Salams, and hello to all! :)
My apologies for the 2-week hiatus. As most of you would have known already, we were in Bali from Saturday 6th June, and only came back last Thursday. Sampai KL I was down with a really bad sore throat and demam tak demam, while Ayah was down with very high fever and a tummy bug. Syukur Alhamdulillah, the kids were fine. Nasib baik jugak we didn't have any fever on the day we came back. If not, ada chance kena quarantined at KLIA on suspicion of us having the H1N1 virus!
For the next couple of days after coming back, yours truly had been catching up on the much-needed sleep and rest and was walking around like a zombie for most of the time. Pantang nampak bantal, mesti tido tak ingat dunia :) And we had a water crisis after Sya*as did some maintenance work in our housing area - our water tank ran dry, and our master bedroom floor was damp, and water was seeping through the floor right through our living room wall. Something to do with a leakage in either our, or our next door neighbour's aircond drain-pipe...So, we had to put up at my MIL's place for 2 nights. Sigh...
Anyway, I will let the pictures do the talking on our Bali trip. For this posting, I will only share on what we did over the first two days we were there. And my next posting will be dedicated to what we did with the rest of our stay in The Land of the Barongs, insya Allah :)
Our Bali trip was organized by Dida of DiDance Cultural House where Hasya and Hilman have been going for traditional dance classes for the last 2 years. The trip was meant to be a fun/study trip for Dida's students whereby they would be taught basic Balinese Dance by the Primadona of Balinese Dance herself - Cok Ratih. The dance workshop was scheduled to be held over three days, leaving us with only 2 days to do the touristy stuff.
There were 11 junior students altogether (with Hilman being the only boy), 3 adult students/parents, 7 parents, 1 sibling (Hanna) and Dida, altogether totalling to 23 of us in the group.
6th June 2009 - We left the house at 7:00a.m, reaching KLIA just before 8:00a.m., only to be informed that our 9:50a.m flight to Bali was delayed by more than an hour. But we were okay about it as it meant we could spend an extra hour with Ayah who had to stay on in KL due to his work commitments that weekend.
The 2 hours 40 minute flight to Bali was smooth, and we landed at Ngurah Rai Airport at 1:45p.m. (there's no time difference between KL and Bali), but the immigration people really took their time to clear everybody through! The last person in our group only got through the system at 3:15p.m!
Once outside the arrival hall, we were greeted by Nyoman – our tour guide, and were driven straight to Diwangkara Holiday Villa, in Sanur. The kids and I were placed in a villa which housed 3 rooms – one for us, one for Ai*i and her daughter Ri*qa*, and one room was reserved for Ayah when he was to join us on Monday. It has its own plunge pool, lounge, dining hall and a kitchenette. I would highly recommend this place if any of you are planning for a family getaway in Bali. But, be warned - the food served at the hotel restaurant was nothing to shout about. The hotel has its own private beach which we didn't really have time to enjoy, unfortunately :(
We had our packed lunch upon arrival at the hotel, and the kids later went for a dip in the plunge pool, before we went for dinner at the hotel's Legenda Restaurant. After dinner, we were then taken for a night drive around Kuta and Jalan Seminyak – the most happening night spots in Bali, and only got back to the hotel just before midnight. I think all of us fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.
7th June 2009 - the next morning, after breakfast, we headed off to Cok Ratih’s sanggar at her Puri (palace) for the first session of the kids’ Balinese Dance Workshop. Cok Ratih is considered as the Primadona on the island when it comes to Balinese dances, and she’s a Royalty. Her Puri was really amazing. Needless to say, the ladies in the group were in awe admiring the wood carvings around the place. Truly exquisite, I tell you… nothing like what we have here in Malaysia. Her Puri is divided into several quarters – the main family residence, the dance/practice hall, the main performance hall, their praying hall/temple, and the servant quarters at the back of the complex – all in true Balinese architecture.
The girls were taught "The Rejang Dewa Dance", while Hilman was taught the "Tarian Baris" - also known as "The Warrior Dance". The students spent a good 3 hours learning their steps and familiarizing themselves with the music and rhythm that morning, and the session ended at 12:30p.m.
After the workshop, we then proceeded to Restaurant Natrabu for our lunch. Apparently they serve the best Masakan Minang in Bali, and after tasting the lauk-pauk segala, I dare say, I would agree with that. And I'm sure Hilman would agree, too...because he finished 3 pinggan nasi that afternoon! Hehehe!
After lunch, we were dropped at Kuta Square/Discovery Esplanade for a bit of shopping, while some in the group opted to go to the nearby WaterBom (something like our Sunway Lagoon). No prize for guessing which option we (or rather, I) opted for. Hehehe! We were there until about 6:30p.m, after which we went straight to Restaurant Ketupat for dinner. We were made to understand that it's one of Mick Jagger's favourite restaurants in Bali, and it's very popular among foreign celebrities. The restaurant serves authentic Masakan Bugis, and has a very nice ambience. A must try for those who plan to go to Bali nanti.
We went straight back to the hotel right after dinner and the kids spent about an hour dipping in Teacher Dida's plunge pool, before calling it a day.
Another long day awaited them the next day...as they were supposed to polish their Rejang Dewa Dance before Cok Ratih started them on another dance - "The Legong Dance".
And the kids and I were especially excited because Ayah would be arriving from KL and joining us the next day!
Here are some pics of the happenings on the first two days of our stay in Bali.