Monday, April 21, 2014

Bali Retreat Day 1

Day 1: 18 Apr 2014

This Bali trip with my uni friends (GG and HP) was booked just 2 weeks before Good Friday! It's also the first trip that I went without itinerary. We booked Tigerair Mandala RI 835 which will leave Singapore Changi Airport T2 at 10.20am and arrive around 1pm at Denpasar Bali Ngurah Rai Airport.

Selfie shot on the flight to Bali! Emergency Exit Row = Extra Leg Room!
Hello Bali!!
Landed! (Spot Lionair taking off behind)
Squeezing into this shuttle bus which brought us to the Airport Terminal
Taxi from Airport to Eden Hotel in Kuta cost us IDR 70,000 (SGD 8)

We only changed less than SGD 50 worth of Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) in Singapore as the exchange rate in Indonesia would be better than Singapore's. If you are travelling to Indonesia, you should change most of your money in Indo but be careful of money changers that display ridiculously good rates! The current rate as of April 2014 is around 1:9000. If you see any money changers that offer higher than 9100 (I saw one as high as 9500!), you got to avoid them as they might shortchange you. 

Eden Hotel
Jl. Kartika Plaza 42, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

Our hotel is only 2.7 km away from the airport, it took about 10-15 min drive to reach as the traffic was quite busy and it's not a straight road either. Everything in the hotel is very "green", literally. It was freshly built in 2012.

Lobby of Eden Hotel

Entering our hotel room situated on the second floor

We added extra (3rd) bed and it arrived a short while after we've checked in

Small balcony overlooking the swimming pool

View from the balcony
Famished! It's already 2.45 pm after we got into our hotel room and we hadn't eaten our lunch. We rested for awhile, kept our passports & valuable items in the safe and got out of the room around 4 pm when the rain subsided. While we were on our way to Discovery Shopping Mall, we passed by a travel agency named Kubu Bali Tour. The person tending the booth was a local Balinese. He patiently introduced and explained to us the water sports that we could do in Bali. Initially we wanted to walk around first as there were many other agency booths along the streets and we hadn't change the rest of our money to IDR yet. We were convinced by him as he offered us a very good price of USD 35 = IDR 392,000 (discounted from the original price of USD 85) for White Water Rafting at Telaga Waja River and even allowed us to do currency exchange for SGD:IDR at 1:9000. The three of us exchanged SGD 100 (IDR 900,000) each and paid a deposit of IDR 600,000 in total to him. The remaining amount of IDR 576,000 will be paid the next day (Bali Retreat Day 2). 

Travel Agency + Money Changer

Kubu Bali Tour along Jl. Kartika Plaza (Street Name)
I'll talk about our White Water Rafting on the next post. It started pouring again after we booked our Water Rafting tour. =/ We ran towards the nearest convenience store, Circle K, to take shelter. Sadly, the rain looked like it's not gonna stop any sooner. Thus GG and I bought a cup of Mee Goreng from Indo mie and ate it as lunch in the store. The shop keeper was a very nice guy and helped us poured out the hot water after the noodles were cooked. This was the first time I had dry cup noodles! Like a cool. Haha.

Holes for pouring out hot water without losing any ingredients

IDR 5,000 (SGD 0.56) for a cup of instant Mee Goreng, quite yummy!

Resorted to eating Mee Goreng in Circle K as our first meal in Bali due to heavy downpour =(

Discovery Shopping Mall
Kartika Plaza Street, Kuta - Bali, Indonesia 80361
Phone: +62-361-755522

A&W spotted

This was how we spread our ice cream equally on the waffles
Surprisingly, when we walked to the other entrance of the mall, it was Kuta Beach!! Omg, a mall just next to a beach. The sun was setting too! Gorgeous view! 

Discovery Shopping Mall

Oceans 27 Beach Club & Grill just next to Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

A group of youngsters playing soccer on the beach, so carefree!
Credits to GG

Bali, you are just too beautiful.

Sunset view at Kuta Beach was definitely breathtaking and relaxing. I can't imagine how much more awesome can the view at Maldives be! *saving up $$ for Maldives* From Discovery Shopping Mall, we took a cab to Kuta Night Market for IDR 20,000 (SGD 2.23). It was quite a short route but the journey was around 15min due to heavy traffic. We decided to settle for Warung Wijaya along the road as it was quite crowded.

Warung Wijaya
Sedia: Soto (Soup), Bakso Sapi (Veal Meatballs)

We ordered Soto Bakso (Meatball Soup, IDR 16,000 = SGD 1.80), Soto Daging (Meat Soup, IDR 14,000 = SGD 1.60), 2 plates of rice and 3 bottles of Teh botol (Sweetened Jasmine Tea). The total cost for this meal was only IDR 43,000 (SGD 4.80) for the three of us! I love the soup and their meatballs! Very yummehhhh~

Soto Bakso (Meatball Soup), IDR 16,000 (SGD 1.80)

Total cost was only IDR 43,000 (SGD 4.80) for 3 of us!

