Bali, paradise on earth in Indonesia. It is such a popular destination for Thai people recently. For me, I love it so much too! One time visit would certainly not enough, I'm sure I will have several more coming trips to this place.
In addition of having such a paradise island, it has a lot of great and beautiful hotels too. I really want to recommend to anyone reading my review to choose to stay at 4 or 5 stars hotel as they are a lot of good deals from different applications nowadays. When divided with friends, it'd cost about 1,500 THB per person per night. This time, we book all our hotels with Agoda.
I have to admit here that I didn't plan for budget control for my trip as it's uncontrollable, haha.
We travel to Bali for 4 days and 3 nights (14-17 May 2018). We list of where we wanted to visit in Bali and then contact a tour guide and a driver to help us plan. Our guide is Yande, we know him from Blacklist Secret page. Then we contact his Facebook page directly (Yande Taxi Bali).
Currency exchange : I exchange USD from Thailand and exchange it for IDR once we reach Bali. Like this, we get a better exchange rate than directly taking IDR from Thailand. Nonetheless, I also exchange a few of IDR in case for emergency use. I exchange at Value Plus, the third floor at Central Latphrao.
Sim card : I buy a sim card from Thailand. It is an international sim card from DTAC. It is 399 THB. But when I buy a travel insurance too then I get both for 484 THB as a promotional price.
But you can also buy a local sim card if you want. But buy it outside the airport or ask your driver to help you get one, like my friend asked Yande to help her on this which cost her 150,000 IDR. I do not recommend to buy a sim cart at the airport as it's very expensive.
Mobile phone signal and internet : The signal at Bali is not so good. It's not stable. The WiFi at the hotel is also not good. Once we are at Nusa Penida Island, I lost all my signal while my friend has a very weak signal.
We choose to travel with a driver because it's a 3 girls trip. In addition of wanting to be safe, we also want to relax and chill (but waking up early everyday).
Here is our plan, you are most welcome to follow our route. If there's entrance fees to any tourist sites, I have put the price in a bracket already.
Day 1: 14 May 2018
Uma Pakel Bali Swing - Tegalalang Rice Terraces
On the first day, we arrive at Denpasar Airport at 11.30 a.m. After going through the immigration and getting our luggage, we come out to see a lot of names on people's hands. We try to look for our name. Oh well, we didn't find our names because Yande wrote it as Yande Taxi Bali.
After that, we ask Yande to stop us at a good exchange rate shop and lunch before moving to Ubud for a swing.
At first when I looked for swing places, I found a popular place for tourists which is Bali Swing (www.baliswing.com). But it's very expensive, 35 USD. Then, we ask Yande if he can recommend a cheaper place and he recommends Uma Pakel. It has swing, bird nest for us to go up for photography (which is the same as what I found in that popular place). There's also civet coffee and civets as well as photography taking spots. The ticket is 200,000 IDR per person.
Next, we go to Tegalalang Rice Terraces. It is a popular rice terraces destination, the entrance fee is 10,000 IDR. After paying the fee, we walk in to find an uncle setting up a donation box. I was confused as why the donation box is here as we already paid the fee. Anyhow, we just walk pass (after coming back to Thailand, I talk to friends who used to visit this place and they said there's no donation box when they visited). After taking enough photos, we come out for shopping. Please bargain the price here as much as you can, like you can cut it from 150,000 IDR to 100,000 IDR. But remember to buy too, not just bargain for fun, haha.
My friend is my model and now it's shooting time.
Tonight, we are staying at The Lokha Ubud Resort. We chose this hotel because it has such a great view and also we wish to swim in the middle of beautiful mountains view. Oh well, that's only what we hoped for but since it's already 7 p.m. when we reach our hotel, it's all dark. You can see no view in this darkness. But a good thing about this place is they offer a 24-hour room service. And the welcome drink is a lemonade which is so super refreshing.
Day 2 : 15 May 2018
Pura Lempuyang - Tirta Gangga - Kintamani - Bali Pulina
The next morning we check out at 5.30 a.m. and get a snack box (breakfast is included so when we check in, we ask the hotel to prepare a snack box for us as we will be checking out at 5 a.m. And yeah, this is what a great hotel can offer you :))
Today Yande is not free, so he sends his friend, Putu (FB: Putu Suardika). He is super polite and calm. He told us that his name is very common in Bali because people love to name their kids in order of 1 2 3 4. Like the first child would be named Wayan, the second one named Made, the third one named Nyieo Man or Putu, and the fourth one called Katus. If they have the fifth kid, it would go back to Wayan again. In addition to this order name, they would name according to the nature of that person too like pale skin, dark skin, or curly hair, things like that. So if you find a repetitive name in Bali, do not be surprised.
