A brand new backpack and one messed up soul, are just the two things I need to go back to this island.
So there I was around 5 AM in the morning in front of the security check in Terminal 3, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, trying to catch the earliest flight to Bali. I was super sleepy ’cause I couldn’t sleep the night before. You know that feeling when you get super excited about something, you can’t sleep just because you’re keep thinking about it? Happens to me all the time the day before I go traveling. >.< This trip didn’t make any difference. Only slept for less than two hours. :)
Well, this trip was actually a self-buying-gift I took after done organizing our annual event from my company. Like, a getaway trip after all the hard work that you’ve put into it. You need it from time to time, right? RIGHT? :D Long story short, I finally landed in Ngurah Rai International Airport, which has been developed for quite some time now. The airport was looking much and much better now! If you’ve ever been to Bali before few years ago, you’ll remember how small and crazy the airport was. Now, it’s huge and very Singapore-HongKong like. Well, it’s not finished yet, so you might still find some construction here and there, but you can see it’s going to be a well respected international airport later. Hooray for Bali government!
Oh! It was a solo trip (again) this time! Okay, now you’re probably wondering what that hell were you thinking going to Bali alone. Well, I like to travel alone. It’s not that I don’t like companions, but being alone makes it easier for me to arrange everything and it gives me chances to meet with new people. Which is super fun. Not to mention, this is Bali and well.. you know how crazy this island can be at night. *smirky face*
Upon arriving, I immediately call the car rental company I’ve booked before to get the car. This company only rent out A/T car. This suited me perfectly since I always prefer to drive in Bali rather than hire a personal driver. Bali Matic Car Rental (+62 8988 995757), got this company from my friend’s suggestion, you can call them if you need a car and want to drive when you’re in Bali. And soo.. off I go! First stop, Ubud!
Why Ubud? Oh I was looking for a quiet time and place for two days. People said that Ubud is quiet and more laid-back than others, so I decided to try it. In so many trips I’ve been going to Bali, I’ve never once visited Ubud. :p.. and after one hour driving through the newly build toll-road, I finally there. I’ve put my foot in Ubud!! *literally standing in the road trying to bend my leg for driving too long* .. I went to my hotel first but couldn’t go to the room ’cause it’s not yet ready. I was two and a half hour too soon than the check-in time. Hahahaha.. So I left my backpack in the reception and went with my camera bag only, then go to the center area in Ubud. It’s like the main road with the restaurants and shops. Most of better hotels are resided outside that area. You know, it’s more crowded and noisy actually when you get into central area. It’s actually more crowded than I imagined before. Since it’s more like a village kind of town in Ubud, I thought it will be less people there and more peaceful surroundings around. Man, I was wrong. It’s quite lively! So if you’re looking for a quite and peaceful environment, choose hotels that are not near the central area. They usually have shuttle bus to visit the central area and they can pick you up again. So if you stay outside and quite far from the central, it won’t be a problem to visit it if you’re looking for more variety of food or want to shop a bit.
I then went to this restaurant called Kebun Bistro, located in Jl. Hanoman. I’ve heard about it before from my friends and was hooked with the interior (totally forgot to ask about the food). I was so hungry since I haven’t eat anything from morning and it was around 12 PM already. The place was strangely empty.. I was a bit skeptical at first because there’s nobody there! I always think, that to measure how good a restaurant is, is to see if it’s always packed of people or not. Hahaha.. Yet, I kept going and ask for a table. Well, the interior definitely didn’t fail me! It’s awesome! Like a garden in a country inn at some small village in Europe. So rustic and different. Well the name say it itself with Kebun means Garden in english. It was actually a french cuisine restaurant, but since I was about to collapse ’cause of hunger, I didn’t read all the menu and went straight to LUNCH SPECIALS! I saw Pork Chop. Ha! Perfect. Haha.. and I added it with a glass of very cold water. FYI, it’s freakin hell out there. Seriously hot! Was sweating like a waterfall. .. The service was quite nice and fast (since no other customer ya.. :)) The food was really good! People said they have a good breakfast, but I’ll try that next time ya.. I was imagining how it feels like to eat there in the morning and afternoon with not so hot weather.. must be nice. Oh well.. off we go to find some desert and shopping!
