We travel to the island of Bali, a province of Indonesia, located in Southeast Asia. In there we explore its sceneries, from its famous beaches to its temples up north, such as Tanah Lot, while indulging in its variety of foods, and savoring its noise and haggling when we can. From Bali, we fly to Yogyakarta, a special region on the island of Java, to immerse ourselves into the classical Javanese fine art and history, visiting the world-famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, as well as, the palaces of its ruling monarchs. Of course, we explore it’s city too, via foot (and alright, Grab), traveling via local transport if we can, which were always fun.
Food and Where to Find J.Co and KFC
From Nasi Goreng to noodles to its famous coffee, once you get past the fact you really need water if you’re brave enough to eat any food named Nasis, you’ll realize that Indonesian food is actually good. So, in the tradition of “Bream Gives Me Hiccups: Restaurant Reviews from a Privileged Nine-Year-Old” we’re rating the following kinds of Indonesian food out of 2000 stars.
Nasi Goreng and all the other food named Nasis
Eisenberg rating: 100 out of 2,000 stars
The ordinary rice (not Java rice, not anything colored) was just like that, ordinary but let’s go straight to the Nasi thing. It’s so spicy it hurts your soul and it did not help when the restaurant, almost all of them, provided no service water of any kind. Try eating that spicy food with no water, I dare you. When you take away the spice, what remains is some tasteless chicken we wonder what’s all the fuss. And the presentation as seen above will make any judges in Master Chef throw away all the plates in the kitchen.
Cost: Rp 50,000 to Rp 100,000 (US$ 4.00 to US$ 8.00)
Eisenberg rating: 756 out of 2,000 stars
The Bakung noodles consist of a slightly improved version of Nissin noodles with a weird somewhat expired smell. The toppings consist of minced beef and some veggies (and kropek!). The taste is passable to okay to “yes this is good.” It varies. There’s a soup, not sure if we should’ve poured it on the noodles (“You pour it! You pour it” -Niall Horan, OneD Tokyo Tour) but the beef balls were superb, as well as, the dumplings. Reminds us of legit ones in Singapore Chinatown.
Cost: Rp 35,000 (US$ 3.00)
Sate + Java Rice
Eisenberg rating: 344 out of 2,000 stars
This was a lunch buffet. The photo on the side includes the sate, java rice, noodles, chicken fillet in soy sauce (we’re not sure), all of which tasted ok, except for the lumpia (Google the local name please) because the filling were veggies booh! And the peanut thingy. Seriously? In some weird way, drinking coffee while eating this mushed up thing seemed to bring out the flavors in them, except for the peanut. Forget about it. Translation: it’s more fun to eat with coffee.
Cost: Rp 120,000 (US$ 5.00) buffet
Eisenberg rating: 1,212 out of 2,000 stars
There were free tastes of this kind everywhere and those were amazing. For all those wondering, this is a popular Indonesian and Philippine bean-filled moon cake-like pastry. In the Philippines, it is called “hopia.” Other bakpia fillings include cheese, chocolate, purple yam (ube) and screwpine (pandan). This is perfect to eat alongside with their famous coffee which we will be featuring right after this one. The good thing about this is that you can buy it in boxes and bring it home with you because it has long expiration dates and has 68 mg of calories as per my fitness pal website.
Cost: Rp 35,000 (US$ 3.00)
Eisenberg rating: 1,322 out of 2,000 stars
Crucial to Balinese coffee plantations is the luwak. Also known as a palm civet, the nocturnal, cat-like animal eats only the best, ripest coffee berries. It can’t digest the actual coffee beans (the “stone” of the coffee berry), so poos them out, leaving the finest edit of beans. Added notes: their coffee is so strong it will leave you awake the entire day, or not if you do not have any sleep at all after trooping up temples to see the sunrise.
Cost: Rp 100,000 (US$ 8.00) per cup
Eisenberg rating: 1,469 out of 2,000 stars
The Bali chocolates are amazing and ranging from cheap to super expensive. What’s nice about their chocolate bars is that those are packaged so that there will have no doubt that it came from Bali or anywhere in Indonesia. Good for bringing it home because it looks legit, not just some chocolate bars you buy in airport duty-free shops. They even have those stupa-shaped chocolates which you will be guilty of eating because it’s art.
