My plan to jump on to a plane and fly over to Bali was very spontaneous. I had not even planned to go there at the first place. My first choice was to visit Gold Coast, Australia and the surrounding places but after talking to a few friends and accidentally watching a few vlogs about Bali, I calculated it is going to cost me almost the same as Gold Coast. So, there I was one night, browsing flights on Skyscanner and I ended up booking my flights to Bali from Sydney. I wanted to spend a good amount of time and wanted to go around to all four directions, hence, I decided to stay for 11 days and made my own itinerary after going through YouTube videos, blogs and what not.
Day 1: Seminyak
This was our first destination. I chose to stay in Seminyak rather than Kuta to avoid the crowd, but I was wrong because Seminyak is equally crowded (although I did not visit Kuta this time, maybe next time I will). Our hotel arranged for an airport pickup for IDR 150000. We reached our hotel, showered, changed and got ready to explore the markets as our hotel at the heart of the city centre. The day was basically spent shopping! Seminyak has such beautiful boutique stores with locally and internationally designed items. I loved shopping over there. I don’t know how the time flew away and the next thing I knew it was sunset. We did miss our first sunset, but we found this cute little place for dinner called the Sea Circus which serves tasty cocktails, and all things not Indonesian. And we ended the day with cheap and oh-so-good foot massages from one of the spas.
Day 2: Canggu
A friend of mine comes to Bali every now and then. And she loves Canggu. She suggested me to visit this place and I love her for that. Canggu is on the western coast and has such a nice vibe. It is a paradise for surfers. Surfing is not my thing, but I loved this area specially because it is not so touristy. Moreover, Canggu has yoga studios, lots of hostels and tonnes of beachside cafes. The café culture is Canggu’s speciality. I would suggest hiring a bicycle and go café hopping in Canggu. We sat on a beach side café at Echo Beach (I forgot the name) and had smoothie bowls while watching the sea. Next, we headed to see the Tanah Lot temple and the sunset. Tanah Lot is a beautiful Hindu temple perched over the sea and can be accessed only during low tide. It was crowded for sure but worth a visit.
Day 3: Uluwatu
Uluwatu was the second place my friend suggested, and I can’t thank her enough. It is down south. The only mistake we did this day was to pack a lot of spots in very less time. Go here to see the most amazing cliffs, cliff side restaurants, spectacular sunsets and secluded beaches. We left early in the morning, but the traffic was so bad, and this is the case in all of Bali. Our first spot was Padang-Padang beach which is a super crowded tourist spot so reach early in the morning to avoid that. From there we went to Suluban Beach which is just too beautiful to miss. It’s situated between cliffs and during low tide you can also go ahead to swim in the tide pools. I would recommend to skip Padang-Padang beach for Suluban beach. We had our lunch at this restaurant called the “Single Fin” and the pictures explain all about it. Definitely go here for lunch or maybe dinner as you sit on cliff edge overlooking the ocean and have food and drinks. The last spot in Uluwatu was the Uluwatu temple, also on a cliff edge with amazing views. We saw Kecak dance which a fire dance in Bali, that happens every evening at the temple premises and also the most beautiful sunset ever.
Day 4: Sanur-Nusa Lembongan
We planned to explore the Nusa Islands which landed us on Sanur beach in the morning to buy tickets to Nusa Lembongan. The cheapest option is to buy tickets from the fast ferry ticket counters at Sanur beach which cost us IDR 350000 return (Sanur-Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida-Sanur). It was a bumpy journey on a fast ferry which was not the best, I would say. The sea was rough and I was shit scared until we reached the island. And just as we were approaching the beach where we were supposed to deboard, I saw the bluest waters ever and was left speechless. I did not want to leave at all. We headed to our hotel and after freshening up a bit, we left to see the island. Read about the Nusa Islands in my next post.
Day 5: Nusa Lembongan - Nusa Penida
I would say this was the highlight of our trip. We took a small boat which lasted 30 minutes to reach Nusa Penida and it is the biggest of the three islands. This day was just spent accommodating in our hotel “Manta Cottages” and watching the sea from our room. To be honest, the view from my room was so beautiful that I could have just stayed there and did nothing.
