Indonesia

The Royal Beach Bali Seminyak MGallery

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Lush tropical scene awaits you at the resort
Just one enclave where all the rooms are

I spent my 30th birthday in Bali specifically an overnight stay at The Royal Beach Bali Seminyak. We were initially at a villa but we decided to spend a day at a resort hotel. It was a very good decision I can say, as we got to enjoy swimming and lounging to bigger and open air pool.

Beachfront swimming pool

The hotel’s ambience depicts traditional Javanese combined with zen style which brags a haven for relaxation, a bit farther from the usual crowded, tourist area of Seminyak. It faces the beach so one can laze around or sun bathe on the sand. There are two swimming pools as well and we enjoyed the one that is not facing the sea but is more or less at the middle of the vicinity and is less crowded. Well, we got it all to ourselves the time we dipped in.

That pool that is perched quietly and hidden

Massage nook by the pool

Breakfast buffet sits at one of the resto bar which faces the beach which makes for an easy, relaxing and sumptuous morning meal.

Breakfast!

I enjoyed walking around the resort as it is refreshing and relaxing where you can just think of nothing else but to rest your self up. It is very inviting – to indulge your mind whilst looking through tropical gardens and the warm feel of Balinese ambience.

Pathway leading to beautiful villas

Oh, the room that we got is quite nice as well. We got the one with the balcony, almost facing the beachfront enclave.

I find that whenever I could be in Bali, maybe in a not so distant future, I prefer to stay in resort hotels rather than villas. Unless, of course, you wanted an intimate place for a family bonding or romantic getaways. I find that in a resort, more so something like The Royal Beach Bali, I tend to enjoy more of the sunny, outdoor atmosphere. Well, that is what summer’s supposed to be right? Out in the sun, basking and walking and savouring the sea and breeze. I’ll definitely be back 🙂

Welcome drinks at Capri Bar

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The Rock Bar

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The sound of the waves, the saltiness in the air and the pleasant breeze brushing through my face, beautiful sunset – these are why the sea is such a wonderful place for me, that which instantly brings in peace and uplifts my spirits. So what if, you have that astonishing sea in front of you while you are on a cliff, in an astounding bar, drinking your cosmopolitan, nibbling on some truffle fries (my fave by the way) and chattering with people close to you?

This picture is how it was in The Rock Bar, Ayana Resort in Jimbaran, Bali. 🙂

Long queue
Waiting for our turn
View from top – just a portion of the bar
Off the monorail go…

The scenery when we got to the bar is amazing. The sun was very striking though, it was too bright. So they had to hand out umbrellas and place it on your table.

We did not wait any longer to place our orders – mostly drinks for us. We were still full from previous meal but we still wanted to get ourselves some nibbles.

To tell you, this is where I’ve tried the best margarita ever!!! It is the Frozen Jose Cuervo Lychee Margarita. I think we did few, repeating orders of it – it was just so sublime! The other drinks were nice as well, but this one stood out for us!

View at night was equally glorious…

Definitely, when back in Bali I will give it a visit again and enjoy myself with the favorite lychee margarita… oh my, yumm!

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Ubud

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Ubud had long been part of the travel bucket list ever since I laid eyes on it on some travel sites. I thought that the place must be rich in culture, is traditional and very rural. Green paddy fields, people riding bikes, “medicine man”, massages – these are just some of my impressions about Ubud. Then came the movie Eat, Pray, Love – so I thought, it might be nice to visit it soon. Ubud is about 2-3 hours drive from Seminyak, normally I would be impatient for a couple of hours drive but this one made me anticipate giddily.

Reaching Bali, you would feel that you are somehow transported to a place that is very different from Seminyak. I was devoured by its rustic charm, excitedly examining each of the shop houses and art work shops that are lined up on the streets. It is culture and comfort combined, making me want to explore it right away. Foreigners are freely cycling through streets and alleyways, where you can feel that some are already living there for quite a while.

I don’t believe in palm readings at all. I know that it is still up to us on how we manage through life and what we make out of it. But, for the sake of being in Ubud and for the sake of Eat, Pray, Love movie – being an adventurer myself, I gave it a try. So who to visit? Of course, Ketut Liyer. Apparently, he couldn’t do palm readings anymore probably of old age – I can see that he is already feeble. But, I think to continue on the legacy, his son does the readings now. I asked to do mine (at an expensive cost of about SGD 25! haha). Of course, what was told is only for myself. =P

After the palm reading, we went around his place and we find that it is comprised of “temple” looking houses but Balinese style and at the far end is a very zen looking spa and massage place. I think the bigger building is actually an inn. I thought, then, this palm reading thing becomes a good business after all. Thanks to the movie maybe.

