Early this year, my friends and I traveled to Bali, Indonesia for a quick vacation. We stayed for 4 days and 3 nights, but since we got a red-eye flight back to Manila, we only had 3 full days to go around the island. And if you were to ask me, 3 full days isn’t enough if you want to see Bali. The sights to see are quite far from each other so the land travel can take too much of your time. But if you’re okay to see snippets of Bali and a little bit time to relax and lounge, 4 full days is probably good enough.
Where to go in Bali
Since we were quite a big group, we decided to rent a van and a driver for two whole days to bring us around Bali. Here are the places we went to which are the popular tourist areas based on our research.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
This is a Balinese sea temple built in the 11th century.
The photo above reminds me of Great Wall of China, except that this doesn’t have high and unequal steps. 😉
This is another popular tourist destination because of the picturesque rock formations. If you love photography, this is also a nice place to take sunset photos.
Ulun Danu Beratan
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is one of the major water temples located on the shores of Lake Bratan. The weather here is cooler since it’s in the northern part of the island.
Taman Ayan Temple
Some of you would probably ask for the contact number of our driver during the trip. I’m sorry but I wouldn’t personally recommend getting him. We weren’t able to visit some of the places we want to go to because either he couldn’t understand us or he doesn’t know where they are. 🙁 Those were the times we really wished we had mobile internet. Although internet access isn’t hard around Bali (most hotels and restaurants have WI-FI), having google maps or waze while on the road in an unfamiliar place would be extremely helpful and could save you a lot of time! Seriously! Well, I learned my lesson and I’ll definitely register to a data roaming package before I leave for my next travel destination, especially if it’s a D.I.Y. trip. I recently saw that Smart Prepaid now offers all-day mobile surfing at a flat rate of PHP 500/day when travelling abroad. Smart All-Day Surf Abroad for Prepaid subscribers currently covers 10 Asian countries- Hong Kong (via Hutchison); Indonesia (Indosat); Japan (NTT DoCoMo); Macau (Hutchison) Malaysia (DiGi and CelCom); Singapore (Starhub); South Korea (KT); Taiwan (FarEastOne); Thailand (True); and Vietnam (Vinaphone). Well, since it’s flat rate, I don’t need to worry of unwanted data charges. You can check out the details of this #SmartAllDaySurfAbroad offer here: http://smrt.ph/prepaidalldaysurf
Oh, and one more reason why I want to be online all day while traveling is that I could upload my travel photos on Instagram and Facebook real time! Haha! I don’t have to wait to be back at the hotel and be a spammer to my followers by uploading series of photos all in one night! LOL! Seriously, I’m very sensitive with that. I know how it feels when I only see one person popping on my Instagram feed. 😀
Anyway, back to some recommendations and more photos… Well, we only visited two beaches due to lack of time and again, misunderstanding with our driver. You can probably feel my frustration by now. Haha! I wished we had GPS then so we could just direct our driver where to go. LOL! Well, it’s all good. We still had a wonderful time. 😀
We first went to Dreamland beach, also known as the New Kuta Beach. I love the fine sand here. There are just quite a number of tourists lounging along the beach, so this might not be appreciated by those who want some quite time. This is also a surfing spot.
Our Bali trip wouldn’t be complete without surfing! Part of my bucket list is to surf in Bali, one of the surfers’ paradise, and I’m glad to finally experience it! 😀
There are a lot of surf spots in Bali. We just decided to surf in Kuta Beach since it was near our hotel.
If I’m not mistaken, surf board rental with trainer is about PHP 700/ hour (about USD 16). Try to haggle the price especially if you’re surfing together with your friends.
My friend also recommends going to Finn’s Beach if you want to lounge and chill. There’s an entrance fee of 250,000 IDR for a day trip, which already includes a consumable amount.
What to eat in Bali
I love Indonesian food! Here are the must-try dishes:
I couldn’t forget the Nasi Goreng in Dreamland!!! 😀
suckling pig with a mix of various spices
Naughty Nuri’s Warung’s Ribs
Naughty Nuri’s Warung also serve Babi Guling.
Bali is also known for their luwak coffee or more commonly called Civet. We went to Kopi Luwak in Uluwatu to try this out.
They also have different flavors of coffee which they let us try for free.
You can also buy Luwak Coffee in packs, but it’s quite pricey.
Bali Nightlife and Accommodations
The island of Bali is divided into areas. If you want the nightlife, you might want to stay in Kuta. Our group decided to stay in Kuta.
Harper by Aston is not too expensive for a 4-star hotel. It has a nice and inviting pool. Although it’s just about a minute walk to the busy street where shops, restaurants and bars are located, we didn’t hear the noise inside our rooms.
The rooms are spacious and really clean.
If I were to visit Bali again, I’d probably stay in a more quite and relaxing area like Ubud or Seminyak. Well, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back soon. I consider Bali to be one of those places that’s nice to go back to for a quick vacation.