Tag Archives: cny2015

Bali day 4 #postdated

The last full day in Bali was rather rest and relax for us. The driver picked us up to check out Tanoh Lot. I was impressed by the view as well as the number of souvenir shops in the area, and lastly, by the volume of Chinese tourists.

We were done at Tanoh Lot by 12pm and returned to Seminyak. It was a day of good food, shopping and cafe hopping.

This was our lunch at La Lucciola. The food were good and reasonably priced of $10 per main course. We went overboard and ordered many items off the menu for sharing. The kids loved the prawn pasta!

Sea view for lunch

La Lucciola in the background

We headed to Seminyak Square (1 minute’s drive away) for shopping. I visited my favourite shop – Sisca, for the boys’ clothes. They had way nicer clothes for girls but so not relevant for me.

We checked out the nearby Revolver’s Cafe where it was so uncannily Australian-like.

By 5pm, we headed back to the villa where the boys played in the pool more. We changed and headed out to Metis for dinner to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. It was our second consecutive year of celebrating our anniversary at this restaurant.

Romantic but mozzies-filled lotus pond

A very special and gastronomical meal to round up the trip!

Bali day 3 #postdated

We opted for local breakfast and the nasi goreng as well as mee goreng tasted so good! As usual, the driver was already waiting for us at 9am. The plan for the day was to check out a series of beaches.

He drove us to Tanjung Benoa where sea sports were played. The kids were impressed with the parasailing activities they saw onsite. However, we were not really keen to try those and were recommended to take the boat ride to Turtle Island.

It was the first time Z took a boat on open seas and had salt water spraying onto his face whenever the ride turned bumpy. It was quite an experience because when the boat reached the island, you would be sure to get your feet wet as you had to step onto the shore.

On the turtle island, the staff were friendly and encouraged us to pet and take photos with the animals. I thought the most interesting animal we got to see was a bat!!!!

When the bat stretched open its wings, we explained to Z that was how the batman logo came about.

After the Turtle Island, we returned to the mainland and headed off to Padawan Beach. It was a newly developed beach with the whitest sand and bluest sea seen. We had to pay for entry to this beach. We were not logistically prepared but boy, this was a really good beach for the kids to play at. The waves were gentle and the beach was so clean. There was a row of ‘eateries’ and we tried the pork satay which came highly recommended by the driver. It was $2 for 7 sticks and a very big ketupat.

Chilling out to the sea view

The gorgeous beach

After the beach, we headed to a local outlet store where we picked up souvenirs and clothes at amazing prices of $1-$4 per item. The shop was called Karung Kurnia and they sold many items similar to what we would see on the streets of Ubud and Seminyak. To my surprise, their retail prices was already cheaper than Ubud and even post haggling prices. According to the driver, this was a local outlet store and few foreign tourists would know or visit. I had to agree because when I ran a google search, only results in Bahasa were returned. I bought lots of slippers ($2 per pair) which were sold at $5 on the streets, clothes and more.

It was a 15 minutes’ ride to the famous Jimbaran beach for dinner. To be honest, I thought the food at Jimbaran beach was average but it was the experience of sitting on the beach, tucking in under the stars and fireworks which rendered it a tad special.

It was 9pm++ when we finished dinner and did some grocery shopping at Papaya. We headed back to the villa with tons of snacks!

Here was X, all bathed and up to funny antics.

Bali day 2 #postdated

When we got up in the morning, the villa manager and cook had reached. They were so warm and hospitable.

Tea & coffee

Breakfast was ready

Raring to go

At 9am, we were done with breakfast and was ready to head out for some touring. We had not toured Bali when we visited last year because X had been too much of a handful to handle in the car. I had booked this driver after reading recommendations in a local forum. He was always early, really nice and helpful. I had initially booked his services for 2 days but I extended his services to 3 days. We used a minibus which could sit up to 12-15 persons. Though there was only 9 of us, I felt that it would be easier for all of us if the kids had room to move around, especially for long rides and jams.

His contact was kwaletourbali@gmail.com.

We headed up to Ubud. On the way there, he brought us to a coffee plantation and we reached Ibu Oka by 12pm for lunch. They were famous for suckling pigs. I always wondered why pork were sold in Bali and was informed that the religion of most Balinese was Hinduism. That explained all the intricate looking costumes, Balinese dances, carvings on the buildings and yoga! Silly me!

Anyway, the food at Ibu Oka was not very kids’ friendly except for the white rice and mixed vegetables soup. Their famous Ibu Oka rice sets only included 1 slice of crispy pork skin. When we wanted to order more, we were told that it was sold out. Well, it was definitely worth ordering an additional plate of crispy pork skin.

We visited the Monkey Forest. It was supposed to be 5 minutes’ drive away but there were so many vehicles that it took us 30min to get there. We were impressed that we were able to see so many monkeys up front and personal. One thing to note was to not have food in your bags. One of the monkeys pounced and tried to grab Mr H’s backpack which gave X such a fright.

We subsequently teased X and told him that he should ‘roar’ as a dragon instead since he was born in the year of dragon.

