My Bali Exploration, Nature Specials

Road Trip to Unspoilt Beauty in the North Shore of Bali

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

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It has been almost four years I live on this magnificent island and it’s actually the first time I’ve gone to Lovina, North Bali. The idea just randomly came into my mind during Galungan & Kuningan celebration holiday as I think I’ve been to most of the places & most of the attraction spots on this island except Lovina beach.

Lovina beach is well known for its dolphin attraction. It’s located in the north Bali and it’s a very quite area. Unlike Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, Ubud or Uluwatu and so on which offer many entertainments for the visitors these days. In Lovina, most of the people come for a visit to see the dolphin attraction in the morning. Besides that, only couple of restaurants, traditional markets and accommodations. We decided to stay there for one night to experience the area apart from the dolphin attraction itself.

Usually, tourists will get into the boat, go to the middle of the ocean and watch some groups of dolphins swimming and jumping freely in the morning. Lovina took us about more less 3h by a car from Seminyak area. Since at that time we planned to do a road trip and took the trip more enjoyable by having brunch at Ubud first, that’s why the journey took longer with the different/ further route.

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It doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s who you have beside you. That’s absolutely true. I have my mum & one of my good friends, Beverly, with me 🙂 Best travel companion ever!

We went to Karsa Cafe for the brunch. It’s a lovely cafe set by the rice field with soothing ambiance at Campuhan Ridge Walk – Ubud which offers various Indonesian and Western dishes.

I am actually so thankful to technology these days, especially to Waze, the navigation app on my phone that I depend on wherever I travel far and it has always been taking me to the right direction with some interesting uncommon shortcut at times.

With zero idea about the road and where Waze leads us to the fastest & closest distance to Lovina from Ubud, we’ve pretty much witnessed plenty of interesting things along the way. Yes, we were amazed and enjoyed it!

There are so many soothing greeny fruits plantations along the way with the street which mostly decorated by penjor – The tall & curved bamboo pole decorated with coconut leaves with an offering at the base. It is one of the media used by Hindus in Bali as part of almost every important ceremony like that time, Galungan celebration.

 

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

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Lawrence Block is actually right. We stumbled upon this Kintamani volcano view from a far in the middle of the way. We stopped by for some times and enjoyed the moment here. We were actually glad to have gone to Ubud first eventho the road took longer at the end. If we didn’t come from Ubud, we wouldn’t have witnessed this majestic view!

This volcano referred to as Kintamani volcano or Mount Batur as a whole, a popular sightseeing destination in Bali’s central highlands. The magnificent views of the 13sqm Batur caldera lake is the main attraction (1,500 above sea level) and it is surrounded by the captivating Mount Batur range. Very interesting spot to visit!

Allright, continue to our main destination, Lovina! It took us around 1.5hours from where we stood before. Once we reached Lovina, I did the massage *felt like heaven!*, booked our trip to see the dolphin in the morning (it’s IDR 100,000 nett/person for the boat and our captain). The boat is very small. It only fits for 4-5 people maximum.

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I & Beverly doing massage by the pool

We departed at 6am in the morning from the beach and we were pretty amazed with north Bali view. Very stunning! It was also because I’ve been seeing sunsets most of the time, so this time I’ve got the chance to witness the sunrise after a long time (I guess last time was during my trekking activity in Candidasa two years ago, oh well) so it’s kinda special.

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Sunrise!

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The dolphins!

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Boats, saltwater & sunshine!

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“Smell the sea, feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.” -Van Morrison

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Me & mum. She’s always been afraid of the ocean but I was acting like I’ve forgotten about it 😀 So I am pretty happy that she has actually nailed it! Yay!!

Despite the fact that I was glad and amazed to see the dolphins, I was actually kinda sad too. I feel bad to the dolphins that they might feel insecure when some boats come closer by the time they appear to the surface. I do really hope that the dolphins will keep staying at the same spots next time I come again for the second visit.

If you are a nature enthusiast and need some different experiences whilst in Bali – apart from night outs, Michelin stars culinary experiences & entertainments, I think you should take some days to visit places like these. It’s worth it!

