Before our trip, we have already been talking about a suitable date to get married and have booked the hotel banquet as we chance upon a good deal. So technically speaking, the proposal was long overdue.
When the Bali trip comes, I had an inkling that he may proposed but am also wondering if he had the time to get the engagement ring customized. Before the trip, I imagine that if he were to propose, it will be great that if he will propose at the summit of Mount Batur (which thankfully he didn’t!) and when it didn’t happen, I didn’t think much of it thereafter.
So as shared in previous post, we left Ubud early and had an early lunch at Ibu Oka. We ordered one plate to share and when we check in to our villa, he complained that he is not hungry and his stomach feels bloated. He suggested to grab a light meal nearby instead of going to Potato head for dinner. I was really puzzled as he only ate 2 – 3 bites of the babi guning, how can he be full? It was our only free evening in Seminyak to visit Potato Head, so I half pleaded and half coerced him to go instead..
When we were at the gate of the Potato Head Beach Club, he was half hoping that we won’t be let in. To his dismay, we got a front row seat and had to spend $50 on food. So we ordered a burger with fries, a side and a drink to share as he wasn’t hungry. While eating, he didn’t eat much and me the hungry one ate most of the food and almost all the fries. He kept asking me to stop eating the fries which I found really annoying. Never did I know… back in the villa, he had something prepared for us. Haha.
So the room was really dark and not ideal for photo taking and after the proposal, there was a three course meal for both of us and a huge plate of truffle fries waiting for me! We just kept laughing as we recall back the events for the day while I was really kicking myself for insisting on going to Potato Head. We wasted a lot of food that night.
On the fourth day of our Bali Trip, we woke up slightly past midnight to prepare for our sunrise climb up Mount Batur – an active volcano. Once we reach the starting point of the climb, our Bali driver guide Bagus from Beat Bali Adventure, found a local hiking guide and off we go. Hiking in complete darkness with the path illuminated by nothing more than our flashlights, we were excited and filled with energy.
The first hour of the hike was the easiest part of the climb as the path was generally flat, we also had a quick break at the beginning where the guide will stop for a prayer and offering session to ask for safety and smooth journey during our time on Mount Batur.
Both Bagus and our hiking guide prepared some offerings and offered their prayers on our behalf. Soon after, the real hiking began. Along the way, we saw people of all age and sizes. There were the seasoned climbers armed with hiking sticks, the determined retirees in their 50s and 60s and the fearless youths in their shorts and t-shirts.
Most of the tourists we spotted are largely Caucasians and we only bumped into a group of Malaysian while climbing up. We reckon that most of the Asian tourists in Bali will opt for the beach than the climb.
There are many types of hiking groups as well. We saw a large group of 6 to 8, climbing with 1 guide and there were also another group of 10 – 15 with 2 guides. We were thankful to get the best deal! We have 1 hiking guide all to ourselves and Bagus who decided to sweat it out with us and boy were we thankful to pay for the slight premium! The hiking guide is my lifesaver, he practically hand held me up and down the climb while I trip and tumble along.
When we finally reached the submit, it was pitch dark with howling wind and drizzling rain. We huddled in a hut and ate the egg sandwich which Bagus prepared and brought it up for us. When the sun is up, we didn’t managed to enjoy the sunrise with the thick fog and rain, but we were nonetheless thrilled to have reach the top!
Our guide gave some offering to thank the God for their protection.
My happy face when the sun is up, not knowing the greater challenge before us with the climb down.
There are hot steam coming right out of the rocks!
The way down was the worst! I practically screamed and grabbed the hand of the guide while sliding down the sandy volcanic sand. There were plenty of loose rocks and pebbles and it was really steep. My better half slipped and fell 5 times while making his way down. Poor him and his butt got to sacrifice as the hiking guide had all his attention on me.
But we were rewarded with beautiful views as the fogs cleared.
Will I ever climb up Mount Batur again? Definitely no. But should everyone give it a try? Oh Yes! After the climb, you will feel like you can overcome anything that comes your way! The guide was also really proud of me! Even though I was going really slowly with all his help, we made it up steadily with little breaks in between!
After a day of Cultural tour, we went on a little adventure in Ubud. We started the day with White Water rafting which is, to be honest, not as exciting as I imagine it to be. The walk down to the river banks was the most tedious as the steps were slippery and steep. Thereafter, it was more of a river cruise with occasional rapids in between. We are so going to try the more thrilling white water rafting in New Zealand next year!