Day 6: Nusa Penida
So today we hired a driver and a car and decided to explore the west side of the island. This is more popular than east side and you will find more tourists at this side. We drove around the whole day to visit Kelingkling beach, Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach and Crystal Bay. You can also do snorkelling and dive with the manta rays in this island. We did not have much time, so we decided not to go for it, but we met two German girls and they told us it was the most amazing experience they had ever had. So, I am taking their word and doing it the next time I visit.
Day 7: Nusa Penida - Ubud
I did not want to leave but unwillingly had to. Our last destination for the trip was Ubud. The fast ferry took us back to Sanur and from there we hired GrabCab to get to Ubud. It is really cheaper than the normal taxis, but it is not available everywhere. Our hotel “Tanah Merah Art Resort” in Ubud was 4 kms away from the city center and again the route was scenic. It went through rice paddies and mountains. The view of the route in itself was beautiful. The hotel was situated in the middle of a forest and had infinity pools overlooking the ocean. In the evening we left to see the famous Ubud art market and discovered a street that is made for food lovers. This was Goutama Street and it is filled with Warungs (food joints), boutique shops and small cafes. I loved the food places over there so much that we went there every night during the rest of our trip to try new food places. More about Goutama Street in my next post.
Day 8: Downhill Cycling from Kintamani to Ubud
Someone had suggested us to do this activity when we are in Ubud and we just went and booked it. Trust me it was thrilling, exciting and amazing at the same time. We were driven uphill in a car from where we were supposed to start. We rode the cycle through villages, rice terraces, small roads and very steep slopes. On our way we visited a Balinese temple, a small school and a Balinese house and ended with a lunch organized by our tour operators at a small restaurant. By the time we were on our way back to the hotel, it started raining. After the tiring day, we went back to the Art Market and I got a full body massage. It was blissful. At the end we had dinner at a very popular restaurant called Melting Wok Warung. You have to book beforehand to get a table, it is always full.
Day 9: Ulun-Danu Beratan Temple, Gitgit waterfall and Bali Swing
I wanted to visit some places in north Bali but only had a day and did not want to make the same mistake again, so we just planned to visit the Beratan temple and Gitgit waterfall. Originally, I wanted to visit Sekumpul waterfall but either drivers were asking for too much money or they did not want to go there. It is on my list for the next Bali trip. But Gitgit waterfall did not disappoint me as well. It is a twin waterfall and you can do a few activities like waterfall jumping and rope swings over the waterfall. A must-see waterfall when you are in Bali. Coming to the temple, it has a beautiful route through mountains and it is situation on Lake Beratan. It was colder than the southern side but free from tourists. The temple had a different sense of calmness and peace in the vicinity. It was backgrounded by the mesmerising lake and a mighty mountain which was covered by clouds. I would recommend going over to north Bali to see the real Bali. We also bought some strawberries on our way back and they were so sweet and juicy. The perfect company for the perfect weather. The last spot for the day was Bali Swing. A full review about this place is in another post.
Day 10: Tegalalang Rice Fields and Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek
This was our last day in Ubud and in Bali and we could not miss the famous rice terraces. To avoid the crowd, we reached early by 8:30 in the morning. This is the best time to see this place. Or if you are an early riser then reach just before sunrise and watch the sunlight playing its way through the lush greenery. I understood why people are so in love with the rice terraces after we got here. I cannot explain in words how beautiful this place was. We did not know there were swings here also and they were much cheaper than the original Bali Swing. We negotiated and did each swing for IDR 50000. After spending a few hours here, we headed back. There are a lot of small shops on the street and you can get a lot of stuff for a good price. We did not do much after the rice terraces as we were supposed to do the sunrise trek at night. We slept for some hours and then went to start the sunrise trek at 2:30AM. This is one thing you should never miss. This was our last night, but we decided to go for it. Read more about the sunrise trek in the next post.
At the end, we reached down, picked up our bags and left for the airport.
In all, Bali is a beautiful place and so cheap if you know how to bargain. And no matter how much time you spend here you will feel that it is not enough. I am definitely going back there again and would explore the unexplored parts. There are so many things to do here that you will never get bored and even if you are out of things to do, then also you can just sit back, relax and admire the beauty this island beholds.