The last day in Bali started out late as we didn’t have any plans in at all in the morning and our flight was not until 2:25 PM. All we need to do is to wake up before they stop serving the breakfast buffet at ten. I slept somehow late the previous night as I was catching up on Discovery Travel & Living; these show hosts are damn lucky to have this kind of job. I was able to wake up at 9:30 – good enough for me, about half an hour to have buffet breakfast.

We headed back to the room upon finishing our breakfast. I had a quick shower before packing up my stuffs. The plan would be to checkout at 10:30 and just go around the streets of Kuta Beach for some last minute shopping. After checkout, we left our stuffs at the reception and strolled around.

It was very hot in that morning and we didn’t have much energy to go further, we ended up entering the Starbucks outlet in Hard Rock Café. I always check out the country mug they sell whenever I am in a Starbucks outlet. I did manage to add two regular sized country mugs into my mom’s collection. They were selling the mug at 105,000 IDR per piece, more expensive by 20,000 IDR from the outlet in Yogyakarta. It still came with a free drink for every mug purchased though. This collection is getting bigger and bigger, my siblings and mom are buying mugs themselves wherever they get to travel in new locations.

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two more for mommy!!

It was already 11:30 when we left Starbucks; we took a cab right outside and went back to our hotel to get our bags. On the way to the airport, I asked the cab driver if there was a place somewhere nearby where we can eat Babi Guling. Much to our amazement, there was a small establishment just 5 minutes from the airport that serves this dish.

the only Babi Guling eatery that was nearby

the only Babi Guling eatery that was nearby

Sari Bhuana was the name of the establishment we visited that serves this famous Balinese roasted suckling pork dish. This eatery itself was nothing to rave about as it was just a small warung however I really want to sample how a Babi Guling would taste like and how it would compare versus the Lechon in the Philippines.

roasted pig really looks like the Lechon

the Babi Guling really looks like a Lechon

We were served the Babi Guling Special (a bit pricey at 25,000 IDR); apart from the Babi Guling, they included chicharon, satay and some other edible stuff that I cannot identify. This also came with the Babi Soup that tasted good but was just a bit too oily and VERY SPICY!!

the Babi Guling Special

the Babi Guling Special

the Babi Soup - tasteful yet too spicy and oily

the Babi Soup - tasteful yet too spicy and oily

It was a sumptuous meal however I would still choose anytime the local Lechon in my hometown in Cagayan de Oro. There was not much flavor in the meat though or maybe it was just masked by the thick spicy gravy that came along with it. One thing that keeps me wondering is how the Babi Guling in Ibu Oka would taste like; there will always be a next time to find out.

There weren’t that many passengers at the Ngurah Rai International Airport when we arrived. Unlike last Thursday, we cleared past check-in and immigration in less than 15 minutes.

Traveler Tip: If you are departing from an airport in Indonesia, check beforehand if there is a corresponding airport tax to be paid upon flying out. In Bali, the departure tax was 150,000 IDR per person payable in the local currency and in cash.

inside the Ngurah Rai International Airport

inside the Ngurah Rai International Airport

The Air Asia flight AK 363 arrived on time and landed twenty minutes ahead of schedule in Kuala Lumpur. There was more than three hours of waiting time before our connecting flight back to Singapore. Unfortunately there was a 30-minute delay, this brought our waiting time to four hours. Oh well, these are some of the things to consider when doing this kind of trip. My only consolation is that we didn’t get stranded because of these delays.

It was past ten in the evening when we reached Singapore. I really enjoyed a lot but I was bit tired after traveling for three weekends in a span of a month. The next few weeks will be a chance for me to rest and to replenish my travel fund (as this was already overdrawn even before this Bali trip).

As for now, no plans yet of going out of Singapore until late October. Of course, it can change if a good travel opportunity presents itself… 😉

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The excitement on the trip was the main reason why I was no longer able to get some sleep after I arrived in my apartment from work at around three in the morning. I did some last minute packing and afterwards did some stuff online and before I knew it, I was already aboard the MRT bound for Changi Airport.

