We woke to a cloudy day and then it was rushing rushing. The flight at 1305 meant that we had to leave by 1030 from the resort. By the time baby K was ready, we left the room at 915 for breakfast.
The staff was happy to see baby K and hi-5 him as we came. Had his last serving of papaya from the resort, ate some cereals and bread while I had some steak and mommy had the waffles. By the time we left, it was 1015. Rushed again, bathed baby K and called the staff to help with our bags as we booked the airport transfer (to save the hassle, came with a premium). Paid off what we owed the resort with all our rupiah and the rest by card as USD wasn’t accepted. About 400SGD spent including the day trip driver, not overly expensive.
The drive to the airport was not too difficult, managed to arrive at 1130ish and we proceeded direct through the X-ray security before checking in. There was a queue already but it cleared rather quickly. Next we go through another X-ray checkpoint before the immigrations officer. Again the queue was cleared rather smoothly and we were going through DFS and past the branded stores.
Wanted to buy some foodstuff but couldn’t find anything particularly interesting and sharable so ended up at the waiting area, ready for boarding.
The return flight was not too difficult with baby K curious to just walk around and sometimes become momentarily interested in the Pororo on screen. He had the post weaning meal which he only took some spoonful and soup that mommy cooked and brought aboard. After his meal, we each ate one after another as one of us had to hold onto this constantly moving toddler. Good thing was he managed to fall asleep while I gently rocked him as he sat on my lap to watch cartoon and that lasted an hour till we landed in T3, a different terminal where we initially flew off from.
Although it was a mere 5days trip that was planned without much objective other than escaping from the daily grind to celebrate mommy’s birthday, it was tough some days as baby K was having flu and was highly irritable, and he had learnt to become whiny, something that we really disliked in kids, before we had one ourselves. This also set us thinking about future trips, long ones that had lots of inland travel, if we could survive those then. Could we do it with more detailed planning?
Royal Santrian Villas provided incredible service beyond our expectations and that made the stay mostly enjoyable and the difficult times bearable. The price was slightly on the high side expected of a 5star resort pool villa but it was worth it for the services and the food that was available.
It was raining the whole night up till the early morning. Didn’t regret the sunrise shot I took on Thursday as that could be the only sunrise I was going to see this whole trip.
We got off to breakfast as usual in the late morning. The staff had to rush out to put on the rain protection for the furniture that were out in the open to prevent them from getting soaked as the rain came back suddenly. They also laid towels at the bottom of the doors to prevent water from seeping into the restaurant.
Baby K developed a keen interest in papaya and was asking for it frequently. It was great that the fruit platters were served everyday and there was papaya. The staff knew what baby K wanted papayas too, and looked happy to see him.
Also struck up a conversation with a German couple who found our baby K adorable, whom themselves had a 11month old back in Swiss while they were out here in Bali having a holiday but were missing him already. Just so easy to connect with people who were parents themselves.
We had an afternoon dip in the pool as the rain started to clear up and the sun peeked out of the cloud for some time. After that a bath and followed by the same routine of going to the seaside in an attempt to get baby K to sleep which he did doze off. Upon return to the room he would wake up and refuse to go back to sleep. Tried another round at the beach, even strolling to the other neighbouring resorts but to no avail. Decided that we would go to Bali collection for lunch.
The resort arranged for the drop off at the Bali Collection and we had our lunch at Paon Restaurant. Baby K behaved only for a while before going cranky. He ate some lunch and then became fussy and whiny. We left the restaurant and as we tried to enter the shops to shop, he cried wanting us to stay outside to walk. It was an extremely helpless and frustrating moment. Mommy tried to carry him to sleep and I kept my distance from them since he kept wanting to sit on my hipseat, we failed in getting him to sleep. It was already then time to go to the entrance, as we had already arranged for the pick up 1.5 hrs later after drop off (which didn’t arrive as the driver forgot about it, had to call the resort). Baby K nodded off to sleep then.
We hadn’t master the trick to manage his nap times, his fussiness and whining, all this came along with his sickness just this week. It had wrecked havoc on a supposedly chill holiday. Got back to the room and baby K continued to nap as mommy took over the carrying.
