Bali is truly an island paradise. Its known for the friendly Balinese people, spas and Balinese massages, ancient temples, tropical beaches and lush terraces of rice fields.
- Have a driver pick you up from the airport and take you to your first destination. The driver can also stay with you to take you around the island for sightseeing. Otherwise agree with him on different pick up and drop off dates e.g airport to hotel, Ubud hotel to Seminyak hotel, Seminyak hotel to airport, etc…I recommend the driver I had , Suparta. You can contact him on 0062 812 3685973 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stay at two different areas at least, the mountains and the seaside. I would recommend a few days in Ubud followed by a few days in Seminyak. While you stay in these areas, you can do day trip to temples, rice fields , Nusa Dua and Jimbaran.
- You will need to get taxis to take you form one place to the other if you don’t have a dedicated driver. Taxis are easily accessible from hotels so make sure to book a taxi especially when going out at night through your hotel
- Don’t drink tap water, only drink bottles water
How to get there:
– Qatar airway : Dubai (DXB) – Qatar – Bali (Denpasar DPS)
– Emirates airline: Dubai (DXB) – Jakarata (CGK) and then you need to buy an internal flight on Air Asia (Jakarta- Bali (DPS)
– Emirates airline: connection to be booked through Emirates website (might be a bit more expensive at times than booking the connection directly). When booking choose Dubai as the departure point and Denpasar (DPS) as the arrival point and it will give you different connection options through Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta.
How long does it take to get there:
Keep in mind that with the time difference, it will take you almost a day to travel so plan your trip to account for a day of travelling. If you leave early morning you are likely to arrive at around 11pm in Bali.
Option1: on Qatar airways
▪ Dubai – Qatar : one hour
▪ Qatar – Bali : 8.5 hours
Option 2: on Emirates airlines
- Dubai – Jakarta: 8 hours
- Jakarta – Bali: 2 hours
When is the best time to visit:
The rainy season which is wet, humid and hot lasts from October to March with highest rainfall in December,January and February as they are the wettest months on the Island and you defiantly need to avoid travelling to Bali then. The best time to visit Bali is April to October where the weather is cooler and its dry.
Where to stay:
Bali is a big Island with two distinctive landscapes, the mountains of Ubud and the beaches. Each is different and special in its own way and both must be visited while in Bali. My recommendation is to choose Seminyak as the base for the beach side and from there you can visit Kuta, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran.
▪ Ubud: the mountains of Bali with luch rice fields
– Kamandalu resort and spa: a really nice 5 start resort with the most amazing landscape.
- Seminyak : a stylish and vibrant district in Bali which is surrounded by world class resorts, fashion boutiques and fine dining venues. Both hotels below are right next to each other on the beach of Seminyak overlooking the Indian Ocean. The location is great as its walking distance to many pubs and restaurants including Ku De Ta which you can reach by walking on the beach
– Royal beach seminyak
– Anantara seminyak resort and spa
What to do:
▪ Ubud : the cultural center of Bali
o Rice fields : take bikes from hotel and go through the rice fields
o Shopping in Jalan Hanoman and JalanWenara Wana or better known as monkey street
o Visit Ubud Royal palace
o Visit Goa Gajash also known as the elephant cave which is located in the east of Ubud. Wonder through the cave, the surrounding jungle and ruined temple
o Visit the botanical gardens in Ubud
o Take a stroll in the ride paddies. You cant leave Ubud without going into the rice fields
o Monkey forest: a fun forest to visit with monkeys everywhere! Make sure to get some bananas with you to feed the monkeys. The forest itself is a natural reserve as well as an ancient temple complex. (www.monkeyforestubud.com)
o Don Antonio Blanco museum : the studio on top of the mountain was home to one of the most famous artists who lived in Bali. The place is surrounded by amazing landscape, beautiful gardens, exotic birds and a nice collection of his paintings. Make sure to go the top balcony of the main building and appreciate the views from there. A place in Ubud not to be missed for sure! (www.blancomuseum.com)
o Massage at COMO Shambhala retreat in Ubud which offers a range of holistic and Asian inspired treatments. (www.comohotels.com/umaubud/wellbeing and www.comoshambhala.com )
o Restaurants in Ubud
▪ Mozaic (Dinner) : Situated in a tropical garden, it’s a fine dining restaurant that strikes a balance between Indonesian flavors and Western cooking. The restaurant service and high quality of food earned it a spot in San Pellegrino Guide of the 100 World’s best back in 2009 (www.mozaic-bali.com) .
