Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats and if you are a nature lover you will be blessed with magnificent jungle and cliffs views.
From Mauritius to Bali, you can either transit via Singapore or to Dubai. The choice is yours. Their local currency is the Rupiah – A euro is about 17,000 Rupiah. The Balinese population is about 3.6 million, mostly Hindus. Try to avoid travelling to Bali between October – March, it is the rainy season, the Monsoon.
The next question that I had quite often is Where to stay in Bali? Well, form my personal experience I will suggest you stay at different places because of the heavy traffic and if you do not want to spend your time in traffic, try to stay close to your place of interest of where the activity you want to do. See booking.com
Whether you want to be closer to nature, surfing, adrenaline seeker, chilling mode, adventurous, Bali has enough to satisfy all of your travel needs. I did a little of all Bali could offer.
Transportation in Bali
Best way to move around in Bali is to book a driver during all your stay to take you around. Well some people would rather rent a scooter and go around, personally I find it very dangerous because of the roads the way they are built, some are old roads, others with dangerous turn and the way Balinese people drive as well, if you are not used to it, please take a driver, it is way safer.
Balinese people are as you must probably know are craftsmen. They do stone carving and wood carving like statues, doors, tables, chairs, lamps, mirrors, kitchen utensils, home decor and so much more. You can see and but their work in a village called Mas, and the stone carving work in Tegenungan village, both villages not far from Ubud.
Also not far from the Mas village you can also visit the Batuan village. There you will find a lot of painters in action and their work in different local styles like the Batuan style, the Ubud style, the Kamasan style where you can buy. It is a great gift and souvenir from Bali you can buy for your friends and family.
Ubud – The centre
In Ubud itself there is a lot to do, I recommend you stay 2-3 days. What is there to do in Ubud:
- Rice terraces in Tagalalang, where you can also do the Bali swing having a top view over the rice paddies.
- The Monkey Forest.
- River rafting along the Ayung river, the longest river in Bali about 100km long. You will get to see the stone carving of about 1 km long with the Ramayan story, an epic Hindu poem from 400AD. Enjoy about 25 rapids over 19 km. This activity is about two hours, the deep jungle views, waterfalls, and see monkeys on the river banks if you are lucky. If it is your first time river rafting then it is not a problem as there are not some heavy drops to scare you, still you will enjoy the adventure.
- Multiple temples to visit.
- Food Market at night
- The Ubud art Village – Batuan Village
- Explore the Bali Coffee (kopy) plantation in Batubulan Village. I went to the “Jambe Asri Agrotourism” there you will be able to taste a variety of tea and coffees especially the coffee from the Luwak animal excrements. These little animals live in the trees and one of their food is the red coffee cherry. Their excrements are then collected on the floor, cleaned and dried and then roasted and ground with Balinese traditional processing. The Luwak coffee is the most famous and the most expensive coffee in the world. Coffee Luwak has a whole different process than the normal Bali Coffee. The fruits are eaten by a luwak, a wild animal that looks like a cat, because of the pulp that is inside of the fruits. The fun fact is that the coffee beans will stay intact during the digestion process. The enzymes in the stomach of the luwak take away the bitterness of the bean, which gives it a smooth and mild taste. When the beans leave the body of the animal, the farmers collect them. Originally they took the beans from the wild luwak, that’s why the price is so high (a pound can cost you easily rs10,000,- or more) because the whole process can take a while.
The west coast of Bali – Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta, Jimbaran and Uluwatu
All of the west part I have mentioned above are the best places for sunset watching. Now where to stay is up to you, whether you are backpacking in Bali, then the good places will be in Kuta area, and if you are looking for amazing resorts will be in Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Seminyak. I suggest you go over booking.com to book which correspond you the most.
My favourite go-to addresses:
- My two favourite temples would be the Tanah Lot Temple and the Uluwatu Temple.
- Shopping at the Beachwalk Shopping centre in Kuta and nightlife along the Legian Street where most of the action happens, where there’s a “strip” of nightclubs and bars within walking distance from each other.
- Experience the Ji Restaurant Bali, a beautiful restaurant at Hotel Tugu Canggu, with contemporary Japanese food, refreshing Asian Inspired cocktails, stunning ocean and sunset views from Ji Terrace By The Sea while in Canggu.
- Finns Beach Club in Canggu
- Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak.
- Go to OMNIA Club in Uluwatu for lunch and amazing sunset parties (from 11am to 10.30 pm) check their website, every month they have an International DJ as a guest https://omniaclubs.com/bali/
- Go eat as well in OPIA – OPIA Bali is located in Jimbaran near Four Seasons Jimbaran. If you are staying in Jimbaran you can walk here but it is located at the top of a steep hill, so taxi/grab is probably the best way to arrive.
- The Rock Bar in Ayana Resort, Jimbaran one of the world-famous Bar with an outstanding view, lounge music and good food and cocktails. Once you are there, go as well to the Kubu beach and resto-bar or go to the Kisik Beach with an amazing cliff swimming pool that will take your breath away.
