Thursday, August 10, 2017

Kellaw's Travelogue: Concise guide to driving in Bali

Well, you have booked your hotels for your trip to Mystical Bali. Now what? How the heck do I get around? Is driving easy? Do I rent a Motorbike or a Car? Would it be wise to get a driver? What about license and which side of the road I would be driving on? Is it easy to find my way there? So many questions. Fret not, this is why I wrote this guide.

Surely if a monkey could ride here, so would I right? Nah.. Trust me when I say you wouldn't be the first to be shipped out in a box nor would you be the last.

Ok, let's start with some real simple facts:
  • Bali, Indonesia and most of the countries in South East Asia drives on the LEFT side of the road and always uses a RIGHT hand drive car(you could always import a left hand drive)
  • If you are from Europe, you need an International Driving Permit(IDP) along with your home country driving license. You could always get one from the police station but never ever drive without a license(at your own risk)
  • If you are from members of the ASEAN countries (ASEAN not Asian, meaning Assoc of South East Asian Nations), you are in luck. License of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand are recognized as per the AGREEMENT ON THE RECOGNITION OF DOMESTIC DRIVING LICENCES ISSUED BY ASEAN COUNTRIES Kuala Lumpur, 9 July 1985. This means you DO NOT NEED an additional license or IDP to drive in the member countries provided you are driving the same vehicle class as your original home country license.
  • It's always safer to drive a car than a motorbike in Bali(more reasons later)
  • You are generally responsible for anything in front of your vehicle. Anything at your back is the responsible of the drivers at your back but do use the magic wand located next to your steering wheel called the signal indicator.
  • Rental for car(they call it mobil) typically costs about 300k IDR per day(24 hours calculation) for automatic transmission(they call it Matic). More if you are foreigner of a non Asian and you don't speak the language. 
  • ALWAYS book your car before you arrive. Google for contacts and whatsapp, wechat, email them beforehand. Most have pick ups and drop off right at the airport. DO NOT try to get the car off touts at the airport as they would just overcharge you. Also check the car rental insurance coverage
  • Get a LOCAL SIM(75k IDR with 7GB data for Telkomsel but not from the airport please), plug it in and find your route through google maps or Waze(Install beforehand)
  • Seriously driving here is rocket science but why drive when you could hire a driver? Right? Wrong! Drivers have a maximum numbers of hours they are allowed to drive and they overcharge for those extra hours to sky rocket prices. You would definitely be shoo-ed from one place to another and kiss that sunset at Tanah Lot or Uluwatu goodbye
  • Oh yeah and one more thing. The speed limit are in KM/Hour. Not Miles/Hour
  • If you run afoul of the traffic rules and gets stopped, stay calm and try talking your way out of it. Usually they would check more on foreigners. If all else fails, try to settle the fine on the spot. 

Be prepared to be stuck in Jam after work hours like anywhere in the world. Also in this part of the world, Bigger vehicles have right of way so it makes sense to follow behind one =) Remember a car is always safer than a motorbike

If you get stuck for an extended period, you would notice road peddlers, yes ROAD peddlers selling you food, drinks and even hands free right to your doorstep, or in this case windowstep.

It's common to see vehicles parked at the road side leaving only space for a single vehicle to pass, refer the larger vehicle rule and first come first serve rule when passing through.

Most roads are made with one lane no matter how they draw the lines so it's common to drive on curbs and tight spaces coupled by motorcycles swerving next to you. Just drive slowly or you would find yourself swimming in the paddy fields on a sharp turn.

Also be careful of motorcyclists coming out between cars on the opposite lane. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Do also note that the tourist and local pedestrians alike have a suicidal tendencies and they would just run across the road in front of you.

Even their motorcyclist have suicidal tendencies. They would just do a U turn right in front of you at times.

I couldn't stress enough on being patient while driving. At times you would need to share the same lane with the other lane due to unforeseen circumstances

One thing to note is that if you see a bloody bush at the road side, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE OVER THE BUSH! Chances are you would be stuck or should I say your Vehicle would be stuck between a rock and a hard place. They usually have a monument wrapped in checkered sarongs behind those bushes. Trust me that's the last thing you would wanna get stuck on. If you are on a motorbike, you would be transformed to superman instantly. So rent a car instead

When a vehicle is stopped on the road and a reflective triangle is not available. everything else makes it.

Now comes to the interesting "roundabout". The "" because it's the shape of a triangle. Do you go around it to get to the right side?

