The most populair island from Indonesia is Bali. The idyllic island became known because of the book “Eat Pray Love” and the same named movie based on that book. As a result, Bali got a tourism boost and some parts of the island even got transformed into places where luxury ressorts rule the mace. The further you get away from the Ngurah Rai airport, the closer you get to the soul of Bali: an island full of culture, friendly people, delicious food and an incredibly beautiful nature.
The island isn't very big, but there is so much to do and see that you definitely will need a week to explore this divine island. Go visit a couple of the beautiful temples, visit a coffee plantation and get lost around the green rice fields. Bali justly got named the island of gods.

Pura Uluwatu in Bali.

Pura Uluwatu in Bali.

  Average costs

Stay – Accommodation in Bali is dirt cheap. A hostel only costs about €6 to €7 a night ($7 to $9), or in the local currency 75,000 en 90,000 Indonesian Rupiah. For a single room, with lots of luxury, you’ll only pay double. Luxurious ressorts start at 300,000 IRP a night.
In Bali you can also rent spacious and luxurious vacation houses. They start at 24 euros or 26 US dollars a night (350,000 IRP). Cheaper is definitely possible, but then you might lose your private swimming pool.

A broad list of accommodation and pricing can be found here.

Eat – Delicious food for unseen prices. The center of Kuta and Ubud are probably most expensive, but even then it is very cheap. For less than five euro’s, you can eat a delicious meal, and for only two euros ($2,5) more, you even get dessert and a soda. You can’t do better than that! In Indonesian Rupiah this would be about 110,000.

Transport  “Transport? Transport?” From the moment you arrive on the airport, the words “taxi”, “transport” and “car” will not leave your ears. It is the best way to get around in Bali. You support the locals and it always is quite cheap. You can choose between a car of a motorcycle. Motorcycles are a lot cheaper, but less comfortable when your having a backpack with you.
Always try to negotiate the original price. Play a little hard, because eventually they almost always agree with a fair proposal.
From the airport to Ubud you should pay anything in betwee 150,000 and 200,000 IRP (€10,5 – €14) (Prices are from 2015). From the airport to Kuta City you shouldn’t pay more than 50,000.

Activities  There are plenty of things to do and see while you’re visiting Bali. Booking in advance is a good idea, but definitely not a must. For smaller events, such as dance shows or visiting temples you’ll pay around 100,000 and 350,000 IRP. If you book the activities in Bali itself, you can sometimes get a lower price by haggling a little bit with the vendor.

Balinese danseres.

Balinese dance.

  Saving money

Haggle  In Bali you can always haggle. There is no such things as fixed prices (except for restaurants). Taxi’s, markets and even small shops charge you way more than what you’ll pay eventually. Always try to haggle. This way, you can divide the original price in two in many cases.

Don’t drink alcohol – Alcohol is in comparison with other costs really expensive in Bali. For Europeans and Americans a beer of two, three euro might not seem a lot, but if you know your whole lunch is as costly as that, I think it’s a little out of proportion.

Rijstvelden in Bali.

Rice fields in Bali.

  Do’s

Temples  Go visit the many temples of this divine island. Most of the time they are located quite a while from each other, but there are a couple you just have to see.
Definitely go see Pura Uluwatu (the temple on the cliff), Pura Ulun Danu (the floating temple) and the Tanah Lot sea temples. Tirta Empul isn’t really a temple, but looks a little like it and is definitely something you should also see.

Rice fields – The rice fields of Bali have the most amazing colour of green that I ever saw. Let yourself be hypnotised by the miles long rice fields and descend or climb this big source of revenue in Bali. Beautiful to see!

Ubud  Flee from Kuta to Ubud as fast as you can. The cultural center of Bali. From Ubud, you’re also a lot more central lying to go see all other sights and do certain activities. Ubud is a quiet community with lots of backpackers and other tourists. During evenings and nights there is a cosy atmosphere in the cute and delicious restaurants.

Campuhan Ridge Walk From Ubud it will only take you a couple of minutes walking or biking to the Campuhan Ridge. Go right from the temple and climb all the way up. Once you’ve arrived you’ll find yourself standing on a small ledge surrounded by beautiful jungle landscapes and cloudy mists. Try to come here during sunset or sundown for beautiful pictures.

Balinese dance  Go see one of the cultural dance shows. Most of the times, a Hindu story gets portrayed with the unique form of dance and the uplifting Balinese music. Beautiful costumes and emotions!

Looking at monkeys  If you go see some temples, you’ll probably see some small primates. Most of the times they don’t give a lot of attention the tourists… Unless you have a bottle of water, food or something else in your backpack. The monkeys aren’t affraid of anything and won’t mind stealing your delicious fruits! (True story!)

A whole hord of these little creatures can be seen in the Ubud Monkey Forest. Only a couple of minutes walking from the center of Ubud.

Mangosteen  If there’s one fruit I fell in love with in Bali, it is the mangosteen. The mangosteen is a dark red, colourful fruit that, when opened, looks like a slimy, albino tangerine. Looks deceive, because when you eat this piece of fruit it seems like you’re tasting the divine taste of diamonds.

Nusa Lembongan  Escape the Bali tourism and make a side trip to Nusa Lembongan, an island in the east of Bali. Surf tourism, diving and snorkelling are at their best in this location.

Mount Batur  Wake up at three o’clock in the morning, mount the sleeping volcano and experience the most beautiful sunset from your life. After that, you have the right to be tired and wondering how you ever got here, climbing in complete darkness. Definitely take good hiking shoes with you for this and don’t forget to take some warm clothes with you that you can easily put away if necessary. Nights are cold, but it heats up quite quickly again.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

   Don’ts

Short stay – There’s just too much to see in Bali. A week is the minimum to explore this Indonesian island. A week is the absolute minimum. But if you want a truly relaxed vacation, a couple of days extra wouldn’t be a bad idea. Definitely don’t let people stress you at this relaxing island.

Kuta If you just want to party, Kuta is a good destination. Besides that, Kuta is disgusting. It’s full of pushy sales people and there’s literally nothing left from the original Balinese culture. Instead, go see Ubud and organise your own trip through the rest of Bali.

Drugs Drugs is an absolute no in Bali. In Bali, you’ll get sentenced to death when using or selling.

Losing time at haggling – Sometimes sales people or taxi drivers just don’t want to give you a good deal and it’s just better that you walk away. There’s plenty of shops, tourist agencies and drivers who will take you for the cheaper price. If you walk away and you persevere, most people will yet accept fair offers.

Tampaksiring, de heilige bron.

Tampaksiring, the holy spring.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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