Alright so lets start with the beautiful hotel that my parents arranged for us for our first 3 nights: The Serenande Beach Inn in Seminyak. The hotel is very nice, the staff are fantastic and the prices… well they’re hotel prices. We were a 150m walk to the beach and a 5 min walk to the main strip. Our room was huge with a TV, air conditioning and a massive bathroom with hot water. One staff member, Putu, stood out above the rest. He is one of the drivers for the Hotel and was funny and friendly and constantly trying to convince us to go on tours with him. It probably would have been a good idea had we not just wanted to relax, so we politely declined.
I have to admit, Bali is not what I expected at all (though I’m guilty of having done very little research prior). All of the cars and bikes on the road are much nicer than what I was driving at home. Costs are about 50% higher than what I expected and anticipated. The people are more than friendly… I feel much safer than I probably should. They drive on the left side of the road, something I still haven’t adjusted to. The lanes on the road are completely ignored and drivers use their horn a lot. I likely won’t do much driving if I can avoid it. If I didn’t know better, I would guess English is the primary language as being able to speak Indonesian is almost completely unnecessary. Though, I have learned how to say “Thank you” in Indonesian and the people I’ve come in contact with have all been pleasantly surprised when I say it. I should really learn more but it’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t need it.
There is one main beer here, Bintang, which is quite mediocre. It’s great if you can get it in a frosted glass but it’s so hot here that if you don’t drink it in 10 mins, you have to choke it down.
Our first day at the hotel, we decided to have a late lunch in the restaurant and ordered a main Indonesian dish, nasi goreng, which is just fried rice with your choice of chicken, beef or pork mixed with vegetables and a fried egg. It’s delicious and I’ve eaten it almost every day. Every day at the hotel, from 4-6pm we had afternoon tea where they would put out a small dessert along with coffee and tea… don’t drink the coffee… It is definitely instant and if you don’t drink it fast enough, you chew it. I think I drank more tea in the past week than I did all of 2013.
Our first night at the hotel, we were asleep before 8pm and didn’t wake up until 7am the next morning. I guess the 3 hours of sleep I got during our 31 hour travel wasn’t enough for my body.
Breakfast was also included every day at our hotel, set up in a buffet style from 7-11am they had a station where an employee would make you pancakes or eggs however you wanted, bacon, croissants, danishes, bread with a toaster available, a salad station with lettuce, tomato and onion, fresh fruits watermelon, papaya, and pineapple and the best part: hot vegetarian nasi goreng or mei (noodles) goreng. They also had coffee, tea, orange juice and a random fruit juice of the day. It’s safe to say that we were completely spoiled here.
On our 2nd day, we went for a walk on the main strip in the morning where we were stopped by a guy giving away a free prize… naturally I won the grand prize and had to follow him to his hotel… We said we were busy but he could pick us up at our hotel between 11-11:30am. Needless to say, when we asked our hotel staff they said it wasn’t real.
We walked to the big supermarket where we bought sunscreen and started looking around town for a place to stay. The cheapest place we found was 2.8 million IR for the month ($1 Canadian is roughly 10k IR). On our way I was hit on by a guy hanging out in front of the gay bar in Seminyak, Bottoms up. I believe his exact words were, “Yes please”. Either way, I’ve officially been hit on more than Kristi.
On our way back we stumbled across a little hole in the wall of a restaurant… I actually had to double check that it wasn’t a hole in the wall that we entered through. Locals were eating there so we figured it would be a decent, cheap meal. We were right. The people were very friendly and let us try a little bit of everything. We learned that it is very common to go up to the window and order already prepared food. The food itself was cold but tasty. Our meal with 2 bottles of Coke was under $5. Hard to argue with that when you can’t have one meal at the hotel for under $5.
Bonus points: We didn’t get diarrhea.
Later in the evening we went to the beach because we saw a restaurant with big beanbag chairs in the sand and we thought it would be cool to have a beer and watch the sunset. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see the sun set (it had rained on and off all day). Then came the people trying to sell us stuff… from bracelets to super cool pirate ship kites… one guy was selling bow and arrows. Right on the beach… He also had blow darts and a knife carved from bone. I wanted one but Kristi wouldn’t let me.
Later we went for dinner and on our walk back decided to get foot massages. We found a place, Angelina Spa, that did them for 45k IR for an hour which was 20k less than everyone else… obviously this is where we went. I ended up with a guy… and Kristi got a girl… this seems backwards. Either way, nine dollars and sixty minutes later we floated back to our hotel.
Our next day was basically the same routine, though we saw a surfer in the morning ride a wave while standing on his head. We relaxed by the pool, played crib, ate dinner and went for a full body massage… I got the guy again, screw this place. Once again on the walk back, The Bottoms Up boys were calling to me. Kristi was more than fascinated.
It was a very mellow couple of days for some much needed R&R. We’re off to Sanur next where I can hopefully get my PADI Open Water diving certificate for a good price.
Cheers and Terima Kasih for reading.