Thursday, July 30, 2009

Accommodation @ Bali

There’s plenty of accommodation in Bali. For budget visitors like us, we chose Bed & Breakfast because of its cheaper rates and location. It makes sense since we won’t be spending a lot of time in the room. Or so we think.

I did months of online research and honestly it wasn’t that much of help. The reviews conflicted, the rates are not updated and the very limited photos are taken ages ago. AND not all places have direct internet booking. You’d have to go through some online agents who took days to revert back, and some did not even bother to reply.

I was quite sceptical if not baffled with the room arrangement and ended up making room arrangement for our first night in Bali only. Well, I did queried about 20 other B&Bs but like I said, full or no response.

Once in Bali, we were happy to see the many B&Bs available and many were not listed in the internet. The only problem was, mostly were fully booked and if you do not venture into the smaller lanes at Legian, you will miss the many great B&Bs. We almost did.

BAMBOO LEGIAN
This was our first choice after going through the many online websites. We booked the Triple Bed with Ensuite Bathroom for IDR440,000 (RM158.40) a night. The room does look like the picture in their website BUT they failed to inform us that they are in the midst of upgrading work on the restaurant and some of the rooms.

The room were small but cosy and most importantly clean! Even the bathroom was super clean. However, the only amenities they provided was soap, shampoo and toilet papers. *hee. So bring your own towel people!

Bamboo Legian is very quiet as it is about 7 minutes walk from the clubbing area except for the occasional motorcycle passing through the lane next to the building. The staffs are very friendly and helpful too.

Since it is under upgrading, breakfast came in a box! There was no coffee (to the horror of Eskay and my sister) but the pastries were yummy!

LEGIAN EXPRESS
We did enquire about the B&B online but we were informed they were fully booked. Surprisingly, when we walked in to try our luck, there were still rooms available.

The Standard Room was bigger than Bamboo Legian but the whole place was a little run down and cleanliness wasn’t their biggest strength. *makes sick face* The electrical socket looked scary too but we had no choice but to use it as all our cameras and HPs were running low on battery. True enough, I electrocuted myself a bit. It was crazy.

There are plus points about the place though. There’s a pool which no one seems to use and the d├ęcor of the place was very Balinese and for a while you’ll forget you’re actually in the middle of a very busy street! The extra bed was so comfortable I slept like a baby after weeks of restless nights!

They serve breakfast too but we were 15 minutes too late.

During checkout, I overheard two guests complaining at the Front Office. The first guest complained that water drips from the ceiling into her ears while she was sleeping and the other complained about the cleanliness of the place. He claims that no one cleans the room throughout their stay. No I didn’t ask how they stayed.

For IDR430,000 (RM154.80), it wasn’t the best place ever. The staffs were okay-larr but they're expressionless makes them annoying.

MANGGALIMA INN
We found this place through the recommendation of our guide. It is located at one of the smaller lanes and definitely not visible from the main road. Heck, they don’t even have a signage or a website. We took the Junior Room with extra bed for IDR440,000 (RM158.40) per night. We decided to sta
y for the last two nights because we were already tired of B&B hunting.

The room is definitely bigger with a dining table and a fridge which other B&B do not provide. Most importantly, it was super clean and super comfortable.

They also served simple breakfast but it was delicious especially the keropok. Sadly, that's the only thing they serve despite a full menu provided in the rooms and the so-called restaurant. It wasn't a big deal really as the staffs were really friendly and helpful.

OTHER HOTEL
The guide also recommended few other places but it was fully booked. From what I see, his recommendation does match our requirements, so in case any of you are planning to go to Bali, this may come in handy.

Simpang Inn
Restu Bali Hotel

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the trip begins...


the crazy haze in KL

AK336’s ETD at 4.45pm remains expected. After failing making myself comfortable in one of those chairs and me whining about having to wait, we finally departed at 7.30pm after walking to the other end of the airport runway.


what do you do when you're bored in the airport? take pictures of course!
Why didn’t they park the plane right outside the terminal building like the other planes remains a mystery to me.

The infection on my eyes became worst and I was worried I would have problems at the Custom counter. You think with the H1N1 scare people would be more careful kan, but thank goodness no one cared! *woohoo*


people at their airport... waiting and waiting.

