Mr. MonQ Culinary Fiesta in Singapore and Malaysia

Penang Laksa at City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Penang Laksa at City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Roti Canai Tissue at City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Roti Canai Tissue at City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice, Novena

Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice, Novena

Chinese Donut and Breakfast Beehoon at Tampines Hawker Centre

Chinese Donut and Breakfast Beehoon at Tampines Hawker Centre

Half-boiled Egg at Toastbox

Half-boiled Egg at Toastbox

Fried Fish Soup, with Milk at Food Republic, Vivo City

Fried Fish Soup, with Milk at Food Republic, Vivo City

Seafood Paella at Marche, 313 Somerset

Seafood Paella at Marche, 313 Somerset

Mr. Bean Cheese Pancake and Soya Bean at Novena Square

Mr. Bean Cheese Pancake and Soya Bean at Novena Square

Steamed Cockles and Chilli Stingray at Newton Centre Foodcourt

Steamed Cockles and Chilli Stingray at Newton Centre Foodcourt

 

Full Rack Ribs at Chillies, Clarke Quay

Full Rack Ribs at Chillies, Clarke Quay

DARK MOCHA FRAPPE - Starbucks

DARK MOCHA FRAPPE – Starbucks all over Singapore

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Mini Giant Tic Tac – Singapore Changi Airport

Off to the Lion City a.k.a Singapore

Singapore is a dot. This is quoted from my Singaporean friend. Word per word. So don’t get mad at me. Singapore is an island country, densely populated. However, even though Singapore is full of high-rise and apartments building, you can still see plenty of greenness, pretty much everywhere; parks, trees by the roadside.

I started my working life here, and had spent a good 4.5 years of my life since in Singapore. So, ask me anything, should you like to, because I can’t possibly post everything here.

Iconic Merlion - Singapore

Iconic Merlion – Singapore

Marina Bay Sands and Science Centre from One Fullerton

Marina Bay Sands and Science Centre from One Fullerton

 

Mr. MonQ is Chilling at Clarke Quay

Mr. MonQ is Chilling at Clarke Quay

Red Lanterns in Chinatown, Singapore

Red Lanterns in Chinatown, Singapore

Bubble Round Shiny Thingy At Raffles Place

Bubble Round Shiny Thingy At Raffles Place

 

 

 

Holiday Spending – Bali

The fun part was done, now the tough part begin… Oh heart pain… This was all my expenditure not including the accommodation since some already paid in advance. These are for 2, and not exactly accurate to the cents, since some of these are shared with either 4 people or 6 people. These were the totals for 2 people, bf and I.

Bali costLike I said, the cost is going uphill…

Related : List 4: COST of Holiday

Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu, Bali – Kecak & Fire Dance

Bali main religion is Hindu, and hence the many temple (Pura) located in almost every corner of Bali. There are a couple of main/famous one, such as Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu.

Pura Tanah Lot

Pura Tanah Lot is almost an island in itself. Visitors are able to cross over only when the tide is low, otherwise, you could only see from the distance, or like about 3 meters away. I don’t imagine they will let you swim across. Like a lot of places in Bali, Tanah Lot is one of the go to place to visit during sunset, but considering the limited time we had, we chose to forgo this option and arranged to go there in the morning. Bad idea since we don’t usually follow the schedule, we arrived about about 11am and it was scorching hot. The view are still nice, but the tide is high and we are not able to cross over. There are a lot of shops leading to the main entrance of Tanah Lot. A lot of souvenir and trinkets. I will go ahead and say that you need to haggle. It is not that expensive if you convert it to North American currency, but there’s no harm in haggling. Bf was interested in personalized key chain with Bali drawings. The guy has this heat emitting pencil-look a like device to ‘burn’ the bamboo, he made the device himself. He charge the key chain IDR6,000 each. After a short haggling We managed to get them for IDR 30,000 for 8 pcs. We saved a few cents, but hey, I can haggle! Yay me.

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

Related: Mr. MonQ in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia

Pura Uluwatu

This famous temple is located on the cliff and also home to the well-known Kecak and Fire Dance. The dance is performed everyday and start at sunset. Hence the very high number of spectators. It is highly recommended that you arrive early and ensure that you have ticket to the performance by 5pm. Show start at 6.10pm. You should also make your way to the outdoor ‘theater’ immediately after you got your ticket. Seats filled up fast. We got there just before 5pm. It was hectic and crowded. We didn’t really get to look at the temple and surrounding area. So make sure you have ample time to enjoy both the temple ground and the performance. Temple entrance for foreigner is IDR30,000 for domestic tourist is IDR 10,000. Driver is allowed to escort and they have a special ticket only valid for escorting. The ticket for performance is IDR 70,000 per person. You get the ticket from a table inside. You have to compete with everyone else. It is a little bit like the olden times stock market. With the seller in the centre. So, again, arrive EARLY!

