Remaining days in heaven

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The Wrap Up
We decided to spend the last two days free and easy in Bali. More tanning in the Kuta beach, shopping, cocktails and massages later, it was time to bid good bye.

To say I am missing it is an understatement.

The Haulage
Some of the items we bought were:
Fridge magnets
T shirts
Beach shorts
Shoes
Ganesh wood craft
A couple of Buddha canvases
Local snacks
A wooden toy for N
A knitted bag for self
Souvenirs for colleagues
Can’t seem to remember more
Some goodies from the duty free shops at the airport

I am glad that we tried not to go on a mindless buy all frenzy. 🙂

Food
Bali food was so so. Nothing exceptional.

The seafood buffet we had at Dewata Cafe Seafood Restaurant & Bar, Jimbaran by the Kedongam seaside on Day 4 was fresh and filling nevertheless. To say it was fabulous, not exactly. For the price we paid, we received an array of sea delights including lobsters-for each some more!

Massages
Not only the massages we went to were almost half the cost we pay back home, it was on a league of its own too.

Cocktails
Cocktails-I was on a spree! Bloody Mary, Margarita, Mojito, you name it.

Shopping
Discovery Mall in Kuta was very much frequented. So was the Dulang Beach Front Cafe.

Jl Poppies II is a must go to lane. Lots and lots of shops selling all kinds of merchandises here. Be sure to bargain!

This is where we discovered Kuta Beach Walk Mall.

Legian Street is another stop. Here you can find a lot of massage centres. Try not to go for the ones which are too cheap. Might get dodgy as advised by our guide.

Tour Guide
We went through this guide. As he was unwell, he sent one of his fellow guide to take us around. No complains whatsoever! 🙂

Waahhhhhhhhhhh, I want to go back to Bali!

Bali, Day Four

We pretty much covered the South of Bali. To be precise, Jimbaran & Uluwatu.

Garuda Wishnu Kenchana
The Wishnu bronze statue is in progress. That did not stop the local authorities to open up this place for the general public. The head is up, so is part of the arms. The Garuda is face only too, yet to complete to its full form. There were some performances at the amphitheater. Caught those too with an opportunity to watch another much shorter Barong dance.

From this location, we could view the whole of South Bali.
What we saw next was simply spectacular. We were heading towards the Pandawa Beach.

Pandawa Beach
Oh My God! Blue blue hued water. Clear blue water. White sand. Gorgeous waves. A handful of people. Coconut juice. Awesome.

This beach was newly opened to the public. No hotels or buildings within eye range.it was named after the Panch Pandawas. Mid range statues of each brothers are being erected. This is in Sanur. A must go. We had fresh coconut drink while enjoying the scenary. Splendid!

Padang-Padang Beach
The next beach stop was at Padang-Padang. Not as spectacular as the earlier one but definitely better than the ones we have back home. The entry (yes, the entry) is through a narrow path which made by man through the cliff rock. Yes, we had to walk through the mountain rock from way up to down the beach.

Uluwatu temple
The next agenda was to watch the kecak dance and view the cliff temple and sunset in Uluwatu.

The thing with the coastal visits here is that, you can’t say one is better than the other. Each amazingly has its own charm and wonder.

Needless to say, so are the cliffs of Uluwatu. The scenery overlooking the Indian Ocean and the beautiful beautiful waves hitting the shore are god like! Walk and walk we had to to get the both ends  of the cliff.

Kecak & Fire dance
Just as we covered the sights, it was 5pm. It’s time for Kecak and fire dance and sunset viewing. What a wonder the culture holds. The Ramayana characters were brought to life by the gentle and graceful dancers. The men! The hordes of men who formed the background chorus to the dance. Wow!

I felt as though I was watching a pagan ritual. Simply mesmerising. With the fire in the middle and approaching dusk and all.

