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The Ultimate Guide to Bali - Getting around Bali + Where to Stay in Bali + Sample Itinerary & Things to do in Bali

The Ultimate Guide to Bali - Getting around Bali + Where to Stay in Bali + Sample Itinerary & Things to do in Bali
Getting around Bali + Where to Stay in Bali + Sample Itinerary & Things to do in Bali 

Bali, a popular travel destination in South East Asia is a summer paradise. From beautiful beaches to lush forest and practising yoga, Bali has won the heart of many and the place for many to rejuvenate and unwind.

Balinese have a strong believed in Hinduism. This made them unique and very different from many parts of Indonesia. "Sense" and "No-sense", Balinese believes that all living thing has a 'soul' and what goes up will come down aka Karma.

Bali is a place for everyone and there so many activities to do. I hope this post gives you a glimpse of things to do in a different area, tips to getting around and things to know before you travel to this summer paradise!

Getting around Bali
Travelling in Bali can be a little tricky as there is no public transportation in the island. Depending on your budget and group size, travelling in Bali is easy if you figure out how transportation works!

Renting a Scooter in Bali
Exploring Bali by a scooter is the cheapest and easiest way to get around Bali. This is also, the commonly used vehicle by many locals because it is fast and can escape the bad traffic during peak hours!

Do note that you will need an international driver’s license ride legally in Bali. However, many still managed to rent one without! Nonetheless, please ride safely and not be a hazard to others!  Always wear a helmet when you ride!

Scooter Rental/Day- 40,000 IDR – 60,000 IDR
Petrol/bottle-7000-8000 IDR

Renting a Car in Bali
Renting a car in Bali is not as common as renting a scooter. Most people who rent a car in Bali are usually domestic tourist because driving along narrow road needs some skills too! Generally, I wouldn’t recommend a foreigner to drive a car because of the road condition and traffic. 

Nonetheless, renting a car in Bali is still cheaper than hiring one. If you are planning to rent one, the estimated price for cars is as per below

Manual- Suzuki Karimun Estilo = Rp. 150.000
Automatic-Toyota Agya = Rp. 225.000

Add :
·      Driver = Rp. 100.000,- /±11 hours
·      Petrol = ± Rp. 150.000,- /11 hours
·      Overtime ( > 12 hours) = 10% /hours

Full-Day Private Car transport
This is the easiest and fuss-free method to get around Bali because Bali is a relatively big place to explore and traffic is very bad. Engaging a private car service is very convenient and affordable if you are travelling in groups.

A 4 seater car + driver usually cost around  400,000 IDR to 800,00 IDR depending on the location and hours you engage. Some driver will increase the rate when the price of the fuel increase. The general tipping rate for a 10 hours driver service is 30,000 IDR - 50,000 IDR. We book car here for S$46/day . 

Tip: Ask your driver to pick you up from the airport and start your adventures there! A single trip from the airport usually cost 140000 – 200000 depending on location. (And vice-versa)

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Private Hire Car – Gojek/Grab
Gojek is the commonly used travel app used in Indonesia. It is cheaper than road hail. However, do note that private car hire is still not accepted by many Balinese drivers and some attractions are banned from picking up passengers such as the international airport. Nonetheless, it is still an option that H & I preferred when travelling a short distance.

Do note that private hire car is not allowed to pick up passengers from the international airport. They are allowed to drop passenger at the airport but not for pick up. Thus, if you are planning to travel 1 way to your destination, it is best to book your transport from here.

Payment method for Gojek is by Cash only.

Another options for getting around in short distance is by Taxi in South Bali. Haggling taxi fare may be fun for some but definitely not when you touch down. Choose Bluebird taxi since they travel by meter. On a side note,  if you are travelling out of South Bali, you may need to bargain for a fixed price and Bluebird taxi may not be available.

Most importantly, do note that there is a limitation of blue bird taxi around like Blue Taxi or even the bird. Thus, it is important to hail down the car with “Bluebird Group” and not “Blue Taxi Group”

Private Bus - Perama Bus
Perama Bus is a regular shuttle bus service that allows you to travel from area to area affordably. The frequency is pretty high for places like Kuta-Ubud, with 1 service every hour. Thus, If you are travelling alone and does not ride, this is one of the cheapest ways is to travel around Bali. More information on shuttle service here
Where to stay in Bali?
Each area offers a different experience of Bali. I would recommend you to at least stay in 2 different areas even if you plan to stay for 4 night. Even though Bali is an island itself, travelling from Seminyak to Ubud takes at least 1h 30 min and can be worst if the traffic is bad.

Staying in Ubud brings you closer to nature and rice terraces in Bali. In Ubud, you can find many yoga retreats to and luxury accommodations. On top of it, there are many vegan restaurants, fine dining options and even Warung in Ubud. It is pretty much the eat, pray, love experience.

With new beach bar and café popping up whenever we visit, Seminyak is the most happening area in Bali. Soaked up the amazing summer vibe in Seminyak and unwind with a glass of cocktail in pretty beach bar and music. Also, Seminyak makes a great base if you are planning to stay in 1 location.

