Cooking classes in Bali: suitable even for those who dislike cooking

First of all, I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of cooking. While living in Lithuania, I used to cook (simple dishes) mainly at home, because it was cheaper than eating out and I didn’t have enough free time to go to restaurants. However, since I’ve moved to Indonesia, I stopped cooking almost completely. It is often much cheaper to eat out at local places than prepare meals at home (especially because I know a number of cheap places that serve delicious food), and it is more convenient: you avoid shopping, preparation and washing dishes. Also, I am one of those people who follow a recipe to the letter and who will not start cooking until I carefully prepare all ingredients which takes a really long time. Also, I can only look after one pot at a time! I was always really envious of people who possess that magic touch, who can open their fridge, have a quick look round and effortlessly create culinary masterpieces.

This long introduction is to show that cooking and I often go our separate ways. And I really wouldn’t have believed that one day I will be the one who not only takes part in cooking classes but also recommends them to others. I’ve discovered that, even for somebody who is not a natural chef, cooking classes in Bali are not only a great pastime, but also an opportunity to get to know Bali and its everyday life.

I’ve taken part at a few different cooking classes and want to bust some of the false myths about them. Do any of these seem familiar and is a reason why you haven’t yet chosen this activity while in Bali?

Maisto gaminimo pamoka Balyje

Cooking Classes in Bali – False Myths

“I cook loads at home already and don’t want to make food while on holiday”
Believe me, you won’t need to cook as much as you do at home. Everything is done much simpler, easier and quicker. Chefs have their assistants, who will gladly take over from you if you had enough of cooking. You will be able to observe the remaining process and eat delicious food at the end.

“It’s not worth it because I won’t be able to make this at home”
After the lesson, all participants receive recipes with clear description of the ingredients, exact measurements, and cooking process. During the lesson, chefs also advise which local ingredients can be swapped for products that are easier to come by in Europe.

“I don’t know how to cook, so there will be nothing for me to do”
If you know how to use a knife and can distinguish between a chopping board and a bowl – it’s more than enough. You don’t have to be a master chef. Chefs and their assistants will always be around to show the best way to chop ingredients, etc. Also, cooking classes in Bali are not only about learning how to make traditional food, but also deeper knowledge of Bali and opportunity to taste real, authentic dishes.

“It will be too hot”
Almost all cooking classes in Bali happen in outdoor gazebo with perfect natural air circulation. These tents even have powerful fans (although you shouldn’t expect them to have air conditioning). I never felt too hot during the lessons I’ve attended so far.

Do you have some other doubts about cooking classes in Bali or reasons why you wouldn’t try them? Share your thoughts and I’m sure I’ll manage to prove you wrong.

Maisto gaminimo mokykla Balio saloje

Why attending cooking classes in Bali is a great idea?

It’s a chance to see everyday life in Bali and to know more about local delicacies. Before the class, many chefs offer a trip to local markets where you can get to know Balinese/Indonesian spices, fruit, vegetables and seafood. Chefs tell you everything you need to know about any unfamiliar products, so you won’t need to stand there guessing “what on earth is this?”.

During one class, you will taste 5-9 different local dishes. So later, when you are at a local restaurant, you will be able to either order something new or go for your favorite dish tasted during the cooking class.

It is very easy to include these classes to your trip. They are often organized twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, nearly every day. So, you can choose a time that suits you best. Cooking classes and tasting the dishes (that you have made) takes around 2-4 hours, so you can easily spend the rest of the day doing other things.

Making food will be pretty simple. Chefs and their assistants are always on hand telling you what, when and how to chop, etc. You will never be left on your own with an unfamiliar recipe and ingredients. And if you ever get too tired, the assistants will happily take over and finish making the dish.

The menu will be adjusted to your needs. If you are vegetarian, vegan, have food allergies or avoid certain foods – chefs will always offer alternative ingredients or dishes suitable to your eating habits.

Maisto ruošimo pamoka Balyje

With whom I had the cooking classes in Bali?

With chef Ketut (Ubud)

Cooking classes in BaliHe is the most positive person on earth. Ketut will make sure you have a great time during your cooking class. Before opening his own cooking studio where he employs his relatives and friends, this chef spent quite a few years working in different restaurants. His studio praises itself for its hygienic environment, everybody works with disposable gloves. The space is very simple (as you can see from my photos), but this shouldn’t deter you from cooking with Ketut. Two people share one workspace. What you make together, that’s what you eat at the end. You can add stuff to your own dish if you like it to be more spicy or salty.

