So this is kind of different and my first step into the world of lifestyle blogging. I am one that likes to do my research when planning a trip to a foreign land and find reviews and recommendations on the likes of Trip Advisor extremely useful. In return for all the good reviews which have lead me onto explore a new place myself, heres my diary of my recent trip to Indonesia and in particular Seminyak, Gili T Island (Trawangan) and Ubud.
Day1: First Night in Seminyak at Bvilla
We had booked to fly with Singapore Airlines and was lucky enough to snap up the two top deck emergency exit row seats on an airbus A380 (in other words a huge plane) with plenty of leg-room and great, attentive cabin service. We had a two hour stop off in Singapore before another two hour flight to Denpasar International Airport (also known as Bali Ngurah Rai) in Bali, Indonesia.
Upon arrival, our cab was waiting ( a service provided by the hotel we were staying at). After a relatively short taxi ride of around 20 minutes or so, we arrived at our villa in Seminyak which was called Bvilla. Our villa came with a huge private pool and an outside kitchen and dining area plus lounge. Naturally the first thing we did was strip off and jump in the pool (of course).
When evening came, we thought we’d take a wonder and explore the local area. We stopped at a restaurant called The Junction which was quite a modern place with an interesting wooden exterior as well as interior design. Although they had a menu of mixed cuisines, I went for the asian option selected the Mie Goreng which is a plate of fried noodles with chicken and veg and a fried egg on top, whilst carl went for the chicken satay served with steamed rice. Being quite satisfied with our mains but with our sweet tooth left to be catered for, we decided to share a banana and chocolate crepe. The price is reasonable by Bali standards, around £3-£5 for a main dish.
Day 2-6: Travelling to Gili Trawangan Island (Gili T.) via Giligetaway, staying at the Gili Eco Villas.
We woke up super early, ready for our boat trip to Gili Trawangan otherwise known as Gili T. But before we set off, we had breakfast cooked in our villa by one of the kitchen staff which was a lovely surprise. We had ordered our breakfast the evening before but just expected breakfast to be brought to our villa not cooked at our villa. I had asked for banana pancakes whilst Carl went for the full english breakfast (some things don’t change). Both meals were accommodated with a fresh fruit platter, coffee and fresh fruit juice. Our taxi arrived promptly and we were driven straight to the harbour which was around a 30 minute drive or so.
Our boat transportation to Gili T. was booked in advanced before we flew out to Indonesia (but this can easily be done upon arrival). The company we booked with was Giligetaway which I would highly recommend. They take care of everything from the pick up at your hotel to the harbour but also the taxi to your destination once you arrive back to the city with them. The boat that we travelled in was a speedboat which accomodates around 20 passengers although there was only around 10 of us onboard (excluding the staff). It’s a lot more comfortable then some of the boat journeys I’ve been on in Thailand and Vietnam. The journey itself was longer than both of us had expected and took around 2.15 hours. They did make two stops on the way (albeit quick ones to drop off a few deliveries), one to Lombok and the other to the other Gili Island, Gili Meno (or otherwise known as Gili M). I did fall asleep for part of the journey as I was still exhausted from the flight over and the early morning wake up call. I was glad and surprised I managed to get any sleep at all as the boat journey was very bumpy but not once did I feel like it wasn’t safe. The staff on the boat were very good, handing out towels, mints and bottled water for the journey and making sure that we were comfortable.
Once we arrived at Gili T, a member of staff from our next hotel villa greeted us and after a few minutes of waiting, he managed to flag down a horse and cart. Yep you heard me correctly, horse and cart! There are no motorised vehicles on the island and the only means of transportation are by bicycle, boat and a horse and cart. Let’s just say it was an awkward and very bumpy ride to the hotel villa. Some 20 minutes later we arrived at the Eco Villas which would be our home for the next few days.
Our villa was actually a three bed but since we only booked a one bed villa, the other two rooms were closed off to us which was fair enough. I guess if they don’t fill up the two or three bed villas then they’ll still make money if they rent it out as a one bed. Being a three bed villa, it is spacious. We had two bathrooms to choose from, one seperate and one en suite and both were outdoors. Now an outdoor bathroom in a hot country might sound like a luxury but the practicality of it is questionable. If you don’t mind frogs watching you whilst you shower then it shouldn’t be a problem for you.
For Dinner , we were recommended the hotel next door, Wilsons Retreat, by the staff at the Eco Villas. With the head chef being French, there was a notable french influence in the menu. We bypassed the French dishes and went for the beef rendang (a red beef curry with steamed rice) and the mie goreng (again, fried noodles). We did sneak in a starter to share and it was a platter of mini croques, a mixture of grilled ham with cheese and vegetable with pesto sandwiches. If you’re hungry, then I’d definitely recommend this to start.
The next few days pretty much consisted of waking up to breakfast in the villa, heading out to the pool to relax, read our books, do a couple of laps then stopping for lunch.We don’t tend to venture too far in the afternoon when the sun is at it’s peak as it is ridiculously hot, so on most days we would have lunch at the hotel. The furthest we ventured for lunch was next door to the Wilsons Retreat.
On one of the afternoons there, we thought it be nice to book ourselves in for a massage on the beach. An hour long massage with the full view of the sea is something I could easily get used to. The only minor complaint was, amazing as it sounds, sand and massage oils don’t really mix. I felt like I was getting an exfoliating body scrub at times (I probably needed it though). As the sun began to set that evening, we decided to have a drink at the bar on the beach whilst watching the sun disappear from the horizon.
That same evening we decided to venture further out to see if there were any other places to have dinner and we were quite surprised at just how quiet it was. And how dark it was! There was hardly anyone around at all, tourists or locals. Apparently its about a 40 minute walk into the centre of things where things are a bit more hip and happening or a 20 minute horse and cart ride. A 40 minute walk wouldn’t normally scare us away especially if it means we get to see the sights but it gets pretty damn dark quite early on the island. So on our way back from our short walk, we stopped at a restaurant called Mades Waroong. I’d thought I’d be a bit more adventurous and order something other than noodles so I went for a prawn dish in a grated coconut curry sauce served on a banana leaf, whilst Carl had chicken in red sauce, both served with steamed rice and vegetables cooked just right.
Now there are two different parts to Gili T; the party side and the quiet side. We purposely booked to stay on the quieter side (we just didn’t realise how quiet it would be, in a good way though) as we’re not much party animals these days. However, the quieter side during the off peak season, is really quiet. We went in May when it was dark by 7pm. I think in hindsight, we would have ventured out and explored more had it been more light in the evening. If you, like us, want just a relaxing, peace and quiet sort of holiday then I would highly recommend staying at the Eco Villas. But for those that want to be in the midst of it all, then this probably isn’t the place for you unless you’re willing to horse and cart it into the main area.
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