On another hand, Seminyak is one of the most expensive areas to stay and eat. A glass of juice cost you 30,000 IDR whereas a getting the same drink in Ubud is likely to cost you 20,000 IDR in a typical Indonesian warung.

Used to be a fishing village, Kuta is the paradise to many surfers and backpackers. There are many affordable accommodation and hotels to suit any budget. You can find many warungs and restaurants in the area. Plus, it is very close to the airport, making it a great option if you have a flight to catch.

If you are planning to find a balance between Kuta and Seminyak, head over to Legian. Legian is a relatively newly developed tourist area compared to the rest. You can find a beautiful beach and bars with less crowd compared to Kuta. Plus, there is amazing warung in that area such as Sate Babi Bawah Pohon and Babi Guling.

Jimbaran Bay has one of the most beautiful views of the sunset in Bali. If you want to enjoy the sunset with a view without having to pay for luxury price at Nusa Dua, staying in Jimbaran is one the best option. The night scene in this area is low scale and one can expect to enjoy the view with peace. Ask any locals for seafood suggestion and they will direct you to their home or Jimbaran.

Nusa Dua/Uluwatu/Ugasan
This area has the most exclusive and high-end beachfront location.  This area is also home to many top five-start resort in Bali. Thus, be prepared to pay. You can find pristine white sand, the room facing the Indian Ocean. There is less crowd on the beach because it is located at the southern end of Bali. Staying around this area is perfect for a couple visiting Bali to celebrate their honeymoon or to escape the city. Although there are limited dining restaurants around the area, all hotels have their in-house restaurants, amenities and private beach area.

5D4N Bali Itinerary for First Timer
There are many places of attractions and things to do in Bali. It is impossible to cover everything in just a few days. Nonetheless, I hope this gives you a glimpse of what you can do in each area as first-timer visit. Hope this helps!

Suggested 5D4N Bali Itinerary 
Day 1: Tegenungan Waterfall- Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary- Ubud Market -Lunch at Warung Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Bu Mangku Kedewatan-Tegallalang Rice Terrace- Uma Pakel Swing
Day 2: Revolver Espresso- Jalan Laksmana- Lunch @ Naughty Nuri - Chill at Potato Head – Dinner @ Merah Putih
Day 3: Sunrise Trekking @ Mount Batur – Tanah Lot - Uluwatu Temple – Jimbaran Beach for Seafood
Day 4: Chill in Resort
Day 5: Bali - Home

Tegenungan Waterfall
The magnificent waterfall set in the lush forest background is one of the most popular waterfalls in Bali. Amenities such as toilets and cafes are available near the waterfall. It gets very crowded in the day thus it is best to visit early in the morning before the crowd started streaming in. Take the stairs down to the waterfall and have some fun!

Entrance Fee: 20,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 6:30 AM – 6:30 PM, Daily
Address: Jalan Ir. Sutami, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kemenuh, Kec. Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Credit: Monkey Forest

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a popular attraction in Ubud. More than just a local attraction, the sanctuary is a conservation and research centre. There are an estimated 1059 monkeys in the sanctuary and they are free to roam around. One can observe the monkey and taking a walk in the trail. A nice experience for animal lovers who are curious about monkeys!

Note: Keep your food away in the car and your hands-free! They are pretty mischievous and I saw them taking whatever they can and that includes a pair of glasses on tourist. I hope that the tourist can find his way back home! Nonetheless, have some fun and enjoy your time there!

Entrance Fee: 80,000 IDR Adult/ 60,000 IDR/Child
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM - 6 PM, Daily
Address: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
* Shuttle service available to Ubud Market
More information on Ubud Monkey Forest here

Ubud Market
Ubud Market is the most popular tourist market in Ubud. You can find Balinese handicraft, postcard and souvenirs home. Definitely a shopping haven for travellers who are looking for woven stuff! Although this market is catered for the tourist, taking a walk along the market is pretty magical too.

Tip: Head over in the morning to shop for the best price as the owners believe that it is good luck to sell something first in the morning and not bargain with you!

Opening Hours: 8 AM - 6 PM, Daily
Address: Ubud, Kecamatan Gianyar, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Tegallalang Rice Terrace
Be awe by the popular rice terrace at Tegallalang. The terraced layout is a traditional Balinese irrigation and offers a very interesting view. Although it is very crowded,
do take a walk along the rice terrace and enjoy the view.

Entrance Fee: 10,000 IDR
Address: Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia

Uma Pakel Swing

There are many swings in Bali and they are pretty similar in some way. We opt for the one at Uma Pakel because it is less crowded and the waiting time is not as bad as the ones at Aloha. Plus, it is located near Rice Terrace and we thought we will give it a miss if the queue was crazy. Thankfully, it wasn’t. I bought the discounted tickets for 140,000 IDR from here and was pretty happy when I found out that they were selling 200,000 IDR onsite. Score a deal! 

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Entrance Fee: 200,000 IDR
Address: Jalan Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia

Where to eat in Ubud?
Warung Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Bu Mangku Kedewatan
One of the best place to enjoy a nice plate of Indonesian style chicken rice. There are only 2 items on the menu which make a great place for a quick meal. The chilli serve is the bomb!

