Category Archives: Bali

Bali, Indonesia (Part VII: Ossotel, Boron Blue Driver)

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As mentioned in Part VI, our stay in Legian would not have been complete without Ossotel. Our stay here may have been short-lived but I’ll try my best to feature as much about this place.

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Located in the busy area of Legian, Ossotel is a fairly new establishment catered to the young crowd. Just like our stay in Brown Feather, this was an awesome find for us. We have read a lot of negative reviews about the Legian and Kuta area so we had to make sure that we stayed in a good place.

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From the moment you step foot, the place has a very hip but cozy feel to it. This can be seen all throughout the establishment.

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Apart from their suites, all rooms are streamlined with the only difference that the rooms located in the first floor provide direct access to their pool. Since it was already our last day, we decided to get this room type. Access is literally a few steps away.

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If you want to hit the beach, they have a direct access at the back. You have to walk through a small alley for around 5-10 minutes before reaching Legian Beach.

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Since we had to leave before sunrise the next morning, their staff was nice enough to pack our inclusive breakfast. They even called us during our wake-up time. These small touches really made us want to stay longer at this place.

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Before I forget, I would also like to give a shout out to our driver Boron who made our Bali trip awesome! He made our trip very convenient and would often go out of his way. The small chit chats were also a big bonus as we learned more about Indonesia and Bali from a local standpoint. Again, thank you and we hope to see you again in the future!

For those who would like to contact Boron, just search Boron Blue Driver on Facebook.

– The Tourist Pao

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Bali, Indonesia (Part VI: Uluwatu, Jimbaran)

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Our 4th day is our last full day in Bali. This time, we are moving to another place again so we first checked-out from Brown Feather. Before heading to Legian, we grabbed some quick lunch at Wah Wah Burger. Their food is quite expensive but good.

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After our quick lunch, we headed down to check-in at our last place – Ossotel. More about this place in my last post about our Bali trip.

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Before heading out, we decided to check the Legian Beach area. The beach is similar to Seminyak Beach with the difference of having light-brown sand here. I prefer this beach better than the one in Seminyak. Beach bumming and water activities are more prevalent around this area.

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After, we headed straight to our last destination – Uluwatu Temple. It took us awhile to get to this area but it was worth it!

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Uluwatu Temple is situated along a cliff which required walking. There’s one area there without a concrete trail. It was nice to just relax and catch the sunset while you hear the waves crash along the cliffs.

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Since we were running out of time, we did not wait for the Kecak Fire Dance. Heard some good reviews about it so you may want wait for the show.

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For our last dinner (and sunset view), we headed to Jimbaran for a seafood feast. This area is well-known for their seafood restaurants. You can choose your own seafood and have it cooked the way you like. As the area suggests, it is a touristy spot so the prices can become expensive.

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Despite the deep hole in my pocket, the food was great and the view was really nice! We were also fortunate to get a table nearest to the shore so our sunset view was unobstructed.

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We then headed back to the Kuta/Legian area to do some last minute shopping. This was the only time we went to the more commercialized district. Probably something you can do as well (if you’re into shopping) when you visit Bali.

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I did not want to sleep when we returned back to Ossotel since it was our last day already. I even drank some of the Bintang I bought to busy and keep myself awake. But fatigue took over and I slept the last few hours before we departed.

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This caps off our wonderful Bali trip. Before we decided to go here, I knew Bali did not have the best temples. I also knew Bali did not have the best white-sand beaches. Neither did I surf nor trek mountains (yet). But everyone who has been here really enjoyed and loved this place. So we took their word for it…

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From Ubud to whatever it is beyond to the more hip scene along the Seminyak area; and finally, the wonderful beaches down south.  Bali has this magical vibe that we easily fell in-love with. One must experience Bali as a whole to fully understand this place. Whatever floats your boat, Bali will be ready for you!

Wait, there’s still Part VII for those who are interested to stay in Legian.

– The Tourist Pao

Bali, Indonesia (Part V: Potato Head, Ku De Ta, Pandawa Beach)

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Day 3 means a more relaxing day for us after two days of temple touring. Our first stop was Potato Head Beach Club. Contrary to what I thought it would be like, this place has a laid back vibe to it. People were casually lounging around pool beds. We were hoping to stay around that area but it was full when we arrived.

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Right at the back of Potato Head is Seminyak Beach. It is a long sandy beach connecting Legian,Seminyak and Kuta. Unlike other beach lines, you can only see a few resorts along the front. There were only a few tourists along the beach. The sand is more on the darkish-grey color and the water is bluish-green.