Sea view dinner at Jimbaran
Sea view dinner was the next stop. We went to this place called Dewata Cafe Seafood Restaurant & Bar. Very pricey and the guide got a huge cut! Eat plentyful but the taste and price we paid was not justified by any means!

Bali, Day Three

I am tired. It has been awhile since I walked this much!

I am going to summarise today’s itinerary in bullet points.

  •  Started the day heading towards Batubulan to watch the Barong and Keris dance. A must watch, this. The performance indulged in Mahabaratha epic, centering on Sahadeva. 
  • Next stop was to Batubulan temple. It is also known as Puseh Temple. The idols here areVishnu & Brahma.
  • Goa Gajah has shrines for Ganesha and Trimurthis in the cave. We were blessed by an elderly lady. 😀
  • Kintamani was the next stop. The highlights here are the Batur volcano and lake. Simply breathtaking, the mountains are. Out of three, one of it is very much active. You could actually see the lava spills from the last eruption in the 1960s.
  • Tirta Empul holy springs was the next stop. More temples and a holy spring are the main attractions. The visiting locals take bath in the spring to cleanse their sins, apparently. The markets selling goodies outside the holy springs are a good bargain.
  • Sukawati, an arts market was the wrap up destination. 
  • A full body massage and dinner later, I am back at the hotel room.
Nighty night!

Bali, Day Two

Well, Bali Day One awesome. This is how Day Two was.

Pura Taman Ayu
We first started our journey by heading towards Pura Taman Ayun, a royal Balinese temple in Mengwi, Kabupaten Badung. Drove through Seminyak to get there where we saw almost houses having a temple of their own. It means there are a number of kin staying within the compound. Instead of having an altar in each houses, they build a common temple.

Procession Muzeum
Initially, we entered entered a muzeum thinking it was the temple. In here, there where larger than life statues of Hindu mythical characters and those of Shiva and Vishnu. Apparently, these were part of parades before.

Luwak coffee (Chivet coffee)
The next stop was to a luwak coffee facility owned by a family. The coffee beans are fermented in civet’s tummy. The output in cleaned and processed. Thus, the name luwak coffee. It was located among coffee plantations, coco and some spices. These are sold under brand name Tegal Sari. The interesting part was that we were given to taste more than 6 kinds of coffee, tea, coco in all. Brown rice tea, coconut coffee, saffron tea were some of it!

Ulun Danu and Lake Beratan
The next stop from there was to the highlands in Bedugul. The Ulun Danu Temple and Lake Beratan was the highlight of this place. Serene is all I can say. The calm, vast lake coupled with the highland atmosphere was simply breathtaking. I will definitely put up some pictures once I’m back home.

Labhaga Pachung (Restaurant view by the hilly rice terrace)
Lunch was at another touristy restaurant called Labhaga Pachung. Nothing great. Only pricy for the limited buffer they had. The sate lilit was yummy. Had about 9 myself, I think. Could be more.

We skipped the monkey forest as the guide said this is not that spectacular. There’s a better one apparently.

Tanah Lot                                                                                                                                                                                              If we thought the Ulun Danu  Beratan Lake awesome, well we did not miss the mark. Tanah Lot temple was the next destination. It was mind blowing. The temples were on cliffs and the scenery was simply mesmerising! I can’t do justice with mere words. I am not sure even photographs could mirror 50% of the view. Alas, I will upload some pictures later. By the way, the temples are next to the Indian Ocean!

Krishna (souvenir haven)
The next stop was Krishna. A souvenir cum knick knack shop where both locals and tourists alike shop. Bought few more stuff here for colleagues’ keepsake.

Went for foot reflexology.  Bought fast food back to the hotel.

End of day two.

*someone please remind me NOT to go for fast food in Indonesia. Unlike elsewhere, the portions are tiny. The chickens here are small. That’s why. No, seriously!

Bali, Day One

History
Right after the second pregnancy was confirmed by the OBGY, we were discussing the baby’s possible gender. Hubby said it’s going to be a girl and me, a boy. Naturally, I delivered a baby boy and the result is that we are in Bali. Like now.

