WHERE TO EAT:
Yvette recalls Made's Warung as a small roadside hawker place back in the day and it has now transformed into a bustling restaurant. The word "warung" means a small informal eating place that is usually family-owned.
|Me, Tish, Yvette|
Food here is affordable, home-cooked, and definitely satisfying. Another thing I love in Bali are the drinks, iced teas and juices are made fresh and are never from powdered sources. As someone who always requests for houseblend iced teas in Manila, I was in heaven every time I'd take a sip of let's say, freshly-squeezed beetroot juice or lemon iced tea. The former though made my sister gag xD
|Beef Rendang IDR 50,000|
|Nasi Goreng IDR 40,000|
One time, my sister and I were going around Kuta Square [window] shopping when we realized we haven't had lunch yet. Travel does that to you, sometimes your priorities are all messed up and you forget to eat. We were, as fate would have it, in front of Bali Colada and we just decided right then and there to grab something to eat.
Bali Colada serves lunch, snacks, dinner, and drinks. The staff is cheerful and very warm (all Hindus I've encountered are so nice to tourists) and it was refreshing that they are able to converse well in English.
The menu here is more varied and includes American, Italian, and Indonesian dishes. They have sandwiches, salads, steaks, pasta, the works! Now normally when abroad I wouldn't trust restos to do other cuisines well (save for their own local fare), but we've never left any Bali warung or restaurant disappointed! I guess these people really know their tourists because everything we ordered off the menu turned out to be delicious.
|Chicken Steak ala Raja's IDR 79,000|
|Bebek Goreng IDR 80,000|
|my iced tea :)|
Walk a couple of blocks from Home36 and you'll see Railway Restaurant just below Kuta Station Hotel. This is mostly where all tourists/expats eat and where the Balinese watch their favorite teams compete because -- surprise! -- it's a sports bar!
There's wifi everywhere in Bali so you won't feel disconnected. Also, during the time that we were there (3rd week of October) it was the Rugby Championships so all the restos and sports bars offered bundles (food + Bintang); something to take note of if you are an energetic sports fan.
|Tuscan Chicken IDR 80,000|
|Roast Duck IDR 100,000|
We didn't see a lot of cafes in Bali which was sad news for us night-owls. Thank god there was a Black Canyon beside our hotel which closes at 10pm (still too early!). They serve really amazing coffee (strong, flavorful, not watered down by milk and syrup) plus delish meals though a little bit more expensive, AND they charge about 15% additional for tax.
While traversing Seminyak we spotted Earth Cafe, a wholesome concept store which serves organic vegetarian food choices and all natural skin care products (check out what I bought here).
WHERE TO SHOP
To reiterate, Bali is the land of bikinis! There are numerous Roxy, Quicksilver, RipCurl stores just laid out everywhere and you get first dibs on new styles, or scour the racks for old releases which are on 70-80% off. Even if you do prefer the newer styles, they are still relatively cheaper here than in Manila.
Bikinis, waterproof bags, sunscreen, accessories (hats, necklaces, bracelets), they're all here! If you're on a budget don't blow your money on everything, take only what you need because you can always come back anyway.
Take note, sizes do run big (obviously since a lot of the XS/S sizes will be the first to go) so if you spot something you like and it fits AND it's cheap, take it!
|I found Paradise but #forever is in Baler :)|
As with our Kultura stores in the PH, some items run a little bit expensive. Like these shells which I was hoping to buy for my pet hermies -- they were IDR 35,000 each. But call me lucky as I was able to score unpainted shells (and bigger ones at that) just by walking along Kuta Beach and I only paid IDR 50,000 for both. My pet, Oedipus, was so thrilled he changed shells the moment I placed them in the crabitat.
My Mom said I should've gotten these silver novelty items, so I shall schedule a trip to Art Mart soon.
Kuta Night Market
This part reminds me of Divisoria or Pratunam, tiangge-type stores where you can buy clothes, paintings, key chains, and other pasalubong items for cheap.
Just a word of advice: the long roads stretch endlessly and there are lot of dark alleyways so keep your guard on. Only tread places where there are a lot of tourists so you don't get yourself in trouble.
Side story: While headed back to the hotel from DFS Galleria (Duty Free in Bali which is the most boring Duty Free ever, don't go there) on the Kura Kura Bus, the bus made a quick stop in Seminyak Square to alight some passengers and I grabbed my sister and said, "Tara, baba tayo!"
|IDR 20,000/pax from DFS to Legian|
|It's so traffic in Bali!!!|
But anyway, this brainfart allowed us to "discover" and explore Seminyak Square which was originally not on the list of places we were supposed to visit. And in case you were wondering, we got home via Uber which I had to pay for since I had the brainfart.
|I bought my Aqua shoes in Bali :)|
My Cup of Love
Beautiful bronze accessories, pretty and kitschy home decors, and aren't those buntings just tres cute?
My YKPA Mermaid Doll
In another store I got a YKPA Mermaid doll to add to my Morbie Collection. Each purchase helps fund the Bali Street Kids Project, a non-profit org that aims to give disadvantaged kids a loving home and keep them off the streets.
|Mermaid doll IDR 65,000|
Cocona Natural Care
A specialty store selling natural personal care products with coconut oil as the main ingredient.
More clothing stores
I wish I took more photos! I feel that there is more to learn about Bali which is why I really want to immerse myself and live there. As a first-time traveller, I am still very much a tourist and I hope I could visit more often so that at least I can be called a local (lofty dreams, I know). That just means there will be more Bali stories next year! Stay tuned because I have one more blog post before I move on to another equally gorgeous location :)
More Bali adventures here: http://bit.ly/BaliChronicles