Outside looks from inside area
Love this spot somehow :D
I was told by my friend who live in Bali that there is this one small shop that sell a really good T-shirt, called Tn. Parrot. So I went to search for it with some help from the one and only… Google Map! Literally saved my ass lots of time when I travel. Kudos to whoever invented it. Only need 10 minutes to find the shop. The location was quite near but since the road is quite small and busy, it takes time to drive. If you’re comfortable for a little walking, then I suggest you do it. Just beware of the super hot guy above you that keep pouring down super hot wind. The shop was really small with a small sign attached. The location is in Jl. Dewi Sita, just opposite of the famous Tutmak. They sell T-shirts with a good fabric and unique design. I ended up buying two pcs. :D Done looking for T-shirt, I walked around that area to do some window shopping. Ubud is quite famous for it’s local product in craft, home decor and furniture products. There are lots of shop that sell those kind of products. I somehow found my way to this one local shop, named Eclectik. They sell some kind of recycled woods that have been made into a craft that you can hang in your wall, such as clocks, quotes, etc. The price range from IDR 100,000. It was cool! Totally love it. I was thinking to buy some but since they can’t ship it to Jakarta, I ended up only bought one piece of craft since I was backpacking this time. Definitely will go back and prepare a space in my luggage next time.
I BOUGHT THIS! :)))
Enough shopping. I have this way-too-big-interest with craft and home decor, walking around too much in Ubud wouldn’t be good for my bank account.
Time for dessert! Oh hey, I thought a gelato would save the day.. well.. save me from the weather. I walked around a bit and found this greeny looking cafe not far from Tn. Parrot, Juice-Ja Cafe. As you can guess, they sell super fresh juice and (luckily) gelato! The juice was fresh and superb! I forgot what I ordered, but it was one of their signature juice. Just ask the waiter when you’re there. Also, one cup of Strawberry Gelato. Gosh, it’s like heavenly grateful with such a crazy hot weather outside!
THANK GOD FOR THIS!
without ice and a bit sour, so it’s actually light up your face a bit. hahaha..
Tummy was full, money has gone (for a better life), drenched in sweat…. the only thing came up in my mind was SWIMMING POOL!! I visualized myself swimming in a very cold water in the middle of this hot hot hot weather.. Gosh. *drooling* .. I checked the time, it was almost 2 PM anyway, so I decided to go back to the hotel. As promised, my room was ready when I arrived back in the hotel. Oh, I was staying in Sapu Lidi Spa & Resort Ubud. I first looked it up using Booking.com. They have a special deal for this hotel and after weeks of deliberating, I finally chose this one over a dozen other hotels. Let me tell you why… First, it’s not really close to the center. So you can tell it’s quite peaceful in the resort. Second, the room was facing the rice fields. Literally has a private terrace to the rice fields. Totally what I was looking for!! And so after waiting around 10 minutes (this is quite annoying if you’re a punctual kind of guy), the staff that would take me to the room finally showed up. As usual, he’s quite friendly and welcome just like a typical Balinese way of welcoming you to their hotels. And then we went inside and greeted by this pathway and bridge that looks a bit dramatic, which is nice!
The room is quite far from the lobby. Tho, the area that we have to pass through to reach the room was quite awesome. They have this super big pond in the middle and also a lounge next to it. You can read or hang out in there, or just feed the fish. They provide the fish food for free. Grab some and throw away!