Cost: Rp 50,000 to Rp 100,000 (US$ 4.00 to US$ 8.00)
Eisenberg rating: 2,000 out of 2,000 stars
The home of the most amazing donuts in the world, J.Co is available in Bali and in Yogyakarta and we’re celebrating. Though not as posh as those branches from other countries, there was something authentic in eating those donuts in a J.Co branch in Indonesia, we don’t care if you think it’s a waste of time eating such food when we should try some local stuff, especially when that stuff is Nasi Goreng or something. No thanks. Long live J.Co!
Cost: Donut: Rp 10,000 (US$ 0.75); Coffee: Rp 35,000 (US$ 3.00)
Eisenberg rating: 1,950 out of 2,000 stars
Again, this rice cake is good alongside with their coffee, with a dash of cheese to transport you in a bliss. It also helped that your view was the famous Borobudur in the background and it also helped that it was free of charge, also it was fun to eat while browsing through your photos of the temple and the sunrise and okay so back to the food. It tasted fine, not that sweet with a foamy texture (me to self: wow). There was also this fried banana thing which was sweet and amazing we did not know you could do such wonder with a single banana.
Cost: Free, courtesy of the packaged tour.
KFC and McDonald’s
Eisenberg rating: 1,372 out of 2,000 stars
Where to find McDonald’s and KFC? Easy. Just turn around the corner from your hotel and there they are! Seriously, we’re happy to report that the omnipresence of these fast food chains extends as far as this island and we’re really grateful. The McDonald’s menu is just the same minus the gravy and is much cheaper than your regular burger back home (with egg for heaven’s sake!). KFC’s menu, meanwhile, is as sad as Ernesto de la Cruz singing “Remember Me” due to the lack of gravy. Seriously, what’s wrong with these people hating gravy?
Cost: Burger: Rp 35,000 (US$ 3.00); chicken: Rp 50,000 (US$ 4.00)
Western foods (Hotel Foods in Particular)
Eisenberg rating: 1,820 out of 2,000 stars
For those who cannot eat anything unfamiliar, do not worry. There are tons of western foods to choose from but our safest bet are pasta and pizza to bring on the familiar taste. Just choose from the variety of sauces they offer from legit Italian to something with a dash of local flavor so you wouldn’t feel guilty and somewhat a loser for eating such food in Indonesia. Plus they are more or less cheaper than your local food. I know. Then to lessen your loserness try to order some Bali coffee to come with that pasta, and all is forgiven. What about the hotel foods? It’s always nice to have the choice to order in your room when you’re really not up to the challenge of eating outside, just check if their restaurant closes at 10pm, if so, then you’re out of luck, try their convenience store instead for a healthy dose of cup noodles.
Cost: Pasta: Rp 50,000 to Rp 100,000 (US$ 4.00 to US$ 8.00); coffee: Rp 35,000 (US$ 3.00)
Snake Fruit (Salak)
Eisenberg rating: 855 out of 2,000 stars
Snake fruit originally comes from a species of palm tree native to Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It usually called with Salak as similar to its Latin name “Salacca zalacca.” Moreover, this fruit which belongs to Arecaceae family is largely being cultivated and produced in Southeast Asia. For the physical features, it has scaly and prickly skin like a cactus. Further, the taste is so juicy and has a kind of sour taste like a pineapple but at the same time, it also gives you the sweet and spectacular taste.
Cost: Rp (no idea)
Famous Spots Plus the Top 5 Street Names and Signages
Again, as with the food, we’re rating the following tourist sites out of 2000 stars ranging from the famous beaches of Bali island to the old temples of Borobudur in Java.
Eisenberg rating: 1,147 out of 2,000 stars
The beaches of Bali are one of the most stunning beaches in the world, take it from us who reside in an archipelago and are used to seeing wonderful beaches. The sands here may not be as white, but they sure have those crazy waves that are good for surfing, at least near the shore. The shoreline is long so that even if there are many tourists visiting the place it wouldn’t feel that crowded. The bummer is you wouldn’t get continuous fine beaches as you walked by, some areas looked like they belong to fishermen, other areas have the Omaha beach feeling on them, other parts are just plain dirty, and some have rip-raps on them due to the strong current. Commerce is alive in this place with various locals offering their services from surfing to island hopping or trying to sell their stuff to you. They are friendly, so no worries. Large resorts and restaurants, (with the Discovery Mall being one of the largest) fronted the beach view.
