Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 21 November 2012 • Itinerary
The fun in Bali continued and it’s another fun experience of traveling Indonesia. After a brief lesson on water sports, a scrumptious seafood dinner, and a challenging hot spicy chicken, which were all summed up here, we continued the weekend in Bali around Legian, Kuta and Seminyak, with more blissful treats. Darn, why can’t every weekend be like this?
Taman Air Spa
A session of Balinese massage was what I needed after 2 days full of activities.Jalan Sunset Road 88, Kuta, Bali +62 361 8947300, +62 361 894 7301, +62 361 894 7302 http://www.tamanairspa.com/
Jenggala Factory Outlet
Shopping for ceramics, in much cheaper prices than the ones in the showroom.Jalan Sunset Road, Kuta, Bali – exactly across the Taman Air Spa +62 361 766466
Relax and Jog at Legian Beach
The beach in the weekend morning is crowded, but there’s always space for you to jog along the shoreline. Or simply lie down there and watch shooting stars at night.
Bliss Wayan Hotel
The first surf themed hotel in Bali. It was my favorite hotel experience on the trip especially because of the wave sound played out of the speakers throughout the corridors. Loved it!
Prices start from IDR 650,000 / night published rates.Jalan Sriwijaya 88, Legian, Bali, Indonesia. Ph: +62 361 767222 firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.blisshotellegian.com/
A super cute café where I had my first churros and loved it!Jalan Kayu Aya 22, Seminyak, Bali (near Ku De Ta and Potato Head) Ph: +62 361 738 667 http://seacircus-bali.com/
An eclectic blend of traditional Indonesian and modern touch, they provide food and a lot of tea recipes, as well as gift and book corners.Jalan Raya Petitenget 888, Petitenget, Bali. Ph: +62 361 8570888 http://bikubali.com/
*The trip was a complimentary from Avilla Hospitality Management (except my visits to Sea Circus, Biku Restaurant and Jenggala) and all opinions are my own.
If you Google activities to do in Bali, I bet you’ll find a lot of spa. Spa is abundant in this island. I’m not sure why, but being pampered is definitely a great way to spend a holiday.
At the Taman Air Spa, I had a 1,5 hour Balinese massage. There were some options of massage oil with different aromas and supposedly different effects; the muscle relaxing, circulation, slimming… Well, I didn’t think I could get slim in just one massage, so I chose the muscle relaxing instead.
Laura from Get Lost in Indonesia and I shared a VIP room that was really nice with Jacuzzi and all. Entering the air-con’d room with incense aroma and calming sound of music was such bliss since outside was piercing hot! There was a mix up though. They were going to put me or Laura in a standard couple room with a guy from our group. Err.. this wasn’t our first spa experience, we knew clothes and underwear were gonna be stripped. So we insisted to be checked in a room just for girls. Lucky us, the VIP room was available, and there we entered 😀
To tell you the truth, I couldn’t tell the difference between Balinese massage and the massages I’ve had in other parts of Indonesia. My guess would be that the Balinese name it so to differentiate from other kinds of massage, like Swedish, Thai, etc. My masseuse wasn’t as friendly as Laura’s, but she gave the right amount of pressure, not too hard and not to soft to my liking. That’s all that matters in a massage treatment 😀Jalan Sunset Road 88, Kuta, Bali +62 361 8947300, +62 361 894 7301, +62 361 894 7302 http://www.tamanairspa.com/
Tableware comes in many good designs and it’s been hard for me not to stop and take a look whenever I see cute ones. But who needs a whole lot of plates, cups and bowls when one lives alone (*this is not a code*) and house parties are rare nowadays? So I’ve decided to stop buying cute plates and cups. However, I’ve heard of people making a big deal out of Jenggala ceramics, like it’s a hype thing to shop there. Well, I’m not against mainstream, so I checked out the factory outlet that’s located exactly across the Taman Air Spa on Sunset Road.
According to Jenz, the prices in the factory outlet are much lower than the ones in their showroom, which is located in Uluwatu, an elite area in Bali, and now also a showroom in Kemang area, Jakarta. I heard that the ceramics here are rejects that didn’t make it to the shops, but my amateur eyes couldn’t tell the handicap.
