Picture courtesy of Pullman Legian
Five things to do in Legian:
1/ Surf the waves
Legian is great for surfers, with pretty massive waves. We wondered why so many Australians took their surfboards with them and upon seeing the waves in Legian, we got why! If you cannot be bothered to carry yours, don’t worry, you can rent it anywhere on the beach
2/ Drink a Bintang whilst watching the sunset
Or you can choose a noon alcoholic fresh coconut juice! It’s relaxing, cheap (a Bintang cost us 25000 IDR, roughly AUD 2.5) and watching the sunset is romantic
3/ Fly a Kite
The kites in Bali are pretty sophisticated. You can even get a 3D pirate’s ship!
4/ Walk along the beach
5/ Organise a day trip to commute to other locations: We changed hotel to Nusa Dua, and commuting from Legian/Kuta was easier.
Day trip in Ubud
Monsieur and I took our first cooking course together in Hanoi, 3 years ago. Thanks to TripAdvisor’s recommendations, we booked a cooking course with Paon Cooking, and though it implied an early pick up at our hotel (7:30am pick up to be at the Ubud Markets at 8:45am due to dense traffic) it was definitely worth it. We paid IDR350,000 per person for the cooking course as well as IDR 400,000 to have a driver pick us up at our hotel at 7:30am and drop us off afterwards. We made it to Ubud Market a bit later than most (most guests were based in Ubud, where pick-up is free). As we wanted to go to the Sacred Monkey Forest at Ubud Sanctuary, we paid an extra IDR 50,000 to our driver and got back home about an hour later at around 4:30pm.
Paon Cooking Class
Paon Cooking offers two sessions: Morning (with the visit of Ubud’s Market) and Afternoon. Both are priced at IDR350,000 (roughly AUD35). Included in this price is a tour of the Ubud Markets where you get to discover the local fruits, vegetables and spices. The first sale of the day is considered the luckiest, so if you can get there at 4 am and you’re the first customer, it is likely that you can get yourself a good bargain
(I know, I don’t look my happiest, but I got car sickness! After sampling a mangosteen and a banana, I was back to normal!)
On our way to Puspa’s home (where Paon cooking courses are held) we stopped near the rice terraces. Indonesian grow various types of rices: white, sticky rice, red and black. Black is the least common of all as it is used for sweet desserts. Rice is a staple in Indonesians’ diet, but despite using fertiliser and being able to harvest the rice 4 times a year (as opposed to twice a year before), Indonesia still has to rely on imports to meet the local demand.
When we made it to Puspa and Wayan’s lovely home, Wayan (Puspa’s husband) welcomed us with an icy lemon drink and explained us everything about Balinese houses. You’re allowed to have only one temple per family, and when a woman becomes a bride, she has to follow her husband’s family and move in with her in-laws.
Wayan played the a Balinese Bamboo xylophone whilst Puppa explained us what ingredients we would be cooking with.
Before we started cooking, Puppa enquired about food allergies and dietary requirements. One vegetarian had her Base Gede without the shrimp paste and her chicken dishes were substituted with tofu. For once, Monsieur’s allergies weren’t relevant!
Above: The lovely Puspa grinding peanuts garlic and chilli. Don’t be scared about the hotness of a dish, as seeds from chilli beans were removed so I found it to be mild!
“Hah Hah Hah, that’s not a
knife pestle and mortar!”
“THAT’s a pestle and mortar!”
We chopped, grind, stirred, mix and stirred; got to sample long snake beans. For the first time, we sampled tempeh (fermented soybeans) and it was love at first taste!
We went to Paon Cooking the second day after we got to Bali, and the food was outstanding. Pupsa promised this would be the best food we would have in Bali, and she was right. No other restaurants we went to matched the goodness of her recipes. My only regret now that we’re back home is that we should have gone back… It was that good!Other than the tempeh being one of our favourite dish, we loved the Sate Lilit Ayam (Minced chicken grilled on bamboo sticks).
And because a great meal always ends with something sweet, another dish Monsieur is keen to prepare once we’re back home is kolak pisang: boiled banana in palm sugar syrup.
This is the only dish we didn’t get to prepare! Though super easy to make, it was the tastiest indonesian dessert we had.
We highly recommend Paon Cooking Class. It was the best day we had in Indonesia!
Sacred Monkey Forest at Ubud Sanctuary
Our driver, who is also a “taksi” driver, agreed to wait for another 1 hour with us at the Sacred Monkey Forest (though the visit took us 45 minutes). This was something we were looking forward to, though my poor Monsieur was scratched by a cheeky monkey (Monsieur had bananas with him). Entry to the Monkey Forest is 30000 IDR per person (as of June 9th, 2015). Beware, monkeys can be quite aggressive you have bananas!
So tell me dear reader, have you ever tried tempeh and been pleasantly surprised? And if you’ve been to Bali, what other activities would you recommend?
This post is based on visits independently paid for.