Archive for the 'Bali' Category

My parents

The start of my second week off work. In the old days, I would be stressing and panicking if I took a day off work, let alone two weeks! I remember lying on the bed comatose from a bad flu and cough, but still checking and answering my work emails. My laptop and work mobile lay next to me and kept pinging as email after email came through. I called in to work to try and settle a work issue, my colleagues could hardly hear me because my voice was hoarse from all the coughing.

Those are days of the past. I haven’t checked my work inbox for days and haven’t done anything work related for the past week. In fact the only thing I did on my surface pro was email my boss to let him know I’m not coming in to work and putting in my sick leave through our HR kiosk πŸ˜….

But I’m not apologetic and I don’t feel guilty. Because I know I have to take this leave, I won’t be able to function or contribute at work with the pain. I tried for half a day, I don’t know who was more in pain, my colleagues from watching me walk around the office to alleviate the pain, or me trying to focus during our meeting but really all I was thinking of was the pain. I was also the only person standing throughout the meeting while everyone sat. It was embarrassing to say the least.

Sadly, my condition doesn’t seem to be improving so I will get a second opinion today. I console myself that at least it means I have time to prep for Saitaomei’s party.

Yes my baby is turning one year old this weekend. I’m elated and sad at the same time. Happy that we made it through the newborn stage and she is happy and healthy, sad that I will no longer have my baby and she is already starting to be toddler-ish.

I would not have made it this year if not for my parents.

This photo says everything about how much my parents have helped this year. My ah pa, my dearest ah pa is best at feeding Saitaomei. Over here, he took over feeding from me, and Saitaomei stopped fussing and drank quietly.

Then he decided she wasn’t comfy enough and placed a pillow under her.

Baby had enough milk and started getting cheeky. But Gung Gung still patiently feeds her and showers her with gentle words, cuddles and kisses.

Whilst I’m writing this, poor Mah Mah is trying to rest in her room because she has a bad back. I think it’s from too much exertion and carrying the grandkids too much 😭.

I am so lucky, my kids are so lucky to have Gung Gung and Mah Mah.

3rd Day Ubud @ Bali

I’m sure everyone has forgotten about my Bali trip, it does feel a long time ago and as usual I lapsed on blogging about it after the 2nd day post 😦 .. but the cute couple are flying to Bali next week, so I thought I would get them excited about it by blogging about my favourite day and place in Bali, Ubud.
For the third day in Bali, we hired a private driver to bring us up from Kuta to Ubud. I was glad to leave the touters, pollution and noise to head for Ubud which promised to show us the spiritual and cultural side of Bali. On the way, we stopped by a lot of tourist attractions, the first being a silver factory. Bali is famous for it’s silver.


Pasar Seri Sukawati a.k.a. Sukawati Arts market was a requested stop of mine. It sold lots of cheap goods including clothing, jewelery, souvenirs. This was where I first learned to haggle and bargain with the shop owners.


Next stop, somewhere by the waterfall?


Actually we were visiting the Gunung Kawi Temple, a sacred temple in Bali about 15 minutes drive from Ubud. There are lots of beautiful temples in Bali, but one should abide by the cultural norms when visiting including wearing a sash tied around the waist and a sarong. Don’t get conned by the touters out front who will try to sell you pretty sarongs for a hefty price, you can ‘rent’ a sarong and sash at the entrance of the temple for a small donation.


Temple carved out from rock. The lush settings of the temple are gorgeous and green. It felt very peaceful and tranquil.

Monuments carved out of stone were quite a sight.

Women praying outside the temple. For some reason they didn’t enter inside the temple to pray. I sat by the corner and watched them, feeling like I was intruding on a very personal and respectful tradition.


After the temple, we visited a coffee plantation in Bali. Yeah, my favourite coffee! I was surprised how lovely and pretty the coffee plantation was.

