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pPamela
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Hi,
My name is Pamela and I am cutting and pasting a report Emma33 wrote on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree about her recent three month stay in Bali.
I am sure many travellers will find lots of useful information in these reports.
emma33
Posted: 18 Jun 2007
8:35pm
Bali report - pt 1 - Ubud (includes section on trad healer)

Bali report –east/south Bali

Hi,

Have just returned from three months in Bali and thought I would write a report on the places I visited. The first part covers Ubud and the second (in the next post) is about Amed, Nusa Lembongan, Tirtagganga and Kuta.

UBUD

Accommodation:

For my first few nights I stayed in Narasoma. It is in Beji Lane, just off Monkey Forest Road in a small lane and is gorgeous accommodation and very, very quiet. I think it was really good value for 90,000 per night. There are only four rooms, on the second and third stories of a family house (in a traditional walled family compound). The rooms are large, with lovely high ceilings and a good bed. There is a good sized bathroom with shower and bath and a ceiling fan. The rooms open onto a little balcony on one side (overlooking a small valley) and onto a veranda on the other side. Breakfast is included and there is a fridge on the veranda for guest use.

Narasoma isn’t in the LP (at least not the older LP I had) but it does have a website, www.narasoma.com

Then I stayed at Gandra House for about 6 weeks. It’s cheaper, at 50,000 per night, but I thought my little bungalow was great value. Gandra House is in the LP book, and is located in Jalan Karna, a laneway just behind the Ubud market (just a 3 minute walk to get fruit every morning!) It’s a family compound and has around 9 rooms. I thought the bungalows at the back were the best value and quietest although there is motorbike traffic up the laneway behind these bungalows starting early in the morning (going to the market) so ear-plugs might be a necessity. There is a nice little garden, and the place is kept very tidy. The rooms have cold water, shower, mandi, ceiling fans and mosquito nets. You get breakfast and there is also a small shop at the front where you can get water bottle refills.

Gandra House is clean, friendly budget accommodation and I’d really recommend it.

There were other good, cheap places to stay all over Ubud. Other streets I liked were Jalan Goutama (very quiet but still close to the action), which has several guesthouses, and also the road where the post office is. This is a lovely little street, windy and has some real atmosphere to it, but is a little away from the complete centre of town. I didn’t like Monkey Forest Road – too busy and commercialized.

Food

If you want to meet other travellers, Dewa Warung is the place to go – the only real communal eating place in Ubud (that I found). It’s a small place in Jalan Goutama. The food is cheap (around 7000-12000 ), very fresh and well cooked.

The other cheap place to eat that is also very relaxed is at the Pondok Pekak library (on the east side of the Soccer Field in Monkey Forest Road). This place is great – like a community centre. It has a restaurant area and comfortable places to lounge and eat either downstairs or upstairs, a library, and also lots of art/music/language classes. The food is fresh and cheap (around 10,000 rupiah). It’s not open at night though.

Library

Joining the library is a great idea if you are going to be in Ubud for more than a few days. I joined for a month and it costs 40,000 rupiah. That’s a bargain considering how much it would have cost to buy books for a month. The library is well-stocked with novels other travellers have left, a real treasure trove if you are a book-worm!

One thing I really enjoyed reading was the reports made by US university students who come to Ubud once a year on a program to learn bahasa Indonesian and study some aspect of Balinese society/culture/history. The reports they make are left at the centre. They are only 20-30 pages long and some are fascinating – people have written about Balinese psychology, healers, the ‘Kuta Kowboys’, adoption in Bali, environmental and tourism issues, HIV/AIDS education…the list goes on and on.

Massage

I had heaps of massages in Ubud. The best, in terms of quality and price, was by a guy named Dewa Sukra. He works with another woman and they both have that great “touch” and I found them very professional. They come to your hotel and charge 50,000 for an hour massage (that actually goes for around 80mins) or 60 000 for a two person massage. The best way to book is by SMSing or calling Dewa’s mobile (085 237 999 569). Or, you can e-mail him on balielaRemoved to prevent your adress from being spammed. Click this to go to the user profile.hotmail.com (but he only checks his e-mail around once a week, so phone is better.)

