Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unchanged

The most tiring weekend ever. Travelled to Kuantan for a wedding while having a fever and gastric. Ended attending the church wedding but skipped the dinner because fever wouldn't go down. Then the next of the whole was spent traveling back.

However it was worth it for the sake of childhood friendship. It's strange how life can change so much, we get married, have children, focus on our careers, go through the ups and downs of life and get just so busy, yet some things remain the same as if time has left it untouched.

I stayed over at my friend's house and it was me and her on the bed talking and talking through the night. Her baby was sleeping by her side.

Yet when I closed my sleep deprived eyes while talking the night away, we both were 14 years old again on one of the sleepover parties we had.

Hopefully we will still have moments like these when we are grannies. :)



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bali - Kajane Mua Villas

Bali is about street market shopping, beaches, spas and beautiful villas. Staying in a nice villa is part of the holiday itself so I booked Kajane Mua Villas after reading lots of good reviews on Trip Advisor.

The moment you step into this villa, you'll be treated like royalty.

This is the view from the Lobby.

We booked Beji Giri and paid USD285 (RM870) for one night. 

Once you enter the villa, you'll be greeted by this beautiful sight. I had this sudden urge to hide in Bali forever. The hubby who was complaining that I booked such an expensive villa when we could go shopping with the money, shut his mouth after he got dazed by the beauty.

There are two sun beds for you to relax by the pool

And an outdoor shower for a quick shower before entering the pool

 And on the deck, there's a table and chairs where your breakfast will be served to you the next morning


The bed was most comfortable. I loved it for oh so many reasons.
Come on, even if you're 80 years old, you'll get turned on by this bed,

 There a LCD TV (which the hubby was happy to see) and a DVD player.





This is the beautiful outdoor bathtub. Opposite the bathtub, there's a beautiful landscape of plants and flowers. I forgot to take a photo of that because I was too excited taking photos of other things in the villa :(


The wonderful sink and toiletries

 In the afternoon, they will see tea/coffee and some local deserts to your villa

 The hubby set his alarm to 6.30am the next morning. And when it rang, he took his pillow and slept on the day bed outside. I follow him with my pillow as well and we both squeezed onto the bed together. It was wonderful to enjoy the view from there, listening to the birds waking up.


 They have several breakfast sets to choose from. I had the Daily set and the hubby had the Japanese set. I have to say I was a little disappointed with the breakfast because I expected more after the grand breakfast I had in Nefatari Villas last year.


 After breakfast, we explored the surroundings. To get from one villa to another, you'll have to walk up and down stairs like these. So imagine the stuff bringing breakfast to your villa.

This padi field is just next to the villas

They have a common area with chairs, a rocking house and a pool for you to use (I forgot to take a photo of the pool). No one around since each villa has its own private pool. 


 This is one of the traditional music instruments, made out of bamboo. No matter what you simply play, it still sounds beautiful.

Overall, Kajane Mua Villas is wonderful wonderful wonderful but a little pricey though. If you are willing to spend on a little luxury, I definitely would recommend this villa.

Pros
  1. Beautiful beautiful beautiful (Did I not say enough through this whole entire post already?)
  2. I love how they place flowers on the tables, bed, even in the toilet.
  3. I really like the outdoor bath tub. Spent an hour in there. :)
  4. The private pool is big enough to swim around
  5. Very very nice staff who aim to give you the best service
  6. Free shuttle service around Ubud and they provide bicycles which you can use for free
  7. Very good location, it's strategically located along Monkey Forest Road, opposite the Laughing Buddha restaurant
  8. From their website, seems like they can arrange for all sorts of activities for you to do during the day time. I didn't try it though since we had lots of other things to do ourselves
Cons
  1. The breakfast was too simple for the price we paid for the villa. But it's a small tiny complaint
  2. The villa I stayed was right next to another villa. And at night, I would hear the TV from the other villa.
  3. In Nefatari Villa, everything in the fridge is free. This villa charges you for the drinks in the fridge (except for the mineral water)
For more information, visit their website

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bali - In Da Lodge

People like me (a.k.a control freaks) need to do lots of research before we travel. And one of the things I do a lot of research on is on the hotels that I choose to book online. I blogged about Nefatari Villas last year and I found that a lot of people view that page.

So here is my experience of staying in In Da Lodge. I booked this BB inn because of all the great reviews I read on Trip Adviser.


