So here's a brief about my trip to Bali which lasted for 8 days. If you're a budget traveler then this is a must read! I have shared my inputs based on my experience on Flight tickets, Hotels and transportation in Bali.
BALI FLIGHTS: Why I didn't take Air Asia flight from Bali!
I had booked AirAsia flight which cost me 7,500 Indian Rupees (One way) with an option for cabin luggage only. My primary reason for booking AirAsia flight was that it was cheap and well within my budget for travel and secondly I didn't feel the need to carry too many clothes with me for the trip. Shorts and vests are enough if you wish to roam around Bali. If you enjoying shopping then probably you can go for Malindo Air for the return journey which allows a maximum of 20 Kilograms for check-in and 7 Kilograms for cabin baggage (Price: 9000 INR). I opted for this option because I shop extensively. You needn't pay extra 3,500 INR for AirAsia check-in when you can purchase clothes worth the same amount. In Bali, clothes are very cheap!
HOTELS IN BALI: Why I stayed in resorts and 4-star hotels!
I made my hotel bookings through Booking.com and will always recommend this website. Here you can book hostels at prices ranging from 100 to 1,200 INR and hotels from Rs. 800 to 35,000 per night. In the end, it comes down to the luxury or the comfort you wish to have. I would suggest, book a luxurious hotel in Ubud and opt for guest houses in Kuta or Seminyak. The reason behind this is that Ubud has some great hotels and resorts to offer! You can enjoy the beauty, nature and the silence of the place. After all who wouldn't want to simply lay inside the pool with a beer in hand? I had booked Kadiga Villa which is a 4-Star property. It was fabulous and the hospitality was at par with the services provided. I stayed at the place for 2 nights and I really enjoyed a lot! In India, it's hard to find this sort of luxury at an affordable price of 4000 INR per night with a private pool and complimentary breakfast. No doubt, there are cheaper options available but it all comes down to the level of comfort you require. In Kuta or Seminyak, it's not advisable to spend so much money on hotels because there are so many other things to do apart from beaches and parties. I stayed in Kuta for a period of 5 days in D'gaduh suite. It cost 1,100 INR per night with an access to the pool. But it was definitely worth it! It was located in the main market with Legian just a kilometre away and the staff was also very friendly.
TRANSPORTATION IN BALI: Why I was said 'NO to Uber'!
Uber, Grab and Gojek apps are banned in Bali so don't use them to get a taxi from the airport. If another driver sees you using the Uber app, he may stop you and won't allow you to go. This happened to me twice. There are hoardings all over the city saying that Uber and Grab are banned. The best way to get Uber is to step outside the hotel, move a distance of at least 100 metres and then use the app. You'll find taxi drivers mostly outside the hotels and airport. It's not really easy to get an Uber taxi at the airport. I had booked my taxi from rideaways.com by paying a hefty sum of 13.15 USD. The local taxis are very expensive.
Sharing my experience, I had booked a ride from Kuta to Ubud with Uber. It was showing 1,20,000 IDR which is supposed to be around 600 Indian Rupees. But when I started getting into the cab, a local driver stopped me and politely asked me to leave the Uber cab. The Uber cab left immediately and then I was left with only one option, to book a local taxi. They charged me 3,00,000 IDR which is around 1,500 Indian Rupees. After heavy bargaining, I closed the deal at 2,50,000 IDR. Still, it was more than double to what to what Uber was offering. So if you're planning a ride with Uber or Grab, then try not board from a near a hotel.
Get Tourist Drivers license in Bali to explore the 'Real Bali'
The best way of travelling in Bali is to hire a scooter. Indians need an IDP (International driving permit) for driving but it's really hard to get one in India. So the best way is to get a temporary Balinese driving license (Tourist Driver's License) from the police station in Denpasar within a day. Preferably, check with your hotel or homestay. They will know exactly, how you can get there. The cost for the same comes around to be 30 USD. That's one way, how the local police make some extra money. You will just have to fill in a Multiple Choice Form (with answers right next to you!). Bring a passport size picture and the required money for fees. The license is issued to anybody between the age group of 18 to 70 years. The rent for the scooter is 60,000 IDR (around 270 Indian Rupees) per day and it's even lesser on weekdays. I got it for 80,000 IDR (357 Indian Rupees) including petrol. Petrol is very cheap in Bali at around 38 Indian Rupees per litre.
Caught by Bali traffic police! (Driving without license or helmet in Bali)
If you get caught by the traffic police for driving without a license or helmet, over speeding or being blamed for an offence you didn't perform, do not panic. Some Policemen will do their best in scaring and threatening you. But keep your calm and be friendly to them. That will undoubtedly help you in the situation. Convince them with your sincerity and modesty. They would just charge a fee and let you go. You may have to pay between 10 to 30 USD. I'm sharing this because such an incident happened to me. I didn't have a license and had to around 500 Indian Rupees as a bribe.