Every time the monkey came too close to him, we asked, “What should a dragon do?”

He would ‘ROAR’ but when he saw the monkeys, he would whisper ‘roar’. Hilarious!

After Monkey Forest, we visited the Ubud Kingdom (ruins of an old palace) and the nearby Ubud Market. Ubud was a great place to shop with so many handicrafts and colourful shops! It almost made me wish that we were staying overnight in Ubud because we wasted so much time on traffic jams.

Though some handicrafts were sold throughout Bali, Ubud offered an extensive range of souvenirs which were so pretty. We bought what we could find in the short span of time.

We had to leave Ubud by 4pm in order to return to Seminyak for dinner. We had wanted to eat at Naughty Nuri’s. It was 630pm when we reached Sunset Boulevard. Given the earlier lunch at Ibu Oka which was not so kids’ friendly and the worry about a long wait at Nuri’s, we decided to stop at Sushi Tei for dinner. The kids were happy to have sushi, udon and soup.

The driver dropped us off at the villa at 8pm. Thereafter, Mr H got the villa’s security guard to drive him out on the scooter to buy the pork ribs back. Whee!

The ribs were a tad spicy due to the pepper. Apart from Z who took a few bites, the two younger toddlers did not eat. Anyhow, I thought it was a lot more comfortable to tuck into the pork ribs in the comforts of the clean and air-conditioned villa.

While we had our supper, the kids were lounging in front of the TV and enjoying the stash of DVDs bought the night before.

Bali day 1 #postdated

The long weekend of CNY was too attractive not to plan a short getaway. The day before, Z told me that CNY visiting was so tiring that he really looked forward to a holiday for a good rest. I did stare at him, ponder a bit and laughed.

Our family trip comprised of 6 adults and 3 children, to Bali. We took at 0650h flight which meant our family arranged for a mini bus to fetch us at 415am to the airport. Recalling how late we got home from visiting the previously, it was no easy feat getting up in the morning. Mr H opted to stay up instead.

At the airport early in the morning

We scored a really pretty villa from Airbnb. It was called Villa Sanook in Seminyak. We paid S$650 a night for a 4-bedroom villa because there was some Amex promotion and we had received very good discount. Otherwise, you could use my discount code (wpeng23) for an introductory discount of $32. As we had booked 4 nights at the villa, the host was very kind to offer free transfer from and to the airport.

Checking out the villa

Z explored the villa and picked up the flowers

Pool facing room

X at the pavilion

The deck chairs for suntanning

One of the ensuite bathrooms

After settling down in the villa, we headed out to Sardine for lunch.

X was more interested in the snack bag which he had filled with CNY sweets from the day before

Rounding off the meal with a dessert tasting plate which was superb as usual

Too bad it was raining, so we could not walk out to the paddy fields

Gramps & the kids

Z & his cousin

Post lunch, all the adults rested at the villa and my kids headed for the pool. It was amazing that Z did such a great job of looking after X, with us supervising from the side, that X was totally comfortable in the float by himself.

Poolside snacking

For dinner, we headed to Warung Made where they served great Indonesian cuisine. My favourite was gado gado, satay and even the chicken porridge! The other dishes were pretty good too. There was a Balinese Dance performance which intrigued the kids.

Post dinner, we went to Bintang supermarket to buy drinks, chips and toys. We even bought some cartoon DVDs for the kids to watch at the villa.

大年初一2015

In the last 10 years, we spent half the lunar new years on overseas trips and on visiting at times. To me, CNY visiting was fun and special. It was a very rare day where both sets of grandparents were around on the first day of CNY.

I started the morning by blasting CNY songs on Spotify and got the boys to wake up.

Smartly decked out in new clothes, still in a daze

Our first stop was the boys’ paternal grandparents’ place

Having fun collecting ang pows and playing with cousin

Then Z sneaked in a #selfie by himself! Too funny not to share!

By 1030am, we headed to their maternal grandparents’ place, settled lunch and waited to head out with my family for visiting. We went to my 2nd aunt’s place, eldest aunt’s place, grandaunt’s place & eldest uncle’s place. The boys had fun stuffing their faces and stuffing sweets in their pockets. They still could not comprehend the logic of CNY and the visiting. Apart from the occasional shyness, Z was quite savvy with his CNY greetings.

One of the visiting stops

Rummaging through the CNY snacks

Hanging out at a relative’s place

Heading to another stop

One of my favourite snacks

What to do when there were limited seats

The boys were very tired by dinner time. Nonetheless, we still made it to Star Vista for dinner and surprisingly, Canton Kitchen was opened!

After dinner, we headed to my 5th aunt’s place for a massive gathering with the rest of the relatives whom we had yet to ‘bump’ into on the first day.

Posing with a new family member at my aunt’s place

Caught in the act of playing with the gong

With a really huge plate of Yusheng

Massive lohei

Pretty colours of the Yusheng

The boy who was so interested in the ‘beehoon in the sky’

It was almost 10pm when we hustled the kids home. It was definitely a fun and tiring first day for us.