Sunday, April 24, 2016

Going to Bali? Here are some answers and tips (Part II)

Thanks for coming back for Part II, if you haven't seen Part I, it mostly covers places to stay, if you should stay in more than 1 resort, and easiest way to pack in such case.

In this entry, I will cover places to eat, things to do, places to visit, transportation and how to handle your money!

Question 6: What and where should we eat?
Answer: You have to try the different exotic fruits they had, I tried Durian (oh my god, never again, but our guide was in love with it). Mangosteen (my favorite, I hope you go there during its season). Snake skin (good as well, don't let the name scare you).

Breakfast in RIMBA hotel - AYANA Resort


4 main restaurants really stood out for me in Ubud:

1) Cafe Wayan & Bakery - Monkey forest road
What stood out: Amazing food, amazing atmosphere, very positive!
What to eat: I had the prawn a la ketu dish, very delicious.




2) Bridges restaurant - Near Blanco Renaissance Museum
What stood out: Amazing and intelligent service, super delicious food, classy restaurant, sweet atmosphere, pretty view!
What to eat: Okay don't judge me, but I also had the salmon + prawn and it was super good :)

Would I be exaggerating if I said I want to travel back to have this dish?

3) River View Restaurant - Ubud (close to Museum Puri Lukisan)
What stood out: Just look at the picture below and you will get it!
What to eat: They have a mixed appetizer and make sure you try that banana dessert.

That banana dessert which name I can't remember!

Our table at River view restaurant

River view restaurant

4) Loji Cafe Ubud
What stood out: Local / Family / Beautiful view of Rice Terraces
What to eat: Nasi Goreng if you're a lover of rice! And the soup with chicken balls.

Nasi Goreng at Loji Cafe Ubud
Near Loji Cafe Ubud overlooking Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Question 7: What type of activities can we do? Art? Yoga? Party Party?
  • Rafting: Even if you've done rafting before, don't skip it in Bali, what makes it special is the scenery of the forest while you're going through the river. It's around 2 hours and totally worth it.
  • Art: If you're an Art lover, you might find the history of how Blanco Renaissance Museum was made to be intriguing. The artist came from Spain and is known for his eccentricity.
  • Yoga: I did Yoga in two of the resorts I stayed in, and tried an Ashtanga similar session at the Yoga Barn, it was amazing! The teacher was over there for the Bali Spirit Festival.
  • Traditional Balinese Dance Performance: Many temples actually offer such performances. We saw it at Ubud Kelod Community Hall and it was just perfect and beautiful. I cannot stress enough the importance of watching such a performance. They will give you a brochure, make sure you reach the explanation of each dance before they start.
  • Sacred Monkey Forest: I mean, you can't go to ubud and not visit the monkeys :)
  • Bali Spirit Festival: They're going to announce the 2017 dates soon, I would suggest you build your trip around it, it was quite a fun festival, and hippies all around. I love hippies, they're all happy and chill. And they had a foot massage tent (massage was 3$), I did it twice!
  • Tea and Coffee Plantation: we visited Abian Sari Agrowisata, there are many similar ones on the way, choose your pick. Worth it! My preference was the coconut coffee and the Ginseng.
  • Local Markets: To be honest, I went to the Sayan one near Bambu Indah resort, it was alright. It just is like any other Sunday market where people shop for cheap stuff. I did have some weird sweet drink though "Tersedia Bubur Angsle". You should try it! It's... weird, but I guess you will finish the whole thing.
  • Trekking: You're in a forest, go trek! If you're around Bambu Indah, you can trek down to the river, it's quite a nice one.
  • Swimming: Most resorts have a pool, if you're by the beach in Denpasar and Seminyak you should swim there as well. If you want to swim in a natural pool, head and stay in Bambu Indah (check my previous post about where to stay). 
  • Tattoo? Check out the place I went to, clean and very affordable: BaliNamaste Tattoo
  • Foot massages: I cannot recommend this enough. You can get them anywhere in Ubud Center, half an hour for 3-4$ :)
  • Party: The party capital is Kuta.
Morning meditation at Kupu Kupu Barong resort

Yoga Barn Studio

An offering that all shops and temples have at their entrances for good blessing.

Sometimes chilling is an activity!

Me after hitting my leg with the scooter and guide laughing at me!

Tea & Coffee Tasting at Plantation

Instrumental of the Balinese Traditional Dance Performance

Balinese Traditional Performance

Trekking in Sayan - Ubud

Seen at Monkey Sacred Forest

That weird drink I told you about :P

Traditional Balinese Performance

Question 8: What should we visit?
  • Museum Puri Lukisan
  • Puri Saren Ubud
  • Pura Rirta Empul (Holy Water Temple) - this was my favorite
  • Pura Goa Gajah
  • Tanah lot temple
  • Pura Gunung Kawi and on the way you get to see Batur Volcano Mountain (Kintamani)
  • Tegallalang Rice Terraces
  • Tegenungan waterfall
Ubud Palace
Elephant's Cave aka Pura Goa Gajah
Cleansing from sins at the Holy Water Temple
Pura Gunung Kawi
Museum Puri Lukisan

Reach out to our guide, Gusti Putu Bawa who would be more than happy to show you around for a modest fee. He's very trustworthy, kind and funny. Let me know if you're interested and I will pass you his number.

Meet Gusti - our trusted guide! Please let me know if you want to contact him so I can give you his number.

Kintamani volcano mountain

Question 9: What about transportation?
  • Hotel shuttles: If they're available use them. Because finding a taxi in Ubud center isn't that abundant and it will take you a while.
  • Uber: Very rare! You can't really rely on it.
  • Scooter taxis: Very abundant, but no helmet. Maybe do it for short distances, but not long ones and not at night. The city was super safe, but I would still be careful.
  • Scooter rental: if you're comfortable riding a scooter, you should do that, specially if you want to spend the day out visiting places. One caveat is that they drive on the left side!
Take me back to Bali!
Question 10: How much budget should we set aside? Cash or Credit Card? Where to convert?
I stayed in Bali for 8 days and spent 7 nights in quite impressive resorts (the first 4 shared in this list), so I spent a total of 1,200$ including accommodation (half the budget), transport, food, festival, museum & temple entrances, souvenirs & gifts, massages, activities... I definitely recommend you take enough cash and convert there as it has a better rate (you can find 100$ to be 13,000 Indonesian Rupia). Withdrawing from an ATM at a foreign bank is not a very good idea in general because most of the time you pay hefty fees and you have a limit on withdrawal per time.

* I wasn't ask to write about any of the restaurants or things to do or places to visit. These are merely my personal recommendations. Enjoy Bali and let me know if you have any questions. I loved it there, one of my favorite trips ever and hopefully will go there again!

Till the next one.

FROM BALI WITH FUNK.

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