Indonesia (Bali)

What can I expect from Bali?

Bali is an island located in Indonesia situated to the east of Java Island which houses the capital, Jakarta. It is a popular holiday destination, particularly for Australians.

Bali is best known for it’s Bintang beer, lively bars and bustling nightlife as well as it’s iconic rice paddies, spectacular beaches, volcanoes and mountains. Bali really does have something to offer everyone.

The areas of Kuta and Legian are popular spots for surfers and party goers. Here, every night is party night and most bars and clubs are open until the early hours.

Seminyak is a little more relaxed however it has become much more popular with tourists in recent years. Seminyak has many private villas to stay in and there are a tonnes of delicious restaurants and top rated, yet affordable day spas.

Canggu is known as expat-ville and is a fairly new area to be visited by tourists. It is very ‘westernised’ which brings some incredible cafes and restaurants. This is also a popular spot for surfing and nightlife (but a little more classy).

Ubud is my absolute favourite area in Bali. It is located in the centre of Bali in the rainforest with rice terraces scattered all throughout the area. Ubud is one of the best destinations in the world for plant based food and is very popular for yoga and meditation retreats, spiritual experiences and overall relaxation.

The best time to travel to Bali is between May – September when the days are warm and sunny, and humidity is low. October – April is still do-able however it is the monsoon season and the humidity can make it unbearably warm if you’re out and about.

Things to See and Do in Bali

Visit world famous Kuta Beach
Spend a day shopping at boutique shops in Seminyak
Find a beach side bar to the watch the sunset
Do a sunrise hike to the top of Mt Batur
Visit Ubud's iconic rice terraces
Try a yoga class at Yogabarn Ubud
Eat local food at a warung
Take a day trip to an island off Bali
Volunteer with BAWA

“Candidasa, Bali”

“Mountains and rice paddies”

Typical Costs When Travelling

Accommodation – From hostels, to home stays, boutique hotels, villas and high end luxury hotels, Bali has accommodation types for all budgets. 3 star and above accommodation is generally of great value and usually clean and well maintained. Villas are very popular in Bali as pretty much most of them have private pools and some even come with a chef and butler! Home stays are also a popular option to experience local Bali life firsthand.

Food – Bali has some of the best plant based food on the planet. The coastal areas of Seminyak and Canggu have many cafes and restaurants with plant based options (many of these are actually run by expats). Ubud is the best area for plant based food. There are many entirely vegan cafes that are reasonably priced and make the most amazing food! Warungs are small locally owned and run Indonesian restaurants that offer delicious food including nasi goreng (fried rice) and mee goreng (fried noodles) among loads of other dishes.

Transportation – Without a doubt, the best way to get around Bali is to hire a scooter. These range in price depending on who and where you hire from but the approximate price is around 60,000 IDR per day. Note: driving on Indonesian roads can be challenging so it’s important you feel comfortable doing so, and ensure your travel insurance covers you in the event of an accident. Taxis are also a very popular way to get around, Blue Birds Taxis are the most reliable and least likely to rip you off – always ensure the meter is on when you get into a taxi.

Suggested daily budget – $100-$120 AUD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hotel, eating out for all meals and using a scooter to get around the island. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or consume a lot of alcohol, expect this to be higher!)

Money Saving Tips

Eat at warungs Warungs are small locally owned and run restaurants that offer local Indonesian dishes. These warungs are usually small and basic but if you find the best ones, they have some of the best food you'll eat in Bali. The food is usually very affordable, around approximately $2-$3 per dish and very reasonable in portions.
Learn to barter Bartering is common practice in most markets and shop stalls in Bali, even for the locals. Learning how to barter will help make sure you get the best price for an item rather than being ripped off and potentially paying double or triple the acceptable price. This can save you A LOT of money.
Hire a scooter This is the most affordable and convenient way to see the island. A scooter will usually cost around 60,00 IDR ($6 AUD) per day and petrol is very cheap. Taxis are also affordable but can add up quickly if you're using them a lot. Some hotels offer free shuttle services however many have a fee that costs more than a scooter or taxi - always check before booking.
Find the best exchange rate There are a lot of money exchange stores scattered around the tourist areas in Bali. The rates can vary quite significantly so have a look at a few stores before making a decision. Always make sure the money exchange has a sign saying 'authorised money changer' and that you don't get charged commission. Note: always count (double check) the money you've received after exchanging to ensure you have not been deceived.

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