Food and Sightseeing Highlights - Bali Getaway (part 3)

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We spent 6D5N at Bali. Three days in Kuta, and the other three days in Ubud. If we had more time available on our hands, I think we would definitely love to explore other areas like Canggu. But otherwise, I think Kuta and Ubud are the main two that shouldn't be missed, especially if it's your first trip to Bali.

So for this post, I'm just going to cover some of our travel highlights! Han and I covered rather touristy places and did very touristy things. It isn't too different from what most people would recommend, but there are a few exceptions. So here are my two cents about our experiences, sights covered and places we dined at!

Coffee Cartel Cafe

Bali's cafe scene has always been quite heavily influenced by plant-based foods and health eating. Coffee Cartel is a little bit like that, and it's just one of the cafes I chanced upon via Instagram. They have rather interesting coffee options, and yes smoothie/fruit bowls!!

I would recommend this to vegans and anyone who's looking for more healthy options, really. But not so if you're more into the sinful, flavorful stuff. If the latter appeals to you, you'll love the next few food places.

Babi Guling Pak Malen

The crispiest pork skin!! Not for the health conscious, it's super sinful with all the pork fat but omg... If you tried it I honestly don't think you'd ever give a damn haha. And it's quite (?) affordable at about $4 per plate.

They only have this one dish in their store, so you can imagine just how good their business is to sell only this one dish. They also have the spiciest sambal (really the kind that burns), which makes it perfect if you're a spicy food fanatic like Han and myself.

If you need a gauge on how tolerable the spiciness of this dish is, let's just say that it's about the same as samyang?? I love samyang and I used to eat it all the time for dinner LOL so. Yeap. Not spicy to the point you can't eat it, but it still burns haha.

If you can't take spicy foods then you can opt for no chili! But no seriously the sambal is amazing.

Nasi Tempong Indra

This was a street store that we happened to chance upon while we were exploring the neighbourhood of our villa (Ini Vie Villa at Kuta). We saw a lot the locals eating here, so we thought this must be good and affordable. And we were not disappointed!!

Their menu has a few options but their dishes typically come with rice, tofu, tempeh, vegetables and your choice of meat, fried or grilled. The best part of the food here is their really spicy sambal. It's so good you just can't stop even when you're literally in pain from the burn. When compared to Babi Guling's Pak Malen's sambal, I'd say they are both quite different as the latter had a more sweet aftertaste to it, while this one is more sharp. But they are both still very spicy.

We later realised that this place has not been overly hyped (as compared to places like Naughty Nuri's or the Babi Guling, which are both great of course) probably because it's only popular among the locals as of now?? Give their sambal a try and I promise you'll love it.

We even bought some of their sambal back to Singapore! Definitely underrated, worth a visit if you're around the vicinity!

Strawberry Fields Cafe

One of the best cafe meals we had. Ever.

We ordered: Poke Bowl, Loaded Fries, Beef Burger and Acai Bowl.

We not expecting much from their poke bowl but it was so good?? We never had anything like it before, and it's not like the poke bowls that you'll normally have in Singapore. This one is really tasty (maybe not so healthy), but so worth it.

The loaded fries was also pretty good!! I'm sure there have a lot of other noteworthy things on their menu since a lot of people have been visiting Strawberry Fields. If you're visiting though, give their poke bowl and loaded fries a try!

Pemulan Bali Farm Cooking School

Our time at the Cooking School was quite a unique and eye-opening one. We attempted to make Balinese food at the farm school, and had a local market tour to learn more about where the locals get their produce or make their cuisine.

I wouldn't be able to fit the whole experience into just a few pictures and paragraphs, so I've done a separate blog post just for it!

You can see more of our cooking visuals and read up on our experience here.

Gunung Kawi (Temple)

This is one of the temple sites recommended by our driver, so we decided to give it a go! It's a temple complex that not only houses shrines and royal monuments, but also some magnificent stone cliffs and rice terraces.

When our driver warned us that it's going to be a tiring way down, we didn't really expect it to be that tiring. It's multiple flights of stairs to get all the way down to the stone monuments, but there are a lot of handicraft and souvenir shops selling clothes, wood works and all sorts of trinkets, lining the whole walkway down.

The whole stroll (or rather exhausting trudge up and down haha) was quite rewarding still! Haven't seen quite a temple complex quite like this, so Gunung Kawi is quite the eye opener.

Tirta Empul (Temple)

The other temple recommended by our driver was the Tirta Empul, which is one of the most popular water temples in Bali. Here, you get to bathe in their holy springs as a spiritual purification ritual. But I'm not too sure how it goes since Han and I decided to give it a pass because we didn't have any spare clothes with us...

If you decide to visit this water temple (or any of Bali's other water temples actually), the main attraction will mainly be the holy springs.

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

A lot has changed since the last time I've been here (about four years ago). More walkways and bridges have been built to allow visitors to walk in the rice terraces. There's even this swing attraction for you to get the perfect Instagram shot as you're swung midair with the lush greenery as your backdrop. Of course, you have to pay for it. And it's not cheap.

We decided to give the swing a miss because uh... Just don't really see the point in it LOL. And also because it's quite costly. But we did take some nice pictures with the local farmers!! The two shots with the farmer below are my favourites! Just look at the way the details and colour pop heh.

The only downside about this attraction is the group locals who would stop you while you're exploring the rice fields, saying that you need to make a donation to them to continue maintaining the rice terraces. They wouldn't let you walk pass them if you don't give your donation. And then sometimes there are kids walking up to you trying to sell you their postcards. If you choose to walk past them or not buy them, the more daring ones will actually try to hit you with the postcards lol. True story happened to me probably because I look easy to bully :')

Maybe I'm just unlucky.

Ubud Monkey Forest

As usual, Han wanted to visit his fellow friends... So when we heard about the Ubud Monkey Forest, it was a must-go for us!

The forest/sanctuary isn't too big, so you'll be able to cover the whole place in about 1-2 hours. The whole place is full of monkeys, with a few rangers scattered around in case of any emergencies. The rangers are also often seen getting the monkeys to do some tricks, and they'll be happy to help you get a picture with your furry friend (by getting them to climb on your shoulder) if you give them a tip.

The monkeys in Bali were not as crazy as the ones in Ayutthaya. Here in Ubud, the monkeys mostly minded their own businesses and seemed to be used to all the attention they were receiving. In Ayutthaya, however, monkeys would climb onto you if you let them, which makes it much easier for pictures haha.

Anyway, just a tip: it's much easier to get the attention of the younger monkeys if you want some pictures. Just avoid the newborns/babies cause the mama monkeys will get aggressive. And I mean really super aggressive, cause they will start hissing and glaring at you like they are going to bite your head off (true story happened to Han when he wanted to get closer to baby monkey for a picture HAHA).

Mount Batur Sunrise Hike

Another one of the highlights of our trip (and the most exhausting one), where we hiked up 1717m in complete darkness, to have the most beautiful sunrise greet us at the summit. I swear this one hike burned all the calories and fats I've gained from my first two days in Bali.

More details about the climb can be found here.

Check out my other travel posts:
▶ Pemulan Bali Farm Cooking School - Bali Getaway (part 1)
▶ Catching Sunrise on Mount Batur - Bali Getaway (part 2)
▶ Food and Sightseeing Highlights - Bali Getaway (part 3)

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