The place: 10 min. driving from Ubud center
Time: morning classes (8.30 am-1.00 pm) and evening classes (3 pm – 7.30 pm). Monday to Saturday
Menu: you will learn how to cook 9 Balinese dishes. There is a separate vegetarian menu.
Number of participants: at one time can participate up to 30 people
Language: English
Advantage: free transportation to/from the lesson to your hotel in Ubud (possible pick-up/drop-off from other places but for an additional cost). Includes a visit to the local market.
Price: 350 000 Rp (~ 22 EUR)/person. Minimum 2 people. Contact me if you want to get 10% discount for the cooking class with Ketut.


With chef Mudana (Sanur)

Balinese food classesThis Balinese chef is very attentive and helpful. Previously he worked abroad and in a few restaurants in Indonesia, and now, together with his family, he opened a small, but very cozy cooking studio at his home. The food is kept and made following strict hygienic standards. They also have a small corner where you can get various cooking souvenirs. Two people share one workspace, but, at the end of class, all food is put on individual plates and shared amongst all the participants.

 

The place: 10 min. driving from Sanur center
Time: morning classes (7 am-2.00 pm) and evening classes (5 pm – 9 pm). On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays – Indonesian dishes. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – Balinese dishes.
Menu: you will learn how to cook 7 dishes. There is a separate vegetarian menu.
Number of participants: at one time can participate up to 12 people
Language: English
Advantage: free transportation to/from the lesson to your hotel in Sanur (possible pick-up/drop-off from other places but for an additional cost). Includes visit to the local Jimbaran fish market (not possible during evening classes).
Price: 750 000 Rp (~ 47 EUR)/person, morning class. 500 000 Rp (~ 31 EUR)/person, evening class. Minimum 2 people.


With chef Wayan (Bangli)

Wayan cooking class in BaliWayan is a very experienced chef. He is quiet but very professional and friendly. He’s established his cooking studio in a rice field. It is a perfect environment for cooking and then eating the food, you simply don’t what to leave there afterward. Everything is also very hygienic. I especially liked that he donates some of the takings to the local community in his village: to fix the roads, help those in need, etc. Two people share one workspace and, after the class, all food is put on individual plates and shared amongst all the participants.

 

The place: 40 min. driving from Ubud center
Time: morning classes (9 am-1.30 pm) and evening classes (2 pm – 6.30 pm). Monday to Sunday.
Menu: you will learn how to cook 7 Balinese dishes. There is a separate vegetarian menu.
Number of participants: at one time can participate up to 27 people
Language: English
Advantage: includes the local market visit. You can watch or even participate in the rice planting process. Near the cooking class, you can also visit traditional Balinese homes, spend half of the day with Balinese people and help them on their daily activities (but this is a separate service for additional fees).
Price: 680 000 Rp (~ 43 EUR)/person (transportation not included). Minimum 2 people. Contact me if you want to get 10% discount for the cooking class with Wayan.


There are other chefs who also organise cooking classes in Bali. I haven’t tried them myself, but heard some good things about them. Here are a few of them:

Maisto gaminimo pamokos Balio saloje

Finally, a few observations and pieces of advice:

  • The cost of cooking classes in Bali differs. So, before booking, check if the cost includes free travel to and from the cooking studio and free water (you will have to pay extra for any other drinks). Also, ask what else is included in the price.
  • I would strongly advise to attend cooking class during your first days in Bali. It will make it easier to choose meals from restaurant menus because you’ll be already familiar with the dishes, or choose to taste something new.
  • I would recommend to go for the morning cooking class. In the mornings, markets are busier and the stalls offer more varied products. Also, in the morning you will have more energy and after a great lunch will be able to continue with your exploration of Bali.
  • Before coming to cooking class, don’t eat at least for a few hours. Believe me, there will be enough food to not only have while you are there but also plenty of leftovers to take home with you.
  • If you choose to have your cooking class at the hotel, double check if it is happening somewhere else or at the hotel itself. Unfortunately, not all hotels have cozy spaces for cooking.
  • If you enjoyed your class, you can always leave a tip (but it’s not obligatory).

You know, even I, who clearly has a very conflicted relationship with cooking, really enjoyed to move around the kitchen during the cooking class in Bali. And I got to taste new dishes. Maybe I should rediscover my love of cooking also here, in Indonesia?

Cooking classes in Bali - pinterest
Pin it for later!

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Do you think a cooking class in Bali will make it onto your wish list now?
  • Maybe you have already attended cooking classes in Bali and would like to share your experience and thoughts?
  • Have you participated in any cooking classes in other countries? How was it?

