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Thai Spice

An old frog Indonesians exploration

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OK, as I said I intend to copy / continue my "old frog takes another leap" report on here.

But before proceeding, I would like to have your opinion.  I intend to copy the complete old thread  from the beginning, in stages of say 2 or 3 episodes a week.

Now, I understand this could be a bit "repetitive" for members having already seen it elsewhere, but I think it would be good "filling" content to make the board more attractive for new members and would nicely fit with th concept of this board's more "global" approach on LOS and SEA than others who are more concentrated on Pattaya's nightlife.

Gentlemen, the "paste and copy" device is ready, just let me know !

Cheers

 

PS : I may also try to put some in the HKG section .

 

 

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30 minutes ago, tommy dee said:

go for it, a re run is better than the runs and I am sure its good

 

Better than a run in as well.....😁😁

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4 hours ago, matthewh said:

just get on with it please,mate.!!!

xD

What he said!

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OK boy, so there we go !

October 2017 :

 

As you have probably understood from previous posts I started to be really fed up with the HKG lifestyle, the permanent running and noisy, rude people.

The drop that made the bucket full was on the return flight from our last trip to Pattaya.  Plane landed in HKG, people start to stand up, take their luggage and then wait for the doors to open and to exit the plane.

There comes a fecking witch old Chinese grandmother from the end of the row and trying to make her way to the front. Arrives behind me “can I pass ?”  Me ; “no, you can’t. Just do like everybody and wait a few minutes”. And there it starts….insults in Chinese,”asshole” etc…. Now all this on EK in Business…..   I just ignore her, well decided that sure she will NOT pass. And there Miss Indo has the great idea to try to calm her down in Chinese….Speak about putting oil on the fire…. Grandma calls the Miss “prostitute”   woaw…     I calmed down the Miss “don’t become same as the dog, don’t answer….”

OK, out of the plane, we walk through the long corridors and there she jumps on us again.. This time I told her “go to hell” and just walked on.

I managed to remain calm (not easy).

That night my decision was made “I am the feck out of here ASAP”. I am retiring for good, and that’s it. I think that at 64 it is time to stop, and enjoy a relax pensioners live.

Next morning told Miss Indo “listen, I am out of this shithole, we go live in Indonesia, part time your house, part Bali where I will rent something, do you follow ?”   She did not really believed it, but when a few hours later I went to the reception to cancel the rental of my flat, and in the next days started to process of liquidating my pension funds, she realized that I was not joking.

So of course plenty thing to sort and arrange, so we fixed our departure date for 6 weeks later.

Boxes of stuff send to the house, more personal stuff in 2 trunks warehoused in HKG.

Anyway on Friday 13 Oct we were on the plane.  Garuda, easy flight, plane only 30% full , obviously the volcano thing scared some people away.

3 first nights booked in Kuta, Ramanaya hotel. Next morning meet up at the agency that I selected for my “pension visa” application.  Ah, yes, at the airport I applied for a 30 day  “Visa on Arrival” as that one can be extended for one more month, which will be enough to do the first part of the pension visa process. The “visa exemption” can not be extended.   Very easy process, see the VOA cashier, 25 USD, then proceed to a special gate at the immigration, 2 minutes , all clear.  To note that the immigration guys are way more friendly than the LOS ones.

 

OK, a few pics about the hotel.  It is a bit dated, but it gives it this old Balinese / Colonial charm that you will not find in the international chains.

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There is big sports club attached to the hotel, nice place except when there is a game on the giant screens and the place is full of shouting Aussies...

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It has also a nice outside terrace :

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To be followed

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20 October 2017 :

A few pics of some food in Kuta.  October in full swing, so Bratwurst it will be for me...

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Walking along the beach we found a lovely place "Beachwalk restaurant" attached to a hotel of the same name. Food was so good that I over did it a bit, plus some wine, and my stomac did not like it...

 

 

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Seems to be a few VM Combi's around "surfers" style

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And the old Kuta railway station has been turned into a restaurant...but they kept a souvenir

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Next Installment :

 

20 Oct 2017

Now Kuta, is a bit of a hectic and noisy lifestyle, mainly for young tourist (80% Aussies) out to party…

Not the kind of places I want to live in as a pensioner, besides that it is rather expensive.  To note that contrary to Pattaya or Phuket, about all the tourist are here with family or friends and not for pussy hunting.

