The paradise island, Bali. As a native Indonesian, Bali is one of my favorite places to go to in Indonesia. Not only it has fantastic views of the beaches and sunsets, Bali has rich culture and gastronomy to explore! This itinerary is made for those who consider a short trip to Bali. Be sure to download (Click 'Save As') for the checklist at the end!
Day 1: Arrival in Ubud, Bali
Check in to hotel: Ubud or Seminyak
There are two spots I recommend for you to stay. Ubud has the nature beauty and almost every resort has a jungle view and some has rice paddy field views. Meanwhile, Seminyak is located near Kuta Beach, which means that you can easily dive into the water.It is also near the night entertainment and Jimbaran seafood restaurant. In terms of price, naturally the Ubud hotels are more expensive.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan $$$$ (5 stars)
Maya Ubud Resort and Spa $$$ (5 stars)
Plataran Ubud Hotel and Spa $$ (5 stars)
The Westin Resort and Spa $$ (5 stars)
Note: all hotel pictures are from Google search
The Legian, Bali $$$$ (5 stars)
Alila Seminyak $$$ (5 stars)
The Trans Resort Bali $$ (5 stars)
Jambuluwuk Oceano Seminyak $ (5 stars)
Note: all hotel pictures are from Google search
Dine at a local restaurant
If you’re staying at Ubud, I recommend you to try “Bale Udang” and “Bebek Bengil”. Bebek Bengil is famous for its duck and Bale Udang has a fantastic romantic ambience with small private cottages to dine on top of a handmade fish lake.
Meanwhile, if you are staying in Seminyak there are many restaurants for you to pick. I recommend “Made’s Warung” and “The Bistrot”. While Made’s Warung has both Asian and Western food, The Bistrot offers Western and fine-dining food.
Relax at the hotel or nearby the beach: Sanur or Kuta
For the first day, you should rest to gather your strength back. If it’s too early, you can take a ride to Bali beaches and see the sunset there. From Ubud to Sanur beach, it takes up to 40 minutes by car. Meanwhile, Seminyak is already nearby Kuta beach so it only takes up to 20 minutes by car.
Day 2: Going south to GWK and Jimbaran
Visit Garuda Wisnu Kencana
Garuda Wisnu Kencana has a big statue (I’m talking 122-meter of height – or 400 feet) of Vishnu God. As you know, most Balinese have Hindu religion. They celebrate Galungan, Vesak, and Nyepi – where the latter is when everyone should do nothing for a day. Garuda Wisnu Kencana was originally an idea from I Nyoman Nuarta back in 1989 but due to the Asian economic crisis in 1998, the construction was in halt. In 2012, I Nyoman Nuarta sold 82% of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana project to a private developer PT Alam Sutera Realty, Tbk. The project was completed in 2018, signed by President Joko Widodo.
Have a quick dessert at Gaya Gelato
I really like Gaya Gelato Jakarta branch and I should say you would not regret it to try Gaya Gelato Bali. They have a clean-look ambiance and both sorbets and ice cream. Their flavors include Cinnamon, Coconut, Durian, Tiramisu, Pistachio, on top of the common vanilla and chocolate ones.
Dine in Jimbaran Seafood: Menega Café or Kayumanis
Luckily, it takes only 10 minutes from Garuda Wisnu Kencana to Jimbaran restaurant. Jimbaran is a name of a beach but local shop owners converted it to an ocean-view seafood restaurant. Try “Menega Café” or similar restaurants nearby the beach or “Kayumanis” for a more up-scale restaurant.
Night Life in Kuta (optional): LXXY Bali or Sky Garden
Personally, I’m not a clubbing person so I cannot share any experiences entering night clubs. But if you want, you can definitely experience a night life in Bali. Back then (and perhaps up until today), Hard Rock Café is the place to go. But there are other places to go too like “LXXY Bali” and “Sky Garden”, both located in Kuta.
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Day 3: Cultural day with Kecak dance
Exercise early in Campuhan Ridgewalk (optional)
If you’re saying at Ubud, you should try trekking at Campuhan Ridgewalk. In order not to get burnt by the sun, you should start walking by 6 or 6:30 AM. The last time I came here was in 2014 and there were not so many people. So, maybe today it will be busier than what it was back then.
Visit Tanah Lot
It takes at least an hour from Ubud to Tanah Lot and half an hour from Seminyak to Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot is a temple iconic for photography (especially during the sunset) with a rock formation surrounded by the ocean. Entrance fee is IDR 20,000 but for foreigners, it’s IDR 60,000.
Eat early dinner at Uluwatu: Single Fin
While there are some restaurants in Tanah Lot, you might want to skip that and head over to Uluwatu instead. I recommend “Single Fin” at a reasonable price and amazing view. Since you are in Uluwatu, you might want to catch the Balinese Kecak Dance at 6 PM (ticket sales start at 4PM). Hence, you can use the waiting time eating dinner at Single Fin.
Balinese Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple
What’s a Balinese trip without watching the dance? At Uluwatu Temple, you can hear and see the energetic Kecak dance. It is located in Badung Regency, south to Bali and near Garuda Wisnu Kencana. The show starts at 6 PM with a fee of IDR 120,000 at least (IDR 20,000 is the temple entrance fee and IDR 100,000 is the show fee). Note that ticket sale is open at 4PM.
Day 4: Buy gifts for your loved ones
Art Market Kumbasari
Start bargaining on artsy gifts at Kumbasari! Bali is famous for rattan purses, wooden gifts, and tie-dye shirts. There are many art markets you should see along the streets, particularly in Kuta, but Kumbasari has the largest shop.
Lunch in Kuta: Bebek Tepi Sawah or Folk Pool and Gardens
Eat with a view. Bebek Tepi Sawah has a rice paddy field view and Folk Pool and Gardens have a pool view. Their price range is the same around IDR 350,000 per couple. Relax and enjoy your last meal in Bali before heading back home.
How to Get Around
If you are a foreigner, I strongly recommend you not to rent a car and drive by yourself because you will need a special driving permit. Below are some options you can take. The information is from Lonely Planet.
Rent a driver: $60 a day
Motorbike: around $5 a day
Tourist shuttle bus or taxi
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