Massage at Cozy Spa & Dinner at Echo Beach in Bali

Since our last trip two years ago to Bali, my wife and I have decided that we should visit to Bali every year for our holidays. However, it did not happened last year as I travelled twice to Bali for conferences and hence skipped promised holidays with her.

This year was a busy year as well and we are both overwhelmed by the workload and the holidays had slipped through our minds. Coincidentally, one of wife’s friends has open a fashion boutique shop in Ubud and we decided to tag along for a four-person trip.

We booked the tickets via Air Asia just one week before flying and the thought of traveling to Bali for holidays just kept both of us excited for the entire week ! (finally away from calls and emails…)

View taken from the Air Asia plane
Landing soon ! Wondering what was the small island there..

Touched down ! The euphoric feel of having a holiday threw all thoughts on works and emails right into the back of my brain. The immigration hall is filled with tourists whom are as excited as we are and it does take a while if you were to queue for custom clearance. Luckily, I was holding a APEC travel card which we both managed to skip the queue.

Getting a Local Sim Card and Finding a Taxi

There are two things we need to accomplish:
1. Getting a local sim to stay in contact with our friends.
2. Finding a taxi to go to the spa that we have booked earlier in the week.
Like many countries (except in China), you can get a local sim card at the Denpasar airport easily. Once you stepped out of the arrival hall, there is an eye catching red booth on the left that sell simPATI sim cards. You can approached them and they can help to setup your phone with local sim card in four simple steps:

1. Choose a plan (various plan available, depending on duration of stay)
2. Give them your phone and they will change the sim card for you.
3. Activation will be done by them.
4. Pay them the money. (I have chose a 4 day plan with 8GB of data usage at Rp 350,000 (est. S$35))

Note: There are neither need to register nor showing of any IDs. 

First thing completed, next will be calling a taxi. As advised from my Indonesian friend, it would be better to get taxi from a local taxi company, Blue Bird than finding unlicensed “taxi” which may end up more expensive. (Note that those unlicensed taxi drivers are lining up along the arrival hall trying to get customers.)
We saw a booth on the right side of the arrival hall with a Blue Bird signboard and booked a taxi promptly. It cost about Rp 215,000 (est. S$22). They politely ushered us to a waiting area before a driver came and show us to the car. Then, we realised we had booked the wrong type of taxi.
We have actually booked the Golden Blue Bird (which is still under the same group but more expensive) instead of the conventional Bird Blue taxi which you can flag down if you walk further out to the car waiting area. Nevertheless, they are using SUVs for the premium service and definitely more comfortable.

Two Hours Massage at Cozy Spa

As our friends will only land in Bali two hours later, we have booked for a massage at Cozy Spa recommended by them as well. Though it should only a 15 minutes ride to the spa, the chatty driver was hard selling his car rental services in his simple english and ended up getting lost in his way. Luckily, we still managed to reach the spa in time.

Once stepping into the spa, the staff greeted politely before explaining the procedures of the spa and making payment before commencement of the spa. It cost about Rp 290,000 (est. S$29) for 2 hours massage per person which can be paid either in cash or credit card.

They does not have individual or couple private rooms like those in the hotels, but they provides a partition room with curtains. Though it may not be fully sound proof, but the staff have gently reminds the guest to switch off or turn the phone to silent mode and observe silence during the course of massage.

Before commencement, the masseur would politely whisper in your ears that they are starting the massage. Laying a silky white cloth over your body, he slowly kneads with adequate strength slowly from neck downward before apply essential oil onto the body, focusing and working on each and every meridian points on the back. While enjoying and relieving myself from the aching back from sitting on a plane, I slipped into sleep in the tranquil ambience.

Reception and waiting area of Cozy Spa
Reception and waiting area of Cozy Spa.

Before I knew it, the masseur tapped on my shoulders and the session has ended. I dressed up with the robe provided and he ushered me to the bathroom for shower. One of the unique thing was they are using they own in-house shampoo and bath foam. There was this shampoo with olive oil and bath foam with ginger and peppermint. You will definitely feel much refresh after the bath and covered yourself with the sweet scent of these natural ingredients.

Last but not the least, we are offered a cup of ginger tea which ended the session entirely.

You may find information about the spa below:

Cozy Spa
Address: Jalan Sunset Road No. 66, Kuta, Bali
Phone: +62-812-38506611

Seafood Dinner at Echo Beach

directional signboard on echo board
I like the slogan.

If you enjoy dinner by the seaside, Jimbaran Beach is not the only place in Bali you can do that. Echo Beach also offers great seafood at your own selection as well. The restaurant is huge with indoors and outdoors sitting. My suggestion – if you like a quiet ambience, take indoor. If you would like to enjoy the sea breeze, definitely outdoor.

Benches under the tent of echo beach.
Sitting on the benches in a open tent while enjoying the sea breeze.

Without any hesitation, we walked to the outdoor area. Hey, we are facing walls so much in Singapore, it is time to take a real good look at the sea. The place is literally scattered with benches and you can sit anywhere, as long as there is no one sitting on it.

the display fridge with fresh seafood for selection
What is everyone looking at ?

So how do you order the food ? Simple.

Instead of having a conventional menu (which they do have), you can go over to the counter where there is a row of fridges with fresh seafood. You can select your favourite seafood, and they will grill it for you. The price goes according to the portion that you are ordering so I thought it was quite fair and reasonable.