This was the first and only time that we managed to have the resorts’ afternoon tea that was available everyday at 3-5pm anywhere we desired. Of course we had it in the villa due to the napping baby. There were some biscuits and tarts with a drink each, had a cafe latte and mango juice.
After baby K awoke, we quickly pack for dinner and proceeded to reception to ask for a free ride to Bumbu Bali, a restaurant with a good standing on tripadvisor. The recept helped to call the restaurant to check for availability as they knew its popularity. As predicted, we were told it was fully booked. They informed that we could just be dropped off at a location nearby to check out the other restaurants. So we got on the vehicle.
Arrived in a short 5mins drive and we walked awhile to find restaurants that would provide Indonesian cuisine. Got into Ketut’s BBQ kitchen which was supposedly highly recommended on Tripadvisor too. There was also a small crowd.
We ordered sweet and sour chicken and Mie Goreng together with fresh juices. It was quite a cosy place but it didn’t have a high chair for baby K. The staff stacked cushions for him though yet he preferred to walk around. There was a huge teddy bear from the restaurant that the staff placed on a chair beside him but he lost interest quickly.
After the meal, we called the driver to pick us up again, as there weren’t much things to see along the road unlike some of the more touristy streets of Bali.
Back at the room it was about packing up, cleaning up and then going to bed. A wedding dinner was being held and had some songs and music up late. The music wasn’t loud enough to be disturbing and we don’t know when that ended as we were already asleep then.
Baby K was the pre alarm as he asked for milk at around 540am. The room was very cold despite having set the thermostat at 24degC (which I suspect that it wasn’t working). I got off to the beach for the sunrise moments after baby K had finished his milk and gone back to sleep.
Though the skies above me were clear, the clouds in the distance meant that I won’t get a clear sunrise, I wondered if it was due to the mountain in the horizon. I waited on one of the loungers without paying much attention, then out of the blue the big orange yolk peeked out of the horizon, climbing quickly. I walked closer to the water to snap a few photos.
When I got back to the room, it was the start of a long day, beginning with food preparations for baby K for the day trip. Once done with the prep and leaving the food in the portable steamer to simmer, we left the room at 8am for the restaurant. Breakfast took at least an hour and we got back to the room to pack the food and got ready. Knowing that we wouldn’t make it in time, I had went to the recept previously to inform that we couldn’t make the 9am timing and was assured that we could just enjoy the breakfast first.
As we got out at 930am, the driver was ready with the same vehicle that we had since the airport transfer. The difference was that there was a cooler box where the mini bar drinks options were all transferred to the cooler box, for free.
Our first stop was 2 hrs away, the Monkey Forest in Ubud. Baby K fell asleep en-route and woke just when we were dropped off at the entrance. Paid 80k for the tickets to a rather small forested area where there were a lot of free roaming monkeys. They were going for bananas from tourists who have bought them on sale from some of the vendors. Some visitors used the bananas to lure the monkey to get a picture of the monkey on them. In this forest were 2 temples, both of which were small and no entry was allowed. Other than the old stone statues, old bridge and a wooden walk path, there weren’t particularly much to see.
On crossing the bridge, one monkey actually took a hanky from the side pocket of our bag. I wanted to grab it back but was met with an open mouth showing some sharp teeth. Waited till he dropped it before recovering the hanky. There were also 2 instances where monkeys just climb onto our bags and jumped off somewhere. We were actually concerned if the monkeys would suddenly attack our baby. We left after an hour at the forest.
The next stop was a small Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Ubud) that looked more like a village to me. We took a few snaps of the small area before going across the street for the Ubud art market, where there was a building with 2 floors selling a whole lot of handicraft. There were also many stalls outside the building but our lack of interest in the art and craft and the heat from the weather made us retire early from this 30mins walk.
The driver came back and took us to a restaurant called Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck diner to have lunch. The restaurant was a very huge area with tables placed at different small buildings. They were not air conditioned but due to the openness, it was quite airy. We had our lunch at one of the short tables, like the Japanese type, where you have to sit with your legs crossed or kneeled. Baby K had fun walking about on the cushions and it was difficult just getting him to eat.
We ordered fried rice and fried chicken rice because they had ran out of duck ironically, food wasn’t particularly fantastic. I brought baby K to walk around the path downstairs which had some small ponds and water fountain and took some pictures.
