The most of Bali in 8 days!
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
I am officially back from my best vacation ever. Yes the jet lag is real (and so is the laundry) but I am so much more energized and empowered to fulfill what I believe to be my purpose on this Earth.
While I was away, so many of you expressed interest in Bali or let me know you were planning a trip there and had a number of questions. I decided to organize everything into this post, being the Capricorn that I am, in order to have all the information in 1 place.
P.S. There shall be another post filled with photos from my trip so stay tuned :)
1st things first is accommodations! I knew that places in Bali are booked way in advance and so I wanted to lock those down first. Flight prices are relatively stable throughout the year and when traveling in a group, in order to lock people in, accommodation has to be booked first. It's easier for folks to back out of a trip when they know they have not made a real investment; tell them their $600 contribution is non-refundable and watch them work extra hard to make it to the trip! It's sad but true.
I knew I wanted to experience different housing in Bali and so I compiled a list of 11 or so possibilities for group members to choose from. We narrowed it down to 3 options- mostly due to the fact that most accommodations we were looking at requested a 2 night minimum stay and also due to the fact that we had a number of activities in certain areas we wanted to carry out. These were booked in November for our trip in April.
Here are the accommodations we stayed at, in order of appearance on my Instagram Page (all on AirBnb):
1) Villa in Semimyak
This house was about 40 minutes from the airport. The manager, Ayu, was so pleasant and helpful and waited for us to get there even though we ended up getting to the house after 6pm. We paid an additional $27 for breakfast on 2 days and were served eggs, fried banana, bacon, toast and a fruit platter. Do note, the house is a little worn out (especially the bathtubs) but the place is as beautiful as the photos depict. There are 2 rooms upstairs and 2 (connected) rooms downstairs with 3 bathrooms in total.
You can view the listing HERE
2) Bamboo House at Green Village
This house was a little trickier to find, even for our driver. Note that the Green Village is a gated community and there are several bamboo homes on the property. Ours was a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom property. 1 complimentary breakfast is included during your stay. I slept in the master bedroom on the top floor with the full 360 view of the greenery. If you are paranoid about insects, this room may not be for you. The rooms downstairs are more secluded and there is also a balcony downstairs with a hammock and massage table!
You can view the listing HERE
3) Villa in Canggu
The architecture of this house is just amazing! I loved the open spaces and large living/dining area.
There are 5 rooms and 6 bathrooms in this house so we even had a bathroom to spare. This house is also slightly worn out but stunning nonetheless. There is a full staff that works 5 days week and even arrange laundry for you.
You can view the listing HERE
As you can see, the average cost per night/person was about $65 (split 5 ways)! That's cheaper than most hotels in North America.
After accommodations were confirmed, I started putting together an itinerary. I had to take into account all activities I wanted to cover as well as: distances from the AirBnB's, entry fees, average time spent at the locations, meal times, wake up times, transportation etc.
Here is what my final itinerary looked like:
Friday April 12- Land (1st house is in Seminyak) Umalas 1 Gang 24 No 7, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Airport pick up for everyone.*
Food - Have house staff/driver pick up food for us? Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant (Jalan Batu Belig No.77, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia)
Saturday April 13 - Rest day!
(In-home massages for all) for about $20 CDN each. Most common is Balinese traditional massage with oil but usually they have different options
Use private chef $27 USD for minimum 2 breakfasts and it includes ingredients - and get alcohol!
