I went to Bali from Dec 8
to Dec 18, 2005. Having visited many islands in
southeast Asia, I preferred Bali to the others as
Bali offers a wide varieties of options in
cultural discovery, trekking, surfing, diving as
well as recreation such as spa, nightlife for
travelers and holiday makers.
When to go: If you go diving
or trekking in Bali, choose the dry season from
April to October. Otherwise you can go to Bali at
Itinerary: For the
first-time traveler, stay in the south of Bali,
enjoy the beautiful beaches and water activities;
do half-day or full day tours to temples in the
surrounding area. To visit temples, you have to
wear long trousers and tie a sash (a scarf will do
the job) around your waist. I spent 5 days in
Kuta, 3 days in Ubud and 2 days in Nusa
exchange: Different places offer different
rates. To get the best deal, one has to shop
around. However, the authorised money exchange
office s' rates are fairly competitive. Never
change currencies at hotels - their rates are
Bali though it is more expensive than most
other parts of Indonesia, is still cheap and
caters well to all budgets. I paid almost 50% less
for the room in a well-equipped hotel in Bali than
the same standard hotel room in Thailand or
Malaysia. My total expenses for
10 days in Bali are around US$350. The air
ticket cost me $984: Geneva-Singapore by KLM
($840); Singapore-Bali by Singapore Airlines
Citizens from quite a number of countries can
enter Indonesia without a visa. However if one is needed, this can be
obtained on arrival at Denpasar airport at US$25,
which is valid for 30 days.
|10 nights, all in the hotels with swimming
pool, air condition room with hot shower,
breakfast included except too nights in NSL.
|around rp50,000 per day |
Airport -> Kuta: rp40,000; Kuta
-> Airport: rp30,000; Ubud -> Kuta:
Kuta -> Tanah Lot ->
Denpasar: rp120,000; Ubud Sightseeing: rp120,000
Perama Shuttle Services: Kuta
<--> Nusa Lembongan: rp85,000 x 2; Kuta
-> Ubud: rp30,000;
Nusa Lembongan: Bicycle -> rp50,000 (for
two afternoons); Canoe -> rp20,000 (for 1.5
Kuta Surfing: Board rental ->
rp75,000 (rp25,000 per hour); One Lesson ->
rp100,000 (to stand on the board)
Budget travelers and holidaymakers will not
find any other places more pleasant than Kuta:
cheap and good value hotels; nightlife activities;
a wide range of excursion, shopping and dining
Things to do
Beach: Kuta's beach
is ideal for surfing especially for beginners.
However, it is not suitable for swimming as the
waves are relatively strong and there are lots of
garbage in the water. Hawkers sell local snacks on
the beach. The noodle soup is for rp 5000. It is
not possible to have a quiet and relax time on the
beach; one gets disturbed constantly by hawkers
trying to sell goods or offering massage.
visited Pura Tanah Lot, Pasar Badung-the food
market in Denpasar, and Jimbaran beach.
Pura Tanah Lot (rp10,000): Group
tourists go there for sunset. The site is
extremely quiet in the morning. (photos)
The Jimbaran that I saw is not as
romantic as it is supposed to be. Seafood
restaurants quote ridiculous price, even with a
40% discount, it is still more expensive than that
of in Kuta. Other travelers had indicated that
there are two groups of on-the-beach barbeque
stalls. One cluster is next to the Four Seasons
Hotel and these do not look as tidy and upmarket.
The stalls are older with more down-to-earth
tables and chairs (read older). These stalls are
frequented by Balinese and their prices are also
more down-to-earth. The ones that my taxi took me
to are the more upmarket cluster, further south.
These stalls could only be described as “tourists'
Activities: I tried
surfing three times in Kuta, rented the board with
Wan (email: mailto:email@example.com,
phone: 6281338117740). He gave me a good lesson
for rp100,000 and I managed to stand on the board
Shopping: Kuta would
have the most variety of whatever you would want
to buy in Bali. These would likely to include all
sorts of handicrafts, clothing, swimwear, pirated
DVD's etc. Generally, the prices are cheaper than
other places in Bali but hard bargain is needed.
The quality of handicrafts are run-of-the-mills as
better quality ones are normally closer to the
place that made them.
I stayed at three different hotels in Kuta and
visited another seven hotels: There are many
comfortable hotels with reasonable price. Much to
my surprise is that the rates mentioned on the
website of some hotels are more expensive than
their real rates. The reason being such websites
are often managed by travel agents rather than the
hotel itself and the agents add a margin.
When consider accommodation options in Kuta,
one should take into account its proximity to the
main road and/or nightspots such as pubs and
discos. Most of these nightspots run into the very
wee hours of the morning (especially on Fridays
and Saturdays) and being close to any of these
will definitely cause nightmares.
rp150,000; Double: rp200,000.
