Jan 10, 2019

Snapshots Of Kuta, Uluwatu, Canggu And The Rest Of Bali

I'm usually quite efficient when it comes to curating my post travel write-ups, simply because my thoughts flow way better while it's still fresh. This Bali Travelogue however, took awhile. In fact, I was even contemplating on whether or not I should even start, or how to start, knowing that I'd usually have a theme in mind even before I start the trip.

Nevertheless, while you're reading this, I've obviously gotten over my writer's-block. Henceforth, documenting this write-up in a way that I'd like to remember my trip, hence it could be a little bit more wordy for some.

popular cafe and restaurant in bali

This is not my first time visiting Bali, in fact, it's my 3rd in 5 years, 2nd in 2018. Every trip carries it's own unique agenda however. You can read about my recent experience in Ubud, Here (#1) and Here (#2).

The key highlight of this trip was going for #DWP2018 #DWPX, an annual rave event, historically held in Jakarta, and the first in GWK Cultural Park, Bali. Being the 10th anniversary edition of djakarta warehouse project (DWP), it was also the event of the decade, and spanned 3 days long.

This time round, I was in Bali for a short 4D3N, and stayed at Abi Bali Resort & Villa, Jimbaran.

The agenda for #Day1 revolved around a couple of cafes and hot spots in the Kuta area, about an hour away from where I stayed.

Kynd Community, Kuta : First meal in Bali. #holidaymode I had breakfast at the much raved about Kynd Community, an Australian inspired cafe, also one of the most popular and best cafe to visit in Bali, IMHO.
Kynd Community, Kuta : Food was great. The Berry Tropical Smoothie Bowl (79K rp.) was a gem ; Big Boss Breaky (82K rp.) an equal delight ; Fresh Juices (50K-55K rp.) were a refreshing treat. #whatagreatstart
Balibola, Kuta : Taking a cue at Balibola after that. #notsogreatafterthat
 Balibola, Kuta : Meant to be shared, I ordered the OMG! Ricotta Pancakes (180K rp.), also the most expensive dish I had in this trip. It wasn't #omg however. Having one too many desserts already that day, I didn't finish this. Next please.
Kuta Beach, Bali : With a tummy full of desserts, I took a break from food after that, strolling to Masceti Temple, then Kuta Beach. Obviously not dressed for the beach, I didn't stay long.
Kuta Beach, Bali : A moment of peace please.
W Hotel, Bali: Walking pass the impressive entrance to W Hotel, Seminyak Bali along the way.
Kuta, Bali : Despite the uneven pavements, going around by foot in Kuta was a relatively easy feat.
Motel Mexicola, Kuta : On what's currently trending in Bali, Motel Mexicola, a Mexican bar come restaurant, ranks high.
Motel Mexicola, Kuta : When life gives you a bunch of lemons ; splatter back some lemonade popsicles.

That evening, I made my way to the #DWP #DWPX event venue, psyched as ever. It has been a long time since I've last went to a rave party and here I am, a tad surreal as such. The venue, GWK Cultural Park, was designed and split into 3 stages, and was packed with ravers that came from all over the world, with a huge number from Malaysia too for that matter.

#Day1 of #DWP2018 #DWPX highlight for me, would be Major Lazer, Alesso and Armin Van Buren.
The party ended at 3am ; I got home by 5am ; Slept by 6am. It was an eventful first day.

Trying to conserve as much energy as possible for the remaining parts of my trip, the agenda for #Day2 was more relaxed. I ordered GRABFood for lunch and only left the resort in the evening to witness the sunset, at Uluwatu Temple.


Traditional Indonesian Warung, Bali : GRABFOOD for lunch.
Uluwatu Temple, Bali : Sunsets ; Blue skies ; Ocean breeze ; Sounds of waves ; Cliffs ; Temple sanctuary - my type of peace.

