Bali traveller

Do you speak the lingo?…

Have you mastered the art of speaking Bahasa?
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Bahasa Indonesia is considered the official language of Bali.  It’s interesting to note however that Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands with over 300 native languages and over 740 spoken languages.
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English is so widely spoken in the tourist parts of Bali that in my opinion, the only words you really need to get you through your whole next holiday to Bali are:
  • Terima kasih – Thank-you (pronounced Treema kasi)
  • Tidak – No
  • (So, Tidak terima kasih is used often)
  • Sama sama is a response to Thank-you.  It means you are welcome.
  • Permisi – Excuse me
  • Jalan Jalan – Walking (This is handy to use if being hounded by Transport people on the streets)
A few other basic conversational skills are:
  • Apa kabar? – How are you?
  • Baik – Fine/good
  • Baik, terima kasih – Fine, thank you.
  • Maaf – Sorry
  • Tidak/Ya – No/Yes
  • Nama saya – My name is…
  • Selamat Pagi – Good Morning
  • Selamat Siang – Good Midday
  • Selamat Sore – Good Afternoon
  • Selamat Malam – Good Night
  • Sampai Jumpa Lagi – See you later

If you spend a little time with the locals, just about all will be more than happy to give you impromptu lessons during normal conversations to help you advance your language learning.

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NOTE: Comments and recommendations are based on my own personal opinions or experience, or those of close friends.

In need of a Doctor or Apotik in Seminyak?

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Med Mart & Pharmacy, on Jl Raya Seminyak is located just to the left hand side of Bintang Supermarket (at No 17) and directly next to a Silver shop.  A wide selection of medicinal needs are available here at a fraction of the cost of Australian prices.  Note:  If you’re unfortunate enough to be sleeping with a “snorer”, this Apotik DOES sell ear plugs!

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A Medical Clinic is conveniently situated at the rear of this Pharmacy.  Here you are able to wait to be seen by a Medical Practitioner.

NOTE:

There are numerous Apotiks in the tourist regions of Bali.  Personally, I always find them easy to locate if they’re near a “landmark” as this one is, near Bintang Supermarket.

If in Kuta, head to Matahari in Kuta Square for a reliable Apotik situated on the ground floor, opposite the Supermarket.

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ONE STOP Seminyak Shopping…

BINTANG SUPERMARKET

Address:  Jalan Raya No 17, Seminyak

Bintang Supermarket is a handy one stop shop for all your holiday essentials!  Go here early in your trip to purchase basic necessities.  Always busy, this supermarket is the stock-up place for expats.

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It’s located on the main street of Seminyak, close to the Legian end. It’s large  and has two levels.  Mostly, I’ve found it stocks all the basics – and a few surprises too. You can purchase food, drinks, bathroom products (including sunscreens, though a little exy on the island), baby goods and many other supplies here also.  It really is a one stop shop!  Don’t forget to head upstairs for stationary, hardware and all your home bits.

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Bintang is great for imported as well as local goods. It opens early around 7.30am and closes 11pm.  Such a handy shop if you’ve forgotten to pack something!!  Some friends stock up here for supplies to take back home since they’re so inexpensive eg. toothbrushes, moisturizer, soaps, hand sanitiser, panadol, rubber thongs, bodywash, bandaids, shampoo….

HINT: I use Bintang as a a land mark that people and taxi drivers will instantly recognise.

HINT 2:  There is a reliable Money Changer across the road.

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HINT 3:  A fab PHONE SHOP for sim cards and data is located on the RHS of the Bintang Supermarket carpark.

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HINT 4:  If you are looking at posting goods back home, head to the POST OFFICE – also located on the RHS of the carpark.

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HINT 5:  Although Bintang Supermarket sells alcohol, there is also a specific LIQUOR STORE several shops along on the RHS of the Bintang Supermarket.

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Happy Shoppping!! x

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TIPS ON PREVENTING BAG THEFT

Theft in Bali is unfortunately all too common. Often occuring via motor-bikes with one person driving, the other armed and ready to cut a bag strap from a pedestrian or fellow rider.