 

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Main Menu, The World Through My Eyes

I am back, Blog World!

It’s been ages.. I know. I can’t even imagine how time flies this fast as I saw my last post was on 3rd of July last year! Well, so many things have been happening (of course! what do you expect what’s been going on for almost a year). Laughter and tears, ups and downs, but what’s the most important thing is I take every single thing that has happened as a lesson to be a better person.

Let me share a little bit what happened with my personal life as it was the biggest change for me in last year. Sadly, I had to break up with my 2 years ex-bf last year. I know, middle of 2014 was one of the hardest moments for me but at the same time, that was the best decision for both of us and we amazingly turned out to be so much better as friends. We knew we were horrible as a couple since our expectation towards each other was always hard to meet plus some fundamental difference issues.

Yoga keeps you balance!

Yoga keeps you balance.

Since then, most of my world is mostly about work (I’ve been enjoying it so much as it’s my passion too!), girl friends, hang out, socializing and networking, trips around the island and exercise. I kept myself busy and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into my consciousness.

Oh ya.. Did I tell you this? Not so long after my break up, I’ve got a promotion at work – a new challenge for me to keep me excited everyday. Besides that, the connection between I and some friends are getting stronger as I spend more time with them, I have some amazing work mates in general at the office and another countless blessing!

 

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Surfing makes me happy.

These two ladies are such   a gift from heaven.

More time & more connection with friends.

Housemates, Weekendmates, Second Family.

Housemates & Weekendmates.

From these life lessons, I started to believe that when we lose something, the universe will give us another great thing, or even better, to replace it. Even the romance fortune is not on my side this time, I believe it will come when its time.

The most important thing is, keep seeing the positive side in everything. Embrace every moment with open arms, open heart and open mind. Believe in good karma and universe’s rules, what you give is what you get in return. You will be fine 🙂

From Bali with Love.

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Man-Made Specials, My Bali Exploration

Lovely Asian Meals Offered Between the Lovely Paddy Field

Pamper Your Eyes by Seeing the Beauty of Paddy Field Whilst Having the Lovely Asian Foods – Thai Tom Yum, Malaysian Curries, Seafoods and Many More..

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So here it is.. the place that can makes you relax whilst enjoying the scenery of fresh and green rice field and listening to some jazz & chill-out music offered by Warung HOtei. Located in Kerobokan, Bali, it is one of the simple and beautiful restaurants which worth a try.

They open from breakfast until dinner and offer the variety of Asian foods- Malaysian laksa, Vietnamese spring rolls, Thai tom yum goong, seafood, fried rice, etc until sandwiches, fresh salads, grilled beef and many more. You can go there not only for the foods but also for the tea time or having some coffee for your peaceful late afternoon..

You should try their desserts as well. My recommendation is their HOtei Toblerone Cheese Cake. It’s so delicious! And also, another positive comment that I would give for this restaurant is the service. Those fast response people over there always ready to assist you when you need anything. That’s always my main consideration in reviewing restaurants or thinking to come back to one restaurant. The service is number one. As I mentioned before in my previous blog, no matter how great the restaurant is, if the service is poor, I definitely won’t come back..

I came to this restaurant some times with friends, boyfriend or even alone with my laptop when I need to do some works! With the fast internet connection and cozy atmosphere, it helps me a lot to focus doing my work. This is the type of small restaurant which make me feel really homie and I am sure you will love it as well..

The daily promotion which keeps changing.

The daily promotion which keeps changing 🙂

The back seats overlooking the rice paddy.

The outdoor back seats overlooking the rice paddy.

The umbrellas are there to protect you from the sun.

The umbrellas are there to protect you from the sun.

My fave seats in the afternoon.

My fave seats in the afternoon.

Simple, cozy and homie.

Simple, cozy and homie.

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Man-Made Specials, My Bali Exploration

Spotted An Impressive Vintage Shop on the Island

“Looks kinda un-interesting from the outsite but I knew there is something about this place..”