Flight Iterinary
Flight was at 9.25am. Was at the airport by 7.20am. Printed boarding pass & baggage drop before 8am. Reached Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar at 12.30 noon.

Free & Easy
Took the hotel shuttle to Discovery Mall. After which, we had lunch at Dulang Beachfront Cafe facing the beautiful beach. Went for a stroll along the beach till we reached the famous Kuta beach area. Bought me a Hardrock Cafe T. We walked & walked while surveying massage centres. High and behold, we walked right into a shopping street. Totally unaware and unplanned. Bought some Ts for the boys. Kuta Square and surrounding areas.

Bali Massage
Getting a Bali massage in Bali, was simply awesome AND cheap. It cost us about 60MYR!

End of day one
Had dinner. Wanted to chill. So, off we wanted to walk back to Discovery Mall to relax and enjoy the sea breeze. We landed smack into an expat area, again both unaware unplanned. Lastly reached the intended destination. Enjoyed the waves, sea breeze, loud music and Bloody Mary!

Good night!

September, so soon?

Wow! Where did the months go? It’s already September. Another 3 months and comes 2013 to an end.

Last Saturday saw us having 3 different guests back to back from 10am till 10pm. Quite a feat given this was not that planned.

I am thinking of taking up swimming lessons. Just thinking.

August saw me flying out of the country unexpectedly.
Feeding little D is a breeze. So much so, I look forward to it each time.

N is more conversational nowadays. I do get occasional I love yous now and then.

Home front is going on well too. Touchwood.
Blessed to have wonderful colleagues too.

Work is a bit hectic. There are a couple of asses who annoy me with their sheer presence. Alas, that’s for some other day.

Maid is a pain as ever. Can’t wait to rid her. Honestly. Darn contract!

Have got a couple of birthdays to be celebrated. Another to be planned for next month.

More to be updated.

Frugal Living

I have been contemplating for a while on living frugally. I have come to realise that a lot of small amounts of money is spent on unnecessary things. These very ‘small amount’ adds up to a sizable value at the end of each month!

For instance, I am known to buy bottled water whenever I go out. Bottled water cost money. Why do I need to buy one when I can carry a bottle from home. See!

Whenever I travel, I eat at the airport. And food there is not cheap. A little bit of homework and I found out that I am a privileged customer who could get into the Premier Lounge! Nice to place to hang out and free food too with excellent service.

I buy books when they are on sale. I am thinking of buying pre-loved books. It is not easy, I tell you. Let’s see if I would eventually get around to do it.

Birthday gifts, I am thinking of cooking or baking them. Even birthday cakes too for in house celebrations!

Had a chat with few colleagues this morning at the pantry. Looks like buying home brand is not a bad idea either. I tried that before. My hands just refused to reach out to home brand items. Have to put in more work to that.If those work just as good, why bother.

Cost of things are spiralling. Price of petrol went up by 20 cents per litre. As a consequent, the prices of other goods are going upwards.

There’s a constant monitoring of electrical and electronic devices and switches at home.

I tend to bring in leftovers as lunch to work at times. Apparently, that’s a money saver too. As I am becoming conscious on my expenses, I realise a sizable amount is indeed saved when I eat in as compared to eating out. And I am not even making any references to fast food. I save about MYR8 per lunch!

Whenever I stock up on a lot of veges, I tend to throw them away as they have either gone bad or withered due to neglect. I will always end up not cooking due to staying back at work. If I am reaching home at 8pm, I would buy out. With much effort, I have suceeded in not throwing anymore fresh goods anymore. No matter how late I am, I cook these.

Coupons is something that has not caught up much here in Malaysia. So that crossess out any savings using coupons.

Unless some purchases are on discounted price, I would consider buying those. Otherwise, I wait.

I am reading up a lot on frugal living to cut all the unworthy excessive spending. Wish me luck there!