Honeymoon in Bali
guest post by Greg Murray
photos by Greg Murray, Natalie Murray, and anonymous
The Kuta Angel Hotel was nice, clean, modern/trendyish boutique hotel. Nothing too crazy or special. We were only there a night so just went to dinner on the main strip and the beach in the morning.
We stayed at the Mushroom Beach Garden Rooms. We didn’t like it there and found ourselves hanging out at the Hai Tide Beach Resort. We took a motor scooter for half a day ($4) and went to the bridge, which was fun. Ate at Mama Mia, which was good and quite an experience. Drive across if you are feeling adventurous. We also went up to the other part of the island and would recommend searching for a better hotel there and checking out The Deck Cafe Bar, tho that north west strip of beach is a bit more “local.” We went snorkeling off the north tip of the island which was great--warm water beautiful fish and coral. From there the capitan took us to the channel in-between the islands, dropped us off, and picked us up a mile downstream. That was also fantastic, being taken by the current, and a must do. However the water was cold.
We stayed at an Airbnb here only for a night and it was a highlight of the trip. The rice terraces were beautiful, and we hiked through them in the morning. We drove a scooter an hour up to an outlook of Lake Batur for dinner. Timing was perfect and though the restaurant we sought was closed, we went next door and had the place to ourselves, as well as a candidate for the best fish I’ve ever eaten. For a measly 50IDR (about US$4).
We stayed right next to the monkey forest at the Pondok Pundi Village Inn. It was clean but no mosquito nets in the room and lots of mosquitoes. I stayed up drinking arak (the local alcohol), hunting them all. We did not get bit that night. ;) The monkey forest was fun, and we took our time through it as it is small. Id recommend the Three Monkeys Cafe. We found mie goreng (a popular noodle dish) to be our go-to meal, and it was great here, along with a very good burger.
We stayed at an Airbnb here too, but there were a couple “OK” bungalows in this area but don’t know the names. Otherwise, maybe the Bloo Lagoon hotel a little farther south. We had dinner at sunset on the beach at Lezat Beach Restaurant. It was great. We took a scooter in search of a waterfall, but the waterfall turned out to be a water palace … still cool. Then we went to the virgin white sand beach. The beach was nice but kinda a bust for us as we wanted peace and solitude. Then we went snorkeling at Blood Lagoon. It was very pretty, and the fish were very friendly. Then we went off the coast a little bit to some rocks where a turtle hangs out. The water was deeper and not as colorful, but the water was also rougher and scarier and I loved it. It was one of my fav snorkeling spots. And we saw a turtle.
Ayana was beautiful. The Rock Bar there was great, not your “Bali experience" tho. But if you are looking for western comfort and instagram famous … this is it. You will find you need to go to the lobby for internet tho.
We took the local transportation services that are on every corner for our longer trips. The prices are set and cheaper than the pesty guys that solicit. Natalie and I both agreed if we were to do it again, the only way to go would be backpacks and a scooter. And if we had two kids, we would get two scooters. If you want luxury, you can find it, but you will have to close your eyes often, especially on the trip from the airport to the hotel. Natalie left hers open and was concerned for our safety. For some reason, we didn’t get that memo. But everyone was so nice and hospitable in the end. We didn’t use any bug spray or get any inoculations. The food was surprisingly good. We had two plates (and a large Bintang beer) made and served by a 12-year-old for 75IDR (about US$6)!
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