Far East diary
6500 miles to Singapore & 1000 miles from Singapore to Bali.
Monday 12th May;
Flew out at 1:35 pm, with the time difference of 7 hours we arrived at Singapore on the Tuesday at 9:00, pretty much a 13 hour flight. Taxi was waiting for us and we checked in at the Rendezvous Grand at approximately 10:30. Paid extra for a club suite which was really nice. Heat is quite something as we went round the shops, went to Raffles and down to the Singapore flyer which is the equivalent of the London Eye, right on the street circuit for the F1 Grand Prix. Evening we went to the esplanade which was very nice, music, laser show, bright lights and lots of restaurants, ended up having pizza and salad, some of the restaurants are very expensive. Ice cream on walk back to hotel.
Breakfast at hotel ok, raining first thing but stopped by the time we hit the streets. Walked by religious temples on way to Bugis area, market stalls and malls, City really is a shoppers paradise. Headed down to Funan digital mall which was stuffed full of electronics. Had lunch in Clarke Quay which was very good, Gilly had a Singapore Sling! Walked back via Fort Canning Park, in there for ages as it was easy to go round in circles. Had a quick dip in the hotel pool.
MRT ride down to Clarke Quay for dinner, very nice steak. Trains and stations have air-con.
Thursday 15th May;
Very brief visit around the malls, some expensive coffee, picked up at 1:30pm for flight to Bali from Changri, had time to look around the airport which is huge, filled with shops, koi ponds, butterfly and sunflower gardens. 2 hour flight to Bali, 1 hour queue at immigration, no taxi waiting for us, another 1 hour until sorted. Interesting taxi ride to resort, motorbikes everywhere, often no lights or helmets. Checked in about 10pm at the Grand Mirage and had a very nice meal.
Ok breakfast, sunbeds on the beach, very warm and humid. Went for a MTb ride with a guide and 2 young ladies, crappy old bike but interesting meander through the streets, off the beaten track plenty of poor but happy people, lots of temples.
Chilled out by the beach again, very nice Asian Buffet followed by listening to music sipping cocktails, singer murdered many popular tunes.
Awoke early, 5:30 am early!! Left Gilly in bed and went down to the beach to watch the sunrise which was pleasant, lots of crabs about early as well. Spent the rest of the day chilling by the beach. Had a coconut to drink, purchased some local goods which were very cheap. We both also had a massage by the beach. Evening entertainment consisted of a Balinese buffet with a show, although colourful went on a lot.
Picked up at 9:30 by our tour guide and driver from Destination Asia, this was complimentary to compensate for the airport fiasco. Set off for the temple by the lake (Pura Ulun Danu) at Lake Beratan which was a 3 hour-ish drive away, stopped at a coffee brewery and tasted different types of tea and coffee which were brewed there, even had a taste of luwak coffee which is pooed out of a mongoose, tasted nasty.
Stopped off at the temple by the lake, very pleasant although very popular.
Drove to the next temple (Pura Tanah Lot) which was on a rock separate from the mainland, it was low tide and we were able to visit it and also have a the blessing with the holy spring water, again this spot was very busy.
Last stop was Pura Uluwatu which we timed perfectly as the sun was just about to set, also there were lots of monkeys about, one in particular ran off with a ladies flip flop which was very entertaining.
Back to the hotel for just after 7:00pm, nice steak meal followed by cocktails at the bar listening to the band, this one was actually pretty good. Got talking to an Aussie couple who were very pleasant.
Bed 1:00am, knackered but a really interesting day.
- On the drive home saw a man on a scooter with golden Labrador straddled across the bike, really funny.
Monday 19th May;
Chill out day today, although I had a go at paragliding which was really good, take off and landing only a little sketchy.
Early evening caught the bus to “the Collection” a shopping mall! A few nice shops; reminded me of Whitely Village but a lot bigger.
Finished the evening off with a White Russian and a coffee.
Tuesday 20th May;
Hired a day bed for our special day which included a fruit basket and a coconut cut open for us to both drink out of.
Stayed by the beach for most of the day. A young Chinese were getting married on the beach which looked very nice.
Australian themed buffet, more balinese entertainment and a dance act. Ended up in stage doing gangnam style. We also had a cake presented to us, had to make a wish, wear a crown, cut the cake and dance. Pleasant but embarrassing!
Actually a very nice evening with Aussie friends Jenny & Damien and some short bloke called Glynn from Gosport!
Quick trip down to “The Collection” for souvenirs, quiet day today as it’s a big festival day “gulada?” with not all shops open, hardly any water sports on the beach.
Towards the end of the day I borrowed one of the mtbs and did a quick tour round, rode back with a flat tyre.
Went to the hotel cocktail party and then for our special meal tonight at La Cascata, excellent 5 course meal plus coffee and cocktails.
Picked up at 9:30 by Sumantra and his driver, arrived at the Samaya in Ubud at around 11:00am. What a fantastic place, 5* luxury, villa by the river, own infinity pool, indoor jacuzzi, his and hers wash basins and an outside day bed.
Had a swim and chill, afternoon tea at 3:00pm then a walk down by the river, watched the local boys playing in the river.
Evening meal at the resorts restaurant by the river, fantastic top quality meal which although expensive was worth it.
Friday 23rd May;
Lovely breakfast overlooking the paddy fields. Picked up at 10:00am and dropped off at the monkey forest, heaving with monkeys, many of them were snatching items off people. Gilly a bit stressed so we moved onto the main street and headed towards our pick-up point. Stopped for a pizza and a drink, a quick shop and then back to the hotel. Swim & then afternoon tea. I went for a 1.5 hour trek with a guide through the crops and back streets, really good to see lots of happy children playing in the streets. Guide showed me his house which consisted of 5 small buildings, each family has a dog, chicken and a pig, very basic lifestyle.
Meal at the resorts “Swept away” restaurant which again was excellent.
Saturday 24th May;
Lovely breakfast, eggs benedict plus fruit pancakes, yummy! Made the most of the pool and facilities, lunch and afternoon tea, picked up at 16:30 by “Destination Asia” for flights home. Flight from Bali to Singapore delayed which meant we missed the connecting flight, luckily they’d already booked us onto the next one which was an 1.5 hours later, as compensation we had a free meal and drink plus approximately £20 each. Comfortable but long flight back to London Heathrow, both could’ve done with a bit more sleep.