Have you ever dreamed of visiting Bali? Indonesia relies so heavily on their tourism, so they want us to visit! What are you waiting for? Keep in mind, I was only in Bali for a weekend getaway from South Korea and if I could go back, I would DEFINITELY spend more time here. This is the “Spark Notes” guide on how to see some amazing sites quickly, while still having time to relax and enjoy the beaches and all Bali has to offer.
Upon landing at Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpesar International Airport, with my US Passport, no VISA fee or application was needed for entry into the country. The airport is partially outdoors which was super unique! What a warm welcome *cue corny comedy joke drum cymbal tsss sound effect* I got a little bombarded at the airport by the taxi drivers, but I just walked straight to the counter to reserve the driver for my hotel. It was approximately 355000 IDR for the cab to take me the 25-30 minutes to my hotel in Uluwatu, which about $26 USD. Speaking of accommodations, let’s head into that topic:
Where to Stay?
–Ubud: Ubud is the heart of the action and in my opinion, if it’s your first trip to Bali, you should stay here. There are plenty of beautiful resort accommodations and hostels, tons of food and it’s centrally located to the rest of island. I stayed in a different area, but did visit Ubud many times in my 3.5 day trip. It made me wish I was able to try more of the local restaurants.
–Semniyak: This area of Bali has beautiful beach bars to watch the sunset, tons of restaurants and a solid nightlife experience. While we were researching places to get a late night bite, all roads led to Semniyak. We were pleasantly impressed with the trendy bars and would recommend to anyone in their 20s.
–Uluwatu: This is the area I stayed in Bali. Wow. What an absolute dream. We stayed at La Joya Villas and Bungalows on Balagan Beach in the Deluxe Bungalow. This way the beach resort for the value I have literally ever experienced. For $80/night, we stayed in the Deluxe Bungalow which had a private garden, access to two one site pools, free poolside breakfast, and beach access after a short walk down an outdoor staircase. This was the definition of a romantic getaway location.
ONE JAM PACKED DAY IN BALI
We woke up bright & early with breakfast at the pool. La Joya helped us hire a driver for the day: ten hours and unlimited mileage for $60 USD. This was one of the best purchases I could have done on this trip. Staying in Uluwatu was beautiful beyond measure, but a lot of the sites I wanted to visit were 30+ minutes away.
First stop: Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Honestly, we almost skipped the rice terrace. What a silly thought! Not only were the terraces breathtaking, but such a unique experience. The local Balinese residents will ask you for donations along the way and try to sell you goods, just a warning. Bottom line: you cannot skip the rice terraces.
Second stop: Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud
It’s touristy, but you’ve got to do it. The property alone was gorgeous and worth the trip. The entrance fee is 40,000 IDR per person, which is under $3 USD. You can purchase tickets upon arrival, no sweat. Buy a bundle of bananas when you’re touring the grounds and become a monkey whisperer.
Third stop: Lunch!
We were so hungry & our driver suggested we eat amongst the Ubud rice patties. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the name of this restaurant. The service was delightful, but I do feel like Ubud had more bang for your buck to offer in other places and I assume we were paying for the stunning views. If I could go back, I’d do it all again.
Fourth stop: Tegenungan Waterfall
Bali has dozens of beautiful waterfalls to visit. If you have more than a few days in Bali, I would highly recommend devoting a day to discovering the many different waterfalls offered. Because of our time, we only got to experience the waterfall closest to Ubud which is Tegenungan. During rainy season (October-April), the falls may have brown water on some days, but we got lucky. We went near closing time so the falls weren’t too crowded. You can definitely tell this is a more touristy site because of the many stands selling food and beer along the way. Keep in mind, you will have to pay for any changing rooms or bathrooms while you are here.
Fifth stop: Batuan Temple
This was on the way home for us and a quick stop! I’ve experienced many Asian temples in my travels, all with such unique architecture. I loved how the colors of this temple reflected the lust environment of Bali itself.
Sixth stop: Jimbaran Beach at Sunset
Finally, we ended up beachside for a view of the beautiful sunset, live music and perfect people watching views. What a perfect ending to a perfect day.
We headed home to get ready and then headed to Semniyak for late night food and drinks.
Our Second Full Day
We woke up bright and early Yoga at the resort and what a fantastic experience. If you practice yoga regularly or are a beginner, you have to do yoga in Bali. Instructors come from all over the world to teach in this country so you will have the best of the best.
After that, we enjoyed breakfast, relaxing by pool and the beach for the majority of the day.
When it came towards the evening, we made our way to Uluwatu Temple to experience a traditional Balinese dance that occurs at sunset. The Uluwatu cliffs are like something from a calendar and the talented dancers kept us entertained and intrigued. Afterwards, we made our way to the nearby Single Fin Restaurant, which is famous among Australian tourists and young people alike in the area. It is slightly overpriced, but directly Cliffside on the beach with live music and I would say it was worth the experience!
For such a short trip, I really felt like I got such a rush of adventure, scenery, foooood and activies. All of these made for the best weekend and I cannot wait until my next voyage in Bali!! Bucket list place has definitely been a success, but it leaves me wanting to go back and experience more. There
is some crazy coffee made from animal poo…maybe I’ll try it next time. I hope you enjoyed this post & happy traveling!