Tag Archives: Bali

From 15ยฐ to -5ยฐ + Our Bali budget/what to do and see

We’re now back home in Estonia. We were welcomed by a beautiful winter wonderland but it definitely takes some time to get used to totally different temperatures. Luckily in here Spring is also peeking behind the corner and the sunshine is already really warming :).

Our flight back home went well and big thanks to Finnair who for some reason gave us seats with bigger legroom :)!

During this week I’ll write posts about our total travel budget, reviews of different accommodations we stayed and much more! Stay tuned!

But now to Bali. Here is our budget based on 45 days. As usual it’s daily averages for 2 people.

  • Groceries (different food items and all other similar things)ย  in Bali these were actually our biggest expenses since quite often we cooked home and bought different fruits in huge quantities (plus also other sweet snacksย ๐Ÿ™‚)ย โ€“ย 137.000 rupiah.
  • Transport (in case of Bali it contains mostly scooter rental and gas + trips to/from airport.ย In total our scooter rent was 1.3 million rupiah and for gas I paid 530.000 rupiah. Our total mileage was about 2500km) –ย 43.600 rupiah
  • Eating out. (mostly local food mixed with pizzas and other similar)ย โ€“ย 115.000 rupiah
  • Entrance fees (various temples, beaches, tourist attractions) โ€“ 15.800 rupiah
  • Shopping. (This time we bought a lot of souvenirs ๐Ÿ™‚ but they are really inexpensive!)ย  โ€“ย 37.800 rupiahย 
  • Other (mobile internet, gym access, massage, scooter tickets, additional accommodations) โ€“ 56.900 rupiah

In total we spent 1100โ‚ฌ + accommodations costs 495โ‚ฌ.

What to see (in no particular order):

  • Uluwatu temple
  • Tanah Lot temple
  • Melasti beach
  • Suluban Uluwatu beach
  • Gunung Payung beach
  • Nusa Dua area
  • Tegenungan waterfall
  • Ubud
  • Tegallalang rice terrace
  • Tukad Cepung waterfall
  • Amed region
  • Mountain roads at northern side of Bali
  • Mount Batur and Lake Batur
  • Air Panas Banjar hot springs
  • Pura Batu Kursi temple and hills
  • Pemuteran snorkeling
  • Menjangan island

All the best!

Lauri

From 30ยฐ to 15ยฐ

15 degrees feels refreshing. Especially after 5 months of constant 30. It’s an early spring here in Japan and it reminds me quite much the spring back home in Estonia (of course at the moment we have about -10 degrees ๐Ÿ™‚ ). But the weather today was beautiful and the prognosis for tomorrow is even better. Our last day before heading back home :).

Warmer clothes

Before leaving Bali we did a little clothes shopping since the warmest clothes we had were basically jeans and a T-shirt. Luckily finding some jackets in Bali was not very difficult, most of the stores and markets sell them since they are also very popular among local people. In the evenings when it’s only 25 degrees many people wear them. I can actually get that. But what I couldn’t understand was that quite often we could see people during midday, when the sun was scorching down furiously, wearing long trousers, warm socks, hooded jackets, almost like winter coats, scarfs and even warm gloves. I presume that one behind this is to keep the sunlight away but I really can’t imagine how hot it must have been for them. And warm woolen socks + flips-flops is quite an interesting combination :). Finding bigger sizes can be a bit more tricky but if you dig deep enough you’ll find proper clothes. And of course if you stay away of the high-end glamorous shopping malls the prices are also extremely reasonable.

Bali airport

Bali airport looks really beautiful with it’s inside temples, gardens and pathways, they have really done a marvellous job about the looks. But on the topic of handling the masses of tourists it’s a bit lacking. In no other airport during our journey or actually anywhere else it has taken so much time to get from the airport entrance to the correct gate. There is a first x-ray security check where you have to put all your belongings through. Then there’s a passport check, then the check-in queue. After that 2 more passport/boarding ticket checks. And when you finally reach the x-ray check for your hand luggage you think it’s now a smooth run to the finish but no, there’s a huge line waiting for you to get to the final passport check where they have a look on your visa status. All in all it took us nearly about an hour and a half to go through all this so be warned to take your time. Maybe we just got there at a bad time but since there are so many tourists visiting Bali I imagine it’s the same case most of the time.

Tokyo – Narita

Our original plan was to go and see Tokyo. But to be honest we didn’t do any background research before a few weeks heading to Japan. So when we discovered that it’s almost 70km to Tokyo from the airport and getting there is quite expensive + we already have 5 months of journeying behind us we decided to leave it for another time and instead look around in a small town called Narita right near the airport. Today we went to visit the beautiful Naritasan temple and we will definitely go back there tomorrow while looking around in the area. It’s really majestic, well-maintained, covers a huge area and the admittance is totally free. There will be clips of it in the video coming about Narita :). In addition we ate authentic Japanese food (which at first tasted a bit weird but was actually pretty good) and just strolled around between our hotel and the city.