The one and only famous luwak coffee πŸ™‚


This was where I had my first taste of luwak coffee, it was very nice, but then again, the flat whites in Perth aren’t too bad either. We also tried the other coffee beans available in Bali, ended up buying some ginseng coffee which actually tasted really good.


It was peaceful and relaxing sipping coffee on top of the coffee hills.


Zipping off to the next destination, Gunung Batur which is an active volcano in Bali. We had lunch at a restaurant offering spectacular views of the mountain and it’s surroundings (but the food was only so-so).


Tegallalang rice terraces. I’d seen lots of pictures of these rice terraces in blog posts and tourist magazines and was expecting fields of gorgeous rice paddies. But the rice paddies had already been harvested… so there wasn’t much to look at.


After a long day of sightseeing, I was glad when we finally reached Saren Indah, our hotel for the rest of the trip.


It was a lovely hotel too with great service and obliging staff. The walk back to the hotel room at night was very nice.

soto ayam

It was a long and eventful day, we wanted a simple and easy dinner. The hotel’s van dropped us off in town where we walked around searching for good local food. In the end we settled on Wadarni’s WarungΒ  which turned out to be a good choice. The soto ayam while not as flavourful as the street version we had in Kuta was still very tasty.


Satay with rice was yummy.

kuih dadar

Kuih dadar for dessert was really nice and filled with gula melaka laden dessicated coconut.


Pulut Hitam/Black glutinous rice pudding was sweet and comforting. Sigh, I miss this. And so, the 3rd day of Bali in quaint Ubud ended up on a sweet note.

2nd Day Seminyak + Jimbaran @Bail

The Bali holiday feels so long ago that I’m already longing to go for another holiday. To be honest, I wanted to go on a holiday the minute I arrived back in Perth (=_____=).
Our 2nd day in Bali was about exploring areas outside of Kuta. But we couldn’t resist stopping by our favourite shopping mall in Bali, Matahari. The brief stop turned out to be more of a shopping spree, in the end we had to go back to the hotel to put down our shopping bags, shopping is surely the best type of holiday activity (^___^)Y. Next to eating hehe.

Seminyak immediately felt quieter compared to Kuta. The streets were lined with fashion boutiques, local designer stores and art studios. This was where I first fell in love with Bali silk dresses which are pretty, innovative and so comfy.

The first stop in Seminyak was Sip, a french restaurant highly recommended by friends whom ate there five times in the last trip to Bali! Apparently the chef used to work in France in michelin stared restaurant so I was looking forward to this lunch.

The interior of Sip was cozy and warm and the service staff were excellent. Their menu looked fabulous and I felt like trying everything, in the end we settled for their three course lunch menu special (I think around 20,000 rupiah per head?).


My chosen entree was tuna and salmon carpaccio which was appetising, nice and tangy.


R’s entree was fish terrine with its interesting colours and texture. It was actually really nice, not fishy at all, light and delicately flavoured.
mahi mahi

My main was mahi mahi, potatoes with this very bright green sauce which I suspect was made of vegetables. It was all very simple and nice, not heavy at all.
R had the steak with frites and salad. He was disappointed with the steak thinking that the cut wasn’t particularly good. But he admitted that the frites were good, this coming from a person who would always ask for mash to replace fries.
I was surprised when the apple tart came out, I really didn’t imagine such a large serving, but this was actually easily edible with it’s light pastry and thin slices of sweet fuji apples. Would have been even better served with a scoop of icecream I reckon.
I can’t remember what this chocolate cake was called but it was rich and gorgeous, nice. Overall, Sip didn’t live up to our standards (you tend to have pretty high standards when friends say that they ate there pretty much everyday!) but was still pretty good. I think if I were to return, I would definitely not go for for the standard lunch menu and choose from their wide and interesting range of ala carte dishes. Btw, they have a really cool toilet which is worth visiting πŸ˜‰
Jl. Raya Seminyak no16A, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
# 62361730810

seminyak square

After the heavy lunch, we went for a long long walk along Jalan Seminyak. It was a hot day and there was no shade anywhere. I remember dripping in sweat and feeling very tired. We were searching for this ‘Seminyak Square’ which we assumed would be like Kuta square and surrounded with shops. It was disappointing to find this shopping centre was literally half empty and still half built.

ku de ta

Another bit of a walk and we reached the infamous KuDeTa which everyone who’s been to Bali is sure to tell you ‘you must at least visit Ku De Ta at least once’.


