Bali had been on my dream destinations list for a long time. Seeing photos from there made it look so dreamy and other wordly. In November I finally took the plunge and set off on my first Asia trip.
Sekumpul Falls, North Bali
Rice fields on the way to Sekumpul Falls
It’s about a half hour hike to Sekumpul falls but you can walk to two different waterfalls once you get to the base of the river.
Renting a car in Bali
Most people visiting Bali rent scooters or take taxis. We had a ton of camera gear to haul around and were making up our plans as we went so we found renting a car to be more practical. Driving in Bali isn’t for the faint of heart, most cars are manual, driving is on the left side and scooters drive like maniacs. However, we found driving to be really convenient and at $15–20/day really inexpensive. Google Maps works surprisingly well and finding gas stations wasn’t an issue. We found Bali Car Finder to be really solid, picking up from the Airport was really easy.
Kuta, Canggu and Seminyak
Bamboo tree tunnel at the W in Bali
Ubud was our absolute favorite place that we visited. It’s the least touristy of all the towns we stayed in and the people there are so welcoming and friendly.
Probably the best and friendliest Airbnb we stayed at in Bali. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4937402
Tegenungan Falls a 15 minute drive and quick hike from Ubud.
Monkey forest in Ubud
It’s about $50 for an hour and a half trip to get from Bali to the Gili islands. Gili Trawangan is the main island known for being the spring break party island for many Australians. Gili Meno and Gili Air are less touristy and more tropical but with less nightlife.
I highly recommend Eka Jaya Fastboat to get from Bali to Gili. They’re the biggest and fastest of the ferries from Padang Bai, Bali to the Gili Islands and Lombok.
We didn’t get to explore Uluwatu as much as we wanted to. This area of the coastline was much more resort-y than Kuta. We mostly stayed at the Bvlgari.
Before you go
Don’t drink the tap water! Used bottled water for everything including brushing your teeth. Traveler’s Stomach (Bali Belly) is really common when in Indonesia. Let your doctor or a travel clinic know you’re going to Bali and they’ll prescribe you a general antibiotic for stomach infection, Ciprofloxacin is a common one.
Visa or Mastercard are taken most places but you’ll need Indonesian Rupiah for stuff like Taxis or It’s helpful to bring cash to exchange since the ATMs have a $50 limit. American Express isn’t an option anywhere in Asia which I learned the hard way.
Uber exists in Bali but it’s pretty unreliable. They’re blocked in a lot of towns because the locals don’t like them taking away taxi jobs. Each town has it’s own local taxi brand. Blue Bird Taxi is a good one that uses a meter so they won’t rip you off. Be cautious though because a lot of the unbranded cabs will try to negotiate a price upfront and overcharge you.