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Afterwards, we decided to go to a beach that our driver, Boron, has been mentioning about – Pandawa Beach. We headed to the southeastern-most part of the island to reach our next destination.

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Before you reach the beach, you will pass by a road that cuts straight through the mountain. I am not certain but this seems like a quarry before the beach was discovered. Looks like it!

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We stayed at the far end of the beach as there are less people here. The place is not yet that well-known to tourists as majority of the visitors are locals.

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The sand is soft and almost-white in color. Water is clearer compared to the one in Seminyak Beach. We keep seeing signs not to swim though. The beach gets rocky along the shore during low tide.

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Because this was more of a chill day for us. We decided to head back to Brown Feather after our beach excursion. For dinner, we went to a nearby place called Crab Bar. As their name suggests, they specialize in crabs cooked the way you want.

To cap off our night, we headed to Ku De Ta. Bali has really been great to us so far!

Head to Part VI for our last day in Bali.

– The Tourist Pao

Bali, Indonesia (Part IV: Brown Feather Bed & Breakfast)

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Brown Feather is probably my favorite out of the three places we stayed in at Bali. I found this place at the last minute which gave me a bit more breathing space in terms of our budget.

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Situated along Batu Belig, it is near the other places we wanted to see like Ku De Ta and Potato Head Beach Club.

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Since we got a good rate when we booked this place, we chose their largest room called the Suite Magena. This room features a copper bathtub in the bathroom. The overall design is rustic and has a very homey vibe to it.

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Our room is located in the ground floor at the far end of the establishment.

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If you’re planning to stay around the area (near Seminyak) but don’t want to blow your budget, I strongly recommend staying at this place.

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Go to Part V to see where we went during our third day in Bali.

– The Tourist Pao

Bali, Indonesia (Part III: Monkey Forest, Ulun Danu, Tanah Lot)

Our second day is again, temple day! The plan is to finish Ubud and the upper parts as we are moving south afterwards. We first headed to Monkey Forest since it was near the resort.

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As the name suggests, there were lots of monkeys around the area. For those who have not been warned, avoid bringing headgear and sunglasses. Tourists usually fall prey to monkeys grabbing those accessories.

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Since the area was long, it was always good to see fellow visitors walk-by. We sometimes get scared of the larger monkeys as they seem aggressive at times. We tried to stay on the main pathways.

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We wanted to walk around Ubud since it’s regarded as the “artsy” part of Bali. There were lots of small shops and boutique stores around the Monkey Forest area. Instead, we just headed straight to the Ubud Market since we did not have the time.

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Here, you can buy your typical souvenirs to bring home. Like any other market, don’t forget to bargain your hearts out to get a good deal! I was able to buy a few Bintang t-shirts, some shot glasses and an ashtray (that everyone in Bali seem to have with the same design). We also found a tourist shop that sells postcards. It has always been our thing to write postcards to each other when we travel. Something to look forward a few months after we return from our trips. (Unfortunately, we never received any of the postcards we sent)

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Our next stop took us up north to visit the Ulun Danu Temple along Beratan Lake. This temple is one of the must-sees according to a lot of travel reviews. There were lots of people taking pictures within the lake temple so it was hard to capture a good shot.

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Alas, I was lucky enough to take one last shot of the temple. There was no one around for a moment.

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As the sun was about set, we headed south for our last stop – Tanah Lot. I was really looking forward to seeing this place. We rushed towards the entrance as you had to go through several gift shops before reaching the temple.

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We made it just in time! The sunset was great!

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I have seen photos with a much better angle of Tanah Lot. We did not have the time to plan it so we just went straight to the far right of the temple. Maybe, we should go back again.

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At this point, we were already so exhausted from two days of temple touring. By sun down, the tide was already getting high so we decided to head to Batu Belig to check-in at our next place – Brown Feather!

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I was hoping that this place would look like the photos we saw when we were searching for places to stay near Seminyak. Very affordable and the location is near places like MetisPotato Head Beach Club andKu De Ta. This was indeed a hidden gem! More about this lovely bed and breakfast in my next post.

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It was already getting late but we still had to find a place for dinner. Luckily, there’s a nearby Naughty Nuri around the block. It took us around 15-20 minutes of walking down the main road to get there at night.

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Naughty Nuri is famous for their ribs. Since the place was jam-packed, we stayed in a large square table with other guests.

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Good food and some nice temples for Day 2! Head to Part IV: Brown Feather Bed & Breakfast.