It was nonetheless a refreshing and wet experience to get away from the heat.
Drama King. Haha. We saw some people doing river tubing where you have an individual floating down the river sitting on a floating tube. A few of them flipped over and we saw one got stuck between rocks. One of them even fell off the tube and starting floating quickly down the river. It was a scary sight and thankfully the guy was saved by one of the guides on a raft! He must have drunk a whole bucket of water!
Thankfully I brought my trusty waterproof camera along.
Look a quick dip in the water much to the dismay of my clean freak partner. A simple lunch buffer was provided but we saved our stomach for finger linking good BBQ pork ribs at Naughty Nuri’s!
That’s TJ in the background, our driver guide from Beat Bali, joining us for some yummy BBQ food!
The sauce is tasty with the BBQ meat grilled to perfection and falling off the bone so easily.
We then toured the Ubud Market and look around at their souvenirs and crafts but regretfully we didn’t bring out much cash for that day. Ended up with a simple wooden carved Omm sign for our new place.
We took a rest at our resort before heading to Yoga Barn for a before dinner yoga session. They allowed walk ins and you can just pay for a single class as a tourist. It can get crowded pretty quickly and you may want to pop in earlier to secure a slot.
His first yoga session! I love the session at Yoga Barn. Their teacher gave clear instructions and it is always interesting to see people from around the whole, with different mastery levels in a class! You can see some Yoga Guru doing handstands and various balancing pose easily while us struggling to avoid looking like a topsy turvy potato sack. Thankfully the teacher who taught us was very encouraging and gave various tips for the different poses.
Dinner was at Petani which is a short walk from our hotel.
After the climbing up and down steps for white water rafting and yoga session, I ended up with aching legs! We had an early night for our sunrise climb up Mount Batur the next day! Till date I still can’t believe I made it up and down Mount Batur!
On the second day of our Bali trip, we engaged Beat Bali’s driver, TJ, who brought us around to see the sights of Ubud.
First stop of the day was Tegalalang Rice Terrace. It is a smaller but nearer Rice Terrace from Ubud and it is the perfect place for some nice photos under the bright morning sun!
There are some decorated platform at the houses facing the rice terrace and anyone can pop by for some pictures and drop a small fee in return for the residents. You can spend as much time here walking up and down the terrace as you like. I saw an adventurous couple walking all the way down the slope.
The next stop, we visited Tirta Empul Temple, the holy spring temple. Locals and tourists alike can participate in the purification process by taking a dip in the water. Each spring represents something and towards the end of the line, is the spring for the dead. So if you are keen to try, do observe and ask around before popping in!
In all of the temples we visited, both the man and ladies will have cover up their legs as a sign of respect. Ladies who are having that time of the month are mostly barred from entering as it is considered unclean.
So I’ve finally decided to update my blog with all the travelling I did this year! The last time I shared in this blog was in September 2015 and wow, how time flies! It has been more than a year and with all the travelling (Bali, Taiwan, Batam and India!), proposal and wedding planning, I seriously need to get down to logging the holidays down before I completely forget!
Back in April 2016, we went for on a 7 days 6 night trip to Bali. Yes, almost a week long and there are lots to do other than chilling by the beach or in a villa. It was his first time in Bali and I wanted to let him see some cultural part of it and how it is different from a regular resort island.
On the first day of our trip, we touched down Bali in the late afternoon and realized that the entire flight’s luggage was left behind in Singapore! So we had to file a report, wasted an hour at the airport just to fill up the form. Our driver, Bagus, whom we booked through Beat Bali Adventure Tour picked us up and brought us to a mall to get the local Data Sim card, which is almost half price compared to the airport. Bagus and TJ from Beat Bali are the best and they came highly recommended from our friends. They speak impeccable English, having many years of experience working in an International Cruise ship, and being Balinese themselves, they were able to share interesting information on their local culture and practices. They were also exceptionally friendly and helpful and we had a great time throughout the trip. On top of our airport transfer on arrival, we also booked our Mount Batur Tour, White Water Rafting, a day tour around Ubud and a day tour around Semiyak with them. We basically co-plan with them our Bali adventure before the trip via Whatsapp.