The ceramics were stacked on shelves, organized by colors. A few had organic pattern, the rest items were plain, some had two colors combination, and some had playful shapes. Plates, cappuccino cups, espresso cups, macchiato cups, tea cups, soap bottles, water jugs, salt and pepper bottles, ring holders, aromatherapy candle burners, chopstick holders, vases, small bowls, big bowls, …dude, I light up just to name the items 😀
Quality wise, I honestly don’t know how good they are cos I’ve never had a Jenggala ceramic before. I took my chances, buying a small bowl for myself, a macchiato cup for Diyan, who just grew fondness of such beverage, and a cute little espresso cup for my good friend Vindhya. The whole purchase was under IDR 200,000 in total.Jenggala Factory Outlet Jalan Sunset Road, Kuta, Bali – exactly across the Taman Air Spa +62 361 766466
The perks of traveling Indonesia is that we have endless beaches almost everywhere. Staying at Bliss Wayan Hotel, I had the earliest chance to walk to the nearest beach, which was Legian beach. It only took 15 minutes to get there. At 9ish pm Dalih accompanied me walking there and just sat and laid on the beach, talking while staring at the stars. If I were a songwriter I would definitely use ‘staring at the stars while laying down on the beach with wave sound playing in my ears’ as my lyrics cos it’s one of the things I love most in the world 🙂
Probably because it was in the weekend, there were some people still on the beach until we took off, which was about 11 pm. Or maybe Balinese and the tourists do spend their late nights on the beaches, does anybody know for sure?
The next morning, I finally did one of my ‘bucket list’ if you’d like to call it that: jogging on a beach. Hahaha.. On my way to Legian Beach, I passed by people running on a marathon event or some sort, sponsored by Reebok and Hard Rock Cafe. Wow, I was quite surprised, I didn’t think there would be such early activity (and sporty too!) in the area known for its night life and drunk tourists! Kudos!
Arriving almost 7 a.m. on the beach, so many other people had started their jogs or simply were playing on the beach, young and old, local and foreign tourists. I could only jog (mixed with walking) for about half an hour. Then another sitting on the beach until my shorts and shoes got wet by the sweeping ocean. I thought, why haven’t I done this before when traveling Indonesia? Then it was time to go back to the hotel.. and swim! Yay! I love non-working mornings! 😀
It’s either they’re genius or surfing has been taken for granted around Bali. Bliss Wayan Hotel is the first surf themed hotel in Bali when surfing is actually one of the main purposes of tourists’ visits from around the world when they travel Indonesia!
It’s surfing from the front façade to the little details of every room. Entering the lobby, blue waves welcome you at the entrance, but this one won’t be drowning you. In the lobby, you’ll see surfer dudes and surf boards scattered on the walls, ceiling, between sofas, and back in the dining area. Can’t wait to soak up the sun with your feet feeling the sand? You can do it in the outer dining area, just before you reach the swimming pools.
Need to get to your room to suit up for some water sports? Surf board signs will take you there, and you’ll be accompanied by sounds of waves in the corridors. They play wave sound out of the speakers throughout the corridors! Borrowing the word Mumun uses so much: genius!! It immediately became my favorite hotel experience on the trip! 😀
They consistently apply the surf concept in the rooms. Paintings of surfers breaking the waves on the walls, life size surf boards, mini surf boards in the bathroom, combined with rustic wooden elements, which I love. In the Deluxe Room expect to get facilities like LCD TV with international channels, complementary tea and coffee, complete basic toiletries, hot shower, a balcony and wifi connection. Funny thing is I don’t think I saw real surfers in the hotel, at least none that looked like one.
Breakfast was a little bit under my expectation. I love sausage and it’s the one food I never skip in a hotel breakfast. Unfortunately, the sausage served here was too mushy for my liking, but the rest is okay. However, check out the walls of the restaurant! Woohoo! They’ve got some hippie surfers theme going on, with VW Kombi and all. Dude, it’s the boss! (um, did I get the surfer lingo right?) I wonder if the artist had done a road trip traveling Indonesia with a VW? Hmm..
Prices start from IDR 650,000 / night published rates.Bliss Wayan Hotel Jalan Sriwijaya 88, Legian, Bali, Indonesia. Ph: +62 361 767222 email@example.com, http://www.blisshotellegian.com/
One thing leads to another. We had our trip to Bali in a 3-day weekend, so plane tickets were on a high demand. Avilla as the trip’s host got us the flight back to Jakarta at 8 p.m. cos they couldn’t get the earlier schedule. Hence, more time to explore Bali. The foodies were saying something about going to Biku and Sea Circus, and I happily joined them cos I had been curious about Biku since some of our readers recommended it to me, and Sea Circus I had never even heard of.
