It has been a long time since we travelled. Last year has not been a particular good year for flying. Partly because of hectic work schedule and partly because of several tragic travelling news around the world. However, we needed a break, a real break. It was also our wedding anniversary. So we flew. Off to Bali we went. The decision on the destination took us forever. We couldn’t decide where best to go. We only had a short 5-6 days. Flying too far might not be a good idea. Too near, it doesn’t feel much of a holiday, plus, it probably means some hot Asian country, again. By the time we decided on a venue, we couldn’t really get a flight or a hotel and once again, the venue changes and changes and finally we settled on Bali. It’s our first time to Bali and based on our impression of Bali, it is a place good for romantic and relaxing retreats. But, we are bringing along the kids as well as the parents, our usual travel group. How to tour Bali romantically and relaxingly? Maybe we need to relook our idea of Bali. So here’s what we did, with the kids and the old folks and still had a blast of time in a supposedly romantic destination.
The most crucial part of this trip. The hotel. It was December when we went and the weather forecast was mainly rainy. We gathered that in case of bad weather, or any unforeseen circumstances, we need to have a nice hotel where we could just stay in the whole day and still get the vacation feel and kids get entertained and don’t whine about having nothing to do all day. We picked Westin Resort, Nusa Dua. A prestigious hotel in the region, where even Mr President Obama stayed while on visit to Bali. The security is tight and upon every entry to the hotel premises, bomb scans are conducted on the vehicle. It feels kind of overwhelming, but it probably just assures us that we are quite safe here.
The room was amazing. We had a connecting room and the kids went wild running to and fro both rooms. For us, we got free in-room wifi. Cool.
The hotel made some arrangements for our anniversary as well. Sweet memories.
Just next to our Westin Ressort, is the Laguna Resort which shares the same private beach at Westin. Since they are linked, we walked over to have a quick look. The resort was beautiful.
We might consider this place the next visit.
We went for the easy option. We hired the land tour service from the hotel. And we got a luxurious Toyota Alphard sending us around and a guide helping us plan where to go.
Just for Kids.
Kids.Club. at Westin Resort
We didn’t even have to explain what’s kids club about and the kids knew its going to be fun, just because it says kids.club. They could just stay in there the whole trip for the whole day and don’t even need to go anywhere else. In fact we met 1 kid who has been there every year for the past 6 years. Her parents leave her there with the club staff and went surfing. Cool kid and parents here. i think in the next few years she can hop over to the teenagers club next year. Basically a cosy room with lots of gaming consoles and games. That’s what teenagers do?
WaterBom Bali is a water play park located not far away from our hotel, we brought the kids here to have water fun to cool off from the heat. It’s very similar to legoland or any water theme parks, so the kids were rather familiar with the play structure here. The kids had a great time here but we would be better if it was not that hot.
Safari and Animal Feeding
The safari in Bali is quite an interesting attraction. The entrance fee is considered quite steep but we had to try it. There were various packages which made us confused but we just went for the cheapest package. Turns out the kids really had fun and so did we! Some animals were a bit too welcoming, we were overwhelmed. But it was fun getting this close to them.
There is a common bus for tourist to ride through the safari but we opt for this private jeep with extra cost just to experience getting really close to the animals. it was a cool jeep that brought us over land and water.
After a fun session with the animals, time for the kids to cool off again at the water playground! It was really really hot by then, so we didn’t stay here for too long but enough knock out the kids after that. Luckily our ticket include free entry to this water playground
We chanced upon this fruit farm and they let us in to experience picking some Bali grown mandarin oranges. Never expected to find mandarin orange in Bali though. This farmer charged us a rather high rate I would think but maybe also because we picked the big fat oranges that were really heavy.
Mt Batur Volcano
We both love and hate this place.
This is the only place we have been so far in Bali that the weather is nice and cool.
