23 July 2008

Bali - Day 1

The trip to Bali was decided upon a couple of months back. I'd like to think I was badly in need of a relaxing holiday. But in actual fact I was tempted to purchase the economy promo airfare offered by Air Asia.

I did not regret my action one bit. I had a glorious (over tul perkataan ni) holiday!

My flight to Bali was scheduled at 6.35 am. I was up by 4.15 am and the taxi which took me to the airport arrived at 5.00am. As I was loading my luggage in the taxi's boot, I saw my neighbour watering the plants. Awal benor ko bangun. Nak kata sembahyang subuh idak mungkin. Maybe baru abis baca kitab injil kot.

Forty-five minutes later I was at the domestic terminal of Soekarno-Hatta airport. The atmosphere reminded me of Puduraya, Kuala lumpur's bus terminal. Seriously, they should think of replacing the domestic terminal. It has surpassed its capacity and obviously has surpassed its useful life.

I joined the queue to enter the check-in area. Panjang bebenor queue-nya. Not a good start to my holiday. Fortunately the check-in went on smoothly and the plane departed on time (a miracle, this being Air Asia!).

Upon arrival, I was greeted by Nyoman, my driver cum travel guide in Bali. I had pre-arranged for my transportation in Bali a week earlier.

Went straight to the hotel. Checked-in and left my luggage at the reception as my room would only be ready at 2pm.

First destination - Pasar Seni Sukawati.

I don't really know why. But I remember liking this place a lot on my first visit a couple of years back. This time around it's just another ordinary looking crafts market to me. Perhaps, I've seen better looking handicrafts at the numerous crafts exhibition I went to in Jakarta over the years.

Next stop was Ubud.

Ubud is a small town renowned for its arts. Unlike Kuta, the pace here is more relaxed. There are plenty of nice little shops along the many small roads which runs through the town centre.

On the outskirts of the town, there are areas which are designated to paintings, wood crafts and furnitures.

One of the best things about Ubud is the town is surrounded by paddy fields and forests. I spent almost three hours exploring Ubud's town centre on foot.

Lunch was at Bebek Tepi Sawah. Simple je kan nama tempat ni. Tak payah susah2 pikior nama2 yang glamer. Jual apa? – Bebek. Kat mana? Tepi sawah. So why not name the place Bebek Tepi Sawah. Simple as that.

On the way back to Kuta, Nyoman stopped by at one of the painting galleries. Memang sial tau si Nyoman ni. The paintings were without doubt beautiful but I had problem with the price. Idak ada lukisan yang bawah Rp1 juta.

Dah le tu, the moment I arrived, I was accompanied by this man from the gallery who enthusiastically explained to me the meaning of the paintings on display. Like I really want to know why there were 3 birds in the painting and not 5. Kalo ada 2 ekor burung and satu lagi burung berkepala burung and berbadan buaya pun aku tak kesah le ooi. Yang penting cantik and murah.

I went back to the hotel and after a short rest, went out and explored Kuta on foot. Nothing much new to see actually. But with all the multi-national tourists flocking this area, you can not help but feel strangely excited. Pantuek tak statement tu?

There’s a new mall called Kartika Discovery Mall which is basically like any other malls in Jakarta. However, the mall is fronting the beach and it’s a nice place to watch the sunset while having a cuppa in one of the cafes.

Next entry : Kintamani, Tegallalang, Padang-Padang & Uluwatu.

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