Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day One of the 4 Days, 3 Nights Trip to Bali!



Even though Grab and Uber had drastically changed the landscape of the taxi industry, i do prefer to opt for a cab ride to the airport when i have a few pieces of luggage. In addition, it may actually be cheaper to grab a cab than, er, grab a grabcar; i paid less than S$20 for my ride whereas grab quoted more than S$20.

Despite the heavy rain and the terrible visibility on the road, the elderly taxi driver managed to deliver us to Changi Airport Terminal 1 in time for our meet up with our tour mates (also known as Alex's colleagues). 

Running through the three screens so that we would know which row to check in! We didn't get the answer from the screen as our tour mates directed us to the correct row. 

Useful information at the KLM check in counter - disappointed to find that thunderstorm was in the weather forecast as I had been affected by wet weather for the past two trips; Bintan and Bandung! Wait, i just realised something weird. The past two destinations start with the letter B and Bali too! 

As the staff canteen was closed for renovation, let's not waste any more time and quickly clear the immigration to access the departure hall. I was in a lazy mode and didn't even attempt to take any photos. 

My intention was to have a snack (and i did with the Sardine puff from Tip Top) and quickly log in to the airport WiFi so that I can blog on my spanking new ASUS laptop; didn't manage to as there was no pop ups that would allow me to key in the password! 

Well, in the current technological era, boredom is an understatement as i simply just login to the WiFi on my phone and continue surfing facebook and play my candy crush. And there were the movies to watch on the KLM plane! To read more about my experience with KLM plane, click here

Less than 30 minutes to go before we were to reach denpasar international airport, which is also known as hard-to-pronounce Ngurah Rai International Airport. Glad to know Bali is in the same time zone as Singapore! 

The sparse yet empty arrival hall - being a typical Singapore who feels that the little red dot doesn't have the luxury of space; the one thought that ran through my mind was that it's such a waste of space that could have been optimized for commercial activities; e.g. retail and dining.

I went all crazy when i saw the brochures racks for tourist information! These racks usually contained a ton of useful data and the most helpful would be the map!

Verdict after going through them; mostly useless as they were merely marketing tools for tours / spa packages that you can sign up with the various tour agencies! Ya, there were a few maps but they weren't detailed to be of any use to me; a blatant waste of my time.....

Collection of our luggage took quite a while; the belt jammed for a few minutes and airport staff members standing around displayed nonchalance about it. That definitely riled up the passengers as they couldn't wait to explore Bali!

For those looking forward to a few days of being engulfed and wasted in a large pool of alcohol, do pop by the duty free shop! As i prefer to remain sober, i shall give it a miss.

A couple of friends had commented about the strong sense of spiritualism on the island and it kind of reminded me of what they said when the above appeared in front of me; a demoness that seemed to flying above a kid.

There's a plaque that explained the story of the two statues; the vile-faced demoness is Giant Putana and was engaged to kill the little boy who is a reincarnation of Vishnu (one of the top deities of Hinduism). She lost, obviously, since the little boy retained the power of Vishnu.

The symbolic Balinese architecture can be spotted once you exit the arrival hall; a nice showcase to the many tourists, especially those who were first-timers as i was. 

I cannot understand why we were made to walk all the way to the carpark when the driver could have just driven to the pickup point. Honestly, i am fine with it if i am on a trip with just a few persons but this was a group of 17.

Minibus for about 11 persons i think and there's insufficient space for the many pieces of luggage. I really had to hand it to the driver for his creativity to arrange the luggage for maximization of space.

Another smaller car for the rest; again, space was essential to pile in the luggage that couldn't fit into the minibus anymore. I am quite attuned to the space need for travelling as i made the mistake of renting a small car when i was in Jeju. In my upcoming Japan trip, we opted for 2 cars for 6 persons so that we would not face an issue of insufficient space for luggage. 

Kuta - an overdeveloped area in Bali said to be extremely touristy! I saw A&W and made a mental note to have a glass of root beer float, which didn't materialize. Anyway, for those who haven't heard, A&W would be back in Singapore in 2018! 

Airport was pretty near to Kuta and we arrived at Grand Istana Rama hotel in less than 30 minutes! First thing; check in to the hotel room so that we can dump our luggage before meeting up for supper outside the hotel! For my review on Grand Istana Rama hotel, click here. .

Beachwalk shopping mall; Grand Istana Rama hotel was in close proximity with the shopping mall but could you imagine that i had only explored the basement as i needed to go to the supermarket?! That's a shame for someone who would literally throw a stone and hit the shopping centre from my room door. 

Wall that separated Kuta beach from the main road; as you can see, the main road is only two-lane wide and with the amount of cars on the island (and they may even come in from Java, where Jakarta is), the jam can be insanely bad as we had personally experienced on our last day.

Situation worsened when one lane would be taken up by the horse carriages! Unlike my experience at Bandung, the smell was almost non-existent unless you stand very close.

Do note that the horse carriages could only travel along a specific route within Kuta and should you need to travel to Seminyak; you can only walk or take a cab.

Disappointing supper at the Kuta Sea Side Food Court - it's built more for tourists and i would strongly suggest you check out other dining options. 

A touch of Singapore in Bali - Singapore Ice Cream! No prize for guessing what a Singapore ice cream is! It's those traditional style ice cream that could be served in a cone, on a rainbow bread or in between wafers! Click here to see what i mean. Pricing wise, they were more expensive in Bali.

Last thing to do before we went back to Grand Istana Rama hotel for a much needed sleep; a visitation to Kuta Beach! For more pictures of the Bali's iconic beach, click here


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