You probably don’t know me, and that’s okay. I just want to tell you a little bit about the time I spent at this villa – I’ve just come back to Singapore after a week-long stay here with my family.
Things to know:
1. The villa’s amenities include wireless broadband. The password can be found in the brown information binder you’ll probably find on the dining table or coffee table at the sofa.
2. Prepare for surprise visits by critters. We saw leeches – my brother pried a fat one off his foot, and there were a couple of rather more slender ones looping around – as well as a titanic gecko that, amazingly, moved along the walls as agilely as its smaller brethren. It looked as if it should plod rather than skitter. There were crabs scuttling all over the place – some like to play dead, and then once you seem to have lost interest they would skedaddle away – and many frogs and toads “serenaded” us every night.
3. Prepare for mosquitoes. I don’t quite know how – I just treated mosquito bites and itches as a matter of course – but maybe a malaria jab may be useful?
4. The locals were friendly and helpful. I never once felt in danger from them as I walked along the streets and paths at night. If anything, the condition of the streets and paths and the fact they were typically poorly lit were more dangerous – so bring a torch.
Things to try:
1. The villa’s very own barbecue dinner is worth it at around 60 USD for our family of five. Try the seafood one (there’s also a just-palatable beef option which my non-seafood-eating sis had) which for us came with king prawns, red snapper and squid (oh the squid!! *drool*), as well as steamed rice, stir-fried veggies and sauteed potatoes. Worth trying just for the squid, which was grilled to mouthwatering just-rightness :)
2. There is an Italian restaurant called Ultimo’s that opens at 5pm. It’s about a 30-minute slow walk from the villa, along Laksmana. Try it. The spaghetti vongolle (with other seafood – when I was there, it turned out they didn’t have vongolle and substituted with squid *grin*) came in a generous portion with many whole (small, but whole ;p) scallops and freshwater shrimp and diced capsicum, and was very yummy. The almond parfait was perfect the first time we were there, but was a bit soft when we next went, likely because it was a busy night and the fridge the parfait was kept in was opened too frequently :p
3. Tanah Lot is worth visiting. Great views. Pity about the tourists and their littering.
4. And one thing to not try. The babi guling (roast pig) at Ubud is overrated, and not worth the aggravation of queuing for and the poor service, in my humble opinion :)
That’s about it I guess. All the best for your stay :)
P/S. I would likely not have written this if my sister had not written an actual letter to the next occupant of the villa and left it in the bedside drawer of her room.