The best thing about this island is on the other side, the shops, restaurants, and stalls fronting the main street. If you’re tired of walking and wouldn’t want to buy some soda in a bottle because you’re not sure if you could carry those around you while walking on the beach, cross the street and be transported from the quiet beach to the noise of the city at the other side and hop on to some stalls lining the sidewalks.
The city is best at night, with its lights and an endless offering of food and some stuff you could buy, like a scary mask for instance. The good thing about this place is it’s just a walking distance from most of the hotels, so you could come in and out of your room and be on the city, or in the beach pronto if you want. The nightlife by the beach is also alive, thanks to the restaurants dotting the area, with some establishments lighting their part of the beach so you could watch the waves hitting the rip-raps even at night.
Seen here along the shore is what they called the “Canang Sari.” It is usually a small quadratic basket woven from palm or banana leaves and includes flowers, oils, salt, money, and cookies. The Balinese people are really harmonic folks and especially always try to be in harmony with their gods. They have two ways trying to live in harmony with their gods: Ask them for assistance and appease the evil. For this reason, you can find them on all possible conflict points such as crossroads or bridges, but also in front of shops, in shops, houses, cars, hotels, temples and also on the beach.
Borobudur Temple Compounds
Eisenberg rating: 2,000 out of 2,000 stars
There are no words to describe the magnificence of this place. We’ve seen it from afar, at dusk, the sun still preparing to rise behind us, standing majestically amid the early morning gloom. Standing below, looking up at it, brought goosebumps and a sense of something surreal. Or maybe it’s just because it’s cold. You have to wake up early to catch the sunrise but it is worth it. The climb up to the central dome is not that high, you could be there in no time. There are many tourists that will join you at the top, but they will not hinder the spectacular view, nor disturb the solemnity of the place, but is a big problem when taking photos. Just take the advice of one of our fellow tourists and Google the photos so you could soak in the surreal view. (To be clear, the photos featured here are ours *insert sniggers*).
After sunrise, and photos, you could walk around the temple compound which was designed in circles, mirroring the cosmos, and marvel at the story the walls are telling us, thousands and thousands worth of history, being told to you in the quiet morning. There was something eerie about walking along pathways, in between its walls, surrounded by the buddhas, as if you’re alone in the world. After that, go straight down so you wouldn’t be trampled by a horde of tourists arriving for the day.
A 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Central Java, Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circulars, topped by a central dome. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa.
Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple design follows Javanese Buddhist architecture, which blends the Indonesian indigenous cult of ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana. The temple demonstrates the influences of Gupta art that reflects India’s influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian. The monument is a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage.
The pilgrim journey begins at the base of the monument and follows a path around the monument, ascending to the top through three levels symbolic of Buddhist cosmology: Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). The monument guides pilgrims through an extensive system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades. Borobudur has the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world.
Borobudur lay hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth. The facts behind its abandonment remain a mystery. It is not known when the active use of the monument and Buddhist pilgrimage to it ceased. Sometime between 928 and 1006, King Mpu Sindok moved the capital of the Medang Kingdom to the region of East Java after a series of volcanic eruptions; it is not certain whether this influenced the abandonment, but several sources mention this as the most likely period of abandonment. The monument is mentioned vaguely as late as c. 1365, in Mpu Prapanca’s Nagarakretagama, written during the Majapahit era and mentioning “the vihara in Budur”.
The monument was not forgotten completely, though folk stories gradually shifted from its past glory into more superstitious beliefs associated with bad luck and misery. Two old Javanese chronicles (babad) from the 18th century mention cases of bad luck associated with the monument. According to the Babad Tanah Jawi (or the History of Java), the monument was a fatal factor for Mas Dana, a rebel who revolted against Pakubuwono I, the king of Mataram in 1709. It was mentioned that the “Redi Borobudur” hill was besieged and the insurgents were defeated and sentenced to death by the king. In the Babad Mataram (or the History of the Mataram Kingdom), the monument was associated with the misfortune of Prince Monconagoro, the crown prince of the Yogyakarta Sultanate in 1757. In spite of a taboo against visiting the monument, “he took what is written as the knight who was captured in a cage (a statue in one of the perforated stupas)”. Upon returning to his palace, he fell ill and died one day later.
