Bali Souvenir ( its just sugar sticks but Uber Cute)

HOW cute is this box of sugar sticks ??? Yeh I know Sugar is so passé right now. ( I am yet to quit sugar), but how cool would you be taking a box of this back for someone who still LOVES a teaspoon in their tea or coffee hey ? I found these at Coco Supermarket for only 13.500 Rupiah ( about $1.30 AUD) on Jl Kayu Aya, Seminyak. You can probably get it in any supermarkets across Bali. (I hear also possibly at Carrefore, Bintang and Tiara Gatsu in Kerobokan).

Sugar Box

Sugar Sticks

Lulu Yasmine ~ My Favorite boutique.

For several years now, my favourite go to boutique for any special occasion items has been Lulu Yasmine. It must be the mix of beautiful boho chic and femininity that draws me in, matched with the quality of the clothing with the softest and most delicate silks and lace. Since the development has marched north so has Lulu Yasmin now with her elegant Flagship Store located just near the entrance of the W Retreat on Jl Petitegnet.. I have been addicted to Pinterest and found myself repeatedly pinning delicate lace tops and wanting them to match with worn cut of denims, as I wondered in due to being notoriously early for my massage next door at Amo spa, I ohhhhh and ahhhhhed as this stunning silk top caught my, eye. I tried it on and even with no make up and the sweatiest helmet hair, I instantly felt beautiful and said this is it the top I have been longing for. Armed still with some birthday money to spend, I almost skipped with glee to my next appointment. Like Lulu Yasmin on Facebook and see her new website. http://www.luluyasmine.com/
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Triette Store ~ Jl Batu Belig Bali

Triette Store is a tiny bit of shopping heaven with the prettiest home wares, jewellery and baby clothes you really need to pop on up and have a browse. I brought the cutest batik shopping bag and resin Koi candle holder and could have done some serious credit card damage. Oh but *sigh* if I only had a baby girl they have the sweetest little girl jewellery, which reminded me of when my Opa and Oma would return from Holland with the daintiest silver jewellery for me which was very similar. Whilst checking out the rest of the little gems on the best street in Bali you need to add this one to your list. It is just near Coco and Ginger, Bathe and Bambuku on Jl Batu Belig which is about 10 minutes from seminyak at the end of Petitenget turn towards the beach ( left and follow it down to the beach.
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Fat Chow Asian Eatery which is right next door to the shopping mecca Beachwalk Bali

If you are after a good, wholesome Asian feed for a great price in an unpretentious eatery then head into Poppies 2 ( the beach end)  to Fat Chow Bali. Perfect if you have just shopped up a storm at Beachwalk Bali. This place is serving up some really tasty treats from Japanese inspired beef rice bowls, Hainan chicken rice, to yummy pork  mini burgers. To wash it all down are some fresh, yum mocktails served up hipster jars, Fat Chow is not the place if you are after cocktails or an extensive wine list, with only house wine and Bintang on offer and WIFI is not available just yet so you may need to communicate with each other. However you can perhaps chat about interesting interior design or which ice-cream flavour you will try. You can enjoy a drink, starter 2 mains and dessert for under 300 000 Rupiah so good value for money. Perhaps just worth a journey into Kuta if you haven’t been for a while Like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fatchowbali?fref=ts   xxx
FC Bar FC curry FC cushions FC Fried rice FC Lights FC main FC Mocktail FC pretty FC staff FC Starter FC tin FC

The Kids Bucket List for Bali

With so many options its really hard to decide which adventure or experience to take the kids on. Here are some of the ultimate kids adventures to consider-

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Bali Butterfly Park – Tabanan ~ From 50 000 Rup

Pastry Making Monsieur Spoon – Canggu ~150 000 Rup http://www.monsieurspoon.com/

Be Creative Beading Workshop – Batu Belig ~ from 90 000 Rup

Balinese Cultural Creation –all kinds of dance and craft classes – Denpasar http://www.balineseculturalcreation.com/

Bali Equestrian Center ~ Berawa – From 120 000 Rup http://www.baliequestriancentre.com/