LIKE WHAT YOU READ?

Subscribe here and receive travel tips, stories from Southeast Asia straight to your inbox! Follow my adventures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and be inspired.

 

 

 

If you haven't decided where to stay in Bali, here are some places I've stayed (click to read):

 


Interesting? Great! :) You might also like these:

Unique Bali ceremonies, festivals, rituals
Facing my fears – first scuba diving in Bali
How to spend five days in Bali



Booking.com

Tips for traveling in Asia

So far all my tips for traveling in Asia in one place. Hope it will be useful for your travels.

Tips for traveling in Asia Indonesia

Tips for traveling in Asia Malaysia

Tips for traveling in Asia Vietnam


Have more questions? Need more tips for traveling in Asia, especially in Indonesia? Contact me and I will try to help you :)

 



How to get Indonesian visa in Penang, Malaysia

If you want to stay in Indonesia more than 30 days (what you can do with “Visa on arrival”), you can apply for another visa type, which allows you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days.

If you want to get “Tourist visa” or “Social Budaya visa” you should apply for it outside of Indonesia. Most travelers till August said that the best place for it – Penang island in Malaysia (here is information how to get to Penang). Because of the quick, 2 days, process and possibility to get 60 days visa (in some other countries the visa making takes 7 working days and can be given only for 30 days). Unfortunately after 1st of August, 2017 – things changed:

Some travelers said that in Indonesian embassy in Penang they started to have a quota system. They could issue only a limited number of 60-day visas (per month or per week) – but nobody knows how many or who will get it. Others say, that there is no quota system and is giving 30-day visas for “Tourist visa” or “Social Budaya visa” (only with sponsor letter) if the sponsor is not family. The official seemed to imply that if the sponsor letter is from a spouse or other member of the family then they will get the 60 days. That, and the new RM10 KL + RM2 Penang room tax has we budget travelers giving USD$3.00 per day just in tax.

I didn’t try to make new visa in Penang after the system changed, so correct me, if there is any new changes or another place in any other country with better “conditions”.

Further information is about getting 30 days “Tourist visa”.

So, how to get Indonesian visa in Penang?

Here are some my advice and experience about applying for Indonesian 30-day “Tourist visa” in Penang island (I did such visa already twice but before 1st of August, 2017 and got 60 days visa).

Notice: all information prepared according 08 2017.

 

Contacts

Official website of Indonesian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia (but you won’t find much information there)

467 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang (about 4 km West of the Chinatown tourist area)
Tel: (+60) (4) 227 4686; (+60) (4) 226 7412;
Fax: (+60) (4) 227 4955
Email: penang.kjri@kemlu.go.id or info@kjripenang.org.my

Working hours:
Monday-Thursday – 9:00 am-17:00 pm
Break – 13:00-14:00 pm

Friday – 9:00 am-17:30 pm
Break – 12:30-15:00 am

Before going there, be sure that in Malaysia or Penang are not public holidays.

How to get to Indonesian Consulate
  • If you are in the hurry and don’t want search by yourself public transport – easiest way, just to take a taxi and say the address (in some hostels in Chinatown written that taxi price to Indonesian Consulate is 20 MYR).
  • If you want to save some money and explore Penang use public bus – number 101 from Lebuh Chulia street or 103 from Komtar bus terminal (the main buses terminal).
  • The bus 101 starts at the Jetty (where the boats to Butterworth depart from). There is a bus stop on the corner of “Love Lane” and “Lebuh Chulia” streets (it’s the best stop if you are staying in Chinatown).
  • This bus stop not marked like usual bus stops, but you just stand in opposite street of “7 eleven” mart entrance (you will see there all the time gathering people) and when you will see coming bus 101 just wave your hand to stop it.

How to get Indonesian visa in Penang - bus stop

  • One way journey takes ~20-40 min. depends on the traffic and one way ticket costs 1,4 MYR (but you should say to a driver that you want to go to “Gurney Plaza”).
  • Get out of the bus in front of “Gurney Plaza” shopping mall (it will be on your right side). You will pass on the way first mall “Gurney Paragon”, next stop – “Gurney Plaza”. If you scared to miss it, ask the driver to say when will be that stop (I saw many people do that and drivers says when time to get out :)).
  • When you will get out from a bus on your left side (when you stand face to bus stop) will be traffic light. Go straight to it and turn right (to street Lebuhraya Maktab). Go all the time straight (you will pass some small streets on your right and left sides) till you will come to one big street in front of you (with 3 or 4 one way lines) – Jalan Burma. Here turn right. Go straight, on your right side you will pass “Midlands Park Center” mall. After it, on left side you will see traffic light, cross the street there and still go straight. On your left side you will see Adventist hospital. Just after it, on the same left side will be Indonesian Consulate.

