Bali Oh Bali..!

 

 

Few weeks ago, we packed our bags, booked our flights, and with a dancing heart and a warm smile, headed to the land of a thousand temples, and a million smiles: BALI, in Indonesia.

Now let me tell you, the journey is not for the faint hearted, nor for parents of small kids either (unless you are very very brave, or crazy lol). We took a flight from Bahrain To Muscat Oman, which is 1hr30 min long (They just inaugurated the new airport, and it’s so beautiful and very artistic), we then took another flight from Muscat to Jakarta (Indonesia). Then we had to go through customs and go collect our bags (they can’t send the bags all the way to Bali, for some reason, so you will have to collect your bags and then check them in again in another terminal), then we had to leave the airport, walk with our 2 suitcases, get up and down escalators, and finally take a Skytrain (it is about 5 minutes away, the ride is another 5 minutes and it takes you to the terminal of domestic flights).  The whole thing took about 1hr30 minutes, so if you are planning flights, make sure you have enough time before the next flight (we had 3 hours and it was perfect!). We then took a 2 hours’ flight to Bali! We reached around 7 pm and we were so ready to have a nice warm meal, and just sleeeeeeeeep.

My husband chose “Westin Nusa Dua” Hotel in Bali, and I seriously couldn’t be happier with his choice!  It is in a gated community, surrounded by other 5 stars hotels, the beach, and beautiful nature. Very calm and quiet if you wanna recharge and relax. Next to the hotel there is a great outdoor mall, called “Bali Collection”, with tons of amazing restaurants, cafes and shops, there is also a supermarket, and many ATMs. The hotel also has an amazing Kids’ club, very spacious and has so much to offer, the staff are so lovely and very helpful –but hey the whole population of Bali is, they are so peaceful and very kind!

 

 

Our trip was about 10 days, so we decided to do some fun sightseeing as well as to spend some time relaxing by the pool and the beach, this way we will still explore Bali, and also have time to relax, and it was a great decision!

 

Uber, and Grab, are not very popular in Bali, I’ll even dare to say that they are not safe to use, as the local Taxi drivers do not appreciate the competition, but you can always find kind drivers that will take you around and not charge you an arm and a leg. We had the chance to meet a lovely friend/driver: Mr.Lanos , he was so knowledgeable, helpful and so very kind (message me if you want his details, I can’t recommend him enough!). He took us to many places, and told us tons of stories about Bali’s culture and traditions. He has 3 kids so he is very sweet and good with kids too (always a plus when you are a parent).

One more thing about transportation in Bali, you can also use their local Taxi company which is called:” Blue Bird”, they always use the meter, and you can download their app and just order cabs from there anywhere and anytime. However, be aware that there are many similar taxis: similar color-Blue- similar logo-a blue bird- and even a similar name (sometime Blue Biro, or Blue Bir…etc), so you think they are Blue Bird, and take the cab and then be charged a little fortune since they do not use the meter, so just be careful.

 

 

We visited many places like:

  • Tegenungan Waterfall: You can book your tickets online, or just buy them at the door. It is a great spot for nature lovers. Before you reach the entrance of the waterfall, you’ll find plenty of art and souvenir shops. There are bathrooms, snacks and ice cream shops too. The falls are only few minutes’ walk down the trail beyond the shops. The water’s volume is impressive, and you can even enjoy a little dip in the water, if you want.

  • We loved visiting Ubud, a very lively “village”, with lots of shops and restaurants. Great for walks and if you wanna get some exquisite souvenirs

 

  • The Monkey Forst: Yes as the name suggests it is a forest full of monkeys. It was amazing to see that great amount of monkeys lol. Just a small advice, do not leave any food in your bag because MAN  they will steal it, even if it is just a bottle of water- which might of might not had happened to us hahaha.

 

  • Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan : An amazing temple on the beach. Such amazing scenery that will take your breath away, and if you are lucky –as we were- you would witness the most magical sunset ever! No better place to witness the glory of God. You will also find many many shops there, for art and souvenirs and with great prices.

