The Culture heart of Bali

We had chosen Bali as destination for this ester holiday, but chose to go beyond the big cities and the beaches and in to the charming area of Ubud. Also known as the culture heart of Bali. Ubud is surrounded by beauty, all from the Jungle, the rice fields, the smiling faces of the local people & temples. And you find some nice spots for chilling out when the sun gets to strong, with some great restaurants, bars and cafes.

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Our choice of hotel was a new built resort close to the city center so easy walking distance to most attractions with Money forest being one of them.

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Surrounded by nature we felt the tranquility as soon as we stept inside the resort. Our room was overlooking the Jungle with some rice paddies down below.

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We spent a day strolling the streets, visiting some of the market places, stopped for lunch and some refreshing drinks and a visit to the Monkey forest.

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We took a shortcut down to Monkey forest from the hotel and it’s a lot of new development in progress in the area. It’s an area with rice paddies mingled in between the different hotels and restaurants along the way.

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We did not spend too much time at the Monkey forest as none of us like the monkeys to much. We are both a bit scared of them jumping on us. It has happened to me a few times and I can’t say I like the feeling very much. But I do like to capture them with my camera.

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One advice I got when walking in the Nature reserve in Singapore is to never make eye contact with the monkeys.

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After a stroll around the forest we wanted to try out the Locavore restaurant for lunch but it only had a set testing menu available so we headed over to “Loca Vore to go”. They serve modern cuisine with local products and the food is very tasty.

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As the weather in Bali was quite hot at the time some chilling out at the pool just before sunset was just the perfect spot to be. Nothing better than a dip in the pool with a drink looking at the sunset.

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As the hotel was newly opened they only served beer, but on a hot day it was not a bad substitute for wine and coctails that would have been our preferred drinks.

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Our evenings was spent trying out different restaurants and one of them being the Blanco par mandif. The restaurant was difficult to find and it has an interesting touch to it with a different dining experience. It serves Indonesian cuisine with very creative presentation and very tasty.

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We also got it paired with the drinks and we tried a lot of interesting combinations.

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We also tried out Pica for dinner and again another great choice of restaurant. The food tasted amazing. It’s serves South American cuisine.


We signed up for a bike ride one of the days and started our bike tour at the top of Mt Batur,  From there it was mostly downhill back in to town.

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Our guide explained us to keep the gear in 2 and 7, like non off us had ever been on a bike before. He kept repeating this to us a few times to make sure everyone understood, also pointing out that if facing a uphill we should change gear. At the time we faced a steep uphill slope it was just to jump off the bike and push it as the gear was stuck for most of us. It had probably not been changed that often.

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The ride down the mountain went through local villages and rice fields with some information from the guide along the way.

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We got picked up for our bike ride after breakfast and on the way to our starting point we has a stop at a coffee plantation where they informed us about the process of the luwak coffee and some tasting was offered as well.

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Another stop along the way was in the village of Tegallalang.

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A great place to stop for an amazing view of the beautiful rice terrace that the village is known for.

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Well back in Ubud we headed over to the 3 monkeys cafe for some refreshment

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and a stroll around the city center visiting some temples along the way.

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A group of school kids was passing by enjoying the time in the city before heading back to the different villages they come from.

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On our search for the Blanco par mandif restaurant we found a nice wine bar to hang out for a few drinks before dinner. DIVINE is bridges wine and cocktail bar with view overlooking the river.

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We did not have time to try out the Bridges restaurant so will put it on the bucket list for our next visit to Ubud.

Our flight was with Garuda Indonesia direct from Singapore

We stayed at Goya Boutique Resort

Recommended places to eat and drink: Blanco par Mandif, Cafe Lotus, Cafe Wayan & Bakery, 3 Monkeys cafe, Pica, Loca Vore to go, DIVINE wine and cocktail bar.




A Tropical Temptation

When I first moved to Singapore I wanted to take a trip with my son to celebrate his birthday, This was back in 2007 and searching for a place not to far from Singapore I discovered this beautiful little Island called Nikoi.
The Island is located of the coast of the Island Bintan in Indonesia.


