If you read my previous post where I shared my 1-day itinerary in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, then you already know that this is the final country we visited on our 16-day Asia trip that spanned 4 countries and 6 cities! As mentioned, we had started and ended our trip in Singapore because it was the cheapest way to travel to Asia from Canada (Toronto specifically). We had decided to spend 3 days in Bali just to get a taste of the city while we were on this side of the world. To get to Bali, we flew from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via Air Asia.
Here is some general information of our time in Bali, Indonesia:
Transportation from the Airport to our Hotel: We had arrived to Bali International Airport Airport (DPS) at around 1AM. Since we had arrived really late at night, I decided to book a round trip taxi service which cost about $33 CAD. Luckily, we had our international SIM (more details below) since we needed access to WhatsApp to reach our taxi driver. You could also take a grab or a taxi, but after reading about the taxi service in Bali (more specifically the taxi mafia), I was a bit weary and was more comfortable with the taxi service.
Transportation in and around Bali: Bali itself is quite large and there are many areas where you can stay. We stayed in the Kuta area. We chose this location because we were able to walk to the beach, restaurants and the mall. However, when we took our day trip to Ubud, we did book a private taxi which was convenient because we got to see many things in and around Ubud.
WIFI Access: I will leave the same comments as my previous post as it is still relevant here. Connection was only available in our hotel room and some public establishments. To get around this, what I have done in the past, and also implemented on this trip, was to load our itinerary on Google maps and download the map for offline navigation. This method works most of the time, however sometimes the GPS gets confused and doesn’t know where you and ends up restarting. You end up having to use the map the old way (aka without a GPS and finding your own directions like a traditional map). However, I do recommend just purchasing an international SIM card that you can use and be connected to at all times (if you need to). Personally, for me, I preferred to be connected the entire time since the offline google maps kept restarting and was unable to locate us. It is also useful if you plan on using Grab while in the city. This was the first time travelling internationally where we had purchased an international SIM to be able to be connect to internet and I must say that now I am a converted. The international SIMs are very affordable and offer a lot of data (we would also turn it off if we were going to be in a given location for an extended amount of time to preserve data and batter power) and we were able to use the same SIM for the remainder of our entire trip in all of the other countries. We did end up using 3 different types of connection, but I recommend the last option so that you can be connected the entire time:
- International SIM (purchased at the airport) – Once we left Singapore and arrived to Phuket Airport, there were lots of boots that were selling international SIMs. We ended up purchasing one of these at a booth called Smile and they connected it for me – it was super easy to use however kind of confusing because I couldn’t understand how much data I had left so we used it sparingly during our visit in Phuket and Chiang Mai. Because we paid in cash, I unfortunately do not recall how much we spent, but it was definitely less than $10 CAD.
- Rented WIFI Device – I had actually rented a device when we were in Singapore for our visit in Bangkok since we were going to be here for 3 days without any excursions. We rented a pocket WIFI which we picked up at the BBK airport via Klook. In total it cost $26 for the 3 days (which at the time we thought was a bargain) – they do have to hold a deposit which is refundable once you return the device, so make sure you have enough cash to avoid the change in exchange rates on your credit card. It was also not clear how much data we had but I think it was unlimited. I didn’t mind the hand held device since we had used one when we visited Tokyo, however I definitely would recommend an international SIM when possible.
- International SIM (purchased online and picked up at airport) – After doing more research while in Bangkok and realizing that the convenience of being connected to data became a growing need, which was already 6 days into our trip, I did more research on Klook. I found SIMs available for 15 countries in South East Asia, which meant that for the remainder of our trip (still 7 days), we could be connected in all of the countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore) and not have to worry about finding WIFI. We found a great deal with the SIM only costing $8.90 for 4GB of data from Klook. This option ended up being the best because not only is it a one-time purchase (no need to return anything like we had for the rented WIFI device), but you can actually download an app that came in English that tracked how much data you had. If you did go over the allotted data, you had to option of adding more data if necessary. I really liked the convenience and visibility of this option the best and felt in full control.
