Bali is said to be one of the most traveled islands in the planet. A surfing paradise, a honeymooners’ best love getaway, and distinct for its traditional temples and villas. It won’t hurt if you explore the place for it is surprisingly affordable, If you feel overwhelmed with your upcoming Bali trip, let me share with you my recent Bali escapade, how I roamed around the island and be guided on the list of inexpensive Balinese activities! 🙂
-How to Get to Bali –
Easiest would be by plane, if you’re from South East Asia, there are direct flights to Bali and in my case, I went there via Cebu Pacific Air. Also, try to check Air Asia. If you’re after cheap flight tickets like I am, these two airlines would always offer promo fares. Go check Tripadvisor.com’s “Search for cheap flight deals” or Price Finder.
-Where I Stayed-
You don’t need to stay in hostels (unless you prefer to) because most of the private rooms in this majestic island are budget friendly, for as low as $13 you’d be able to get an air-conditioned room, all for yourself.
I was planning to stay in two different villas , first 3 days would have been in Uluwatu, specifically in a room located directly to the beach, and then transfer to Seminyak on my 4th day, but since my trip wasn’t that long, I opted to just stay in Seminyak. And with over 4,000 hotels and villas all over the island, I’m pleased that I chose Casa Bidadari.
The entire villa has only 12 rooms, 6 at each floors making it totally restful. I had a queen size bed, a flat screen TV, unlimited coffee, and free internet connection. The staff was so nice and accommodating. For those who are considering Bali as one of your travel destinations, go check out this villa. This is highly recommended.
Price: USD $37/night via Airbnb
(Disclaimer: Prices are subject to change)
Quick Tip: Make The Most Out of Your Stay: For those who are planning to stay in Bali for more than 1 week, I would strongly suggest that you try at least 2 different villas/hotels, and not just live in one particular area in the island.
Experience La Plancha
With countless restobars, why this one? Location-wise, La Plancha is settled exactly on Seminyak beach, facing the vast Indian ocean. They normally opens nearing sunset hour and might be full during the actual sunset.
I made sure that my first meal in Bali would be spent at this iconic beach bar. With its evocative vibe and undeniably charming location which faces right to Seminyak beach, La Plancha is one of the most in demand eating places in Bali. It is decorated by multicolored beanbags and Moroccan umbrellas and their menu is the fusion of Asian, Spanish and Western cuisines which are surely to die for.
As I was planted in my purple beanbag and staring at the beach in front of me, it was blissful, the sun was close to touching the ocean. The lights wired into the umbrellas were starting to get more and more visible. And the music in the background started playing.
Nesting various cafes and restaurants making it a gastronomic paradise, go all out and embrace the culture by trying this traditional Balinese treat. From the busy streets of Seminyak to the roads of Kintamani and Ubud, you’ll spot a warung catering Babi Guling. Is it really worth it? YES. Eat the Balinese way!
Quick Tip: I was ravenously hungry and excitedly ate my spoonful without realizing how spicy this dish is. If you’re as lame as me when it comes to spicy food, ask the staff to lessen the spices or remove the spicy sides.
Go See Beautiful Temples
Home to more than 10,000 temples and religious shrines combined. Ranking as the third largest religion in Indonesia, majority of Balinese people are followers of Hinduism. I had the chance to go and see four out of many known temples in the island and most are located on peculiar places.
Taman Ayun– Located in Mengwi (Price: IDR 15,000)
Ulun Danu Bratan– Located on shores of Lake Bratan (IDR 30,000)
Tanah Lot– Located on an offshore rock. (IDR 30,000)
Uluwatu– A temple located on an actual cliff. (IDR 40,000)
Watch a Traditional Dance
Bali escapade won’t be complete without witnessing one of the Balinese traditional dances. Happening just within the premises of Uluwatu, together with the temple and monkey forest is a mini open arena for the Kecak Fire Dance. It is a 3-hour long show performed by the villagers. I would say that it is one of the highlights of my trip.
Price: IDR 100,000
Quick Tip: The show starts pre-sunset so try to catch up for Uluwatu is an hour-long drive from Seminyak/Canggu/Kuta area.
Don’tGet to Close to the Monkeys
A forest turned into a tourist attraction and home of gazillion (tamed and wild) monkeys. With the help of my guide/friend Made and the Monkey Forest’s staff, I was able to carry a monkey on my shoulder when I was here.
Price: IDR 40,000
Quick Tip: always ask for assistance and don’t get too close to them without the staff for they could be ferocious and may attack you or anyone close to them.
Go Chase Waterfalls
If only I stayed longer, I’d be able to visit more waterfalls. Badly, I’ve only seen one. After a 20-30 minute trek, I reached Munduk Falls. It was refreshing and totally worth it. People are allowed to take a dip or splash around.
Quick Tip: Wear comfy clothes and shoes or slippers and bring extra clothes and swimwear.
Go Sightseeing at Tegallalang Rice Terraces
I regret not having an IG-worthy picture of the rice terraces, so I would suggest that you explore the area well, go down, get dirty, take your time and just enjoy the place.
Quick Tip: I have read some reviews that they were required to pay a certain price to go sightseeing, but in my case, they didn’t. They just asked for donation and any price would do. Try to clarify!
Walk Around and Discover Wonders
It surprised me that i’d be entertained by a simple walk around Seminyak, I was heading to the beach that day when I saw numerous art shops, from canvass to lamps and wall decor. And this island is decorated with a Balinese God structures and shrines. Just look around and you’ll see.
Visit Volcanoes and Lakes
After all, Indonesia is known for its great number of active volcanoes, it holds some of the most popular as well. Not too far from it is the Twin Lakes Dayan and Buyan.
Mount Batur– Kintamani
Rent a private car (with driver/tour guide)
I needed to hire one for two days to be able to go around Bali safely and it is totally worth it, specially if you’re a couple or a group. My tour guide, Made was able to take me to 1.)Ubud – Monkey Forest, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, 2.) Four different temples – Uluwatu,Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu Bratan and Taman Ayun, 3.) Munduk Waterfall, Mt. Batur, Twin Lakes Dayan and Buyan. Why you should:
Driver’s familiarization with the island and knowing where and how to take you to anywhere you desire to go
Safety for yourself and your belongings as you may leave it in the car and don’t need to tag it along with you.
They also know facts about the tourist sites making them your own personal guide.
(Message me to know about my tour guide’s contact info! He is the best!)
Rent a Motorbike
If you are an international driver’s license holder, then you could rent your own motorbike in Bali, it is way cheaper and easier to go around the island. Just go bring your “real” license issued by your home country together with the international driver’s license. Just familiarized yourself with the rules and regulations of the island.
Someone told me why would I go back to the same place twice or more if there are other countries and cities to see out there, but Bali is an exemption to that rule, specially in my case that I only stayed for couple of days. There are many more to discover and yet to try. I still want to surf in Uluwatu, experience the fresh seafood in Jimbaran Bay, and stay in an Ubud villa with infinity pool and my list never ends.
I hope that you’ll enjoy your Bali vacation! And also hoping that this article is a good help, if yes, feel free to click the share button and tell me what you think! 🙂