Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 May: Indonesia: What Bali has to offer?

Bali has better cityhood than Boracay, but Stations 1, 2, 3 has better sand than Kuta-Legian-Seminyak.

Multitude fast motorcycles, flock of Blue Bird taxi cabs, few horse rides (known in Philippines as "kalesa") are what to expect in Kuta-Legian area.  The government has applied one-way street system, so taking cabs would mean longer travel before you reach your destination.  But don't worry fares in Bali is not as expensive as we have in Manila.  Their flat rate is just 5,000Rp (20Php, 2013), and their meter is not that high.  You might be stuck in traffic for more than 15 minutes, paying less than 25,000Rp (100Php, 2013).

In taking the road to Ubud, you'll recognize how green the island is.   Flower like bougainvillea and trees like Indian tree is all over aisle.   Going further, there are tall old trees on the both sides of the road, while passing by rice fields and traditional houses.

Their intersections and rotundas are with huge sculptures of their gods and goddesses.

Discovery Shopping Center - has Ocean27 restaurant which offers unique experience of dinning on water.  This center has the huge store of batik and antic things.  Has common brands like Chatime, Baskin & Robin, Sanuk, Esprit, etc.

Next, Matahari (more of department store, souvenir shop and small supermarket) and Kuta Square has line of swim wear or beach brands like Rip Curl, Hurley X, Roxy and Billabong to name a few.

My favorite mall is beach walk,  due to its elegance and design.  I really love the hanging plants all over the area and the man made lake in the middle of the place. It has common cafes of Starbucks and Coffee Bean, with seats overlooking the Jl. Pantai Kuta and Kuta-Legian beach.

Street Shops
Expect a lot of shops along any street, unbranded locally made clothes, art galleries, trinkets, internet shops, money changer, convenient stores (Circle K, Lawson, Indomarket, etc.), branded beach wears and surf boards.

I saw the sign! 
Different from those symbolic languages of Japan, China and Korea, local language of Indonesia (Bahasa Indonesia) is somehow close or recognizable to Filipino language or Tagalog dialect of the Philippines.

We saw few terms like dokter ( Fil. doktor, En. doctor), masuk (Fil. pasok, En. enter), jaffle (Fil. En. waffle), buka (Fil. bukas, En. open), ribu (Fil. libo, En. thousand).

Each establishment, restaurant or even cars have that little offering in front of them.  It is those leaves shaped into a box, with little rice, food, flowers, etc.  They do that as an offering to the gods and deities, to pray to give them blessings, and that they are thankful as well. There are also family temples in which they say their prayers instead of going to the Buddhist temples.

Pasalubong Ideas
It’s been a practice to have homecoming gifts and souvenir for every Filipino traveler.  Below is the list with its prices just to give you idea on how much you have to prepare (*all in Rupiah).

Batik (79K, 99K, 139K), Rip Curl Bali - destination series (179K - 199K)
Pencils, 4pcs (15K), Slippers magnet (12K), Surfing board magnet (20K)
Postcards (3K-4K), Periplus Travel Pack (156K discounted to 75K-99K)

Java black tea, 20 bags (31K), Nescafe Mochaccino, Coffee Candy (45K)
Kopi Bali, powder, Boh lemon myrtle herb bags,
Oreo Ice Flavor (no longer available in Manila)

Rupiah Millionaire
At least once in a lifetime, you can call yourself a millionaire even if not on our Philippine money.  Currency exchange per IDR (Indonesia Rupiah) is 0.0042500650 PHP (Philippine peso, 2013-May-13), click here for current rate.  

For faster computation, drop the '000' in the end and multiply the remaining by 4, that’s our conversion to peso.

Every time you do the exchange, make sure that you understand all those zeros so you’ll not be confused in you are missing the worth of your money.