Off the trip to Bali

So, what happened was, I finally quit my job. Had a 3 weeks of much needed break before starting at my new job. Naturally I had to go somewhere, and Bali being my most fav island escapade, therefore off to Bali I went. Prior to Bali, I went to Jakarta for 4 days. Did some shopping, feasting and sight seeing. This time around I opt to use their train service as my hotel is situated near Sudirman train station. Went to Taman Ismail Marzuki, which hosted their local theatre, cinema, art gallery, book store, planetarium and spaces for various cultural performances; ideal for the likes of moviegoers and theater lovers. I didn’t manage to catch any of the shows there though due to the limited time I had. Getting there is relatively easy btw, from Sudirman station, take the train to Manggarai and change the train heading to Jakarta Kota, but get down at Cikini station. From there there’s plenty of taxis and bajaj that’ll take you to Taman Ismail Marzuki.

Sudirman station

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Cinema poster. This movie however wasn’t release yet .

I came back to KL on Saturday night. Sunday was spent on car and iphone repair works, laundry, last minute packing, a WEDDING and rushing off to the airport AGAIN at 2am! Phew! Didn’t manage to sleep that night but did doze off for a bit on my early flight to Bali. The views from the window plane were beyond beautiful early in the morning. Couldnt bring bulky dslr on this trip, hence this mediocre picture FML.

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This time around I didn’t plan much about the itineraries. I had a week to kill there with nothing much on my schedule. I was busy at work before and this trip was kinda unplanned for me, hence the hefty plane tix and nothing much on schedule. What I know was that I definitely gonna go to Padang Bai to swim and laze around at Bias Tugel beach. And also I would repeat Uluwatu this time. This was gonna be my first time in Padang Bai and third time in Uluwatu. As usual my first stop in Bali was Sanur. I love its night market that’s got plenty of delicious and cheap halal food. Perfect for traveller on a budget like yours truly. Pasar Sandhu is located at Jl. Danau Tamblingan. Gotta say that the food and vendors were pretty much the same since last time I been here in 2012.

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The next morning I headed out to Padang Bai. Like my previous visit, I use public transportation to get around. Not many people know this but the best way to move around between far out places in Bali is via bus. From Sanur to Padang Bai it’d cost me IDR75,000 via Perama Bus. Apart from Perama there’s Sarbagita bus service which is ideal if you need to move around to nearby places in Bali. Sort of city bus service. Initially Sarbagita was set up to cater to the tourist’s demand but sadly it’s not really popular with the tourists. Bad marketing, perhaps? I really hope these bus services stay as I really dont want to resort to using supir service.

Padang Bai

Padang Bai serves as a port to the neighbouring islands of Lombok and the Gili sisters. And for the more adventurous, yes there are ferries to Komodo island too. There are two beautiful beaches in Padang Bai; namely Bias Tugel beach and Blue Lagoon (which was featured in Eat Love Pray movie). Both requires a bit of trekking to get there. Blue Lagoon beach is tad bit smaller and further than Bias Tugel, and most of the people opt for motorbike to get there. I chose my accommodation that is nearest to Bias Tugel, but still it needed a bit of trekking to get to the beach.

And you wonder why would anyone fascinated with this hidden beach?..

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Bias Tugel beach

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Blue Lagoon beach

Diving in Padang Bai

Of course, I didn’t book diving trips prior because I wanted to look around on the price and availability of diving trips offered along Padang Bai area. Lesson learnt from diving trip back in 2012, dont rely on only dive trips available on the internet. Often times (though not all) the dive shops are run by the westerners and not by local people, hence the hefty price charged for dive trips. Thus this time around I decided to shop around for dive trips before securing any dive package. It didn’t take a long search though as I was quite impressed by the dive stories told by local instructor, Imade Widana or more fondly known as Pak Wi. He runs a small dive shop near to the port.

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Price per dive is about RM100 (nego for equipments) and of course, depending on the sites. Diving at sites that are further from the port is more expensive. And it’s better to at least possess an advanced diving license prior to diving in Bali as the currents are pretty rough there. But then again, dive sites in Padang Bai are relatively calmer than those in Nusa Penida (possibility of underwater currents at Crystal Bay site). Pak Wi is definitely a macro expert. He has the flare of spotting tiniest sea creatures, some were even smaller than an index finger. So if macros are your fancy, then go look for him in Padang Bai.

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Sing em out

Tips:

Dont listen to Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall while studying, you might want to give up on your education

Dont listen to Radiohead (all of their songs) while working. One tends to be depressed after that.

 

Nevertheless they’re awesome. They have the perfect songs to sing at the karaoke.

Bleak Market

I am so worried. In fact we are all jumpy in the trading room. Ringgit has fallen so badly in the last few weeks, making it the worst performing currencies in the region. Stock index has also shifted down so quickly (reasons unknown to us. could it possibly just because of oil price?)

More importantly bond market is expected to follow the downward pattern soon. In emerging market we can already see the impact of stronger dollars as opposed to the weakening emerging market currencies. Russia ruble has dropped so badly, its worst condition in 16 years. We have exposures to bonds in Russia and therefore this has hit us in terms of market value quite badly.

EMD 1 year

Why is this happening at the last stretch of 2014, nobody knows.. This worrying market condition is also the reason why I’m typing this at the office at 9pm tonight. Got to finish up some papers on this tonight. Sigh…