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Trip Report - Singapore, KL & Bali

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We just got back from an amazing 2 week trip to South East Asia (SEA). Wanted to thank everyone on this forum who helped us plan our trip. Before I get into the trip report I’ll just tell you a little about us. We’re 3 Canadian females (of East Indian decent) in our late-20’s traveling to SEA for the first time.

September 19, 2005
Checked in for our flight on United Airways from Toronto to Singapore. Right before boarding, learned that there was a hydraulics problem and everybody had to get their luggage from the conveyor belt, take it back to the check-in counter and find new flights. Of course, with our luck our trip was postponed for a day. Argued with the personnel, who eventually put us up in the crappy airport hotel.

September 20, 2005
No hydraulics problem this time. We boarded and were off for our 25 hr flight to Singapore.

September 21, 2005
Arrived Singapore at 11:30pm. Customs officers tear-off part of customs form. Keep it because you must show it when departing Singapore. Took a taxi to the beautiful Pan Pacific. Noticed a 7-Eleven across the street that came in handy for bottled water and snacks.

September 22, 2005
Because our flight was delayed a day we only had 1 day in Singapore so we had to make the most of it. It was our 24 hour adventure in Singapore! Woke up early, ate breakfast and headed to the Botanical Gardens. Just to let you know, we took the taxi everywhere because it was cheap, fast & reliable. Went to Little India (we felt right at home!) and bought cheap bindi’s & jewelry. Then went to Chinatown and loved the 3 for $10 deals (since there were 3 of us). Bought purses, table runners, & jewelry. Next on to Orchard Road and it started raining hard. We decided to stop at a food court for some soup to warm us up. I ordered Tom Yam Soup and I was in heaven…….I love Tom Yam! Ended our night with dinner & drinks at Our Village restaurant in the Boat Quay. We all agree that Singapore is so beautiful. Will definitely come back.

September 23, 2005
Took a Transtar bus from Singapore to KL. Booked the 5 hour bus ride online at www.transtar.com.sg. The ride was fantastic – with large massaging chairs, individual LCD monitors with numerous channels, and lunch. Arrived in KL around 1:30pm and went straight to the Swiss Garden Hotel. It’s a decent hotel but nothing special. Went to Picolla Italia for lunch and then shopped around at the Sungei Wang mall. Got a well deserved foot massage for $25 RM for 30 min. Decided to take an evening nap before heading out for dinner but we never woke up until 3am – oops! Blamed the jet lag!

September 24, 2005
Breakfast at the Swiss Garden was really good. Decided to walk to Petronas Towers and totally underestimated how hot we would get! It took us 25 min. to get there. Got to the towers at 10:30am but received tickets for 3:15pm. Thought we’d kill time by going to the mall next to the towers but found it to be very expensive so went back to Sungei Wang mall instead. Tip: Make sure you only get into metered taxis – the ones without meters completely rip you off! Shopped a little, had lunch at Super Noodle House (yummy) and then took a cab to the towers. The towers are nothing special, in my opinion, but worth it to see one time. After the towers had to stay in the mall for a bit because it was raining outside so decided to check out Diesel and learned it was very cheap so we bought some gifts from there. Decided to relax with a Tiger beer for a bit and then headed over to Seed for dinner. My food wasn’t good my friends enjoyed their food. Ended up falling asleep early again!

September 25, 2005
Woke up early, ate breakfast and did some last minute shopping. Left for our flight to Bali by Air Asia (booked online). Had pre-arranged with our hotel, Ulun Ubud, for a driver to pick us up from the airport. Arrived in Ubud around 9:30pm and asked the hotel to drive us somewhere for dinner. They recommended Nomad, which was superb. Got back to Ulun Ubud around 11:30pm, so we decided to have a couple of drinks on our balcony and try to guess which animals were making those sounds!

September 26, 2005
Got a wake up call for 6am to watch the sunrise but it was cloudy so we went back to sleep until 8am. Got a driver through the hotel to take us around. Went to some temples, the mountain and 2 spring water temples. Had a buffet lunch at the mountain restaurant (sorry, I forgot the name of it) but the food and view were great. Made a reservation for the next day at Zen Spa Holiday for a massage with a spice rub for 115,000 rupiah (super cheap). Went to a Kechak dance – a fire dance with 100 men. It was fantastic. Had dinner at Café Lotus for some great food and great view of the temple.

September 27, 2005
Had breakfast and then asked our driver to take us to the Royal Family temple and to Ulun Danu. Only wanted a half day tour so we could walk around on our own. Had lunch at Café Warung and shopped for gifts on Monkey Forest Road. Headed over to Zen Spa Holiday for our fabulous massage. What an experience – it was 2 hours of bliss! Had dinner at Indus that night. I didn’t enjoy my food but the girls loved theirs.

September 28, 2005
Asked the hotel if they could take us to a particular store to buy a stone Buddha and then bring it back with them so we wouldn’t have to lug it around. They accepted without hesitation. The staff at Ulun Ubud are so great and accommodating. Each of us bought a large canvas painting and had them roll it up for us. Had lunch at Miro’s, a Greek restaurant, before heading out to Inna Kuta Beach. We just lay around by the pool the whole day and relaxed. We talked about how much we love Ubud and wished we had a few more days there. Went to TJ’s Restaurant for some Mexican food, walked around a bit, and then called home to say our hellos.

September 29, 2005
Got up early, had breakfast and did nothing! It was great to just relax and sleep under the warm sun. Had lunch at the hotel and went back to lazing around. Two of us decided to walk around and check out the Kuta scene, since it was our first time there. Couldn’t believe all the jewelry shops, so we had to buy some (well a lot). Received many recommendations to go to Ku De Ta for dinner and we were so glad we did. Although it was the most expensive restaurant we’d been to on our trip, it was also the most stylish. We loved the ambience and food. Highly recommend it. Went by the monument for the 2002 bombings. Just sat there and thought how bad it must have been. Only 2 doors down was the happening place in Kuta – MbarGo. Kuta is unreal! We went in, had a few drinks, danced a bit and then left.

September 30, 2005
Lay by the pool again all morning long. Heard that the pizzas at Papa’s Café were great so went there and were told that their pizza oven was broken and they couldn’t serve pizza. Oh well, had nachos instead – which were good. Went back to the hotel and swam in the pool. Watched the gorgeous sunset at the beach and then took a much needed nap. Went to Trattoria for dinner and Fuel for some drinks. Called it an early night.

October 1, 2005
Decided to walk around for a bit before leaving for the airport. Got to the airport and found out that you have to pay 100,000 rupiah for departure tax, which I never knew before. Got to Singapore in the evening and went back to the beautiful Pan Pacific. Had dinner at Chimes and then completely re-packed our bags for our long flight home.

October 2, 2005
Just learned that we missed the Kuta bombing by 5 hours – were a little shocked of that. We were thankful that we had called our families to let them know that we were in Singapore so they didn’t worry when they heard about it on the news. Boarded our 27 hour flight home to Toronto.

This was an amazing trip. I completely understand why so many people visit South East Asia every year and why people keep going back to the same places. The people, culture, and food are simply fantastic and I can’t wait until I go back. Thanks again, Fodorites, for all the help and tips.

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