This is the first series of my Bali trip journal. Departing from Surabaya via Garuda Indonesia flught GA0342, we arrived in Ngurah Rai International Airport around 12.30 in the afternoon. Upon leaving the terminal, we had this complimentary pick up service from Gending Kedis, the villas we were staying at for 2 nights. The journey from the airport to Jimbaran where the villa was located took around 20 minutes, and we passed by some great resorts like the Inter-Continental Resort, and Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay.
We booked a 2 bedroom Silangjana villa, and as the reception lobby area was still under construction, they checked us in a smaller entrance pavilion. The villa was as good as they pictured in their website, and it was comfortable enough for 4-5 persons, though they don’t provide additional beds. There was a nice living room fitted with a JBL iPod Dock, 42″ LCD TV, DVD Player and you can even rent DVDs, iPods if you need one from the reception desk. Outside, there is a day bed pavilion for massage and spa treatments, sundeck terrace and a small private plunge pool. The 2 bedrooms was on the second floor and both are equipped with one king sized beds. Overall a value for money place to stay if you are looking for a private villa area in Bali. The only thing lacking is a large swimming pool, and a sea view villa. All the villas in Gending Kedis faces the valleys around Jimbaran.
With the villa having only a small restaurant, we headed out to Kuta area for lunch. Based from a taxi driver’s suggestion, we went to Sungei Seafood Restaurant at Jalan Raya Tuban for lunch. They do serve fresh seafood and great stir fried kangkong. Speaking of kangkong, you need to try it at Bali since green vegetables and fruits are another of Bali’s specialties. After satisfying our stomachs, we went to Kuta Square for some sightseeing and shopping.
The first thing that strikes me was how Kuta Square feels like the outdoor malls in Vancouver’s Robson, Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive and Hong Kong’s Kowloon instead of those enclosed malls. Lots of surf shops like Rip Curl, Billabong, Quiksilver and Roxy in this area. One interesting shop was Bagus Watch, which specializes in selling well made replicas of Rolex, Omega, Patek Phillipe, IWC, Chopard and Tag Heuers watches, just to name a few. Prices vary from Rp 500,000 to 1 million and above for the best quality replicas. This place is also good to enjoy the sunset at Kuta Beach, one of the most densely populated beach in Bali. But today, we decided to leave Kuta at around 5.10pm to catch the sunset at Uluwatu, the southermost cliff in Bali.
It was a great view from Uluwatu, though we were a bit late to enjoy much of the sights since we only got the final glimpses of the sunset when we arrived at around 6.15pm. Preferably you should reach Uluwatu at around 5 to 5.30 pm, if you want to savour in the scenery. Do be careful of the mischevious monkeys in Uluwatu who are known to snatch belongings of unwary tourists. For visitors, wear long trousers or pants if you do not want to wear sarongs into the compund as to enjoy the scenery, you need to walk some distance into the sacred temple compound.
As Uluwatu is in an isolated area in Bali, most people choose to head to Jimbaran for seafood after the sunset ride, which we did as it was similarly located in southern Bali and was only a 15 minutes ride to our villas. Being used to the great seafood in Lampung, the ones in Jimbaran is not up to standard and was expensive. So it’s more of a tourist trap than anything. Not worth the trip, I would say, though you could just head down to sit by the beach side for beers and lounging to view the night scene of Jimbaran.