Tips

Huts: How to Ensure You Hire the Best Builder

Are you looking to hire a builder of Balinese huts? Before you pick a tradesperson to hire, get some referrals from relatives and friends or better yet from your area’s council.

Since Balinese inspired huts are continuously gaining popularity, you can go online where you can easily find a website that can put you in touch with local contractors and trades people that can perform the job. To ensure that you get to hire the best contractor to build your hut, you should ask to see their ratings as well as online reviews, if there’s any. The internet is overflowing with information and resources hence you will find it fairly fast and easy to checkout as many hut builders as you want. This is an excellent way for you to pick, choose and sieve. You can interview them one by one over the phone or send them emails to get an idea of how much the hut you want to build would cost. Compare at least three to four quotes.

Professional building contractors are usually covered with public liability insurance, so it is best to check on that, too. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your hut builder is covered. It pays to anticipate things that may likely occur if anything goes wrong. Aside from checking them for insurance, it is highly suggested that clients should ask to be provided with proof of professional qualifications, affiliations and membership in professional trade association. It would also help if they can provide references and names of recent clients that you can talk to before you decide.

Once you’ve chosen a tradesperson, don’t forget to draw up a written contract where you lay out everything that you want done. Detailed description of the scope of work, the time frame and expected date of completion, the total cost including materials and labour as well as the mode of payment that’s acceptable to both parties. Don’t forget to have your chosen builder sign the contract. If you chose to hire a contractor that’s employed by a big construction company, chances are, you will have to sign a contract with their terms and conditions. Ensure that you check the written terms and conditions by reading carefully before you affix your signature.

Normally, clients are asked to make a down payment of at least 50% of the total cost, so you do not need to make a complete payment to cover the entire cost of the work up-front, but most likely both you and the contractor will have to agree on a payment schedule. Whenever there is a need for you to sign a contract, always ask for the company’s policy and what you need to do should you decide to cancel the contract.

Builders of Balinese huts understand well that by law, a client is always afforded a seven day cooling off period for purchases and contracts made regardless if they’re done over the phone, online or during face to face meeting. This applies if the agreed service didn’t commence on the date specified.

Three Miraculous Things in Bali

Many foreigners who visit Bali usually said that Bali is a magical place-a palace or kingdom for goddesses and gods-which has never bored anyone who comes to visit the island. It is even stated as one of the most popular tourist destinations and, not only stopped to those statements; they also remarked Bali is more well-known than Indonesia itself-the country where Bali becomes the part of its region. The island is even awarded as the world best island by The International Travel Magazine!

Bali is divided into nine regencies (eight regencies and one municipality) with its own capital, i.e. Buleleng, Jembrana, Karangasem, Badung, Denpasar, Gianyar, Klungkung, and Bangli. These districts have several places which you would enjoy to visit-and, actually, they have different kind of places to be offered. Some are for traditional thingies and customs (with its Bali Aga-original people in Bali-practice) ‘though they are also some ordinary customs which you can see everywhere in Bali, some others could be done for natural recreation (beaches, mountains, lakes, etc), the modern lifestyles mixture with the conventional living (foreigners love this part), its history (with the temples, statues, and some kingdoms), and so on.

There are actually three miraculous places to visit which always make people feel fascinated of this island-because they are very wonderful! They are the beaches, the temples, and the traditional villages.

I. BEACHES

If you want to visit beaches in Bali, there are some beaches spread at all parts of the island, as follows:

1. In Badung, you could go to Kuta Beach, Suluban Beach, and Nusa Dua Beach.

2. In Denpasar, there are Sanur Beach and Benoa Harbor.

3. For Karangasem District, we have Padang Bai Beach and Jemeluk Beach.

4. For Tabanan District, there is only one beach, Soka Beach.

5. In Jembrana, there are Medewi Beach, Delod Brawah Beach, and Perancak Beach.

6. In Buleleng, there is one beautiful beach, Lovina Beach.

From these beaches, the most favorite based on the votes by the visitors is Lovina Beach in Buleleng, Many people love to see dolphins there, especially when they jump out of the water and spin at the air, usually in the morning. After that, many foreigner people said that they love Kuta Beach-because along the pedestrian road, there are several antique shops which offered some cute stuff with a cheap price (unfortunately, it only happens for Balinese people, because we can bid price to the sellers).

II. TEMPLES

There are some temples which become the favorite places for foreigner, such as:

1. Uluwatu Temple, Taman Ayun Temple, and Pucak Mangu Temple in the District of Badung.

2. Jagatnatha Temple, Maospahit Temple, Petilan Pangerebongan Temple, and Sakenan Temple in Denpasar.

3. Penataran Sasih Temple, Kebo Edan Temple, Pusering Jagat Temple, Mangening Temple, Pengulingan Temple, and Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) Temple in the District of Gianyar.