Borobudur Sunrise Tour Price: Rp 560,000 (US$ 43)
Kraton of Yogyakarta
Eisenberg rating: 628 out of 2,000 stars
The Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat is a royal palace complex located in the city of Yogyakarta. The palace is the main seat Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family. It serves as a cultural center for the Javanese people and contains a museum that displays the sultanate’s artifacts. It is guarded by the His Majesty’s Kraton Guard Regiment.
Don’t expect any grand palaces of some sort, just your large area with large, dilapidated houses turned into museums. The place is practically a walled city, surrounded by walls which you wouldn’t notice as they are everywhere in the city, and are lighted nicely during the night. The huge palace of the sultans of Yogyakarta, the Kraton, is the cultural and political heart of this fascinating city.
As we said, it is effectively a walled city. This unique compound is home to around 25,000 people and has its own market; shops, batik and silver cottage industries; schools; and mosques. Around 1000 of its residents are employed by the sultan. The treasures here are poorly displayed, so don’t expect much information to put the palace, its buildings or contents, in context.
There is an endless collection of stuff used by the royal family, their dresses and all of that, with an equally endless parade of framed photos housed in creepy rooms. At the entrance, you could watch some orchestra playing, inside a high-ceilinged court place, some traditional music of some sort.
Kraton Sultan Palace Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000 (US$ 1.10)
Tanah Lot Temple
Eisenberg rating: 1,834 out of 2,000 stars
Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. It is one of the important directional temples in Bali. The temple is located on a rock just offshore. It is said to be the work of revered 15th century Hindu priest Nirartha and forms an important element of Balinese spiritualism and mythology.
An ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves; Tanah Lot Temple is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons. The onshore site is dotted with smaller shrines alongside visitors’ leisure facilities that comprise restaurants, shops and a cultural park presenting regular dance performances. The temple is located in the Beraban village of the Tabanan regency, an approximate 20 km northwest of Kuta, and is included on most tours to Bali’s western and central regions.
Tanah Lot is probably one of the best places in Bali because it combines all of the things a tourist wants to see: a park, temples, shops, restaurants and an endless parking lot. This place is good for viewing the sunset but before that, you could traipse along its cobbled street built in upward slope with shops selling different local products like masks, magnets, shirts, paintings, coffee (you name it) on either side. The street is not that narrow, just enough for hundreds of tourists. They also have these restaurants with the amazing view of the sea, hundreds of tables with umbrellas lining on the sidewalk. Mostly you could just sit on the park and watch the (mostly) locals roam around the tree-lined area with their families, eating local food with the children screaming while carrying those cheap toys being sold all around the place.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Eisenberg rating: 441 out of 2,000 stars
The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is both a famous picturesque landmark and a significant temple complex located on the western side of the Beratan Lake in Bedugul, central Bali. Ulun Danu Beratan literally means “the source temple of Lake Beratan”. That is a much-needed introduction to induce a sense that this place is an exciting place. But seriously it’s not. Ulun Datu is some sort of a downsized park of Tanah Lot with a feeling that it was just created to trap tourists. There are temples, small ones, dotting the area, the famous of which is this floating temple which looked like just a regular small house with creepy frogs surrounding it, painted in multi-color like those in cheap resorts here back home. Still, it was nice to just sit (even if it is raining) on a corner and watch the people roam around the place and wonder why they bother to take pictures in the middle of the rain. It’s crazy but fun.
Ulun Datu Entrance Fee: Rp 50,000 (US$ 3.00)
Handara Golf and Resort Bali
Eisenberg rating: 500 out of 2,000 stars
A famous place for Instagram pictures, we were shocked to find out that you need to pay in this place just to have a photo on the hotel’s gate. Seriously? Handara Golf and Resort Bali is primarily a golf course and is about some two-hour drive from the airport and the region Kuta. Its widely-known gate is a replica of the Besakih Mother Temple. This gate is famous design for most establishments in Bali, but this one is much more legit than the rest. Just make sure to snap some fine photos to compensate for that ridiculous fee.