Ketut Liyer’s enclave

We also visited some Hindu temples, cafes and shops while we were strolling around. (Pardon my somewhat blurry photos as I only used my Iphone 6 at that time).

If there is one thing I love most about Bali, it would have to be their coffee! Vietnamese and Balinese coffee are my best in the world coffee!! We visited some famous ones which is the Lotus Cafe (as you can see here, why the name is such) and Starbucks which we visited only because we find the place different, the Balinese style.

The back portion of these two cafes, which they share, is a must visit. It is a lotus pond where a temple looking facade overlooks the area.

The day trip was one that I enjoyed the most as I am a person who gets fascinated by the rustic charm of places, like they wanted to tell you a story – of how it has been through time. 🙂 Next time that I decide to visit Bali again, it will be a couple of days stay in Ubud. 🙂

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Ibu Oka Babi Guling

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If there is one food that I couldn’t and wouldn’t pass up ever, in my entire life, it would have to be roasted pork. I cannot say no to it – I know! oink right? lol. I am happy that Bali does have pork compared to other Indonesian cities like Jogjakarta where you wouldn’t find any pork for the fact that it is heavily Muslim. So I got very eager to try out one of Bali’s famed delicacy called Babi Guling. And one of the best in town? Ibu Oka.

Ibu Oka in Ubud 

Google out Babi Guling and you would see people hailing this famous place in Ubud that even Anthony Bourdain tried in years back, or I think he even recommended it. The place is two storey and very spacious, maybe it already anticipates tourists who flock everyday to give it a try.

Our group decided to sit at the second floor as the view and place there looks better. People would sit in lotus position which I find very laid back especially as we were tired from visiting previous places.

You can choose Daging (Meat), Kulit (pork skin) or Special which is a combination of both plus rice, fresh vegetables, pork roll, the fried meat, sausage and pork skin.

Babi Guling is a concoction of different herbs and spices that were mashed to give out that succulent, rich taste. I do loveeeeeee it! The vegetable on the side was something very flavourful as well. It was a very pleasant meal for me and I will come back in Bali to try it out again.

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Warung Mina Seminyak

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In most of my trips to some parts of Indonesia, I must say that food is the least that I enjoyed. I am not sure if it was my lack of thorough research of “best food places” in Indo or that no one has actually suggested a very good place to eat. In my recent trip to Bali, I actually thought of bringing some snacks or instant noodles as I was cautious of not having to enjoy food in Indonesia. But then I thought, maybe I could give it some benefit of the doubt.

The first food stop that we had in Bali was a suggestion of the tour driver. It is called Warung Mina, which is located in Seminyak. The setup is small clusters of huts standing on stilts which is something similar to restaurants in some provinces back home in the Philippines.

In our group, all of us just ordered either the Nasi Goreng, Mie Kuah or the Mie Goreng – something quick we thought, for our famished selves.

Nasi Goreng
Mie Goreng
Mie Kuah 

I have to say – I love the food! All of the dishes were just right for my palate. Nothing failed me and my growling tummy of course. I was happy with the food. 🙂 And oh, I also like how the servers dress up – traditional style.

I can then say, that the next time I visit Bali, I wouldn’t hesitate coming back here in Warung Mina.

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Bintan Spa Villa

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Had a weekender in Bintan Spa Villa. It was my first time where previously I only went to Batam.

We didn’t know that the travel time getting to the resort would take us about 1 hour plus! It seemed like the road leading us there, never stops! :))

The resort is sea facing so the view is quite relaxing. Our rooms are located on the far left portion of the resort.

There are also those nipa hut type of rooms that are on stilts.

View from the room

We arrived almost lunch time and we were already starving. There would be no other food choices within the vicinity but only the resort’s own. The food was quite ok, nothing special about it.

The resort is for those seeking relaxation, away from anything. I find the place as plain and simple, if you super duper want to get away from the city living and detach yourself from technology and all the hustle and bustle. There is only little, few things that you can do.

Sea facing Jacuzzi

We attempted to swim in the beach, but it was extremely low tide, there was nowhere to swim in. You can just soak up your feet, feel the sand and play with water. =))

Come night time, they setup a BBQ in the open area and we ordered for some. It included seafood, satay and some sausages. It was quite alright.

And what is best to pair it with? Beer!!

We wanted to try out the Jacuzzi, but from the look of it, it seemed too dirty so we thought it might not be a good idea, lol.

Later in the night, we sang our hearts out in the karaoke area while still drinking some beers.

To conclude, I find that this would be my first and last trip to the said resort. There are other resorts in Bintan area that are nearer to the port and that which have better beach and pool areas. Oh, when we went here, we didn’t see any pool. I am not sure though if it is very far from where we were (inaccessible that is) or under construction. In addition, as I’ve mentioned previously, the travel time was really too much for a resort such as this.

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