The driver was called by the valet at the restaurant to pick us up, identified by a car number card. We then left for another 2hrs drive to Ulun Danu Bratan temple. This journey was long as it had to go through many small roads where traffic was heavy and the driver drove rather quickly, moving in and out to overtake the vehicles travelling on the single lane. Baby K was feeling uncomfortable and was fussy, until a point he just fell asleep.
As the car climbed, the weather became bad and it started drizzling. After the long drive, we arrived at a crowded carpark and mommy had to enter the temple alone as baby K laid sleeping on my lap and it was drizzling. Baby K woke up soon after and as we waited for mommy to return, I had to change out his diapers as he had pooped in the car. Thankfully the driver was out smoking somewhere else and didn’t had to endure the stinky atmosphere.
After mommy returned, I went to the temple myself, paying 30k for the tickets. The compound was big, consisting of a nice garden and the temple by the lake. The drizzle continued and it was a struggle to walk on the wet path without getting wet. Took some pictures of the temple on the lake in the foggy atmosphere before leaving for the next destination, Tanah Lot temple for the sunset, another 1hour drive away.
Again it was small roads and overtaking. We arrived at yet another crowded carpark but was informed by the driver that there weren’t any sunset due to the clouds. We got off to visit anyway and was met with hordes of people all over the place. The place was still beautiful though as the temple had a small portion of it in the sea water and there was a queue of people in the ankle deep water trying to get into the temple. It was nice feeling seeing and hearing the sea crashing onto the rocky shores. After getting some help in getting a picture of us with the temple, we decided to leave the area to go to a supermarket in Seminyak in order to purchase some food for the preparation of baby meal for the next day. Called the driver to bring us to a supermarket (Frestive supermarket) in Seminyak which was another 40mins drive plus the heavy traffic there.
As we arrived, baby K again fell asleep and mommy left the car for the supermarket to buy some minced meat. Then we took the last 1hr drive back to the resort. That night, we ordered in room dining (less options than eating at the restaurant itself) as we stayed in to cook and clean up. Had no problems sleeping as it had been a long day.
It wasn’t a smooth night as baby K was fussy and had been crying. He wasn’t happy with his runny nose and cough but we couldn’t do much except giving him the meds, which he took already before bedtime.
I woke up to a light peeping through the curtains and was surprised as I had set the handphone alarm for sunrise. Checked and sure enough the alarm was on but I couldn’t hear it. I must have been too tired.
Went back to sleep as baby K had not woken up. The next thing I knew we were only up at 10am and an hour from the end of breakfast. Quickly got changed and with a cranky baby asking for bread, we took off for the same restaurant where we had dinner the night before.
It wasn’t a buffet table but a order as you liked, as much as you want Ala Carte breakfast. Got ourselves an Egg Benedict, Mie Goreng and chicken porridge. Also had yoghurt and fruits and coffee and fruit juice and bread. Filled up so much that we didn’t need to eat lunch. Again the staff were extremely friendly and were happily distracting baby K as he was extremely fussy.
Went back to our rooms and did a research on how we wanted to spend our next few days. Wanted to book a tour with the popular private tour provider Agus travel but was informed by the resort that the room phone couldn’t be used to call out. I tried calling thru my handphone but was met with an unavailable message so I dropped a Whatsapp but there wasn’t an immediate response.
We got ready to go out and went to the recept to enquire. We were informed that they also could offer drivers for the day albeit more expensive, as expected. We were interested in visiting the Ulun Darun temple and the Tanah Lot for the sunset and but was told that it would take a whole 10hrs for the trip and costs US$130. The half day would cost only US$70. Don’t want to trouble ourselves further and agreed to that arrangement.
Then we were off on the resort vehicle to the Bali Collection, a shopping area that had the feel of an outlet village. Baby K was asking for milk on the 5mins drive there. After we arrived, he continued to finish the milk while the driver stopped the vehicle at the entrance waiting for him to be done. Then unfortunately he also fell asleep soon after he was done. On seeing this, we decided to go back to the resort, a bad decision regrettably.
After arriving back at the resort, once I carried him from the seat, he woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. It was plain frustrating as he didn’t nap long enough and we had a wasted trip to and from the shopping area. Went back to the room and we changed into our swimwear to have a dip in the pool. Thought that by going for a swim he would feel sleepy later on.