During our 3 stays here I noted that I nearly never saw an Indo girl with a Westerner. Often in hotel or restaurants Miss Indo is the only Indo girl, except for the staff. In 95% of the cases this is no problem at all, but there were a few times where she was looked at by the locals with lack of smile…

So after 3 days in Kuta, off to Sanur, a small beach resort about 30 min from there. Lovely place, nice beach, a impressive numbers of restaurants (and good), clientele a lot of retired / senior people.  

We explored the place during our last trip, and after now a week here, I must say I am in love with the place.

A few pics of the beach :

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This is also a paradise for food lovers, we have been eating out every lunch and dinner since 5 days and not had one bad meal.

A few pics of some of the food :

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One of the best pizzas I had since VERY long time,  generous toppings and perfectly crusty bread. Had it 2 days in a row....

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Some Guinness beef stew yesterday evening, nice band playing in the back.

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The main drag is lined with restaurants over a long distance. Traffic is light and not chaotic, very quiete after 8 pm

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Next instalment.  End October 2017

 

Now our main task arriving in Sanur was to find a little house.

It is one of the requirements for the pension visa application, I must have a place of my own, and there is minimum price imposed for it to be acceptable.

Note that here long term rental are payable by year, and in advance.... 

Minimum price is 60,000,000 IDR per year (3,400 GBP) but good luck to find something at that price.  Anyway this system helps keep out the rif raf..

 

We were a bit lucky on this part, the lady that runs the taxi / tours section in Ramanya hotel is from Sanur and we spoke about our plans she offered to help us. Now it happens her husband is one of the hotel drivers, has a lot of contacts and he found us a nice place from the first day.  I did checked around a bit with some agencies and ads, but found nothing better.

So after a bit of negociations (she wanted 120 M, I offered 85M, we settled on 95), down payment paid this morning.  A bit of a hassle to get the money through the ATM as the biggest bank note is 100,000 IDR and the ATM can technically (thickness of the bundle) only deliver 30 notes (3 M) at a time....

And cherry on the cake, I had informed my bank in France about possible ATM ops in Indonesia and not to worry, but did not inform HSBS, result the same evening my ATM card was blocked and I received a txt about "suspicious activity" on my ATM card.  All sorted after a phone call to HKG, justifying my ID and explaining the situation.

OK, the house is located about 10 min from Sanur main center, and located in a kind of ressort that rents out bungalows by week / month but has also 4 offered on a yearly base.

95,000,000 : 12 = 8,000,000 per months , around 20K Thb, or 500 Euro.   This includes hot water, cable TV and Internet.  One bedroom only, but enough for us.

I had set a rule that the lodging cost should not exceed 25% of my pension, good job, I am at 20%....

Ok a few pics :

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The kitchen weigthed a lot in my decision...(dont forget I am French, so street food in a Styrofoam box isn't gonna do it !)

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And last but not least, the bathroom.....

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OK, off to the jungle house tomorrow morning !

Will try to keep this updated, but no fiber optics in the jungle, so uploading pics can be a bit of a hassle.

Cheers,

Signed :  A very happy frog !

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Following, end October 2017

Yesterday evening we had dinner in a Balinese restaurant where they have the traditional dances .

Nice place, the dances were nice to look at (of course one time only...) the food and the local rose wine were OK !

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The "horse" on its stand :

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When the players came out of their disguise, I was pretty surprised  by their young age :

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The food, starter prawn cocktail, nothing special

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Except for this little carved gem found inside

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Chicken Cordon Bleu, very nice tasty

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Crepes Suzette, a bit without taste....

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2  random places on the way back to the hotel

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Off for breakfast now,and  buy some ice.  Indeed we hit the road to the jungle house this morning, and I bring some sausages and other stuff with me, as those things are impossible to find in the jungle.

A bit of a trip as usual :

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Google map a bit optimistic IMO, we never managed to do it in less than 7h !  Yeah, yeah, I know...7h for 200 km ? ?

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3 minutes ago, nadia said:

nice trip report spicey , those seat look like cinema seats ?

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Yes it are.  Well, the 1970's model......

The place has a nice style, really love it.

 

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Next instalment :

 

Dated Oct 23th, 2017 first report  from the jungle house :

 

OK, first try to do an update from the jungle.  Using my tablet with my mobile in tethering mode.

So we arrived in the jungle home on Saturday 5 pm, after an 8 h ride from Sanur.  Old frog properly wrecked of course...

5 of the boxes that we send in the past months from HKG had arrived already .

F.Y., the cost door to door from HKG to the jungle house is 880 HK (3,700 THB) for the big ones, there is no limit on weight, I have pity for the guys handling them when I see how the average Indo's or Flippers fill them with as much they can.  Takes about 4 weeks.