4. Kehen Temple and Puncak Penulisan Temple in the District of Bangli.

5. Taman Sari Temple, Watu Klotok Temple, Panti Timbrah Temple, and Goa Lawah Temple in the district of Klungkung.

6. Besakih Temple in the district of Karangasem.

7. Alas Kedaton Temple, Rambut Siwi Temple, and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in the District of Tabanan.

8. Brahma Vihara-Arama Temple, Meduwe Karang Temple, Beji Temple, Dalem Jagaraga Temple, Pulaki Temple, Ponjok Batu Temple, and Dalem Sangsit Temple in Singaraja.

Those temples have their own myths behind the construction. Yet, most of the people love the myths of Kebo Edan Temple and Rambut Siwi Temple. The myths usually come along with a very deep meaning.

III. TRADITIONAL VILLAGES

There are several amazing villages with its traditional way of life in Bali, such as Mengwi, Batubulan, Mas, Belega and Bona, Sebatu and Pujung, Peliatan, Celuk, Batu Kaang, Thingan, and Kamasan. But my most favorite consisted of only two places id est Trunyan Village and Tenganan Village. At these two villages, the most original people in Bali still live and do their traditions/practices-at these two places, you can find dead body is arranged under trees for the process of decomposing. Unlike people in other places in Bali who do cremation for the dead body, Trunyanese and Tengananese still maintain this tradition adopted from India.

There are some other interesting things in Bali. I know I could not mention all of those things here in my article. Actually, there are also many other websites over the internet which are very useful and could bring you directly into the real atmosphere of Bali. The last but not the least, I wish you will enjoy your days in Bali-at the time you visit it after reading this article.

Making Memories and Blowing Bubbles in Lombok

Lebaran was over and the crowds had returned home so it was an ideal time to get out of Jakarta for a few days of chilling out and to celebrate my better half’s birthday.

As my wife and I are not so fond of Bali and we wanted to find an alternative. Both of us are avid divers and prefer to spend less on lodging and nightlife so we could spend more on our SCUBA habits.

We searched for a place that is reasonably priced, relatively easy to get to, clean/comfortable facilities, nice beaches, good snorkeling and of course good diving. We got lucky on our search and found an ideal spot for a long weekend. South Lombok.

South West Sekotong’s Gili Asahan to be exact. The dive sites exceeded our expectations but it was the resort where we stayed that made the trip exceptional.

We flew Lion Air to Mataram and met up with the driver for a comfortable hour car ride to the southwest coast of Lombok, and them we took a short 45 minute boat ride through the beautiful island filled coast line to Gili Asahan.

Gili Asahan is a tiny island that has one small local village and a small operational pearl farm. The only other facility on the island is the Resort. There are only 4 bungalows and is managed by a wonderful Belgium lady named Martine, and her husband, George, manages the diving operations.

The bungalows were finished earlier this summer and still had that “new” smell to them. They offer spacious accommodations that include an in-suite garden bathroom for great hot showers after a day of diving. At night, one can open the windows on each side of the room and enjoy a relaxing sleep on the soft queen size bed. There is no air conditioning but the ceiling fan and the ocean breeze usually keep it cool enough to enjoy a good night’s rest.

Rising early, one can catch a spectacular sunrise over the neighboring islands and then in the evening, take a short hike to the top of a small hill and catch an equally spectacular sunset.

The diving exceeded our expectations. Prior to going, I had heard some horror stories about Lombok diving but I am pleased to say there were no indications of coral bleaching and happily no signs of damages caused by dynamiting or cyanide fishing. All the reefs we visited were healthy and thriving.

We did 9 dives over 4 days and it seemed each dive was better than the previous one. We were fortunate to have two British PADI Dive Instructors as our “dive masters” that knew the sites well. The marine life was good as we saw a variety of colorful nudibranchs, turtles on almost every dive and the typical array of coral reef fish. However it was the size and abundance of corals that will draw us back. There were huge fan corals 4-5 meters long and 2-3 meters high sitting along with some astounding barrel corals over 2 meters wide. The soft corals were brilliant and brimming with the typical colorful marine life that one expects of healthy reefs.

We spent five nights and thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed, quiet ambiance of the place. However there was one surprise left. Knowing it was my wife’s birthday but lacking a baking oven, our hostess Martine, struggled with how to have a birthday cake. She came up with a perfect solution of delicious Belgium pancakes stacked to resemble a cake. It was topped with fresh fruit and a candle. To end the evening and the trip, there was a roaring bonfire on the beach with plenty of cold brews and native fruit juices. Our laughter bounced across the gentle waves as we reminisced of the previous days.

I recommend this experience to anyone looking for a relaxing, tranquil holiday. Perhaps those with kids or those that prefer a lively nightlife, this is not a good fit. However, it is ideal for couples, honeymooners and those that just like to get away from it all for a few days and chill.