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Bali Day 1

Travel journals are something I need to work on more often. I’ve been slacking so much I have yet to update this blog with my remaining London and Nottingham trip last year. Bali is also in my “to do” list, which I’m going to attempt to do now. Otherwise, rif might start nagging again.


In December 2009, I was given a complimentary 5D 4N stay at Bakung Beach Cottages in Bali, after participating in the Alamanda Putrajaya outing with other invited bloggers. We booked our flight tickets to Bali via Malaysia Airlines, because it was cheaper than its rival low cost carrier at that time. rif and I paid RM350 per person (return ticket, inclusive of airport taxes). His father kindly offered to send us to the airport at 7am; our flight to Bali was at 9.05am.


The flight was somewhat a smooth and comfortable one. I managed to catch some sleep after we ate our meal. Compared to the airports I’ve been to, Denpasar International Airport looked a tad old and rundown. That said, the airport officials were more polite compared to the ones at Charles de Gaulle, Paris, the worst airport in the world. As we exited the airport along with other tourists, many taxi drivers approached us and offered their services. Quite a few of them quoted Rp. 500,000 per day, which we knew was overpriced.

We turned them down and walked towards the end of the walkway, when rif spotted Made (pronounced as Ma-Di) smiling at us. He had such a friendly smile, so we asked him how much his price was. He initially quoted Rp. 400,000 but we managed to get him to lower it down to Rp. 300,000 per day for 4 days. We wanted a quick lunch, so Made suggested we try some Ayam Tulang Lunak and this restaurant called Malioboro, just five minutes from the airport. As soon as we stepped into the eatery, I immediately knew it was catered to tourists.





But we were already there and hungry, so I didn’t want to kick up a fuss. Ayam Tulang Lunak stands for “soft bone chicken” in English, and as the name suggests, you can eat the bones. Lunch wasn’t cheap. The chicken cost Rp. 60,000 per half (small) bird. I didn’t care much for the chicken, but between the Ayam Presto Madu Wijen and Ayam Presto Telur Asin, I liked the salted egg yolk chicken better. We both favoured the sambal, which packed a lot of ‘oomph’.


Bakung Beach Cottages

Poolside

Garden
 
The bill wasn’t cheap. We paid about Rp. 170,000 for the above with two rice (Rp. 6,000 per plate) and 15% tax and service charge. Service charge and tax applies to most eateries in Bali, except for food sold from pushcarts. Made took us to our hotel right after lunch. I wasn’t pleased with the room we were given – while it was clean, the bed looked as though it had seen better days. We freshened up and headed to Jimbaran for dinner along the beach, overlooking the sunset.






Sunset at Jimbaran

We were smiling…until the waiter showed us our dinner bill

The view was amazing. For dinner at Blue Ocean Seafood, we choose a small fish, a reasonably sized squid and one crab, with a bottle of Bintang beer. While decent, it was ridiculously expensive. We paid slightly over Rp 600,000 for that meal, which was the most expensive meal we paid for in Bali. Definitely a tourist trap, this one.


rif and I didn’t sleep well that night. The bed was very uncomfortable and since our room was on the ground floor, there were many mosquitos and bugs. I felt cheated. The next morning, we requested for a slightly better room on the 1st floor and luckily, the hotel staff obliged.

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