Average Spent Per Pax: 40,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm, Daily
Address: Jl. Raya Kedewatan No.18, Kedewatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Lombok- Dirty Duck/ Bebek Bengil
Dirty Duck or Bebek Bengal is one of the oldest warungs that serves delicious and crispy duck. The crispy duck takes 36 hours to cook and it turns out the meat is very tender and skin crispy. Do hop over at their first restaurant for an amazing view of Padi view.

Average per pax 200,000 IDR
Address: Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia
More information on Dirty Duck here

Enjoy an 8-course fine dining experience at Apéritif, the newest fine dining restaurant in Ubud. Inspired by local Balinese culture, presenting the French cuisine with a twist, Apéritif is bringing the fine dining experience to the next level.

Average per pax 1,500,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 4–11:30pm, Daily
Address: Jl. Lanyahan No.Br, Nagi, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
More information on Aperitif here

Go Cafés Hop in Seminyak
Unlike Ubud, there are not many attractions in Seminyak. Instead, most people spend their day in cafes or beach bars and watch the world go by. Start your day with a bowl of smoothie at Kynd Community (skip their waffle, they are so bad!) and hop over to Revolver for a cup of coffee. Go out and enjoy the sun!

Kynd Community
Average per pax 150,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 6am –10pm, close between 5-6pm, Daily
Address: Jalan Petitenget No.12 Kerobokan Kelod, Seminyak, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Revolver Espresso
Average per pax 60,000 Coffee only
Opening Hours: 7am – 11:30pm
Address: Jl. Kayu Aya Gang 51, Seminyak, Kuta, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Shop at Jalan Laksmana
Start off from the main shopping street in Seminyak - Jalan Laksmana, There are many local designer shops around the corner. If you have forgotten your summer hat or swimwear, you can easily find one here. It may not be the cheapest but I’m sure it’s gonna be the perfect beachwear you need in Bali.

Enjoy Indonesian Pork Rib at Naughty Nuri or Wahaha
Naughty Nuri serves the best pork rib I ever had and they still do. If there is one reason for me to go back to Bali, this will be it. Besides the pork rib, the chicken chop and fish taste good too!

This trip, we visited Wahaha to compare the ribs. The ribs are undeniable great. Unfortunately, my vote still goes to the ones at Naughty Nuri because Wahaha is a bit dry and meat is not as tender as the Naughty Nuri.

Naughty Nuri
Average per pax 200,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm
Address Jl. Mertanadi No.62, Kerobokan, Seminyak, Bali

Average per pax 200,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm
Address: Jl. Sunset Road No.1689, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Chill out at Beach Bars in Seminyak
Take a walk at Seminyak beach and enjoy the sunset. Alternatively, spend your afternoon at the beach bar and soaked up all the summer vibe! There are many beach bar lined along Seminyak beach. Visit one or two and spent your day with a book at the bar. Good food, amazing view and great music!

Potato Head
Average per pax 350,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 10am – 2am
Address: l. Petitenget No.51B, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Finns Beach Club
Average per pax 350,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm
Address: Jl. Pantai Berawa, Canggu, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Have fancy Indonesian Cuisine at Merah Putih
Credit: Merah Putih
End the night with amazing Indonesian cuisine at the up-scale restaurant in Seminyak. Do make a reservation in advance as it is very popular! Firstly, this place has gorgeous architecture design and dining here just makes you excited. Plus the staff are very attentive to our service.

Plus, they serve the really tender pork. I love how well the sauce goes with the pork. Rendang Bebek is second to the pork. The curry is different from the ones I had before. Not spicy but has a rich Balinese taste. Plus the meat was really tender.

Also, the traditional Ikan Bakar Dabu Dabu has really 'Sedap' (delicious) sauce. Sweet and spicy sauce that is very addictive. Plus, the skin is nicely pan-fried to golden brown. The only dish that didn't really shine as much is Roast King Prawn. Big Giant Prawn but the pasta has failed to combine as one dish.  

Merah Putih
Average per pax 400,000 IDR
Opening Hours: 12–3pm, 6–11:30pm, Daily
Address: Address: Jl. Petitenget No.100X, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is rock formation off the Bali. During low tide, one can walk through the water and get across to the rock. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to enter the temple area. Nonetheless, the view from the top is amazing and good enough. 

Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Bali. The temple sits on top of a cliff and the view from the top is amazing! To enter the temple area, one needs to be covered. Also, do note that it is extremely windy up and beware of the overly-friendly monkey! Watch the amazing Kecak Dance with the sunset over the ocean as the backdrop!

Jimbaran Beach for seafood
Jimbaran beach is famous for having seafood and watching the sunset. There are many seafood restaurants around the area so be sure to choose the one you like. Personally, I have tried Jimbaran Lia Café and thought it was pretty good! Price reasonable and chilli is sedap! Alternatively, you can purchase a dinner set from here to save you the hassle of bargaining.

Tip: Always look for set menus instead of Ala-cart! Chances of getting rip off when you purchase items by weight are pretty high! 

Address: Jl Pemalisan Agung, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia

Bali is amazing 

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