I woke up early to catch the sunrise over Gending Kedis it was a nice serene atmosphere early in the morning. There was the chirping of the birds around the valley and Gending Kedis, translated literally from Balinese means the “songs of the birds”. An apt name for the resort indeed. We had ordered breakfast to br delivered to our room in the morning, which is great if you want to laze around, as the breakfast delivery was late by around 15 minutes. The hotel staff came in and laid out the placemats for all the food in the dining area, but the food was a bit cold by the time they laid everything and not as tasty as it would have been when you have it in the restaurant which we did in the 2nd day.
After breakfast we arranged for a driver to chauffeur us around Bali for a personalized trip. The price negotiated was Rp 375,000 for a driver and a Toyota Kijang Innova which can seat 7 including the driver. Suitable for our family of 5 then. The first stop was the village of Celuk, one well known for their silver jewellery, followed by a visit to art studios in Ubud, and the village of Mas, well known for their wood carvings. Ubud is like in the centre of Bali, and also a very well known cultural centre, populated by its many craftsmen.
Besides being well known for its art, the district of Ubud is also famous for its Balinese and Fusion food. Our pit stop for lunch was at Tepi Sawah Restaurants, which incidentally has a Villa compund as well. The setting of the restaurant is superb right on the side of a rice paddy field. The atmosphere is relaxing and the best thing was that the place serves one of the best food we had throughout our trip. I had grilled baby chicken for lunch, while Dad chose spare ribs in Balinese spicy sauce, and my brother chose the roasted crispy duck. Mum and Sis took the same combination as me and my brother. The spare ribs and the duck was the recommended one in the restaurant.
From Ubud, it was a straight way up literally since we headed towards the upper highlands of Bali, bypassing numerous villages with terraced rice fields, before reaching Kintamani. This small village on the highlands is a focal point to view the surroundings of Lake Batur and Gunung Batur. On the way up, you will also get to see Gunung Agung, the highest peak of Bali and home to one of the island’s most sacred shrine. With cool weather, the village of Kintamani has farmers selling some of the best fruit produce like mangosteens, salak (a native fruit in Bali), mangoes, rambutans and oranges. There also various restaurants along Kintamani that serves as a watering hole while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Besides the view, other places to visit in the area are some eco-tourism spots like coffee and cocoa plantations. One of those we stopped along the route sold coffee powders and beans that came from the manure of racoons. Known as Kopi Luwak, or Racoon’s Coffee, these beans are collected from racoon-like animals that digests ripe coffee beans wholly. These coffee beans are the world’s most expensive and prized for their rarity. One reason why these coffee might taste better is because these racoons actually picks coffee beans that are ripe and good. Thus the ones they digests are selected based on the best of the crop. A 200 gram pack of those coffee beans was sold for US$100. Another nice place worth visiting for a detour would be the terraced rice fields of Tegallalang. It was kind of unfortunate that the rice fields have just been harvested when we went there. The scenery was still breathtaking even without the rice fields.
As we headed towards the city, we still had time to spare, thus we made a stopover along the way to enjoy the Kecak dance, a traditional dance depicting the battle of Ramayana and the demon king. This dance can be enjoyed in several theatres across the island and is most watched in Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, with performances only in the evening between 6 to 7pm.
Lastly it was time for dinner, and we headed to this uber-famous restaurant and bar called KuDeTa. Seriously speaking, with its location in Seminyak, KuDeTa is a very nice place to hang-out with an atmosphere unlike Dempsey Hill in Singapore. The cuisine here is French Fusion with nearly all its customers being foreigners. We ordered scami skagen (flying fish roe, baby hash browns, and chives) and seared japanese scallops for appetizers, and I had confit duck leg, while mum and sis ordered black alaskan cod ‘nobu’ style, with dad and bro ordering veal tenderloin and shaved truffle. Dessert was Cremee Brulee in 4 ways, which was the star of the meal in my opinion.
The dinner at KuDeTa pretty much wrapped up the 2nd day of my Bali trip. Just a word of caution, though KuDeTa is a nice place to lounge, the food prices here are as expensive as fine dining establishments in Singapore, Hong Kong and even L.A or Vancouver for that matter. Reservations are also a must for this place.