The world is full of people looking to get money from tourists through scams or theft.

Some handy tips on preventing bag theft or pickpockets:

  • When walking along the street, wear your bag on the side of your body that is away from the traffic.
  • Don’t carry more cash or credit cards than you need.
  • Leave expensive jewellery at home.
  • Hold your purse/bag tight and close to your body.  If possible, place it under your clothing, unseen.
  • Shorten the strap on your bag so it can be held tightly between your elbow and your body.
  • Walk in busy, well lit areas – preferably with a friend.  (Muggings can happen at any time, but are often more prevalent in dimly lit, less busy locations).
  • Where possible, do without a handbag.
  • If a robber grabs your bag, resist the impulse to struggle.  If you hang on, chances are you’ll be pulled down or dragged along the streets.
  • Be especially cautious in busy stores, streets and markets.  Thefts and pickpockets often work in teams; one creates a distraction by bumping or shoving, dropping something, or asking a question – while others lift wallets from pockets or handbags.
  • Keep bags and wallets zipped up and closed at all times.
  • Where possible, use specific travel bags that have wire reinforced straps since they can’t  be easily cut.
  • Car drivers lock your doors whilst driving and lock your doors when you get out of your car for any reason.  Ask your driver or taxi to lock their doors also.
  • Most of all keep alert to people travelling near you and don’t allow them to get too close if you can help it.
  • Listen to your instincts.
  • Photocopy both sides of important documents like credit cards, licences etc and keep it in a safe place at your hotel or villa.
  • Last but not least, always take out Travel Insurance.

Wishing you safe travels! x

photo credit: James Alcock/ Murrayontravel

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A lazy Sunday Brunch at the Sheraton…

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Bali Sunday Brunches have reached a competitive level these days.

Having previously enjoyed an indulgent brunch at the divine St Regis Resort in Nusa Dua, I felt theirs would be hard to top.   It was with some trepidation therefore, that I attended Sheraton Bali Kuta hotel’s “Sunday Market Brunch”.

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I need not have been concerned however, and at just 270,000Rph per adult, the “Sip, Savor and Shop at the Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort’s Feast Market Brunch” is a screaming bargain!

We chose the wine package “all you can sip of locally crafted beers, fine wines and signature cocktails” for an additional 200,000Rph.  (Duval Leroy Brut Champers and Starwood Wines of the World Selection was an additional 450,000Rph)

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As a self-confessed décor snob, I was slightly let down on arrival.  (The St Regis at Nusa Dua however, is on a level of its own, let’s face it!)  I soon settled in with great company, moorish free-flowing cocktails and a selection of scrumptious food selections.

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An outstanding seafood selection was available for viewing on ice, via the alfresco area.  BBQ style cooking took place here also.

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I chose more than I needed and came back for 2nds – and 3rds!!  The free flow wines are very drinkable.  The service at this brunch is impeccable.

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The Sheraton Bali Kuta brunch runs from 12midday to 3pm each Sunday.  The menu changes weekly to allow for seasonal ingredients availability.  A Market stall is also available should you wish to purchase fresh produce.

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A kid’s corner is all set for small people dining.  It really is a fab family venue- and outing!  Having said that, we were seated comfortably enough away from the kids area so as not to be disturbed.

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Did I tell you the Market Brunch is a screaming bargain?!!  Kids (aged 4-12yrs) are just 135,000Rph too.

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For more information and booking details, click here:

http://www.sheratonbalikuta.com/en/market-brunch

HINT 1:  Hit the ground running after brunch and head into Kuta square by foot for some fixed price retail therapy.  Alternatively, duck out to the adjacent  new and impressive Kuta Boardwalk shopping centre and pick up a bargain at Zara or other recommended designer stores.

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HINT 2:  If you are wanting to kick back and continue being waited on ( as we did), head on up to the next floor where you can enjoy a continued drink service whilst watching the sun set over the idyllic Kuta beach.  Bliss!

