So, I visited Bali last year and stayed there for approximately two weeks, which by the way, is just not enough. Once you experience the culture and the lifestyle of Bali, you will just want to stay there, or maybe even move there – which is actually an excellent option!!
For now, I will give you guys the insights of my stay in Bali, info about travelling , places to visit, food to eat and more…
The best time to visit Bali is from April to October when there is less rain and more sun. From October to April you will get rain, but it’s still beautiful. You can still visit there during the wet season too, but you might not be able to explore that much.
There will be a lot of ground that you want to cover in Bali, such as visiting temples, beaches, cafes, exploring the rice terraces etc. So make a list of the places you would want to visit and then plan accordingly.
The flight tickets are not that expensive. You can get a return ticket from Mumbai to Bali for Rs .15,000 if booked 2-3 months in advance. The cheapest month to fly to Bali is March. You will need a visa to enter Bali (Indonesia). We got an arrival visa on our Indian Passport, but not all countries are eligible for a visa on arrival, so please do check the visa requirements before flying.
For the cheapest tickets use these websites:
Bali is known for its luxury villas and hotels offering infinity swimming pools, fancy floating breakfasts and amenities that will keep you wanting more. You don’t have to go over your budget to stay at these places. From hostels and dorms, to hotels, resorts and private villas, Bali offers a lot of variety when it comes to stays. The rates of the hotels depend on the time you book it, the peak season & also the area you will be in.
Hostels are a good option if you are travelling with friends or solo. The hostels in Bali are as good as staying in a hotel. You can also get a private room if you’re not comfortable sharing rooms.
If you are travelling with friends, you will end up saving more on a sharing basis. You can actually book a villa instead of a hotel and avail all of the same facilities. You may even get a chef and house help with your villa.
I would suggest to book all your stays online some time in advance as you will get good offers, you can contact the place directly on their social media accounts and check for the availability and special deals.
Try not to book rooms or villas on the spot unless it is urgently required as the charges will be higher than what you get online. Online booking is the best option.
We stayed in Seminyak, Depansar and Ubud and stayed at 4 different properties, each with its own unique style.
I will give details in another blog as this one will get too long.
Transport in Bali is easily available. Private cars wait right outside the airport and are not too expensive, but make sure to negotiate. I would suggest to book a driver with a car if you plan to move around a lot (which is going to happen). This will make your journey smoother as you won’t have to look for transport and it will be less time consuming. The private cabs pick and drop you off as per your convenience.
Another transport option is you can rent a bike. Just make sure you’re a good rider and can manage long rides. The traffic and the roads tend to get a bit crazy and can be dangerous if you don’t know how to handle a bike. Also, make sure you have a valid driving license (you don’t want to face the cops). It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t want to ride by yourself, Bali has a public mode of transport on bikes called GoJek. This works similar to UBER, but make sure you check the bikes before booking. Some of their seats are so tiny that the long rides can get uncomfortable. GoJeks are also very cost effective. Wearing a helmet for the rider and the passenger is compulsory. Safety first.
Balinese food is very diverse because of the different cultures Indonesia is made of, which makes Bali the ultimate food paradise.
From traditional Balinese restaurants to cool cafes and authentic street food, Bali covers all of your food cravings.
Ooooo I can’t even tell you how excited I get when I think of it. I think all I did was eat everywhere we went. Bali has set very high standards when it comes to food!! Not only do they nail the presentation and make everything super Instagram-able, but the food tastes so good it will keep your taste buds wanting for more. The best part is you don’t have to break your bank account to enjoy these treats.
They offer a variety of cuisine, so you’ll never run out of options. Bali doesn’t have a big market for vegetarian food but they have now started promoting and making more veg and vegan options. Meat eaters of course will have a blast. There are a couple of must try dishes in Bali – Pisang Goreng, smoothie bowl, coffees, satays, local food, Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur, Bebek Betutu, the street food & the fish offerings of course!
