Bali blew my mind away. What a special place, with exquisite temples next to abandon shacks, and an economy that survives off tourism, you are more than welcomed here. With that being said, they also know how to take advantage of you. Arrange a ride to pick you up at the airport from the hotel you will stay at that night. The taxi drivers there jack up the prices way too much, and they know how to manipulate a confused tourist.
Careful of the water. Shower with your mouth closed and only drink bottled water. American money will go a long way here: 100,000r = $8.
o Nusa Lembongan
This is an island you will want to make a stop at. Therefore, you will need a boat to get there. Most boat tickets include pick up from your hotel the day of. You can find tickets here.
We stayed at Café Locca Hostel. It was adorable and had everything we needed to start out the trip on the right food, but still budget conscious. The first place we went to was Dream Beach Kabu for a day at the beach with an infinite pool, and drinks. You do not have to be a hotel guest to use the pool, just make sure to purchase food or a drink to be polite.
While on the island you can snorkel, exploring on foot, and visit beautiful beachside restaurants. We visited The Deck and the food was delicious. You will find healthy, cheap, great food in Bali. Take advantage of the freshness while you can!
Ubud is in the center of Bali and is known best for its yoga retreats. Take yoga at The Yoga Barn and you will quickly see why. This spot is crawling with positive energy and wholeness. Even if you are not a yogi, you will have a great time in Ubud. There are plenty of adorable shops here, this will be your best spot for a souvenir. We stayed for two days and I wish we had more time here! I would suggest a minimum of three days.
We stayed in the heart of Ubud at WW Backpackers Hostel. We met some awesome people here from all over the world! This hostel is also right next to the Monkey Forest, where there are hundreds of monkeys running around the streets and in the sanctuary. You can buy tickets to go inside, however, we did not. If they are already running all over the streets what’s the point of going into the sanctuary!
For our time in Bali, we hired a private driver. This is a very common thing to do and does not have to be booked in advance. Once at your hotel or hostel they can help set you up with someone the night before. Our driver was great! He took photos for us and gave us history about most of the locations we visited. He was very friendly, I unfortunately do not remember his name, however, I hear this about almost all drivers, so you really can’t go wrong. We went to the rice fields, Gitgit waterfall, tea tasting, Pura Bedugul temple, and another temple he suggested.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace – a beautiful landscape where, simply, rice is grown. With a small donation fee, you can walk around the field, be ready for lots of steps!
Gitgit Waterfall – located up in Snigaraja. You will see plenty of temples while here, mix it up with a waterfall hike.
Tea/ Coffee Tasting – this is something the driver suggested we do, as it is unique to Bali. We went to Teba Sari and spent time walking around the garden, learning the process of making tea and coffee, and even saw the cats from which the “poop” coffee comes from. Don’t worry, it goes through a long process from poop to the coffee
grounds you’re drinking in your cup, but interesting nonetheless. Even if you are not a tea/coffee person, this is still an enjoyable stop. Your driver should know about this, they can stop whenever is best along your journey.
Pura Bedugul temple – this temple was one thing on my list to visit Bali. I visited with two other girls and they did a majority of the planning, but this spot I knew I wanted to stop at. You will spend about an hour here, it is peacefully located right on a lake and a great photo opportunity.
Since we loved our driver so much, we asked him to drive for us the next day as well and he agreed! This day began with a trip to Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, continued onto Teganungan waterfall, and Pura Tirta Empul, and ended with being dropped off in Seminyak to continue our travels. Brings lots of towels for this day, we’re going swimming.
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace – this rice field is much bigger than the one we saw the day before. We walked around this one for about an hour and a half and then had lunch up top in the restaurant overlooking the field.
Teganungan – there are a lot of stairs to get down to this waterfall. Carry your towels and everything with you, you will want to hang out down at the bottom for a while. We swam and hung out. Then climbed the stairs back to the top and did some shopping at the souvenir stores.
Pura Tirta Empul – also known as The Holy Water Temple. If you choose to visit this temple, you have the option to go through the cleansing process called ‘melukat’. You will be in water waist deep, and from left to right, dip your head under 30 spouts of water. Follow the queue, there are two specific spouts you do not want to dip yourself under, for they are reserved for the dead. Your driver can point these out to you. This was a wholesome, purifying experience unique to Bali, I highly suggest scheduling this stop in your trip.
I thought ending our time in Bali in Seminyak was genius. Seminyak is the party town of Bali, and we had a blast. Our first night there we went to two clubs, the second, called La Favela was so much fun. It feels like you’re in the jungle with 200 other drunk tourists and you’ll have the time of your life.
The next day we did the least smart thing and rented mopeds*. We took ourselves on a self-guided tour/ beach day and it was probably one of my favorite days because we got to run around and be goofballs for a day. We had a blast.
First stop: Pantai Melasti Ungasan beach. It was about an hour ride on the moped and fun as hell. To get here, type it into google maps and have the maps linked up to a bluetooth headphone set so you aren't driving and looking at your phone. I loved this beach because as you ride in, on your moped, you ride under a small archway. We spent a good amount of time here, and I wandered far right into the cliffs and caves as well.
Next, we made our way to Uluwatu Temple. This is a temple seated on top of a cliff's edge, overlooking the Indian Ocean.
With just these two stops, we had a full day in the sun! We headed home and got ready to head out for a night at the clubs.
Sky Garden in Kuta was the location for the night. DJ Carnage was playing there and we somehow got out of the 200,000 rupiahs (a whopping 14 American dollars) and ended up in a section upstairs.
Day three in Seminyak and the last day in Bali! We rented mopeds* one more time and headed north to Tanah Lot. You will find all the temples have something cool and unique about them; this one was placed upon a big rock that formed its own little island off the coast. When it is low tide, you can walk around the area and up to the temple. We spent probably an hour here and headed back to the hostel to relax for a bit.
Once the evening hit, we made our way to Desa Potato Head, specifically leaving sunset at this bar for our last stop in Bali. Potato Head is a beach bar, with an infinite pool, facing west to watch the sunset. At night, all the lights in the pool turn on and it becomes a party!
And there you have it! Bali in a week. I sincerely hope you enjoy your trip on this sacred island as much as I did. Be smart with the tap water and read the moped safety tips below, and have yourself the trip of a lifetime.
1. Practice outside of the busy city first. We saw a girl in a neck brace and her face messed up from a moped accident, that is not how you want to spend your trip. Once you get the hang of it in a less busy area, take your time and head out to your location.
2. Speed through police stops. Not your normal advice but – technically, tourists aren’t supposed to drive the mopeds because we don’t have the proper documentation to be driving in Bali. Therefore, the police will set up ‘speed stops’ where they will only sop tourists and you are expected to pay them off to get out of whatever ticket they’ll give you. We were lucky and only hit one police stop. And you betcha, they flagged the three of us down and we drove right through it. All three of us, and kept going and didn’t look back. They didn’t hop on their bikes and chase us, they don’t care that much.
o Must Do:
Pura Bedugul Temple
Pura Tirta Empul
Pantai Melasti Ungasan