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On a short trip to Bali (Part 2)

Posted in Bali, Blogroll, Food with tags , , , , , , on Sunday, January 1, 2012 by Colin Quek

This part of the series brings us to around the sights and sounds… and of course food of Bali.

In the morning, our driver, Made (whom we hired via http://funwithsila.blogspot.com/), drove us to Kat’s Kitchen. Breakfast was western. With bacon and again my favourite Balinese coffee.

My breakfast set, just the way I like it, meaty!

Close up of my first coffee of the day!

A little note about our driver: Made is a very friendly and honest driver. With excellent command of the English language, he explains in detail the places where we visited. Highly recommended. (*Update: a friend of mine already hired him for their own Bali trip)

First stop of the day, Made drove us to visit a Batik crafts shop. Batik Bali is one of the more popular Batik brand in the whole of Indonesia.

Some of the tools used for making Batik.

Here’s the wax for masking out the areas to avoid by the dye. The pen-like instrument is a Tjanting tool.

The intricate art of Tjanting.

I splurged on myself in the place, buying over $300 (SGD) worth of Batik products.

After that, we went to visit a village. All the households are surrounded by brick walls. Inside the perimeter are several houses, a temple for the household, a mini-farm, a kitchen and of course the loo.

The stove, fire is fuel by firewood.

This is one of the 3 ~ 4 houses typically found in a family. According to Made, this unit is for young married couple.

With the sweltering weather in Bali, you must be wondering where’s the aircon? Well they got better…

The walls are made of mud, accordingly it keeps the heat out.

Thatched roof, this keep the heat out too.

And yes the insides of the houses are sufficiently cooled by the above mentioned techniques.

Parts of the family temple.

The altar.

Each family has its own temple, where they worship the Hindu gods of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Each temple is handed over to the male child of the family. Together with the style of worship, this forms a vital anchor for each family.

Here’s the the PUB, Private Utilities Board. The well where each family has its water source. That’s Made at the side of the well.

Speaking of religion, Bali is dotted with numerous temples, with Hinduism being the main local religion. Of course the mainstream public temples are huge and very intricately adorned. Just take a look at the following.

Just outside the temple, a towering statue.

I especially like the following 3 carvings. Excellent paint job as well for the first 2.

Part of a pillar.

This is found beside a wall. Examine the details in the stone carving.

The temple we visited is some special cleansing temple. Hence we see groups of devotees washing themselves in the temple’s holy water.

On that note, we headed for dinner, I believe it is the famous flat-chicken rice. Where the chicken has been cooked until the bones are crispy and can be eaten.

Sambal Bali, super spicy chillies of Bali. Mixed with coconut oil and a dash of fried onion. Delicious!

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On a short trip to Bali (Part 1)

Posted in Bali, Blogroll, Changi Airport, Places, Tourism with tags , , , , on Monday, December 26, 2011 by Colin Quek

The holidays are finally upon us and it is time for another trip. This time we decided to go some place tropical, and Bali came up in our minds.

We spent about a week there and it was very fun. Bali is no doubt very different from the places we have went before, first off: it is much warmer than Australia, all parts of Australia. But that warmth is also translated into its people.

Here’s the wife making funny faces in the departure lounge.

Departing Singapore from with Jetstar airlines on a rainy (and cold) morning didn’t quite prepare us for the sunblast heat in Bali lol.

A view of 2 mountain peaks in the air above Bali.

We touched down at Ngurah Rai International Airport and headed to buy a local SIM card. Yes, being citizens of modern Earth, we didn’t think of getting ourselves some food or drinks first.

Of course after the SIM card purchase we decided to sit down for some refreshments.

Outside the cafe.

Go out from the arrival hall and turn left, you should see the first cafe. The Balinese coffee is good and took away the weariness of the flight.

Tip#1: Buy the SIM card from the cafe, it’s 5000 Rupiah cheaper.

Tip#2: Get bread from the convenient store at the departure hall if your hotel is far away from civilisation like ours was.

Tip#3: Turn right from the arrival hall and purchase a taxi ticket from the taxi counter there.

We arrived at the Hotel Pink CoCo at about 3 pm. First thing I did was to head for the showers, yes it is that hot there.

That is the shower head, neat right?

Our room was on the 2nd storey, facing the sea. And it is huge. Take a look at the photos below.

This is the bathroom. The other half is where the basin is.

Notice the little touches? This here is a soup holder.

And the bedroom, and yes still the other half is where the tv is located with a big couch. Notice how high the ceiling is.

And this shot was taken in the balcony.

Still the photos don’t do justice to the size of the room. You have to see it for yourself.

Located 100m from the beach, also known as “padang” in Balinese, we decided to take a stroll to the beach.

A beautiful rock outcropping that probably used to be a spur.

The water is very clear, evidently this is a newly opened beach as I heard from the locals.

The sand is fine enough for beach volleyball. the dudes are almost here everyday for their game.

The walk at the beach was a pretty short one as the tide was fast coming in. And well it actually got dark fast too. Heading back to the hotel, we noticed alot of businesses along the way were opened by foreigners.

One of the many surf shops. They provide surfing classes for a fee.

Dinner was quickly settled and we retired to enjoy the room facilities. For all you tv addicts, there is cable, not to worry.

Next post, let me guide you through the various tourist spots in Bali.

Melbourne – Great Ocean Road – The 12 Apostles

Posted in Blogroll, Places, Tourism with tags , , , , , on Sunday, July 4, 2010 by Colin Quek

It was a tough first half of 2010, but I’m glad I’ve made it to the mid point. Work was kinda hellish but hey, that’s life. Ups and downs. So a vacation is in order. And after much discussions and planning, I decided to take a trip to Melbourne, Australia and visit the famed 12 Apostles, and the Great Ocean Road tour.

And not to forget the much welcomed change in weather. The weather is definitely colder (to my delight), and the people very warm and friendly. Alright on to the Great Ocean Road tour.

That’s me and the wife-to-be. Should say a great thanks to Janshim for introducing us to one another.

Yes, I took the helicopter ride, to get a different view of the coastline

It’s amazing what the strong Antarctic waves can do!

Look at that formation! It’s totally cut off from the main land

And yes! Check out the clear water, it’s green because of the algae that we can see underneath.

Of course there is more to the 12 Apostles. But we had to hurry on to the next place before it gets dark, and it gets dark pretty quickly.

More to come…