Island Getaways …..

If you are after a true island get away, getting back to basics?  then have a look at Mu Bali, located on the Bukit cliff tops in Bingin. With amazing views of the ocean and a variety of thatched roof huts/ bungalows available. The French owners will do their very best to take care of you, with the yummiest communal dinners with a selection of salads , grilled fish and so much more each night at 7.45.  You will make new friends, relax enjoy the most sensational views in Bali. Make sure you don’t leave any valuables around otherwise the cheeky monkeys which live close by may decide to reposes them. Only 30 minutes from Kuta and close to some of the most beautiful white sand beach’s of Dreamland and Padang Padang, a great location to relax , cruise and soak up the sun. Check out ‘Isha’ the open air villa AMAZING …

http://www.mu-bali.com/index.html

Mu bath view

Mu Bathroom

Mu mozzie nets

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~ Water Babies ~

Beau Pool

If your kids are absolute little fish and will swim for hours in the pool, just be aware that the roughness on the bottom of the pool combined with hours of waterlogged skin can cause blistering and when this dries and splits can be a little sore and bleeds. Consider having antiseptic lotions handy for such a time and consider taking the kids to a non swimming adventure to allow wounds to dry and heel. Ear infections can occur quickly in Bali again to water remaining in the kids ears my friends hot tip is to put Aqua ear in each night to keep the ear canal dry and water free for as long as possible, If an ear infection presents , dont let it ruin your holiday, get to the Apotek( chemist) preferably one with a Doctor in it as they will prescribe and anesthetic / antibiotic ear drop immediately. Finally goggles are a must as the many of the pools are heavily clorinated and childrens eyes become red and sore very quickly so take a good pair from home. xxx

Resorts with Kids Clubs

To narrow down your search for resorts which have kids clubs, I have done a little research and found these ones to be rated as some of the best on the island. You will need to check out each of their websites to find details about ages, open times, and if they are free or have an entry fee.

Courtyard by Marriot
Jl Camplung Tanduk , Dyana Pura , Seminyak.
Kids Club for ages 4 – 12 yrs.

The Grand Nikko
Nusa Dua
Jungle Camp ages 6 – 12 yrs.

St Regis Bali Resort
Kawasan Pariwisata Btdc, Nusa Dua Lot S6, Nusa Dua 80363, Nusa Dua.
Children’s Learning Centre from Age 4 – 12.

Novotel Bali Nusa Dua
Jl. Pantai Mengiat, BTDC Complex | PO Box 116, Nusa Dua
4 – 12 years old.

Padma Resort
Jl. Padma No. 1, Legian
Kids Club from 2 years old and Childrens Pool.

Sofitel Beach Resort
Lot N5 Nusa Dua Tourism
Complex
80363 NUSA DUA BALI
Children’s Club for over 12s Children’s Club for 4 to 6 years Children’s Club for 0 to 3 years Children’s Club for 3 to 6 years Childrens Club for 6 to 12 years Babysitting on request.

Holiday In Baruna
Jl Wana Segara, Tuban
Kids Club and Teen Room, & kids pool.

Bali Dynasty Resort
Jl Kartika South, Kuta
Kids Club for 4 – 12 years, waterslides, trapeze school, and activites.

Ayana Resort 
Jimbaran Bay
4 – 10 + a Kids Pool.

Bali Mandira
Jl Padma, Legian
3 – 12 years old.

Grand Mirage
Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua
3 – 12 years, play ground.

Club Med
Nusa Dua
3 – 17 years.

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Tengo hambre – The Mexicans in Bali !

So which one is better TJ’s or Poco Loco ?

This will forever be debated between people who travel to Bali for years to come, and I know which one is my favorite. However there are many new contenders to sample and compare. If you love mexican food you will want to try some of these, from the retro vibe of Mexicola to the healthy options at Taco Beach Grill I am sure you will find something which will get you started on a whole new debate!