There are many people who are still ignorant about the seating assignment with AirAsia. What the airlines should do is to inform the guest personally when they check in because it is a hassle to argue onboard about the seating arrangements. It’s more annoying when you have to face arrogant people as well. The couple we had to face didn’t even bother to check their tickets when I told them they were at our seat and had the nerve to roll their eyes at us. Goodness!

If the airlines want to make more money, then please go ahead but do find ways to keep the guests well informed. You ask for our contact details and yet no one bothered to send a notification out. Sayang my time only to key in my email address and mobile number. *rolls eyes*

The 3-hour long ride was tiring but an hour before landing, I was greeted by what looked like a seas of stars under the airplane only to realised it was fishing boats. It was breathtaking as the stars in the sky and the lights below create an illusion of endless garden of stars. It was beautiful.

We arrived at Denpasar around 10.30pm and with the queue at the Indonesian Custom counter we only walk out of the arrival hall at 11.15pm. I was worried our airport pick-up would leave us at the airport and I nearly hugged Hafiz with joy when I saw him holding a card with my name written on it.

Hafiz was sweet. When I asked if he waited long, all he said was “lumayan”. *LOL. A very friendly chap who tells us the things to do at Bali and patiently answered our questions like a bunch of jakun.

Generally, Bali people are warm and friendly. Of course they are a few who does “funny” things but like everywhere else, you just need to be careful. Mostly could speak English but Bahasa Indonesia is very similar with Bahasa Malaysia and if there are words that you do not understand, they would be more than happy to explain it to you.

Bali is a BIG island and our guide Rey told us we would need at least 3 full days to cover all the tourist attraction. The most happening area would be Legian Street where all the pubs and the B&Bs are.

Talking about B&Bs (Bed & Brekafast), it is advisable to book your accommodation before reaching Bali. We decided to just try our luck by booking for the first night and we ended up wasting half morning, everyday looking for accommodation because most of the B&Bs are full or otherwise didn’t fulfil our very minimum requirements; Cheap & Clean!

Since I could not find a blog with useful info of Bali, I’ll do this in stages, based on my personal experience and observation.

I must applaud the Airasia people at Denpasar. They are so organised, attentive and efficient too. They informed us on the delay and arrange the passengers to go in according to their seating arrangements. This certainly is useful as we don’t have to wait too long for people to settle down in the plane.

However, they need to train their staffs who makes the announcement. We could clearly hear them asking the name of the pilot, the flight number and one even giggled. What is so funny in their cabin area, I do not know but I do know we, the passenger, laughed because it was idiotic.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So sad...

Kosmo! articles on Yasmin Ahmad

This is sad indeed. *shakes head in disbelief*
Common sense is a rare trait these days and I thought a news organisation would have more of that when facing with stupidity day in and day out.

Respect the living and the dead. Everyone has a story but at times like this, shouldn’t we focus on the good things?

I always thought Kosmo! as a gossip and entertainment only newspaper. Apparently it is and I guess will always be.

This is crazy. Just this morning I asked my mom why is everyone acting so insane.
I guess I will never know why.

KL Eating Fiesta


Ice skating rink by day

Ice hockey rink by night

KL is still KL only hazier which is the cause of my misery – eye infection. *sighs*
I only had like 2 days in KL which was used to settle some things, window shopping
(it was Mega Sales but I was mega broke) and impromptu and not-so-impromptu meeting with friends.

My siblings brought me to Gasoline at Sunway Pyramid for lunch. It was like a modern, hip Japanese restaurant without the Japanese food. *hee. They claim to serve more than 300 dishes, but with the many cancellation in their menu they may want to rephrase that statement.

I had the "Kam Heong" seafood which was good but spicy. The siblings also ordered the Cola Chicken and the Dragon Ball made out of something I could not identify but very yummy.

I like the whole concept but if you’re claustrophobic, then you may have a problem.

For dinner, we bought Japanese food but ate it at Jusco’s food court. Yes, to balance the whole Japanese eating experience. I heart Japanese food especially the teriyaki balls! The sauce was superb. The triangle sticky rice wrapped with seaweed was just so-so.

The Swedish meatballs at Ikea is still superdelicious but I would not say the same for their lemon sauce chicken though. It looks good but my tastebud refused to accept the lemon buttery taste. Maybe I was so into my meatballs bah kan?

However, my most favourite meal is the Nasi Campur Melayu at Jaring, Bandar Sunway. With my Ikan Pari panggang, budu, tempoyak and cincaluk (is that how you spell it?) my heart dances with joy as I stuffed myself silly.