So to get to Nikoi we had to take the ferry to Bintan. At the immigration we where meet by the staff from the Island. A car was waiting for us and took us to another part of Bintan Island and from there we where transported in a small Speed Boat to the Island.

Arriving at the Island we had to get off the boat on the beach as the only pier was under construction and not suitable for dropping us off in a small Speed Boat. This made the feeling of being on an adventure more complete. With little information about the Island upfront, we where both exited how this weekend would be.

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On the beach we where meet by the staff for a welcome drink and then shown to our Chalet that would be our home for the weekend. The Chalets are mostly built from old washed-up wood. The Chalets are open with no glass and being right at the beach you fall asleep to the soft sound of the waves.

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At the time we where there 6 Chalets had been completed and new one where under construction. The Chalets is built to have natural ventilation and with no air condition installed. Mosquito net are installed above the bed and you really feel like being in a tropical paradise.

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Arriving late and just in time for dinner we where introduced to the other visitor at the Island as everyone where seated at the long table for dinner. As the Island was newly opened the only visitors was another group of 5 people and the 2 of us. Then another 2 persons where expected to arrive the next day.

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Our plan for the Saturday was to explore the Island and as it is a small Island, It did not take us long. To walk around the Island took us around 30 min. Walking around the Island we got to walk through the mangroves and we ended back up where they where building the swimming pool close to the Chalets. Most of what you can do on the island is water sports, relax in the sun or play games as there where no Internet and no TV. They also have some climbing on a big rock on the island for the one interested in that.

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We went to the beach and spent some time there and tried out the kayak. Our plan was to try to paddle out to the rock looking like and Ipad, but dark clouds was getting closer and the waves got bigger and a tropical storm was about to hit the Island.


It started to rain heavy with thunder and lightning so we went back to our chalet to relax before dinner.  During dinner it was still raining heavy with thunder and lightning and suddenly the lightening stroke and hit the Island Generator. It felt like something strong hit the ground and the light was shut down. The feeling of sitting in the open air just covered with a roof above us with no walls and feeling the forces of the nature was a strange feeling and a bit scary as we where very close to where the lightning stroke. I think we where all in a kind of shock after this and kept talking about how close it was so the dinner ended up a bit different then it started. The rain stopped and the weather changed. The Generator was fixed and electricity came back on.

The staff had noticed it was Aleksander’s birthday as we had to give a copy of our passport on arrival, so they surprised him with a cake and the evening was celebrated with Cake & Drinks.


The next day we had to return back to Singapore so the first group where leaving just after breakfast and we where leaving just after lunch.The staff on the Island where down on the beach to wish everyone a safe trip back and thanking them for visiting the Island.


As in this tropical climate you never know when the rain will come and and when it comes it comes fast with heavy rain so just before we where to take the boat back the rain started again. This time without the thunder and lightning and lucky for us as we where going to spend about and hour in a small speed boat to get back to Bintan.

Even with the tropical storm hitting the Island with the lightning cutting the electricity the weekend had been fantastic and I was planning to return to this Island at a later time and so I did in 2011.

This time It was not so easy to book a stay at the Island as it had become more known to people and special to people living or visiting Singapore, so I was lucky and managed to book a stay for a weekend and here I was back on this beautiful Tropical Island.

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The Island had not changed much but had a few upgrades, so the small speed boat was changed out to a larger one with cover. A new jetty had been built, the rest of the Chalets was completed so now there is a total of 15 Chalets that has different sizes and the swimming pool had been completed.

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A Lizard is out for a walk and was trying to take a swim in the pool.

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The sunset is still amazing and they still make the fire at the beach in the evening.

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The Island is not the place if you need to be connected to Internet or need a TV, but if you are looking for some days just feeling the peace and quiet this is the perfect place. It is still a tropical temptation even do with a little less Robinson Crusoe touch to it.

To book your stay at Nikoi Island you can log in to: