Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Bali Trip – Part 1

In Mid of April I went for a 5-day trip to Bali along with a colleague cum friend. This whole Idea of a trip started in my head after a trip to our hometown for a family wedding. The course of having an Indian wedding in family is more tiring then getting a break, especially if you are the elder daughter in law, I see those heads nodding, we share the same feeling ladies ☺😉

On our way, back from the airport I told my husband that I figured out what I want for my birthday, and the relief was clear on his face that now he don't need to think about my gift now. “Take whatever you want” he said in a breath. “I want a solo trip” I said without wasting a second. He looked at me without even blinking for 10 sec and then turned around saying, do what you want.

I took that as a go ahead, and started my planning. After lots of research on safe places for female traveler I zeroed on Bali. But it was heart breaking for me when every time I tried to book an activity, it asked for minimum 2 pax. Bali, you are spoiled with Honeymooners huh? I was thinking of changing on the destination and one day on lunch table I happened to discuss all of this with my colleagues. There one of my colleague got interested in coming along to Bali, and then there was no looking back. We decided to plan the whole trip on our own, with all the activities which we wanted to do (different post on the Bali planning guide) 

Our 5-day trip to Bali started with landing in Bali by midday at 12. However, it became almost 2:30pm for us by the time we check-in our hotel, thanks to the ester break, immigration line was too long. Our Hotel was just 4km away from the Bali Airport, which is 10 mins drive in non-peak traffic hours. Our hotel had free pickup from Airport, so we didn’t had to wait for cab and all, our driver was already there with our name board waiting for us to arrive. Drive from Airport to Hotel was very comfortable, Bali roads are good in general, especially when compared to the roads full of potholes in Bangalore 😜 We also noticed that they don’t have smaller cars on road, mostly we traveled in and got to see SUV/XUV only.

As the day was already half gone, we had planned to cover a spot which is good to go during sunset. Uluwatu temple is a sea temple in Bali, which is famous as a sunset viewing point and for the Kecak Fire dance show in evening. We were staying in Kuta and Uluwatu temple being 23km away from our hotel we started by 4:30 with hopes to reach the temple in 1 hour. As Uber is banned in Bali, it’s good to download other taxi apps like go-jek etc, as this comes out to be more convenient and cheaper than the Taksi you get to see on the roads. Our Driver that day was Vibhisan (Yes Bali is a Hindu majority state, and most people are named after mythological characters from Ramayana and mahabharta), who was very much interested to take us to other places around too, and was ready to give good price, but we had already booked all our activities for each day in advance. However, we cracked a deal with him, that he will wait for us for 2 hours in the temple parking and will bring us back to hotel in just double the cost of what we found him on Go-jek for one way trip. Yes, with some negotiation we were able to make him wait for us for almost free. The reason we did this was, online booked taxis are not allowed inside the temple parking area for pickup, so if you want to go back from the temple by booking cab online, you must walk till the main gate which is some 300-500mtrs away from the parking area.

When going to the temples in Bali, one must dress appropriately, which is cover the shoulders and knees. However, in the entry fee of 30K rupiah the fee for Sarong is already included, which one must wear regardless of your knees being covered or bare. The guy who gave us sarong told us to buy the tickets for Kecak Fire dance first as it was almost time for it to start. We walked as fast as we can from the main gate to ticket counter of the dance show, but to our bad luck, the show was sold out. I had seen this dance long back, during my first Bali trip but my friend missed it and I was really feeling bad for her as it is an experience one must live. 
Sadly, they don’t sell these tickets online, one can only buy the tickets on spot for same day. We advise, try to reach the temple by 4:30pm or 5pm and not later. Now that the dance was out, we decided to explore the temple completely. We went through the whole temple premises and in the main temple. There are no prayers offered in this temple and tourists were allowed everywhere. Though out there are many spots as viewing points to admire the beauty of Indian Ocean during sunset. One quick tip, beware of monkeys, these cute ones are very mischievous and might snatch away your phone cameras etc, so hold on to your belongings guys. there are 100s of them here, and they are believed to be protect the temple from bad influence.

Once it got completely dark, which was around 6:15 we left the temple. While coming back we asked our driver to drop us at Kuta Artmarket, which was 2 mins walk from our hotel. Girls love to shop but as it was our first day we were more in the mood to explore, still we came back to hotel with 4 strew Bags 😌 it’s a must buy from Bali.

We decided to stay in Kuta so that we can experience Bali night life. After getting freshen up, we went to Sky Garden, a well-known night club in Bali. And guess what, we went there by walk, google helped us with directions and till 9-9:30pm streets were still busy so we girls didn’t feel unsafe at all.

Sky Garden is a multistory nightclub with 8 pubs and clubs under one roof. Entry for girls is free from 9pm-11pm, you must only pay for what you eat or drink, no deposit needed and no que if you have no guys with you “Go-Girls”. We explored 4 clubs inside, had some food as we were starving and drinks which were decent. We happened to meet few group of girls and boys who were also on vacation in Bali like us. And at end we happened to attend the show of dj Dinar candy. Well, I knew nothing about her before that night, but her music was good, we both enjoyed it.

Around 1:30 we booked a cab to go back to hotel, as we were too tired to walk back. This night was super fun in Sky Garden. But we had an early-day planned next hence few hours of sleep were must 😴


Transit in Hong Kong

Travel is exciting yet stressful if you are a Mumma of a 4 year old. Thoughts like how will the kid survive without you and how will yo...