We wondered around the streets, getting lost in the dark-lit streets and found the right direction after asking staffs from 2 different hotels. There were many surf brands such as Quiksilver, Roxy, Billabong around the area. Nice bars and cafes can also be easily spotted.

Poor lobsters!!

All of them are trapped in the bottle, can't move/swim at all!

Blue Lobster International Seafood Restaurant & Bar
Jl. Dewi Sartika, Bali, Indonesia

PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIS RESTAURANT, DO NOT ENTER. This was the WORST meal we had in Bali. Before you entered, the staff standing outside was very enthusiastic and welcoming us to the restaurant. She's a Balinese but she's able to speak Mandarin as the boss of this restaurant is from mainland China. They offered 30% off the menu for selected dishes and were relatively cheap for seafood.

Once we stepped in, we were ushered to a table which was not completely cleaned. Traces of sauces were still visible on the table cloth. We called for the waiter when we were ready to make our orders. The first waiter came, he told us that the Chilli Crab which costed IDR 200,000 (SGD 22) was frozen. While we were deciding whether to take fresh crabs (much more expensive) or the frozen ones, he impatiently said "let me know once you are ready to order" and walked off. We were stunned by his action as we already came into a conclusion that we gonna take the cheaper option before he left. His service was absurd.

Another waitress walked passed and we ordered from her instead. Our fruit juices came first and it took super duper long for our 3 dishes to arrive. Looking around at other tables, they only have drinks on their tables and not food. The table next to us, an Indonesian Family, got into a dispute with one of the waiter as they have waited too long for their food. Also, the table opposite us, sitting a Caucasian family, pulled on dull faces as their food was no where to be seen after waiting for ages. We came out with a joke that this was their tactic - make all the customers wait for their food to attract new customers as the restaurant will look very full.

Tomato Juice at IDR 15,000 (SGD 1.70)

Chilli Crab at IDR 200,000 (SGD 22) - Horrendous! Not only that it's not fresh, it stinks!

Chicken Satay - The peanut sauce was not to my liking

Seafood Platter - Can you believe it?! Worst platter I've seen

Ridiculously bad seafood meal with 3 dishes and 3 fruit juices at around IDR 360,000 (SGD 40)
Rahhhhh, what an awful meal to end the day! Seriously, I strongly recommend you to NOT step your foot into this crappy Blue Lobster Restaurant. It will spoil your night in Bali.  >:(

We bought alcohol while we were walking back to our hotel. Each bottle was around IDR 25,000 (SGD 2.80). They tasted quite good just that I didn't like it being slightly gassy.

Cheers to Bali Day 1!

Bottle opener in the hotel

Bali Day 2's going to an exciting day! We had to wake up at 6.30am and there'll be a vehicle waiting for around 8 - 8.30am at hotel's lobby to fetch us to Telaga Dewata Rafting at Telaga Waja River. Will update Bali Day 2 in awhile. =)


  1. Hi very interesting post. Do you stay around here?

    1. Hi Krish, thanks. I stayed at Eden Hotel which is 700m away, approximately a 10-15min walk or 2min drive from Bali Garden Beach Resort.

  2. Hihi^^ Is it easy to get a cab around Bali? Also at night time are cabs readily available on the streets? Thanks in advance (:

    1. Hi Rosanne, yes it was pretty easy to get a cab in Bali. They are available on the streets at night but some of them will switch off their meter and quote a price instead. You could either reject his offer and try to get another cab with an honest driver not offing his meter or negotiate for a better/acceptable price.

  3. Interseting post. May i know how much sgd u change for ur vacation in bali?

    1. Hi thank you, I think I changed about SGD 200-250, couldn't remember the exact amount.

  4. I am impressed with all of your posts. I have just heard about the Bali but now after having a look at your post I became fan of Bali. After being impressed by your blog, I made a plan of travelling Bali this holidays.

    1. Hi Soorya, thank you. That sounds great. Have fun in Bali! ;)

  5. Is going to Bali in a month! Lots of useful information here!

  6. You look so enjoy your trip I wish I could. I had ever there but unfortunately I was there for business relation so I cannot enjoy it at all. I wish I could be there for my own trip haha. Anyway, is there easy to get rent car such as Jogja? Thankyou very much :D

  7. Hi! how long did u stay there? is Eden hotel near the place for water sports?

    1. Hello, I stayed there for 2 nights. It's about 10 min walk to Kuta Beach from Eden Hotel. I did not see any water activities when I was there in the evening, maybe I was too late. You may want to check online.

  8. Great article and photos. I loved Bali and all it had to offer. Diving is also fantastic in Bali. So many different dive sites in Bali. I went with for 4 days of diving when I was there & had a great time. Also looked around loads of temples and did some trekking up a volcano too. Highly recommended location for diving and so much more.