and finally we arrive in my room. Room 101. It has it’s own entrance path since it’s a villa type of room. And when I saw the inside, I was quite amazed! It’s much much better than I expected. The interior was quite traditional style, Bali style, and the size of the room was huge! My eyes was looking straight to the terrace. AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD. I mean, for the price that they gave me, it was really worth it! They have two small chairs and one coffee table outside. My mind was full of “having coffee in the super early morning while sitting there looking at the rice fields with some chill music on..” UH-AW-E-SOME!! Hahahaha.. mind me. :D And then the staff showed me the bathroom.. again, in awe. HUGE-semi-outdoor-bathroom. That’s it. This is perfect. Well, spending it with someone special might be more perfect hahaha but this was good enough for me…. for now. ;))
from terrace looking inside
360 view from the terrace
the duck family!
view from the terrace
my villa from outside
with timer hahahhaa
What a breath taking view huh? Well, not my picture of course! That’s a breath killing view. Hahaha. Anywayy… after settling down a bit, I went to the swimming pool ready with my swimming stuff (ok I’m too lazy to mention them and I don’t think you guys wanna know as well :p). Andddd… the pool was dirty. :( meh. I guess because it’s in the middle of the rice fields and hills. If you see the picture of me, the pool was right behind me in the area with some bungalow next to it. I was so sad, I went back to my room. There goes my cold water…. just then I saw the shower. HAA! Next thing I know, I was standing showered with cold water. SO DAMN GOOD! Hehe..
Aside of everything that has been above my expectations, there were always something that bothered me. Since it’s next to the rice fields, you might find ants in the terrace and a few might go into your room. If you hate ants, well… maybe it’s not the best place for you. I was ok with that tho, but still it would be better if they can do something about it? Other than that, I was super satisfied with everything. The breakfast was also good.
After taking a rest for few hours, I went out again to have dinner. I’ve been craving to eat in Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant for months! So I went there straight. It was the original first outlet of their branches.. In english it means “Duck By The Rice Fields”. It was a really nice restaurant with tables scattered in some bungalows and main area. All of them located next to the rice fields. I chose to sit in lesehan way, it means you sit in the floor with just one pillow as cover with table in front you, instead of a chair. My table was facing to the rice fields. I ordered Grilled Duck as it’s one of their specialities other then Crispy Duck. They serve it usually with rice and some vegetables, plus 3 kind of sambals (spicy sauce and chili). The best is Sambal Matah. It’s a traditional sambal from Bali. The other two was sambal merah (red chili mix) and sambal kecap (sweet soy sauce mix). Oh, I also ordered some fried tofu as side dish. It was awesomeeee….. My cravings has been satisfied! If only there weren’t groups of asian tourist that so so so noisy behind me, my dinner would be perfect. -_____-’
The rice fields in the restaurant
another view of the rice fields
Grilled Duck! Uyea!
The sambals! Woohhoo!
Done with main course, I rushed to find some dessert before going back to hotel. I was a bit tired that day, so was not looking for a really crowd and noisy place.. I ended up in Tutmak. The restaurant just opposite of the T-shirt store. I ordered simple apple crumble pie and one beer. Can not not drink a beer in Bali, somehow. Hahaha.. Is it just me? ;) .. Quite a nice place, anyway. Big table, friendly waiters, and good food!
After that, went back to hotel for a good night sleep. Need to wake up early since I was planning to check out a bit early. Yes, I stayed there only for one night. Got stuff to do in Kuta (other part of Bali and more crowded and more noisy for sure haha) and I did plan to stay in Kuta for the rest of my trips. One night in Ubud was just to fulfill my curiosity and just to look for one ‘me time’ in a peaceful area. After all, I’m more a beach person, rather than hills and mountains.
Overall, my trip to Ubud was great. A bit more noisy than I expected but thankfully the hotel was not close with the central area, so I could still get those quite moments I was looking for. Great food! Great stores! Great hotels! Blessed. :)
Back in the car, prepared to drive to Kuta! Let’s continue this in part 2 since it’s a super long post already. Hahaha.. Stay with me! Don’t go anywhere! :D
Otw to Ubud..
Otw to Ubud..
I did have coffee in the morning while sitting in the terrace!! :))
Breakfast with a view, accompanied by the bright sun..
Drops in the morning..
TO BE CONTINUED TO PART 2..