Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Bad Girls Reunion - Bali 2015

It is amazing what a difference a year makes.  Since my last post, I fell pregnant, got a job in Buying Head Office and moved house in the suburbs.  I have been busy with work and life that I don't have the luxury of time to blog anymore.  I am currently on my Maternity Leave and whilst waiting for the arrival of the little one, I thought I should update this blog.  :P

Bali was chosen just because it was so hyped up during that time.  Like every Filipino celebrities were holidaying in Bali and the photos looks amazing.  

We rented a villa in Seminyak then my hubby and I moved to Sanur for the remainder of the trip.

Day 1 - Seminyak at Night

Seminyak is one of those tourist driven places.  If you like accessibility, then stay in this area.  The beach is walking distance and you have different variety of foreign restaurants, massage places and shops.  You will be spoilt for choice.  Cash machines are everywhere so are the money exchange areas.  But beware, don't go to dodgy dark streets to exchange money and you might get mugged or come back with money less than expected.  If I have to go back to Bali again, I will bring strong currencies like GBP and Dollars.  I took Philippine Peso with me and lost 25% of it's value on the first day.  I felt robbed but I should have done more research.   It was such a novice move on my part.

On our first night, naturally, we have to check the area.  We can't decide where to go so we ended up in one of the "carinderia" type to get a feel of the Balinese food and we weren't disappointed.  It was good value for money and we naturally had a great night.  :)

Day 2 - Tours 

It is amazing how quickly you get lured into doing cultural tours.  I will say this again, I go to a country thinking I won't be able to go back, therefore, I will do anything.  The villa management provided us with tour ideas.  You know, laminated photos of places of interest.  I am sure you have an idea what I am talking about if you have been anywhere in Asia.  We only have to pay for the driver for the day to take us and all other expenses will be paid by us.  This works well in a big group as the more members you have, the less you have to pay.  To be fair, it isn't a lot but if you are on a tight budget, this is recommended. The driver took us to a place which they show you how to weave which happens to be adjacent to the place which sells overpriced woven items and souvenirs, to the temples where you should come covered, the the luwak farm just because you are in Bali and you must do it and to a place resembling a rice farm.  As a Filipino whose grandma owned a rice farm, this is nothing new to me.  But seeing this in my husband's eyes, this must be what European considered exotic.  :P

Day 3 - Nusa Dua

Am I right to assume that everyone who has been to Bali has been to Nusa Dua?  We spent the morning of our third day sunning and tanning just because you don't come back from a beach holiday white skinned.  :P  The beach is clean and the area is not so crowded.  Having seen Bali, you have to carefully plan which beach you want to go to.  It is big and it caters to different crowds.  If you are into surfing, staying in Seminyak is a good option but don't follow my advise.  You have to do more research.  :)

Just like all Asian tourist places, or tourist places in general, you have to pay for the sun lounger.  You will be offered a menu and get the lounger for free which of course, we availed.  We brought our drinks with us as the villa provided us with a cooler but we purchased the food on the day.  Food = free sun lounger.  If you are fuzzy about toilets, then you might have a problem with this.  The toilet provided is shall I say, not European standards.  It might not be true on all places in this area but definitely on this beach.  The massages are offered as well.  You can haggle the price but I suggest not doing this as this people make a living through the tourist.  Think about helping the economy and the local people.  Sometimes, I am self righteous like that.  

Day 4 - Souvenirs

Husband went diving this day and we spent the whole day looking for souvenirs.  Okay, this is not your typical touristy souvenir place.  My cousin actually found a market that sells cheaper than usual items.  We might be earning a lot of money (considering the GBP/Australian dollar conversion) but we are not stupid with our money.  Going to places like this is part of the experience.

When we arrived on the market, we had no clue on where to go.  We started browsing but because we look lost, the lady helped direct us to the stall which sells batik cloth.  I am using the word help lightly.  If you want to go shopping in peace, don't ask for help or make eye contact.  We were taken to her sister to buy the batik and because it is her sister, we had to buy from here mother and to everyone else she knows.  It is like a scam.  You don't have to buy of course but she will start pestering you.  :P  We ended up buying one from here sister and her and the rest we just browsed ourselves.  

On the way home, we had to rent a van and haggled our way to get to the villa.  I know, haggling is a recurring theme but if you don't ask, you don't get right?  It pays to be Asian as well, I think.

This is one of the famous spots where Filipino Celebrities go.  The cute colour always get me.  :P

Day 5 -  Sanur Arrival

We originally plan to leave on the fifth day but since we have nothing planned in Manila, Luke and I thought that we should stay a bit longer in Bali.  We found a hotel on the last minute which have it's own beach.  We even have wi-fi.  :)  Really, really important in a foreign place.  

The plan was originally to go to Gili's island.  Noone told us that it will take hours to get there.  We thought that you take a ferry and that's it, you are in Gili's but it is more complicated than that.  Sanur is less touristy that Seminyak.  Less restaurant choices and slower pace.    I remember going to the beach on the first day and having massage only to have been hassled the whole treatment as the lady said, she offered first. Definitely less zen experience but what can I do?  They need to make money and need to learn boundaries.

Day 6 - Lembongan Island

From Seminyak, you have to take an hour ferry to Lembongan Island.  
I love my husband's sense of adventure.  My world will be a lot smaller without him on it.  I am one of those people who you would consider safe.  I do calculated risk.  I would try things once but the good girl in me always comes out.  I blame my conservative, morally upright grandma.  :P

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip.  Luke and I didn't have any idea what to do in the island.  We saw people renting out motorbike but we didn't at first as we thought it is not necessary.  We ended up walking and realise that we will go nowhere without it.  This day is like a packed 3 day Seminyak trip only better.  We have seen temples, beaches and a traditional burial ceremony.  

Day 7 - Departure

Had a little scare on the departure day as the volcano showed some activity.  Luckily, we left before it erupted.  Unlucky for us, it was raining when we return in Manila.  We remained holed up for few days and it was the most boring few days we had.  It was relaxing but the days was better spent doing something else.

Sunday, 21 June 2015


T-5 days to holiday.  The Banks are going to yet again, another holiday.  It is going to be in Manila and Bali.  My brother is getting married on the 29th of June and since the fare from London-Manila is expensive and my cousin is coming from Australia, we decided to throw in another bad girl reunion.  Last year did happen in Malaysia but I was on holiday for a month I forgot to blog about it.  Sorry.

Bali with my girls.  I can't wait.  Maybe do some post 30 birthday celebration. This is gonna be fun.   




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