Hotel in Bali:
We stayed at the White Rose Kuta Resort. We had different expectations since the previous 10 days were spent at hotels in the city, so it was a very nice change of pace staying at a resort. We had never stayed at a resort in South East Asia before and didn’t realize that it is very similar to staying at resorts in the Caribbean. Even though we arrived very late, at around 1:30 AM, there was someone at the front desk to greet us. I really liked the villa feel of the resort, and it was quite large that you didn’t really run into other patrons on the premises. They also had a lovely breakfast buffet that was included in our room rate. I enjoyed the congee, noodles and fresh fruit every morning of our stay. We had also visited the spa on our last day which was actually quite affordable and very relaxing. The location of the resort is great as well – they had security that checked all of the cars and vans coming in and you could only enter if you were actually a guest of the resort. It was also in walking distance to the beach and restaurants. We really enjoyed our stay here and would highly recommend in the future.
Budget: We had budgeted $88 CAD cash per day, which was meant to be used for food, transportation and shopping. We knew credit card wouldn’t be readily available in most establishments so we carried more cash than Thailand. Again, I also used Budget your Trip to gauge how much expenses to expect per day. See below for the breakdown of our actual expenses (keep in mind this is for 2 people):
- Airfare from Kuala Lumpur to Bali for 2 people: $300
- Hotel: $197 (for 3 nights)
- Cash (mostly for meals): $265 CAD
- Meals (on credit card): $85
- Shopping and other expenses (on credit card, which includes our excursion, souvenirs and laundry): $258
- Transportation (credit card): $33 (Shuttle taxi)
- Total cost of trip for 3 days: $1138
Excluding airfare, we actually spent $280 per day, or $139 a person. If we exclude the cost of the excursion, laundry and souvenir (we bought a painting), we actually only spent $97 per day per person, which is closer to the $88 per day approximation found on Budget your Trip, however we did splurge on some of our meals which we charged to our credit card, so I still highly recommend this website as a great resource in budget planning.
See below for the full details. Don’t forget to also check out some highlights from our trip (video above).
For the itineraries from the other areas we visited, see below:
Since we arrived after midnight, our first day was a true full day and we intended to take full advantage of it. Since our hotel included breakfast, we decided to walk over to Kuta beach right after breakfast to take advantage of the morning. From our hotel, it was less than a 10-minute walk. The beach itself is huge and even though it was really sunny, we had a nice breeze. We spent about 2 hours here relaxing and soaking up all of the sun.
Around 11:30 AM we were getting hungry for lunch so we decided to walk around to look for a place to eat. We stumbled upon Paper Boy. We loved that they had vegan options and a patio where we could sit outside and enjoy the sun. It is beautifully decorated and the owner came and spoke to us for a bit as well. We each ordered a smoothie and shared an avocado toast and tofu poke bowl. I highly recommend visiting here.
After lunch, we walked around a bit for some sight seeing and also went back to Kuta beach. We have planned to visit the Bali Sea Turtle Society where they release baby sea turtles back into the ocean daily, however this was later in the afternoon. You will need to follow their facebook group to get the exact times and days they release the baby turtles as it can vary based on how many turtles hatched. The day we were going to visit, it was scheduled to start at 4:30 PM however it was recommended that we arrive 1 hour before since it is first come first serve. When we arrived, there was already a huge crowd of people. It is a lottery system that they had set up, and everything is by donation so you have to line up and wait until they hand out tickets to be able to participate in releasing the baby turtles. I also really liked that while we were waiting, they also demonstrated how they wait for the turtles to hatch and provided background on why they are an endangered species.
After releasing the sea turtles, we went back to the hotel to wash up before heading over to Gabah Restaurant for dinner. Gabah was on the higher end and we ended up paying for our dinner with credit card, but it was well worth it. We had their Sayur Mebrata, which is a vegetarian dish, as well as their Ayam Betutu.
When we had planned to come to Bali, I knew I wanted to spend a day visiting Ubud. When researching, it was recommended that we spend the night here however since our time was limited, we opted for a day tour. We booked our tour through Get your Guide and it included a visit to the Waterfall, Rice Terraces and Monkey Forest, to name a few.
