Bali is a place I’d wanted to visit for a while. After a bit of persuasion my partner agreed to us booking a trip. This is the bit I get excited about the most, the planning. I enjoy researching the different places to visit and restaurants to try. I hope this helps in some way if your planning a trip to Bali. We had around 2 1/2 weeks in Bali, which I think was the right amount of time, I feel it could be done in two weeks depending on what you want to do.
We had a rough idea of the places I wanted to visit in Bali so first of all wrote those down and worked out how many days we wanted to spend in each. We worked out that it was cheaper to fly to Bangkok (12 hour direct flight) and then get an internal flight separately to Denpasar airport in Bali. Bangkok is a favourite city of ours so we flew and spent a couple of nights there on the way and the way back to split the journey up. If you haven’t visited Bangkok before, it’s a way of seeing two countries in one trip depending on how much time you have.
Places to visit
Canguu – 3 nights. Bali’s hippest town, more of a chilled, laid back vibe going on. Again full of trendy cafes and beach clubs to watch sunset. Great if you’re in to surfing, the waves are crazy high!
Seminyak – 4 nights. Seminyak is one of the closest towns to Denpasar airport. A few people had said to me that Seminyak is very touristy and a bit full on, however we went with an open mind and loved it. It’s Bali’s busy central hub crammed with great restaurants, cafes, cocktail bars, shopping and beaches. Four nights was a perfect amount of time here.
Ubud – 4 nights. Ubud encompasses what I see of more ‘authentic Bali’, it’s such a gorgeous village and was one of my favourite spots. Ubud is perfect for a few days of relaxation and is surrounded by picturesque rice paddies.
Uluwatu – 4 nights. I loved Uluwatu and it’s a place I would definitely recommend visiting. A laid back, chilled are in Bali with beautiful beaches and luxury cliff top resorts and villas. It’s a great place to relax and get away from the crowds, still offering lots of things to do.
Jimbaran – 1 night. Jimbaran was probably my least favourite of all the places we visited. It’s perfect if you want to chill in a five star luxury resort for a hefty price. Not a huge amount going on, it’s a great area to relax and enjoy a seafood dinner on the beach.
I booked most of the accommodation before we went via booking.com. I find it the easiest site to navigate and they always have a variety of hotels/villa options. I’ve listed below the places we stayed below. In terms of budgeting, we decided we’ve done the whole backpacking thing years a go, therefore we wanted to stay in quite nice accommodation. I feel as though you can get quite a lot for your money in terms of accommodation in Bali. I’ll be doing a further blog post talking about the hotels/villas in which I stayed in.
Canguu – Bloomfield Umalas
Ubud – The Udaya Resort
Uluwatu – Mandala Village Bali
Jimbaran – Abi Bali Resort
The best way to explore Bali is by using a motorbike. You can easily rent a motorbike or moped without a licence. We did this time, we were just extra cautious and of course wore helmets at all times. I’d only advise this if you’re an experienced rider and are used to the Bali road conditions. Riding a moped is fairly cheap we paid 50,000 IDR for one day which is the equivalent to 250 GBP. The traffic in Bali is insane, therefore using a moped is a faster alternative. The next most popular way to travel is using local taxi services. The cheapest and safest way to do this is to use the blue cars labelled ‘bluebird taxis’ and to request to use the meter as opposed to them over charging you significantly for a fixed price. They will try everything to do this, so have your wits about you.
You can also hire a driver for the day, where they will drive you to any sites/places you want to visit. We did this for the day in Ubud, it cost 600,000 IDR which is the equivalent to 30 GBP.
We always take a monzo Card abroad so we’re not taking lots of cash with us. A monzo is a top up card that you can pay with and withdraw cash at any time with out any charge. Would totally recommend this as it reduces any extra costs for using your card abroad.
Be careful of the dreaded Bali belly, which unfortunately my partner did get in the first day of being in Bali, where he was bed bound for 24 hours. Just be mindful, our stomachs aren’t resistant to the same bacteria as the locals. We also stuck to drinking bottled water as opposed to tap water.
Be prepared to barter. When purchasing goods from stalls and markets there can definitely be some negotiation in price. Have a rough idea in your head what your prepared to pay for it and go from there.
Bali is a food haven and if you’re like me , you’ll be keen to spend as much time eating as you do relaxing and exploring. We had some of the best food in Bali, from authentic Indonesian food, to some of the best Italian cuisine and brunch I’ve had. I had a huge list of foodie recommendations which we worked our way through.
I had a list of activities, restaurants, beaches etc that I wanted to visit before hand. There’s a lot to see, do and experience in Bali, so consider your research before as there is nothing worse than turning up in a place and not having a clue what to see or do or where to eat. There’s no wrong or right way of doing this but I find this helps in planning the trip and also not being disappointed.
I hope this has helped if you’re thinking of booking a trip to Bali or have booked to go 🙂