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    Pandawa beach Bali

    by kecakbali Written Mar 30, 2014

    Favorite thing: Kutuh Beach or known as Pandawa Beach is located in South Bali about 3 km from Nusa Dua. Pandawa beach has a white sand stretching from end to end , the water is clear and clean and the pounding of the waves playing off in the distance

    Pandawa beach Bali
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    Halal Restaurants

    by machomikemd Updated Jan 3, 2014

    Favorite thing: as we all know, Halal restaurants means that there are no pork and pork products and other meats and seafoods not allowed in Islam, but here in Bali, Halal Restaurants have a different twist as since bali is a hindu majority area, Halal Restaurants also include beef as among the not allowed so if you are on a day tour outside of the Tourist areas of Kuta, Denpasar, Nusa Dua, Sanur and Tanjung Benoa and would like to eat good food, then ask your tour guide to avoid these Halal Restaurants with buffet as the only meat dishes are chicken and some seafood and lots of vegetables and some soups as again no pork and beef products and such locals call these restaurants "Double Halal".

    Fondest memory: If it is included in your tour package to eat at a halal restaurant, then just grin and bear it as the ala carte meals are also "double halal"

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    Beef Rendang

    by machomikemd Written Jan 3, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Beef Rendang is a National Indonesian Dish that originated in the West Sumatran Area and is now popular around Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, parts of southern Thailand, southern philippines and brunei. it is made from beef or any other meat and cooked in coconut meat with a paste of mixed ground spices, which includes ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemon grass, garlic, shallot, chillies and other spices. It is available everywhere in Bali like in warungs, restaruants, hotels and more and costs about 30,000 to 40,000 rupiah an order.

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    Ais Kacang

    by machomikemd Written Jan 3, 2014

    Favorite thing: Another favorite of mine. the southeast asian and east asian region are crazy about iced shaved desserts and here in Bali is no exception, one of the most popular iced shaved drink cum dessert is the Ais Kacang is the Malaysian and Indonesian version of the korean patbingsu and the japanese kakigori and the Thai Nam Kang Sai and the Philippine Halo Halo. Being a tropical country, Indonesians love cold desserts and Ais Kacang is on the top of the list. The Ais Kacang basically has a large serving of attap chee (palm seed), red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly and cubes of agar agar as common ingredients. Other less common ingredients include aloe vera in one form or another (e.g. jelly), cendol, Nata de coco or ice cream in various variants of the dessert. A final topping of Evaporated milk, condensed milk, or coconut milk is drizzled over the mountain of ice along with red rose syrup. It is available everywhere especially at food stalls and hawker centers and costs 9,000 Indonesian Rupiah an order.

    Fondest memory: Have a refreshing Ais Kacang

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    Nasi (Indonesian Rice)

    by machomikemd Written Dec 31, 2013

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    Favorite thing: Nasi is the indonesian word for rice and the basic cooked fluffly white rice is called nasi putih in Bahasa Indonesia and there are various Indonesian Fried Rice, but the national dish and the most popular will be the Nasi Goreng and this basic dish consists leftover rice from the night before. Besides ingredients like shallot, tomato, pepper and chili, the rice is fried with scraps of chicken or beef; usually leftovers from a chicken or beef dish if cooked in the house but uses newly cooked white rice if at restaurants. Other Indonesian Fried Rice dishes are Nasi Campur, Nasi Lemak, Nasi Padang, Nasi Kandar, to name a few.

    Fondest memory: you can buy nasi goreng and all of it's variations at street stalls, restaruants, hotels, bars, cafe's all around bali island.

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    Sambal

    by machomikemd Written Dec 31, 2013

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    Favorite thing: the spicy chili sauce of Indonesia. Indonesian are know as lovers of Spicy Food and their favorite dipping sauce is the sambal. It is typically made from a variety of chili peppers and is sometimes a substitute for fresh chilis. It can be extremely spicy so that youn must have a taste test before pouring it in in the Indonesian Meals that you order and since many of the indonesian meals are already spicy, try to put just a little bit in your meal if you are not fond of spicy sauces unless it is mixed with the food like the sambal sotong or the sambal ikan. The Balinese Version is less spicy somewhat. there are many kinds like the sambal ikan (with anchovies), Sambal belacan (with shrimp paste). Sambal kemiri (with candlenuts) and a lot more.