▪ Indus (Lunch, sunset and dinner): one of Bali’s favorite restaurants with views of the surrounding hills and over looking the Tjampuhan River, this restaurant is worth a visit before dark to get to enjoy the scenery
▪ Café Lotus (Snack): a scenic café overlooking a big lotus pond worth visiting for a snack or some refreshments. (www.cafelotusubud.com)
▪ Sari Organik (Lunch) : make sure to visit the one located in the rice fields close to the center of Ubud. You will be seated in the middle of rice fields served healthy organic food while enjoying the mind-blowing views of the endless rice fields (http://www.sari-organik.com) .
▪ Seminyak : filled with luxury accommodation and fashionable high end restaurants and bars , Seminyak is the high end spa and boutique shopping capital of Bali
o Shopping in Seminyak : amazing boutiques all around the town
o Try to find the leather shops that sell colored leather clutches (I got like 5 and regret not getting more, you will not know which colors to get as the options are endless)
o Restaurants and Pubs in Seminyak:
▪ Ku De Ta (Drinks and Dinner): A magical beachfront venue offering global cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. The venue is facing the Indian Ocean which is perfect for sunset drinks, lunch and dinner. In the evening, the venue turns into a hip nightclub. Don’t leave the place without visiting the boutique shop outside which is open daily from 10am to 11pm (www.kudeta.net) .
▪ Potatoe Head Beach Club (All day) : this jaw-dropping architecture piece of art includes a beach club, three restaurants and an upcoming boutique hotel (www.ptthead.com) .
▪ Café Bali (Lunch): located in the heat of the shopping district in Seminyak on Jalan Laksmana, this place has a lot of character and one of the coziest café I have ever been to. A mix of Dutch and French designs, this comfy classic bistro is a place to relax and unwind while enjoying a French meets east cuisine.
▪ The Junction (Snack/Lunch/Dinner): a hype and funky restaurant located in the heart of Seminyak which offers salads , paninis, authentic crepes , pasta, deli baguettes and more (www.the-junction-bali.com) .
▪ La Lucciola (Dinner): is probably the best Italain restaurant in Seminyak if not in the whole of Bali. Its an open air beachfront restaurant with great service, fantastic food and stunning views.
▪ Khaima: this distinctive tent shaped restaurant is situated in the Oberoi area offers Arabic cuisine with a Moroccan experience (www.khaimabali.com) .
▪ Sisterfields : A boutique café offering pastries, salads, sandwiches, coffee, charcoal buns alongside an all day breakfast/ lunch menu . The place is located in Jalan Kayu Cendana no.7 and is open 7 days a week from 7am to 5pm (www.sisterfieldsbali.com) .
▪ Rock Bar at Ayana: CNN and The New York Times have described the bar as one of the best in the world and in 2011 it was voted the best venue in Indonesia to watch the sunset. This open top bar is located on a natural rock 14meters above the Ocean and is great for sunset and as an after dark destination (www.ayanaresort.com/rockbarbali)
o Jimbaran for lunch/dinner: it’s a 45 minute drive from Seminyak. Jimbaran bay is home to about 50 seafood restaurants and eating seafoond on the beach of Jimbaran is a quintessential part of many visitor’s itinerary when coming to Bali. Four seasons hotel might be worth a visit while you are there as it has numerous dining options
o Nusa Dua for a day to enjoy the sandy beaches of the area
o Visit Uluwatu temple just before sunset and watch the Kecak fire dance in the Uluwatu temple area which is 30 minute ride from Jimbaran
o Sip coffee made from cat poo!
o Gili and Lambok islands: Lambok is a flight away while Gili is a boat ride away from Bali. These are relaxed and laid back islands with countless beachside cafes, bars and restaurants with no cars or motorbikes allowed
Highlight of the trip:
The bicycle ride in the rice fields and meeting the Balinese locals in the fields