The scenery is breathtaking with the cloudless blue sky and the serene backdrop
This place is full of houseflies! Big scary houseflies. You either bump into a fly every 2 steps or step on the flies carcass-littered floor. The kids were freaked out. Let’s don’t even mention the toilet conditions. We were supposed to have lunch here but we dropped the idea. Immediately. The staff were busy swiping flies off the already laid out table. But we don’t even dare to use them. So we just got a drink, so that we could use their toilet, and left.
To reach here, you actually need to pay an ‘entrance fee’ to enter the village before you can get a picture here. We were saying this must be the first time we had to pay entrance fee to see a volcano. The volcano is supposed to be an active volcano but we can see trekkers and vehicles going back and forth the area. Great adventure.
Tasting the World’s Most Expensive Coffee
Caveat Coffee, or some say cat dunk coffee. Sounds incredible that people came up with this unique way to make a cuppa coffee. I heard about it but never tried and cannot imagine the production of it. So I was curious. Our guide brought us to 1 of these production farms to taste and understand more about it. Ok we didn’t actually see the cat, which looked more like a fox, poop, but we did get to taste the coffee.
They gave us various types of coffee for free tasting, but we had to pay an extra of about 5 SGD for the caveat cup. The snacks were good but the coffee, including the caveat coffee was, erm, so-so. We didn’t really like the caveat coffee. Not our usual kind of coffee, but it was a good experience, especially when you get to taste coffee with such scenery.
Tana Lot is 1 of our must-go attraction in Bali. It is supposed to be a temple that is built on top of rocks and appear detached from the main island during high-tide and it’s quite impressive. But it was also very crowded. We were lucky we missed the annual Hindu religious event else this place would be closed.
But the route to the temple was very rocky and we think it’s too hard for the elders and kids to go. So we got them to rest here for a while while hubby and me went to check it out. One warning, the toilets here are… erm.. you know.. so try not to go if possible.
We were keen to walk across the ‘sea’ to see the temple. Unfortunately, the tides were coming in and the local guides warned us if the tide was too high, we might be trapped in the temple until the tide subsides, else we would need to swim back to shore. So rem, ok, let’s give it a miss. The kids are still waiting for us. But it’s quite a nice experience overall.
Just for the Mummies
Something would be missing from the trip if we didn’t come for any beauty treatment in Bali. Thanks to the Daddy who is accompanying the kids at the kids club, the mummies sneaked to the spa for a facial and massage session. The atmosphere was good but it was kind of pricey and the treatment was only basic.
I like this post treatment snack of walnuts, strawberries and dark chocolate though.
We took a shuttle bus from hotel to the Bali Collection where there’s supposed to be lots of shopping. Problem was, the shops there were too dispersed it takes too long to go around each shop. The folks were tired and the kids were whiny. We only managed to get some toys and stuff from Sogo. But things there were not cheap. So it’s kind of optional to come here for shopping.
During our short stay here, we ate mainly at the hotel food outlets or room service. We had our first meal at Prego, which was just below our room. The kids enjoyed the pasta and the pizza here and so did we
Food here is quite ok. But we did have a few memorable meals though.
Jimbarang Beach Dinner
The atmosphere and the settings with the sunset view was mesmerising, if you could disregard the 1000 over other customers and tables and chairs around you. The live band also liven up the atmosphere. You almost feel like taking your own sweet time to enjoy a good seafood meal, until you realised you have 2 young kids with you who, after a whole day of activities, were starting to crank up, feel restless and making noises. Then you wake up and try to gobble down the delicious seafood and leave this place as soon as you can before it gets really dark and the kids feel their bedtime coming. So much for the romantic-ness.
We were thrilled to find an A&W here. Now that A&W has left Singapore, we greatly missed their root beer float and waffles with ice cream. We couldn’t miss it, we had to order something! It was still as good as before. Yum!
Ah Yat at Ayana Resort and Spa
Our most expensive meal of the trip, as a celebratory dinner before we leave Bali the next day, we came by the supposedly most expensive hotel in Bali. The resort was so big, we had to take a buggy around the premises and to get to this restaurant!
I was exhausted that day so totally forgot to take pictures of our food. But everyone enjoyed a good Chinese meal just before the trip ends and going back to reality (end of holidays) after this meal.