Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bali Honeymoon



I was reading a friend's blog this morning about her holiday in Bali (here). This brought back memories to my last trip there some 4 years ago, for my honeymoon with MrNordin.

Okay, my dream honeymoon destination was actually New Zealand. But due to unfortunate circumtances, we had to cut short the distance and opted for Bali instead.

Both of us had been to Bali before, albeit with different partners. He ¬ with his late wife and children; whereas moi ¬ with my girlfriend. He stayed at Jimbaran Bay whilst I stayed at Nusa Dua (not at the same time, tho').

So, for our honeymoon, we wanted it to be something different from our previous trip. You know... it was OUR honeymoon (well... my first, and his second), so it had to be special for the two of us. So, we decided to stay at a slightly unique place, somewhere we've never stayed before, and hence chose Ubud for it romance and artistic village.

This desire to do something different was also translated into our choice of accommodation. Instead of going for the normal hotels, I wanted to stay in a villa with an open-air bathroom concept, right smack on a paddy field somewhere in Ubud, for a unique honeymoon experience. MrNordin agreed saja... Jenuhlah mencari dalam internet, last2 we found this nice cosy bungalow/villa known as Agung Raka in Ubud. The place looked lovely, the price was reasonable, and so we quickly booked our 4D3N honeymoon through our travel agent.

I was so looking forward to stay at this place. When we arrived at Agung Raka, it was slightly drizzling and we were greeted by this very nice man who ran the place. We had to cross a paddy field to get to our bungalow, and wow... I thought it was really cool. There were about 25 bungalows all together and they were gorgeous (from outside).

The first bungalow that he brought us to (the Kingdom Suite) was really huge, but it was pretty bare. No TV, no radio. I was thinking, how to survive without TV? So, we asked for a different one and was taken to the Honeymoon Suite, which was slightly smaller but had TV.

As I started unpacking, I felt a bit apprehensive about the place. It was too quiet. The bungalow was quite barren, there was no hair dryer, the TV was black & white... it was nothing like a 5-star hotel, more like a rumah kampung (you know what I mean?). But since we had booked the place, we had to try and make the best of it lah, kan?

But the truth was finally revealed that evening when we were going out for dinner. I saw all the other bungalows were in darkness. There was no single light on! I thought maybe the occupants had all gone out for dinner, but when we returned, the situation was still the same. The only lights I saw was the one coming from our bungalow. The rest were in total darkness!

There was no light along the pathway either. A security guard had to guide us infront with a torch light. Imagine walking through a paddy field in the middle of the night with sounds of frogs croaking left, right and centre! I was very scared!! In the midst of it all, it suddenly dawned on me that we could be the only occupants of that place that night! Arrrghh !!!!

So, sampai je kat the bungalow, we locked up all the doors and windows and remained on the upper floor where the bedroom was. I was so afraid of ghosts. You know... Bali kan ada banyak bad spirits.. Baca lah segala macam ayat. The funny thing was, the bathroom was downstairs. So, everytime nak pegi toilet, kena suruh MrNordin tunggu I betul2 kat depan bathroom door (and I didn't close the door, ok?). And as I carried out my business, I dared not look up for I was so afraid I would see something else. Ya lah, dah nampak langit je & pokok2, siapa tak takut?!!

Phew... that was one hell of a night! The next day, we quickly packed up our bags and called a cab. No way was I going to stay another night! MrNordin said: But we've paid for the 3-night stay? Don't care! Let it burn! Let's find somewhere else more civilised! So, we made some phone calls and managed to get a suite at Sheraton Laguna in Nusa Dua. Haaahh... that was when my honeymoon really began...

As we were checking out of Agung Raka, we spoke to the Manager (who were quite upset that we were leaving in a hurry). He told us that the place was mostly frequented by old-aged people for meditation purposes. That time of the year, memang low season, that's why tak ramai orang. (Hmmm... now only you tell me... No wonder tak ada TV!). We left anyway, and said goodbye to him.

Moral of the story: Don't try to be overly ambitious with your holiday plans. And don't trust what you see on hotels' websites!!

For more pictures of Agung Raka, go to http://www.agungraka.com



The Honeymoon Suite


Agung Raka bungalows at night

17 comments:

wanshana said...

BJ,

If I were you pun, I would do the same! Scary, huh?