To get to In Da Lodge, drive along Jalan Raya Ubud and along the way you'll see this steep road where you'll see Klinik Dharma Usada. Once you see that clinic, there's a small little path you'll have to walk through to get to the inn (there's a sign to guide you).

Go down along this little path and you'll see the entrance to the inn.

And this is what you'll see around the neighborhood

Once you step into the inn, you'll be welcomed into a lush environment. 

There's a lazy bed with books for you to relax your day away

The bar

One of the rooms on the ground floor

Our room was on the first floor

Entrance to our room. The doors are the traditional kind of doors with no proper locks. There's a padlock to hold the door handles together, but you'll still be able to look into the room if you push the doors back. The window blinds are also slightly see through. 

The bed was comfortable. 

There one stand fan provided. No air conditioning or TV. The weather was cool so we didn't have to turn on the fans.

Opposite the bed, there's another room with a table and a small cupboard. There's also a small kitchen area with a sink that wasn't working

The toilet area wasn't very comfortable to me. It wasn't very clean and I felt like I had to wear my slippers into the bathroom.

Water takes slow to heat up and after a while, the water turned cold again. Also, there isn't any proper drainage in the toilet. And because the toilet floor and the bedroom floor is at the same level, if you take a long shower, the water will start flowing into the bedroom. There wasn't any sink in the bathroom and since the kitchen sink wasn't working, I had no sink to brush my teeth the next morning. Had to go to the shower.

Each room as a table and two chairs just outside the room. 

In the morning, breakfast was served to our room. They have a very basic menu but it was good enough for me.


You'll get to enjoy the beautiful view of rice paddy fields while having your breakfast.


The staff in this BB inn were friendly and warm. The hubby didn't really like the inn because it didn't have any TV and he felt bored at night and he wasn't happy that there wasn't a proper sink and that water could flow into the room. 

But to me, Bali is about getting away for technology and just enjoying the nature. The environment was very quiet and peaceful. However, the rooms are not soundproof and you can hear conversations from people staying in the other room. Also, there weren't any reading lights and all other lights are dim so I couldn't really read my book at night.

If you want to experience a more Balinese stay, then this is the inn for you. I'm glad I booked this inn because I felt it was a good experience. I have to admit though that I was glad that I wasn't staying a 2nd night because of the uncomfortable toilet. If the toilets were cleaner and if the sink was working, this little inn would be perfect. 

Pros
  1. Good location, 5 minutes away from Ubud Market
  2. Quiet and peaceful surroundings
  3. Gives you the Balinese stay experience
  4. Warm friendly staff
  5. Serves breakfast to your room
  6. Wonderful view of the padi fields if your room is on the first floor
Cons
  1. Toilet not very clean, sink wasn't working, water may flow into the bedroom
  2. Rooms not soundproof which would be bad if there are noisy people staying near your (but the guest here seems more of the mature and considerate type, not the typical drunken youngsters you'll see in Kuta, so I doubt there will be problems with this)
  3. No reading lights, no TV
  4. Doesn't have private parking areas, you'll have to park on the street outside

I paid RM160 for the Superior room. 
For more info about In Da Logde, go to their website.



Friday, September 2, 2011

Bali - Pantai Geger

Pantai Geger is a beautiful beach in Bali. I didn't go there the first time I went to Bali and I almost didn't go there again this time because we had to travel all the way there just to see a beach and in Bali one place to another place is far.

When I got there, I was astounded by the beauty.



The water was so clear. I can see my feet in the water!


I regretted so much for not wearing a bikini there. All I wanted to do was to jump into the water.

Imagine staying here and going out to your balcony to see this gourgeous view. I could have sat there the whole day. The hotels here are super expensive and there are not many of them so the beach is not that crowded. But there are lots of villas currently under construction so in another year, probably there will be more people staying around here.

When I saw this picture we took,


 it reminded me of a photo we took together years ago during our first vacation together (guess how many years ago). :)

Since I wanted to go back with my bikini, we went back on our last day just before we flew off.

It was so wonderful to sit by the beach and relax.



You have to rent the chairs there for RP20k. And there are people there to give you massages but we didn't take it because we had to fly off in an hour.


We asked a guy to take a photo of us and in 5 seconds, he took 4 different styles for us. Next time when somebody asks me to help take a photo for them, I'll do this as well.

          



Was sad to leave the beach and head off to the airport. Change out of my bikini in the car on the way to the airport.

Next destination I want to go: Phuket. :)