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To those who consider themselves as art appreciators, they might find this post very informative. Look what I found about a week ago, a super awesome vintage shop which sell the items from the 1940’s.

The shop which look unattractive from the outside, makes some people most of the time just simply pass by the main road without noticing there is such a precious thing in town, unless to those who knew this place from words of mouth of course..

Once you step on and go inside this shop, it is actually quite spacious with so many antiques from  Java, Dutch (as Indonesia had been colonized by Dutch for 350 years back then), England and also Bali which able to bring you the feeling of how it feels living back in the 1940’s.

Planning to travel?

Planning to travel?

Can you imagine they have the old school salon seats, the dentist seat, unique looking lamps, old school radio, telephones, sewing machines, typing machines, old styled luggage which became fashion trends again, until the scales and various of cute little cups. Since it’s all the real antiques, I don’t think you have to worry about copycats as it won’t be found easily anywhere else.

Back then I think they didn't have to worry so much when the electricity went off all sudden.

Back then I think they didn’t have to worry so much when the electricity suddenly went off.

This scale reminds me alot of my grandmother's shop and my happy childhood back then.

This scale reminds me a lot of my grandmother’s shop and my happy childhood back in the 1990’s.

Don’t you think it’s very interesting to find some uncommon places like this? Especially those who seek the ideas of building restaurants, hotels, etc. In order to atrract people to come to your business, you have to be different and crazy, agree?

All the stunning unique looking lights.

All the stunning unique looking lights.

Who needs some hair treatments?

Who needs some hair treatments?

Feel like checking your teeth's condition?

Feel like checking your teeth’s condition?

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Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

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Man-Made Specials, My Bali Exploration

The “Little House” That Really Makes You Feel Like Home

The colors, the walls, the tile pattern on their semi-open terrace overlooking the main road, the homie decoration and everything lovely in a simple way that you can only find in La Casseta Italian Restaurant (meaning The Little House in Italian) which makes you don’t feel like living in Bali for a moment..

Owned by an Italian and specialized in Italian foods, you can imagine how pure the taste they offer with the authentic food recipes..photo 3(1)

Onetime, we found this place for the first time by a chance, when we drove by Umalas area. We thought we won’t find anything special around here since this area mostly surrounded by villas, mini markets and food stalls. After a while, we saw this cute restaurant and we thought that we had to go there to check it out. And as our feeling was telling us at the first time we saw this restaurant, we ended up felt the satisfaction! The foods and everything met our expectation! No regret! This is one of the restaurants that make us come back for more and tell our friends. The lovely restaurant itself, the foods and the great location with tranquil ambience.

I don’t think many people have already known this place as the location is kinda secluded, unless those who are already living here for some times and familiar with Bali roads. And this is what I like to do, explore the unexplored and share it to you..Meaning: The Little House

The fantastic foods, the lovely dessert, the good service, all is rolled into one in this restaurant! Besides the delicious pizza, fresh salad and carbonara that I’ve tried before, my recommendation is their dessert, Panna cotta with strawberry topping.. It tastes like heaven! So, buon appetito from Island of the Gods…

Panna cotta with the strawberry on top. Perfection.

Panna cotta with the strawberry on top. Perfection.

A good dessert and homie ambience.

A good dessert and the homie ambience.

Italian style tile patterns. Simply lovely.

Italian style tile patterns. Simply lovely and unique.

You should try it.

The homie restaurant that’s totally worth a try.

Excuse me for this. But this place is just too lovely to miss the photo capture!

Excuse me for this. But this place is just too lovely to miss the photo session!

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Man-Made Specials, My Bali Exploration

Your Tummy’s Saviour Anytime You Need

Ok, some of you might ask.. why SOHO while plenty of chic restaurants are around the area. Especially it is situated only few steps away from the famous Ultimo, Rumours, the delicious Greek resto Mykonos and many more. Why do I put SOHO first among the more interesting places around it?