– The Tourist Pao

Bali, Indonesia (Part II: Alaya Resort)

After our whole day affair in Ubud, we finally get to check-in at Alaya Resort. We splurged a bit booking at this resort and it did not disappoint. Our room was upgraded from Deluxe to Alaya as it featured a stone bathtub. I was feeling sick from fatigue and lack of sleep even before our trip. I even took some medicine and fell asleep before dinner time.

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Luckily, I woke up feeling way better the next morning. We walked around to see the resort grounds before breakfast. We were only booked for one night since we are travelling southwards. How I wish we could have stayed longer at this resort!

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We wanted to try their award-winning Dala Spa but failed to do so since we did not have time. Maybe next time when we return to Bali.

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Their inclusive breakfast is just what I needed to start my day. They serve a complete breakfast with just the right portions. A must try when you stay at this resort.

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We had to get ready after breakfast since we have a whole day ahead of us. Too bad we could not stay longer at Alaya. We even did an early check-out since we are moving closer to Seminyak.

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Head on to Part III to see what we did during our second day in Bali.

– The Tourist Pao

Bali, Indonesia (Part I: Ubud)

Last September 2014, I went to Bali, Indonesia with my girlfriend. It was both our first time in this country. After months of planning and making sure we had everything covered, we were finally set to go! We booked our flight via Cebu Pacific direct from Manila to Denpasar. Our flight was 4:00 am and we arrived in Bali around 8:00 am.

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I was quite surprised that their airport in Bali (Ngurah Rai International Airport) is very nice! Considering this is not their capital, it’s way better than any of our airports here in Manila. Since we moved to 3 different places during our short stay, we decided to hire a driver who will drive us around Bali. Our driver, Boron, picked us up in the airport. (More about our driver in the last post of our trip)

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Since we arrived way early for check-in, Boron decided to drive us around certain areas near Ubud. Our first stop was a batik making facility that doubled as a souvenir shop. This was followed by a silversmith facility that sells jewelry. We were a bit wary when Boron brought us here. There were lots of other tourists who may have just arrived in Bali like us. On the bright side, they did not force us to buy any of the goods. And yes, some people appreciate these kinds of things. I actually ended up buying a silver cross necklace for my dad.

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After the first two stops, we decided to grab some brunch before checking-in. Right off the bat, we were able to try the popular Babi Guling (at Ibu Oka). Babi Guling is quite similar to our local lechon. The main difference is probably the sauce and garnish that it comes with. We got one full order of Babi Guling with an extra order of skin and vegetable soup. If you love lechon, this is a must try!

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Afterwards, we decided to check-in at our first place – the Alaya Resort. Since it was still early, we just left our luggage and headed out again. I was able to take a few shots of the hotel grounds. More about the Alaya Resort once we return from our tour.

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For starters, we visited the closer but lesser known temples called Goa Gajah and Pura Gunung Kawi. Be warned that both temples require some walking especially the latter one. There were some large stones with engraving on the bottom part of Goa Gajah but we decided not to go further down.

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Pura Gunung Kawi required a longer walk downwards. It was a good thing that the view was wonderful heading to the temple.

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After several minutes of walking, we finally reached our destination. These massive rocks were engraved to create these temple structures. We stayed here for quite some time since we needed to rest. It was also nice that the temple complex is set along a river.

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Returning back might be the most excruciating part of our first day of temple touring. We had to walk upwards this time. Since we wanted to maximize our day, we headed to the more popular temple called Tirta Empul (also known as the Water Temple). The water temple is much easier to walk-around.

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Contrary to it being more popular, I actually prefer the first two temples we visited. Tirta Empul is flocked by lots of locals and tourists as this place is still actively used as a religious site. One can actually bathe in one of the “holy springs”.

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It was around 4 in the afternoon already and we still had several stops to visit. I was very tired at this moment so what better way than to drop by an actual coffee plantation. We tried several Balinese coffee and tea before we purchased a few bags to bring home.

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(Unfortunately, the coffee we bought did not taste like the ones we tried at all. I was very excited to try them when we returned back to Manila. The taste is not even near. It was rather bland and tasted like ash. Very disappointing…)

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Our next stop was a glimpse of Mount Batur. We headed towards a higher (and colder) area where we passed by several orange and lemon farms. I was very surprised that they grew those in Bali thinking that their weather is much like ours which is tropical.

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The last stop before we checked-in was a view of one of Bali’s rice terraces. Nothing much to stay since we also have our very own rice terraces in the Philippines. I was also too tired at this point.

Stay tuned for Part II: Alaya Resort!

– The Tourist Pao