My Husband and I will be traveling to Bali in May for 10 days/9 nights.
We usually stay in hostels or guesthouses to extend our money a little further in our travels. But don't kid yourself as we always get double bed private ensuite rooms. We know we want to go to Ubud for a couple days and head over to Gili T for some relaxation on the beach. We have heard mixed reviews on Kuta and the party scene isn't really our cup of tea.
Please leave us any recommendations on places stayed that you would revisit, activities you did that you wouldn't miss out on or possibly things you did that you wouldn't waste your money on if you had to do it again.
We have almost 3 months until our departure and want to plan this vacation well.
Definitely try to see the Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple but get there early and get a seat facing the sunset. Also spend an afternoon sipping cocktails at the still very cool beach bar Kudeta.
Jump on the scoot ferry to Lembongan island which is linked to Cenigen island by the yellow bridge. Nice surfing snorkelling and diving and a view of how indo looks without the neon :-)
I would skip Kuta! (check my blog on Kuta) Actually, I would skip that whole southern peninsula. Uluwatu temple is very nice, but mostly the whole area is devoid of Balinese culture - which is very special. The dance at Ubud is wonderful. Tanah Lot is very scenic. If you want to really see Bali, as opposed to commercial resorts, I would stick to small towns, mountain areas, terraced rice fields and ancient temples. If you are going to Gili T, you won't find much to enjoy in Bali beaches - although the north does offer some good snorkling/diving around Menjagan Island.
Have a great trip! Bali is a beautiful and magical place!
This is our trip after lots of reading reviews on Travel Advisor & numerous blogs on Travelblog.
Arrive May 4th around 1:30pm, take pre-paid taxi to Ubud & stay 3 or 4 nights (prebooked 3 nights at Sri Ratih Cottages)
May 7th is a "open day" we can stay another night in Ubud or head to Candi Dasa for 1 night
May 8th take Blue Water Express or Gili Cat fast boat to Gili T for 4 nights of relaxing on the beach at Bale Sampan Bungalows (pre booked & paid)
May 12th take fast boat back to Bali and this night is open as we haven't booked accommodations yet.
May 13th depart Bali back to China via Singapore. Our flight leaves at 2:15pm.
We can either stay in Kuta one night (hesitant but got a great recommendation to stay at a new Best Western close to the airport and beach) Thought we could hit up the Kecak Dance at Uluwatu to see the sunset. But then again we could see the traditional dance in Ubud.
Option #2 stay in Candi Dasa another night before heading the the airport May 13th am.
Usually we don't plan vacation out so much but I feel like the last 2 trips we have been on, we "swung it" a little too much and didn't plan well enough. So I am preparing more this trip for what to see and do.
Sounds like a good itinerary! Relaxing, but seeing some highlights. A couple of suggestions:
While in Ubud - be sure to take a walk in the Monkey Forest. The dance is on every evening at the stage in the center of town. You can go every night and see a different dance. Have a Mandi Lalur or other spa treatment. You don't have to go to a fancy, expensive spa - nearly all the little ones I've been to do a nice job. Splurge on lunch at Indus Restaurant (outside of town, high on a hill, take a taxi) Spectacular views and wonderful food. (they also own Casa Luna in town - also good, and they give OK cooking classes) Also, I highly recommend a day tour around the surrounding area - Elephant temple and rice terraces - one of those.
I might revise my previous advice not to go to Kuta.... Sounds like you are curious and being drawn in - if that is the case - go for that last night, check it out, you might love it, you might hate, but at least you'll know. It is convenient to the airport.
You can only take other people's travel advice so far - everyone is different, in the end do what feels right for you!
Have a great trip!
Thanks Kim for your advice and I put the Mandi Lalur on my list after reading your blog about Spa Experiences.
I am not totally sold on Kuta but I wouldn't mind being a little closer to the airport as everyone confirms the horrible traffic in Bali. I don't want to end on a bad note; so maybe we would stay in Sanur as it is closer to the airport than Candi Dasa or Ubud. Plus Sanur looks to have amazing beaches more of the family vibe than the party scene as that isn't us. We don't mind having a few drinks but clubbing all hours of the night just isn't us anymore.
Thanks everyone for your help. I feel we have a good idea of things to do while we are in Bali without over planning too much. Neither my husband or I can stand having each day planned out too much that it becomes stressful when you can't get to all of the "things" on your list.
Keep the ideas coming as we still have until May before we leave.
For your last night, you might want to stay around Jimbaran Bay and have dinner on the beach. Lots of seafood restaurants spill out onto the beach at night with candlelit tables. It looks spectacular, and is very romantic, and not expensive.
heya, i was thinking similar to kim and you might as well check out kuta for one night and make your own decision. You dont have to go to the nightclubs and bars but instead enjoy the hundreds of cheap cafes and places like the open moviecinema where you can have a pizza and beer...we have kids now so need to hunt those types of places out 😊 But similar to Dean, instead go to Jimbaran Bay (right beside airport) and i cant remember the name of it but there is a really impressive 5 star resort that looks pretty special - might be a nice ending! I've only visited its bar which is out hanging out over the cliffs so a great relaxing night. or head to the all the restarants on the beach which i think we have a photo of if you look at our latest blog. The beach was pretty evil and full of rubbish (and tourists lol) but the food was excellent and very nice to relax watching a sunset on the beach 😊
One other thing that i would highly recommend for one night only was to stay in a hut at the Bali Marine and Safari park. The park itself wasnt that exciting and only really worth the 1 hour trip in a bus around the animals and maybe the elephant trip but the huts are built with an infinity pool and there are elephants, zebras, hippos etc all walking around on the other side of the pool! Quite different and impressive for one night 😊
You absolutely made the right choice in going to GiliT, it's absolutely beautiful. Make sure you spend a day with snorkelling equipment! And I'd recommend a gin and tonic or three at one of the beach restaurant bars. To be honest, for a beach holiday I'd pick GiliT over Bali.
Personally, I loved Ubud and found the culture and tempes there amazing. But I found Kuta to be a crass and tacky conrete jungle that had practically no redeeming features, if I were going back again I would avoid it. If you decide to go anyway for flight convenience, the Legian side of the strip is slightly less nasty.