Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner @ Ubud, Bali

Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner

We were looking for something local to eat and happened to chance across Bebek Bengil in Google Maps. It actually took us more than 30 minutes to walk over but I thought it was worth it since it’s touted as “The Original Crispy Duck Since 1990”. Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner is known for their crispy grilled duck.

Bebek Bengil Waitresses

This is a different dish from the popular bebek betutu in Bali. Bebek Betutu is a seasoned steamed or roasted duck that’s popular in Bali. Bebek Bengil (which means dirty duck) serves crispy duck. You can even order 1 whole duck for IDR 300,000 if you book one day in advance. It’s a pretty good deal at RM 94/duck if you want to go for it. The service by the uniform clad waitresses is pleasantly discreet and unobstructive.

Bebek Bengil (IDR 125,000)

Bebek Bengil

I had this original dish, which is half a duck steamed in Indonesian spices which is then deep fried for a crispy finish. It’s served with rice and Balinese vegetables and it cost RM 40. It’s their flagship signature dish and it tasted alright. I’m not a huge fan of deep fried duck and I thought it was slightly too crispy but personal tastes aside, it was pretty good.

Thirsty Duck (IDR 44,000)

Thirsty Duck

This is what my better half had – it’s a concoction of pure orange, markisa (passionfruit in the local language) and melon sugar.

Ice Bebek Putih Jambul (IDR 39,000)

Ice Bebek Putih Jambul

The drink I had was chosen at random from the duck-themed options. It turns out to be a shaved ice confection with lots of interesting goodies at the bottom – love the white squiggles and fresh fruit slices.

Bebek Pelalah (IDR 122,000)

Bebek Pelalah

My dear ordered this dish. It’s one of the specialties and the Balinese recipe came from one Ibu Agung Raka Sueni. I have no idea who that is but the owners of Bebek Bengil thought it was noteworthy enough to highlight this in their menu. This is the grilled version of the duck (as opposed to my steamed and deep fried duck) with Balinese sauce and steamed rice. It’s very spicy! I really like the sauce here.

Bebek Bengil Bali

I thought the ambience of Bebek Bengil is unique – the place is totally dark (as you can probably gather from the photos) with the exception of mood lighting from the pavilions where we were seated. There were not a lot of people due to the higher than usual prices. The meal came up to around RM 140 for the two of us and it’s worth a visit for the atmosphere alone. The water features around the raised dining pavilions made it really romantic.

Bebek Bengil Ubud

Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal,
Ubud, Bali

Ubud Morning Market & Ubud Traditional Art Market

Ubud Morning Market

We went to Ubud Morning Market as part of our cooking class. There are actually two markets in Ubud, both interconnected. The Ubud Morning Market is where the locals go while the Ubud Traditional Art Market is a more tourist oriented market. The latter was featured in Eat Pray Love and is known locally as Pasar Seni Ubud.

Ubud-Wet Market

I thought that going for a Balinese cooking lesson was a cool thing to do while on vacation, although I can’t claim credit for it. My better half was the one who thought of it and booked us the classes. The van picked us up in the morning and we went to the Ubud Morning Market for a tour of the place and to sample some local produce as well.

Bali Spices

Our guide took us through the sight, sounds and smells of the Ubud Morning Market…

Bali Market

…and I thought it was very refreshing that there was no attempt to sell us on anything (probably coz these are mostly produce).

Ubud Market

The fruits, vegetables and meat are mostly familiar except for this unusual specimen:

Bali Passionfruit

This was described as a “sweet passionfruit” to us and we all got a taste of it. I thought it was a buah salak at first. It’s not passionfruit as we know it, this is a South American breed called granadilla. Unlike our purple passionfruit, this is orange and features a seed matrix that looks like kiwano (horned melon).


It’s very sweet with no sour notes and nice to eat by itself. The pulp is very tasty.

Balinese Orange

A clockwork orange. :)

Bali Grapes

Bali is also able to grow their own grapes now. I tried one of the first batches of Balinese wine made from Balinese grapes in Club Med Bali in 2013 and it was decent, if rather immature.

Ubud Handicrafts

There are also knives and other local goods on display at the Bali Morning Market.

