Hi everyone, I am Yong Wei and I will be writing a travel guide to Bali with as much important information that you’ll need to know before you get there.
I want to make it as easy, safe and recommend some great places for you to visit and bring back home some great memories.
Bali– the ultimate paradise on earth. This is an island known for its tranquility and is perfect for yoga and meditation retreats. Yet you can also find a vibrant nightlife in the beachside city of Kuta, while seminyak, Sanur and nusa day are popular for relaxing vacations. For the religious, cliffside Uluwatu temple is a must-visit to attain peace of mind and blessings.
Getting in and staying connected
International and Domestic: Ngurah Rai International Airport (Also known as DPS or Denpasar International Airport)
Planning to fly to Bali soon? Click here to check out the cheapest flights available.
Sea and Bus:
Ferries are available at Gilimanuk, operating 24 hours daily at 15 minute intervals. From there you can either switch to a taxi or a bus to get to Kuta, however we do not recommend this if you’re not staying for long as it will take you approximately 3 to 6 hours depending on road and weather conditions.
Of all the telcos available that we tried and tested, Simpati was the best as it gave us coverage even in the mountainous areas.
Price of sim cards: Approximately USD$0.60 to USD$5 depending on your package. (Daily, Weekly, Monthly.)
Sim cards are available in convenience stores such as Circle K, do take note that vendors may charge different prices in different shops, walk around a little and look for the best prices before purchasing if you’re not used to bargaining.
Important phone numbers:
Tourist Police +62 (0)361 – 7545 9922 4111
The climate and what to wear
What’s the weather like?
The best months to visit Bali to get a comfortable tropical experience will be between april and early-october due to the dryer seasons, as it is a tropical region, do expect the occasional rain which normally lasts between minutes to a couple of hours.
It is also advisable to get yourself loaded with sun lotion to prevent sunburns, which is readily available at any convenience store in Bali.
What to wear in Bali?
Get yourself comfortable, simple tees and a pair of good trekking shoes to explore around. Don’t forget a pair of slippers for the beach too!
Getting around Bali
Renting a motorbike:
In the popular tourist districts such as Kuta and Seminyak, motorbike rentals can be found easily. Daily rates start from around
- Daily: IDR30,000-50,000 or USD$3~
- Weekly: IDR200,000-250,000 or USD$16~
- Monthly: IDR650,000-750,000 or USD$58~
Speed limit: 50km/hour or 30mph
Note: According to locals’ advice, it is discouraged to rent as the police are often targeting foreigners for “fines”, be prepared to handover IDR30,000 to 50,000 should you be stopped as quickly as possible before the police calls for any backups, otherwise you’ll have more “fines” to pay.
The roads can be pretty unpredictable and with pot holes everywhere, it is relatively safe to ride within upbuilt areas, but from what I observed while getting to far places, other vehicles tend to squeeze their way through to overtake.
And if you do get a bike, be prepared for an adventure! Getting around will be extra convenient and up to your own pace. I didn’t have to wait for a taxi, or get ripped off by Blue Bird Taxi imitations.
Taxis are readily available everywhere and are relatively cheap, always make sure that the meter is turned on, walk out and find another taxi if the driver refuses to comply.
Tip: Look for Blue Bird Taxis only
Price of a taxi ride: Approximately IDR7000 Base fare + IDR7000/km (USD$0.50~ + USD$0.50~)
Uber and Grab available, but it is not recommended for your safety as taxi mafias are against its practices and policies, you’ll also not be able to alight at most establishments, your driver will likely drop you off a distance away and you’ll have to walk.
- Most stunning: Blue Points Beach
- Secluded: Green Bowl Beach
- Most accessible yet quiet: Pandawa Beach
- Nicest sunset: Kuta Beach
My favourite beach of all, Blue Point Beach (Map location), conveniently located just 3km north of Uluwatu Temple, visiting both places in a single afternoon is highly recommended.
