For the Spanish, the island of Bali has always been regarded as one of the typical honeymoon destinations for newly married couples. I think all of us have ever heard of that, “Yes, we’re a going for a couple of weeks to Bali to enjoy its beaches and tranquility.” But, is this really true? Are its beaches as beautiful as we think? If you are planning a trip to Bali this post can be a great help, stay tuned.
The island of Bali is the westernmost of the Sunda Islands, and is located in a chain with Java to the west and Timor to the east. Besides being an island, Bali is a province of Indonesia. Bali is relatively small, with only 140 km long from east to west and 90 km from north to south, however, as we shall see a little later, despite its small size may seem larger than it is.
BALI AND ITS CURRENCY
As first advice I would say that you should familiarize yourself with the country’s currency, the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) and its exchange rate with the euro, since 1 euro equals approximately 14,400 Indonesian Rupiah. If you are like me, that means that you are also lost with such high amounts, you better bear careful, because when they see that you are not local, suspiciously the prices shoot through the roof.
Once we arrived at the airport in Denpasar, the first thing to do is to pay the Visa, around 35 US Dollars. Note that Bali’s economy is based almost entirely on tourism, so it is understandable that they apply all types of taxes on tourists. To leave the country you will also have to pay $55. Ah! I forgot! Although the euro is well regarded and accepted, I recommend you always to carry dollars, since the prices are in US Dollars many times.
PARTY IN BALI
Our first destination was Kuta and knowing that we arrived at night and in the short time we decided directly to shower and party. Kuta area is awash with Australian tourists, mostly young people between 20 and 30 who are attracted by the party, low prices and surfing. Our hostel was located a few meters from the “Bali Bombing Memorial,” a monument erected to honor the memory of the deceased after the terrorist incident in 2002. The monolith stands in the lively city center so it was very easy and quickly move through this area. For partying is best to take advantage of some of the deals that the public relations offers in the street. And moving later to “Sky Garden” to finish the night. If you like ‘house’ music as David Guetta, Alesso and that whole scene, “Sky Garden” is your place.
Leaving aside the issue of the party, Bali has much more to offer. So high is the number of temples that populate the island that it was impossible to visit them all. However, here’s the description of what we could see and enjoy.
BALI AND ITS TEMPLES
First of all, say that although Bali is not large, it is advisable to hire a driver to take you from one place to another since most of the main tourist destinations are distant from each other. The rental service car and driver usually cost around $ 35-40 for 6 hours. During those six hours the driver will wait and take you anywhere you tell him. If you are a group of 4 or 5 people you would have to pay less than $ 10 per head.
Our first stop was the temple of Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot is a rock formation located near the island of Bali. This site has become one of the most important tourist and cultural icons of the area due to the myriad of photography lovers and lovers of the exotic who come here attracted by the beautiful surroundings. In turn, this place houses inside the temple with the same name. To reach the temple of Tanah Lot you have to cross through a small path that is only available at low tide. Once there, a number of “priests” will purify you in exchange for a small donation (the will). However, access to the temple itself is prohibited, so that you can not go beyond the entrance stairs.
In the same area as the Temple of Tanah Lot temple you can find Batu Bolong which, although is quite small, we also recommend visiting as it will not take more than 15 minutes.
A one hour drive from Tanah Lot is Uluwatu Temple. The latter was built in the 11th century and is one of the 9 temples which aims to protect Bali from evil spirits. The entrance to it costs Rp 30,000 and, like the rest of the temples, cover your body is required to access inside. They normally provide a kind of sarong to wear it as a skirt.
Very to consider in this area is not wearing glasses or objects in view. This place is populated by monkeys, even if they seem very funny, they are highly attracted by foreign objects and believe me, they are very good opening backpacks and stealing these articles.
Another highlight is the “Monkey Forest”. The “Monkey Forest” is a nature reserve and temple complex located in Ubud, inside which live about more than 600 macaques. As in Uluwatu, you should not wear glasses or striking objects. Although here the monkeys are not as bold and rude as in Uluwatu, on our visit we also saw many tourists facing primates.
WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT IN BALI
After visiting these temples you might be pretty tired so I recommend you relax and enjoy the exquisite Balinese food in “Made’s Warung” in Kuta.
But if you really want to enjoy a unique dining experience, where you can also delight with your 5 senses you must go to “Cafe Pomegranate”. “Cafe Pomegranate” is lost in the middle of rice paddies in the village of Ubud. Discover how to access it is in itself a complete adventure that will be worth it. Once there you can enjoy an enviable environment surrounded by nature and away from the bustle. And, certainly, to complete the experience you have to go there to watch the sunset and watch as the sky is playing with colors and textures to finish merging all in a jet black.
One of the Balinese dishes is “Babi Guling Ibu Oka”. It consists of pork, such as sausage, rind, spiced meat and of course, rice. Worth a try since its price is not very high, about 6 or 8 euros with a drink.
Another culinary recommendation that is a “must” if you visit Ubud is “Bebek Bengil”. Here you can enjoy a big bowl of fried duck with white rice. Do not try to eat it with knife and fork, it will be much easier with hands.
To conclude this section on food, nothing beats a coffee after lunch. If you as enthusiastic about this drink and you’re a fan of the cakes, better go and visit “Seniman Coffee Studio” where you’ll find a wide variety of this ancestral liquid.
ACTIVITIES IN BALI
If the Indonesian city is famous something, it is for surfing, in every corner you will find surf shops with many products. Once visited the shops and already at Kuta beach, you can learn how to surf for just over 5 euros per hour with equipment rental and lessons with monitor included. Definitely an experience that you should take if you visit the island, but do not expect to find pristine beaches in this area. Such beaches are private and access is a bit trickier. Around the perimeter of the whole island you will find plenty of activities to do: diving, boat, etc. however, we opted for surfing because the other activities were quite far from our area.
On a less cultural and sporting field, Bali is also famous for the number of stores offering the opportunity to observe how the wood craftsmen make their sculptures or how painters make his paintings.
After all this, I hope it is a little bit clearer what you can find in Bali. If you are looking for adventure and party, but also are interested in growing spiritually and intellectually, Bali can be your destination, since in cities as Kuta and Ubud you can find a lot of temples, restaurants and quaint local and enclaves that certainly you will enjoy.