We had our honeymoon in Bali, too. We stayed in Kuta Jaya in a chalet-style resort, which was okay-okay ajer. Zaman baru nak menapak masa tu. Hehehe! Yang penting, we were together.

The second time we were there was actually on a business trip in 2000. We left our girls with my MIL in KL and went just the two of us. I was pregnant with our third child then. So, it was like a second honeymoon jugak lah.

And we stayed at Sheraton Laguna, too... Bliss! I just love that hotel - surrounded by swimming pools, etc. We plan to bring the whole family there, soon. Insya Allah.

MrsNordin said...

Shana,

Sheraton Laguna was lovely, kan? But you know what? When I think of my honeymoon, I always thought about Agung Raka, not the other one. I guess, in its own funny ways, that place do mean something special for the two of us, just as what I wanted...

Anonymous said...

BJ

What a story!

For your second honeymoon I'd recommend Murni's Villas just outside Ubud (www.murnis.com) - quiet, friendly, middle of landscape, satellite TV, jazuzzi, infinity pool, great food - authentic Balinese but comfortable.

Bud

Madam Tai Tai said...

MrsNordin,

You remembered it because the first choice of venue WAS different - tengah2 sawah padi! You guys might as well had gone to Kedah or Kelantan for that! :-)

Hope you get there with the rest of the family the next cuti sekolah. Let me know if you want to use our driver. He was quite good and his price was reasonable.

Anonymous said...

You are soooo funnylah Mrs Nordin!! Ketawa baca u punya cerita! Tumbs up!

Anonymous said...

sorry, spelling error, supposed to be thumbs up. Type sambil ketawa lah katakan.

Kmar said...

BJ,

I have never been to Bali. It sounds interesting. Your experience.. funny betul laa... !!!

MrsNordin said...

Madam,

Betul lah! You know behind the bungalow, there was this small duck pond. In the evening, you could actually see all these ducks balik masuk reban (as they say, itik pulang petang). So, while I was watching them in the middle of the sawah padi, I was thinking, "What the heck, man! I might as well balik kampung!" Kat kampung I pun melambak itik and kolam and bendang! Dah lah banyak nyamuk!

I guess this kind of experience would thrill the Europeans, not us Asians lah. So now, I avoid any holiday resorts yang ada sawah padi, no matter how great they make the pictures look like in the brochures/website. That's just not my thing!

MrsNordin said...

Hi Bud,

Murni Villas look awesome! Have you been there yourself? My only reservation is the rice field, but it's terraced, so maybe this is different.

But, yes! This place would be ideal for a getaway with close friends. Lovely!

MrsNordin said...

Anon,

Memang kelakar! I still remember how kelam kabut we were the next morning, packing up to get out of that place. My new husband kept on asking, "Are you sure about this?" and I said, "Yes! Now! This minute!!!"

And we had to drag our bags across the rice field.. hee... hee... :)

MrsNordin said...

Kmar,

Bali is nice. Perhaps you should take a trip there when you come home in Aug nanti (or is it May?). You'll love it!

Hope said...

mrsN

Yang you all pun satu..apasal lah pergi dok tengah2 sawah padi tu....kan sawah padi banyak jin tanah dsbnya ;) ha ha...

I second your 2nd honeymoon in NZ, you & your MrN can be the Lord & Lady of the Ring there..:)

Eta My said...

Kelakar kamu ni BJ oii...eemmm..seram...kot-kot start from u masuk..ade yang meneropong..hehehh!!and you hubby musti rela dalam paksa mengadap u kat toilet..dah sayang kan...lagi pun..ade event menanti lepas tu.....emmm...

Waowweee...and like Kmar..me never been to Bali..mana la tau..ade rezeki...

myself Honeymooning kat Phuket....(sponsored!!...)food was nice..and like Shana..mungkin nak bawak bebudak pi sana bila ade kesempatan..

More kelakar posting pls!ta ta!

Superwomanwannabe said...

Laaaa. I thought i je orang yang ter last tak pernah gi bali...

But, it does look very nice in the pics...which just goes to show you really cannot trust pics eh??

2nd honeymoon??

MrsNordin said...

Hope,

Itu lah... nak something different sangat... itu lah jadinya! My next mission is to stay at a farm house in rural England where they have lots of sheep. Can you suggest one?

MrsNordin said...

Eta, SW

You must make it a point to go. You'll love it!

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