Very clean room,
TV with many international channels; two swimming
pools; no mosquitoes; nice and quiet location,
close to everything; Simple, light breakfast.
rp225,000 to rp250,000. The price mentioned on the
website is more expensive. To get the cheaper
price, book directly with the hotel by email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
by phone 0062 361 751804, fax 761520.
hotel ideal for family holiday, equipped with all
the facilities of a three-star standard and two
big pleasant swimming pools. I enjoyed their
message very much- rp70,000 for one-hour message.
The hotel proposes set lunch for rp25,000.
I stayed three nights in Masa Inn and one night
in Hotel Barong. Barong has some offers and
facilities that you will not find in Masa-Inn,
such as buffet breakfast, welcome drink, IDD
telephone, shampoo and soaps in each room, safety
deposit box etc. However, Masa-Inn is closer to
the beach, and is much cleaner. The night in
Barong, I was bit by some bugs on the bed blanket,
and had to spray the whole bed with repellent. I
told the hotel that they should clean the blanket
as well. During the night I can hear the noise
coming from the nearby disco.
The first night, I stayed at Melasti Kuta Beach
Bungalows, which is expensive and there are many
mosquitoes. Better to avoid this hotel.
Among the hotel I visited, I'd
like to recommend the following ones:
Hotel Prawita: 63 Jelan Legian. Phone:
Single rp150,000, Double
They called themselves ‘The Hotel
with Heart'. I was impressed by their finely
decorated rooms. Their beautiful garden has a
small swimming pool. The hotel is 10-minute walk
to the beach, located along the Legian shopping
street, close to Perama office. All the rooms are
BaliSandy Cottages: http://www.balisandy.com/
Cheapest Double: rp150,000 without
refrigerator. Again the web rate is absurdly
expensive. Rooms are old.
Bali Sandat Inn II: http://www.balisandat.com/
fan/hot shower room: rp90,000; Double aircon room:
on the Poppies Lane I.
I went to this small
restaurant almost everyday in Kuta. It is almost
the cheapest tourist restaurant in Kuta serving
copious quantity and delicious taste. Seafood
Basket with very fresh prawns, crabs, snappers and
squids accompanied with salad and rice or chips:
Compared with Bali, Nusa Lembongan enjoys a
more laid-back atmosphere. To me, this beautiful
island is almost a paradise with nice beaches, and
active with seaweed farming. People are very
friendly. Instead of diving, I rounded the island
by bicycle. Everywhere I go, people smiled at me
and said hello to me. I rented a canoe and went to
see how farmers collect their seaweed.
Perama's boat leaves Sanur every day at 10:30am
for Nusa Lembongan, and from Nusa Lembongan their
boat leaves at 8:30am for Sanur. Fare; rp70,000.-.
From Kuta and Ubud, you can take the Perama bus to
go to Sanur. To Nusa Lembongan from Kuta :
rp 85.000 (10.00am) / To Nusa
Lembongan from UBUD : rp 90.000
Cheap resorts gather on the beach north of
Jungubatu village. A double fan room with cold
shower costs around rp70,000. It is not hot in the
evening. Aircon is not necessary. All their
restaurants are beachfront, very romantic during
sunset. There are more upmarket options perching
on the slope south of Jungubatu, but there is no
beach at this side.
Double fan room, cold shower: rp75000. E-mail: mailto:email@example.com
bungalows. Very clean and bright room. I was lucky
to have a beach side room in Linda with
Double fan room, cold shower: rp70,000. All the
rooms have beach-front terrace, close to Jungubatu
village. You can book through World Diving. ( http://www.world-diving.com/, a
five-star padi diving center).
Nusa Lembongan Ketut Losmen
The only resort that have pleasant double aircon
rooms with hot shower for rp300,000 and is often
fully occupied. Spacious beachfront fan rooms are
very attractive, double for rp175,000 with hot
shower. Tel: 0366-24487 / 0361-748703 /
081-23954725. There are two resorts called Ketut.
This Ketut Losmen is closer to the Perama Ferry.
In Ubud: Ubud Palace, Market, Pura Taman
Saraswati, Pura Marajan Agung, Pura Desa Ubud.
Around Ubud: Goa Gajah, Yeh Pulu, Gunung Kawi,
Tegallalang Rice Terrace, etc.
Ubud town has a touristy feel to it in that the
majority of the shops and activities are tailored
towards the tourists. Ubud is also the cultural
centre of Bali. Many of the arts form in Bali
originate from around Ubud. Hence, it is not
surprising that there are many artists who reside
in and around Ubud. There are cultural dances of
all sorts just about every night of the week,
normally starts from 7pm.
Apart from visiting temples, palaces and parks
within Ubud town, one of the most rewarding things
to do is to do walks just outside of the town
centres. If one is adventurous enough, one can
venture just about any directions outside of the
town centre and immediately be rewarded by
sceneries of terraced paddy fields and rural life.
