Tuesday, December 27, 2016

#MyTravelokaEscapade: The Island of The Gods!

El Nido, Hong Kong, Langkawi, Bali, Tokyo, London, Sabah, Nepal, Melbourne or South Korea. Wow that's a tough choice man! 

I traveled to Hong Kong, Langkawi, Bali and London, while Sabah will be my next destination this January. Thanks to Traveloka who gave me super duper awesome deals for my hotels stay; 25% off during Christmas promo at Kota Kinabalu Hotel and 10% off by using CIMB credit card at Kundasang Hotel. Yeay!

If I have to choose one destination, I choose BALI! Although I went to Bali once, but Bali will always be in my bucket list again and again. You know, it's like when you fall in love with someone although there are a lot of cantik, menarik, tertarik  people around you but your heart is locked only for that person, the one!

Well.. why Bali? Here's why.

The Island of Thousand Temples

They said Bali is the Island of the Gods, from the magnificent mountains and volcanoes to rugged coastlines to black sandy beaches and home of thousand temples, it's no surprise Bali is known as the Island of the Gods according to the locals.

Visiting Bali's Majestic temples never get me bored. Tanah Lot Temple also known as the floating temple is one of the most stunning temple that sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. I am that kind of guy who love art & architecture, I'll be super excited to see this perfect example of how a man-made structure can perfectly blend with nature. With a stunning view, tones of selfies (and wefies of course) is a must!

The wonderful floating temple.
source: image.google.com

From a sea-side temple to 1200m above sea level temple, Pura Ulun Danu and Lake Bratan will be my next destination. This lake-side temple complex will makes you feel calm and peace (good auras and positive vibes indeed!)  The temple also is one of the holy temple for the Balinese Hindus and you can see this temple on the 50,000 IDR note as well. 

A must do photo when you're here.
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

What I really want to do is go canoeing around the holy Lake Bratan, that is what I missed during my last visit. Can you imagine capturing a photo or video using GoPro while canoeing at this holy lake with the temple at the back. Confirm cool gila wey!

The majestic Uluwatu Temple is a must go. Built at the edge of high cliff, the breathtaking views will makes you feel to never want leave this place. 

The magnificent cliff of Uluwatu
source: image.google.com

Other that its breathtaking views, Uluwatu also is a home of the Kecak which is a form of Balinese dance and musical drama; an event I don't want to miss. Watching Kecak with the interesting characters and plot will never a dull moment. Oh on top of that, I can watch the fiery performance as the sun goes down. Yes sunset!

I mean real fire!
source: image.google.com

Nature at Its Best!

Bali's natural beauty isn't hard to find but the less known geological wonders need some research to find them. The Sacred and Secret Canyon of Sukawati is one of them. The spectacular nature's masterpiece simply wowed me just looking at its photo. When I'll be there, I can spend hours worshiping mother nature beauty. Everything is uniquely shape in the abstract landscape just like Van Gogh's pantings except this one money can't buy!

Gift of mother nature.
source: image.google.com

Waterfalls and Hot Spring sounds wonderful. I would love to have some "me time" relaxing at Batur Hot Spring,that offer great view out across a stunning lake with jungle vegetated volcanic structures. 

Relax, chill out and unwind.
source: image.google.com

Stop by at the Gitgit Waterfall is want I want to do. Enjoying the calmness and serenity of the waterfall and a lil bit of berendam  and mandi kerbau in a cold water will be so refreshing!

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
source: image.google.com

Hot and cold, a contrasting combination of my ideal relaxation. 

When I was a kid always dream to swim with dolphins. And yes, you can find wild dolphins in Lovina, northwestern side of Bali. Unfortunately, I can't swim with them but I can main kejar-kejar with them while they're playing hide and seek with the boats.

Mama dolphin, I'm coming for you!
source: image.google.com

My friends and I went here during our last visit to Bali. It is very exciting and unforgettable moment when we're trying to find the dolphins as well as competing with other boats to get as close as you can to the dolphins. I just wanted to do this again and again

That precious moment!
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

Malaysia's Next Top Model?

"You wanna be on top?" 

For those who watch the America's Next Top Model, surely you guys know the quote from Tyra Banks. During the cycle 20 of the show, they did beautiful photo shoot in Bali with a breathtaking view of the paddy terraces. 

Marvin, ANTM cycle 20 contestant.
source: image.google.com

Jatiluwih paddy terraces are next on my list, since I don't have chance to go there last time. These rice terrace look spectacular in photo and I bet they will look more amazing in front of eyes. The site is Jatiluwih is one of the island’s must-see natural panoramas. The cool highlands and the breathtaking scenery of this village at the foot of Mount Batukaru makes for wonderful photo opportunities, and serves as a soothing retreat away from the Bali’s crowded south. Plus, Jatiluwih rice terrace is listed in World Heritage UNESCO. How cool is that!