Also get some snacks and fruits etc
Bali nightlife later/ bar crawl: Mirror Lounge & Club (until 5am) Jalan Petitenget No.106, Seminyak VIP section starting from USD 145 or $25 cover fee
Rooftop Sunset bar at Double Six rooftop Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Jalan Arjuna No. 66, Seminyak Minimum order of $75 to enjoy seating at round lounge pods
Ku De Ta Bali Beach club (until 2am) Jl. Kayu Aya No.9, Seminyak, Badung, Bali, 80361, Indonesia
Red Ruby Club (until 4am) Jalan Petitenget No.919, Seminyak - an underground club
Look into our personal driver for all our movements*
We ended up using the drivers that are associated with the first AirBnB's - Gusti and Wayan (+6281337753759)
Sunday April 14
-Breakfast on the go
- Pick up at 6:15am for Nusa Penida - We may have to split up or try and book a private tour and customize it:
-bring running shoes, sunblock,wrapper, water
Snorkeling - Ended up not snorkeling but here are options:
Atuh Beach from the top
Goa Giri Temple
***https://www.nusapenidatours.id/ - we ended up using Nusa Penida Guru (firstname.lastname@example.org ): they are not the most organized so you may want to go with a more popular business. Also, do note that the boat ride to the island involves walking in knee-deep water in the ocean so be warned! We paid about $90USD each for a full day without snorkeling. A light lunch was included.
Dinner: Try Gapet Authentic Indonesian Gastronomy (10am-10pm) - GAPET GARDEN, Jl. Raya Kedampang, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
-Night pool gisting session/reading/chilling
Monday April 15 - Breakfast with personal chef
-Switch homes (checkout is 11am and check in at 2pm at the next home) so brief morning yoga/meditation/workout
Pack, visit a local market in the AM on our way to 2nd home and get food/snacks! Drive to bamboo house and chill, take photos.
Dinner – Personal chef at bamboo house *they charge it to your tab and hand you the final receipt at checkout.
Tuesday April 16 - 2nd house in Ubud area (Abiansemal) Jl. Tanah Ayu, Sibang Gede, Abiansemal – Badung (80352l), Bali
*1st breakfast is free, on the house*
1) Tegallalang rice terrace and swing (6am-5pm) (a number of toll booths for donations) $5 entry fee (50,000 Rupiah) and $10 (100,000 Rupiah) to swing (but try and negotiate the price if there is a group of you. Wear sneakers. Need to get there super early by 7am
2) *Akasha restaurant (New Earth Haven) 9am-10pm for organic food (about 20 mins from temple and 10 mins from rice terrace) - Jalan N Sinta, Keliki, Tegallalang, Kelusa, Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
FYI Bali Swing (8am-5pm) $35 USD (about 45 mins from rice terrace)
3) (Pura)Tirta Empul temple (7am-6pm) – about 25 minutes from Akasha and 30 mins from monkey forest - $5 fee
4) Monkey Forest (8:30-5:30pm) – do not carry anything loose. $8 entry fee (about 25 minutes from Bali swing)
Dinner - Real Housewives themed night at Merah Putih opened from 6pm for dinner (decor and menu look amazing but pretty expensive)Jl. Petitenget No.100X, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Do cocktails after dinner? Options are: Hujan Locale at Jl. Sri Wedari No.5, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, or
The Laughing Buddha (Live music!) Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571 Probably bring flip flops with us
Wednesday April 17- (checkout is at 12pm & check-in at the next house is at 2pm)
Tegenungan waterfall & Dtukad for breakfast potentially in the AM for the sunrise or after we check out. Desa Wisata Blangsinga, Saba, Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia
We can probably check out around 10am so we can go eat (get a good seat) and get to waterfall.
Perhaps try and stop randomly along the way if we see anything intriguing (or a local business or ask the driver for a suggestion) after Dtukad. OR take a cooking class/coconut oil making class!
Also buy some stuff for breakfast over the next 2 days and snacks.
Brenda may have a shoot at around 4pm
Dinner – Ended up eating at Cassava Poolside Organic Cafe.