I also saw a great Balinese healer (more like a western physiotherapist/body worker) just outside of Ubud. He’s about 60 years old and for generations his family have worked as treating people with muscular or bone problems. The types of things I saw him treat were people with headaches, broken or sprained bones, sinus problems, strokes or other people who had muscular problems. I went to him for a neck muscle problem which I’ve had for years(he doesn’t do any of that neck cracking stuff though – I hate that!) He was excellent. I don’t know his name, but he lives in Buruan, which is around 8km east of Ubud.

You can get there by bemo. Outside the Ubud market, catch a bemo to Bedugal (past Goa Gajah). Tell the bemo driver you want to go to Buruan and he will drop you at an intersection where a road goes off to the right. The massage guy lives about 1.5km down this road, and you can catch a bemo.

I don’t know his exact address but keep going down the road, past a mobile phone store with flags out the front, until you get to a sign next to a laneway saying, “I Made Sama, Hasya Bhawa, Wood Carver and Painter” The massage guy lives in this laneway, in the first house on the left hand side. If you get lost just ask around the area for the ‘balian’ (Balinese word for ‘healer’). This guy is really well-known so local people will be able to direct you.

You can see him in the morning or late afternoon onwards (4pm onwards). He has no set fee. You pay by buying two or more offerings from the Ubud market and putting them in a plastic bag with some money on top (I paid around 25,000). Then, when you get to the massage guy you just leave the bag on the wall next to where he works.

If you don’t speak bahasa Indonesian it would be a good idea to bring along someone who can translate (at least for your first visit). (If you want a recommendation of a guide to take you, I have one, just respond to this message).

Emma

pPamela
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
2:21pm
1.

Emma,
Thanks for another great report and thanks for letting me cut and paste it on Indahnesia .com in the next week or so. I will always remember you fabulous report you wrote about your 3 months in Bukitinggi and Lake Maninjau in 2006 and it is amazing how many times I have put up the link for travellers.
Pamela.

BellaPHL
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
2:23pm
2.

Great post. I love reading this sort of thing. I tried to find a healer in Ubud, but unfortunately didn't have the time.






pPamela
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Bali Report - Part 2 - Amed, Nusa Lembongan, Tirtagganga, Kuta

TIRTAGGANGA

Tirtagganga is a very small village in inland east Bali, near Amlapura. It’s surrounded by rice-terraces and has a water palace, where you can swim in a pool with lovely, cool, fresh water. I really like it there and stayed for three weeks. Quite a few tourists come for day tours to the water palace but not many people stay overnight there, so it’s a very quiet place.

Accommodation

I stayed at Dhangin Taman inn which is right next to the water palace and has a lovely picnic bench that overlooks the palace. The rooms themselves are small and a bit grungy (particularly the bathroom), but the place is quiet and the mattress was pretty good. It cost 40,000 per night or 36,000 if you stayed a week or more.

There are other places to stay on the slopes of the rice-terraces and they are nicer but a bit more expensive.

Food

I ate at the Good Karma restaurant (which also has accommodation for around 90,000, lovely big rooms in the middle of the rice-fields). The food was great – very well cooked and fresh. They did the best tempe curry I had in Bali!

Another beautiful place to eat is the Japanese restaurant, Roshi, which is a few hundred metres along the road from the village of Tirtagganga. The view from the restaurant is spectacular.

Massage

There is a guy who in Tirtagganga who does a wonderful Balinese massage. He doesn’t have a shop-front but just comes around the accommodation in Tirtagganga asking if people want a massage. It is a very invigorating massage; he really knows what he’s doing. It costs around 80,000.

AMED AREA – LIPAH

I stayed for a few days in Lipah, which is a few bays along from Amed. I really liked this area; it is extremely quiet, after about 8pm at night there were almost no cars or bikes on the road. The area has a real village feel, although, of course, there are strings of guesthouses lining the bays. I really liked the beach at Lipah, there was snorkelling there and no waves (good for floating in that very salty water!)