Taco Casa
$5 – $11 AUD
Fresh, tasty and good for kids.
Jl Petitenget Kerobokan
Jl Pengosekan Ubud.

Taco Beach Grill
$2 – $7
try the Babi Guling Taco !
Jl Kunti Seminyak.

Taco Local
$2 – $9
go for the Quesadillas,
Jl Petitenget Seminkyak.

Lacalaca Cantina Mexicana
$5 – $11
awesome margaritas,
Jl Drupadi Seminyak.

Poco Loco
$5 – $16
a Bali institution if your in the area,
Jl Padma Utara Legian.

Tj’s Bar & Restaurant
$3 – $15
an oldie but a goody if your in the area
Poppies Lane Kuta.

Motel Mexicola
$2 – $22
Lives up to all the hype, very cool with great food and atmosphere worth travelling for.
Jl Kayu Jati Seminyak.

La Mexicana
$5 – $10
Great atmosphere.
Jl Raya Canggu.
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~ The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud ~

So credit where credit is due this little guy is pretty cute, as long as he is only in 2D and on my computer screen. To say I am scared of monkeys would be a huge understatement, after several devastating traumatic events. Including being bitten ( hard, drawing blood and instilling the fear of rabies ) by an alleged pet at a dodgy villa we stayed at, having a 3 foot tall male monkey in Ulu’s try to steal my baby ( or perhaps it was the mango we were sharing still undetermined) and being deep in the Sacred Forest, 8 months pregnant and having my “friends” (yes you know who you are) and the banana seller lady (with the  big stick) think it funny to throw bunches of bananas at my feet and call all 605 monkeys in from the forest to feed off me ( or the bananas again undetermined).  I think I am quite within my rights to never want to look at a monkey again. However the novice Bali traveller may wish to visit the Sacred Monkey Forrest in Ubud. There are approximately 605 (according to the website)  long tailed macaques which live in the monkey forest being of 4 distinct troupes. Within Balinese Hinduism, monkeys represent positive and negative forces. The Balinese both loathe and revere monkeys for example the ones that that occupy sacred Balinese Hindu temple sites (like the Sacred Monkey Forest) tend to be revered and protected by the Balinese. One reason for this is that monkeys, in the form of a Barong, are believed to be capable of guarding temple sites against evil spirits. However, they are also of the belief that monkeys can be negative in nature which is reinforced when, for example, they raid rice fields or snatch items from their shops. There is a small fee to enter the forest and I recommend you do not have any items like sunglasses, water bottles, snacks or phones in your pockets or on you, as they will be taken by the monkeys. You have been warned !

Monkey Forest Road, Padangtegal Ubud.
photo Copyright © Kalle Kiander ( http://www.kiander.se )

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~ Tips for first timers to Bali ~

For many of you Bali is like your second home, as soon as you step off the plane and the heaviness of the humidity hits you, the Indo comes rolling off your tongue, your ridiculously relaxed look washes over your face. We tend to forget the first time we arrived and how we were totally overwhelmed by what we all now love. I have thought of a few tips to perhaps prepare you if its your first time:

Airport Porters –  I love these guys and I know everyone else will say steer clear, however they are just trying to make a living so for 10 000 Rupiah for each piece of luggage they will help you get from the conveyer belt to your transport, great if you are lugging around cots, surfboards, prams, kids, etc.

Jam Karet – Bali Rubber Time Things happen when they happen in Bali and you may just have to relax and wait, there is no point getting stressed as this won’t make things happen any faster. There is no point getting angry either, as generally Indonesians do not respond well to confrontation, so try to just go with the flow.Traffic can be slow and this can be due to a car doing a 50 point turn in the middle of the road, a ceremony or cremation procession which has closed off the streets or road works. So try not to leave things to the last minute when traveling around the island especially getting to the airport for flights or a ferry to another island.