Bali Crafts

My dear spotted a mortar that she really liked – it’s made out of volcanic rock from Bali! I paid IDR 60,000 (about RM 20) which is quite a good deal.

Ubud Traditional Art Market

We also walked around the touristy Ubud Traditional Art Market after we finished our cooking lesson. It’s worth a stroll even though you’ll find most of the things here are mass produced souvenir kitsch. My better half also had a theory that if we were carrying a certain color of plastic bag, it means that we were willing to spend more, or rather am susceptible to be conned more easily. Haha!

Pasar Seni Ubud

I don’t know how true that is, but I had limited headway while bargaining for a set of three kittens that my dear liked. I think we ended up paying RM 80 for it. I don’t think there’s a plastic bag conspiracy though, it seems quite unlikely in the free market everyone-for-themselves nature of the tourist trade, but you never know. smirk

7 reasons my smartphone plan is awesome

1. 7 GB monthly data


This is the highest data package I’ve seen out there. I use up a lot of data every month, especially since cloud computing (Google Drive, Dropbox etc) makes it easy to upload everything when you’re out. I also went for two trips this month (Taiwan and Bali) so the high data quota has been great for me since my lifestyle demands a high data package and this is the crème de la crème of high volume requirements.

2. No misleading advertising

I’ve seen all sorts of shenanigans by telcos with regards to data. Some advertise a high amount but in actual fact it’s a combination of WiFi + 4G LTE (not just mobile broadband e.g. 4G LTE) which is frankly false deceptive misleading. There are also “unlimited” plans out there – they just don’t bother telling you the network is so bad that you can barely load Wikipedia, much less something more graphics intensive.

3. Unlimited calls

Using Smartphone

Yup, I no longer have to choose between high voice or high data. I can have BOTH!!! This package allows me to make voice calls to ALL networks for as long as I want. Its true unlimited calls, which is a good thing as everyone is on a different telco nowadays. It’s no longer dominated by one or two and what’s the appeal of free calls within your network when you can have free calls across *all* networks for a low price?

4. Share Internet with your tablet

I know a lot of people who own multiple devices – I’m one of them. In the past, telcos would upsell you on another “data only” SIM card where you’ll have to basically pay for another SIM card with its own data package which you might not finish and can’t transfer. Those days are over. You can share data and get up to two SIM cards with your main line for just RM 10/month so your 3G/4G tablet can have its own number – allowing you to make calls and send text messages while sharing the 7 GB pool of data in the main line.

5. No unnecessary stuff

Monkey Business

I’ll be honest and put this out there – when was the last time you sent an SMS? With Whatsapp, WeChat, LINE and other mobile messaging apps, gone are the days when we require text messaging packages. It looks good for marketing when they can offer you 3,000 FREE SMS (just imagine the copy – 3,000 THREE THOUSAND FREE SMS!!!!!!1111111oneexclaimationmark) but who uses that stuff nowadays? I only get marketing/spam and credit card/bank notification SMSs now. I receive but I don’t send. Just pay for what you need, in the off-chance you time travelled 15 years back and needed to text someone (with SMS) and use Whatsapp like a normal person.

6. Free Internet roaming

I travel quite a lot. I’ve been to two different countries in this month alone so I quit the RM 38/day (or more) data roaming charges habit and jumped on the free Internet roaming bandwagon. Well, there isn’t a bandwagon per se coz this is the first telco in Malaysia to offer this AFAIK. The 50 MB/day I get while roaming is perfect – just the right amount for all the Hearthstone games, Instagram photos, and Facebook vacation albums I play/post/upload when I’m overseas.

Free Internet Roaming

7. Just RM 70 per month

This is the real kicker. You thought I was paying out of my nose for this kind of data, calls and roaming privileges right? Nope, I just pay RM 70 per month, which is just RM 2 more than what my tablet alone used last time (and I can use Internet sharing for mine now so I don’t need another package for my iPad).

What Kind Of Sorcery

What kind of sorcery is this? What am I using and where can you get it, you say? U Mobile mate, I’m using the Hero Postpaid P70.