Monkeys at the Pura Uluwatu, Bali

Monkeys at the Pura Uluwatu, Bali

Related : Bali – Ubud, Monkey Forest

The Crowd Enjoying the Sunset and Waiting for Kecak Performance - Uluwatu, Bali

The Crowd Enjoying the Sunset and Waiting for Kecak Performance – Uluwatu, Bali

Related : Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek – Kintamani, Bali

Part of the Stage with Sunset in the Background. Performance about to start. - Uluwatu, Bali

Part of the Stage with Sunset in the Background. Performance about to start. – Uluwatu, Bali

Ayana Villa, Rock Bar, Menega at Jimbaran Bay – Bali

Ayana Villa and Rock Bar

Yes, Ayana is a villa, and no, it’s nothing like the Villa Uma Sapna where I stayed previously. Ayana Villa is much much much more upscale. To be honest, I can’t afford to stay there. Not even for 1 night. Well, I can, it’s just a matter of how many months afterward that I need to live on butter and toast.

How glamorous you ask? This is how…

View from the Entrance - Ayana Villas, Bali

View from the Entrance – Ayana Villas, Bali

It is actually pretty perfect for wedding. Especially for bride who wants a grand entrance. Although on second thoughts, it’s gonna be a verrrry long entrance walk. There was actually a wedding reception going on when we left. It was held at the lower part of the hotel, right by the cliff. Which make sense, so the guest would be able to catch a little bit of the sunset. They have about 10 tables and a stage where the wedding singer, I assume, were sitting on a stool playing a soft, mellow song. Pretty cozy setting, I must say.

Walkway to Pool with Cabana-style Hut on Each Side - Ayana Villas, Bali

Walkway to Pool with Cabana-style Hut on Each Side – Ayana Villas, Bali

Related : 2 Days in Jakarta, Indonesia with Mr. MonQ

Swimming Pool - Ayana Villas, Bali

Swimming Pool – Ayana Villas, Bali

Ayana Villas is a gated property. To enter its vast land, you have to drive past through a guard post where someone with a fake smile (the one who greet us, anyway) ask you for the purpose of visit. Then you will drive for another 5 minutes or so to reach the main entrance/drop-off point. A pretty lady in traditional Balinese outfit will greet you at the entrance.

So, if we can’t afford to stay at Ayana, what are we doing there? It’s to visit the infamous Rock Bar. As the name says, it’s located on or by the rocks, you can spot it by the cliff of Ayana Villa. Here are some pics to clarify…

View of Rock Bar from the Cliff - Ayana Villa

View of Rock Bar from the Cliff – Ayana Villa

The Rock Bar open at 4.30pm. By 5pm or so, there will be a loooooong line-up already, and chances are you won’t be able to get in until while past 6 or 6.30pm, since patrons will not be leaving before sunset. And yes, it was a gorgeous view of sunset. This was my 3rd time visiting before I can finally get in, the other 2 times we had to settle for view of sunset from the top and head out of the villa and go have dinner elsewhere. This time we arrived at exactly 4.30pm and only waited in line for about 15 minutes. The wait was largely due to the mini tram bringing us down to the rocks. The capacity of the train is about 7 people at most.

Sunset at Rock Bar, Bali

Sunset at Rock Bar, Bali

Related : Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek – Kintamani, Bali

Sunset Ambiance at Rock Bar, Bali

Sunset Ambiance at Rock Bar, Bali

Let’s now move on to the food that they serve at Rock Bar. It is a bar, so obviously drinks, the food however are also bar food, so fries, spring roll, and all other tidbits. And they are EXPENSIVE. Rightfully so, since probably all the patrons are just there for the view, and will stay there for few hour just ordering 1 drink and 1 food item. That said, the fries and pita that we got were pretty tasty. The beverages were served with a good dose of booze a.k.a not diluted ones. Beverages cost on average IDR 170,000 each and several food items I saw were about IDR 50,000

Mr. MonQ and His Curly Fries Pita Platter - Rock Bar, Bali

Mr. MonQ and His Curly Fries Pita Platter – Rock Bar, Bali

Menega Cafe at Jimbaran Bay

I mentioned that I failed to go to Rock Bar a couple of times in the past. So one of those time, we decided to go to Jimbaran Bay instead. Jimbaran Bay is famous for its location by the beach side and its many, mostly seafood, beach-front restaurant. The place that my friend seems to frequent is Menega Cafe. The restaurant has inside seating and on the beach seating. We wanted to get the one outside, and since we arrived just about dinner time, we had to wait a good 45 minutes before we get a seat, and unfortunately it was already dark by the time we’re seated and I was not able to take any pic with my 5 years old camera. I did however manage to take pic of the beach, during the cloudy sunset.