The furniture (made to order, more on that one later) had arrived a few days before as well, and the Frog's cave looked like that :

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So, you may think that after such a trip one would like to relax and chat...no, at 8 pm the Miss decides to open the boxes, first one, ended opening them all.

Opening and emptying them "Asian style" of course, that's how the place looked the next morning. I just watched, intercepting all of my belongings before they got put in the wardrobe, or kitchen cupboard.

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After a bit of sorting, and she moving all the 200 kg of her clothes to HER area, I could start organize "my house" a bit.  This how it looks this morning.  The green bags and the stuff on the low meuble are the things we will move to the Sanur house.

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2 of the low meuble (Tv meuble) drawers are reserved for DVD's 

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The 2 other are for my "strategic reserves" 

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This of course in addition to the "buffer stock" in my mini kitchen....

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A bit more on the "made to order" furniture.

There is a small furniture manufacturer about 20 km from here that works in a very simple way.  They have plenty catalogues of European manufacturers, you show them what you and they make the same.  I was a bit worried about the result, but hey, last visit we went for it. Delivery time is about 4 to 6 weeks.

Here is the catalogue version :

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And the below is "copied" version.

Note that the dark colour was requested by me, to fit in with the sofa and the general house style. I also asked to have the lower shelves closed with doors, as we all have some shit stuff that is better behind some doors.

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You will admit that it is really resembling the original.  It is "real" wood, dont ask me which one (not teak, not heavy enough)

Cost is not really cheap :

Low meuble (l 2m)  3,700,000 IDR = 210 GBP = 9,000 THB

Library meuble (1,00 m each)  2,850,000 IDR = 160 GBP = 7,000 THB

Total 9,400,000 IDR = 530 GB = 23,000 THB

But I am happy with it !

Now looking for a "classic style" meuble for the main kitchen.

 

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On 9/17/2018 at 3:35 AM, Thai Spice said:

A bit more on the "made to order" furniture.

There is a small furniture manufacturer about 20 km from here that works in a very simple way.  They have plenty catalogues of European manufacturers, you show them what you and they make the same.  I was a bit worried about the result, but hey, last visit we went for it. Delivery time is about 4 to 6 weeks.

Here is the catalogue version :

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And the below is "copied" version.

Note that the dark colour was requested by me, to fit in with the sofa and the general house style. I also asked to have the lower shelves closed with doors, as we all have some shit stuff that is better behind some doors.

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You will admit that it is really resembling the original.  It is "real" wood, dont ask me which one (not teak, not heavy enough)

Cost is not really cheap :

Low meuble (l 2m)  3,700,000 IDR = 210 GBP = 9,000 THB

Library meuble (1,00 m each)  2,850,000 IDR = 160 GBP = 7,000 THB

Total 9,400,000 IDR = 530 GB = 23,000 THB

But I am happy with it !

Now looking for a "classic style" meuble for the main kitchen.

 

I do think the cost is low put to what i've paid here in the UK mate.

When we head back up to Udon i've been on the hunt for a furniture maker.. seen many in patts but not up in udon.

We are looking at his and hers wardrobes up to the ceiling with a gap between them leading to a bathroom.. 

I like the sliding door ones contemporary style you find in hotel rooms.

Well will have to wait and see what happens when we get there in March.

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OK, lets go for the next episode !

End October 2017, from the jungle house….

First small setback in the adventure.  You may have understood that I entered on a 30 day V.O.A (Visa On Arrival), as this one can be extended for another 30 days, where as the visa waiver can't be.  60 days will cover easily the process of my 1 year pension visa.

I entered through Bali, but now in the jungle and wanting to avoid a 2 x 8 hour trip to Bali just for spending 1/2 day at immigration I had the idea to give it a try at the local province city where there is an immigration dept.  Ok, still 2 1/2 hour ride, with a good part in the hills on a pretty difficult road.

City is Jember (2,400,000 inhabitants).  Entering the immigration dept, about 50 locals queuing up, all looking at me like a was coming from Mars...  Oops, doesn't look good, obviously not many westerners here.

Find the right counter, a male immigration officer sits there, not really smiling, nobody around.  OK, explain him my case, I am in the process of pension visa, secured a house in Bali and meanwhile being on visit in the region I would like to extend my visa. 

Him "where you stay"

Me : Well, I have a house in Bali, I am just on visit at my friends house.

Him : Yes, but where you stay HERE, in this province ?

