Tuesday 23 December 2014

Bali , the Pearl of Indonesia - a Muslim Tourist Guide by Draisyahafiz

Assalamualaikum & Hye...

It has been a while since I traveled oversea after my Cherry Blossom journey to Tokyo for my World Ophthalmology Conference

I had planned this trip to Bali for our birthday since March 2014 (can you believe it?). Yup, even before I flew to Tokyo. It is an advantage to plan ahead of time as the flight tickets are still cheap. I love sharing my birthday with my husband as we can celebrate together.

So in March, I booked flights via Malindo Air and I got a ticket of RM500 per person inclusive of baggage allowance of 20kg. I found Malindo Air more transparent in the ticket price as there were no hidden charges such as RM6 to choose your seat in Air Asia. The terminal is the same which is KLIA2 so we decided to give it a go.

Malindo Air plane flying over Bali

I booked my private villa with swimming pool via Booking.com and got a great deal of RM1200+ for 4 days & 3 nights stay, inclusive of breakfast, served in the room. You can try & google the name Kunti Villa Bali & get a great deal if you book early. I tried to book via Air BnB but the majority of the owner don't allow advance booking.

Our flight was at 9.20am so we started our journey very early 5.30am from Semenyih. We reached Hentian Nilai at 6am & did our Fajr prayers. We reached KLIA2 at around 7 and parked at the Car Park A. I know it is expensive to park there for four days but it was a hassle to get an airport transfer or park at Putrajaya & take a train, that early in the morning. Checking in was smooth, had our breakfast at Papparich kopitiam & we headed towards the departure gate.

After two security checks & immigration autogate pass, we reached our gate which was L1, about 10 minutes walk away.

Malindo Air served biscuits & drinks on board, and meals are available for purchase. I bought a mee goreng mamak meal, which was RM15, very little amount but the taste is quite acceptable.

We reached Ngurah Rai International Airport at 12.30noon. The immigration process was quite long , mostly the queue. Make sure you fill in the arrival card (one per individual) & the custom clearance forms (one per family only) before queuing. After we got our baggage, as we walked out from the arrival hall, our driver from the travel agent was already waiting, with my name on a paper. You couldn't miss a "Ms AISYAH" in the middle of Indonesia, as the name is quite uncommon

Our driver is Mustain, a Muslim man from Jawa but has been working in Bali for a few years. We got a small MPV, not dissimilar to Avanza,but it was brand new & quite spacious for the two of us. The fees was RM450 for 4 days inclusive of fuel, driver, tour around Bali (custom made) and airport transfer. You can contact the travel agent Miko at ss_miko@yahoo.co.id or whatsapp him at +6281936252810. Our driver Mustain also runs his own company which you can follow on instagram "kiatravelbali" or whatsapp him at +6281243522412. They will cater to your prayers needs & select halal food restaurant for Muslims.

Our first stop was for lunch at Malioboro Ayam Tulang Lunak Restaurant (Jalan Raya Kediri, Tuban, Kuta). The speciality of this restaurant is that all the chicken are being cooked in a pressure cooker, to the point that the bones are crunchy & chewable. I swear to you I never thought bone marrow can be this tasty! The price is a bit expensive, Rp347,000 for the two of us (almost RM100), but it's worth the try.

Each portion has 2 pieces chicken that can be shared.

Then we checked in into our villa at Kunti Villa, at Kunti 2 Road, Seminyak. Our first impression? Absolute WOW! If you google the place up ,you will find that the villa is exactly like what you'd see on the photos posted online. We got a 2 bedroom villa but only one can be used as I paid for a single room. Nonetheless, the compound was completely private, vast & quiet. The bed was huge & the open style bathroom was gorgeous. The pool water was cool during noon, and warm at night so we can go for a swim at out heart desire. Plus, I can wear a bikini if I want to, without any worry of anyone seeing me except my husband, of course. I'd give 5 star for the service as well! Totally worth every penny & highly recommended for couples going on honeymoon

At 4.30pm, our driver fetched us to go to Tanah Lot to see the sunset.Unfortunately it was cloudy so not much of sunset can be seen but it was a beautiful place anyway. There were lots of souvenir shops around but our tour guide told us there'll be cheaper places later on so we didn't but any.

Tanah Lot Temple at the background

Batu Bolong or literally "a rock with a hole" 

Next stop was seafood dinner by the sea at Jimbaran. The atmosphere was totally relaxing with life music & occasional traditional dance, with the sound of neverending waves by the sea. The seafood price was an anti-climax to the night as it was extremely expensive, coming from Malaysia where seafood is abundant. We ordered 2 seafood fried rice & 3 iced tea, and that costed us Rp182,000 (about RM50).

Live music

 Afterwards, our tour guide stopped over at a Polo Outlet shop, where according to him the clothes are original at a good price. As we walked into the shopped, the aura gave us the first hint that it will be expensive. All clothes are priced in USD, and Polo t-shirt for my son, cost us RM120. Not so cheap, afterall.

Last stop was a souvenir shop called Agung Bali in Kuta area. They have a variety of souvenirs from keychains to T-shirts, to their speciality food from Bali. We love the pricetags here, and most importantly, they are all made in Indonesia, not China :) Good quality T-shirts priced from RM25-50, with keychains as many as 10 pieces for Rp13,000 (RM3.65). We stopped over a local mini market to get some food supplies including drinks, bread, instant noodles, at it all costed us Rp75,000 only (RM21)

We headed "home" to our villa & had an early night in as we are heading for water sports activities & visiting beaches the next day.

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