Japan compared to SE Asia is of course really expensive and it takes some time to get used to. You could get a 6-7 night stay in Bali for the same price you’ll get 1 night here in Japan. Foods and groceries are also on another level but not too expensive compared to Estonia. Either way the overall calming and polite vibe of Japan and Japanese people is really nice :).

All the best!

Lauri

 

7th and 8th video of Bali

Time is flying really fast and very soon we need to start thinking about packing and heading back home… It’s actually pretty hard to believe that it has been already 5 months! But time goes on and new adventures await! Before traveling back home we will have a 2-day stop in Japan where we plan to discover a small town called Narita. More about that later in the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow I will post the last 2 videos of Bali.

Sending warmth and sunshine ;)!

Lauri

The most beautiful place I’ve ever been

First of all, let’s leave Estonia out if this. It has a special place in my heart. But out of all the other places around the world that I’ve been to I have truly enjoyed this one the most! We just spent countless hours sitting there and just enjoying the views.

At Pemuteran there’s a small temple called Pura Batu Kursi halfway up the mountain. A beautiful staircase leads up there (yes, once again a lot of climbing) but it’s worth every step! There are picturesque views to the lush green mountainsides, clouds devouring the hilltops, ocean and the small town below. When the sun is shining on the green grass it looks almost magical! And just when you’re about to arrive to the temple there’s a small hilltop with a swing on it. I don’t know whose idea it was to built it, but I’m glad they did! It’s hard to imagine swinging with a more beautiful view then there. But I’ll let the pictures do the talking. There will also be some clips in 10th video of Bali ๐Ÿ™‚

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Around Bali in 5 days

So here goes. I’ll share with you exactly where we went to, what we did and some places that you shouldn’t miss! Be warned that it’s going to be a rather long post ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 1 – From Jimbaran to Amed

Our journey started form Jimbaran where we have stayed throughout our visit to Bali. I pre-booked the accommodations through Booking.com a few days before. Since I have used their site so much in the past half a year I have gained some special status so all the costs for accommodations were really inexpensive :). Either way here are the places we visited on day 1

  • Tegallalang rice terrace – a beautiful deep valley with precision placed rice fields. A beautiful sight but it can be really touristy_MG_4659jpeg
  • Gunung Kawi temple – temple carved out from stone cliffs. Differs from a lot of temples in Bali so would recommend a visit_MG_4678jpeg
  • Tukad Cepung waterfall – this is something different from all the other waterfalls we’ve seen so far. To get to the waterfall itself you have to walk through a rather deep valley which is filled with about half a meter of water. But the walk and the waterfall itself are definitely worth a visit. Just be prepared to get wet!_MG_4683jpeg
  • Mountain road of Lempuyang Luhur – magnificent scenery of the mountains and jungle. You can also get a great view of the sleeping giant Mount Agung itself!_MG_4684jpeg

Amed itself is a laid-back town with a quiet atmosphere, beautiful black-sand beaches for snorkeling and more than enough places to stay for the night and grab a delicious meal. It’s hugely popular among divers (as are most of the places in northern side of Bali). All this adds up to a great place where to stay when visiting Bali. We spent the night at Fun Divers resort which is a really nice place with everything you need.

Day 2 – from Amed to Lovina

  • Snorkeling at Amed beach – just a few meters form the shoreline a magnificent underwater world unveils. One of the best places to snorkel in Bali_MG_4697jpeg.jpg
  • Discovering the wreck of US Liberty at Tulamben – this was quite an experience. In order to get a better view of the wreck you need to go diving (it’s the most popular diving spot in whole Bali) but you can also see quite much while just snorkeling. In some sense it was quite terrifying to see this huge ship laying in the bottom of the ocean and being slowly devoured by it. Sadly I have no pictures of it, it’s something that you just have to go and see for yourself! You can read more about the ship from here.
  • Mount Batur and Lake Batur – in order to get there from the shoreline you will end up in a narrow mountain road that will literally lead you into the clouds! This was definitely the most frightening road I’ve ever driven on with huge drops and steep curves! In several places the road itself was carried away by flood waters. But the adventure was memorable! The views to the clouds and valleys below were just breathtaking. And in the midst of all this there were people living – going to school, building a house, farming on 50 degree slopes and so on :). When you arrive at the lake it’s also quite a sight. It just feels like you’re in a some sort of magical village that lies in the clouds. At least it was like that when we were there. It’s definitely advisable to go inland between the mountains every once in while, not to just stay in the main seaside road._MG_4701jpeg.jpg

Lovina-Singaraja area is much more busy and noisier place compared to Amed and Pemuteran (due to the fact that Singaraja is the second largest city on the island). It’s hugely popular for dolphin watching but this time we decided to skip that. It will be in our plans for future travels :). We spent the night at Puspa Rama Pondok Wisata which was ok, but nothing special.