Dodginess –  There are a few scams to watch out for: Politely remind the taxi driver to turn his meter on. Only use a Bank to change your money. Don’t enter any competitions and politely walk away and say no thank you if a guy jumps off a scooter offering you the chance to win a big prize (these are a time share sales pitch). At mini marts make sure you see the total cost of your purchases on the computer screen as a few staff have been adding their own tourist tax ontop of your total and hiding the computer screen and the customer is none the wiser.

Respect for the Culture –  Make sure you cover your shoulders and legs with a sarong with a sash around the waist when entering temples. Ladies cannot enter when menstruating. Unless it’s an organized tour or you have been invited, please do not walk into people’s home and temples and start taking photos. Although not a huge deal if accidently kicked or stepped on, the beautiful offerings on the ground are to ward off evil spirits and they contain burning incense, which can burn your skin between your toes.

Be aware of methanol poisoning – If you or a friend becomes extremely unwell after consuming any amount of alcohol particular if it affects your vision; go immediately to the hospital, as methanol poisoning can be lethal. Drugs are rife in Bali and on the surrounding islands, and drug use, possession and trafficking can lead to long jail sentences and even the death penalty. Be aware that many people trying to sell you the drugs are often undercover police trying to lure you in with fake drugs. Magic mushrooms are also readily available, so be cautious of the hallucinogenic effect altering your perception of reality, especially if you overheat or keep taking more when you think there is no effect!

Pick Pockets and Bag Snatchers – Be aware when out at night for thieves on scooters snatching bags from your hand or off your shoulder while you are walking. Perhaps hide your wallet or purse under clothing, also pickpockets, those very pretty girls (who are not actually girls ) and seem so friendly and hands on at the time, will relieve you of your wallet, watch, cash and phone in one sexy cuddle. Also street kids selling leather friendship bands will relieve you of your wallet whilst you are shaking their hand and enjoying their cheeky smiles. Always carry your valuables in your scooter seat and not over your shoulder as bag and camera snatches can occur.

Skimming devices are also very prevalent on ATM machines and in popular restaurants so perhaps take both cash and credit card and when paying by credit card keep your card in sight at all times. ATM machines in Bali tend to give you your cash first then slowly your card with many a traveller walking off leaving their cards behind in the machine.

Please only drink bottled and filtered water as the tap water is not treated and can cause illness. Always have travel insurance as health care is very expensive. If you become very unwell, consider calling the Doctor in straight away so you don’t waste your precious holiday in bed and on the toilet. Wash your hands well and often with soap, particularly after touching money.

Out for a bargain – When doing a bit of shopping on the beach or at the markets only ever enter into bartering or ask the price if you actually intend to purchase the item, as this can be seen as very rude. Petrol prices in Bali have risen significantly this past month so be prepared to pay a little more and keep in mind, people are just trying to make a living not necessarily trying to ‘rip you off’ .

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times as Dengue fever is unfortunately rife in Bali. For short term use I would suggest repellent with a high amount of DEET, as well as long clothing and using mosquito nets and room sprays.

Tipping – I am a big fan of tipping, if you get quality service, whether that be a waiter, villa staff, nanny, driver etc please give generously as most employed Indonesians do not earn a large wage and can often be supporting their larger extended family.

Finally, please be very careful when swimming and try not to be intoxicated as there are strong currents in the ocean which have taken many lives, as well as tragic accidents occurring when people are diving into an unfamiliar pool.

Love LMB xxx

Photo Copyright © Kalle Kiander http://www.kiander.se

 

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The Shampoo Lounge

If you are after quality, luxury, pampering at affordable prices, in air conditioned comfort or the privacy of your own villa or hotel, then consider booking with The Shampoo Lounge. They have highly trained staff to provide you with excellent services, including hair, beauty , full barber services, massage and makeup. Only using the best products including MAC and Dior you can enjoy a chilled glass of wine or icy cold beer. For more details like them on facebook or see their website www.theshampoolounge.com

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