No.. You just treat it as just another junction and go to the right of it if you want to go right. Just move with caution.

So that's all from my survival guide for driving in Bali which I churned out after driving for a week there. Have fun and good luck. Also do get a car instead of motorbike. The weather could be real hot during a sunny day or real wet when it rains.

p.s. Go grab all the guide/holiday package leaflets you could get so you get to plan where you could drive to. Also it's crucial to do your homework on where you want to visit most before you embark on your trip.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lucky Cuisine Sichuan Steamboat Review

They say a family who eats together stays together. My preference? A steamboat meal where all the family members gathers around the hot pot and eat while chatting together. But now we have an issue. Where to eat?

Fancy an authentic Sichuan Mala Steamboat but don't know where to find it? Missed the numbing effect of the spices in the mouth? Look no further.. Introducing Lucky Cuisine's Sichuan Mala Steamboat in Kota Damansara!

It's a double story fully air conditioned restaurant where there are private rooms or if you want a steamboat party, you could book the whole of the top floor.

You could choose from a variety of soup but the Sichuan Mala has been the most popular choice of them all.

Alternately you could choose different soups to cater for kids or those of them who can't take spicy soup.

What I like about the restaurant is the ingredients served are prepared fresh to order.

Pork slices are sliced as you order. Just thin enough so it could absorb the flavours of the soup while retaining the juiciness of the meat.

My favourite pork belly that gives the taste of bacons after absorbing the soup. Not too fat, not too lean. Just right.

Imported lamb slices for lamb lovers like me.

Yam slices boiled to soft mash perfect for steamboat.

Frog for those who are a little on the exotic side. P.s. I heard this helps alot at night *winks*

Fish slices coated with a special coat so you still get the juicy fish.

Pig internal

Scallop and vege noodles. For those who prefer a heavier filling meals

Assorted hot pot ingredients. So much that I feel you name it they have it.

Assorted sauces to pair with your food to enhance the flavours

I could tell you that you would never get enough of it.

For those who prefer that food to be cooked for you, they also do serve cooked food.


Best dish ever made the authentic Sichuan way. Dried chili fried chicken.

Address: No. 19,jalan Pju 5/12,dataran Sunway ,kota Damansara Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Tues - Sunday 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm, Closed on Mondays
Phone: 03-6140 7755

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TTDI Murni Kafe Review

Fancy some club like food where you can choose between foods of the main races in Malaysia in a true harmony form with the exception of pokku.. No pokku here guys =). Nestled in the outskirt of KL is this little cafe in TTDI area which serves just that. Read on to find out more...

It's located on the street directly across the highway from 1 Utama(yes you could basically walk over)

Start the meal with a light snack, their cucur udang (local thick prawn cracker)

Nasi Goreng Kampung

Aglio e Olio with Turkey Ham

 One bits is never enough... Remind me to not write a post when I am hungry.

Char Kuey Teow with COCKLES!!! You seldom get your local CKT with cockles in a cafe/restaurant nowadays

Mee Rebus

Black Pepper Chicken Chop

Chicken Piccata, spagetti with a generous chicken chop

Curry Laksa

They also serve daily specials in the case you are torn for choices.

78, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuaa Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 3-7732 4106
Facebook: TTDI Murni Kafe
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat 8.00AM – 5PM (Closed on Sunday)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lights, Camera, MBO!: The Starling MBO Flagship Outlet Launch

Lights, Camera, MBO! Did you know that MBO just recently launched their flagship cinema in The Starling in Damansara Uptown?

They transformed the whole cinema to a club like atmosphere just for this launch event

The launch event was dubbed the MBO Stellar Night which was star studded with popular members of the Malaysian entertainment industry and also bloggers and medias.

Well for one there was no shortage of food and drinks to go on the night while we waited for the premiere of War for the Planet of the Apes.

 Oh and plenty of wine, champagne and beers to go around

There were dances, special appearances of Marvel and DC characters, free flow of food and drinks from their concessionaires so we could really try all the good food at the cinema before being ushered into the movie halls.

Last selfie before entering the movie hall

First time tasting the MBO premium popcorns. Yes Aromatic caramel coated premium round popcorns so sweet I am loving it. Definitely going back for more.

You think the party would end just like that after the movie? No, the dance continues till late.

Anyway more about this new flagship cinema. Aside from the Big Screen and Premiere halls, they also offer MBO Kecil, a young children friendly hall, MX4D where movie goers gets to be part of the movie with the screen action synced built in motion and effects. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try and experience the difference for yourself.
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