxe rooms and villas look like at the opposite block of the hotel I'm staying...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mixed feelings

I have mixed feelings about my trip tomorrow. I'm excited and happy going to a place new to me, waiting to enjoy the sun and sea, but I'm so sad that I'm going to leave BaiBai alone at the pet boarding shop again :( When can we go on a trip together?