Travel Writing Contest
The following itinerary is written by a finalist of our writing contest, Jiayi.
Here you can vicariously experience the 3 awesome days I had in Kuta, Bali.
Dude, Bali is the BEST man!
Why has it taken so long for me to get here?! I really regret not having this place as my honeymoon destination man!
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Due to an early flight, we checked in too ealy at Hardrock Hotel by Kuta Beach, near the surf school. As expected, our room wasn’t ready so we had a couple of hours to burn. As such, we went hunting so we could feast on a wild boar! (HAHA)
Actually we had babi guling, close enough…
We were lucky to find this little hole in the wall tucked in an alley between 2 hotels.
The store looks plain and unassuming.
It’s where the locals eat, so you know that the food gotta be legit.
Their nasi campur (mixed rice) was this medley of savoury and spicy flavours, pork cooked in a myriad of ways, from roasted to deep fried.
I miss it everyday. A plate of their mixed rice will only set you back about 2-3 SGD!
Address: Kuta, Jalan Popies I, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
While waiting for our room to be ready, we lazed around by the pool.
The rooms in Hardrock is pretty meh, just the standard cookie cutter rooms but the pool is something different, in fact the pool is the reason we chose to stay at the Hardrock.
Oh and it’s great if you are travelling with kids, it’s got a big kiddy pool playground that they won’t let me try, and a slide at another corner of the pool complex that they don’t let me ride, and finally a games room that they won’t let me in. Because I’m too old.
In the afternoon we went for our surf lessons. Kuta beach had some gnarly waves, I think (I’m a city boy, not sure how gnarly waves look like.)
There were many groups at Kuta beach offering surf lessons and rentals, they didn’t seem dodgy or anything but I’m the kind of guy who prefers to pre-book these sorts of things. This time I went with Odysseys Surf School (Pricing seemed similar to other surf schools that can be found online.)
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The beaches have different groups offering lessons as well.
Honestly after the first 15 mins of instruction on the beach, not much coaching after that. More like safety officers.
In the evening we went to Fat Chow, this hip little asian fusion kinda place.
Loved the decor, loved the food even more. It’s a mix of asian dishes, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai. The standout for me are these little fried garlic/ onion bits that they have in a little container that you can sprinkle on anything! Not the healthiest, but hey nothing a little medicine can’t take care of. I’m a real doctor.
Address: Jl. Poppies II No.7C, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
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We didn’t have much here though, we only shared a plate of black pepper pork belly and beef rendang as we had planned to go try another babi guling diner.
We then made our long trek to Warung Babi Guling Bu Dayu Kuta for their nasi campur babi guling. The lines were long, there were lots of locals, but it couldn’t beat the one we had in the morning. The meat was a little dry and the spices were a little bland.
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So I booked the 2 day surf package because I didn’t think we would manage to stand on the first day. Big mistake.
After the first day of surfing, essentially doing burpees for 2 hours, really just wanted to laze somewhere.
Headed out to Seminyak to Potato Head Beach Club. Took a cab, traffic in Bali is like parking in San Francisco, absolutely terrible.
Had the “bells and whistle”.
We didn’t manage to get a seat so we just sat down by the pool watching the sunset with cocktail in hand.
Dinner was at Warung Nia, the food was ok, but I wouldn’t recommend it though, it was a little pricey probably because it was targeted at tourists.
Pretty meh, would give it a miss.
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This morning we went in search of babi guling again, but all the stores weren’t open. The one we had on the first day was closed for some festivities. Tried Made’s Warung, their babi was not done guling yet. Prices there are outrageous, way more expensive then the other places I tried (definitely targeted at tourists).
There were no locals in sight, it must have been a tell-tale sign! But my wife was getting hangry so we had to compromise.
Then we went to Waterbom Bali, highly recommended place!
Best waterpark in Asia by far. Had all sorts of crazy rides, there’s a slide where you just stand on a trap door and just free fall for a bit. Like whaaaaat….
In the evening we pigged out at Pork Star, which is a more western take of the pork dishes, with favourites such as bacon wrapped mozzarella, and roasted pork belly with potatoes.
My wife still likes to remind me that we should have ordered a second serving of bacon wrapped cheese sticks.
It’s a little out of the way so I took a cab there, well worth the trip, from Kuta it’s about 20 min, mainly due to traffic.
Address: 88, Jl. Nakula, Legian, Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali 80361, Indonesia
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Bali is a pretty big island, and it’s attractions are actually quite spread around.
Cabbing is not very expensive, but it’s Southeast Asia and I’m always wary if they don’t use a meter. Make sure you take the blue cabs and insist on metered fare. Grab and Uber is not gonna help because of the taxi mafia, local businesses and hotels won’t let you Uber or Grab, you’ll see signs to that effect everywhere.