South East part of Bali
Now if you also plan to stay on the east part of Bali, then Nusa Dua and Sanur are great areas in the southeast. Mostly known for sandy beaches and since you will be in the east, you will get to catch amazing sunrise if you are a morning person.
Then what else is there do to in the south-east of Bali?
- Beaches, beaches and beaches.
- Here are my picks on where to eat in Sanur among restaurants, cafes and night food street market. Try the Nook Cafe for their smoothie bowl fix, the Kopi Kiosk (coffee hut), the Pasar Sindu Market (the night food market) where you will have a selection of tasty dishes, local Indonesian flavours. Try the Chicken Satay, the chicken martabak, the Soto Ayam (chicken soup), the Bebek (crispy duck) and the Nasi goreng (like an Indonesian fried rice) was my favourite.
- Spend at least 3 nights on Nusa Penida Island.
There are a few hotels and accommodation on the man island of Bali, Nusa Penida. Actually, they are 3 islands which belong to Bali; Nusa Penida the biggest one, Nusa Lembogan and Nusa Ceningan the smallest one.
Here is the link to book my hot picks on Nusa Penida if you are looking for something different.
How to get to Nusa Penida island?
Well, there are 2 harbours from which you can go, either from Nusa Dua or from Sanur harbour. There are already a few boat transfer agencies from which you can buy or ask your guide to arrange everything for you.
From Sanur it takes around 35 – 40 mins to get to Nusa Penida. from there you can arrange a driver to drop you to where you will be staying. However, if you do not wish to stay on the island, for some reasons that you do not have much time and yet you want to see the maximum of the Island, then I would recommend booking a guided visit of the island with a tour. There are several agencies which provide this guided tour. It includes pick up from your hotel in Bali, the taxi boat transfer to and from the island, lunch, a tour guide and you will visit the 4 main attraction form Nusa Penida:
- Broken Beach
- Angel’s Billabong
- Kelingking Beach
- Crystal Bay (last point and where you will get to snorkel a little)
The most beautiful for me was Kelingking Beach. If you wish to go down to this beach, it takes you approximately 1 hour to go down through a small path with wooden barrier and about 2 hours to go back up. Unfortunately, if you are taking the tour, they will not allow you to go down to the beach because they already scheduled your visit. The reason why I suggest you stay on the island if you wish to take your time. Book a driver to take you to Clinging beach early morning before the sun gets too high and leave around 4 pm as it takes you 2 hours to get back up depending on how tired you will be after enjoying this beautiful beach.
Also, there is another beach in this area called the Atuh Beach, actually it is the other side of Kelingking beach.
Do as well the other two islands: Lembongan Island and Cenningan Island.
North part of Bali, KINTAMANI:
Another activity which I also enjoyed, and was undeniably the highlight of my holidays, was hiking the Mount Batur, an active volcano located in the centre of Mount Agung. According to Hindu belief, Mount Batur is one of the sacred mountains. It is 1717 meters above sea level. Imagine, hiking an active volcano to enjoy the sunrise and stunning morning views filling your mind and soul and see the Mount Agung and the Mount Abang. The package includes the pickup, your tour guide, breakfast, the hike and access to the Batur Natural Hot Spring and transports back to your hotel.
Diving in Bali
Diving in the best sites around the island of Bali, colourful reefs and wrecks to explore as well as a great marine life to discover.
Great diving spots are:
- Tulamben and Amed – The USS liberty wreck dive and the
- Nusa Penida – where you can find the worlds largest fish called the Mola Mola or the sunfish, during seasons (July to October)
- Nusa Lembongan Island – To see the Mola Mola fish too
- Menjangan Island – Menjangan’s underwater world surely deserves to be listed as one of the world’s top dive sites; coral counts have shown that this small island alone features more coral species than the whole Caribbean
Iconic Temples in Bali
The question I have been having a lot as well is which temple to visit in Bali. Well, there are so many temples you can visit. It is really up to you to pick the ones you want to do. They are all special yet all so beautiful like the Tanah Lot, the Uluwatu temple, the Bedugul water temple, the Royal temple called the Mengwi temple, Tirta Empul (the Holi water Temple), Pura Lempuyang temple, amongst others.
To end this post, do not forget to take time for yourself, holidays are about easing off the stress of your daily life, go for a BALINESE MASSAGE !!!
I hope this blog post has helped you to organise your holidays in Bali. If you want to get the contact of the driver and perfect English guide who helped me in Bali and to book all the activities while being there, please contact Itineris Travel Agency. They will give you the best deals on your hotel booking, flights, transfer, sightseeing and holidays packages.
Itineris travel: 2077 3081
or you can contact them via Facebook, Instagram https://www.facebook.com/itinerisyourtraveldesigner/
Some helpful basics in Bahasa Indonesia
Good morning = Selamat pagi
Good afternoon = Selamat siang
Good evening = Selamat sore
Good night = Selaman malam
Thank you = Terima kasih
Slow down = Pelan – pelan
Please Hurry = Tolong cepat
Turn right = Belok kanan
Turn left = Belok kiri
Reverse = Mundur
Straight = Lurus
Sorry = Maaf
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