Bali, Indonesia; Travel Guide

Bali, Indonesia is an island filled with serenity and amazement. This harmonious location has to offer something to every kind of traveller. If you desire luxury opt for Seminyak, If you want to party crazy then stay at Kuta, if you love hiking then head for Kintamani, If you ador vegan food then Ubud is your bounty. Just define your travel needs and Bali has it all for your perfect dream vacation. From the luxurious pool villas to the cosy rice field rentals; pick your travel style, budget, passport and head off to Bali, Indonesia.

Crazy Foodies on Toes @ Pura Taman Ayun

Ngurah Rai International Airport welcomes the voyager with the refreshing oceanic waves dancing adjacent to the runway. More than 140 countries are exempted from visa regulations to Bali. Thus without any further adieu you can begin your fiesta.

We like to plan our own holidays but  getting good hotel reservations and authentic local guides can be tricky, that is why we trust Our Vacations. They have been our travel partners for the third time. We tell them what we want to do and they help us get good accommodations, reliable people to guide us and a safety net just in case we get stuck at some point.

We traveled with our two year old thus this trip was one of a kind experience for us as parents but needless to say it was a fantastic journey. Thus we are noting down our experience into two perspectives.
Bali Handara Golf Course

Part 1... Travel Guide
  • Five day Itinerary 
  • Experience at famous Bali Destinations
  • Impressions 
  • Reviews: Air Asia, Best Western, Kuta & Puri Saron Resort, Seminyak. 
  • Thinking of visiting Bali, again??
Part 2.... Family Guide
  • Taking off with kids
  • Travel essentials 
  • Flexible Travel Plan
  • Food 
  • Expenditure

So Let's Begin with...  Part 1

Itenary 

We desired a relaxed staycation this time in Bali hence our itenary was as below:
  • Day 0: Air Asia Flight from Mumbai to Denpasar, Taking off at 10.50 PM IST 
  • Day 1: 10:45 AM WITA Landing in Denpasar. Check-in at Best Western Hotel, Kuta.Lunch & Rest. Followed by leisure time at Beachwalk, Kuta.
  • Day 2: Ride to Kintamani Volcano + Bali Pulina Plantation (Luwak Coffee) + Ubud Rice Terrace Tour + Ubud market
  • Day 3: Taman Ayun Temple + Bedugul Temple + Bulian/Bayan Temple + Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple + Amertha Coffee
  • Day 4: Chilled at the poolside of Best Western in the day and walked about the streets of Kuta in the night. 
  • Day 5: Uluwatu Temple Tour and then Checked in to Pool Villa Puri Saron, Seminyak
  • Day 6: Check out & off to Mumbai by Air Asia, Taking off at 3:15 PM WITA, Landing same day at approx 10:40 PM IST
Beachwalk Kuta is a mall with electric ambiance

Destinations of Bali: 

Kintamani Village:
This village is the home to the famous volcanoes Mt. Batur, Mt. Abang and Mt. Agung. Majestic Volcanoes, humble southeast asian food and untouched fresh air are the highlights on this tourist spot. We had a balcony view into the grandiose Mt. Batur Valley from this Restaurant Grand Puncak Sari as we enjoyed a hot meal. The lunch buffet boasts almost all the delicacies indonesian cuisine offers.


Kintamani Village
Mt. Batur

Mt. Abang

Restoran Grand Puncak serving staples of Balienes cuisine.

If you want to indulge in hiking or quad bikes this is the village. Many tours are operated which let you hike these volcanoes and then witness mesmerizing sunsets or sunrise.

Bali Pulina Plantation: Luwak Coffee:

Plantation tours can be hackneyed if you have walked through a few back at home like say Kerala, India πŸ˜‡ but  this one will blow your socks off for two things the placid green valley and the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak or Luwak Coffee. This coffee is produced from the part digested coffee cherries excreted (pooped out ) by the Luwak aka Civet Cat. Yup you read it right, this mongoose like looking animal is made to eat coffee cherries, then it digests it, then poops it out, coffee makers collect the excretion, get the part digested beans out, sun dry it, roast it, pound it in a stone mortar and there you have the world's most expensive coffee. Though we are coffee lovers we just couldn't gather our guts to try this one. It has many as nine or ten flavours to it but that still did not entice us to try. Expensive or not, its made of shit. No, not my cuppa of coffee. We are good with our Nespresso

 

Civet Cat aka Luwak

Process of making the world's most expensive coffee

Roasting the cleaned & sundried coffee bean

Pounded and there you can now start brewing it. 

