Bali 2014: Day 8 – Moving onto Ubud
Friday 14 November 2014
Yet again another bittersweet day for us on this holiday – today we leave Amed and head to Ubud. We both love Ubud but today signals our little holiday is slowly coming to a close. We have also fallen for Amed this trip so are a little sad to leave.
Before any of that however, we started this morning the same way as each morning: Coffee on the porch of our room followed by our breakfast at Blue Star. This morning I went with Toast and Eggs, and Dan the Toast and Jam along with a couple of fruit juices and of course more of that fabulous Bali Kopi.
We paid up our bill – was so handy having Wayan just keep all our food dockets along with any other services – eg. fishing trip, and laundry – amazing value:
- Room (Bungalow) – Rp. 1,350,000
- Restaurant (2 x Lunch, 3 x Dinner, 3 x Breakfasts + Drinks by the water) – Rp. 848,100
- Laundry – Rp. 56,000
- Fishing – Rp. 200,000
- Total: 2,454,100
Fantastic value when you think that is Rp. 820,000 ($82) per day for Room + Meals and entertainment. Just a reminder we were staying at Blue Star Amed located in Jemeluk.
While we waited for the wonderful Kasa from Drivers with Distinction to come pick us up to take us to Ubud we had a good chat with Ilu one of the owners of Blue Star. Ilu is such a lovely woman, a great character. We also found out that we could have taken a cooking class with Blue Star (damn it – could have found out the secret of that awesome homemade bread!). Next time we are definitely arranging a cooking class.
Kasa arrived and we headed off to Ubud.
I had a sneaky feeling Kasa was hoping we would be hungry and wanted Lunch – we asked what he had for breakfast and he replied “just coffee and a biscuit” – then later asked if we wanted to eat at his favourite place nearby. Always happy to try something new. And besides how spicy could Local Balinese food be…..
Kasa suggested Warung Lesehan Mertha Sari as a great place to sample Balinese Fish menu items. Always one to try new things we dove right in! I was a little worried, in June when we were heading to Amed – Mandika suggested a lovely place for lunch that was spicy to the point where I couldn’t feel my lips for hours!
Warung Lesehan does not have a Menu as such, you are served a set menu consisting of a number of dishes. You just let the staff know how many people are eating and they will bring enough food.
Kasa went and ordered for us – as well as getting us a few bottles of Coke. The meals consist of Rice, Chicken Sate, Fish Skewers, Wrapped Fish, a piece of spiced fish, fish soup, vegetables, fried beans, and sauce. Thankfully Kasa had ordered ours as “not very spicy”
Despite being a little spicy the meal was actually fantastic. Each dish had it’s own unique flavour. We are not the biggest fans of fish meals but the soup was beautiful. Time came to pay and the price was only Rp. 25k per person. All that food for such a great price. This place is definitely not a “tourist trap” kind of place, in fact I think we were the only “tourists” there.
If you want to check it out – head to Warung Lesehan Merha Sari, Pesinggahan Village – Klungkung Region. Can’t for the live of me tell you where it was, but from memory was just after the Goa Gajah Temple area heading towards Denpasar. Just book Kasa to be your driver and tell him you want to try it.
We headed into Ubud and on our arrival it was actually Raining! Being November it is technically in the Rainy season of Bali and had been worried we would be battling the rain but thus far hadn’t seen any. It wasn’t heavy just a little shower to welcome us to Ubud.
If you have followed this blog for a few years you would know we usually chose the Alam group of hotels when in Ubud, either Alam Jiwa or Alam Indah. This trip we were trying to go as cheaply as possible and for a change wanted to try something in the centre of town along Monkey Forest Road.
Looking at Bookings.com we decided on Gerhana Sari 2 Bungalows – now I am being really generous here in recommending this place because we both really liked it and I would hate for you all to book it out!
