Day 1: Lunch (Suckling Pig rice set) –> Airbnb –> Seminyak Beach –> Dinner by Airbnb chef
Yoohoo~! Mr J and I are back from our Bali trip, this time with 2 other couples (Mr Mickey, Mrs Minnie, Mr & Mrs Quek). Mrs Minnie and Mrs Quek are both my looooooong time friends from Sec school / JC days, and it is the first time we are bringing all our partners along overseas, so this trip was especially memorable for all of us! Besides Mrs Minnie, it is the first time to Bali for all of us. The planning stage was not easy given that we have 6 people’s schedules to accommodate, of which 2 work shifts, and all of us had different expectations of where to stay, what to do etc. The planning started months ago, and it was with relief and joy that we finally set off together on 18th May 2017!
So we took off on our Jetstar flight at 10.55am, and arrived in Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) at 1.40pm. I must say that I was impressed with the airport for being unexpectedly modern and big. Goes to show how touristy Bali is.
Our accommodation in Bali was a private 3 bedroom villa in Seminyak booked through Airbnb, which offered airport transfer for a fee of IDR 150,000. I’m not sure if this is considered expensive, but at least we did not have to find our way to the private villa ourselves. The driver was a friendly local who spoke fluent English, quick with his jokes and very willing to help us with our queries of Bali sights and culture. We highly recommend him to anyone looking for private drivers in Bali!
Halfway through the ride, our driver recommended us to a popular cruisine in Bali called Babi Guling (suckling pig). Since we were all famished (it’s 3pm when we hit the road and our last meal was at 9am+), we decided to detour to have Babi Guling for our first Bali meal!
In order to conserve stomach space for dinner later, we decided to share 1 set per couple. The verdict is….so-so only. I can only recognise some items in the basket such as fried lard and fried skin, which I suppose are the specialties. There were also a few slices of grilled meat, and lots of spicy vegetable which I don’t recognise. The soup was rather tasty. The set however, did not come cheap. 1 set cost about IDR 50,000 (about SGD 5+), and 1 set was just nice for 1 female stomach on a normal day or a male stomach on a not-so-hungry day.
Having filled our stomachs, we are finally off to our villa!
Our 3-bedroom villa was (in my opinion) awesome! The size was just right for 3 couples, as each bedroom came with its own en-suite bathroom. Furthermore, all of these bathrooms came with beautiful garden features. I love the garden feature in my bathroom, wish I can have the same concept in my future house but it will be a nightmare cleaning the toilets >.< I especially love all the wood furniture and the incorporation of Balinese design within the house, such as the sculptures at the Koi pond and along the pool. The house has a private pool at the backyard which is more like a dipping pool cause it is not big enough to swim. Too bad our schedule was so packed that we did not have much time with the pool. The villa also has 24hr security and two housemaids who clean the house in the morning (you can tell them if you do not want them in the bedroom), so you feel totally safe within the house. For more details of our accommodation, please click here!
After settling down at our house, we went out to a nearby convenience stall to grab snacks which was just 50m away from our house. This was where we met with our first unhappy incident. After paying for our snacks individually, Mrs Minnie thought that she might have been overcharged as she had only purchased a few items but was charged IDR 70,000+. Because there was no receipt given, we recounted the amount directly from the price tags on the shelves. Thereafter, we told the cashiers that we were overcharged and asked to get our refund. There were two cashiers, one male one female. The female was the person who serviced us. Somehow, the cashiers did not know how much their own goods cost, and halfway through the conversation, the female cashier walked off and ignored us. The male cashier gave up calculating halfway and just gave us back the difference based on what we claimed. All of us ended up counting our own purchases, and realised that all of us were charged wrongly by at least IDR 20,000 – 30,000! I guess the male cashier did not want more trouble either, so he just opened the cash registry and asked us how much he owed us without calculating again. We suspect that the female cashier might have deliberately keyed in the wrong amounts, since all of us did receive our receipts. Anyway, we learnt our lesson to always count our change.
Putting this unhappy incident aside, we set off to look for money exchanger, and ended up at Seminyak beach, which was at least 1km away from our villa. Since people go to Bali for (what else) the beach, the beach is where I wanted to go from the moment I touched down in Bali. After stepping into Seminyak beach, I can see why western tourists love Bali beaches. The beach stretches for a few kilometres at least, and you have a paranomic view of the sea with no blockage. Seminyak beach is popular for the sunset view as it is west-facing, and coincidentally it was evening time when we reached the beach, so we managed to catch the lovely sunset. When the rays of the sun hit the water, it felt like the beach was glowing with radiance!
– Photo credits to Mrs Quek –
By the time we finished camwhoring, it was nearly 6.30pm. We hurried back to our villa, where our private chef (hired through our host) had already laid out the table and food for us. It was such an awesome experience to be served dinner in our own house!
Our verdict was that the Airbnb dinner was indeed much better than our lunch. We could not stop complimenting the food throughout dinner. But of course, such fabulous food and service came with a “fabulous” price. We were only told how much the cooking service cost, and we knew we had to pay for the ingredient, which was entirely decided by the chef. The total bill ended up to be IDR 656,450 (about SGD 68), which is really pricy for 4 dishes and 1 fruit platter. The surprising thing was that the ingredients were more expensive than the cooking service! I assume that the chef might have bought the ingredients from supermarket in order to produce receipts, so that there would not be accusations of cheating. Well, since the chef helped us to lay the table and wash the dishes after dinner, and personally attended to us during dinner, for the great service and food we are willing to pay a little more just for the experience.
Finally, it was time to head down to the pool! Before this, we had to do a lot of arm exercise by pumping up the two floats that Mr Quek brought. Thank goodness for the floats! Without the floats, I would not have been able to enjoy the pool because it is a deep pool at 1.7m and I am a weak swimmer who doesn’t know how to tread water 😦 Poor Mr and Mrs Quek though, having to sacrifice their luggage space to bring the floats over. Thank you!!
Finally, we called it quits because the water was just too cold and we were exhausted from the arm exercise and having to wake up early that morning. Time to head to bed! Good night!