My disastrous schedule malfunction, 1.3 million bill at the spa and other interesting stories from Ubud, Bali

Bali Padi Fields

This is mostly about the scheduling malfunction. I’m currently sitting in the airport in Bali alone coz of a series of unfortunate events. I realized too late that my Taipei trip overlapped with my Bali departure so it was decided that my better half would fly out first and I’ll go join her in Ubud when I came back from Taiwan.

I hadn’t realized that the ticket conditions prevented me from taking the return trip if I hadn’t shown up for the departure.

AirAsia Bali

Yup, the original ticket was on Malaysia Airlines, not a point-to-point airline like AirAsia or I wouldn’t have this problem.

My dear had bought us both tickets to Bali but since I was in Taiwan at the time, I had to buy another ticket from KL to Denpasar (cost me RM 432). I don’t have a problem with this, little did I know that since I was a “no show”, I revoked my rights to travel back on the return leg.

Bali Breakfast

I’ve been travelling quite frequently since I was a kid and never ran into problems like this until the downgrading of Malaysia Airlines (in the glory full service days, you could just about do anything). Maybe all you needed was a small rebooking fee, but with the cost saving measures by MAS, it’s now effectively a low-cost airline with restrictions. It’s definitely not a premium airline anymore.

Ngurah Rai Airport

I assumed that I could travel back on the return flight and didn’t think to do anything until my better half told me she couldn’t check in for me and I wasn’t listed. After talking to a distinctively unhelpful Khairul (“I’m the only Khairul in Customer Service“) in Malaysia Airlines, it turns out that he couldn’t help and I decided to just rebook my return flight using AirAsia.

I managed to get one slightly after my original flight for an additional IDR 1,512,350 – you need to pay in rupiah if you’re in Indonesia while booking online, it’s about RM 504.

Venezia Spa Ubud

This was very late into the night, we had just came back from Venezia Day Spa & Salon in Ubud where the rather misleading Honeymoon Package (IDR 607,000) is the price for one, not for two. At least my better half thought it was for the both of us, I had suspected that it’s just a name and it’s the price per person.

Venezia Massage Bali

It turns out that the total price was IDR 1,214,000 or IDR 1,358,699 with 12% tax of IDR 145,680. It’s still decent for a 5 hour treatment since 1.3 million rupiah is about MYR 452 and the important part was that she enjoyed herself. I didn’t mind the treatments too, I’m just not used to these kind of things – my first manicure and pedicure.

Million Dollar Spa Bill

Anyway, after realizing late into the night that my return flight wasn’t secure, I had to quickly book another ticket back on the rather unreliable hotel WiFi – it took me the better part of an hour before the credit card payment went though.

Bali Airport

I’m writing this now from Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali while awaiting for my flight – it’s been a long week with little sleep but it sure was fun though, certainly an interesting past few days. It was great, we needed the break and it made us all the more closer. :)

My trip to Club Med Bali – Body and Soul: Four Colors in Four Days

club med bali

I just came back from Club Med Bali a couple of days ago. There was a really interesting event going on called Body and Soul: Four Colors in Four Days. I was there for 5 days for the Club Med experience and thought this was a great concept.

garden yoga

It was a lot like my Club Med Phuket trip in that everything is all inclusive and there are friendly GO’s who answers any questions you might have and even eats with you. The best thing about Club Med is that everything is all-inclusive and you can choose to do whatever you want…or nothing at all.


Anyway, since the 4-day Body and Soul event was running, I went for each of the themed events. There’s a new color every day and that color denotes the “theme of the day” which encompasses everything from activities to food!

club med bali restaurant

  • Rejuvenation in Yellow
  • Energy in Red
  • Balance in Green
  • Revitalization in Purple

club med food

Body and Soul: Four Colors in Four Days is meant for people who want to immerse themselves in a health and wellness program. It’s a way to get away from the hectic city life and check into Club Med to awaken your spirit, heal your hearts and bodies and even your sense of well-being.

chi balls

I must say I was rejuvenated by the end of the program. :)