Can we have this in Malaysia as well?
source: image.google.com

For my wonderful photo opportunities here in Jatiluwih, maybe I'll try to do similar pose like Marvin did and borrowing some props from the local is a must! What say you? Well..why not kan? HAHAHAJangan ada yang muntah sudah!

Practicing my pose for Jatiluwih.
Still need to find my hidden talent and eliminate few layer of fats to get those abs!
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

Dine Like a King

Halal meals are not hard to find in Bali. Although the Muslim population in Bali is about 14% but there are plenty of Halal restaurants around the island, based on my previous experience. The ultimate dining experience I had in Bali and I really wanted to do again is buffet lunch at The Lookout Restro & Bar, Kintamani. The restaurant offer buffet lunch with various of delicious local dishes and delicacies. Sate ayam & ikan on lemongrass skewer served with saus kacang are my favorite and they also taste different with Malaysian sate!

Good food and amazing view
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

The most importantly, the scenery that you will get from this restaurant is to die for. The surreal panorama of Mount Batur and Lake Batur will be the "shut up and take my money" moment, while having a good foods.

My friends and I enjoying our moment
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

A cup of exotic and expensive coffee would be nice. Yup, Luwak Coffee! We can get a cup of Luwak Coffee in Bali for just 50,000 IDR (~4 USD) where they sell it around 40 USD a cup in other countries. That 10 times cheaper, dude! I would love to try this rich-man coffee meanwhile trying to forget where they're coming from (if you know what I mean).

Forget love, fall in coffee!
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

Candlelight dinner sounds amazing right? But candlelight dinner by the beach while watching sunset sounds super duper amazing. Plus they serve BBQ and grilled seafood! My tummy getting pumped right now. I will to go to Jimbaran to experience this lovely dinner, where most of the restaurant have the similar concept. Plus, they will have some traditional culture performance while costumers enjoying their dinner. Great ambiance, awesome food and wonderful performance. What else should I ask for, sounds like being treated like a king already!

Never say no to this!
source: image.google.com

Up High and Down Below

Tanjung Benoa; here's where all water-sports activities can be done. Snorkeling, para-gliding, flying fish, or even jet-ski you name it, they got it all.  But there are two activities that are on top of my list; fly-board and sea-walker

Go underneath the water and playing with colorful fishes is something I wanted to do for really long time. But my swimming skills really let me down so it is pretty hard for me to do scuba diving. Sea-walker looks pretty easy and the best part is it's not required any swimming skills and I can wear my glasses in the astronaut-like helmet. I'm coming for you Nemo and Dory!

Hope they don't bite!
source: image.google.com

The high adrenaline fly-board look nothing that I would do in my daily life. But hey, you only life once right? It's time to take a risk and do something out of my comfort zone. Do something that makes you feel alive. Maybe in future, I can proudly tell my friends and grandchildren "Been there, done that!"

Go big or go home!
source: image.google.com

Mesmerizing Nightlife

Other than well known for its famous surfing spots and golden sand beach Kuta also known for its wonderful nightlife as the sun goes down. I'm not party animal, so I would prefer something more relaxing yet entertaining that Bali has to offer. 

Lepaking at Hard Rock Cafe Bali sounds like a plan. Here's the thing, I always go to Hard Rock Cafe wherever I travel to a places that have it. Having a drink and enjoying the live band performs always a must-have-itinerary in my trip and sometimes requesting them to play "Bohemian Rhapsody". I went here last time but why not make a second visit. 

Ready to rock & roll!
source: instagram.com/_fishlol

For a bit of glitz and glam, I would like to watch a cabaret show in Bali. I heard that there is a restaurant & bar named Bali Beach Shack host a family friendly drag cabaret show. Since it is family rated, pretty sure there is nothing over the top performances. It must be fun to watch this "girls" (or should I say boys) strutting their stuff on the stage to diva classics to the modern hits. I am expecting some outstanding performance from their Madonna or Beyonce. You go "girls"!

Mariah Carey? Beyonce? or Nicki Minaj?
source: image.google.com

My (hopefully) Happy Ending

Getting sun-burn at the sexy beaches; Blue Point, Pandawa and Padang-Padang, exploring artistic and spiritual town of Ubud, hop on a glass-bottomed speed boat to Turtle Island and embracing my inner makciks to bargain for a good price at local market. There are too many things I want to do in Bali. These are only some of my so called Bali-bucket-list.

DABOSS of Traveloka pleaseeeee fulfill #MyTravelokaEscapade.

Your Travel Ninja,
Hafish Ismail

Monday, December 26, 2016

Take Me Anywhere

Oh well, lama betul tak menulis. Last post pasal dapat kerja yang aku end up masih tak resign sampai sekarang. Walaupun dalam hati dah 14 ribu kali kata "I quit!" 

Well honey, you need money to pay the bills (and enjoying your life)! 

Singapore, Istanbul, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, Bali, Krabi checked. Well, maybe it's time to write something. Experience is far more valuable than money.