Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bali travel guide

Hello,

Until now you could see a fair amount of posts about Bali but this time I want to give you my guide to Bali and I want to share my experiences with you. Since many blog posts helped me in my search for organizing my trip I hope somebody will find my guide useful as well. So let's get started.

PLACES WE STAYED:

SANUR

Sanur is fisherman's village is the oldest resort situated on southeast of Bali. You will not be only tourist here, but it is less touristy then the east coast of Bali.
Sanur is quite pieceful so we spent our time discovering the village and enjoying our garden villa. We needed to rest from the jetlag and to charge our batteries for our next locations and excursions that we planned.
Renting bikes (for free) from our hotel and riding around was the best thing there!
In the main street Jl Danau Tamblingan you can find many different restaurants. If you are not fan of the tasty Balinese cuisine you can find many Italian and European restaurants.
If you are looking for local food or souvenirs all that you can find at Hardy's shopping center which is located in the main street. 

UBUD:


The first thing I need to say is that Ubud was my favourite place on Bali. Ubud aria is surrounded by rainforests, rice terraces and Hindu temples. I can freely say that Ubud for me feels like the real Bali. Almost all of that beautiful rice fields and temples you see on Instagram are from the Ubud area. 

Ubud is also a cultural and craft center, but also center of yoga, healthy food and lifestyle.
It is touristic town because it has a lot to offer and main street it's just crazy but even with all that you still feel so peaceful. Almost all of the hotels are situated in the middle of the jungle. Waking up every morning with such a view is just priceless! You have all my recommendations for Ubud. If I would ever come back to Bali, Ubud would be the first place to revisit.

NUSA DUA:


Hmm, what should I say. Ok, I will be honest and say that I didn't like this place at all! Since we wanted to avoid busy west coast somehow we ended here. This place is completely artificial for me. Nusa Dua was just designed to be an "all in" type of destination and that is not me at all. Here you can find one huge shopping center "Bali Collection" where you can find everything you need. Just I think most of the shops are overpriced and typical tourist traps but anyway I was not interested in shopping. This shopping center has a free shuttle bus which will transport you back to your resort.

In the main street of Nusa Dua you can find different restaurants, supermarkets and locals shops.
This place I would avoid.

ISLANDS WE VISITED

NUSA LEMBONGAN:

This island is located southeast from Bali. We visited this place from Sanur and we took a boat at Benoa harbour. This was a good thing to do because the harbour was really close.
Nusa Lembongan is really cute island with cristal clear water and white sand. Real paradise. Wander around the island, take some coctails and watch the sunset. Just one note, when you book your trip to this island ask in detail what they offer you, not to end all day in some old resort.




GILI AIR

Anybody who read at least one article about Bali knows for Gili islands. That is the place to be. Gili islands are an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. From all the three islands Gili Air is the closest to Lombok. Most of the boats are departuring from Padang Bai so the best is to visit this islands from Ubud. Since we didn't have time to do that from Ubud, we visited Gili Air from Nusa Dua and drive to harbour was pretty long. So have that in mind.

Ok let's go back to Gili Air. Why we choose Gili Air? We spoke a lot with the locals about Gili islands and we wanted to visit the one that is the least touristic. They told us to choose between Gili Meno and Air since they meet our requirments. We choose Gili Air even we needed to take two boats to come there. When we came there nothing was important anymore. This island is real zen. Since we know that Bali is the island of motorcycles, On Gili Air only non motorized vehicles like bicycles and horse carriage are allowed to use. This island is amazing, sometimes you feel like time stopped, all is so relaxed. We spend the day wondering arround and admiring the beauty of this island. The water was so clear but also so hot, that was unbelievable. Beaches are wonderful with white sand and many white and red corals. This island is a must see on your "to visit" list.







The rest of attractions

MONKEY FOREST:

This was the first place we visited in Ubud. Since our hotel was just 10 min. walk from it, we used opportunity to explore the neighbourood and see Monkey Forest.

This place is incredibly beautiful. I felt like I came to some magic forest full of monkeys and beautiful statues and temples.
We were warned to take off earrings and not to watch monkeys direct in their eyes, but they were so cute and friendly, mainly interested in food and an afternoon nap.
If you come to Ubud this is the place to come.