Entrance Fee: Rp 35,000 (US$ 2.50)
Eisenberg rating: 1,500 out of 2,000 stars
Prambanan or Rara Jonggrang is a 9th-century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Transformer (Shiva). The temple compound is located approximately 17 kilometers northeast of the city of Yogyakarta on the boundary between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces.
The temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu architecture, and by the towering 47-meter-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples.Prambanan attracts many visitors from around the world.
Prambanan Temple Entrance Fee: Rp 300,000 (US$ 23)
Eisenberg rating: 1,746 out of 2,000 stars
Jalan Malioboro, or simply Malioboro Street, is a major shopping street in Yogyakarta; the name is also used more generally for the neighborhood around the street. It lies north-south axis in the line between Yogyakarta Kraton and Mount Merapi. This is in itself is significant to many of the local population, the north-south orientation between the palace and the volcano being of importance.
The street is the center of Yogyakarta’s largest tourist district surrounded by many hotels, restaurants, and shops nearby. Sidewalks on both sides of the street are crowded with small stalls selling a variety of goods. In the evening several open-air street-side restaurants, called lesehan, operate along the street. This is the street of the artists. Street musicians, painters, and other artists exhibit their creations on this road. Less obvious to the tourist, but more for the local population, side streets, lanes, and structures that lead on to Malioboro are as important as the street itself.
From Malioboro mall, where you could eat KFC and buy drinks to take inside your hotel from the grocery at the ground floor (malls are our thing, sorry), you could stroll at the sidewalks lined with stalls on either side selling all the things you need to buy for your family back home (batik, t-shirts, bags, magnets, miniature temples of all kinds, and yes, scary masks, assorted food, and other stuff). The stalls seemed to be endless, leading to the plaza which apparently is famous among locals.
Eisenberg rating: 350 out of 2,000 stars
Dubbed as the “selfie park,” this place is useless except for the view. Like the Handara Golf and Resort Bali gate, it has a ridiculous entrance fee too. Again, seriously? The place is lined with such “parks”, so if one seems packed just drive a little further to the next. It has a great view of the lake atop a mountain which will wipe up your anger after two hours of exhausting travel just to arrive at this place.
Entrance Fee: Rp 25,000 (US$ 1.50)
Top 5 Street Names and Signages
We now go to our top 5 street names and signages that we spotted while touring around Bali and Java, and here’s why they are worth mentioning:
Keluar – This signage which means “Exit” in English will save you from the humiliation of exiting the wrong place and ending up on the wrong side of the street, a dead end, which has a signage that says “no entrance to the beach.”
Portable Gading – This might be any signage that says “portable.” Gading is a name of a place in Yogyakarta near our hotel so don’t mind that, but the portable means that there is a makeshift bus station near your area, and trust us that’s good news.
Gratis – Look out for this signage which means “free,” but do not expect too much, it might be just free water or a free taste of bakpia.
Bukaka Teknik – Apparently all those entering an airplane from the tarmac should have a technic in opening your legs wide apart. This is not our call.
Jalan Dipokosuman – This street name in Yogyakarta topped our list because it’s so polite in denying that it is not a rice cake.
Haggling, Transport, and English
Heavily designed to showcase its culture and arts, the airports of Bali and Yogyakarta are one of the bests in the world. Bali’s airport is always swamped by hordes of incoming tourists so you need to have a bit of patience waiting in line in the immigration. There is a bit of discrepancy, though. Tourists from countries near Indonesia (those which belonged to the EU-styled ASEAN) will have to answer no questions generally, while other tourists will be asked basic questions about the duration of stay and other stuff. At least that’s what we thought.
Their waiting areas are great and you don’t need to go outside to look for something to eat because the Bali airport in itself is like a mall. Though, if you like, you could hop out there, if you’re waiting for your flight, and walk around Badung and Kuta’s shops, because the airport is literally just a few steps away from the beach. Yogyakarta’s airport is just the same.
