my housemates mawa, east and i went to bali 2 weeks ago.
it was a much needed break. tho it was really too short a time (only 4 days), we enjoyed ourselves very much.
we spent 2 days in kuta and 2 in ubud.
in kuta it was mainly walking around town and shopping. went to the beach but didnt swim or anything since we didnt have much time. we also went to tanahlot to see the famous temple in the sea, which is only accessible during low tide.
then we went to ubud, which is a lot quieter. stayed at this hotel - artini 3- smack in the middle of a padi field, it was really quiet and nice, we really liked it there. the price is really reasonable too.
in ubud, we spent half a day cycling, then off to a real relaxing time at a nice spa (bali ratu). for about rm170, i got a head/shoulder/back massage for an hour and a pedicure after. we also tried out one of the cheaper salons earlier the 1st day we were in ubud, and altho they did a real crappy job on my nails, we enjoyed chatting with the salon ladies, who are mostly from java. east especially enjoyed her time there very much coz they actually commented that she looked like agnes monica (well known pop artist in indonesia). we had to endure with her "grandiosity" for a few days after that.. well actually, she still brings it up till now.
all 3 of us jugak extra seronok cuz people evrywhere thought we were still in school .."mbak masih kuliahan ya?". i get that all the time in malaysia anyway, but i guess now i can say it's an "international" fact that i still look like a kid. muahahaha.
we only managed to see one traditional dance when we were in ubud-the kecak dance-and it was nice. hopefully i'll catch other dances/shows the next time i go there.
on the way back to the airport on the last day, we managed to drop by sukawati to get a few more souvenirs, then back into kuta for more last minute shopping. one of the most interesting finding while shopping there is that pirated cds are being sold openly in the malls in these really proper looking shops with uniform wearing salespersons, we initially didnt even realize they were selling pirated cds/dvds! and at about rm3.20/dvd.. it's a steal!! literally.. rompak maut punye! but another interesting point is that you wont find a pirated indonesian cd anywhere in the shop, be it music/movie, if it's local (indon) then it's gotta be original. and um.. we didnt find any malaysian movie or music cd there at all-not even a pirated one, original lagi la takde. sad.
and altho quite a number of locals seem to know (and like) siti nurhaliza, the only time we saw her face on a shelf is on those oil of olay beauty products.
going back to shopping there.. my other personal favourite thing to browse is the silver jewellery, esp in ubud, altho i was told that the best are in celuk. such a wide variety of choices, and by bargaining, you can get them at really reasonable prices (which to me translates into affordable-guilt-free prices..cuz i do already own quite a number of silver rings).
food was not really a problem in kuta. we arrived in bali at nite, and were too hungry to look around too much so we just got us some fast food-which is halal in indonesia. the next day we got lucky cuz we met a few muslim locals who told us about this halal eating place just off jalan singgahsari, aboout 5-7mins walk from the beach, called warung nikmat, which had quite a variety of tasty local dishes, at a good price. there's also a musholla (surau) just behind the warung, which was very convenient.
oh..and the toilets in bali are quite clean compared to malaysia.. this warung nikmat with the surau for example..actually has the "jamban curah" kind, you know,not the pull-to-flush kind.. and what amazed me was that they were still very clean!
actually, that was the other thing about bali.. it was really quite clean there..the streets, the beach, the air, the toilets, all clean. tak paham betul..jamban2 diorang pakai air jugak macam kita, takde kena bayar pun, macamana bole jugak dijaga bersih? satu yang malaysia patut belajar and contohi la i thought. if only.
takpe, i still love malaysia for other reasons, but as for bali... no doubt it's a real nice place to visit. with airasia, it cost us about rm400 each for a return ticket, inclusive of taxes. really hoping to go there again insyaAllah, obviously a lot more places to see and things to do there that we didnt get to in the 4 days.