Uniquely Bali – Head Strong

Balinese women are head strong, err I mean  strong with their head. They can carry practically anything on their head as these few photos show

This street vendor has some t-shirts on her head
This one has knife, scabbards and all sort of killing objects

This lady is carrying canangsari 
This one has 3!

Fruits are commonly transported on top of the head

Like this street vendor
These ladies going to the temple
Look no hands!

Uniquely Bali – Flowers

Balinese are very religious. Everywhere, there are temples, shrines and unique little trays of flower offering. These cute little flower trays called canangsari (I hope I got that right) are placed as offering to the spirits and for blessing. Hence they can be found everywhere.
Stack of canangsari for sale
A vendor at the market in Ubud
On car dashboard
Another one on a vehicle but this one on the outside
On a sidewalk
On a hotel table
A bigger version in a hotel lobby
Another one in the hotel we stayed at

Makan Bali – Seafood

This one is not so much about good food but about seafood in Bali. Bali, being an island surrounded by the sea, should have plenty of seafood right? Well, yes there is Jimbaran Beach which has a whole cluster of seafood restaurants. Naturally when we said we wanted to eat seafood, our driver cum guide brought us there.
The nice but so dark beach restaurant
The atmosphere was fantastic. We sat on the beach on beautiful wooden chairs. There was a band of roving musicians moving from table to table. There was also traditional Balinese dancers. Great for a romantic night dinner until we saw the price of the seafood.

It was super ex by our standard. Coming from a place where a lobster can cost close to a $100.00, when I said expensive I mean it is really expensive. After looking through the menu which was basically just a list of seafood items with prices on a per kg basis, we settled for the set menu for 2 which looks the most reasonably priced.

This is a platter of seafood – 4 Tiger prawns which seems very small, 5 squids, 6 mussels and 1 fish. Plus of course the kangkong and 2 beer and a tiny plate of fruit. All that for RP800,000 excluding tax which came up to about S$110.00.
Not satisfied, we went to Kuta Beach on another evening and this time we went to this very atas looking place.

Bali seems to serve seafood in only 1 way ie barbecue and the restaurant had a similar menu to what we ate at Jimbaran but for a quarter of the price. We ordered the mix combo which was again 4 Tiger prawns, 4 squids, 6 mussels and 1 fish plus a tiny plate of fruit. No drinks included.

Fish and mussel
Prawn and squid

We threw in 2 beers, a soup and a desert of chendol and the bill came to RP400,000 or thereabout, about half of what we paid for earlier and we got the beach, nice comfortable sofa seat in a gazebo overlooking the sea with candle light of course.

The lesson we learnt was never to be led by the tour guide. Do our own research first and choose only those place we have heard good review of otherwise be prepared to be butchered!

Beautiful Bali – Kuta Beach

On the 3rd day after the race, we moved from Sanur to Kuta and finally got a chance to walk the world renowed Kuta beach. But our first impression was marred by the rubbish and trash all over the sands. And the locals were lying among all the filth like it didn’t exist. And there were a lot – the local and the trash.
But walking further down the beach, he beach fronting the many hotels had been cordoned off and was impeccably clean. I wondered how Singaporean would make of this if part of our East Coast Park is cordoned off for tourists?
Then the sun set and it was spectacular. No wonder all the hotels had build gazebos, pavilions, dining area to face the sea to take advantage of the view. We ate in one of these place on our last night there and it was indeed very beautiful and romantic.

Makan Bali – Ayam Betutu

On the 3rd day of Bali, the guide bought us to this place where there were surprise surprise – no tourist or at least the majority of the diners were locals.

This place sells Ayam Betutu which is some thing like our beggar chicken ie the chicken have been slowly cooked for a long long time before it can be eaten. The chicken comes in different level of spiciness and we ordered the average spicy.

I don’t know what went into it. It is a little like our Ayam Soto or Ginseng chicken. Very tender but extremely spicy.

Throw in the kangkong again and I finished my Avocado in double quick time.

We also  order the sate lilit.Kinda like our satay except that the meat is a mix of seafood and the skewer are not those tiny puny little sticks but some part of cane sugar. A bit dry but very fragrant.

Another item we ordered was the otak. This one killed me. It was hell of spicy but I think this was also the meal that got rid of all my ulcers.

By far the best meal and value for money meal throughout the trip. Authentic Balinese food at local prices. Definitely worth a visit.

Is she the chef?