OK, I knew that was the end.   "I stay at my friend's place, this is the address"

Him : OK, so your friend is your sponsor. I will print you the list of documents we need from her....

ID, house documents, occupation, bank statement, etc......

OK, this is right moment to do a strategic retreat....   "OK, sir, let me see for all this documents, and I will be back"

And gently moved out.

So, today off to Bali to do it over there, as my "official" address is there.

A few pics on the way to Jember, nothing special.

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Zoom in on the next one and look on what they are sitting....Even our driver said "illegal !"

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Brother in law went a bit fishing

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OK, as some asked, I will try to input a few information about costs of things here.  Of course there is a HUGE difference between the village and Sanur.  Although Sanur is still cheaper than Kuta....

Laundry .

Laundering, Ironing, folding and packing

5,3 Kg x 4,250 IDR = 21,000 IDR  ( 1,30 Euro / 1,18 GBP / 51 THB)

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Car (type Toyota Innova) with driver.  Knowing that all the 2 or 3 usual drivers are all family related or friends.

Jungle hous to Sanur Bali one way (or opposite)  including ferry and gasoline.  About 200 km, but a 7 to 8 hour trip.

  1,500,000 IDR = 3,700 THB / 95 Euro / 84 GBP

Jungle house to Jember R.T. including gasoline. 90 Km but a 2 1/2 hour ride each way, plus had the guy hunting around to buy a aluminium ladder (1,75 m)

600,000 IDR including gasoline (  1,500 THB / 38 Euro / 33 GBP

 

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OK, as planned Saturday we left the jungle house for Bali to get my tourist visa extended on Monday.

Uneventful trip, seems Saturday traffic is better, less trucks, but still the same mess when leaving / arriving in the Denpasar area.  Still took us 7 h !

As usual, a 45 min ferry trip from Java to Bali. Now Indonesia being composed of only islands, there are a multitude of ferry companies, and ferries to all destinations. This is our 7th trip on the ferry, and only one time we travelled twice on the same ship.  As usual, as soon on board this old sailor goes for the upper deck and tries to find a seat near the bridge.

WTH ? A ferry with an helipad ?

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But the markings, a bit non conventional had me scratching my head ....  Looks more like a locomotive than a chopper ?

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Even had a look on the on board workshop :

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The ferry trip, approx 45 min cost for a car with 4 passengers 150,000 IDR ( 370 THB / 8,5 GBP / 10 Euro)

A quick calculation makes me realize that from the 1,500,000 IDR I pay to our driver, only 1,200,000 goes in his pocket after he pays the ferry (2 way, and on the return he is empty)

Gasoline / Petrol is not a big expense.   7,300 IDR / L  (= 0,46 Euro /0,41 GBP / 18 THB)

Anyway, the ferry company sure did not made a big profit with this trip, only 3 cars...

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OK, a few pics on the road on the Bali side :

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This week in Bali is a bit special, as it is the period of one of the most important religious ceremonies for the Bali Hindu.

Galungan, is celebration of good winning over evil.

More details at Wiki :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galungan

Arriving at the entrance of Denpasar, plenty shops selling the adequate stuff to decorate the house or property for this event.

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Those things will be hung from a decorated bamboo pole at the entrance of your property (and yep, we will have them at the jungle house, pics later)

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Plenty other crafts in the Denpasar area, Balinese are very in love with big stone sculptures, you will find them everywhere

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Stayed at a mid sized hotel, strategically located in the middle of Sanur, nothing really special

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Now for the little story :

Today I signed the contract for my rental house with payment of the remaining balance, after having paid a deposit. 

Remember rent is paid yearly here, so for me that is 95,000,000 IDR (230,000 THB / 5,350 GBP / 6,000 Euro)

Now the biggest bank note here is 100,000.... As for all transactions cash is preferred, so that represents 950 notes of 100 K !

A bit of a logistic challenge knowing that the local ATM will only dispense 25 or 30 notes at a time, simply because the limitation of the dispenser drawer vs the thickness of the bundle.

Add to that the daily limit from your overseas bank (S.G. and HSBC for me), and you better start drawing money one week before having to make the payment.  

Poor me even had to borrow 20 M from the Miss to make the payment date.  Anyway, key in my pocket now.

Tomorrow off to Denpasar immigration to extend my 30 day tourist visa, but that is for the next episode !

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Monsieur, est ce que vous pouvez discuter les options pour les visas long terme pour un homme de l'age de 45 ans svp? Desole, mon Francais ecrite est tellement mauvaise.....Merci. 

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