A Guide to Bali, Indonesia

A Guide To Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its volcanoes, rice fields, beaches, coral reefs, lush jungle and yoga retreats.
guide to bali

Bali is one of the 18,306 islands of Indonesia and is situated between the islands of Java and Lombok. Indonesia or Tanah Air Kita meaning “our land and water” is the world’s largest archipelago.

Why you should go

Natural beauty

Bali has some pretty amazing sights including waterfalls, rice fields, jungles, coral reefs all waiting to be explored.

guide to bali

Outdoor Adventure

From hiking volcanoes, white water rafting and water sports there are lots adventures to be had for the active traveller.

Budget friendly

Bali is well suited for every budget, and no matter what the price you can enjoy the amazing atmosphere, people and experiences the island has to offer.

Traditional ways of life

It is very easy to immerse yourself in a little of this unique culture as there are colourful rituals and festivities to witness almost on a daily basis.guide to bali

Favourite Bali Travel Experiences

Hiking Mt Batur for sunriseguide to bali

Tegalalang Rice Fields

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Walk Campuhan Ridge Walk10406643_967944856586540_555854111838220252_n

Monkey Forestmonkeys forest

Bali Posts

SeminyakUbud / CangguNusa Lembongan

More Bali Posts

UBUD

About

Ubud “Medicine” in Sanskrit was once the centre for medicating the body and soul. To this day it still maintains some of this feel as yoga, meditation, natural surroundings and healthy places to eat. Located up in the mountains, and an hours drive north of the airport the scenery around here is just stunning.

How to get there

Ubud is located towards the middle of Bali and is around an hours and a half drive from Denpasar Airport. You can easily get a taxi at the airport, there is a fixed rate airport service otherwise most hotels offer a transfer service at a charge.
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Top things to do

Hike Mt Batur
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Kayak on Lake Batur
Monkey Forest
Tegalagang Rice Fields
Waterfall

Where to stay

Pertiwi Bisma 1
Surrounded by tropical foliage, two infinity pools overlooking the jungle and large, bright rooms Pertiwi Bisma 1 is a relaxing resort that is still close to the centre of Ubud, health cafes and a 20 minute motorbike ride to the rice fields.
Jl. Bisma, Ubud
Web / Facebook / TripAdvisor
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Bisma Eight

A luxury boutique hotel with infinity pool overlooking the jungle and a rooftop bar with beautiful gazebos and lanterns.
68 Jl. Bisma, Ubud
Web / Facebook / Instagram / TripAdvisor

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Nirwa Ubud Homestay

Nirwa Ubud Homestay is on my list for my next visit to Ubud. Located in the peaceful rice fields this is the perfect place to do some yoga and meditation. They also offer several tours to the elephant cave, temples, coffee plantations and hiking Mt Batur or Mt Agung.
Jl. Raya Campuhan, Ubud
Web / Facebook / TripAdvisor

Where to eat

Alchemy

Bali’s first 100% raw vegan café and juice bar. Make your own salads, a big range of smoothies, juices, raw desserts and a pretty large health food store.
Jl. Penestanan Klod No 75, Ubud

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Garden Kafe

Located at the Yoga Barn, the Garden Kafe use locally grown produce for their living vegan foods, juice, smoothies, raw snacks and dessert. A great place for a meal after yoga at the Yoga Barn.
Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud
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Yoga

Ubud Yoga House

A boutique yoga studio overlooking the rice terraces on the path to Sari Organic Restaurant. 15-minute walk through the rice paddies from the main road of Ubud (Campuhan Ridge Walk)
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Yoga Barn

The Yoga Barn is nestled amidst rice paddies, an organic farm & a jungle ravine with over 75 classes per week it is probably the biggest yoga studio in Ubud and probably the whole of Bali.

About

Canggu is a laid back coastal town between Seminyak and Tanah Lot with surf beaches and rice fields. It is an area that is still developing but is quite hipster like with health cafes and alternative music being played at bars.