Jenggala Paint a Pot ~ Jimbaran Bay – 340 000 Rup https://www.jenggala.com/xcms.php?xcmscategoryid=11

Santai Surf School Double 6 Beach ~ Seminyak – 500 000 Rup https://www.facebook.com/santaisurf

Payuk Bali Cooking Class ~ Ubud -350 000Rup http://www.bing.com/search?q=Payuk+Bali&src=IE-TopResult&FORM=IE11TR&conversationid=

Bali Sea Turtle Conservation (Baby turtle release) ~ Kuta Beach https://www.facebook.com/baliseaturtlesociety?fref=ts

Waterbom Park ~ Tuban – Kids From $19 USD Adult 31 USD Packages available

Bali Tree Top ~ Bedugal – Kids $14USD Adult $22 USD Packages Available https://www.facebook.com/balitreetop

High Flyers Bali ~South Kuta – 32 500 Rupiah for 75 minute class. https://www.facebook.com/HighFlyersBali?fref=ts

Bali Safari and Marine Park~ Gianyar – $39USD Kids $49USD Adult http://www.balisafarimarinepark.com/

Bali Zoo ~ Gianyar – $12 Kids $24 Adults http://www.bali-zoo.com/

Pirates Bay Bali ~ Nusa Dua – 50 000Rup http://thepiratesbaybali.com/v02/#.Uxvab2fNuUk

Elephant Safari Park ~Taro , Ubud – from $45USD kids $64USD Adults http://www.baliadventuretours.com/index.php/en/elephant-safari-park/safari-park/about-safari-park

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Planning your Bali Wedding

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If we are being totally honest it won’t be as easy as you hoped and unfortunately Bali isn’t as cheap as it once was and we will explain why later, however keep reading we have some ideas for you to make it all come together as you have dreamt. I always tell people that the prices may not be as cheap as they once were, but your money does go further here.

We are constantly being inundated with queries about how to plan a simple beach wedding. This will also take a fair bit of organization and will incur costs. Brides and grooms to be don’t realize this and anything they choose WILL cost money.

Things to consider first:

Can everybody travel?

Make sure the people you want coming are able to travel: Overly pregnant women ( later than 26 weeks struggle to get travel insurance) and the elderly will have issues getting on planes. Tash from Plan A Events and Costumes has experienced a couple make some preliminary inquiries as their dream wedding would be in Bali and we went through all the options and confirmation. The Bride then got back toTash the next day completely broken hearted because her father was older, and said he straight up did not want to (or feel able to) fly anywhere for her wedding. Of course it was a priority for her to have him there, so she had to cancel and have in in Australia. So while its ultimately up to the bride and groom where they want to wed, if there are certain people they cannot marry without, its wise to check they can actually fly on the dates they want, or at all!

Is a chapel important?

There are a growing number of chapels available for couples to get married in. However they only fit a certain amount of people, and for larger weddings, people are often standing in the back, all the way to outside the chapel. It does come at an extra cost as well and eats up time. Unless the couple is particularly religious, having the ceremony done in the villa instead of a chapel will save money from 1. Rental of the chapel and 2. Transport of guests to and from the chapel.

Legalising the wedding

Just because you get married in Bali, doesn’t mean it’s recognized in your home country. Getting legally married in Bali is definitely possible, but will take about a day to go to get it registered with the consulate and will cost extra as well. It is advisable to speak to your chosen celebrant and compare the cost difference between a legal wedding in Bali and getting your marriage certified in your home country and then just doing the ceremony here. Many couples opt for that.

Venue

This is probably where most people get frustrated. They see a location they love, but don’t realize that there will be hidden costs. For example. Most villas that hold weddings require a minimum night stay. On top of that you need to pay a bond to hold your event, plus another payment (usually equivalent to a nights stay) and this is known as the event fee or the payment to have an event there in the first place. There is also the banjar fee ( for the local village) which ranges depending on location. Most places also require music to finish by midnight (some even by 10pm!).

Perhaps consider these recommendations of villas that offer a reasonable price in relation to the number of people they sleep.