 

 

  • Kuta village: such a beautiful place with great big malls, and a whole neighborhood filled with amazing furniture, clothes, and souvenir shops, it also has a great beach. A stroll in Kuta village will probably take a whole day or at least a whole afternoon.

I also really enjoyed the Balinese food and the very cool and stylish restaurants and cafes. You can also find all sorts of cuisines you like: Italian, Asian, …etc.

 

 

Some of the restaurants I really enjoyed are:

Bale Agung in Denpasar- Pemecutan Kelod:  For Balinese cuisine.

De Verdant Kuma, in Badung – Benoa: For Vegan, organic food.

The Pirates Bay, on the beach in Nusa Dua: International food, you eat in Tree Houses, surrounded by the beach, beautiful scenery, and cute squirrels.

 

 

 

As there are many beaches in Bali, expect to be surrounded by mosquitos, so be equipped with mosquito repellents and creams for mosquito bites, especially if you have kids.

In the whole of Bali, there is an impressive number of squirrels! They are everywhere! Friendly though, they will never jump on you or anything like that.

Our trip was fabulous, just like we have expected, and more. We loved each and every minute of it.

 

Terima Kasih (Thank you in Indonesian)

Ouiam

A Holiday In Heaven…

  

Okay… Who doesn’t like going for a vacation?! And who doesn’t like to go for a calm serene get away, every once in a while?! I am pretty sure we all know the answer already! We just came back from one! So I thought I definitely should give you guys my feedback and recommendations, in case you too were looking for a fantastic place to go on a holiday! 
   
It has only been a day since we left Bodrum, and I sure miss it like crazy! I miss those beautiful warm breezy and sunny days. The calm that surrounded every parcel of our beings! 

  
This break was a much needed one. For the last few weeks I have been feeling that I had a hundred things running through my mind, and my brain skips from one thing to another in a mild merry-go-round that truly has no ending. I felt my to-do lists were getting bigger each day and my “ME” time was slowly disappearing from my schedule. This was driving me insane! So when we found out that my husband’s leave wasn’t canceled (absolutely normal when your husband is a pilot), you can imagine how happy and relieved I was. 

Bodrum wasn’t our first option. We had: Sharm El Sheikh, Jordan, and Bali too. We didn’t know what to choose, so we abruptly chose Turkey (Bodrum). 

We stayed a couple of days in Istanbul, a destination we love so much (by “we” I mean I, and certainly not my husband lol), then we took a flight with Turkish Airlines to go to Bodrum. The flight is only 50minutes long. A very smooth and quick flight. We landed early in the afternoon, in a small airport. We then found our driver, sent by the hotel to pick us up, waiting outside. The ride took about 40minutes to reach: Mandarin Oriental Resort & Hotel. The second we parked the car, we were in awe with the beauty of this place! 

  
The staff were very welcoming, smiling and making sure we had everything we needed, before one of them took us to our suite/ apartment.
  
Our room was incredibly amazing, spacious and beautiful. The living room was also very spacious, and beautifully decorated. In addition, we had an insanely beautiful garden attached to our suite! Everything around us was screaming: “Calm, Serenity and perfect vacation!” They even had some autentic turkish delights waiting for us on our table! 

  

  
We were pleasantly surprised to find cute little things already prepared for our toddler: Organic baby shampoo and shower gel, tiny matching bath robe and slippers, a small bath tub, and a panda bear! It is the only hotel we have ever visited that took into consideration our little one’s needs! So here is a big shout out to this amazing hotel! 

  
They also have a small kids’ club, where the little ones can have some fun of their own, with a lovely lady to take care of them! There is also a great video game room for the older kids and their dads lol ! 

Wherever we went we were delighted to meet exceptionally nice staff, always ready to help and always making sure we had all what we needed! 
My husband and I had a chance to try out their spa, and have an oriental massage done……and Oh Boy! It was amazing! No wonder their spa was ranked the second best spa in the whole world! 

  
We spent 6 days in this amazing hotel, and we enjoyed every minute of it so very much! I can’t recommend this hotel enough you guys! We absolutely positively had an awesome stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bodrum!! 

   
    
 
Ouiam