Food cost about IDR 100,000 per person. There were 5 of us, we ordered about 5 dishes; veggie, prawn, fish, clams, and squid. 5 drinks and 5 rice and 5 super full stomach.

Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Related : Bali : Lunch Ibu Oka and Green Village

Seminyak, Bali – Eat, Sleep and Shop

Next stop is Seminyak, Bali. Seminyak is the current happening place in Bali. There are LOTS and LOTS of store along the main road, Jl. Drupadi. I am not quite familiar with the pricing, but was told by my friend that they are reasonably priced. I mean it also depends on the stores. The stores lined along the road are mixed of boutique and mom and pops store; from local wholesale retailers to big names such as Roxy, Billabong, Havaianas. IMG_4492

We stayed at the Haven for 2 nights. A friend of mine booked the standard room for IDR 700,000 per night, I believe, inclusive of breakfast. I am not sure about the tax. Probably about 20% service and govt tax. However, we were upgraded to deluxe suite. So I am not sure about what kind of room we’re supposed to get originally.

The Haven, Seminyak, Bali

The Haven, Seminyak, Bali

The other place that we stayed at was Villa Uma Sapna. Now this place is a tad pricier, well, a lot pricier, but it’s also a private villa, so if you intend to stay in and enjoy the amenities, you could go for this place, for like 1 day or 2. Just to chill and chat and generally relax… It is located on the other end of Jl. Drupadi. About 15 minutes walk from The Haven. Not too bad. You get to pick your breakfast the night before, and they will deliver it to your villa at your chosen time. Fancy eh!

Villa Uma Sapna, Seminyak, Bali

Villa Uma Sapna, Seminyak, Bali

Related : Bali – Ubud, Monkey Forest

Now let’s go to the food near, and around Seminyak. We went to Naughty Nuri’s for Ribs, La Lucciola for…. the view… The food was actually really good, but it’s a more fancy place and tiny portion. La Lucciola, as the name indicates, are serving western food, Italian, to be exact. AND last but not least, we also had lunch at Warung Made. The food around Seminyak area are generally more expensive than any other area, even if you’re eating local food. The area itself is more touristy. There are of course street side food, but I will only go to places that seems to have people in it. Because believe me, there are A LOT of street side food establishment, and they are empty. I mean I do care about my pocket, but I also care about my health. Especially since I still have like 1 week left for my holiday. Don’t really want to go through it with stomachache.

Tasty Ribs at Naughty Nuri's, Bali

Tasty Ribs at Naughty Nuri’s, Bali

Naughty Nuri’s delectable Pork Ribs at IDR 105,000 per portion. Like I said, not cheap, but *SLURP*. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

La Lucciola, Seminyak, Bali

La Lucciola, Seminyak, Bali

La Lucciola is a beachfront restaurant and has a very open space concept. The people you see sitting and lying on the grass are patrons on wait list. Apparently the restaurant does not take reservation anymore, it’s on first come first serve, and during lunch time, if you’re not quick, obviously you have to wait. We waited only for about 10 minutes, as we arrive by exactly noon. I had the fish and bf had the risotto, since he has gluten allergy and most of the food are basically pasta. Anyway, we both enjoyed the fish, but think the risotto was meh. And again, tiny portion, and we were pretty hungry.

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Rice Packet at Warung Made, Seminyak, Bali

I am not sure what are the dishes in the packet, but going from the picture, they are green bean, chicken in Balinese sauce, suckling pig and mixed veggie in a different Balinese Sauce. Sorry if it doesn’t help much. Anyway, we had another dish that I’ve forgotten to take picture of. It was pork ribs curry and  young coconut. Turns out it was something of a soup base, and it was really good, I liked it a lot.

Related : Bali – Lunch Ibu Oka, Green Village

And what I’ve forgotten to mention is a tiny street-side restaurant by the name of Warung Mimpi. We came across sort of by accident, while looking around for dinner place. You could order from the menu, or there is a glass cabinet with different type of food displayed. You pick the ones that you want and the lady behind the counter will take it for you. They have a different pricing menu for this one. If you are the adventurous type and would like to try different dishes, this is the best way. With everyone picking different type of dish you’ll get to try majority of the known Indonesian food. And the price are very very decent. The food are tasty and the portion are generous. It’s the best eating place in Seminyak, IMHO. Well, out of the ones that I’ve been to. AND they do have Bintang, the famous local beer, for all the beer connoisseur out there.

