Travelling with a 7 month-old: Bali, Indonesia

 

 

The first time we decided to take the Kid travel overseas was when she was 7 months old, back. We wanted her to visit some family and spend Christmas with them and then to take her to Bali. We’re a new family, and we never took her on a flight before, and the flight took about 14 hours, so we wanted to make sure we pack everything we need, which means, we packed too much.

In addition to several days worth of baby food, and diapers, we brought along a travel cot, and two strollers. Yep, two strollers. She was using a Bugaboo Cameleon, and it has served us very well, so we would like to bring it along with us, but it’s also a hassle to fold by the gate, and I didn’t really want it to get banged up on the way. So we checked in the Bugaboo in its travel carrier, while having a cheap 10€ umbrella stroller to transport her around in the airports. The flights went well. We arranged to get the Kid a cabin bassinet, where she could lie down and sleep and we didn’t have to have her in the lap the whole time. When she was up, it was a good thing that she couldn’t yet walk, so she mostly stayed around the seat and crawled on us. We spent Christmas with my family in Jakarta, and then we’re off to Bali. While the Bugaboo served us well in Jakarta, being used mostly in indoor malls, in Bali it was quite a challenge to navigate on uneven pavements and stairs (even though, it was a joy to take to the beach). We used it anyway, since it had a spacious undercarriage that we used to transport baby supplies and what we picked up along the way. Until we loaded it up with beer and tried to get it over some stairs. The axle snapped and it couldn’t be fixed locally, so back in the carrier bag it went and we end up using the umbrella stroller for the rest of the trip (we’re quite happy to have it handy, though).

Where we stayed:

In Kuta/Legian area, we stayed in Alam Kulkul; small but central hotel just in front of Legian beach. Unlike other beach front hotel in this area, this one is quiet and unassuming, there are 80 rooms in total, but it felt much smaller than that since the rooms and bungalows are separated with snaking pathway through a lush garden. We stayed in a bungalow with double bed, with plenty of space to set up the Kid’s travel cot. There are two swimming pools located in separate area of the property. It was quite fun to navigate around and pretend you’re looking for a lost city. There’s a breakfast room and restaurant in the main building. We’re not keen on joining hotel’s breakfast buffet, and prefers to make our own breakfast in the room or head out to town and pick a place instead, so I can’t comment much on the breakfast offerings.

After several days by the beach we went up the hills to Ubud. Pace of life was slower here, and the air less humid. We stayed at Barong Resort Ubud, in a bungalow with our own private pool. Once again, the Kid has her travel cot set up in one corner of the room. The hotel was located very centrally in the village of Ubud, within walking distance to various local restaurants and shops. But once we’re inside our little private garden, it was very quiet (and dark at night) and peaceful (but beware of the mosquitoes if you sit outside after dark). The breakfast was included in the room rate and they delivered it to our bungalow with no extra charge, a service we greatly appreciate.

What we ate:

At 7 months of age, the Kid has started to eat solid, but with quite limited texture and taste. Ready-to-eat baby food in jars is available in the bigger supermarkets of the bigger towns in Bali (such as Kuta, but not Ubud), but there are not a lot of variety and the Kid was always very reluctant the eat the ones we got her. What you can get easily is fruit. Sometimes it is easier to find tropical fruit which are soft enough to mash just with a fork. Bananas in Indonesia comes in a lot of different varieties, unlike in Europe, from a really sweet bite-size ones, to ones as big as a grownup arm (which is best made into fried banana than eaten fresh). Other fruit we tried giving the Kid was watermelon (no need to mush, she just sucked it – shirtless, mind you), honeydew melon and papaya.

There is also one local food she could eat and loved; Bubur Ayam. It’s a congee of rice, broth and small pieces of chicken and vegetables. We just took out all the bigger chunks she couldn’t chew, and share a portion.

The Kid was always fed at the hotel before we head out and look for a place to eat for ourselves. The Balinese are so wonderful and welcoming when it comes to children and family. Often, when we sit in a restaurant, they would offer us to entertain the Kid while we eat. Our favourite place was Cafe Wayan in Ubud, where we ended up coming to so often during our stay.

What we did:

Nothing ambitious, considering we had a baby who couldn’t even walk. We had some days just by our own pool, swimming with the Kid, or walk around with her in her stroller. We found a second-hand English bookshop in Ubud, which was a pleasant surprise, considering I was pretty low on reading material at the moment. But overall, this was a traditionally ‘lekker niks doen’ trip, which was well-deserved after looking after a young baby for the previous 7 months.

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