Splitting from the other guys, Ruby, Jenz, Jie and I headed to Sea Circus on Oberoi street / Kayu Aya street / Laksmana street (yup, some streets in Bali have 2 to 3 names!). Don’t expect bears riding bikes or men in blue tights swinging between ropes, Sea Circus is all about munching and sipping cocktail and coffee. But they do have a colorful circus-like mural on the exterior of this cute little restaurant. Apparently it’s hype. During fringe hours, the restaurant was pretty packed.
As I was just tagging along with the foodies, I let them decide on the menu. They chose coffee with latte art, skinny dip (which was pineapple and mint juice), bloody shame (which was like virgin bloody mary) and churros with hot chocolate. Churros! I’ve heard of the word so much, but vaguely, and I finally knew what it was. And guess what, I loved it! It was soft inside but a bit crunchy outside with the rough sugar texture. The whole ‘stick’ had just the right sweetness and then dipped in slightly bitter and hot thick chocolate and then *chomp*. Ooh, delicioso, amigo! I fell in love with churros instantly!
As for the drinks, I didn’t take much sip. But I remember skinny dip was too sweet for me. You sweet tooths might like it.
The restaurant’s ambience was laid back, I loved it. It’s got free wi-fi connection, but we failed to connect. Other visitors were eating, chatting, and some were reading. If you happen to visit, check out the restroom, it’s got pictures in white frames hung on the wall, a big round mirror lighted with neon bulbs around it, very ..um, I dunno, classic? The washing basin was installed in the middle of the room, a long pipe was fixed from the ceiling down with a faucet at the end, hanging just above the basin, and soap bottles were placed just above the faucet. Wet towels were provided underneath the washing basin, exactly what you’d need in such a hot and humid day. Overall it was a unique restroom and had a lot of things going on, but everything worked. When they named the place circus, I guess they really thought circus 😀
Hot churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce: IDR 45,000 / 4 pc. Coffee with latte art: IDR 26,000. Bloody shame: IDR 25,000. Skinny dip: IDR 25,000.
For more of the menu and prices, just hop on to their website.Sea Circus Jalan Kayu Aya 22, Seminyak, Bali (near Ku De Ta and Potato Head) Ph: +62 361 738 667 http://seacircus-bali.com/
This happening celebrity owned restaurant in Seminyak is an eclectic blend of traditional Indonesian and modern touch. Wooden brown dominates the restaurant, making the restaurant seem humble, yet the maroon and white drapery gives it a bit of royal touch. Biku has been in business since 2008. Book and gift corners are also available inside, with the bookshop being owned by someone else.
Biku provides food, cakes and a lot of tea menu. We ordered a pavlova, a chocolate cake, and two kinds of tea. After a first churros experience, now these guys gave me my first pavlova experience, which name I hadn’t even heard of before! It’s awesome to befriend foodies, they give me so much new knowledge and share the food wit h me!
The pavlova was too sweet for me, and according to these food bloggers it’s too creamy than the usual pavlova they’ve had. The chocolate cake was yummy, but I didn’t notice any significant differences with other yummy chocolate cakes I’ve had. What I noticed was how Jenni, Jie and Ruby set up the dish to make it interesting for picture. Food bloggers!
As for the teas, I ordered the Lapsang Souchong, which was originating from China’s Wuyi mountains, and this distinctive smoky black tea is cured over pine needles. The other tea we had, Biku Cooler, was a mix of some tea leaves and spices, such as mint, rosella and lemongrass. How do I know all these details? Jenz explained it to me 😛
The tea pot was wrapped in a knitted warmer, which I kinda think it’s more for aesthetic purpose as Seminyak is really a warm tropical area and it wasn’t in rainy season anyway. If you’re interested in the tea warmer, they also sell them in the gift corner near the cashier.
Lapsang Souchong and Biku Cooler (another tea we ordered): IDR 25,000 / each. Pavlova: IDR 35,000. Mexican chocolate: IDR 22,000/ slice.Jalan Raya Petitenget 888, Petitenget, Bali. Ph: +62 361 8570888 http://bikubali.com/