They also have these street food joints which have a mini buffet system where you can pick what you want to eat. They are not luxurious food items so make sure your body can take in some junk food.
Also make sure to try the quirky cocktails they have to offer, which brings us to our next highlight: the nightlife.
There are a list of must visit beach clubs and bars which provide you with the ultimate experience. From Cliff top clubs to the Beach bars, where one can step directly for a swim, Bali has you covered. It also has some swanky night clubs. To name a few – One Eighty, La Favella, Single Fin Beach club, Café Del Mar, Potato Head Beach club. Try to reach early to avoid the long queues.
For explorers, you have dozens of activities to choose from.
Go to Nusa Penida, Nusa Dua, search for Rice terraces, chase waterfalls or surf and catch the best wave. The islands are a bit far away from the centre so keep a day or two for those visits. You can hire a tour guide for a better experience.
Do visit the Bali Bird park – that was one heck of an experience for me. Being an animal lover, I felt I was in Disneyland. It falls on the way to Ubud, so we saved on time when we were travelling there. They have a variety of species and all are very well taken care of. They have trained exotic birds which you can play with and you will also get to see the Komodo dragons.
Waterfalls are found in Ubud, and hands down you will find the most beautiful ones there. The known ones are usually crowded, but you can find the hidden gems too!! Ask a local or go and explore by yourself. We visited two-three waterfalls, the big and famous ones which were super crowded, but on our last day we explored a secluded one and had it all to ourselves. Make sure you go in the morning before 8.00 am if you want privacy. You’ll manage to get some memorable pictures
Nung Nung and Tegenungan waterfalls are the ones we went to, and we explored a secluded one near our resort in Ubud.
If you love trekking and are on a much higher level of being fit, you should definitely hike up to see the majestic Mount Agung (the volcanic mountain). The hike is mostly of rocky terrain and road trails, so taking a guide is advisable.
For a lighter one you can check for Mount Batur.
The rice terraces are best to visit at sunrise or before sunset, to catch the golden hour. Tegalalang Rice terrace is the most famous rice terrace in Bali, but you will find many.
A trip to Bali is not complete if you don’t visit the temples, they are filled with culture and beautiful architecture. Tirta Empul Temple is known for its holy spring water where the Balinese go for a ritual purification. It is open to tourists as well. We visited Pentinget temple in Seminyak and Pura Dalem Gede Peliatan in Ubud. Men and women have to wear their mandatory attire before entering the temples, but you can rent one on the spot. Being full of culture, you will see many Balinese celebrations and processions being carried around.
Catch the famous Bali sunsets!! These are some of the best sunsets in the world and you won’t want to miss them. It is a local tradition – you will find mostly each and everyone at the beach with friends & family, chilling and enjoying the beautiful sunset . Visit the famous beaches in Bali, you will be mesmerized by their beauty. I have never experienced something like this. The beaches are made of black sand which is believed to have formed from the lava eruption from Mount Agung. The sand literally glitters in the dark and the waters are made of the the perfect blue .You have to see it to believe it. We visited Semiynak Beach, Seseh Beach, Thomas and Uluwatu Beach. Seseh and Uluwatu are mainly the surf spots.
Retail Therapy is very cost effective in Bali. From street shopping, to boutiques, to luxurious brands, you can get your hand on anything. I would suggest to go for street shopping and boutique shops as you can buy luxurious brands online. We were running on borrowed time, but squeezed in a bit of shopping before heading back to the airport. There are local artisans who make brilliant sustainable products which are easy on your pocket. You don’t need to bargain too much as the prices are reasonable.
You can also splurge on skincare products and Balinese artifacts. You can bring home the Balinese culture.
Note – There is an entry fee to visit any kind of waterfall, temple or park in Bali. They are not expensive and are mostly maintenance fees.
This ended up being a long blog post but it feels like I haven’t done justice describing Bali.
The hotel & resort details will be mentioned in another post.
Do let me know if you need any more info related to Bali. I will respond.
Picture Credits – Luca Epifani
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/lucaepx