The hypnotic deck where you can cherish the view and the coffee

Plus it makes a great scene for photoshoots.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces/ Ubud Rice Terrace: 

The farmers who cultivate rice here probably have the soul of an artist that is why these rice terraces are delight for the OCD eyes. They are so perfectly panted on regular intervals that at large they create the most photogenic backdrop ofcourse the Bali climate should be in your favour to get good clicks. If you are willing to get your shoes soiled do go for a walk up and down the terrace else those who wish to skip long walks can opt to hangout at the cafes located adjacent to this terrace and enjoy the incredible view. The market is also equipped with quirky stuff if you have an eye for handicrafts you will love it here.


Humility is in the eyes they say, its so true. 

The unique irrigation system and the steps make a gorgeous backdrop

These rice terraces have been inspiration to many local artists.

Pura Taman Ayun:

Bali is a land of temples. You will find exoctic architecture and breathtaking view at all the temple locations. Pura or Temple Taman Ayun located in the village of Mengwi Badung is no different. Pura Taman Ayun is spread across 4 hectares of land with a beautiful botanical spread. The main worship area is closed to tourist at all times so you technically would be strolling in the vicinity of the temple.

Taman Ayun Entrance

     Each of artistic tower has symbolic meaning 

Shrines are dedicated to the various temples all over Bali

 Pura Ulun Danu Bratan: Lake Bratan:

A majestic architecture standing tall on still lake water instantly snaps all the negativity out of your system and makes you calm as its water. Needless to say all tourist location get chaotic so find your spot and sit down. Let the beauty of the water temple heal your soul. And it makes a perfect wallpaper for the desktop.

See what we mean?!


Pura Ulun Danu Buyan: Lake Bayan:

Exploring a new destination must be done with fresh set of eyes only then you come across hidden gems. Pura Ulun Danu Buyan is a secluded location untouched by superfluous human intervention. Perfect location for photography and an ideal location for meditation. Situated amidst  stunning mountains, this temple is not magistic like its famed counterparts but it is what a spiritual balinese resident would go to offer Canang sari, a small box with prayer essentials {Future Post, Coming Soon}. 


Humble and Exotic 


Tanah Lot Temple: 

Tourist majorly head to this temple for the spectacular sunset view it offers. Tanah Lot is sea temple unlike Bedugul temple which floats on Bartan Lake, this temple stands strong facing the wrath of the sea waves. No doubt the temple gives a wow moment but the place can get super-crowded and then it steals away the glory of a picturesque sunset. Forgo the crowd and find a good spot to sit, then while listening to the temple's enchantments bid the glorious sun a sweet goodnight.


Goodnight Sun.

Uluwatu Temple/ Pura Luhur Uluwatu:

If given a choice we would probably go to Uluwatu again and at sunrise and then again at sunset.Never had we witness so many beautiful colors of the ocean. The waves crash rhythmically at the shores while you stand 250 feet above the sea on a lush green mountain cliff and witness grandeur of the Indian ocean. If you aren't mesmerized by the ocean then look over the horizon onto the sky you would start believing in the magic of the artistic Mother Nature.



Pura Luhur Uluwatu
This legendary temple is surrounded with monkeys so be careful of your belongings.



Impressions:

Each country has its frailties and wonders which imprint few opinions on every traveller. The below points are few random CFOT assessments about Bali.
Bushy Eyebrows Bappa
  • Travelling enriches the soul as new experiences are followed by new teachings. Balinese Hinduism gave us a new perspective about God. We visited their temples but none of the temples have a physical statue or sculpture of any hindu gods & goddesses because they believe in the concept of one god. They identify Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh like other Indian Hindus do but they place their faith in one supreme god who created everything. 
  • Ganapati Bappa in Bali has very bushy eyebrows.😝
  • Every temple will have a board outside stating menstruating women are not allowed but then men smoking in the temple and shops selling alcohol literally outside the temple gate is allowed. This we found was hypocritical and unfeminist. 
  • Bali is a tourism based economy thus balinese people are very helpful and non-judgmental especially in Kuta area where they understand that tourist come to Bali to have a gala time and can get crazy atimes. 
  • Bali sports a tropical climate all year around so any time is a good time to visit but the humidity can fry your brains out. Thunderstorms and rains are bit unpredictable if volcanic activity is in motion thus checking Google weather app while planning is a must for a tentative forecast.
  • Roving around on bikes is affordable, convenient and it gives you more leverage to explore the heart of the city. 
  • Photography can be difficult with unpredictable climate and crowded tourist spots so be patient you will get your perfect shot. 
  • Shopaholics are in for a treat in Bali. Handicrafts, clothes, dream catchers, quirky decorations, spa products, cosmetics, local coffee, luwak coffee; think about it and it is there. 
  • Indonesian food boasts a variety of meat and seafood options but vegetarians especially Indian vegetarians who are not vegans might remain hungry on their trip.πŸ˜›  

