Last but not least of my monthlong travels was to Indonesia: Jakarta for 2 days and then to beautiful Bali! As I didn’t really spend much time in Jakarta I’m going to skip straight to telling you all about Bali.
After 10 days in India and then another week with a hectic schedule in Myanmar, my friend and I were ready for some sleeping in and serious chill time on the beach. We had about 2 days in Jakarta where we roamed around and got some massages, and then 8 days in Bali. Checkout my highlights in my photo diary here!
We moved hotels a few times just to see different parts of the island and get a different experience. Starting off in Candidasa to be a bit away from the main area and then moving to Legian in the main Denpasar area and finally to the Westin for a bit more luxury pampering.
Things to do:
- White Water Rafting – My friend and I wanted to try White Water Rafting and it seemed like a pretty easy place to try it out. It was 2.5 hours on a raft with 4 people and we really didn’t have to do much at all. Really relaxed with some paddling required and one big drop at the very end. If you are experienced, this will be quite a boring trip, but if you’re a newbie like us, it was a perfect way to be introduced to the sport. We ended with a local lunch before heading back to the hotel.
- Scuba Diving and Snorkeling – Bali is supposed to be a beautiful place to dive, so definitely had to check this out while here. My first dive with the Manta Rays was a bit disappointing as the visibility was not great, but I did get to see Mantas! The last 2 dives were crystal clear and felt like I was swimming in an aquarium.
- Ubud Tour – We booked this through Viator and had a lovely driver that was energetic and incredibly sweet. He actually took us to his home to have lunch with his family, which was a lovely way to learn more about Balinese culture.
- Monkey Forest – touristy, yes, but still amazing. The monkey’s really loved to pounce on you if you have any food. They are quite the rascals.
- Rice Terraces – these were really stunning, but be prepared to be in a tourist trap. Every few terraces there will be another stand that insists that you pay another load of money to get through. Our tour guide indicated to us that these are just locals trying to trick the tourists. If you are really keen to get to the highest point of the rice terraces, be ready to pay this ‘toll’ several times.
- Coffee Plantation – this was mainly to try the ‘cat poo coffee’ (Kopi Luwak) or civet coffee that comes from part-digested coffee cherries eaten and pooped out by asian palm civet. I surprisingly quite liked the coffee and was definitely worth the visit.
- Nusa Dua – This area is mostly luxury hotels and so we spent most our time on the beach and relaxing at the Westing.
- Massage at Zahra Spa – As a relaxing end to our holiday, we decided to do a 3.5 hour massage that included a balinese massage, a warm stone massage and reflexology massage. It was glorious and completely worth the Rp. 500,000 we spent.
- Shopping – there is a shopping mall in the area, but it’s not all that impressive, but would probably satisfy and souvenir shopping you might want to do.
- Beach time at Nusa Dua – This was by far the best beach that we went to in Bali because it was the cleanest. Each of the hotels seem to have cleaners that would walk up and down the beaches to collect any trash.
Places to eat:
- Secret Cafe in Nusa Dua – My friend and I stumbled upon this cafe when we were walking around the Nusa Dua area (outside the resorts) for something to eat. It’s a really cute cafe that looks like it attracts the surfing crowd in the area. The veggie burger was so amazing, we came back twice for it.
- Warung Indonesia in Kuta Beach – The warung’s are typically small family-owned restaurants in Bali. They are typically all quite cheap and are nothing fancy. This one was by the far the best one we tried and had a constantly flow of people. Cheap and hit the spot wonderfully.
- Beaches – I was extremely surprised at how gross most the beaches were. On first sight they are all beautiful white sand beaches and then you realize how much trash there is, not just on the sand, but in the water too. It is such a shame that the beaches are not well looked after.
- White Sand Beach (Candidasa area) – Looked beautiful, but once we were in water there was so much trash floating around everywhere! At some point in when I was walking the beach I found a large kitchen knife in the sand…
- Jimbaran Beach – This beach seemed cleaner at first, but once we were in the water we realized were stepping on a floor of trash bags…gross!
- Nusa Dua Beach – By far the best beach we found, which I think is mainly thanks to the luxury resorts that have claimed the entire beach. There seems to be a net preventing trash from entering from the ocean, as well as trash collectors that walk up and down the beach cleaning it up.
- Tours – Tours are really easy to book and can be done 1-2 days in advanced. Most places will offer a pickup and drop off service to your hotel. It is such a great way to see Bali without having to faff with a car.
- Taxis – Depending on the time of day you can sometimes negotiate a rate with these guys, otherwise they tend to have a rate in mind and will drive off if you try to bring it down. I personally feel like I got ripped off quite a few times, but what can you do when you need to get around.
8-day itinerary for Bali
- Sleep-in for a later start and have breakfast in the hotel
- Wander around Candidasa
- White Sands Beach for lunch and beach time
- Back to hotel for pool time
- Dinner at a local Warung
- 07:00 – Scuba diving and snorkling at Nusa Penida
- Back to hotel for dinner at local Warung
- 09:00 – Pickup at hotel in Candidasa with luggage to do Ubud tour
- Spend the day visiting a coffee plantation, monkey forest, rice terraces, and Tanah Lot
- 18:00 – Drop off at Legian hotel
- Rest at hotel and find dinner locally
- Spend day at Jimbaran beach
- 17:00 – Return to hotel to refresh
- 18:00 – Dinner and drinks in Kata beach to check out night life
- 08:00 – Pickup from hotel for White Water Rafting on the Telaga River
- 15:30 – Return to hotel to refresh
- Hang out in pool area
- 19:00 – Find dinner locally
- 10:00 – Taxi to Westin
- 12:00 – Lunch at Secret Cafe
- 15:00 – Afternoon tea with the Westin
- 17:00 – Relax by the beach/pool area
- 19:00 – Room Service Dinner
- Full Day in the Westin relaxing
- 11:30 – Lunch at Secret Cafe
- 13:00 – 3.5 hour massage at Zahara Spa
- 17:00 – Drop off back at Westin
- Spend rest of day on beach/pool area
- 21:30 – Taxi to airport