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    Money Exchange Shops in Kuta

    by machomikemd Updated Dec 30, 2013

    Favorite thing: I will have separate tips on the money exchange shops at the airport in my tourist traps as the exchange rates their are lower and also at the other money exchange shops in Kuta which have higher exhange rates but charge you a commision of 5% !

    there are many money exchange shops in Kuta, Seminyak and Sanur Areas in in many Places in Denpasar and in Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa area and in the tourist attractions in rural areas like tanah lot, tampak siring, kintamani, bedugul, ubud, etc.

    the money exhange shops exchange a wide variety of foreign currencies like the US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Euro and more into Indonesian Rupiah and since the rupiah depreciated against the US dollar, the current exchange rates of 1 US Dollar to Indosesian Rupiah is about 1: 11.950 to 12,100 rupiah as of december 2013.

    most are open from 8:00 am to about 10:00 pm everyday

    Fondest memory: many money exhange shops around the major tourists areas of bali but be careful to see if there is the sign "NO COMMISSION" in front as if there are no signs as such, you will be charge a 3 to 5% commision per transaction!

    if you see money exhange shops offering higher rates like 1 US dollar : 12,300 rupiah and up, look for the no commision sign in front and if there is no sign, then find another shop as they would charge you the 3 to 5% commision charge, hence you will get less!

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    ATM's in Bali

    by machomikemd Written Dec 30, 2013

    Favorite thing: Being the most tourist area of Indonesia, Bali has a large proportion of Automated Teller Machines and all accept the international ATM consortiums of the world like Cirrus, Maestro, Plus, Discover and a lot more and they are available in many areas around bali at the major tourist Areas like Kuta, Seminyak, Denpasar, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Ubud, Sanur and more. you can find them at ther sidewalks and at the malls and at the shops and even in the rural areas and the maximum withdrawals for a transaction is 1,200,000 Rupiah but some ATM's only have a 400,000 rupiah cap per withdrawal (this will be more expensive as you need to withdraw twice or thrice and get double or triple the withdrawal fee charge per transaction by the local Bank that owns the ATM and your local ATM, which also charges per transaction).

    Fondest memory: numerous ATM's in Bali to entice you to withdraw money.

    they charge an average of 40,000 rupiah per transaction of whatever amount you withdraw plus the local charge per transaction of your local ATM of which issued your ATM, so you pay double in withdrawing money in ATM's. Better to have more cash than withdrawing at ATM's.

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    Balinese Hindu Temples

    by machomikemd Written Dec 28, 2013

    Favorite thing: Balinese Hinduism is distinct from Indian Hinduism in belief and practices and one of these distinctions is on the kind of temples, unlike the common towering indoor Indian Hindu temple, The Balinese Templse (or Puras) are designed as an open air place of worship within enclosed walls and are connected with a series of intricately decorated gates between its compounds. This walled compounds contains several shrines, mount meru (towers), and bale (pavilions).

    There are different variety of Puras or Balinese Hindu temples and according to wikipedia, some of them are:

    There are several types of pura, each serving certain functions of Balinese rituals throughout the Balinese calendar.
    Pura kahyangan jagad: pura that are located in the mountainous region of the island, built upon mountain or volcano slopes. The mountains are considered as the sacred realm, the abode of gods or hyang. The most important pura kahyangan in Bali is Mother Temple of Besakih complex on the slopes of Mount Agung.
    Pura segara: pura that are located by the sea to appease the sea deities. It is usually important during the Melasti ritual. The example of this type of temple is Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu.
    Pura desa: pura that are located within villages or cities, serving as the center of Balinese people's religious activities.
    Pura tirta: "water temples", a type of pura that other than religious function, also have water management function as part of Subak irrigation system. The priests in these temples have authority to manage the water allocation among rice paddies in the villages surrounds the temple. Some tirta temples are noted for its sacred water and having petirtaan or sacred bathing pool for cleansing ritual. Other water temple are built within lakes, such as Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. The example of this type of temple are Pura Taman Ayun and Pura Tirta Empul.

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    Balinese Daily Offerings to the Gods

    by machomikemd Written Dec 28, 2013

    Favorite thing: while walking along the beaches in the morning or along the streets and side alleys of bali in general and at the touristy areas like kuta and seminyak in particular, you would see boxes made from palm leaves with assorted organic offerings like flowers, betel nuts and more the boxes (which are called canang) inside lying along the beaches or at the sidewalk in front of the local balinese houses or restaurants or shops or hotels, these are the daily offerings of the balinese people to to their hindu deity and ancestors.

    Fondest memory: the canang offerings which are palm leaves wooven like a box and full of assorted flowers and betel fruits being offered daily to their gods.

