Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

If you’re reading this, you’re probably planning a trip or have already booked your ticket to Bali! Congratulations because you’re already one step closer to paradise… Since my third trip to Bali in May, I have been getting a lot of questions from people who plan to go there. So I decided to put together my ultimate guide about tips, things to avoid, where to eat, stay and visit in Bali! This is perfect for both first-timers and seasoned travellers to the island.

TIPS + THINGS TO AVOID

1. The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah, make sure to count the zeros in your cash notes before you pay so you don’t accidently over pay!

2. The local language is Bahasa Indonesian but English is widely spoken in Bali and Balinese people are always very nice and helpful.

3. SIM cards- the airport should have SIM card available to purchase upon arrival

4. The Bali airport is always busy, so expect to be waiting in line for immigration and the way out of the airport. Once you’re out of the airport, it’s very simple to get a cab or arrange a car pick up before you land to save you some time.

5. We learnt this the hard way but don’t ever do the same mistake we did! At the Bali airport, there will be lots of people waiting around. They will usually approach you and ask how you’re doing and try to help you with your suitcases. Don’t ever allow these people at the airport to carry or roll your luggage for you even if they insist. Usually the least cash you can get out of an airport ATM is 100,000 idr (US$7). So unless you want to pay US$7 for each person who carries your bag for 1 minute to your car or taxi, don’t allow people to ”help” you carry your bags out of the airport.

6. Market haggling is allowed- try going for half price and don’t settling for the full price unless you don’t mind.

7. There is so much to do on the island but for first timers with limited time, 1 week is sufficient to experience a glimpse of what Bali has to offer. It’s easy to spent 2-3 weeks especially if you decide to explore the northern or southern tip of Bali or outlaying island around Bali.

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

GETTING AROUND
Getting around Bali can be hectic and stressful due to the lack of paved roads in certain areas. It’s also very normal to be stuck in traffic so don’t be surprised when you’re on the road. Here are a few options:

  1. Taxi Blue Bird
    This is good to catch whenever but not as accessible in more remote places of Bali (it’s not easy to find these in Ubud compared to Seminyak for instance)
  2. Hire a Bali Driver for a day
    This is a good option if there are more than 2 of you and you have a full day packed with activities around the island.
  3. Scooter
    Quite easy to hire one from your hotel and ideal if one of you knows how to drive and want to get to places quicker especially in the traffic. Always remember to wear a helmet and make sure to have your driver’s license (or a copy) with you.

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

 

WHERE TO STAY
Bali is heaven for vacationers of all budgets. You can easily find beautiful Airbnb villa for under 100 USD to luxury 5 star hotels and exclusive retreats tucked away in the jungle or on a clifftop. I have listed all the best places to stay in Bali based on area and pricing.

$- HK$ 400-1000
           $$-  HK$1000-2000
          $$$- HK$2000 and above

Canggu

Ubud

  • Bamboo Eco Cottage (Airbnb) $
    Located in a secluded area in Ubud, right in the middle of the rice fields. The cottage has no doors so be prepared to live as one with nature.
    Read my full blogpost on Bali Airbnb’s here
  • Hideout Bali (Airbnb) $$
  • Bisma Eight, Ubud $$$
  • Como Uma, Ubud $$$
  • Hanging gardens, Ubud $$$
  • Padma Ubud $$$
    Padma Resort Ubud is the perfect place to spend a few days where you can relax without a care in the world.
    Read my full review on this hotel here

Seminyak

  • The Apartments Umalas $
  • Alila Seminyak $$$
    This is the perfect location to be in the center of the hustle and bustle of Bali. The hotel is very accessible to local cafes and shop yet secluded enough to be right next to the beach and a great spot to enjoy a magnificent sunset at the bar or one of the 5 sophisticated pools on the property.
    Book your next stay here.
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Legian

  • The Akmani $$

Sanur

  • Maison Aurelia $$
  • Klumpu Bali Resort  $$
  • The Alantara Sanur $$
  • The Pavilions  $$$
    The Pavilions Bali is located on the southeast side of the island. Conveniently situated in the prime location of Sanur, the resort itself is hidden within the hustle and bustle of the city. Our pool villa is set in the tropical gardens with variety of spacious lounging options indoors as well as outdoors, with a sundeck and lounging beds facing the intimate pool and lush green. The boutique resort has a total of 25 villas, each distinctively designed and decorated to offer a unique experience to each of its guest.
    Read my full review on this hotel here

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Jimbaran

  • Jamahal Private Resort & Spa $$$
    We stayed at the garden suite villa during our first night at the resort, outside the villa was a sundeck that led directly out to the main pool I love how the rooms were so spacious and airy with wide sliding doors to go in and out of the villa.
    Read my full review on this hotel here