The security was very strict there, I’m guessing because it’s a hotspot for Westerners and a sure terrorist target.


The big bamboo seats looked really comfy and I could imagine sinking into these seats and not getting up forever.


Basically Ku De Ta is like a fancy luxurious club/restaurant area where you lie in these big comfy lounges, sip cocktails and look out at the beach right in front of you. It wasn’t really my cup of tea but I can see how one could get really relaxed and comfortable here.


A quick hotel stop, fresh shower and I was ready for my seafood dinner in Jimbaran. Eating seafood atΒ  Jimbaran bay is another ‘must do’ on every Bali tourist’s list, you should try to make it there in time for the sunset (around 6pm) but we were late by half and hour and it was already dark when we arrived. I’m not sure what the experience was for other tourists but we felt ‘conned’ the minute our taxi driver drove us right into the entrance of some restaurant.

I guess I was imagining going to each restaurant and actually checking out the menus and prices before choosing the best restaurant. Once we stepped out of our taxi, we were hustled into the restaurant, flowers were stuck in our hair and we were given ‘welcome drinks’.


Not quite sure what to do and seeing that it was so dark out, we decided to make the best of it and ordered some seafood. The prices were on the high side (I’m comparing this to Malaysia) and the food was average with some good stuff like the local veg, crispy prawns etc. Soon a local band came along and serenaded each table with a special song going by the table’s customers nationality, we got ‘Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin’. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is part of the restaurant’s entertainment though (they do have dancing shows on stages) you have to tip the band members when they’re done so be sure to have some change ready.


Second day of Bali ended with Bintang on the beach πŸ™‚

1st day Kuta @ Bali

It’s over!! And I survived Y(^_____^)Y can’t describe the joy and relief that this part of my life is partially over, and best of all, it’s now the weekend!!!

Anyway, now that I’m more free, I can finally get on to the Bali post.

I’m ashamed to admit that our first meal in Bali was KFC.It was close to midnight when we arrived so we didn’t dare to wander out far, every shop was closed so we had to settle for the finger lickin’ good chicken. I must say KFC is better in Bali. Especially when washed down with our first Bintang beer.

Early the next morning, we explored the area around our hotel which is located smack bang in the middle of touristy Kuta. It was exactly how I imagined it to be, only possible even more touristy and noisy. There were touters at every corner selling tour packages, spas, massages and every possible souvenir you could want. We even had people offering us ‘magic mushrooms’….

day 1

The entrance to the infamous Kuta beach. To tell the truth, we didn’t do much beach activities in Bali and avoided the Kuta beach.The beaches in Perth are way more beautiful, so I wasn’t really impressed.


A Balinese woman preparing the spiritual offerings for the day.


You will notice these little baskets of spiritual offerings scattered everywhere in Bali. In front of shops, in the corner of restaurants, inside taxis. Everywhere. It was difficult not stepping into them accidentally. Everytime R or I accidentally kicked one we would say ‘oh oh…. this shop won’t have business today …’

made warung

Time for our first breakfast in Bali. We had it at Made ‘s Warung (Br. Pande Mas, Kuta, Bali), the famous and popular warung (Bali’s version of kopitiam). Surprisingly there was no one there and we were the first customers of the day. Later during the weekend we saw lines queuing outside the warung, it’s really very popular.

mee goreng

Our first mee goreng! I always have a laugh when Australians chat about the local food they had in Bali,Β  it never strays far from two dishes, ‘mee goreng’ or ‘nasi goreng’. I just felt it had to be my first meal in Bali. Was it similar to my favourite Indo mee? Not quite, the noodles were bouncier, and a lot saltier. A bit too salty for my liking, but still tasty.

bali coffee

Balinese coffee. I liked Balinese coffee, it’s strong and sweet.


