Start Travelling to Bali
We started from Pune for Mumbai Airport. We rented a car from a local transport company which would pick us from home & drop us at the airport.
Reach Bali and get set for an outstanding journey
Me and my wife reached Bali around noon and took a free shuttle of our hotel Hilton Garden Inn. I selected this four star hotel because I had some Hilton points earned during my business trips to US. However, hotel price is never a big deal in Bali. There are plenty other options available at very reasonable price.
After spending some time at hotel I left the hotel to get a sim card which costed me around 300k IDR (1500 INR). Then I used a very cool cab service GRAB (like UBER) available in Bali and went to Kuta beach. I rented a bike there for 60k IDR/day (300 INR). I think you might get sim cards cheaper here. Then went to a good Indian Restaurant Atithi near Kuta beach which we found reasonable compared to other restaurant.
Start exploring a treasure of temples and nature
We started driving bike for Uluwatu temple as weather was sunny but not very hot. I had picked this destination first as it was around 35 min from my hotel in South. We reached temple, spent around two hours there in admiring beauty of ocean and Balinese structure. (I will not write much about attractions as all the attractions I visited are very beautiful. Instead, I will talk more about trip which will help you planning).
On the way back to Kuta, I stopped by Nyang Nyang beach. Again a very beautiful ocean. To get to this beach you have to walk on a very steep slope. A good pair of shoes is recommended. As I had some less time we spent around an hour here and left for next destination.
After Nyang Nyang beach, we had lunch at an Indian restaurant named New Delhi (cheap and only Indian restaurant on the way but with limited choices) and reached Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park. It is an amazing park where you can see different Balinese arts and dances. They have schedule such that after every half an hour you will have some show to see. So, this shouldn't matter at what time you reach there. Entry fees is around 750 INR per head but it is worth paying that amount.
If you notice all above attraction are in South Bali and are on the same route. I had planned destinations accordingly so that I could see more attraction in less travelling time.
Continue the feelgood trip with two more temples
Next day, we spent entire morning in the hotel, had lunch and then headed in the north to Taman Ayun Temple on bike again. It was around hour's drive but the scenic roads won't let you feel it. You can also rent a car which would cost you around 2.5k - 3k if you are not comfortable in driving scooter. Most of the drivers on GRAB application would give you personal car rental for day at cheap price compared to price on application.
The temple is very beautiful surrounded with lot of greenery and water. We spent afternoon at the temple and then left for most beautiful and loved destination in Bali.
We drove for about an hour from Taman Ayun to witness sunset from Tanah Lot temple. This temple is typically known for amazing sunset view you will ever get to see. This is situated in an ocean, however they will not let you enter temple unless you are there for a prayer. Still, you can spend time on beach, walk to the temple holding your shoes in one and partner's hand in another hand, reach out to stones surrounded by water and feel the breeze of wind and water.
I would recommend to go to Tanah Lot in the evening and witness the sunset.
The day was little bit tiring, so we went to hotel and ordered Indian food from GRAB just like any food delivery application.
Island of scenic beauties and amazing beaches
We left hotel, rented a GRAB Taxi and reached Sanur beach from where we had ferry boat which would take us to Nusa Penida island. After reaching island, we rented a bike as all started for attractions on the island. We went to Kelingking beach first, which was the best beach I have seen in my life. You can understand the reason, why I am saying so if google Kelingking beach images.
Then we visited next beautiful attraction Broken beach which has another attraction called Angel's Billabong right next to it. After this we started moving towards boat harbor as last boat leaves at 5pm from Nusa Penida to Sanur beach, Bali. Otherwise, one can also stay at Nusa Penida as there are number of stay options available there. However, not sure about the quality.
Remember important points before visiting Nusa Penida.
There are no Indian restaurant available there. As we were vegetarians we carried some food with ourselves.
Last boat leaves at 5pm from Nusa Penida to Sanur, Bali. So, be present at the harbor by 4.30pm if you are not planning to stay there.