Beside that, they also have free flow of rice, bread and salad at the side which you can go with your seafood. That will just make a perfect meal !

five dishes of grilled seafood
Some of the seafood that we have ordered. Yummy ~~

Look at these gorgeous seafood. Nicely char grilled and covered with a thin layer of BBQ sauce. One thing about having seafood in Bali is to taste the natural sweetness of the meat than focusing on the sauce itself. I personally liked the prawns and squid, the sweetness and texture is fantastic.

How I wish I could take some photos of the strong waves which lined along the tent, but as it was already dark in the night, it was almost impossible to see it through photos.

Echo Beach
Jl. Pura Batu Mejan, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung,
Bali 80361, Indonesia
Tel: +62 812 3978466

Push Cart Grilled Sweet Corn

holding a grilled sweet corn in the hand
Nicely grilled corn with spicy sauce. 

It really has been a fulfilling dinner for everyone of us. While we were walking back to our car, along the way there was a push cart selling grilled sweet corn. Before I could try finding more space in my stomach, we have already ordered two corns – one original and one spicy. I brought it back to my friend’s villa before gobbling down the corn. It was the best corn I had since childhood (remembering I always had steam sweet corn at City Plaza) and after tasting this delicacy, I have totally lose faith in cup corn.

That all for the night and we will move off to Ubud tomorrow !

Romantic Seaside Candle Light Dinner at Jimbaran Beach Restaurant

After two hours of rejuvenating spa treatment at Dewi Fortuna Spa, it was almost seven thirty in the evening and our stomach was rumbling. It’s time for dinner ! However, we does not know any good restaurants in this area, we asked for recommendation from the driver since he did brought us to a good restaurant for our lunch at Warung d’Sawah. Without further delay, he took us for a thirty minutes journey before reaching Jimbaran Bay.

Even before entering the restaurant, the smell of charred grilled food creeped into our noses and on the left side of the entrance was a few men grilling busily to serve the food on the tables. A receptionist welcomed us with a smile and showed us to our table. We was sat down and order our drinks, Mango Juice for me (Rp 40,000) and Tumeric Honey Lemon (Rp 80,000) for my girl friend while we enjoyed the sound of gentle waves splashing against the seashore and an occasion sea breeze.

We ordered a Seafood Basket (Rp, 500,000) which should be one person portion since my girl friend wasn’t a big eater and it proven to be a right choice. The basket include a lobster, a crab, two fish and three prawns. It was also being served with soup and Bali’s signature vegetables. The seafood was grilled with perfect timing and without much seasoning, we could taste the original freshness of the seafood. However, it actually took them some time before serving to us. While we looked around, most of the patrons was not being served as well. But the wait is worthwhile.

During our course of meal, there was a random tourist that bought some fireworks from a lady and discharging it into the dark skies and brightening the skies with an array of bright colours. There was also a live band that walks to our table and sang us a slow jazz song while we dined and enjoyed the twinkling stars up high in the skies.

Oh, by the way, did I mentioned that we did not have the candle on our table while we was eating ? The waiter actually came with one after we are done with our food. Humorous ! Time to go back to the villa for an early rest…

Government Tax and 15% service charge applicable.

The ambience was good but it would be even more beautiful if we could have reached earlier to catch a glimpse of the sunset. Food was pretty decent but the only damaging factor was the long waiting time.

Bawang Merah Bar & Bistro
Kelan, Jimbaran Bay, Bali 80361
Reservation: +62-36-770210 / +62 -36-2168521 / +62-36-2168525
Opening Hours: 12pm to 11pm daily
Direction to the restaurant: Bypass Jimbaran No. 96 Mumbiu Nusa Dua. 2. Jimbaran Bay, Kelan Beach, Tuban – Kuta
FREE pick up available.

Must Try Cafe in Ubud. Our Lunch and Walkaround at Kampung Cafe (Day 2)

We hit the road early in the morning in order to reach theMore than an hour’s ride through the winding and bumpy uphills and downhills, we finally reaching Tegallalang. However, before we reach our destination, an unexpected traffic jam drew us back. Since it was almost noon time, the driver recommends that we should go for lunch and try our luck again.

Though it is called an cafe, they do serve main courses for the patrons. I ordered an Pork Spare Ribs (Rp, 61,000) while sharing a Rice Paper Roll (Rp, 36,000) with my girl friend as well. No long later, the waitress handed out the dishes to us. Both dishes are superbly plated with garnish. The rice paper rolls are wrapped with chunks of chicken, lettuce, spring onion, cucumber with thai sweet chilli sauce. The fact that the taste ressemble a vietnamese rice roll.

It was really good to enjoy a cup of Bali Coffee while viewing the greenery.

Alighting in front of the cafe front porch, you could immediately feel the connectivity with nature. Unlike modern cafe, The Kampung Cafe is styled in a balinese architecture in a quiet ambience. Surrounding the cafe was pure greenery the peace your mind entirely despite the humid weather. We settled down quickly and we ordered a Bali Coffee (Rp 14,000) and Coffee Float (Rp 26,000) for a late morning wake up drink. The Bali Coffee was definitely aromatic but due to its powdery taste, not much people much like it.

Perhaps Bali Coffee will still be a better choice than the coffee float. The coffee tasted very dilute, which possibly due to the ice. The cream did not help much in enhancing the taste.

Rice Paper Rolls, Rp 36,000

Pork Spare Ribs (250 gm), Rp 61,000

Kampung Cafe
Ceking-Tegallalang, Gianyar, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62-36-901201
Operating Hours: 8am to 9pm, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.