Bali has always been that one place I’ve wanted to visit since forever, but couldn’t really make it happen because of timing and availability of flights. Booking flight tickets to Bali is quite a task because the right timings are so hard to find. This time, however, I decided to brave up and get Bali off my bucket list! I chose Jet Airways because the timings were perfect! Personally, I wouldn’t recommend flying to Bali by Jet, since the flight duration to Singapore is 5 hours and the leg space constraint is an issue. You can opt for other airlines as well, but they are slightly expensive. The further connection from Singapore to Bali was Garuda Indonesia which was extremely comfortable and the flight duration was 3 hours. Garuda Indonesia had one of the most comfortable economy seats I have ever been on with good leg space.
To make it easier for you guys I have written separately about each area of Bali.
Jimbaran :My stop in Bali was Jimbaran as I stayed at two beautiful luxury properties, Movenpick Resort and Spa and Jamahal Private Resort and Spa located in Jimbaran. I had a lovely time at both places. Besides the fact that both the resorts are absolutely stunning and picturesque, hospitality, food and every other aspect of a blissful stay was looked after meticulously. However, one can also choose to stay at Seminyak, and explore the tourist attractions here in a day. Apart from the gorgeous beaches, the ancient Uluwatu Temple needs to be visited. For those into adventure sports, Jimbaran provides fun water sport activities like surfing and paragliding. However, Jimbaran is best known for the spectacular variety and quality of seafood that it provides. I have had some of the best seafood in my entire life at the beaches here. Kisik Bar and Grill, Menega Café, Rajda Seafood Café and Lia Café deserve a special mention for the amazing seafood that they serve. Lunch at Movenpick is a must.
Ubud, a beautiful town in the uplands of Bali. It is one of the most significant landscapes in Bali, and is known to be a hub of traditional culture, art, crafts and dance. There are a whole lot of things to do in Ubud. Most of the landmark places can be visited in a day, but I would suggest spending at least two to three days here to get a complete fulfilling experience of the place. I could only explore Ubud for a day and I regret that. Some of the places I explored were Tegalagang Rice Terrace, which is a great specimen of Balinese cooperative irrigation system, and the Goa Gajah, a cave which is famous for its beautiful artistic carvings. The town is full of Hindu temples and shrines, of which I visited the Tirta Empul Temple, built around a water spring that is locally believed to be holy. Gunung Kawi was another ancient 11th century temple that I visited. Its rustic beauty mesmerised me. I also visited the Luwak coffee plantation and Tegenungang waterfall, which was a splendid sight. An unforgettable experience that I had was on the famous Bali Swing in Ubud, which is a swing over an abyss, that offers a breath-taking view of the forests, waterfall, river and rice-fields from a height, making you feel like you’re truly on top of the world. Mama Mia is great for Italian cuisine, and the owner is incredibly sweet! Abe Do is a quaint little warung, which translates to a small family-owned café business, and it is famous for its green surroundings.
Seminyak : which is famous for its nightlife, shopping experience, amazing food, beach bars and spas. The area is filled with trendy, hip and happening night clubs which are amazing for a night of non-stop dancing to some great music. The beach bars provide the perfect chilled-out ambience and sophisticated laid-back beach vibes, and are great for lounging and enjoying a gorgeous sunset, accompanied by delicious food and soul soothing music. Seminyak is also a shopper’s paradise, with its variety of luxury boutiques. The gastronomic scene at this place is lively. Some of the good places to dine at are La Favela, which has a very vintage ambience with great music, and Mykonos Restaurant, which serves the best Greek food I’ve had so far. Mad Pops is a chic ice-cream parlour, known for the range of delicious vegan ice-creams that they offer. There are a lot of luxury accommodation options in Seminyak, like The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel and the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, to name a few. The city can be best explored on foot, but if you’re not a big fan of walking, the Bluebird Taxi service is excellent and available at all times.
Kuta is another fascinating urban area that I visited in Bali. It is primarily a beach and resort area, famous for its surfing activities. The Garuda Visnu Kencana Cultural Park located here is famous for its sculptures of Hindu deities and mythical representations. Various traditional dance performances and concerts are frequently held here. Famous museums include Museum Pacifika, known for its display of Asia-Pacific art, and Dream Museum Zone Bali, a tourist favourite because of the optical illusions that are widely photographed. Apart from these, Kuta is also famous for its beach clubs and cafes, and shopping destinations. The Potato Head Beach Club is one of the best places to experience the beautiful sunset. Café Sardinia is another eatery that offers delicious food coupled with a nice ambience.
The Nusa Dua area is one of the most popular beach areas in Bali. It is known for its glorious, golden sandy beaches like the Geger Beach and the international resorts with immaculate golf courses. The Pura Geger stone temple is a famous temple here. It is located within a forested patch of land overlooking the ocean, and is well-known for its intricately carved walls. The trio of Nusa islands southeast of Bali, namely Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, are mesmerising locales that need to be visited. The gorgeous caves and waterfalls in Nusa Penida are sure to take your breath away.
Getting Around the City : The traffic scene in Bali is terrible. It took us almost 5 hours to reach Ubud from Jimbaran, so you have to plan your day accordingly. While taxi services are available almost everywhere in Bali, the best way to explore the city is by foot. Walking is the best way to explore a place in all its glory. Rented motorbikes are also available, and are a very convenient way to reduce travel time and visit nearby places. Minibuses and vans, and Bluebird taxi services are also quite convenient and cost-effective for travel. Cruises are easily available for visiting the islands.
Visiting Bali had been on my list since long, and the beautiful places surpassed my expectations. I am already planning to go back to Bali for a month or so later this year, to visit all the tiny islands and interesting places that I couldn’t explore this time, and also to gorge on all the delicious food that I missed out on, during my first visit. I have fallen in love with the place, and I’m sure you will too.