There are several areas in Bali including Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud. Kuta and Seminyak are the “hip” part of Bali but they can be too touristy, have too many bars and rowdy packbackers. Ubud is “real” Bali, in the sense that it is more lush and slower than the “hip” parts.
BUDGET & MONEY MATTERS
Estimate about S$75-S$100 (550K-700K Rp) a day to be comfortable. This amount of money covers for restaurants, transport and admission fees for museums, etc.It’s relatively safe in Ubud to carry a wad of cash. Just be vigilant.
A fair note of warning: Like any developing countries and cities, the people will try to rip you off. Check your restaurant receipts and check you give the correct note. A 10K note and a 100K note are similar; they are both red.
Easy Mental Conversion from SGP to Rupiah: S$1 = 7300 Rp but take it as 7000 for convenience. Do NOT take the three Zeros into account. For example, if it is 25K rp, just use 25/7 ≈ S$3.5. Another example: if it’s 350K Rp, just use 350/7 ≈ S$50.
ACCOMMODATION & TRANSPORTATION
Petanu River Villa is about a 1.5-hour drive from the airport. Contact Petanu River Villa to arrange for airport transfer. Petanu River Villa is about a 10-minute drive to the center of Ubud. Each trip costs about S$10 (75K Rp). You can arrange with the housekeeper.
There are 8 villagers taking care of Petanu River Villa, including Santi the estate manager (bottom right). They are very friendly, all smiles all the time. There is a person stationed in the kitchen from 8am-5pm if you need anything. After that, there is a security guard for the night.
This is our driver, Wayan, arranged by Petanu River Villa. If you want to see his village or do any sightseeing, you can ask him. Ask him for recommendations on where to eat or club or what to do. He speaks English very well. His phone is +62-81-237-220-358, his email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website.
Now let’s talk about Petanu River Villa. The car suddenly turns into a single-lane dirt road, a steep slope like a roller-coaster ride, and then you reach the back alleys of houses. There is a old decrepit metal gate and when it opens…
WOW. It’s a completely different world from the dirt road. It’s like one of those movies in which you follow the motion of the camera. The door opens and you are wow-ed by the interior.
And when you reach the villa itself, you think to yourself, you pay USD$330 a night (including breakfast and airport transport) to get half a villa?!
Do you see what I mean by “half a villa”? NO WALLS! Open concept. The villa, perched on a hill, opens out to the wilderness. OMG. SO GORGEOUS. The world is your playground.
Since we are at the pool, let me just say that Hookerlily and I adore it so much!! We took every opportunity we had to soak in it and had heart-to-heart chats. When we were in the pool, the feeling was sublime! It felt like nothing in the world mattered. No stress, no worries, nothing. Pure Zen. It was like we were existing as our essence of our beings.
I don’t fall asleep easily because I am not a very trusting person. But under this dappled shade, on the deck chair, a slight breeze, I fell asleep and woke up, feeling very rejuvenated and at peace. The feeling was just incredible. I was troubled before the trip but after this sleep, my mind cleared and instantly, when I woke, I knew what I should do with my (love) life.
Talking about reading by the pool, there are books in a bookcase in the hall so you don’t have to bring your own reading material. I went through the books and was very impressed by the selection of titles: Ian McEwan (amazing writer); Robert Yeo’s Singapore Trilogy; and other Booker Prize winners. You can tell a person’s taste by the books s/he reads and the owner of the villa obviously has great taste!
There are 3 bedrooms, all with gorgeous view, accommodating up to 6 people at the villa. Seriously, US$330 for 6 people? That’s a steal. Although only the master bedroom has an attached bathroom, each bedroom has its own bathroom by the side.
The next entry gives a 4D3N Ubud itinerary, including a day trip to Seminyak and Kuta.
PS: Thank you, Sera, for the invited stay at Petanu River Villa.