Not hard to find ;). Here is the map.

Malls pictures are taken from internet.

How to apply
  • First of all – dress properly. In the security post you will see the sign how you should look (no flip-flops, short shorts, T-shirt with sleeves and etc.). Some people don’t follow it and still pass inside. My advice, just dress in polite way, you are not going to a beach, yeah?.
  • For visa applying you should come in the morning (9:00-12:00 am.). By the way on Mondays it’s more people than on other days.
  • On entering the visa hall go to the table just inside the door. The lady will give you the form, fill it in and return to the table.The application form should be filled with black pen, if you don’t have, borrow it from workers.
  • The lady will check it briefly and give you a number. Then when the time will come they will announce the number and you will need to go to window 7. Give the papers and pay 205 MYR in cash (such price was in the end of July, 2017). If you don’t have cash in the “Midlands Park Center” mall (that you passed on the way) you can take money from ATM, as well make documents copy, take a picture – if needed. Important: Like in consulate will take your passport, don’t forget before make a copy of it.
  • After giving everything and pay, you will get a number. Then you need to wait till your number will appear in TV screen. Go to the counter and there you will get receipt. With it you will need to come back next day at from 14:00 to 16:00 pm (the same receipt you will need to show for a security when you will enter consulate next day).
  • When you will come next day, go to a counter 7 again and show your receipt – you will get your passport back. Important: in the evening of the day when you will apply check your e-mail. Because I had interesting experience, that in the evening I got e-mail from consulate, with information that I should come next day on different time that was written on receipt. Like some responsible person will be in the meeting and won’t be able to issue my visa earlier. If I wouldn’t check that day, I would need to go to consulate twice next day.

Beware of the day counting trap! The way the immigration officials’ count stay period is: the day of arrival counts as day one. The day of departure also counts. For example you have 30-days visa, you arrive on the 1st day, you must leave on the 30th day (not the 31st or the first of the next month). Even if you leave 5 min. after midnight, it will be counted as a full new day. If you overstay you will have to pay a penalty of 200 000 Rp per day. Up to 3 days is usually no problem, you will simply pay the fee at the immigration counter.

How to fill the application, what to have with you

The first few questions on the form (what type of visa, your name, passport details etc.) you should fill.

This lines you don’t need to fill if you apply for Indonesian 60-day “Tourist visa”

  • Occupation in Indonesia
  • Address of office/occupation
  • Address of residence in Indonesia
  • Name of sponsor/reference
  • Address of sponsor/reference
  • In the “Reason for applying” section write Tourism

For the supporting documentation I provided:

  • A photo (even if in a form written that it should be in red background, I gave without – and everything was fine, they accepted)
  • A photocopy of passport (info page only)
  • A photocopy of return ticket from Malaysia (when I will leave to Indonesia)
  • I read that I should give the photocopy of returns ticket from Indonesia but I didn’t have it yet on 1st time, so I brought photocopy from my bank account where shown that I have enough money to buy a ticket out of Indonesia (I just log in to my e-bank, made print screen and printed it). 2nd time I brought flight ticket, when I’m planing to leave Indonesia.

I didn’t got any extra questions or asking to bring something more.

If you didn’t make copies of needed documents, you can do it in Midland Park Center that you passed on the way to Indonesian embassy.

What to do after applying?

  • If you want to come back to Chinatown you should wait for the same bus 101 in front of “Midlands Park Center” mall.
  • But my advice, after consulate go further to explore Penang island, for example:

Here is official website of buses in Penang: routes, journey planner and etc.

 

By the way, during two my trips to Penang I stayed in 75 Traveller’s lodge. I found this place quite affordable, with good location and quite good condition. But there are many other places to stay in Penang.

 

How to get Indonesian visa in Penang - Pinterest
Pin it for later!

 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Have you tried to make Indonesian visa in Penang island? How was it?
  • Did you make Indonesian visa in any other country? What was your experience?
  • If you have any update to add, feel free to do it in comments

 

LIKE WHAT YOU READ? 

Subscribe here and receive tips, stories for your next trip straight to your inbox! Follow my adventures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and get updates!

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to get to Penang island
How to extend Indonesian tourist visa in Bali
Disappearing and resurgent street art in Penang