PENGLIPURAN VILLAGE

Another place I loved so much! This is a traditional and unique Balinesse village or to say it simple, real Bali. Houses are so beautiful with typical Balinese entrances. Here you can also find small family shops and temples.
Even this place is quite touristical we were almost alone here, since we came in the early morning.
This village is around a 30km drive from Ubud.






BAMBOO FOREST

It's just few meters far from Penglipuran village. It's a good place to enjoy some shadow and rest from the sun. First we walk around a bit and then our driver drove us trough the whole forest and he gave us information about the biggest bamboo forest on Bali.



TEGALALANG RICE TERRACE

If you are just like me, crazy about Bali's green and beautiful fields you will love this place. I saw this place so many times on the photos and couldn't wait to see it with my eyes. I can say it is even better in real then on photos. All that shades of green are just incredible. Here you will also have opportunity to see Balinese farmers who are working hard in the fields. I don't need to recommend you this place, I think it's obvious, because how to come to Bali and not see these rice terraces?






JATILUWIH RICE TERRACE

After seening Tegalalang rice fields our drivier told us thet we also need to visit Jatiluwih rice terrace because this one is bigger and even more beautiful. I really enjoyed in this view and I was so happy to have opportunity to see one of the most known rice terraces in Bali. I was fascinated by them since I learned about rice terraces in primary school.




PURA TIRTA EMPUL

This temple is around 15km distanced from Ubud.  Tirta Empul means "holy spring water" what is actually the name of a water source located within the temple. So here you will be able to see many people taking their purification baths. Even it was pretty crowded here, still you could find your peace here and capture some photos. 






GOA GAJAH

Is a temple situated 7 km from Ubud center. Goa Gajah or "Elephant cave" is a historically significant archeological place and popular tourist attraction so you should write it down in your "to see list".  I really liked down part of this teample which is situated in forest. 






TEGENUNGAN WATERFALL

Waterfall is located at the Tegenungan Kemenuh village, distanced 12 km from Ubud. I still remember the day we went to visit this place. It was crazy hot. After you buy a ticket and enter this place you will come to terrace from where you will be able to see the waterfall. Then if you really want to come down to it, you will need to cross many, many stairs. Since it was hot and I didn't wanted to melt from the heat, I stayed on that teracce, took some polaroid photos and enjoyed the view while Milan went all of way down. This waterfall is really beautiful and it was worth a visit.






TAMAN AYUN TEMPLE


This temple complex is located 17k from Denpasar and around 19km from Ubud center. This is one of the most beautiful temples in Bali. It concist courtyards, beautiful gardens and lotus and fish ponds. This temple is really photogenic and special. This roofs are just amazing. When it comes to this temple you can't come between these towers, you can just walk next to the wall which surrounds these towers.





PURA ULUN DANU BRATAN

Or Pura Bratan is significant temple complex situated on the shores of Lake Bratan and it is also surounded by mountines so here you will enjoy in fresh and a little bit cooler air. Since we booked our Bali trip, this was the temple I looked forward to visit. It's just amazing place. Beautiful lake, mountines, and temple complex, I can't describe what is more beautiful.
This temple is distanced around 47km from Ubud and around 70 km from Nusa Dua. We wanted to visit it from Ubud, because as you can see it is much closer but due lack of time we needed to visit it from Nusa Dua. Yes we spent a lot of time in traffic but it worthed for sure!






PURA TANAH LOT

Another beautiful temple who sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. It is one of the most photographed temples on Bali. Because of its location you can't enter to this temple, but this place is one of the most popular for beautiful sunset views.
This temple is distanced 35km from Nusa Dua and Ubud.





ULUWATU TEMPLE

This temple is build at the edge of a 70m high cliff. Because it's location this temple is very special. I enjoyed this place so much. The view on the Indian Ocean and sound of it, is just spectacular. Long walk towards the edge of the cliff was amazing. This temple is also home of hundreds of monkeys. People warned us that they are pretty aggressive, but we didn't have any negative experience with them.





TIPS AND EXTRA INFORMATIONS:
- the google map time to destination can not be trusted because traffic on Bali is terrible, so be prepared to spend at least 1h for 10km.
- search online for opening hours of the temples
- for most of the temples you will need to wear a sarong but you can easily rent it on sight at the temple
- for all excursions we used a taxi, make a plan in advance of all the places you want to see and negotiate a good price with the driver
- entree tickets for all temples are cheap (max 5€)
- what ever you buy in Bali haggle about the price
- don't take a private guide in some of the temples, they will just rip you off


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