Reviews of Hotels & Airasia Flight:
  • AirAsia : 
    • This is a Malaysian based low cost airline that flies directly to Bali from Mumbai with one hour stop over at Malaysia. We opted for this flight since it did not deboard transit passengers and we wanted to avoid the hassle of changing flights with our kid.
    • Pack everything you need if you are travelling with this flight. Right from water, to snacks, to beverages, blankets, ear plugs, etc. They only give ice free inside the flight if your lucky but Everything else is for purchase.
    • Now,  AirAsia's shopping trolley is full of goodies those who wish to buy but just make sure you have enough Destination Currency on hand to splurge in the flight. Check while booking your tickets which inflight currency is accepted thus saving you some bucks else the on board exchange rate is not good. 
    • As in our case our final destination was Bali, Indonesia thus they accepted Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).They did accept other currencies like INR, USD, AUD,  but they returned remaining money in IDR. 
    • We opted for in flight meals and so dearly regretted because as we all know rarely will we find an in-flight meal delicious. 
  • Hotel Reviews:

    • Best Western, Kuta

    • Margarita Pizza @ Best Western
      • Fantabulous Location. Right in the heart of the city giving an access to the local market, malls, pubs, shops, medical facility, 24*7 Mini Marts, pharmacy and just a road across from the Kuta Beach. 
      • Amazing rooftop pool and poolside service. 
      • Room service as well as the breakfast buffet was bit disappointing in terms of flavours  but the plating was top notch. Exception of course, the margherita pizza, it was scrumptious. We ordered that twice in our stay of four days. 
      • Rooms really tiny but cosy enough.
    • Puri Saron Resort, Seminyak 
    • Room Service at the Puri Saron
      • Fabulous Property. Instantly transports you into a different world with it botanical garden and the amazing swimming pool facing the beach is an invitation for a boisterous time
      • Amazing Food. 
      • Pool Villas are lavish and luxurious. 
      • The property is bit old hence maintenance is not upto the mark. 


Best Western Kuta, Rooftop Swiming Pool

Puri Saron Resort, Seminyak

Pool Villa @ Puri Saron, Seminyak

Thinking of visiting Bali, again???

Hell Yeah!! ... There is so much we couldn't do because we fell short of time. Just to mention few things
  • Visit to Besakih Temple
  • Ubud's Vegan bars. 
  • Hike on the volcano to see the sunrise
  • Trying local and authentic street food; we majorly stuck to room service this time. 
  • Breakfast with Elephants at Bali Safari
  • Roving through the cities on mopeds 
  • Chilling at a roadside shack with Bali Hai! a local beer.
  • Adorning the balinese lacy prayer outfit
  • Surfing on the waves
  • Underwater sports like Scuba, Snorkeling
  • Quad Biking 
  • Luxury Spas
  • Enjoying Kuta's Nightlife till wee hours of morning
The list for things to do in Bali is endless.What kind of traveller are you?! Decide, Budget, Plan or that matter don't plan and just Take-off to Bali, Indonesia. You will love it. 

Coming soon.. Part 2 The family guide where we share our experience as parents of two year old on our first international trip together. Subscribe to our blog or stay connected with us on Instagram for new post notifications.  

Until next time, ChaoπŸ‘‹

Comments

  1. The coffee plantation looks like a piece of heaven! I bet it smelled sooo good there when the lady was roasting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh..Yes... Its was beautiful, serene and the mild coffee fragrance was absolutely refreshing

      Delete
  2. Good to know that information about Air Asia, and of course your trip! Must have been an experience to travel with your two year old but I think you managed to do a good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are glad the information is helpful. And yes parenting never actually gets a vacation. Soon we will post about that experience as well. Do come back to read.

      Delete
  3. Beautifully written hims..you are giving me some travel goals

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sachin. Put this location wanderlust, you won't regret.

      Delete
  4. Never been so thanks for sharing itinerary, hoping I can visit one of these days!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And when you do let us know, would be glad to help you with more information. Thank You for reading.

      Delete

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