How to get there & getting around

Canggu is 20 minutes drive north of Seminyak and around 45 minutes from the airport. There aren’t a lot of taxis in this area so it is easier to hire a private driver or a scooter. Some accommodation includes complimentary pick up.

Top things to do

Surf
Yoga
Ride a bike
Explore the rice fields
Eat at a health cafe

Where to stay

The Chillhouse Yoga & Surf Retreat
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Source: The Chillhouse
Jl Kubu Manyar 22, Br Pipitan, Canggu
Ayok Stay & Surf
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Jl. Munduk Catu, Canggu
Private villa with AirB&B
There are numerous options on Airb&b for private villas and townhouses overlooking rice fields and having their own pools.

Where to eat

Alkaline Restaurant
Mostly raw vegan, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free, there are plenty of meal options to have after your yoga class at Serenity.
Serenity Eco Guesthouse, Jl. Nelayan, Banjar Canggu
Nalu Bowls
The best smoothie bowls I have ever eaten. I had 3 bowls and the Uluwatu is definitely my favourite.
Jl. Batu Mejan #88 (Before Echo Beach on the right) Canggu
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Yoga

Yoga Shala
Yoga Shala have a HUGE amount of classes on offer including vinyasa, hatha, yin, surf fit and aerial yoga.
Serenity Eco Guesthouse, Jl. Nelayan, Banjar Canggu
Chillhouse
The Chillhouse has two yoga shalas and daily classes including SUP yoga in the pool.
Jl Kubu Manyar 22, Br Pipitan, Canggu

Nusa Lembongan

About
Just a 30 minute boat trip from Bali, Nusa Lembongan offers a slower pace than the main island of Bali, there are no hawkers and no traffic. Lembongan makes up one of three islands and is known for clear turquoise waters, diving, snorkelling, surfing and seaweed farming.
How to get there
There are a couple of companies that offer ferry services from Bali to Nusa Lembongan, Scoot Fast Ferries or Rocky Fast Cruises.
Top things to do
Snorkelling & Diving
Yoga
Surfing
Visit the seaweed farms
Enjoying a drink at the Deck
Zipline across a cliff
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Where to stay

Planet Nomadas Surf & Yoga Resort
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Planet Nomadas has six bungalows with verandas, queen beds, an outside bathroom with shower and includes breakfast. The resort has an outdoor salt water pool, bar & restaurant and provide different day tours, surf lessons, yoga classes and dive courses.
Jl Jungut Batu Dusun Kaja II Desa Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan
Tigerlillys Boutique Hotel
Each bungalow at Tigerlillys is made using natural materials including a grass thatch roof, coconut palm walls, stone bathrooms and bamboo. Tigerlillys is filled with lush tropical gardens and has a restaurant with swing chairs overlooking the beautiful pool and gardens.
Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan

Where to eat

The Deck
Smoothies, juices, fresh coconut, beer, spirits and food with amazing views of the beautiful water and Mt Agung.
Located at the boardwalk at Batu Karang Lembongan Resort & Day Spa Snapchat-7933694811721033485
Tigerlillys
Tigerlillys is a little hidden oasis with lush gardens off the main road with poolside tables and swing chairs. Great food, music and a beautiful setting.
Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan
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Bali Eco Deli
The Bali Eco Deli provides fresh juices, coffee and cakes while being eco-responsible. 90% of their waste is composted and they are happy to collect plastic bottles, bags, milk cartons and used batteries to take back to Bali for recycling.
Jalan Raya Jungut Batu, Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan

Yoga

Serenity Yoga
With a mix of Vinyasa Flow, Hatha Flow, Yin Yoga and Power Yoga it isn’t hard to find a suitable class. They also offer SUP yoga classes for those that want a bit more of a challenge at balancing.
Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan
Serenity1
The Yoga Shack
The yoga shack is inside the Secret Garden Bungalows. The studio is octagon in shape- the symbol of Mother Earth. The Yoga Shack offers Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yang, Hatha Flow and Advanced flow classes.
Secret Garden Bungalows, Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan
Planet Nomadas Dive Surf Yoga Resort
Wake up early to the rooster chanting and get started with a one hour yoga session.
Jl Jungut Batu Dusun Kaja II Desa Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan

Before You Go/ Need To Know

Recommended books & movies

Eat Pray Love
eat pray love
Guide books
Currency & Money
IDR Indonesian Rupiah
1,000 IDR = 1 AUD
Budget
 Accommodation can start for around 120,000 a night in a guesthouse, hotels for around 400,000-1,000,000 a night with luxury resorts costing upwards of 1,500,000 a night. Street food is super cheap costing around 7,000 and a meal around 15,000. Western food is more expensive but still really cheap at around 100,000.

