Sweet Paradise - Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia is a dream vacation for many and as far fetched as it may seem, you too can make it become a reality. Planning this trip to Bali, a destination I thought I would only experience via Instagram, was part of what inspired me to begin my blog. Hoping this post inspires you to make your dream vacation become a reality as well.
I found my flight via Qatar Airways for $860 round trip, which is slightly below the average price. It is an expensive flight, but once you get over that hump majority of the trip is paid for. My trip was about $1,500 total (including flight, hotels, food, activities, etc.) for 6 nights in Bali and I am sure it can be done for cheaper.
Currency: Rupiah ($1 USD ~ 13,061 Rupiah)
Ubud is the perfect sanctuary for those looking to relax and enjoy nature's beauty. Even in the tourist areas, the shops close around 6 pm and the restaurants/bars close at 11 pm.
Komaneka at Rasa Sayang
I stayed at the Komaneka at Rasa Sayang for four nights at $140/night. Komaneka has 4 hotels located in Ubud ranging in prices but all equal in their excellent service. I loved my stay here because our hotel was located in central Ubud walking distance to many shops, restaurants and bars. The staff was very attentive and they would always welcome us back "home". The best part about staying at any Komaneka hotel is that you can visit the other 3 Komaneka hotels and enjoy all their amenities.
I visited Komaneka at Tanggayuda which had an amazing infinity pool and views straight out of a magazine. I got a sneak peak of one of the rooms in this hotel, which are all villas with private balconies and mini infinity pools. This hotel, like much of Bali, had a couple/honeymoon feel. The staff were very kind to us and bought us our tea and snack to the pool side for us to enjoy while tanning. Staying at Komaneka was definitely a great choice and I would highly recommend it.
Elephant Safari Park
Play around with friendly elephants at the Elephant Safari Park located in Tegalalang right outside of Ubud. Admission to the park including elephant riding is 952,000 Rupiah (~$75). However, you can enter the park for 295,000 Rupiah (~$23) and still have a chance to feed the elephants, in return they will place a ring of flowers over your head!
One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting the Tegenungan Waterfall. At only 10,000 Rupiah to enter, you get to witness this natural beauty. Be ready to walk many steps on the way down to the waterfall and have your beach body ready as the only rule at this waterfall is "Don't worry be sexy...but not naked". For an additional 10,000 Rupiah you can climb up the side of the waterfall to the top and get more pictures.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
After eating rice and beans almost everyday of my life, it was cool to see what a rice field actually looks like and Bali is the perfect place to witness it. I visited Tegalalang Rice Terrace, where there are literally "levels to it". You can catch a nice picture from the sidewalk or make your way up and down the terrace just like a rice farmer would by paying a donation to enter.
The Sacred Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest is located in the heart of Ubud. The cost to enter was 40,000 Rupiah. Make sure to read all the rules before entering their home as these feisty monkeys are not shy and they will jump on you, not that I was scared or anything...(except I was).
Island of Temples
I visited the Batuan Temple which is near Ubud. Entrance to the temple was 10,000 Rupiah. Everyone is required to wear a sarong which is given to you before entering. Bali is an island full of temples. Click here for some more must see temples.
Places to Eat in Ubud
- XL Lounge - This shisha lounge is open late and offers good food at a local prices.
- L.O.L Restaurant and Bar - Favorite drinks we had while in Ubud. They have live music every night until about 11:30 pm.
- Cinta Grill & Inn - This restaurant has tasty food and buy one get one free drink specials at night.
I stayed in Kuta for two nights at the Samsara Inn for $33/night. This was a small boutique hotel with cozy rooms located off Legian street, making it walking distances to all the major clubs, bars and restaurants. I would recommend this hotel for a short stay to experience the night life or for those traveling alone looking to save money.
Nusa Dua Beach/Waterblow
Bali is filled with many beautiful beaches that caters to surfers or those who just want to tan/go for a light swim. I visited Nusa Dua beach and rented chairs available to the public at 100,000 Rupiah for the day (we negotiated this price). We also got a chance to see "Waterblow", a narrow opening in the rocks that causes the water to "blow up" when it crashes against the reefs.
Ulutwatu Temple Sunset/ Kecak Ramayana Fire Dance
A beautiful view of the sunset can be seen at Uluwatu Temple. The cost to enter is 40,000 Rupiah. After the sunsets you can stay and watch the Kecak Ramayana & Fire Dance for an additional 100,000 Rupiah, which is drama filled show with ancient ritual dances.
Taman Ayu Luwak Coffee
For free.99 you get a chance to taste 7 teas, 7 coffees, see a bunch of interesting plants and learn about the process of Bali's special Luwak coffee at the Taman Ayu Luwak Coffee Company.
More About Bali
Here are some of my tips if you plan to visit Bali in the future:
- Bali is very far from the U.S. You lose about two and a half days or more traveling to and from. For this reason, I recommend you plan your trip for at least 8-10 calendar days.
- If you are traveling alone or wish to save more money, they are many decent AirBnB/hotel options for $20-80 a night all throughout Bali.
- Kuta had a pretty hectic party scene. If you are looking to relax, look into staying in Seminyak, South Kuta, or Nusa Dua area.
- Haggle taxis ride fairs or use Uber. Luckily, I was referred a driver who only charged us $100 for all transport that week including 2 day tours. The hotel on the other hand charged $75 to the airport one way. If you plan on visiting, I can put you in contact with my driver.
Overall, this vacation was one of the best I have taken so far. The kind people, beautiful sights to see and cultural richness of Bali made it one to remember. If you aren't yet convinced to start saving and planning for your own vacation to Bali one day, here are some more pictures to tempt you.