Mr. MonQ Enjoying Ze Booze

Mr. MonQ Enjoying Ze Booze

Related : Mr. MonQ in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia

Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek – Kintamani, Bali

We were really looking forward to this one. After 2 weeks of not exercising at all, the hike was supposed to help us release all of the ‘stress’. This was a really easy hike. Both of my friends who also joined had never hiked before and they are not the exercising type either. AND one of them was not feeling well a few hour before the hike. She slept early and she was feeling better by the time we’re about to leave, so she hike anyway.

We booked the hike through Pineh Tour about a month prior to the hike, and confirmed again about 3 days prior. Like most other tour packages in Bali, it will cost more for the foreign tourist than it would local tourist. Just make sure that it’s not WAYYYY more.

Related : Bali – Lunch Ibu Oka & Green Village

We were picked up at 2am from our hotel in Ubud. It would’ve been earlier if we stay further out, like around Kuta, Sanur or Nusa Dua. About 45 minute later we reached their office which also doubled or tripled as a coffee ‘plantation’ and mini store. We were served about 4 different type of drinks, 2 glass each type, to be shared among 4 of us. Ginger coffee, luwak (civet’s poo) coffee, lemon tea, honey coffee, and few others that I can’t recall. I love coffee, but didn’t dare to drink too much since coffee it’s laxative and dehydrating and we’re about to hike.

From there it was about 15 minutes drive to the base of the mountain. The mountain is approx 1700m above sea level, and the base was 600m above sea level. There were several guide approaching us and Wayan became our guide. There are a lot of ‘Wayan’ and ‘Made’ name in Bali. They actually symbolizes their standing in the family i.e 1st born has ‘Wayan’ somewhere in the name and 2nd born has ‘Made’ somewhere in the name. It definitely gets confusing sometimes when you’ve met like 3 Wayan in the same trip.

Sunrise at Mt. Batur, Kintamani, Bali

Sunrise at Mt. Batur, Kintamani, Bali

The tour gave us some bottled water and the driver gave our guide breakfast stuff to be prepared at the peak (it’s just toast and eggs). So we started the hike. The guide has some flashlight that he passed to all of us each. Some are much brighter than the other, but the surrounding itself was not that dark, so 3 flashlight for 5 of us were sufficient. About halfway, we ran into a kid that the guide knows. They chatted in Balinese while hiking and you kind of can tell that the guide (acted as big brother type) was trying to tell the kid to get on our good side. The kid is helping his parents by selling some drinks on the top.

Related : Bali – Ubud, Monkey Forest

A little bit later on, it became obvious that Bf and I and our 2 friends were not on the same hiking pace at all, and we’re getting antsy. We ended up picking up our pace and the kid guide us to the top, while our guide stayed with my other 2 friends. We were already thinking of purchasing drink from the kid, and give him a tip him, as a thank you for guiding us. However, at the peak, he charged us IDR 25,000 ($2.50) for a bottle of coke! Hence we hold the tip. It’s a TAD too much. We knew the beverages up there gotta be expensive since he carried a few bottle in his bag and go up the mountain, but did not know that it’ll be THAT expensive. Anyway….

Chilling Monkey with Mt. Agung, Bali in the background.

Chilling Monkey with Mt. Agung, Bali in the background.

We did not see THAT much sunrise since it was kinda foggy when we reached the peak, however the cloud slowly cleared up as the sun ascend. We were lucky since apparently it has been foggy the last 2 days and hikers were not able to see sun at all.

There were also a lot of monkeys up top. And yes, they are also the naughty bunch and will try to grab everything from you. I would not say they are dangerous, but I guess there’s no harm in being careful.

Related : 2 days in Jakarta, Indonesia – with Mr. MonQ

We started to descend once we’re done taking pictures. LOTS of pictures, that I wouldn’t bore you with. Our guide thought it would be better to pick a different route descending, since one of my friend was having difficulty going up. So we called our driver and have him pick us up from a different location. A little bit closer. The road that was chosen to descend was not exactly easy, IMO. It is always more difficult descending and it didn’t help that the road was lose gravel. So in a way we’re kinda sliding down. And have to try our best not to roll down. But anyway, out other friend actually having problem with descending. So 1 friend had problem climbing, and the other had problem descending. Kinda balanced things out in the end.

Mommy monkey and Baby Monkey by the Crater - Mt. Batur, Bali

Mommy monkey and Baby Monkey by the Crater – Mt. Batur, Bali

View From the Other Side of the Mountain - With the Moon Still Visible

View From the Other Side of the Mountain – With the Moon Still Visible

Once we reached the hotel, we showered, and practically slept for few hours before we had to check-out of the hotel. And i meant, we just crashed!

PS: FYI, Mt. Batur is an active volcano. Recent small eruption was in 2000. Hence the crater.