Getting there and back

I returned from Amed to Ubud using public transport the whole way – I found it really easy and much, much cheaper than paying a private driver to take me. All the buses connected up and I didn’t have to walk more than a block with my bags. This is what I did:

- bemo (truck) from Lipah to Culik, 5kms, 5000 rupiah, runs only in the mornings until around 10am.
-bemo from Culik to Amlapura, around 20kms, approx 10,000 rupiah
-bus from Amlapura to outskirts of Ubud (via Candidasa, also going onto Denpasar), around 1.5 hours, 15,000 rupiah. Buses go whenever they’re full – I think around every hour.
-bemo from outskirts of Ubud (Mas) into the market, 5000 rupiah

Accommodation
I stayed at Tresna Yoga bungalows. They aren’t really bungalows, more like small apartments built up the side of a hill overlooking the bay. They were lovely – big, clean, white, and large windows across the front of the room with great views. For one person the cost was 80,000. The only problem was the rooms got very hot because they had a lot of sunlight. There was no AC, just a fan.

Food
I recommend Café Indah, on the beach. The food I had was fresh, well-presented, and cheap.

NUSA LEMBONGAN

This was a lovely surprise – such a gorgeous place so close to South Bali with no hawkers, no touristy shops, just accommodation, surfers and a lot of seaweed! If you’re after a fairly quiet place to hang out for a few days, then Nusa Lembongan might fit the bill. It has fantastic views over East Bali and lovely sunsets too.

It’s nice to get a motorbike for the day (I rented one for 30,000) and go around the island to a few different beaches.

Getting there

Ferries go from Nusa; the public ferry is cheapest (40,000) and leaves the earliest (8am, I think!), then there is a Perama boat leaving later which is more expensive (don’t know how much), and, in the afternoon a speedboat which costs around 100,000 rupiahand takes 30 mins (the other boats take 1.5 hours).

The only problem with the public ferry vs Perama is that Perama docks close to the budget accommodation whereas the public ferry docks in the town and it’s a little bit more of a walk (maybe around 400-500 metres?) to the accommodation.

Accommodation

Food

There is a Thai restaurant which is connected to one of the backpacker places (you’ll see the sign, or ask around). It’s just in someone’s front room and is a really casual place that gives humungous servings of fairly authentic Thai food for 25,000. Good place to meet other people – but all the backpacker places seemed pretty friendly and chilled.

KUTA

If you’re looking for quiet places to stay in Kuta I’ve got two recommendations. The first is a quiet as a morgue and the rooms (especially those at the back) had a feeling of privacy to them. It is Berlian Inn,in Gang Sorga, off Poppies lane 1, and costs 60,000 per night for basic budget accommodation with a few nice touches – outdoor bathroom, shower, wardrobes, matching linen on beds.

The other place was the best value accommodation I stayed at on Bali – Kedin’s 11, also in Gang Sorga. The rooms are large, beds have good mattresses, matching linen there’s a wardrobe, clean bathroom and decent ceiling fan. They are a bit on the dark side though – that’s my only complaint. There’s also a decent sized pool and nice lounging area around the pool, and computers – all for 70,000 a night. Bargain!

Hope this report has been helpful. Please reply to this post with any questions.

Salamat jalan!

Emma


gezme
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
12:09am
1.

thanx for the report..where did u stay in lembongan?

octa8
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
12:28am
2.

Great report! Thanks!

bude
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
11:24am
3.

Helpful reports Emma. Tirtagangga is may favourite palce in Bali but I haven't been there for a few years - great to hear that Good Karma cafe is still turning out good food. My favourite places to stay are the small homestays up the hill behind the swimming pool (on the footpath that leads to Ababi).

emma33
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
12:55pm
4.

Hi,

In Nusa Lembongan I stayed in Agung's Lembongan Lodge. Rooms were 50.000, they were basic backpacker rooms but had a nice sitting area out the front with lounge chairs over looking the ocean.

E

pPamela
Posted: 19 Jun 2007
2:22pm
5.

Wow, lucky readers of TT get two reports from Emma. Great report again. Will cut and paste this one over to Indahnesia.com in the next week or two as well.
Pamela.





AnisJ
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Way to go Pam; although I rather see your personal sites nice pictures, nice stories .....


'Ahu kura ahia, mansia nia'

pPamela
User
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AnisJ,
I was doing a favour for my internet friend Emma. I put up her report for her trip last year to West Sumatra and it has been helpful for travellers.
So after her recent Bali trip I offered to do the same for her again.
Pamela.



pPamela
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Here are some photos Emma took in Bali- more to come.
good-times.webshots.com/album/559791505cShtqM
Enjoy.
Pamela




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