It’s really quite interesting – for example, on Green Day: Balance – there’s kayaking to start the day…

yoga window

…followed by a session of yoga with Yin Yang Chi Balls by experts from the award winning Australian fitness company Physical BestLisa Westlake, the fitness instructor/owner/physiotherapist/presenter/author (there’s little she doesn’t do) and Lynley Gladdis (an international presenter in the area of mind and body fitness with degrees in Arts Dance and Remedial Massage)

aqua aerobics

There was a really upbeat class of aqua aerobics which I totally enjoyed – had a blast doing this, it’s a lot of fun! :)

I even had a video of me doing aqua aerobics – thanks Becky!

green day food

There’s also green themed food and special platters that highlights nutrition based on this color.

cucumber sushi

Cucumber sushi with fish roe

green tea macaroons

Green tea macaroons <3 cucumber olives

Cucumber with olives

spring rolls

It’s pretty amazing, eh? They even had pistachio ice cream on green day!

body soul club med

There are also kids programs with the similar theme and night entertainment (green party during green day). Thus, each day is broken down into several activities e.g. for Red Day: Energy:

red food

Main Program
Cherating Beach: Tree Top
Bali: Flying Trapeze
Fun Family Mini-Olympic

Expert Program
Tribal Rhythm

Kids Program
Tie dye T-shirts

Night Entertainment
Latin night


If you think Club Med is fun, wait till you experience the Four Colors in Four Days event! I did things with my body that my girlfriend didn’t believe until I showed her the photos from yoga (that’s Cindy from Malaysia, who’s a yoga instructor on vacation at Club Med Bali).

tribal dance

Body and Soul: Four Colors in Four Days was held on Club Med Bali in March and will kick off in Club Med Cherating Beach from 7th – 14th April 2013! Yup, it’s coming to Malaysia right after Bali. It’s a health and wellness retreat to boost well-being through a series of 4 consecutive color themed days with the color included in everything from diet to parties!


You can also safely leave your kids in Club Med, that’s why I love the place so much. They’ll have stuff to do and be entertained while you go do your own stuff. Check out Club Med Cherating Beach if you’re interested to know more about the upcoming Body and Soul event in Malaysia! They have special packages for a 4D/3N stay!

Thanks for the invite Jisan! :)

Kuta beach in Bali


Much has been said about Kuta beach. It’s not exactly the uncharted 3K’s of backpacking these days. Nowadays, you’re more likely to be bugged by people offering massages, hair braiding, Bintang beer and all sorts of random stuff…like a handmade “magic” cigarette dispenser that is really quite nifty, but that was at Legian.

kuta beach bali

We stayed right opposite Kuta beach so it’s literally right in front when we walked out. Come to think of it, we did a lot of walking in Kuta – and let me tell you, these flip flops are *not* made for walking. It’s really hot during the afternoon – mostly Caucasians catching a tan/recovering from hangovers go there at that hour…

kuta bali

…but it’s really nice during sunset.

kuta beach sunset

You see people start streaming in and picking a good spot around 4:30 pm or so – the beachfront vendors are mostly gone by then so you can sit unmolested, without someone asking you if you want something you don’t need and just…

kuta sunset

…chill there, watching the waves roll in, breathing in the sea salt and immersing yourself in the Zen of it all. It feels very serene, especially if you sit right in front. We stayed until 7:30 pm and I think we were the only ones there at that time. Heh.

kuta beach hb

It should be noted that if any eateries offer to add in some mushrooms into your food, they’re not really talking about ye olde regular mushrooms.

Kopi Luwak

luwak coffee

Kopi Luwak or Luwak Coffee is the infamously extravagant coffee that comes out of a civet. Well, you know what I mean.

civet cat

Civet cats like this one eats the coffee beans, supposedly these felines have a taste so refined that they’ll only go for the good ones. They’ll crap it out and people dig the coffee beans (which isn’t digested by the civet cat) from the dung and roast it.

kopi luwak

It’s surprisingly aromatic and very smooth coffee. I liked it, although we paid quite a bit for that small cup. How much?

luwak coffee price

That’s about RM 20. We went to this place quite far from the touristy areas too, we saw it go for IDR 150,000 (RM 50) in airports. Yes, that’s the price for just one cup.

kopi luwak bali

Very expensive coffee, one sip will set you back a couple of dollars. :)