The intention to have dinner at Rock Bar Bali was halted due to an unexpected confrontation with a couple of local taxi drivers. Now, I have not had any major issues of GRAB and GOJEK dropping me off and picking me up throughout my stay in Bali, apart from here, at Uluwatu Temple, where the three of us were left vulnerable and bombarded by a handful of local taxi drivers, all of which threatened the GRAB drivers not to pick us, to the extend of closing doors and preventing us from getting on to the ride, simply because it was their territory. The fare quote was 5 times more. We sat it out and had dinner at one of their local Warungs, Be Ja Na, and was left with no choice but to take a cab instead, after that. It was not a pleasant experience at all.


Be Ja Ne, Uluwatu : An unexpected stopover for dinner. Here, I had the Crispy Duck (129K rp.) and Mie Goreng (69K rp.). 
 #Day2 of #DWPX #DWP2018 was the best, at least it was for me. Showtek was great ; DJ Snake was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G, and probably my favorite act of all in this year's DWP, superseding all of my prior expectations. On a side note, a can of beer was 60K and a bottle of water was 30K, not cheap but somehow necessary. Like the day before, we finished at 3am and only managed to get into bed at 6am.

#Day3 agenda was the least packed but the most tiring. Tell you more about it below.

Crate Cafe, Canggu : Morning wake-me-ups made easier with a breakfast spread like this. #missingbali
Crate Cafe, Canggu : This cafe is possibly one of the most creative, beautiful, simple, yet value for money eeats you can find in Canggu. The Waddip, Up Your Cool and Breakie Plate (all 55K rp. each) boasted it's own vibes, upping my cafe expectations a notch. Why Malaysia don't have?
Mad Pops, Canggu : Bali's very own vegan ice cream, aka. dairy-free / coloring-free, most or all of their flavors uses coconut as a base.
Mad Pops, Canggu : The salted caramel flavor was the bomb (35K rp. for 2 scoops - worth every penny). There are 2 outlets : Seminyak (always crowded) and Canggu (where I ate at peace). Loved it.
Traditional Indonesian Food, Canggu : Having a generous bowl of traditional Bakso (20K rp. for a bowl), or meatballs noodle soup, seated quite comfortably on a stool, along the older streets of Canggu, while a stray dog watched me eat. #life
#Day3 of #DWPX #DWP2018 : The only picture I took on the last day of DWP. The Wkend was the supposed highlight of the evening, and also the closing act for this year's event. Unexpectedly though, my favorite act of the evening was KSHMR. It was a great end to the event nevertheless.

On the last day of my Bali trip, I departed from the hotel at around 12pm, chilled in Canggu till 7pm, marched to the rave venue and partied till 4am, then went straight to the airport and boarded the 7am flight back to KL, which arrived at slightly after 10am, before I made my way home at 12pm. It's one thing to just laze around and do nothing the whole day without sleep, and another, when running around without sleep. Talking about it alone, makes me feel tired all over again. The journey was worth every second however.

The one thing I learnt in this trip, would be the horrible ride-hailing system. Here, I'm talking about GRAB and GOJEK. To start my experience off, ride cancellation request by the driver was a norm. It'd happen every single trip request that I made, so much so that I got a 24-hour penalty by GRAB in the end. Admittedly, I can always opt to wait it out, in hopes that the driver would cancel first, but really, time is a virtue when it comes to traveling. Secondly, the driver and vehicle on the app, contradicts. I have gotten different cars with different drivers, many times. In addition, the fares on the app, contradicts too. The asking price usually came way higher than that on the app. Again, after numerous cancellations and time wasted, I really had no choice but to abide. The situation was exaggerated during peak hours, especially before and after DWP. Yes, there were plenty of GOJEK bike riders in the vicinity, evident from the GOJEK bike jackets, but most requested for a fix rate rather than going through the app. Where's the overall governance of the entire system? Just thought it would be useful to share my thoughts. End of rant. Let's move on.

Despite the unexpected roadblocks, I felt that the trip was one of the most memorable as such. Maybe because there were plenty of first times in the trip, including having to experience showering under a drizzle because the villa's toilet was partially open-air, alongside the patience and calmness I never thought I have, while waiting 2-hours for my GRAB ride to arrive 3 days in a row, and a no-show by a pre-booked driver. Nevertheless, I had loads of fun, went to so many new places and somewhat grew to love Bali even more.

Till my next trip.

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