Shops, Haggling, and English
There are endless shops to buy the stuff you want to buy (we could sort of see what you’re thinking right now, just kidding), so if you forgot to buy that scary mask because you thought you could get it elsewhere, and it so happened that the shop where you first saw it was gone (or you couldn’t just find it anymore), don’t worry, chances are there are other stalls selling such stuff. The best part here is that you can haggle without being scared because those Indonesians are so respectful and accommodating. You would be surprised at the amount you could save when you haggle. Our best score is Rp 250,000 which became Rp 50,000 (final price) for five pieces of pillowcase with Balinese art embroidery. They have basic knowledge of English but be patient as they couldn’t process a quick burst of English phrases such as “You’re a wizard, Harry!” If you have a language very different from that of Bahasa Indonesia, you’re lucky, because you could discuss at length, the pros and cons of buying that t-shirt without the saleslady deciphering your every word. Us? Not so much.
Pro tip: Dress like a local when shopping, less stress when haggling and they will give you what they called the “Indonesian Price.” But then again if you can’t blend in because it’s so obvious due to your blonde hair and skin or something then you’re out of luck.
Taxi and Grab and Local Transports (Horses and Motorised Becak)
Do not trust the taxi cabs at Bali airport. They will charge you Rp 100,000 even though your hotel is just a stone’s throw away. Also, don’t trust the grab taxis in Bali, because they are always irritable and racist, and also they might accept your trip request but will leave you hanging. The worst part is that you’ll still be charged for that transaction. The grab in Yogyakarta is a very different story. They are extremely friendly, will even speak some words of your language once you tell them where are you from, and some will tell you stories of the time they visited your country, even if it was so long ago. Also, you could try some of their local transport, like the becak (some sort of a cycle rickshaw), or a good old-fashioned calesa. There are bus stations around Yogyakarta if you have the patience in deciphering their map.
Trivial Things You Ought to Know (Like the price of bottled water and where’s the beer)
In Indonesia, the power sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
This is not Singapore where you could have a strong internet connection wherever you are, but if you’re lucky you could hook up to some password-free WiFi of hotels and shops along the way. Don’t ask us if it’s safe.
The airports’ internet connections are strong though we notice that you couldn’t use it near the immigration lane. We wonder why.
Price of bottled water and where’s the beer
The price of bottled water ranges from Rp 5,000 (US$ 0.36) in Indomaret (the famous convenience store) to Rp 20,000 (US$ 1.45) in shops or if you’re unlucky, Rp 25,000 (US$ 1.80) in the shores near you. The beers are hard to find, but those are available in grocery stores (with separate and secured shelves) and on restaurants, so chill.
May, June, and July are generally considered to be the best time to travel to Bali in terms of the weather. The rest of the months could be rainy days or raining stones with fire, we’re not sure. The rain will last an hour, sometimes it would look like there would be a tropical storm of some sort, but it’ll pass. Their rain is pre-scheduled by the government: during the rainy season, it is mandated to rain from 7am to 9am and 6pm to 7pm, daily. Failure of the weather to follow government rules will be met by heavy punishments.
Maybe you could Google a bar or two along the shores of Bali where you could party from dusk till dawn because we’re not interested in this one.
Hotel Shoutouts (This is not a paid ad)
First off, to Bakung Beach Resort. When we requested a room near the pool, they placed us on the third floor, thank you very much indeed. This was despite the fact that there were still plenty of rooms on the ground floor, occupied mostly by Europeans. Racism alert. Nonetheless, their staff was very polite and all smiles, discounting one incident wherein the “make up room” guys laughed as they left our room after asking if we wanted to have the room cleaned and we said, “maybe tomorrow?” They could have just been happy to have skipped a room, we don’t know. Also, as mentioned, don’t barrage them with too much English because they will become agitated, even if all you said was “my friend will be arriving tonight” five times at the reception. By the way, our room has a fantastic view of…wait for it…a roof, completely blocking any view whatsoever. Thanks again for that. The wifi is almost nonexistent on our floor, you need to go near the pool to catch some signal. Their food? It was great. So that’s good news. (http://bakungbeach.com/)
For Hotel Neo+ Awana (this one is much better, trust us), the staff also was very polite, with a Wakanda style greeting (it’s cool!) and their wifi was strong all over the place! There was a sad, residential feeling going inside the hotel compound but the reception was grand. There was this amazing pool but they closed it for renovation on our second day there so bummer. Their restaurant has an awesome style and has a view of the pool outside. They have wider choices when it comes to their food but for some reason, it doesn’t feel like its authentic compared to when we were in Bali. Their rooms were great, but what we like that most were their elevators. Go find out why. (https://www.neohotels.com/en)