One of the more popular walk is the so-called
Campuan Ridge walk. On
this trail and within 10 minutes from the town
centre one can see nice paddy fields, ridges,
glimpses of expensive resorts and rural living
(see any of the established guidebooks for
description and direction of this trail). One
would also encounter a few artists' homes on the
trail. If one is keen to buy/collect painting, it
is highly recommended to buy such paintings
directly from these artists along the trail. The
quality and prices are much better than one would
ever get anywhere in the towns. However, the
best place for viewing beautiful rice terraces is
around Tegalallang. This is about 12
kms northeast of Ubud. There are many rice
plantations, often small lots around this region,
moving away from the main road. Along the same
road that leads from Ubud, it is lined with shops
that sell all sorts of handicrafts. Most of these
shops make their products on the ground and one
can watch some of these being made.
It was such a pleasant experience to discover
Ubud's beautiful Bali-style guesthouses and
resorts. I visited a dozen of them and here is the
Jalan Karna 7, Tel: 0361-975535, Fax:0361-970003,
RP225,000 per night with aircon, RP150,000 without
Romantic, lustrous Balinese garden,
tastefully decorated with Balinese style
furniture, discreet and good service, convenient
only 50 meters south of the market, nice breakfast
with fruit plate, very personal service and a
small swimming pool. I stayed at this house for
(mid-range): Website: http://www.balisunsethill.com/
very unique boutique resort, built by French
architecture Christian Malmoux and his Indonesian
wife Lanny, contemporary Balinese fusion, quiet
corner sitting on a ridge overlooking the
beautiful river valley. Lanny is very friendly.
Spacious Maharani suite $125, accompanied room
$50, Villa: $85
Airport transfer: $15,
Lunch+dinner: $10, Payment: cash.
Artini 2 Cottages: http://www.artinicottage.com/,Email:
are three Artini Cottages, I visited the newly
built no.2 that has ten aircon rooms for
rp250,000.10-minute walk to the market.
Han Snel: www.hansnelbungalow.com
fan room: rp200,000.- , Superior: rp300,000 with
To get the rates mentioned here, book
by phone: 0361-975699; fax: 975643, or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
of the email mentioned on the website.
Bungalows: JI Kajeng no 27, email: email@example.com
fan room: 150,000.-, Tel: 0361-972159. All the
villas built on the slope, overlooking the river
gorge, with hot shower, swimming pool, and
Agung Cottages: Jln.
Gautama 18, Phone: 0361-975414.
Double fan room
with hot shower: rp 200,000-250,000. Very romantic
Bali style house.
Kori Bali Inn 1:
Rooms on the top floor enjoy a nice view.
Rp90,000-100,000 hot shower, fan room.
Bemo: Lonely Planet
(LP) explained in details how to get around in
Bali by Bemo, the cheapest means of transport.
However it is very complicated to sightsee by
Bemos. For example, to go to Pura Tanah Lot from
Kuta, one has to change Bemos four to five times.
I guess two to three hours may be needed for
one-way trip as Bemos leave only when they are
fully filled with passengers. In Denpasar, I spent
almost 80 minutes waiting for the Bemo to go for
Kuta; and the driver charged me rp10,000 instead
of rp4000 mentioned on the LP.
So join a package- half day or full day tours-
for sightseeing, or simply charter a taxi, which
is not expensive at all.
buses: Perama run regular shuttle buses and
boats between Kuta and Ubud, Lovina, Padangbai,
Nusa Lembongan in Bali. See detailed information
on their website: http://www.peramatour.com/shuttle.htm.
Their prices are the cheapest, but you should go
to their office to buy the tickets. Hotels and
many travel agencies can also book the shuttle bus
for you - but is 50% more expensive than Perama's
Bemo Taxi: In Kuta, a
local green Bemo quoted me only rp25,000 for
Denpasar. I chartered a Bemo in Ubud for half day
for rp 120,000 to visit 4 sights around Ubud. It
may be possible to bargain to rp 100,000.- or
Normal Taxi: Charter
a Taxi for a whole day tour: around rp 350.000. I
took a taxi from Kuta to Pura Tanah Lot. The
driver waited for me for almost two and a half
hours outside the temple and then on to Denpasar
for rp 120,000.-. One-way taxi
prices between the following places:
- Kuta-Ubud: rp100,000.- (The cheapest Perama
shuttle service charges rp30,000 per person in a
bus without air-condition.)
- Kuta-Airport: rp30,000.- (The airport taxi
counter charges rp40,000 for the same journey.)
- Kuta-Jimbaran: rp30,000.-
- Kuta-Denpasar: rp40,000.- to rp50,000.-
- In Kuta or Ubud: around rp10,000.-
Rent a car: Around
rp250,000.- per day.
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