Woohoo! Finally! Driven by AirAsia promo, me and mom (yes, you read it right, my mom!) successfully visited the place that was also known as The Island of Gods. Actually this was a first trip we did together in many years, I wasn’t even sure we had a trip together with only the two of us before… anyway without further ado, please enjoy the story of our short 3-days trip!

Day 1, April 16, 2013 | Jimbaran
highlight: accommodation from airport to hotel, hotel, eating, shopping, sunset view, seafood cafes or restaurant for dinner

Waking up, going and getting at the airport too early in the morning was inevitable whenever it was with mom. That aside, Bali trip with mom gave me enough jitters that I booked a hotel room prior on January. Checking, comparing, rechecking and reading review after review on TripAdvisors, in the end I chose to book a room at Villa Puri Royan via tiket.com (read my TA review for the hotel, here).

An on-time and smooth 2-hours flight later, we found ourselves at a renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport around lunch time with 1 hour plus difference (Bali time is set to GMT+8). After haggling with not much success, we headed to Jimbaran, where the hotel was located, in a private taxi (that’s Xenia for us) for IDR 65.000; from airport to Jimbaran was supposedly around fourty to fifty thousand rupiah only, this was proven when later I got IDR 50.000 from the hotel service. I also read in many blogs that it is actually cheaper using airport taxi that has taxi-meter, like BlueBird.

Voila! Villa Puri Royan was even better than I expected—btw the swimming pool was a deep one, about 2m or maybe even deeper!

Glimpse of the hotel’s standard room and swimming pool.

Done with check-in and having a quick rest, we went out to finally enjoy what Bali is famous for, beautiful beaches! The good thing from this hotel was it only 3-mins walk to Jimbaran beach, so woot!

Welcome to the blue!

It was only for short visit and talk with locals, then we headed back to the main street in the opposite direction. We were hungry and were determined to find some food to stuff our stomach. We decided to take a slow walk because mom insisted on shopping balinese shawls (kain bali) as we passed by some stores, while at the same time absorbing Bali cultures ingrained in the surrounding area. Almost one hour aimless walk later, we came upon a restaurant named Warung Surabaya and had a late lunch there. The food was easy on the tongue since it was typical Chinese food. Me and mom weren’t ready to have a culinary blast there, so we stopped trying to find Bali signature food, such as Sate Lilit or Lawar or Suckling Pig. Yeah, such a shame.

Balinese Hindu is famous for their devotion, offerings like these are common sight there. From my observation, usually it contains (sticky) rice, flowers, and sometimes biscuits.

Warung Surabaya front display and Squid Ink Fried Rice for not more than IDR 13.000

Okay, so after the late lunch, we went back to hotel to get some more rest while we wait for the right time to enjoy sunset on the beach. Then! Around 4.30 PM and the sunset was about to hover above Jimbaran sky, we walked to the end of Kedonganan street (from the hotel you go to the beach direction then turn right), to a place called KUD—it’s a traditional market, where ones can find freshly-caught seafood, or clothes, sandals; all for cheap prices (don’t forget to haggle, they at least raise the price 30 to 100 percent the original price, that’s for local tourists; for foreigners, it can be worse than twice the original price). In the end, mom bought some more shawls and I bought sandals, since we both forgot to bring ours.

Next was of course the highlight of the first day:

Sunset on Jimbaran beach!

We wanted to have sunset dinners on the bay, but then food was no match against the nature!

Although, our protesting stomach demanded us to have some roasted corn. It’s IDR 10.000 per corn.

Things that I realized that first day about wanting to enjoy dinner on Jimbaran Bay were:
1) they have the two area of restaurants, one which is more sophisticated-designed with prices so high that if you are budget travelers, it’s a so no-no. It goes as far as having to pay almost half billion for dinners-for-two package. Right, it’s expensive and a totally rip-off, and I’ve never been a person who loves expensive things when I can have it cheaper.
2. indeed, they have cheaper options—restaurants that probably not as sophisticated as the first option, but indeed a restaurant with more or less the same menu and reasonable prices.

How to differentiate them? From Villa Puri Royan, take the road to the beach and go right for the expensive restaurants or you go left for the restaurants with reasonable prices. I bet the deliciousness of the food offered by both places wasn’t as far-fetched as the prices. =p

Du-du-dun… so the first night ended after me and mom have our late dinner at one of the seafood restaurants lining the Jimbaran Bay (second option, of course). The food was so-so tasted (well, it’s not a Michelin rated restaurant, so what do you expect? =p), however it was still special considering the occasion and romantically-themed situation—it’s a candle light dinner with mom, yo!

Our dinner consist of grilled red snapper, and two squid-based dishes. Including rice, side-dishes, and drinks, the prices was less than IDR 150.000. Definitely cheaper. >D

You can feel it in the air, how the darkening sky embraces you into the night, and the heartfelt chattering of people around you is actually a great replacement of the ruckus you are escaping from, and the street musician entertain you with songs only the waves know how to echo it back in their language…

The dinner at Jimbaran bay that night was magical and liberating. Or maybe, it’s just me. :]

Next: Day 2 at Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK), Kuta Beach, and Tanah Lot Temple.