Hohoho, its the Christmas season once again! Every year, our group of friends will have a get-together and spend the Christmas and New Year's eve together without fail. Similarly, this year we shall have it at Baoguang's place! Astonishingly, the number of guests joining us gradually increases yearly, and has hit over 20 this year.
During the annual Christmas gift exchange, we will set a list of T&Cs for guests for them to purchase their gifts in preparation for the gift exchange. Some of the T&Cs include setting a price limit for the gifts, excluding some gifts which are not appropriate nor user-friendly for the guests.
Having headaches on what to purchase for your Christmas gift exchange? Here are some ideas which I feel that you can put them to good use!
A pair of movie tickets
Personalized gift set (eg. towel gift set)
Yearly planner (please note that price may vary)
Large Christmas mugs
Notebooks & accessories
Gift sets from Bodyshop
DIY Craft Building Set
Aromatherapy diffuser (prices varies greatly)
Cosmetics & make-up sets
Earphones (please note that prices vary)
A pair of Universal Studios tickets
Watches (buying a smartwatch may be a good idea!)
Luxury hotel stay vouchers
That's about all! If you have anything else to add on, feel free to add them in the comments section below!
Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and another good year ahead! (:
Sunday, 30 November 2014
Hello there! I must have been on a hiatus for the past seven months! These few months, I have been to Cambodia, fishing trip on my N-th times at Tanjung Pinang, Bangkok, as well as the topic for this post, Bali!
Throughout these few months, I have been spending my time working, studying, as well as doing some investments in shares and Forex. Lost quite a sum of money, but guess that's all part and parcel of investing... It's all about the positive attitude!
It was our first taking the Garuda Indonesia too, on-board their Boeing737-800.
This trip to Bali was with Yanjun and her relatives. Though it may be funny, but its my virgin trip to the sunny Bali. Bali, an island south-east of Singapore, about 2.5 hours flight from Singapore, only has a population of about 4.2 million (credits: wikipedia). However, such popular is the island that it is literally infested with tourists from all over the world! Similarly to other parts of Indonesia, the roads in Bali are under-developed, and traffic lights are a rare sight to be seen. Jams are a common sight and it could easily take twice the amount of time compared to taking a scooter to the destination.
Along with this trip, we were accompanied by 11 of Yanjun's relatives. It was difficult to find a place to accommodate 13 persons. Luckily, Yanjun's uncle, found a villa which housed 5 rooms to accommodate our entire group.
Upon arrival, we changed into something light to suit the hot and humid weather in Bali. After having lunch at one of the local Balinese restaurants, we proceeded to Tanjong Benoa Beach to participate in some of the water sports activities. Yanjun and I tried the jetski, which was a thrilling virgin experience for both of us. Due to the low tide, we were unable to participate in the para-sailing for safety reasons.
Lunch at a local Balinese restaurant - Warung Nyoman
Sate Ayam (chicken satay - a common food everywhere in Bali)
Nasi Campur "Bli Nyoman" - A dish where everything is mixed altogether
Pepas Ikan - Traditional baked filled snapper in Balinese seasoning
Ayam Betutu Warung Nyoman - Balinese traditional seasoned and spiced chicken
Subsequently, we proceeded to Uluwatu Temple and enjoyed the picturesque scenery at the top of the mountain.
Such beautiful scenery of the Indian Ocean (p.s. correct me if I'am wrong).
Dinner was at one of the seafood restaurants in Nusa Dua, with a perfect ambience of having dinner by the seaside. This dinner however, did come with a hefty price. Bali, well-known for its sauces and spices, was put to good use where the food were well-furnished with local spices. A point to note: all the seafood were barbecued, and brushed with sauces. Therefore, please be aware if you shun from barbecued food.
Street food - barbecued corn. These makeshift stalls were aplenty along Nusa Dua beach, lined up along every few steps to attract the tourists. There are two types of sauces for the barbecued corns - honey butter OR chilli butter, and I swear they were the nicest corn I had till date.
Lunch was spent at the local Crispy Dirty Duck restaurant. I have no idea why it was named this way, but no doubt, the local delicacy is notorious in Bali.
Lunching at Dirty Duck Diner was not cheap as well. prices may seem cheap on the menu, but there is a charge of 21% taxes to be liable during the final bill. Therefore, do not be shocked when the final bill arrives at your table.
Kuta Beach! This is one place not to be missed when you're visiting Bali. Many have told me about Kuta Beach as being one of the more famous tourist hotspots in Bali. Yanjun and I visited Kuta Beach twice, both on the second and third day. The following pictures were taken on the second day, and I guess it was due to the low tide that we can hardly see anyone surfing along the shorelines of Kuta Beach.
The journey from Kuta to Ubud was about 2 hours via our rented vehicle, considering the undesirable jam along the streets of Bali. Visiting the Monkey Forest along the streets of Ubud was one of the attractions we went. Bali is literally infested with monkeys! And these monkeys would spare no chance when snatching food or drinks away from you. Thus, you have to be very careful dealing with these monkeys with food in your hands.
Last attraction of the day was a visit to Ceking Rice Terrace. It takes guts to venture along the steep slopes of the Rice Terrace, but once you overcome that, you would be amazed at the view once you're at the top. The top of Ceking Rice Terrace consists of several coffeehouses for tourists/diners to enjoy a sip of coffee, while admiring the view of the scenery.
Day 3 was free&easy for the family. Yanjun and I visited Kuta Beach once again to look for cheap yet "genuine" clothing hahahaha. We had to bring back some souvenirs for our friends and family members which were abundant in the streets linking to Kuta Beach.
Next up was a visit to the local wholesale market, Krisna Bali, more commonly known as Krisna Market by the locals. The items in Krisna Bali were at least half the price of what was sold out in the streets. Local snacks and souvenirs are also easily available there.
Last day of our trip! We had to check out of the villa before 12PM as another group would be arriving soon. Therefore, we had to find a way to whilst our time away before arriving at the airport.
Visited the local Carrefour at Sunset Way, Bali. It is a mini shopping centre, with Carrefour as its anchor tenant. Had to do some last minute shopping to fulfil our quests here in Bali! An avid fan of chilli sauces, I must have brought have at least 15 bottles of different kinds of chilli sauces available on the shelves hahahaha!
Overall, it was a pretty good trip to Bali. Relieves the damn stresses we had in Singapore, and let it all out in gorgeous Bali. I am planning a trip to Bali again soon with my family early next year, and we shall see how it goes!
There are several means of transportation means in Bali.
1. rent a scooter
I do not exactly know the prices of renting a scooter in Bali, but petrol can be easily found, not at the petrol stations, but at shops along the streets. These shops sell petrol for scooters, which are placed in liqour bottles. Takes away the stresses of facing a jam at every street in Bali too. (:
2. take a local taxi
Remember to take a taxi and ask them to on the meter. Initially, I was duped by asking for prices whenever I entered the taxis. With experience comes wisdom right? hahahaha!
3. rent a vehicle with a local driver
Our vehicle was RP$900,000/10hours, equivalent to about S$90. However, ours was a big family, which makes it all the while worthwhile!