The rest of the day was spent shopping, we discovered our favourite shopping mall in Bali, Matahari. I love shopping πŸ™‚ . One thing I remember about our trip, there was lots of walking involved. We walked to the ‘high end’ Discovery Mall where there were less people. Only for one thing. BREADTALK! Gosh, I love those pork floss buns.


A simple lunch of Bakso (meatball soup dish) at Es Teler 77, a popular fast food outlet located all over Indonesia. At one point we even had one in Perth but it closed down much to Jo and Gillian’s sadness.


Can’t go to Es Teler 77 without having Es Teler, which is a mixed fruit ice drink with nangka, avocado, coconut. I prefer ais kachang in Malaysia, but this was refreshing too.


One warning about walking in Bali, it’s a terrible walking place. Traffic is terrible. The walking paths are non existent and if they are around, in very bad condition. You’re sharing the roads with the zooming motorbikes and beeping cars. Another thing about Bali, be prepared to get beeped every other second. Balinese drivers are very toot happy. They toot when they think you’re walking too close to their vehicles, they toot when they want others to give way to them, when they’re overtaking, if they’re taxis, to tell you they’re available. They toot each other in greeting, and they toot at passing animals too. It’s pretty annoying but you get used to it after a while.


You see temples and shrines dotted all around Bali.


We walked around for quite a while and found the Kuta night market. Not the pasar malams that we’re used to in Malaysia, but it was nice to see these local food stalls after passing by all these western restaurants catered for well, westerners.This is our all time favourite food stall in Bali, we loved it so much we visited four times!

soto ayam

And everytime, R had the soto ayam which is a chicken noodle soup dish. I can’t quite describe it, it’s peppery, great flavours of ginger, garlic, spices, fresh with scallions, fragrant fried onions, it’s just a really really tasty bowl of soup which is a burst of flavours and nothing like anything I’ve had before.


R tucking into his soto ayam by the roadside. He was so pleased with this bowl, he had it the next night. Hahaha. And again a few days later.


While R had the soto ayam, I settled for deep fried catfish which came with really spicy chilli (which burnt my tongue but I still couldn’t stop eating), fried tofu and rice. The fish was great, moist and juicy with the crispy skin outside.

teh botol

All washed down with the national drink of Indonesia, teh botol, sweet iced tea. I drank quite a few bottles of these in Bali.


Snack food, Indonesian kuih which is similar to Malaysian kuih. I was really happy to eat these coz I was really missing kuih in Malaysia.

bakso 2

In comparison to Australia, local food in Bali comes in little portions. So R could have seconds, that guy can really eat. This was from another stall. I think this was called soto ayam as well but it was a dry version, it tasted more like Kolo Mee from Kuching πŸ™‚


These makeshift tables and chairs are set up around the roadside around 5 to 6pm and the stalls go on till 5am in the morning.


Sate in Bali is different from those in Malaysia. We had chicken and lamb satay skewers marinated in gorgeous sweet sauce, the satay sauce was great and I only wished I had ordered rice to go with it. Afterwards we had a gule which is lamb stew soup from the same stall and it was really nice.

End of day 1 in Bali. All the noise, pollution, traffic and touters were a bit annoying but otherwise we still had lots of fun exploring the Kuta area and really enjoyed the local food. More next time, now I’m back to celebrating the return of my old life and the weekend!! Happy weekend everyone!

Holidays !!!!!

I am flying out to Bali tomorrow night! (^________^)

It’ll be a short getaway, but that’s what I really need, a getaway, away from work, studies and everything else that is stressful in life at the moment.

Best of all, there’s Breadtalk in Bali, yums yums.

See you all in a bit!

July 2020