**Or night market food tour? Or traditional Balinese cuisine class?
Thursday April 18 - 3rd house is in Kuta Utara/Canggu (Jalan Raya Padonan No.55, Kuta Utara, Bali 80361, Indonesia)
Abang (East Bali)
*Quick breakfast to-go at home. Leave around 6am
Lempuyang Temple (is 2h30 from home) (7am-5pm) (wear a t-shirt, need to tie sarong/wrapper and cover shoulders)
*Food (late breakfast)-
Tabola, Karangasem, Sidemen, Karangasem 80864, Indonesia
+62 812-3967-914 as they are closer to the temple
Tirta Gangga is about 20 minutes from temple (there are change rooms for swimming pool) (8am-6pm) entry fee is 50,000 ($5) and has the fish
In the evening, we could have a meditation session and head to
Dinner - Potato Head
Friday April 19 -
- Very quick breakfast to-go at home
Personal photographer for a full day - $200USD: https://www.airbnb.ca/experiences/505796
Munduk (North Bali)
-Wanagiri Hidden Hills (about 2hrs from Kuta Utara) $10 to use platforms for photos (6:30am-7pm) but have to get there super early
Proper breakfast at Eco Cafe 1 (ensure it is Café 1and not café 2)
Jl. Raya Desa Munduk Tutub Coffee Farm & Civets Sanctuary, 25 meter depan Golden Valley waterfall, Munduk 81152
-Munduk waterfall $2 (or free if you just take photos from the 1st floor of the cafe).
-Temple of Pura Ulun Danu Beratan (about 20 minutes from the waterfall) $10 entry fee.
*Buy some food to eat at home on our way back
-Afternoon pool chill,recap of our time
-Dinner - Potato Head or Just somewhere with food we are used to as we travel the next day ☺
Saturday April 20 -
Breakfast: Use house chef (50,000 Rupiah))
Pack, last photos, head to airport. Checkout is 12pm.
May stop along the way depending on when everyone’s flights depart.
Bye bye Bali!
*Maybe’s: Hanging Gardens of Bali in Ubud - Desa Buahan, Payangan, Bali 80571, Indonesia
-Dtukad River Club/Tegenungan waterfall (20 mins from Ubud) Desa Wisata Blangsinga, Saba, Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia
-A list of luxury resorts we can access by purchasing a day pass: https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/bali/luxury-resort-day-pass/
As you can see, I was very thorough with my itinerary. We were able to complete 95% of our itinerary! We ended up eating more often at some restaurants (Potato Head) but my absolute favorite restaurant is/was Merah Putih! The best food I have ever had in my life with the amazing service to accompany it. A full 4 course meal with 2 drinks cost me about $65 USD!
C) Transportation - Getting around
As mentioned above, we ended up sticking with our driver(s) from the first AirBnB. Their names are Gusti (+6285738478868) and Wayan (+6281337753759)
It costs about $50 CAD for a 6 seater van/ 10 hour day, including gas. This price changes if your activities are out of the Bali region (for example Munduk and Lempuyang which are at least 2 hours away). You are usually charged about $5 extra/hour after 10 hours are up. 10 hours can go quickly when you consider the Balinese rush hour traffic!
Pay in Rupiah, not dollars.
Most places are open by 7am and if you want to beat the extreme heat and long lines, I suggest you show up for 7am. Lempuyang Temple was the only place we met a line up for the famous Gate of Heaven picture. We were in line for 1.5 hours, thankfully under a shelter. Most main attraction sites take cards but it is advisable to pay as much as you can in Rupiah to avoid any bank fees/restrictions from your bank. Tips should also be made in Rupiah. There are so many more activities I wish I could have done but I am so grateful to have covered my top ones.
I had noticed that tickets to Bali rarely fluctuated and so we bought our tickets a few weeks before the trip. I purchased mine on Expedia with Travel insurance for about $1500 CAD. It takes about 22 hours (including layovers) to get there and I flew with China Airlines. They had a great entertainment selection and the food was a 7.5/10. I did get hungry in-between and had munched on my own snacks. Mid-April is when the rainy season is ending so the weather is also better!
We ate mostly Balinese food, which can be compared to African food when it comes to seasoning and overall taste. The food is very organic and fresh and generally cheaper than North American food. My digestive system was very happy with the food as well as my skin. I also found it much easier to wake up super early over there than when I am here.
Alright! I think I covered everything but if you have any questions, please do let me know! I know Bali is a top destination and a number of you are planning to reach one day. Hopefully this can save you some time!
The Ankara Queen