Roads in Nusa Penida are worst ever roads. Renting a private car is highly recommended. You can get number of car rentals from Bali or you can also rent a car directly after reaching Nusa Penida as drivers will gather around you as soon as you get off the ferry boat.
Ubud, heart of Bali
Next day, we left the hotel and moved to new private villa in Ubud. The Sawah Villa is a very good villa available for around 4k-5k/day with private swimming pool.
After reaching villa, we took some rest and then went to Tegenungan Waterfall which was just 10 min away from villa. I am sure, everyone would love this waterfall. We spent around 2 hours there and came back by 5pm. This day was a rest day.
Another wonderful day with culture and Balinese heritage
We rented a car today from a driver whom we met on a GRAB taxi app drop to visit one of it's kind temple in the world, Besakih temple - mother of temples. He charged us around 2500 INR which included car, fuel, driver and parking fees. This temple withholds many small temples and is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. High altitude location of this temple crowns rainy clouds on the pagoda of temple of Lord Shiva.
You will get guide here which is included in the ticket price itself. Just make sure you go with a young and good English speaking guide.
We spent around 2 amazing hours at this location and left for another wonderful mountain temple.
We reached Mount Batur after an hour. You can see Mount Agung and lake Batur from this hill before temple where people stop by to enjoy view of two mountains staring at each other while holy lake Batur accompanies them.
You can also go for sunrise trek of Mount Batur which is said to be one of best things to do in Bali. There are many private tour operators who arrange this trek.
After spending some time with mountains we went to see Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple. Another wonderful creation in Bali. People here say it is second biggest temple after Besakih temple in Bali. You can actually in the temple here and see people praying.
There is one Indian restaurant near Batur Mountain view point called New Delhi.
I would suggest you to not skip Tegalalang Rice terrace visit if you are planning to visit Bali. There are many rice terraces which are private and only available for tourism (of course they charge you around 200 to 300 INR). You can go in any of them, they are all next to each other. We went to a rice terrace which had coffee plantation at some other location but they provided coffee and tea at rice terrace. They gave us 16 different types of tea and coffee for taste (surprisingly for free).
Luwak coffee is also a very well known coffee in Bali. I spent 250 INR on it, but I didn't feel it was worth it. I found it same as regular coffee. You might have a different opinion though.
After spending 2 hours we went back to hotel.
Still lot of destinations to explore nearby Ubud
We started around 10.30 and reached Tirta Empul temple in half an hour. As expected it was a beautiful temple with holy spring. This spring is having continuous sweet water eruption so it is said to be a Holy spring. There is a ritual carried out here where people go in a Kund where spring water is directed from holy spring to seek blessings.
Then we went to Gunung Kawi temple. A very less known yet a very beautiful construction you should not skip. It is built above water and you can actually hear sound of water flowing underneath the earth. Water is very systematically distributed all over the temple.
Goa Gajah is cave where you will find idols of Ganesha, Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva. This cave and idols are carved in a rock and has been given a status of UNESCO World Heritage by United Nations. It is very near to central Ubud.
We then went to Ubud Palace, in central Ubud. They also organize Balinese dance shows and many cultural shows in the Palace. Ubud Palace is next to Ubud market where you fill find very unique gifts and memories to take back home.
There are many other attractions here in Ubud which are very close to Ubud central so you would not spend much time in travelling to reach here if you are living in Ubud. Just remember, this is a very crowded area so don't bring car here. Bike is highly recommended.
This was a last day of our tourism. We left around 10 and reached Monkey forest in 20 minutes. This was a very good and memorable destination for me. All this forest has is monkeys, nature, a waterfall and a temple of course. You will definitely have fun roaming here. Watching monkeys jumping on tourists, taking away their stuff, people taking selfies with monkeys would make you smile.
Back to home
After spending wonderful 10 days in Bali, we packed our bags with all cherished moments and unforgettable memories to go back home.
This is how I planned our trip to Bali. I hope this would help you plan yours.