Our choice: LaGen – Uluwatu 5 bdrm, Villa Bulan Putih – 7 bdrm, Villa Rumi – choice of 2, 3 or 4 bdrm…or choose all for your guests to stay there too making it 9 bdrms but all separated. Villa Asante – 4 bedroom

Food & Beverages

This is an area that has a huge gradient between cheap and expensive. Like anything, you get what you pay for. Indonesian food by Indonesian caterers tend to be cheaper, and western food or canapés start getting pricy.
Price is especially variable where drinks are concerned. Sometimes people comment that the drinks we do can be quite expensive and I always have to explain that now, to get ‘real’ alcohol, you will have to spend it. And when it comes to your health and a good time, its worth spending the extra cash. (And by expensive, we mean western prices).

Florist

This can get pricy. Especially if you are using imported flowers. Keep it simple and only use local flowers. The florist usually also has access to his own chairs and lanterns, so you can do that all at once with him and get a discount usually rather than go to 3 separate vendors and pay full price for each thing.

Ok here is a guide to give you a basic idea.

Budget wedding (no venue) AUD$700 (inclusive of experienced Wedding planner)

–          Celebrant performing a ceremonial union on the beach

–          Bouquet for the bride, buttonhole for the groom

–          Driver to pick you up from your villa and drop you off at your dinner/final location

–          Reservation organized for your dinner

–          Pictures taken by witness

Budget wedding 20px: AUD $7,000-$9,000 50pax: AUD $10,000-$12,000 Not including cost of wedding planner as this will vary depending on the number of guests and also not including venue) .

–          Food and drinks

–          Dj

–          Speaker & lighting

–          Celebrant

–          Photographer

–          Cake

–          Florist, chairs and lanterns

Main difference between starting prices is dependent on the alcohol package they choose and the flower package they choose (seriously, flowers can get so pricy!). These prices are not including the venue which would obviously depend on which one you choose and how many nights you stay. People can refer to the ones above if they want to work out a total.

 In Summary ~

  1. Local is always cheaper. The minute you start going for western vendors (florists, caterers etc) it’s going to be more expensive. It’s up to you to decide what you want to spend the bulk of your money on.
  2. Risk the rain and come in the low season. You’ll be saving immensely on the nightly rate for your venue.
  3. Get your guests to bring a bottle of champagne or wine each. Cheaper than here and then you only have to pay corkage fee with the caterers instead of super expensive sparkling.
  4. Decide what your maximum budget is. Remember that a big portion of that will go to the venue, a big portion to f&b and the last big portion to the florist. The rest is usually quite easy to find affordable options.
  5. Wedding favours don’t have to be elaborate. Make it something light that people can travel back home with and that doesn’t cost you a fortune. Those silver boxes ( pressed tin)  you find everywhere in Bali are really affordable and you can just leave a thank you note in them and people will be happy enough with that as a keepsake and can use it to put their jewelry or fill up with wax at home to make their own candle. Speaking of candles, you can get nice ones at affordable prices at ACE hardware. By going to big chain stores here in Bali you can often find cheaper goods then going to shops who ‘specialise’ in wedding things as they hike up the price.
  6. Don’t use a chapel. Have the ceremony at your chosen location.
  7. Chooses Indonesian caterers and Indonesian food.
  8. Go with a recommendation for make up artists, from someone who has had them before. Make up trials cost money so if you know the look you want, and you trust the person who has recommended the artist, just stick with it and get the first and final makeup done on the day.
  9. The more elaborate and the more layers your cake has, the more expensive it will be. Cut the cost and have a very simple small cake to cut, and have the rest as simple cupcakes that people can come grab if and when they want. In addition, not everyone likes cake, so get about 1/3 less than the number of guests coming, or do you really need a cake?
  10. Easiest type of food is finger food for the whole night then setting up a noodle or fried rice station at around 10pm. Sit down dinner requires more tables, chairs, linen etc. Stick with simple. Everyone will still get fed.
  11. For things like photography, makeup, and hair always check if there is someone on the guest list that could donate this as a gift rather than hire one in Bali.
  12. Keep costs at a minimum with music by making a playlist to play from the moment the ceremony is over and throughout dinner. Keep the dj for just the last couple of hours for the dancing/party after.
  13. If you don’t even want to hire photographers, create a unique hash tag for your wedding day i.e. #mikeandlisasbaliwedding2014. When people take pics and upload them (which they will) make it a condition to always use this hash tag. It might be long, but they’re doing the work so after the wedding, all you need to do is type this into instagram and facebook, and every photo taken at your wedding by every single one of your guests will come up. Cheap way to get every angle possible at all times of the party!
  14. Entertainment options for your guests vary from Balinese dancers to fire dancers to acoustic singers…the list goes on. If you are planning to be there for the entertainment and want to cut the price, make the speeches at this time instead. It’s just as entertaining, free, and best when there’s not too much alcohol involved so you can actually remember them. If you are planning to have the entertainment for your guests when you are your partner are off getting photos after the ceremony, cut costs by having the the MC (nominate one just as you would bridesmaids and groomsmen) play a slideshow of the two of you. Something that you create so you know what’s on it already and aren’t missing out.
  15. At the end of the day, the biggest tip I can give is HIRE A PLANNER! It might sound cheaper to do it all on your own, but by paying just a little more, you will benefit big time:

–          Don’t have to deal with language barriers,

–          Don’t have to constantly deal with 100 different emails, names and quotes to remember. Especially when you get to Bali and are meant to be relaxing!

–          With a planner you would only need to make one deposit and one final payment minimizing the number of times you get charged an international transfer fee. Doing it a million times for all the different vendors, the fee that’ll incur will end up being the same as what a planner would have charged, minus the hassle

–          Planners have reputable vendors. Going through them ensures you wont be ripped off or receive substandard products.

–          You get to RELAX! At the end of the day, this is your special day so leave the nitty grittys to someone else!

A huge thanks to Tash at Plan A Events and Costumes for all of her amazing ideas and suggestions. Tash has over 6 years industry experience and 10 years working in Indonesia and knows how to make magic happen.

Contact Tash about your wedding or event ideas

Email info@planabali.com.

http://www.planabali.com

https://www.facebook.com/planabaliImage

Taman Nusa Cultural Park

For those of you who love a bit of history and culture,  you might enjoy the new Taman Nusa Cultural Park ( just near the Bali Safari Park)  which aims to offer comprehensive information on the cultures of Indonesia’s various ethnic groups.  You can see Indonesia in one Afternoon! It offers  comprehensive information on the cultures of Indonesia’s various ethnic groups in an attractive and interactive way, and is situated on 15 hectares of land.  Visitors are invited to explore and experience Indonesia’s journey throughout the ages beginning from the prehistory, bronze age, kingdoms, and an archipelago of Indonesian cultures. The journey continues to the early national era, independence, modern times and finally to the nation’s future. For more details check out the website.

http://www.taman-nusa.com/?page_id=1548

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Taman Nusa Borobudur

Taman Nusa

Canteen Cafe Canggu

Canteen Cafe Canggu is a local run cafe in Canggu with a feel good “Vibe”, Find heaps of old surf memorabilia, great coffee, fresh good food and juices, and perhaps even a pro surfer or two. Don’t blink or you will scoot straight past it. Definitely put on your list if you in the area. Jl. Batu Bolong No.34, Open 7am – 5pm most days. Phone
+62 878-6228-1755.
Canteeen Tahi fish cakes
Canteen Sign
canteen

Echo Beach House, Canggu

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A casual place to spend the afternoon, on the weekend, is the ever popular Echo Beach. When the sun is low on the horizon and the tide is even lower, enjoy a few waves, some reef exploring then, head up to the restaurants for a yummy dinner. Cold beers, yummy mojhitos, pick yourself a seafood feast. With a buffet of all kinds of seafood ( I go for the prawns) and meat on offer, just add the fresh salad ( keen to know what kind of bird lays the tiny eggs ). Help yourself to some fresh bread and nasi kuning while you wait. A great option for an early dinner if you have kids ! Baby chairs are available also.

Jl Pura Betu Mejan, Canggu.

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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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