We start our second day from Pura Lempuyang which has a gigantic entrance gates. Looking through, you will see Agung Volcano from the gate. But it's raining while we visiting, so we didn't get to see it, so sad. The entrance fee is 10,000 IDR and the Sarong fee is 10,000 IDR. And you are not allowed to enter the temple if you are on your period.
This photo was taken by a temple care taker. They take colorful glasses and make it a reflection in a water for the tourists to take photos, great idea!
Our next destination is Tirta Gangga with the entrance fee of 30,000 IDR. Well, I don't know how to call this place, haha. It could be a garden but also a temple. If you know how to define this place, please let me know too (haha). The highlight here is to have poses with gigantic Crap who swim around for food. But I didn't buy any food for it but lure it by pouring the water. Once they learn that I have no food, they just swim away. Actually, I fear that their stomach might get exploded as tourists keep feeding them in a hope for good photos.
At noon, we go to Amora restaurant for lunch and for Kintamani Volcano view. It is a buffet lunch costs 121,000 IDR per person excluding beverages. You are welcome to take photos upstairs with volcano view too (I forgot to take photo of this restaurant as I was too concentrated on eating T_T).
Actually our plan for today ends here and we would go to our hotel at Seminyak. But along the way back to downtown, Putu ask if we wanted to stop at a cafe and the answer is of course, yes.
That cafe is Bali Pulina. It is a garden growing several plants like coffee, coco, tea, vegetables and civet for making civet coffee. It also has a viewpoint for us to take photos. What's more, we get to try all 8 different taste of civet coffee for free! My friend ask Putu if it's free to enter and taste the coffee, how do they earn money? Putu said they earn by selling their products. This is their land, no renting fee, and all the products are the home grown ones. So a free entrance and tasting is a way to attract tourists. When the tourists like it after tasting, they would buy products. Ok, let's go contribute them some income.
After that, we head towards Seminyak to check in at Asa Bali Luxury Villa & Spa. It's such a great villa. It is so spacious and private. You can jump into the pool at anytime. The room service is open until 9.30 p.m. and we will stay here for 2 nights.
Day 3 : 16 May 2018
Nusa Penida (Angel's Billabong - Broken beach - Kelingking beach - Crystal bay)
Today we are going for Nusa Penida, I and my friends go with www.discovernusapenida.com It is 80 USD each. It is so expensive and we are not so impressed with the tour guide service.
It includes our private trip to Angel's Billabong - Broken beach - Kelingking beach - Crystal bay, a round trip ferry, a pick up service from our hotel to the pier, lunch, snack, water, cold towel, towel, snorkeling equipment and services.
This snorkeling activity is what make us most disappointed. We were expected to be taking to an idle water area to see beautiful fish and corals but no, they take us to snorkel near the beach of Crystal Bay where huge waves are normally there and when you look into the water, all you see is.......but the water is really crystal clear.
At 7.30 a.m., a van from Discovernusapenida picks us up from the hotel and drops us at the pier in order to go to Nusa Penida. Once we reach Nusa Penida, another person from the agency will come get us. Well, we've been reading lots of reviews and all of them highly rated this agency. So then, we decided to pay for it. But the tour guide we got is a real disappointment. So my advise to you all is find a reasonable price and choose carefully, the good tour guide is up to luck, haha.
On this island, you can rent a scooter and roam around but it's quite dusty and the road is not well paved. The sun is also extremely strong. So I mean, you can hire a tour guide with a car and a driver like us which is quite convenient. You can leave all your sunscreen, scarf, props used for taking photos or just anything on a car when you don't need to use them. But, you may want to choose a cheaper one because if the service is bad, you wouldn't feel as bad, haha.
Oh well, don't get me wrong, Bali people are very nice, especially people working in tourist industry are super very nice but just that the tour guide at Nusa Penida really drives us crazy, haha.
Day 4 : 17 May 2018
Kynd Community - Back to Thailand
We wake up early to check out. Today Yande is back to service us. We didn't have breakfast at the hotel but go to enjoy it at Kynd Community. It is a very popular cafe for Westerners. The cafe is cute and everything is delicious. The recommended dish is Smootie bowl. In addition of good taste, it's good for taking photos too.
10 a.m. is the time for us to go to the airport, I will be back again, Bali.
Here is the end of our trip but our impression lasts. We really love it here so much that we would definitely come back again.
Bali, paradise on earth
I’ll be back again, xxx