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Before you ask me more questions, let me ask you few questions first..How many times did you suddenly feel hungry in the middle of the night and unfortunately most of the restaurants especially around Seminyak area were already closed? I know there are plenty of restaurants around Kuta that are open until really late.. but some of you might think it’s too much hustle with its random crowds especially in the middle of the night -You might think differently but well, as a person who would rather be in a quite place *maybe because I am already living here*, I choose not to go around the crowded and packed places like Kuta or Legian unless meeting up with some friends who visit Bali or there is important thing to do there.

Another question is, have you ever checked out your kitchen and you found nothing? most probably sometimes you are too busy to get some ingredients to cook or forget to buy some foods to be kept. How many times did it happen?

Or maybe very early in the morning you got to go for work or for a meeting which demand you to arrive earlier than usual? While the only ones that already open is mini market express or 24h junkfood places? And sometimes not enough for you to only have a bread, fried stuff and a cup of coffee?

Well, I am not sure about you but that what happened to me for several of time. Got hungry, couldn’t sleep, instant noodles that are left won’t satistify me, very early proper breakfast in need.

So this is the answer why I am writing about SOHO. The 24 Hours Diner which will keep opening until the last day of your life! lol *except on the Balinese Silence Day* Not only that, but also their delicious foods! Options of fresh salads, burgers, pastas, Indonesians and many more. The service is two thumbs up..You will see many smiley faces here! And they bring the foods and drinks really fast!

When you are there, you should try their Long Island Iced Tea. I am telling you the one that they have is amazing too. Just don’t forget to say “strong one” so there you go.. A perfect taste of Long Island Iced Tea which won’t leave you hangover with the bad feeling on the following day.

Besides that, have you ever heard about Bloody Mary? Yes, the unique taste of cocktail originally from Paris which consists of vodka, tomato, carrot, tabasco, salt and pepper! They have it too and if you think yourself is an adventurous one, you should try it for a change!

So now you know why I picked SOHO 24H Diner rite? ‘coz the opening hour is totally fulfill your needs and the options of the food are also not bad at all! So, enjoy..

A Beef Burger with some beers.

A Beef Burger with some beers.

The Spaghetti Meatballs with a Papaya Juice.

The Spaghetti Meatballs with a Papaya Juice.

They will keep their promise,

They will keep their promise, 24H the whole year round.

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Man-Made Specials, My Bali Exploration

About 400m Away from Old Man’s Beach and Here You Are!

“Been passing by this place a lot when going surfing in Old Man’s and fell in love with its comfort..”

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Yes as you are able to see the name, it is Roti Canai Street Kitchen & Dining Room. Located in the peaceful Canggu, the same way to go to Batu Bolong Beach/ Old Man’s. They offers delicious skewers, all kind of delectable canai (reminds me of KL so much) and various kind of Teh Tarik (the Malaysian term for milk tea). There is a surf shop above it as well called Flow & Yonder. Overall, this place is definitely worth for a visit!DSC03279DSC03280photo 4photo 5

And a few step upstairs, here is Flow & Yonder. A surf shop which offers some cute and nice stuff that you might don’t find that easy around Bali, such as few brands of bikinis and accessories made by some expat designers who live in Bali..photo 1

And also … I found one of my favorite quotes here by Jonatan Mårtenssonphoto (1)

I always apply the quote above into my personal life, sometimes there are circumstances that don’t go our way and we can’t change it but we can always adapt & live with it and choose to be happy. That is why, some people think I am living a good life since they always see me happy.. But hey, sit for a bit and think about it, I am not living a dream life, it is just simply my decision.. I choose happiness over sorrow and I hope you doin’ the same 🙂

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Look at this view! Stunning, isn’t it? Very calm and peaceful. And Yes, the scooter is mine! You have no idea how long it took me to finally able to ride a scooter. Over 5 months I think.. Brought my car all the way from Jakarta to here ‘coz I was hopeless that time about riding a bike.. but since then.. I prefer to go anywhere by this scooter.. Feeling scared riding it? Not at all! ‘Coz this is how we roll in Bali!

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