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    Beers in Indonesia

    by machomikemd Written Dec 27, 2013

    Favorite thing: Indonesia maybe the largest Muslim Majority Country in the world but beer drinking is still a popular activity here as the state is Officially secular. Indonesia has a number of local beer companies that produce excellent beers among them, Bintang Beer is the number one beer in Indonesia and Bali and is followed by Bali Hai Beer and Anker Beer. Among the internationally licensed foreign beers in Indonesia, San Miguel Beer, Guinness, Heineken and Carlsberg are the popular ones.

    you can buy ther beers in cans or in bottles at convenience stores and supermarkets at 15,000 to 20,000 Rupiah a bottle or can and it goes up to 40,000 to 60,000 rupiah at the bars, lounges, discotheques and restaurants.

    Fondest memory: lots of beer choices

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    Indonesian Cigarettes

    by machomikemd Written Dec 27, 2013

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    Favorite thing: Indonesia is the largerst producer of tobacco leaves in the world, supplying 37% of the world's supply and is the fifth largest country in terms of smokers in the world hence it is a given that Indonesia has many local and international cigarette brands that cater to the local and tourist market but the locals mostly prefer the kretek (cigarettes with cloves and aromatics) but the regular cigarettes also have a large market too. you can buy cigarettes practically anywhere in Bali Island like in convenience stores, malls, department stores, supermarkets, souvenir shops and cigaratte stands and even in some coffee houses!

    prices of cigarettes range from 10,000 to 15,000 rupiah for local brands and up to 20,000 rupiah for the international brands that are produced locally like marloro's or lucky strike or winstons.

    local marlboros cigarettes on sale at coffee shops assorted indonesian cigarettes more match sticks
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    Balinese Cuisine

    by machomikemd Written Dec 26, 2013

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    Favorite thing: Balinese Cuisine is Distinct from the General Indonesian Cuisine and it is a regional specialty. the food is less spicy than the Indonesian Cuisine and the sambal sauce are less spicy. beef is not used as the balinese are hindu and cows are sacred. the meat is more of pork, chicken and ducks and assorted seafoods and the spices and dipping sauce are slighlt different. Their version of the Indonesian Satay is called Satay Liit in which the chicken or fish or pork are minced before putting them into the wooden skewers rather than whole meat chunks, which the regular Indonesian Satay uses.

    Fondest memory: I love indonesian food but Balinese Cuisine for me is rather bland as there are no beef dishes.

    if you are going on a day tour to northern bali, lunch stops at restaurants and warungs are mostly balinese cuisine while in kuta area, there are more General Indonesian Cuisine present.

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    Babi Guling

    by machomikemd Written Dec 26, 2013

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    Favorite thing: Babi Guling is the Indonesian and Balinese Version of the Roast Pig and Roast Suckling pig and was proclaimed by Anthony Bourdain as the third world's tastiest pig roast after the cuban roast pork and the Philippine Lechon. It is only found in Chinese Areas, Christian Areas and the Island of Bali in Indonesia as the country is a muslim majority country and pork is haram (forbidden). you can this yummy dish in restaurants around Kuta and inm Denpasar and Sanur area and the rural areas and you can order them to go or dine in at the restaurants. incuded in the to go order is the roast pig parts and the crispy skin, some pork innards like the liver, balinese pork sausage, pieces of satay babi, rice and the lawar sauce. an order typically cost 40,000 to 50,000 rupiah.

    you should try this wonderful dish!

    the really good babi guling restaurants and warungs are in denpasar, sanur and at the Rural Areas like Ubud and Gianyar.

    Fondest memory: babi guling is available in many areas

    babi guling suckling pig ordering babi guling warung babi guling big pig an order with pork sausage & pig innards included
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    Civet Cat Coffee Comparison

    by machomikemd Written Dec 26, 2013

    Favorite thing: this tip will be on the pictures of the civet cat coffee produced in indonesia (kopi luwak), vietnam (weasel Coffee) and Philippines (coffee alamid).

    Kopi Luwak is the indonesian term for civet cat coffee (vietnamese call theirs weasel coffee and filipinos call theirs alamid coffee) and all of these coffee beans are from the partially eaten coffee beans eaten by the asian palm civet cat (the animal only digests the coffee cheries and the beans are not digested and are excreted along with the digestive enzymes of the tummy of the civet cat that makes a more roboust and nutty taste to the coffee beans).

    kopi luwak the partially digested coffee beans weasel coffee of vietnam alamid coffee of the philippines kopi luwak of indonesia
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