Time zone

+8

Language

Bahasa Indonesian & Balinese

Electricity

Electrical plug type: Europe
Voltage: 220-240 volts
Outlet 2

Airport

Denpasar Airport

Water

Not safe to drink. Bottled water

Transport

Scooters, taxis, private drivers. Taxis are the most expensive way to get around and Uber is mostly banned. There are plenty of drivers in Bali that you can hire for the day, a couple of days, a week or more and take you wherever you want to go. Hiring a scooter is the cheapest way to get around. The traffic can be pretty crazy so if you don’t fell comfortable riding yourself, you can ride on the back of a motorbike.

Internet

Free wifi is easily accessible.

Local Sims

You can buy prepaid sim cards from any convenience stores like Circle K, Alfamart and Indomart or phoen kiosks. You don’t need ID or to create an account. The most popular phone companies are Telkomsel, Indosat and XL. A sim card should cost between 20,000- 30,000 with credit costing around 50,000 or 100,000. There are special data packages also.
Make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave home.

Visas

Australian applicants travelling to Indonesia for Tourism purposes are visa exempt for stays of up to 30 days, provided arriving and departing Indonesia from any of the following Airports:
Soekarno Hatta – JAKARTA
Juanda – SURABAYA
Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) – BALI
Kuala Namu – MEDAN
Hang Nadim – BATAM

When to go

Bali has two main seasons. the wet season from October to March and the dry season from April to September. Peak season is usually July to August with the shoulder season being May, June and September.

Festivals and Holidays

Safety

Generally Bali is pretty safe as long as you are responsible.

Packing tips

Bargaining

Responsible travel

Responsible travel is about the attitude you take and the choices you make when travelling – to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment!

Tips on becoming a responsible traveller:

  • Before leaving home learn as much as possible about the religion, culture, local rules and values of the country you’re visiting.
  • Learn some language and don’t be afraid to use it.
  • Learn what is appropriate behaviour, body language and dress. Dress appropriately at religious sites. Always ask first before photographing people.
  • Support locally owned businesses, hotels, restaurants and other services.
  • Use public transport where possible
  • Stay in smaller-scale locally owned accommodation where possible
  • Buy locally produced food and drink, and purchasing souvenirs from local artisans. Bargain is it is a local practice but bear in mind that a small amount to you could e extremely important to the seller- don’t get hung up over a couple of dollars.
  • Minimise plastic waste where possible
  • Avoid the exploitation of the vulnerable – including women, children, animals and endangered species.

Animals

Elephant welfare
Animal welfare concerns the state of an animals body and mind, and the extent to which its nature is satisfied. There are an estimated 30,000-52,000 Asian elephants left in the wild with around 15,000 in captivity.
What happens in captivity?
  • Chaining of elephants so they have limited movements
  • Limited diet for example, just one or two plants when in the wild they can eat up to 200 kg a day.
  • Isolation from others with limited opportunity of touching and normal social behaviour.
  • Little or no veterinary care.
  • Unsuitable ground such as concrete
  • Bright sunlight and extreme heat up to 40 degrees with no shade.
  • Activities such as rides, elephant painting, football and tightrope walks.

What can you do?

  • Don’t ride elephants ad attend shows where they are made to perform unnatural or human-like activities.
  • Share your understanding of appropriate elephant welfare.
  • Keep in mind a few key points on what to look for when visiting a venue with wild animals- freedom to move without restraint, no signs of abuse or distress, clean and natural conditions and fresh and varied food available with access to water.

Volunteering

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