Mutia Adisoma

Correspondent

  • Bali, Indonesia, Asia

Mutia Adisoma is a correspondent who lives in Bali and covers the island for Forbes Travel Guide. She is constantly on the lookout for what’s new — from hotel openings to visiting international chefs to the hottest spa treatments. Born in the U.S., she worked in Japan and Philadelphia before making her way back to Asia to become editor at a Bali travel and lifestyle magazine. When Adisoma isn’t sampling the latest eight-course degustation menu, you’ll find her sipping coconut water at a roadside stall or taking in one of Bali’s awe-inducing sunsets.

  • On April 30, 2013
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    Mutia Adisoma is now following Sandra Barron
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    Amelia Hagen is now following Mutia Adisoma
  • On April 30, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What language is spoken in Bali?

    Bali is just one island out of 17,000-some islands that make up the vast Indonesian archipelago. A plethora of languages and dialects are spoken in the country--not only do Indonesians speak Bahasa Indonesia (the national language, also commonly referred to by expats as simply “Bahasa”), but they also have a relatively good handle on at least one regional language and English, which is taught at schools starting in elementary school or earlier. Bali is no exception to this, with most Balinese speaking Bahasa Indonesia, Balinese, English, and sometimes Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Korean, and German. Their propensity for learning foreign languages is of course driven by the tourism, but it is also due to the Balinese inclination to make guests feel as welcome as possible. They are quite the hospitable folk, so if this means learning how to joke or converse a bit in your language, then attempt it they will!
  • On April 30, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best local dishes in Bali?

    Exploring Indonesia’s local cuisine can be very exciting and rewarding, but first be sure to give yourself enough time to adjust to being in this tropical environment before you dig into anything too exotic. This will help you avoid what is known as “Bali Belly,” an unofficial term for stomach pains resulting from adventurous eating. To ease into the local cuisine, start with Indonesian favorites like sate (meat skewers), gado-gado (Indonesian salad with peanut dressing), Indonesian fried rice or fried noodles, and soto ayam (fragrant chicken soup). Made’s Warung is a great place to try these--it has two locations (Seminyak and Kuta) and is a favorite amongst foreign and domestic tourists alike. Once you are ready you can tackle Balinese specialties such as the famous babi guling (suckling pig), betutu chicken, sate lilit (Balinese satay), and lawar (spicy vegetable and meat dish). Naughty Nuri's makes the most famous babi guling; their Ubud location is no frills but delicious. For upscale dining, Mama San in Seminyak is a wonderful option with a striking interior. Their menu is Asian fusion but highlights Balinese cuisine from time to time. Another option is Merah Putih, which recently opened in Seminyak and is the newest attempt at presenting Indonesian cuisine in a fine dining atmosphere. They have Balinese favorites like babi guling included in their menu.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    Where is the best shopping in Bali?

    It is more than possible to spend your entire trip in Bali with nothing but shopping on the itinerary due to the sheer amount and range of things that are sold here. Below are a number of areas to keep in mind while you scour the island for unique treasures to bring (or ship) back home.

    1. Seminyak. Seminyak is about a half an hour from the Ngurah Rai airport and the best place to go for adorable boutiques carrying women’s clothing and accessories. All along Raya Seminyak road down towards Kayu Aya road you can find everything from flirty beachwear to exquisite Balinese lace in modern silhouettes to of-the-moment edgy brands like Shakuhachi, which is Australian-designed but produced in Bali.

    2. Kerobokan. This area is not far from Seminyak and is your place to go for home furnishings. Lining the road are an amazing selection of shabby-chic dressers, multicolored lounge chairs, day beds, glass sculptures, and more. You can also custom design your own furniture set to ship home.

    3. Kuta. Kuta is the place to go if you enjoy wandering through alleys full of little stalls selling fun knick-knacks to bring back as souvenirs. Along Legian street you’ll find an abundance of surf and skate shops like Rip Curl, DC and Oakley. There is also a mall that recently opened in Kuta called Beachwalk, which carries international brands such as Topshop, Fossil, Mango, and Aldo.

    4. Ubud. This artsy area is about an hour’s drive north from the bustling area of south Bali. Silver jewelry, traditional crafts, and paintings are just a few of the things that will have you reaching for your pocketbook to exchange currency yet again.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best waterfront restaurants in Bali?

    There are so many great waterfront restaurants in Bali to choose from. Most beachfront resorts and hotels have their own restaurants overlooking the ocean, but if you’re looking for a classy outfit dedicated specifically to providing great food and striking views of the sun sinking into the sea at dusk, you should head to Seminyak area.

    Ku De Ta with its iconic red umbrellas has been around for more than a decade and is where beautiful and stylish crowds converge. An option for day time dining is Potato Head Beach Club, which is just down the road from Ku De Ta. Their chandelier adorned restaurant Tapping Shoes has amazing views of the sea from the second floor and one of the most sophisticated and delicious brunch menus around.

    If your accommodations are further south, head to a new restaurant in the Jimbaran area called Sundara. Across from the Four Seasons, it boasts a beautiful view of Jimbaran Bay, an impressive cocktail menu and array of grilled choice cuts, and is poised to be next big thing in Jimbaran.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    Should visitors rent a car in Bali?

    Renting a car isn’t advisable in Bali unless you’re planning on hiring a knowledgeable local driver as well. The roads are rather narrow and in the heavily-visited tourist areas the traffic is dense and can be frustrating to navigate, especially during high seasons. Motorbikes and scooters weave in and out of traffic as well, which can be scary for those who are not yet accustomed to driving in Asia. It’s very easy to hire a car and driver for a couple hours or for the entire day; your hotel or villa should be able to help you arrange this. Alternatively you can head to areas like Kuta and Seminyak where you’ll see lots of scooters and cars available for rent from locals. Polish off your bargaining skills and see what kind of deal you can strike! When bargaining in Bali, you’ll get the best results with a wide grin, silly gestures, and some lighthearted jokes.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What language is spoken in Bali?

    Bali is just one island out of 17,000-some islands that make up the vast Indonesian archipelago. A plethora of languages and dialects are spoken in the country--not only do Indonesians speak Bahasa Indonesia (the national language, also commonly referred to by expats as simply “Bahasa”), but they also also have a relatively good handle on at least one regional language and English, which is taught at schools starting in elementary school or earlier. Bali is no exception to this, with most Balinese speaking Bahasa Indonesia, Balinese, English, and sometimes Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Korean, and German. Their propensity for learning foreign languages is of course driven by the tourism, but I think it is also due to the Balinese inclination to make guests feel as welcome as possible. They are quite the hospitable folk, so if this means learning how to joke or converse a bit in your language, then attempt it they will!
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