Blue Point beach is the most chill-out place in my opinion, the strong ocean winds cools you down despite how sunny it is usually. There were also no street hustlers disturbing my peace unlike Kuta Beach.
It will take you just approximately 30-45 minutes to ride a motorcycle from Kuta, 60-90 minutes on a car due to bad traffic (all the time).
You’ll have to pay a toll of 5000 IDR, which is about USD$0.35 to enter Blue Point. Fortunately the tourist in front of me accidentally paid for mine and I got in for free. 🙂
Parking for cars can be problematic but not for motorcycles, there’s an area right next to the entrance of the beach that is specially allocated for motorbikes, you can park your bike as long as there’s an empty slot to squeeze in.
The only nightmare is trying to find your bike when leaving….as all the bikes looked the same.
Right at the entrance is the popular Single Fin Bar which sits on top of the cliff, overlooking the magnificents
A bird’s eye view of the place.
Several different angles to sit and chill like how Faizal does.
There are several caves below which are accessible during low tides as you can see from this angle. The tides were too high for me to head down and explore during my visit.
Inaccessible during high tides.
Blue point beach is also one of the most popular place to surf as the waves stretch out hundreds of metres out in the ocean, I didn’t see any life guards on duty at that area, so surf at your own risk.
A photo by another user of Flickr, showing how the bottom of Blue Point’s beach is during low tides.
Green Bowl Beach (Location)
The least favourite beach of my list, that doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. I personally look for fun, beer and especially a clean toilet. From my few hours of observation on the weekend, there were barely more than 10-20 people who came here, making it a more peaceful, less touristy beach to hang around.
A place you wouldn’t want to be when a tsunami strikes, the only way to escape is to climb back up hundreds of stairs.
Though there’s practically no facilities like proper toilets, bars or restaurants available (Except a few hawkers and hustlers at the carpark), you can expect better privacy at the beach as not many people come here.
And oh, bring your own surfboard, I didn’t see any rentals available for any activities at all.
Pandawa Beach (Location)
In the past, Pandawa beach was hidden with difficult route to access as it was surrounded by stone cliffs, only the locals could do it as they were fishermen or seaweed farmers who frequented the area.
Today, the stone cliffs were broken to make ways for roads to be access by any vehicles, making it easier for visitors to access. It takes about 30-45minutes to reach from Kuta via a motorbike, 45-60 minutes by car/bus.
The beach has plenty of food/drinks stalls to patronise but still lacks modern facilities like clean toilets.
Amenities and food available right outside the carpark towards the beach.
Hundreds of metres of comfortable beach benches to chill on, do note that they are for customers only, you’ll be allowed to sit as long as you order anything, like a can of coke.
Beautiful long stretch of fine white sand and clear sea waters.
Here you can have simple “home-cooked” style of fresh fish.
or a simple plate of Mee Goreng (Stir-fried instant noodle.)
Have a romantic walk along the beach with your loved one, or a walk by yourself if you’re single.
Kuta Beach If you’re not an adventurous person or just want to relax where it’s most convenient without much travelling, then Kuta beach is the perfect place for you. It is literally walking distance from most accommodations in Kuta and it stretches all the way north towards the district of Seminyak. There’s probably like a hundred makeshift bars selling bloody ice cold piss. It’s pretty amazing how they even provide wifi at such a place and the internet speed was pretty decent too. Bintang beer was only 30 000IDR (USD$1.30~) Our bartender also happened to be a surfing instructor, for just 50 000IDR, you get to have an hour private lesson on surfing. What a way to earn extra income. 🙂 Also, there were plenty of lifeguards stationed at Kuta beach, making it safer to swim and surf. At about 5:30pm, the sun begins to set directly in front of us, with nothing blocking its glory. The skies were literally illuminated like this, an amazing spot to meditate and get your breath taken away. This is pretty much a daily scene in Kuta/Seminyak.
Ready to fly to your next surfing adventure? Check out the cheapest and most convenient flights on Skyscanner here