Life in The Middle Kingdom And Beyond

By: Thomas Foo

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Sunday, 5-Sep-2010 06:20 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bali 21 - The Damage

Total damage 7D6N Bali holiday for two from Penang:
Air ticket (AirAsia)... RM800x2 = RM1,600.
Hotel USD310x3.2 = RM1,000 with breakfast
Meals (Lunch n dinner) = RM1,100
Car rental Rp400k+350k=750k= RM300 incl tips
Airport departure tax Rp150kx2=300k=RM108
Misc taxi, massage, souvenir, swindled by money changer, etc RM400

TOTAL RM4,500 (USD1,400) for 7D6N

Comparing to av package tour price of RM2,200/pax (from Penang) for only 4D3N, it definitely makes more sense to go on your own. Happy holiday!

Saturday, 4-Sep-2010 03:24 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bali 20 - The Money Changers Are Crooks

Beware of those road side money changers!!! They are crooks.

I changed about USD100 but it disappeared so fast just after one meal and some shoppings. I began suspecting I've been short changed. So during the second time I changed money, I watched that fellow (another shop) very carefully. I noticed he always snatched back the money from my hand whenever I wanted to re-count. And the way he held the money and kept his hands behind the counter, I knew for sure he was slipping some money back into the drawer or behind the counter before giving them back to me.

After my insistence, for the 3rd time, to HOLD THE MONEY IN MY HAND and re-count, he suddenly became annoyed (probably knew he coundn't fool me) and started to quote another ridiculously low rate. I refused and took back my money and walked off before giving him a piece of my mind. "Jagan tipu. Ingat kita bodoh ke?" Translate: F you, moron.

Then I went to the shop that I changed the money first time. Honest looking guy. I changed with Ringgit. He fumbled with the calculator and showed me a figure. Fuck! It was some absurd figure. Like 2790x200=453,800 ??? I said "Kawan, betul ke?" (Fren, sure or not?) He said soli soli and press press and came out with the right figure. Lesson learnt - BEWARE OF THE CALCULATOR SCAM!

I gave him my Ringgit, and no prize for guessing, he repeated the same money disappearing trick like the previous bugger. After my insistance to hold the money in my hand to recount for the second time, and refused to give them back to him for recount, he demanded I must pay him commission. I refused (becos his billboard says no commission) and just took the Rp and walked away. Phew! Sweat.

It was such hussle and fun to change money here. Welcome to Bali!

The safest place to change money is from the bank or hotel. Not so good rate but at least you can be assured you are not short changed, hopefully.

Friday, 3-Sep-2010 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bali 19 - Sanur Beach

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Sanur beach is also the sea transport center to the neighbouring Lemgongan Island for snorkeling, scuba diving, turtle watching etc. Too bad due to bad planning and time constraint we were not able to make the trip.

Thursday, 2-Sep-2010 05:25 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bali 18 - Kintamani

Mt Batur viewed from Kintamani
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After Ubud we travelled north to Kintamani for a vantage view of the volcano Mt Batur. On hind sight I should have asked the driver to continue to the nearby Spring Temple at Sebatu and/or the elephant cave temple of Goa Gajah. The driver was not helpful either. Instead we started heading back to Kuta with stopover at Sanur beach. I regret tipping him so generously

Wednesday, 1-Sep-2010 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bali 17 - Ubud Babi Guling Restaurant

The restaurant
The Q
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The famous Babi Guling was a big let down. Firstly judging from the very thick skin it is definitely not a suckling pig but grown up. The skin is so tough it is like chewing on plastic. The meat is okay. But gourmets judge the quaility of the suckling pig by its skin which must be thin and crispy - the two qualities definitely missing in this restaurant. I would not feel cheated if it is called Babi Tua i/o Babi Guling.

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