Bebek betutu in Tekor Bali

bebek betutu tekor bali

Bebek betutu literally means spiced duck. It’s one of the more well known dishes in Balinese cuisine. After listening to a frowning, disapproving local tell us that bakso is not Balinese in origin, and redirecting us to an awesome babi guling place, it was good to add another check mark to a classical Bali dish.

tekor bali legian

However, we had bebek betutu at the rather dubious beachfront restaurant in Legian called Tekor Bali. It was clean, nice and it came recommended from one of the travel websites. I was a bit hesitant since it didn’t “look” authentic but hey, I have since become a convert. A place does not need to be dingy and dirty to serve up great bebek betutu. :)

tekor bali bread

…it can even serve delicious, warm bread with garlic spread as an appetizer if it does its bebek betutu well. smirk

bebek betutu

The bebek betutu at Tekor Bali costs IDR 59,500 (about RM 20) and it’s ½ a roast duck stuffed with spices…and I do mean stuffed. There’s delicious spices everywhere you look (and even some places you don’t).

bebek betutu duck

The duck meat is tender, slightly juicy and extremely well flavored by the spices. The oily dark meat of the duck contrasts perfectly with the spicy packed marinade and it’s delicious with rice.

bebek betutu bali

I picked the bones of the bebek betutu clean. That’s half a duck, which is quite a bit more than I usually eat.

bintang beer

Tekor Bali is perfect for a couple of bottles of Bintang Beer too – it sells it at a comparable price to the Circle-K beside and you have an awesome shaded seat with the wind blowing in from Legian beach. :)

Babi Guling in Bali

babi guling bali

This is probably the most famous Balinese cuisine – babi guling.

babi guling denpasar

It’s suckling pig cooked over a fire with herbs and spices and contrary to popular belief, the best and freshest babi guling can only be found in the morning since that’s when it’s prepared.

babi guling stall

I wanted to go somewhere that isn’t commercialized like Ibu Oka so I asked to go where the locals went.

babi guling queue

This turned out to be somewhere in working-class Denpasar, far from the touristy areas and full of people in bikes waiting their turn to take away a packet of pork goodness.

babi guling

A full babi guling meal comes served with several pieces of pork, crispy pork skin, pork crackling, pork sausage, pork satay, deep fried pork liver and a side of bird’s eye chilli. There’s also a bowl of hearty soup that contains huge chunks of pork fat.

bali guling me

I loved it! We had this in the morning and it was so good that I finished everything. It costs IDR 30,000 which works out to about RM 10. It’s the most satisfying meal I had in Bali. Goes very well with a bottle of Bintang beer. :D

Bakso in Bali

bakso beef

Bakso is a dish of noodles, meatballs and other assorted stuff served in a soup. It’s usually found on the streets – this particular variant comes with a *huge* fist sized beef ball. It’s homemade and the meat is slightly pink and tender on the inside. IDR 7,000 which is about RM 2.40 – it’s worth it for the gigantic homemade beef ball alone. :)


However, the best bakso that we had was outside the Legian beach – it’s one of those portable stalls that allows the vendor to carry his wares behind his motorcycle and literally set up shop there. Nothing beats a hot bowl of this on a rainy evening by the beach.

bakso bali

We just had a very chill afternoon of swimming and lounging on the beach before it suddenly started raining. I really wanted to try the bakso and the guy who owns the stall was quite pleased to have our business and took several photos of us with his stall. He insisted. smirk

bakso stall

The setup is pretty similar but the stall had run out of noodles and egg so it’s just plain bakso (meatballs).

bakso meatball

The meatballs are held in a side area which is constantly heated but surprisingly retains the tender and juiciness of the meatballs.

bakso spicy

You can choose whether you want it spicy or regular (highly recommend the spicy) and it comes to you in a piping hot steaming bowl of goodness.

bakso locals

We sat down on a little nook right on the sidewalk just like the locals – it was that and the cold, wet and drizzling weather offset with a nice bowl of heartwarming spicy bakso that made this the best one we had in Bali. IDR 5,000 (RM 1.70).

bakso motorbike

Fresh raised a very good question though – where does the guy wash the bowls? :)

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