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Cheers & Bon appetite!!

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Photos: ©exclusivelybali.net

Tres chic Pearl: a hidden gem!

PEARL Hotel, Legian

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Situated down a short driveway off busy Jalan Double Six, this charming boutique hotel is a delightful oasis of calm. There are only approximately 16 rooms wrapping around a modest azure pool in an intimate, tropical setting. Shaded day beds poolside, piled with cushions, are a restful place to relax with a cocktail or two.

The Pearl hotel has a NO child policy and there is NO swim up bar. This ensures a quiet and peaceful sanctuary.

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The hotel is conveniently located with the beach a pleasurable 5 minute stroll away in one direction and the wallet emptying shopping strip of Jalan Legian on the other.

I only stayed here one night as a last minute booking, but would happily return. The understated rooms are spacious and clean, though simply decorated. The bathrooms are generous, with some opening partially to the outdoors. Mozzies therefore can be an issue, so come prepared!

The gardens are pleasantly lush and typically Balinese.

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A simple, uncomplicated breakfast is included in the reasonable room cost. Breakfast can be delivered to your balcony, though there is no daily room service. Wifi is strong.

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Conveniently, the much coveted and well renowned French “Pearl Restaurant” is within the hotel grounds. An enchanting garden setting filled with fairy lights compliments the superb food with its outstanding presentation.

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I would recommend this hotel as a quiet, modest getaway. It is an ideal lady’s solo accommodation with secure, gated grounds and staff that are attentive and welcome you like family.

A little gem of a hotel!

http://www.balihotelpearl.com

HINT: Book an upstairs room if possible, as there is some noise on the ground floor from movement overhead.

Photos: sourced.

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  • NOTE: Comments and recommendations are based on my own personal experience, or close friends.

Heavenly luxury at the Alila Villas Soori…

ALILA VILLAS SOORI, Tabanan, Bali

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Stunning architecture and dramatic yet understated interiors combine with a breathtaking setting. Alila Villas’ architects describe it as ‘an inspired expression of contemporary Asian architecture blending seamlessly with rice fields and coastline’. Views from the sculptured stone terrace across the infinity pool include a shimmering black volcanic sand beach, the Indian ocean and verdant rice padi’s.

Alila Villas Soori. © Alila Villas Soori

This uber chic resort will contemplate your every need, from acknowledging your music preference prior to your arrival to a dedicated butler service throughout your stay.

Alila Villas Soori. © Alila Villas Soori

This is the kind of location you luxuriate in and don’t leave – because everything is about 1-2 hours drive away.

Cotta Restaurant. © Alila Villas Soori

An extraordinary haven of pure indulgence!!!

Alila Villas Soori. © Alila Villas Soori

http://www.alilahotels.com/soori

🌟 HINT 1: At around $600++ per night, these villas are pricey but would be a wonderful setting for a wedding or 2nd honeymoon!

🌟 HINT 2: Start saving!!

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TAXI…. !! Is it a Bluebird?

BLUEBIRD TAXIS

Taxis are plentiful in the coastal tourist strip of Bali and fares are cheap.
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Bluebird taxis are preferable as they have a good reputation and use their meter for your journey. Otherwise, you could end up spending way too much on a taxi fare.

There are many taxi’s in Bali these days and a lot of those are now trying to make themselves look like a Bluebird – even going to the trouble of trying a new tactic where they have a sticker on the front of their cars saying “Blue Taxi Group” to confuse people. They also have a back to front bird like the Bluebird Group so be careful.

If you catch a taxi who is intimidating a Bluebird taxi, you may find yourself in a taxi with either no meter or a meter which is ticking over extremely fast.

A Bluebird will have a number and a sticker on the front of the car saying “Bluebird Group”. They are light blue in colour and the cars are all in good condition.
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Since there are some pretty convincing intimidators of Bluebird taxis, have a look here on tips to ensure your taxi really IS a Bluebird:

http://www.bluebirdgroup.com/passenger-transportation/regular-taxi-blue-bird-pusaka/safety