Upon reaching Ubud, we checked in our hotel and had a quick dinner at the nearby Dirty Duck. The crispy duck was good but wasn’t as fantastic as I remembered. We then headed back to our hotel room and the wait for our luggage continues.
I love the room and the environment of Turi Beach Resort, Batam Nongsa, but my only gripe is there expensive and mediocre food. If they taste great then so be it, but they are really mediocre and they are very expensive for the food quality. So if you are here for a short getaway and you got a great deal via Groupon / Deals.com.sg, be prepared to spend on food or bring some of your favourite snacks or fruits! Haha.
Here are some of the meals we had at the resort.
Saturday Fusion BBQ Dinner
Sorry for the poor pictures. It was really dark and I didn’t notice my fingers there! Haha. This meal was one of the better one but really not for the fussy. At S$28 ++, you get to enjoy a variety of BBQ items but it was a little oily and salty. But for a relaxing meal with good selection of food, it wasn’t too bad. It is highly recommended to make reservation in advance to ensure private seating. Otherwise, you may end up at the big round tables with strangers.
Breakfast was alright. Nothing spectacular but it’s a great place to grab your greens and fruits!
Other Self Paid Meals at the Cafes
Tahu Goreng. Wasn’t too bad.
Ayam Penyat was nice as well.
Even though chicken chop was hard to go wrong, our local hawker centre ones are better.
This pathetic Chicken soup was S$8. Madness.
Nasi Goreng was decent but at S$11.
I’m back from Langkawi and I’m all tanned and my arms are filled with rashes from unidentified creature bites from the sea! RAWR!
This durian elephant looks too cute and yummy!
Ok, back to posts on Turi Beach, Batam, here are the surroundings at Turi Beach Resort. There aren’t much things to do in the resort except to walk around, enjoy the view and take pictures! Haha.
Little huts to chill out near the pool.
Chilling on hammocks by the beach. Ahhh. Bliss.
The most photographed area in the resort. The bridge towards the jetty and Island Bar!
Went back to the bridge to watch sunset. This is what a holiday should be. Relaxing and enjoying me time.
I’m flying off to Langkawi early morning tomorrow and I’ve yet to pack my bags and do my nails! But here I am writing a blog post because I love you guys! Haha. Ok, the actual fact is, I need to share about my recent short getaway at Turi Beach, Batam Nongsa before I flood the blog with pictures from Langkawi!
Here’s part one of Turi Beach Gateaway! The trip there and the hotel!
I bought off Groupon at SGD 99 for one night stay at Turi Beach. In the package, one American breakfast, two ways ferry trip and transfer from Jetty to Resort! It excludes SGD 20 Singapore tax, 50,000 Rupiah (SGD 5.45) and SGD 20 Saturday surcharge. I’ve also upgraded to King Size bedroom for SGD 25 and it was totally worth it. I love the room!
For my readers who do not reside in Singapore, Batam is a small island belonging to Indonesia and it is 45 mins to 1 hr boat ride away from Singapore. Singaporeans largely go to Batam main town for golf, massage, seafood and cheap getaway. But Turi Beach is situated at Nongsa area where the nearest mall is 20 mins drive away and has nothing but beaches and golf courses. It is the perfect place for a short relaxation getaway.
The boat ride from Tanah Merah to Nongsa was a bumpy one but thankfully a short ride of 45 mins.
The top deck seats are terribly uncomfortable! On the return journey, we took the lower deck which was much better.
Can you see the blue sea peeking at the side?
A welcome drink, ginger tea!
Here’s the room and the view! We were supposed to be booked on the Tirta Wing but was given the Riani Wing instead. Apparently Tirta Wing is the newer wing but there are some rooms at Riani Wing which were recently renovated. Thankfully the private setting of the room at Riani Wing was perfect! Rooms in Tirta Wing sit in a building with multiple levels but rooms in Riani Wing sit in a wooden unit which is split into two rooms.
Love the wooden paneling wall and the mirror/glass wall.
Love the high ceiling too!
Really huge bathroom with contemporary yet rustic decor. Nice.
The view is really surprising. We were greeted by this view at the lobby too and it was breathtaking. I feel relaxed just looking at it!
I will blog more when I am back from Langkawi! Three more posts on Turi Beach where I will share on the environment, the food and the overall evaluation! Haha. Sounds like a review report!