It’s no secret that we love Bali. Once you visit, you will realise there are so many different sides to Bali, the trick is to see a variety and know the best bits :) From rice terraces and lush jungles, to the beaches, beach bars and restaurants, Bali has something for everyone. Although it’s an island, it’s bigger than you think, which can make planning your trip even more confusing. So here’s our mini guide to Bali, to help you on your way…
Language: Balinese & other Indonesian Dialects
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
On Arrival: Depending on what you country you come from, you may need to get a Visa On Arrival. For Australians, this is USD $35 for 30 days stay but can paid in many currency’s including by credit card (however we were advised the best value for money was to pay in USD).
You may be approached by bag porters to help you with your luggage, however they will request payment, so unless you need a hand best to decline any help.
As for getting to your accommodation, there is a fixed rate (check the board for your destination and price) airport taxi service, you will see as you exit. On special event days or in bad traffic, you may be quoted more. Otherwise you can organise a private driver or hotel shuttle service in advance.
Getting Around: The main way to get around Bali is via taxi (Bluebird is best). Otherwise for longer trips or for exploring the island private drivers are best.
When To Go: Bali has two main seasons, Wet (October – March) and Dry (April – September). Peak season is July and August. The ‘best’ time to visit would be the shoulder season of May, June or September, however we really think Bali is a great all year destination too.
See & Do
Bali is actually a pretty large Island, so where you stay also affects what you see & do. So we’ll just give you a few of our faves overall.
Explore the beaches of the Bukit peninsular (Bingin beach is one of our favourites)
Go walking in a rice terrace. Jatiluwih is a UNESCO world heritage site and pretty popular, but you can also try more remote walks in Sidemen or arrange one with your hotel in Ubud (some hotels focus on their cultural activities and are usually pretty good).
Go swimming in a waterfall… bliss! Tegenungan waterfall is only 30 minutes from Ubud.
Eat & Drink
Again, what you choose to eat will depend what part of Bali you choose to spend your time. But there are some stand out’s that are worth the trip even if you’re not staying nearby…
Cafe Organic, great for breakfast, they do one of the best smoothie bowls in Bali (trust me, I’ve tried my fair share and you will too – once you start, you can’t stop!)
Locavore is a beautiful restaurant in ubud with a choice of 5 or 7 courses, you will need to book in advance to get a seat here. I love how they focus on using local ingredients and the food is delicious!
Have a seafood dinner on the beach in Jimbaran. Although super touristy, the food’s delicious, well priced and sunsets are beautiful. Our favourites are Teba Mega and Cafe Made Bagus.
Merah Putih serves fancy Indonesian food that tastes delicious and the setting is stunning.
Potato Head Beach Club is great day or night, interesting cocktails, plenty of seating, a pool and beach views.
In Bali, you are spoilt for choice. There are so many beautifully designed hotels the hardest thing is choosing between them. Here are a couple of our favourites…
Padma Resort Ubud: A jungle paradise… make sure you find their bamboo bridge!
Sofitel Nusa Dua: Stylish, sophisticated and fun.
Peppers Seminyak: Perfect combination of villas with resort facilities.
Anantara Seminyak: Romantic, spacious ocean view suites.
Le Meridien Jimbaran: Playful design and near the seafood restaurants.
When going to Bali, if you have 10 days or more definitely try and base yourself in two different locations to see the different sides to Bali.
If you’re heading to Bali for the first time, take a look at our Beginners Guide to Bali.