We hadn’t realized this but the tour ended up being a guided private tour. Our driver picked us up at our hotel at 9 AM and we began our trip to Ubud. We really like the idea of having a driver since they’re able to give us history and background information of the sites we were going to visit.
Our first stop was to visit the Tegenungan Waterfall. It is quite touristy here with lots of shops and photo ops. We had the option of bringing our bathing suits and swimming in the falls (which we did not do on this trip), however it was quite packed with other tourists. The falls itself are wonderful and it was a nice visit here. They also had monkeys on the premises playing in the water as well.
After a 30 minute visit to the waterfalls, we headed over to Teba Sari Bali Agrotourism where we learned about local herbs, spices, teas and coffee. It seemed that a lot of guides add this as a stop to their tour, which was quite informative and a nice break especially if you were swimming in the waterfalls. When we arrived, we were met by another private guide where he talked about the various trees and plants that were grown. After that he brought us to a shaded picnic bench where we got to have a tea and coffee tasting. We enjoyed this very much because we were able to bring back some tasty teas for our families to enjoy back in Canada.
After about a 45-minute visit, we headed to our private van. Since it was still pretty early for lunch, our tour guide asked us if we were interested in artwork. My husband has made it a goal to pick up a piece of art on every trip that we take, so we decided to opt for a visit at Semar Kuning Artist Cooperative. This place is huge with many different halls with different styles of paintings, ranging from modern to traditional. We picked up a traditional painting of an Indonesian dragon that cost about $100 (there is also room to bargain at these places). We were both quite pleased about this purchase and excited to hang it up in our home.
We headed straight over to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary before heading over to lunch. We learned that one of the reasons that the forest was built was to keep the monkeys safe after the area was industrialized. It was to prevent the monkeys from being harmed when roaming around Ubud looking for food – this way food is brought to them daily and they are left to roam free as they would in the wild. When visiting, our guide did warn us not to look the monkeys directly in the eyes as to not show aggression – it was also interesting to see how familiar all of the guides were with the monkeys, such as knowing that they love papaya leaves and will go through your bags looking for food.
For lunch, our guide dropped us off at Bebek Teba Sari Restaurant for about an hour. This restaurant was full of other tourists and was quite busy when we arrived. We did have to wait about 20 minutes before our food arrived, however we didn’t mind since our day was very busy so it allowed us time to relax and unwind. We were seated at the top level of the restaurant, which is set up almost like a tree house. We got to see the great views of the farm while we enjoyed our lunch.
After lunch, we headed over to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. It was actually very serene to see all of the greenery and flowers grown on the premises. There was also lots of tourist activities, such as biking or swinging over the rice terrace. Even though there were lots of other tourists, this place is huge with lots of paths that you can walk along. It was a great ending to the packed day that we had. After this, we headed back to our hotel where our day trip to Ubud ended.
After our day trip to Ubud, we decided to walk over to Warung Nusantara for dinner. Since we had an extravagant meal the night before, we were looking for a local restaurant with simple food that showcased what Bali had to offer. Most of the food here was fried, and it went really well with their hot sauce. The food was delicious, cheap and fast. It was a great way to end the day.
This was our last day in Bali. We had a return flight at 7:30 PM to Singapore, so we really only had a half day. We decided to head over the Kuta beach again after breakfast to soak up the last bit of Bali before leaving. After the beach, we headed over to the Beach Walk Shopping Mall for some well-deserved AC and exploring. This mall is huge and had lots of floors, with the top floor dedicated to food.
We spent about an hour here before heading over to Fat Chow for a late lunch. We had actually come here twice the day before to try to get a table for lunch and dinner but they were always packed. Because we came here at an odd time (around 2 PM), we didn’t have to wait at all. The food was so delicious and if we had more time here, I definitely would have visited again. I loved their fried shallot condiments so much that I brought back 3 jars for myself and my sister to enjoy.
After lunch, we headed back to our hotel where we had each booked a massage. The only thing I regret is not getting more massages while visiting South East Asia since we had done a lot of walking and would have benefited from more relaxation. After our massages, we headed over to the airport for our final trip to Singapore.