There are only 4 bungalows available to book so you may want to get in quick to avoid missing out. We booked the Superior Double Room on the ground floor. It is only fan cooled so were worried a little about the Ubud weather and if we would need an Air conditioner. But we found the room cool enough without an Air-Con.
The room rates for Gerhana Sari 2 are fantastic, our room worked out at roughly Rp. 350k per night – so about $35 AUD per night. The bungalows are clean and in a fantastic location right in the middle of Monkey Forest road, just across the road from the Lotus Pond Restaurant.
The room is comfortable enough, this is not a 5-star glamorous hotel so please don’t expect a room overfilled with furniture or electronics. This is definitely a place you could base yourself and relax with a good book. No TV in the room, but after 3 nights in Amed with no TV you actually don’t miss it.
Wayan and Made are the two brothers who manage this place and nothing is too much trouble for them. They will always provide you with a hot thermos of water for tea and coffee on your balcony and always willing to stop for a chat as they go about their day.
First impressions we are absolutely overjoyed at this place, fantastic value for money and great location.
Ok so formalities over it was time to get back into my Massage/Spa routine! We wandered up the road to Magic Fingers Massage on Monkey Forest Road. Really ordinary name for a massage place but I can assure you it is all above board and very professional. I have been coming here for a while now and always received great service. This time I opted for a 1 hr massage while wifey had a Pedicure, all up came to Rp. 160k. Overall we were happy with the service, the massages are conducted upstairs and the rooms are reasonably private. Pedicure and Foot Reflexology are downstairs. If you are trying to find the place it is just north of the Soccer Field on Monkey Forest Road.
Full Disclosure – Ubud for us equals food! There is an amazing concentration of restaurants and Warungs in a small space so we do try and cram as many in as possible each day.
We wanted to have a quick pre-dinner snack so headed to the Art Café on Monkey Forest Road. It did look a little too “arty” for me, a few too many hipsters for my liking but hey everybody deserves a meal somewhere I suppose.
Bingtang and Lemon Squash to drink and we ordered a serving of Potato Skins and Bruschetta to snack on.
Was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food produced here, the presentation was lovely and the flavours were perfect. Exactly what you want as a nice light snack before dinner, or as a few tapas options to share among friends.
All up the bill came to Rp. 152k – I can’t find a website for these guys but if you check them out here on TripAdvisor you will see they have some great reviews.
DINNER (or is that Dessert)
So I lost an argument tonight – not the first time in 9 odd years of marriage and I doubt it will be the last – turns out you CAN have dessert for dinner and it is not a problem. So obeying my darling wife we walked up the road to a little place we had read about online Caramel Patisserie & Café.
As you walk into this fabulous little café your eyes will be affixed to the fully stocked cake cabinet, so many little treats it will be hard to make a choice.
I decided to try out the Red Velvet Cake and Danielle had the Chocolate Stack. To drink we both ordered the Vietnamese Drip Coffee. Sorry in advance if you are not a fan of Food Photos – I couldn’t help but take some shots of these creations.
These guys seriously know their stuff – the cakes look small in the case and you might be thinking “is this really going to be enough?” – but trust me they are very rich in flavour and will leave you nice and full. Plus the coffee helps that along as well. Make sure you head upstairs and grab a set on the balcony.
Ok so perhaps I was reasonably happy with Dan’s choice for dinner tonight – even though it was dessert! And perhaps someone might picked up a sample pack of Macarons to snack on back at our room.
We walked out of there with huge smiles on our faces, the food was so tasty and for Rp. 200k all up (including the Macarons) was well worth it. How are you able to produce such delicate cakes and treats in the humid weather of Bali I will never know.
Back to the hotel for the night to sit on the balcony read a book and just relax.
That will do us for today, bit of a quiet day today but it feels like we achieved a few things – if only just eating plenty of food. Looking forward to tomorrow we will be heading up to the Chez Monique Silversmith Class.
Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have enjoyed today’s blog or if you want to ask any questions about Ubud or Bali in particular. Have you ever been to Bali? What did you enjoy?