Wednesday, May 04, 2011

8-11 October 2010 - Trip to Manado (Last trip in Indo)

We couldn't leave Indo without squeezing in one last trip and it of course had to be a dive trip. We couldn't decide which location should be our last and after speaking to a couple of people that have visited North Sulawesi we decided on Manado. We initially wanted to go to the Bunaken National Park on the Bunaken Island but because we weren't so keen to take our (then 5 month old) baby on a boat we opted for a resort on the main land.

Friday, 8 October 2010 - We arrived in Manado at around 10am and were greeted by the driver from the Cocotinos resort where we were booked to stay for 3 nights. It was only a short 20 min drive and we stopped outside the resort. Cocotinos is the closest resort to the airport and this of course has it's pro's and con's. It meant that we didn't have to sit in the car for hours and could get straight to the relaxing part of our weekend break.
The downside is that the resort is in the middle of a kampung (village) so don't expect a breathtaking view and definitely not piece and quite. I'm not actually sure about other resorts in North Sulawesi, maybe they are all like this but there were no other restaurants or shops around so once at the resort you stay there. Quote from their website: "Unless you want to go and explore a number of other villages nearby, where you can experience genuine local culture in the everyday life of the villages".

This didn't bother us at all though. I just thought I should mention it as it wasn't quite what we expected from looking at the pictures on their website. I would describe this resort as a rustic but leisurely dive resort. Emphasis on dive...

We thankfully booked the Posi-Posi suite, which is what made our stay at Cocotino's worth it (well for me at least). The room was very comfortable and ideal for me and Svea to hang out in while Marc was out diving.

Because of the very small pool (no kiddies pool) with no steps and non-descript pool and restaurant area, we spent most of our time in our room.

Our suite on the water's edge. The Posi-Posi suite is a fantastic room and it does look exactly like it does in the pictures on their website.

The view to the right from our balcony.
On the left, a ship yard which was quite an eye sore.

View of a volcano, one of many in the area.

We went with an all inclusive package for approx. $200 per night, which in hindsight is very expensive for what we got. When there are more than 10 guests, meals are buffet style. But, because there were only 4 of us that weekend we chose meals from the a la carte menu and although the food was ok, I think the buffet would have at least been better value for money.
It is a 20 min boat ride to the dive sights in the Bunaken National Park.

The Cocotino's pier.

The view of the resort from the pier.

Over all we did have a very nice and relaxing weekend. Marc, as always enjoyed the diving so he was happy with the choice in the end. I however, definitely wouldn't recommend this resort for non-divers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

16-21 September 2010 - Last trip to Bali

This post is looooooooooooong overdue. But rather late than never! The reason I haven't been blogging is because we no longer live in Jakarta. Maybe having had a baby (now 1 year old) might also have something to do with my lack of blogging.

We moved to Neu-Isenburg, Germany (10km from Frankfurt) in October and sadly Asian Sky is no more ;-(. But, I feel like I have to finalise the blog and end off our time in Indo though and the below post is on our last trip to Bali.

Thursday, 16 September - We were met at the airport by our trusty driver, Nyoman that drove us around for the 6 days we spent in Bali. Like the previous times we used him, he was always on time, friendly, helpful and a pleasure to have as a driver. I would highly recommend booking Nyoman for your next trip to Bali. His rates are really reasonable and very competitive. Contact: or Tel: +62 361 9194412

It was approx. 1 hour 30 min drive to Bedugul where we spent one night at the highest golf course in Indonesia, Bali Handara. Marc really enjoyed the golf and I particularly enjoyed the colder climate.

The hotel however was a disappointment, really old and dated. We checked in and was rather annoyed and put off by how dirty the room was. The curtains were grey and dusty, the bed sheets tatty and it didn't look like they had vacuumed the room in weeks not to mention the big flies flying around that we couldn't seem to get rid of.

Thankfully the staff were very accommodating and did their best to clean the room up. It is amazing what a good wipe with some disinfectant, a dust cloth, a good vacuum and clean curtains and bed sheets can do. Which is kind of what one expects for $90 per night? Unless this hotel has improved drastically in the past couple of months, I wouldn't recommend it.
The best thing about this hotel was the golf (according to my Marc and the beautiful scenic views all around.

Friday, 17 September - We were up early and after a deciding bad breakfast we were happy to be on our way to Seminyak. We arrived at the Bali Agung Village at around 10:30, and were lucky enough to check in early. We were booked into a garden view room which with a baby was just not suitable as there was no space to move around. Luckily they did have an Ocean view bungalow available which we quickly upgraded to.
We were happy to have more space for the baby bed and of course the added bonus of a sea view.

The gazebo right outside our bungalow.

The pool is great. It also has a kiddies pool which was perfect for Svea's first swim.
The restaurant serves a good selection of western and Asian food. It is also a great place to sit and watch the waves rolling in, especially if it's a rainy day.
The dive centre right next door to the hotel was very convenient and Marc thoroughly enjoyed the diving.

We really enjoyed our 3 night stay at Bali Agung Villiage and the streets of Seminyak with a selection of restaurants and fantastic shopping was great.

Monday, 20 September - We decided to end our Bali trip off in Sanur at the Tajung Sari Hotel.
This hotel has a real old world charm and ensures for a relaxed.
We stayed in the Village Baru bungalow, which was a real treat with it's lovely private gazibo where we enjoyed a great dinner, fantastic outdoor shower not to mention all the space in the room.

The pool area is basically an extention of the beach. Sitting on the terrace felt like being on the beach which was great.

We were sad to end our trip, knowing that we were going to leave Indo in a couple of weeks. We do hope to return in the future though, as Bali still is on the top of our "Great holiday destinations" list.