Uluwatu

  • De Sapphire Cliff Villa $
  • Le Grande Bali $
  • U Tube Hotel & Spa $
  • Le Bamboo Bali- Outdoor Bamboo experience $
  • Dreamsea Bali $
  • The Surf and Stay, Bingin (Airbnb) $
  • Pinkcoco Bali $
  • Sal secret Spot, Bingin $$
  • Banyan Tree Ugasan $$$

Nusa Lembogan

  • The Acala Lembongan $
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

WHERE TO EAT
One thing for sure is that Bali is very vegan, gluten free and vegetarian friendly. Everywhere you go will served you the freshest fruits, vegetables and all things healthy and delicious!  There are also a lot of options to choose from western to local Balinese cuisine at very affordable prices (read CHEAP). Because of the huge influence Australian tourists in Bali, coffee and café culture also plays a huge part in Bal, so make sure to check some of them out!

 

Canggu

  • Hujan Locale
  • Organic cafe (Vegan)
  • Little Flinders (Vegan)
  • Peloton Supershop (Vegan)
  • Watercress Café (Vegan)
  • Milk & Madu (all day breakfast/ superfood/ vegan/ burger)
  • Bottega Italiana (Authentic Italian meals)
  • Salumeria (Italian meals, tapa style)
  • Shady Shack (American)
  • Milu by Nook (Western/ Asian Cuisine)
  • Give Café (Healthy café)

 

Seminyak

  • Motel Mexicola, Seminyak (Mexican)
  • Revolver Expresso (good coffee)
  • Garden Bistro (glasshouse resto/ nice dessert)
  • Sisterfield (Aussie cafe)
  • Spicy coconut  (breakfast + smoothie bowls)
  • Nalu bowls (Açia bowl)
  • Bambu Resturant (Local cuisine)
  • Kynd community (Vegan)
  • Coffee Cartel Bali (Healthy Café)
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Ubud

  • Sari Organik (really nice organic Balinese food)
  • Folk cafe
  • Casa Luna
  • Herb Library (Vegetarian)
  • Akasha Restaurant & Juice Bar (Great interior & Chills spot)
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Jimbaran

  • Balique (Local & Western)
  • Ayana Rock Bar (Drinks at sunset- but need to queue up)

 

Chill/ Bar:

  • Parachute Bali (Bakery/ Market/ Dining)
  • Karma Beach Club (Located in a hidden beach)
  • La Favela, Badung (Forest/ antique vibe/ Spanish food)
  • La Plancha, Seminyak (Colourful beanbags/ spanish/ bar/ Sunset! / Beach)
  • La Laguna, Canggu (Bohemian bliss/ sunset)
  • La Finca, Canggu (Bamboo/ Mediterranean vibe/ Spanish food)
  • Potato Head, Seminyak (bar and resturant)
  • Finn’s Beach Club, Berawa beach
  • Micks place, Bingin

 

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

WHERE TO GO
Bali is not a small island, so there are endless places to discover and explore; from shopping, surfing to chasing waterfalls and sunrise volcano hikes. As you go up further north, there are endless hidden waterfalls waiting to be explored.

Seminyak

  • KimSoo (Shop)

Nusa Dua

  • Bali Collection (Shop)

Ubud

  • Tegallalung rice terrace (sight see)
  • Tegenungan waterfalls (sight see + swim)
  • Air Terjun Tibumana waterfall (swim)
  • Ubud art market (Shopping)
  • Ubud Water Palace (sight see)
  • Campuhan ridge walk
  • Sacred Monkey forest
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Bangli

  • Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Uluwatu

  • Uluwatu temple (sight see at Sunset)
  • Monkey forest (sight see)
  • Tanah Lot temple (sight see at low & high tide)

Eastern Bali

  • Mount Batur (Hike up for sunrise)
  • Tirta Gangga
  • Taman ujuna Karang Asem
  • Amed beach (snorkeling and diving)
  • Virgin Beach
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Northern Bali

  • Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
  • Gitgit waterfall
  • Sekumpul waterfall
  • Banyumala twin waterfall
  • Mount Batur (Hike up for sunrise)
  • Tirta Gangga
  • The Secret Gardens of Sambangan
  • Aling- Aling Waterfall
  • Golden Valley Waterfall (Munduk Waterfall)
  • Gobleg Waterfall
  • Kroya Waterfall

 

Outlaying Islands

  • Nusa Penida
  • Lombok
  • Selong Belanak beach, Lombok

 

My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018
My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018 My Ultimate Bali Guide 2018

Have you been to Bali? What else would you want to see in the next guide?

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3 Comments

  1. September 10, 2018 / 1:47 am

    I have just discovered your blog, and I love this article . I am planning a trip to Bali and this is so helpful. Thank you !

  2. November 28, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    These are the nice photographs at Bali beach, I am going to plan a nice trip to bali.

    • November 28, 2018 / 7:34 pm

      Yes do go to Bali! It’s so worth the trip. I’m already daydreaming my next trip there hopefully soon!

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