Aside from the sights and experience, what makes a trip memorable is trying out the food. Be it an out of town or out of the country travel, make sure to satisfy your taste buds of what a place has to offer. Bali didn’t disappoint, as we got to taste their local delights, from the normal looking to the exotic ones. I’ve got one word to describe most of their food, though – SPICY! Too bad the pictures that I will be posting here won’t let you experience its taste. But enjoy, and indulge, anyway.
First meal I tried at the airport after landing was this – Bebek Panggang Bali. 1/2 serving of duck, with garnish of steamed veggies and chili paste. It’s a bit expensive for 85,000 RP. Around 425 in pesos (or 212? I still am having difficulties in converting haha!)
Mom’s first meal was Ayam Betutu. Ayam is chicken, so it’s a chicken meal haha! This one is cheaper at 50,000 RP
When we realized that we spent quite a lot for our first meal, we decided to find cheaper food for our next few days stay in Sanur, Bali. And we actually did find one close by our hotel, a place called Warung Jawa. I think this is Bali’s version of turo-turo, where you can have a mix of everything for your meal. AND, it’s cheap! This is my favorite – rice with omelette, pancit, spicy tofu and crispy potato noodles. Ok now I’m craving haha!
And I did say it’s cheap, right? See, both our meals only costs 37,000 RP! Not even half of my first meal at the airport haha! We kept on coming back for two days and really worth the price for tipid travelers like us.
Ok, enough of the so-called ordinary food. As what I have mentioned on my Facebook post, we lived like tourists the first two days in Bali, and like a local in the next two. Thanks to Mom and her knack and gift in dealing with people, we get to experience living like a local in a Balinese village – from their food, way of living, mingling with their friends and (extended) family, they even brought me to witness a cockfight. Now back to food.
This is my most favorite among all we’ve tried - satay. It’s grilled fish meat formed into paste on coconut sticks, with spicy dip/sauce. Tastes sooo good! Best eaten while hot.
I did say exotic food earlier, right? Only in Bali I got to eat…WORMS! I have to say, it’s delicious! Perfect with beer or wine, which they call arak (too bad I don’t have a photo of it, nahuli sa airport haha!) Mom and I felt like we’re in a Survivor challenge before trying it. These are fried, don’t think they’re moving and alive haha!
The next ones are different kinds of food we bought while on the road. Since Wayan (the Balinese guy who took us to his parents’ place) toured us around, he and his wife brought us to places where we can really experience authentic Balinese food, and fruits too. Here’s one, something they called “snake fruit” because its skin resembles to that of a snake. The inside is kind of hard, but it tastes sweet. And, no seeds!
On the road, you will find a lot of Gorengan everywhere. I think it means “fried”, if my research is correct. And here are samples of “gorengan”, anything fried from banana, tofu, veggies, and rice crispies. Yum!
And here are the, what I’d like to call, healthy chichirya haha! Cassava chips (chicken and garlic flavor),and their version of chicharon made of rice.
We also had a taste of their mami in Linggawana, when we went to visit Pusba’s (Wayan’s wife) father. Her aunt has a stall outside their house selling this yummy, um, soup? Left photo is without the spicy sauce, right photo is with the sauce.
To make our local Balinese villager experience complete, and this is what my Mom enjoyed the most since she’s a coffee lover, we experienced harvesting, drying, and of course drinking their authentic coffee! Wayan’s parents have a coffee farm at their backyard and we tried it one morning. Here’s a collage I made on the coffee’s stages before you can have a cup.
And I am not saying this because I just came from Bali, but Bali coffee is the best I have tasted. I am not a coffee addict, my Mom is, but this got me drinking everyday! I loved the chocolate flavored, not too sweet and not too strong, and you can taste both the richness of coffee and chocolate.
Ok, done with the food part. Now on to the people we’ve met, friends we made, and faces we’ve seen. More than the pretty sights and the authentic food, it’s the people we met who have made this trip very memorable. Balinese people, in general and based on what I’ve experienced, are very warm and kind. From the cab drivers, hotel receptionists, and most especially the locals particularly Wayan, Pusba and their family. They’re all accommodating, and you can feel that you are truly welcome in their place, always with a smile. Let me start off with several group of students we saw marching along the road. Apparently, they are practicing for their upcoming Independence Day celebration (next week, I think)
From groups of students to another, here’s a photo with some inside a classroom in a school in Linggawana. They know a little bit of English. And when we said goodbye, the guys turned to me and said, “Arigato! Arigato!” I guess I really look like a Japanese.
Cockfighting, the Balinese way. When Bacok (Wayan’s cousin) introduced me to some of his friends, they immediately told me they know, who else, Manny Pacquiao!
With the very friendly staff of Batuan Village Market, the day of my birthday during our tour.
With Mia, receptionist at the Big Pineapple Backpacker Hotel, who, upon learning that I will celebrate my birthday in Bali said, “Oh it’s your birthday! How old are you, 25?” For that alone, I gave her a hug.
With Wiasa, our very able driver and tour guide; and Mom with Yantri, receptionist at Semawang Hotel (day 2)
Townsfolk in Karangasem. With Wayan, his friends and extended family. A night full of arak, and getting lost in translation. And yes, they made me smoke!
Our ibu (mother) for two days. Wayan’s mother. Still strong at 70, very warm and hospitable.
And of course, Wayan and his wife Pusba with their little one Putri. THANK YOU SO MUCH for accommodating us for two days, for touring us, for letting us experience the life of a Balinese villager, for the stories, for wanting to know strangers and foreigners like us, for sharing your life in a way for a short period of time, for everything. You made my birthday week and our Bali trip so special. God bless your big heart and beautiful soul. We hope to see you again someday.