The pool actually had water that wasn’t cold, really nice for a dip especially with baby. Had earlier blown up the airplane float and ball for baby K to play in the pool and baby K had fun, walking on the step and at the water supply and also with me bringing him around in the 1.3m deep pool.
After the shower in the tub, I attempted to get baby K to nap by reading him stories, fruitlessly. Then I brought him out to the beach when he dozed off on the hip seat. Brought him back to the room immediately after but once I put him down on the bed, he woke up again! Tried the beach strategy again but he was not relenting. Mommy brought him out and finally he fell asleep. This toddler’s napping inconsistency could be a problem when we go on our long trip coming Sept.
Then with mommy incapacitated as she carried baby K in her arms ( and he would just wake up if left on the bed), I took over the chef’s hat and continued to cook baby K’s soup and salmon. By the time I packed everything and was ready to move, baby K woke up fussy again, asking for biscuits. Quickly got him a few and moved him to the restaurant where he made a ruckus in an otherwise quiet atmosphere, so bad I had to bring him out to calm him down. The runny nose was really irritating him.
After a few minutes out, we finally managed to sit him down on his high chair back at our table and gave him a handphone to look at his photos before dinner can proceed without more whining.
Ordered green curry and mushroom pasta and some juices to go along. Dinner was always a rushed affair, mostly spending the time feeding baby K rather then enjoying the food itself. I guessed the food would have tasted great if we had focus on it.
We got back to the room after the meal with the whiny baby and he slowly became better behaved where I bathed him and read him storybooks. We gave up going to Seminyak and even the supermarket as it was late.
There was a short moment of excitement as we hear fireworks in the distance. Rushed to the beach only to see glimpses of the fireworks before it ended, even before I was ready to take a shot.
10pm and we all went to bed. Better to get some needed sleep and be prepared for a tour tomorrow morning because we had to wake up early, which was challenging with a toddler in tow.
Woke up at 6am in preparations for our trip to Bali, a flight at 925am on SQ. We had to beat the weekday traffic so leaving early was the strategy. Our bags were mostly packed and with a toddler in tow, we needed a 28″ minimum and a smaller 25″ for the 5 days trip.
Baby K was nursing a cough that developed over the weekend (with fever on Monday and Tuesday) and was snoozing all the way till we were about to leave the house. Once carried he wouldn’t go back to sleep.
On the car, we chose the PIE route and had slow traffic till Toa Payoh, thankfully. Managed to check in by 8ish but was disappointed to find out that I had forgotten to order the post weaning meal when I called in to reserve bassinet seats. We managed to arrange for the one on the return at the separate SIA sales counter near the check in counters.
Weren’t much time left after I purchased some syringes at Guardian pharmacy for feeding baby K his meds and mommy bought bread from the cafe and we cleared immigrations. Wanted to have some coffee at the newly opened Ya Kun while baby K munched on his bread but the queue was horrendously slow that we gave up and proceeded to boarding.
Boarding the plane was done rather quickly and we settled down after placing all the carryon bags at the overhead compartment, luckily space was available. As the plane took off, baby K fell asleep, having not gotten enough of it since feeling unwell the last few days. Parents rest time with the rare moments of watching a movie on board a plane since baby K’s birth. It was short lived though as baby K woke up 1hr later.
He wasn’t feeling well and had showed signs of throwing up. Wonder if he was beginning to able to feel air sickness. The journey was otherwise pretty smooth and he only showed uneasiness as the plane descended in altitude and pain in his ears (and he was being stubborn and not wanting to drink any water).
We arrived at a large modern airport to our surprise as we didn’t remember it the last time we came here. There was a small nursery room where we changed out baby K. The luggage was really slow at arriving as we had to wait for about 40mins before finally picking it up (clearing immigrations was like 5mins).
After exiting the hall, we were trying to identify our airport transfer driver but couldn’t find my names amongst the hordes of white cards. Had to make a call to Royal Santrian while they call the driver. In the meantime we just stayed around and take photos of the airport.
The driver came shortly after with my name and showed us to the car park where he parked the vehicle. From then it was pretty much 5 stars treatment with the cold Aqua and cold towels to the luggage handling. Upon arrival at the entrance after 20mins on the road, we were given a chance to participate in a Balinese ritual and blessing before entering the resort. It was interesting and fun to see baby K with a flower on his ear. Checked in was done at a sofa and we were shown how the welcome drink was made.