Our Air Asia flight will depart from Singapore at 11:20 AM and will land in Kuala Lumpur. From there on, we will be taking a connecting flight to Bali at 15:50 PM. The flight to Kuala Lumpur was unfortunately delayed; it was not until lunchtime that we finally left Singapore onboard AK 706. I must have been very tired because from the moment I sat in my seat, I just fastened my seatbelt and I was already asleep.

boarding gate Changi International Airport

boarding gate at the Changi International Airport

The plane landed at the LCC Terminal less than an hour later; although I have been to this airport before, I didn’t expect the long walk that we had to endure before finally clearing past immigration. As we were already very hungry, we got something to eat from McDonald’s before we did the check-in for the next flight.

long walk - LCCT in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

long walk - LCCT in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We were already inside the pre-departure area of the LCCT before 2 PM; there was a good two hours before our flight to Bali. Although they advertised that there was free WiFi inside the airport, it was abnormally slow. Apart from trying to connect online, there was not much to do inside the LCCT. I gave up after 30 minutes and instead browse over my Lonely Planet – Southeast Asia Guidebook.

The plane for this leg of the journey departed on time and by 4 PM, we were already bound for Bali. AK 364 was a long 3-hour flight, I managed to catch up (again!) on my much-needed sleep.

I woke up an hour before our expected arrival time; the sun was already setting and the color of the sky was very beautiful. I deliberately chose the window seat on the right side of the plane so that we could catch a glimpse of the sunset. It was an excellent choice and we were rewarded with an unobstructed view of the sun setting at 25,000 feet above the ground.

sunset at 25,000 feet above the ground

sunset at 25,000 feet above the ground

Shortly after the sun disappeared, the plane began its final descent. In less than an hour, we landed in Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. After a long journey, we were finally in our destination. The traditional Balinese music was played at the airport sound system; it has a very relaxing effect on my weary mind.

As the plane docked in the 2nd farthest gate from the immigration counter, we had to walk some distance again. It took us 30 minutes to clear past Indonesian immigration since there was only one immigration officer to take charge of tourists not needing visas. While waiting for our turn, we made use of the time to examine the brochures of tours being offered by different companies, most of these were beyond our budget and were priced in US Dollars.

this is the main gateway to Bali

this is the main gateway to Bali

smiling despite the long queue at the immigration counter

smiling despite the long queue at the immigration counter

There was another long queue on the taxi stand and I was beginning to lose my patience. Fortunately it just took another 10 minute before we were able to a cab to take us to our hotel in Kuta Beach. Similar to the airport taxi system in Penang, Phuket and Yogyakarta, we needed to purchase a prepaid coupon for our taxi ride. The price of which is dependent on the area that we wished to be dropped off. They charged us 50,000 IDR for the ride to Kuta Beach.

another queue, this time for the taxi

another queue, this time for the taxi

It was a very short ride; although there was not much traffic when we headed towards our hotel, I did notice that the streets are very small, most probably it would be hell during peak hours.

We were dropped in Kuta Seaview Hotel just across Kuta Beach; it is a 4-star resort, which we booked from Agoda. The hotel staff welcomed us with some non-alcoholic drinks while they pulled up our reservation details from their file. I specifically requested for a room upgrade and was pleased to know that they granted my request; from Deluxe Garden, they gave us a Premier Deluxe Cottage. This made me feel a little better as the upgrade sort of justified the cost of the whole accommodation. The room was great, huge comfortable bed with excellent warm lightings. Suffice to say, this is the best place I have stayed in our trips the past few months (this probably goes to prove that I am not really used to hotel style accommodation). We dropped off our bags and headed out for dinner.

big comfy bed = good sleep!!

big comfy bed = good sleep!!

We ate at this Pizza Hut outlet a few meters from our hotel; we stuffed ourselves with an all-meat pizza. It was not a hard choice, as this was a favorite even when we were still based in the Philippines.

After dinner, we wasted no time as it was almost ten in the evening then. We strolled around the area inquiring from different travel agencies for a tour around the island for the following morning; all of them wouldn’t budge for the price we can afford and instead offered only a 20 percent discount from what was quoted in brochures, which was still very expensive for us.

Finally after several failed attempts in haggling, we were able to find a good price for the tour we wanted. For the price of 350,000 IDR, a driver will pick us up from the hotel for a whole day private tour. It is not a bad price considering that the similar group tour, which other travel agencies offered are priced at 35 USD per head. I paid for the downpayment and asked Nino, the travel agent, to pick us up the following morning at 9:30 in our hotel.

Travel Tip: In tourist heavy places such as Phuket and Bali, do not be afraid to haggle big time. Set the maximum price you can afford and if they won’t budge, just simply walk away. More often than not, this always works.

The day was long and I barely had sufficient rest. We were very tempted to stroll around Kuta Square and the many beautiful shops around the area but there is time for everything. For now I guess, it is time to catch up on my rest and prepare for a long day ahead tomorrow.