Bali – Day 1: Bumbu Bali and Other Spices of Bali

Wow, too much “Bali” in the title. As I’ve impulsively posted before, I spent my first morning in Bali with some alone time at the beach. Here are some more photos from that solitary morning of mine.

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I love this Happy Hour signage. Very Balinese. Look at all the intricate details in the frame!
I love this Happy Hour signage. Very Balinese. Look at all the intricate details in the frame!

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And now, this is where I try to re-capture, through words and pictures, the rest of what happened during our five-day stay in Bali, a beautiful island filled with warm and kind people, gorgeous and delicious food, and creative finds from almost every corner.

We stayed at The Westin Nusa Dua and the hotel itself was a sight to behold. Situated in a vast land beachfront, the hallways were unlike traditional hotels because of the open-air spacing accentuated with lush greens. For some reason, it gave me the impression of a school dorm.

Hotel Hallways

One of the things I learned from our driver was that buildings in Bali are mostly mid-rise because there has been a government order that buildings should not be taller than coconut trees. The Westin was an example of that, seeing that it was only until the 4th floor. But what it lacks in height, it makes up for with in width. The hotel was huge, I tell you.

Goofing around with my breakfast buddy, Nikolai :)
Goofing around with my breakfast buddy, Nikolai 🙂

After our complimentary daily breakfast (which, in the coming days, we would be enjoying tremendously hehe), we got ready for our first stop in our unofficial and very spontaneous itinerary: Bumbu Bali, a restaurant that has become some sort of tourist spot in Nusa Dua. Trivia: “bumbu” apparently means “spices” in Bahasa.

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Obligatory touristy photo

The entrance to Bumbu Bali was irresistibly photogenic so here we were, taking turns with the “frame”.

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How cute is this little girl? We all adore her so much!
Marlyn, my roommate
Marlyn, my roommate
My brother John and sister-in-law Ate Marie, with the cutest photobomber ever
My brother John and sister-in-law Ate Marie, with the cutest photobomber ever. Shameless plug: Check out their kicks, handmade by them from our “store”, Mr. & Mrs.is 😀
This pose would look annoying if done by others...
This pose would look annoying if done by others…
...and by others, I mean us. Haha.
…and by others, I mean us. Haha.
Cuteness. Overload.
Cuteness. Overload.

Our Bali trip taught me just how generous Indonesians are when it comes to food – a simple rice and ulam (viand) combo won’t do; there has to be lots of side dishes to ensure that it’s one happy party in the tummy.

Case in point.
Case in point.
Giant chili trio! Ate Marie tried to munch on one of these and I kept bugging her to finish the chili but she couldn't. Hahaha.
Giant chili trio!
Ate Marie tried to munch on one of these and I kept bugging her to finish the chili but she couldn’t. Hahaha.
Iced lemon tea! So refreshing.
Iced lemon tea! So refreshing.
The loner satay
The loner satay (and can we take a moment to appreciate the beauty of that miniature griller?)

After our late lunch at Bumbu Bali, we went in search for Revolver, a specialty coffee store in Bali which Ate Elo discovered via Instagram. It was quite difficult to find it because it only had a small sign, but no worries because once we asked around, we were good to go. Indonesians are so kind.

Bam, we finally found it.
Bam, we finally found it.

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We were still full from our lunch at Bumbu Bali but who can truly resist some desserts and coffee? Not us, clearly.

We got some badass menu over here
We got some badass menu over here
I ordered iced coffee with vanilla ice cream - two of my favorite things in the world! (OA ba yung in the world agad? Haha)
I ordered iced coffee with vanilla ice cream – two of my favorite things in the world! (OA ba yung in the world agad? Haha)
And then we shared these avocado toast and bacon and cheese toast. (I'm bad with food names, sorry)
And then we all shared these avocado toast and bacon and cheese toast. (I’m bad with food names, sorry)
Under the glass on the table are different bills under all sorts of currencies which were some of the tips customers from around the world left for Revolver. Kuya left a P20 bill on which he drew a Star Wars character.
Under the glass on the table are different bills under all sorts of currencies which were some of the tips customers from around the world left for Revolver. Kuya left a P20 bill on which he drew a Star Wars character.

Outside the Revolver was a small room that was apparently still part of the coffee shop. It was called “The Kissing Room” and on the wall are collages of different kissing photos from Hollywood and other mainstream media.

Fine, this photo is a bit cute. Hahaha.
Fine, this photo is a bit cute. Hahaha. Check out her shoes!

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And then we continued our mini road trip outside Nusa Dua and hunted for all sorts of “creative finds” for the indie bookshop my aunt is opening in a couple of months. We literally just drove on and made stopovers in stores that seemed interesting and mind you, there were a lot!

Peace, yo!
Peace, yo!

Here are some of the things that caught our eyes and tickled our hearts!

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Emote much?
Emote much?
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Somebody explain the meaning of this please?

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Repeat after me: what a cliche shot.
All you need is...
All you need is…
In the middle of all our walking, I managed to conspire with Kuya to sneak another touristy photo of me. Yikes. Hehe.
In the middle of all our walking, I managed to conspire with Kuya to sneak another touristy photo of me. Yikes. Hehe.
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This store had an interesting concept: an old beaten truck as facade.
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So much distressed wood in this store. Very underrated.

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And then it was time to go back to the hotel for some dinner and rest. We were welcomed once again by this princess who was so nice and graciously posed for a photo with us.

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There’s a nice Japanese restaurant in our hotel and that’s where we had dinner. One of the guests was celebrating his birthday then and the whole restaurant sang with the waiters when the birthday cake was out. It was also cool how the chef cooked their food in front of them, complete with all the wine and flame combo. I was a bit exhausted by then so this was the only photo I have from that dinner.

Appetizer pa lang, ang sarap na!
Appetizer pa lang, ang sarap na!

That’s pretty much it for our first day in Bali. I have four more days to re-capture and I really hope to write about them soon. 🙂

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