The staff then showed us to our huge villa and all the amenities there were. I was in awe by the size and the number of beds where we could just sit around and chill (am not the frequent resort tourist so was easily awed). Baby K was just walking around enjoying the new environment.
After resting for a bit and feeding baby K some milk, we went to the recept to ask for directions to the nearest supermarket. We were told that there was a resort shuttle that could bring us to the local Hardys mall and back for free.
We boarded the same vehicle as earlier airport transfer and was sent to the local supermarket just 10mins drive away. We told the driver that we would probably take 30mins and he would pick us up again. The building was huge and the supermarket was just a portion of it. There was a section for meat and seafood but we settled for frozen salmon. Bought some milk too and left.
We also got ourselves some lunch over at the fast food My Dea Fried Chicken counter within the same building (didn’t checked out the 2nd floor where I suspected there might be a food court). My Nasi Goreng wasn’t exactly fast. There was an indoor game arcade where I brought baby K to pass time waiting for the food.
The driver was already there when we exited the building and we were sent back to the resort. Had our fast food lunch and I brought baby K out to the beach in an attempt to get him to nap.
At the beach, there were some huge lounge beds where baby K and I chill and watched the activities going about in the sea. He couldn’t nap and worse still, was climbing around. After sitting around for half an hour, I then brought him nearer to the waters. As there was a breakwater far away, the waves coming in were very gentle. The only issue was that the sand was extremely soft and I kept getting my feet sink into the sand.
For a while, I strolled close to the waters and as baby K still didn’t sleep, I started walking back to the villa. Soon he fell asleep, probably the sounds of trickling water from all the pool villas made him sleepy. No matter what it was a good thing, left him on the day bed and went to wash off the sand on my feet, weird that I couldn’t find any washing point at the entrance to the resort (which there were, I realized later in the next few days).
Mommy was taking a bath and had an issue with hot water as it never seemed to be heated up. Called the resort staff and when she turned up to check, the hot water came. It took really long (which we realized also later that during the initial introduction we were mistaken to believe that the right tap was for hot water but in fact it was vice versa).
The awesome staff at the resort then brought over a small cake and a large roses arrangement to the room. They couldn’t sing a birthday song since baby K was sleeping but it was a nice gesture. They had to leave in a fog when the fogging of mosquitoes took place at that time of the day.
Baby K slept till 7ish (with me beside him as he woke up half way) and we left for dinner at the resort hotel with our portable steamer with food cooked for baby K. There weren’t anybody at the restaurant when we arrived and we chose to be seated inside the aircon area to avoid mosquitoes. Baby K was given a high chair and throughout dinner, he was slightly fussy. Thankfully for the good service of the staff, they were keeping him entertained while we ate.
Food was ok and price was as expected of a resort restaurant but wasn’t really very expensive comparative to Singapore standard. At the end of dinner, the staff switched off the lights and came back with another birthday cake! This time with a birthday song as well! It was a lovely sight as baby K clapped along with the tune!
After dinner we went back to the room under a blanket of stars and only could wish to just watch them twinkle out on the day beds but didn’t as we didn’t want to risk getting bitten by mosquitoes.
Back at the room, bathed baby K at the huge tub (hot water was topped up manually with boiling water) and washing of the bottles and cutlery began. The tap water was slightly salty and we had to drink from bottled water ( which was free and there were 10, so were all the drinks in the minibar). After all the washing was done, we got off to bed, with a lot of light switches to turn off.
This escape plan was planned as a short escape to a beach resort to celebrate wifey’s birthday with a toddler in tow. It was planned as a relax holiday to just enjoy the luxurious villa and a bit of sightseeing.
Budget nature: For a luxurious and comfortable villa, it will not be cheap.
The resort accommodation was not cheap but we felt like royalty while staying at the resort (only maybe poorer after the trip). But seriously the staff was amazing with the services, especially when they tried to entertain my toddler as he got fussy. The butler was always there when you need attention. And 2 birthday cakes, thumbs up!
We had airport transfer which was not cheap again. We also booked the driver direct from the resort albeit somewhat more expensive then what could be found outside.