If you are planning a trip to Bali, one week is a good duration to enjoy and visit all the places. We went to Bali in October end and the weather was pleasant as it had rained a day before we reached there and luckily it did not rain for the next 6 days when we were there. The 7-day Bali trip costed us INR 55,000 per person including return flight.
Once you reach Bali, you first need to find a good store for currency exchange. Most of the small shops cheat you while giving the money. As $1=IDR 15,000, the shopkeepers give you a lot small currency notes and remove some notes while handing over the money to you. We were almost cheated as we were exchanging a big amount. Always ask for higher currency notes, and ensure that you are last person to count the money and not the shopkeeper.
We reached the Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar at 7.30 in the morning. We took a taxi from Airport to Balangan beach where we had booked the hotel Balangan Paradise which is right next to the beach. It cost us around IDR 210,000 to reach there. It is a beautiful beach and there is a surfing school where many people come to learn surfing.
We even saw a lot of couples coming to the Balangan beach for wedding photo-shoot as the view of the sea from the top of the ridge is very beautiful.
Transport in Bali is quite cheap and convenient if you take bike on rent. They charge IDR 50,000 per day and petrol costs around IDR 10,000 per litre. We rented the bike for 2 days and travelled to the South of Bali.
On the first day we went to Uluwatu Temple. The Kechak dance at Uluwatu temple is quite famous. The dance depicts the story of how Sita was abducted by Ravana and how Lord Ram with the help of Hanuman fought with Ravana and brought Sita back. The dance starts at 6.00 PM so ensure that you reach the venue before time and collect your tickets.
Next day we went to Nusa Dua beach and then later in the evening we went to Green Bowl beach and Single Fin club. There are a lot of clubs in South Bali and the sunset view from these clubs is amazing. Balangan beach is a little secluded area with no night life and the roads are completely deserted at night. So if you are looking forward to enjoy some night life, I would suggest you book your accommodation in South Bali near Uluwatu or Badung area.
Next day we left from Balangan and went to Ubud. If you book taxi from the local people or through hotel, the prices are very high. Though Bali does not have Uber, they have similar services such as GoJek and Grab taxi services. You can download these two apps and book your taxi conveniently just like Uber. The prices offered by them are much more competitive. We initially booked GoJek taxi from Balangan to Ubud, and on the way told to the driver that we would also like to go for a day trip and he agreed. So he picked us up from Balangan beach and we went to Pura Agung Besakih, Mt. Batur Lake, Devi Batur temple, Tirta Empul, Rice terrace and then to our hotel - Puri Bebengan, at Ubud. The taxi cost us IDR 650,000 for the day trip.
The Pura Agung Besakih has many temples which are dedicated Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Ishwara and a temple for the royal family. You can also hire a local guide to take you around and give information about the various temples. But remember to negotiate with the tour guides as they demand a lot of money. They initially asked for IDR 600,000 for a guide but finally agreed for IDR 75,000.
All the temples in Bali require you to wear a Sarong (both men and women) to visit the temple premises. At some temples, the sarong is provided by the temple while at other you need to take it on rent or you may choose to buy as well. Only locals can enter the temple and see the deity. Tourists can only see the temple premises and cannot enter the temple to pray.
Tirta Empul is a temple where you can take a dip in the holy water. You can also shop at the nearby street market.
Finally at 8.00 PM we reached our hotel in Ubud. The streets in Ubud are crowded with tourists and there are a lot of shops selling souvenirs and restaurants with live performances.
Next day we again hired a bike from our hotel owner for IDR 50,000 and went to Ulu Danu Beratan temple. The place is very beautiful and peaceful.
After that, we went for to Campuhan Ridge walk. It is a 2 km walk on the mountain. You can see a lot of greenery around but nothing much apart from that. If you have time crunch, you can skip it with no regrets.
We took a break for lunch and rested for a while at our hotel and in the evening left for Goa Gajah and Tanah Lot temple. It is best to reach Tanah Lot before sunset so that you can see the beautiful sunset view.
Next day we went to Nusa Penida island which is famous for Snorkelling and Scuba Diving. We left from Ubud hotel and went to Sanur beach by bike early in the morning as we had to take a ferry to the Nusa Penida island at 7.30 AM.
We had booked the snorkelling trip through Nusa Penida Tours which costed us IDR 1,500,000 for 2 persons for snorkelling at 5 points and lunch was included in the package. They have different packages which has 3 snorkelling points or 3 snorkelling points plus tour of 3 beaches, some also provide pick-up and drop from hotel at an additional cost. You can choose the package as per your liking.
The snorkelling points were good except for Manta Ray point as there were no Manta Ray or any other fishes there on that day.
After we were back to Ubud from Nusa Penida, we went to the Monkey forest, Tagalalang rice terrace, Ubud palace and then spent the evening leisurely on the streets of Ubud market.
Next day we left from Ubud to go to Kuta. This time we booked a bus service which takes 1-2 hours to reach Kuta depending on how many people they need to pick up on the way and traffic, and costs IDR 60,000 per person. At Kuta, we stayed at Balisani Padma hotel which was really good and 8-10 mins away from the Kuta beach.
Kuta is crowded with tourists and there is always traffic jam. Hence we decided to walk around the place rather than renting a bike.
Kuta beach is well known for surfing and you will see many trainers giving surfing lessons to kids and adults.
If you want to shop or relax in a spa, then Kuta is the best place. There are a lot of spas with the massage prices ranging from IDR 60,000 to 150,000. There are also a lot of shops to buy clothes and souvenirs but you really need to bargain a lot to get a good deal.
Next day we left from Kuta to Airport. We booked a taxi through Grab which costed us IDR 52,000 + 5,000 for airport parking, whereas the local taxi drivers were demanding around IDR 300,000.
Entry Fee (per person)
@Uluwatu temple - IDR 30,000
@Kechak dance - IDR 100,000
@Pura Agung Besakih temple - IDR 60,000
@Tirta Empul - IDR 15,000
@Ulu Danu Beratan - IDR 60,000
@Goa Gajah - IDR 15,000
@Tanah Lot - IDR 60,000
@Sacred Monkey forest - IDR 50,000
@Ubud palace - FREE!
Food in Bali
If you are a pure vegetarian then you have fewer options of food in Bali compared to non-vegetarians. Also, if you don't eat egg you need to mention it while placing the order as they put egg in vegetarian food. Some of the famous dishes which you must try are Mei Goreng, Nasi Goreng, Gadu Gadu and Mangoo juice. Mei Goreng and Nasi Goreng is similar to Fried Rice and Fried Noodles, Gadu Gadu is rice with boiled vegetables and gravy. Veg food for two people costs around IDR 100,000 to 150,000 approximately.
Money saving tips
- While exchanging the currency, always ensure you are the last person to count the money so that you are not cheated.
- Take a sarong while visiting Bali, as some temples will ask you to take it on rent, or buy it, or give a donation for using their sarong
- As Uber is not available, download GoJek and Grab app to book your taxi for travelling
- Negotiate on everything - bike rent, snorkelling tour, shopping, spa, tour guides etc.
- Buy water bottles from supermarket as they cost IDR 6,000 for 1.5 litre bottle whereas if you buy it in hotel or near a tourist spot they charge you IDR 5,000 to 10,000 for 300 ml of bottle.
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