I must warn you that if you plan to visit more mountainous areas be ready to get a little bit wet. All the warm air that comes from the ocean gets colder when hitting the mountains and pours down as a rainfall. The air up there is much more damper, colder and it rains much more. So even if at the beach the sun is shining just an half an hour drive to the mountains and it’s raining.

Secondly be prepared to climb a lot of stairs. And I mean A LOT! There’s a staircase leading to almost every beach, waterfall, mountain temple and any sightseeing place out here. And they are not small ones. So climbing a few thousand stairs in a day (I’m not exaggerating) can be quite normal here ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 3 – from Lovina to Pemuteran

  • Our first stop was Aling-Aling waterfall. It’s actually a set of many consecutive waterfalls with a beautiful river connecting them. Highly recommend to visit! It’s also very popular for cliff diving and sliding down the various slopes of the waterfalls._MG_4719jpeg.jpg
  • Banjar Hot Spring – there are numerous hot springs located all over Bali but this one caught our attention. The entrance fee was very reasonable (20.000 rupiah per person) compared to many other similar places and it had everything you need from a large swimming pool to smaller baths and even water-massages. The water is a constant 38 degrees Celsius so it’s like being in a nice and warm bath ๐Ÿ™‚

Pemutaran is a really nice place with beautiful mountains, beaches with totally see-through water and also this kind of laid back atmosphere. We spent the night at D&D Dive Center/Trijaya Guesthouse and honestly it was one of the best places we’ve stayed! I really really recommend this place – staff was very friendly and helpful, everything was clean, breakfast and all other foods (there’s also a restaurant) were delicious, the bathroom/shower looked like being in a tropical rainforest and all of that for the same money as having a proper dinner for two (here in Bali). It was so nice that we actually decided to stay for one more night although the original plan was to drive on.

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Day 4 – spending time around Pemuteran

After 3 days on a scooter it was really good to have a quieter day. As said before scooter is still meant for smaller drives, not discovering the whole world ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Snorkeling at Pemuteran beach – it’s like being in an underwater museum. Honestly, it’s nothing that I’ve ever seen before. In order to get corals growing back in the beach again they decided to make several metal/concrete sculptures and drop them near the beach at about 5-10m deep water. It’s actually working and the sea life has started using these as their homes and more and more sculptures have been dropped. It looks like an underwater exhibit. Marine life is very colorful here so it’s a place that shouldn’t be missed!
  • The most beautiful place that I’ve ever been to – more about it in tomorrow’s post ๐Ÿ™‚

Actually the best place for snorkeling in Bali is considered to be Menjangan island but since it’s a part of the National park it’s quite expensive to get there (tours starting around 1mln rupiah per person). They don’t want to let too much people in the park (which is totally understandable) in order to preserve wildlife. Nevertheless if you have the opportunity to go there it’s definitely worth it, I’ve heard only good things about it!

Day 5 – driving back home to Jimbaran

It was going to be a long day on the scooter and after the morning swim/snorkeling we headed off. There was no place particular we planned to stay but I’d like to bring out Balian beach once more. We stayed there before while visiting a friend but the Balian Beach Surf Camp is a truly nice place to stay for the night while listening to relaxing waves, surfing or just chilling by the sea or having a delicious dinner at the local cafe.

One more thing that is quite rare in Bali is driving on a road where there are no houses or villages near you. Most of Bali is quite densely populated and even if you’re not in a village or town as such there are still almost always some houses by the road. But when driving on the road towards Gilimanuk near the National park you can truly get miles of road basically without any inhabitance at all. It’s supported by a very beautiful green scenery on both sides of the road ๐Ÿ™‚

One last final thing – if you can, avoid the main highway coming from Gilimanuk heading towards Denpasar. I know that a lot of times it’s just not possible since it’s the only road there is! But in some places you have an option to take some detours or use smaller roads. The reason for this is that the traffic there is quite dense, the road surface can be very uneven in some parts but the most terrible of them all are the huge trucks that use this road in order to carry massive loads between bigger cities. Most of these trucks should have been retired 30 years ago but they load them up with about 50 tons of cargo and then try to get up of all the steep hills on the road. The result of this is that every time they do that a MASSIVE cloud of black smoke comes out of their exhaust and directly to your face! In addition the maximum speed going up the hill is about 15 kph so you just have to go through the cloud of black cancer. I’d seriously advise to use face masks when driving on this road with a scooter. Could save some days of your life ๐Ÿ™‚

Hopefully you found some value in this post and congratulations to everyone who made it to the end :)! Next post coming up already tomorrow!

All the best!

Lauri

Grand Tour Bali

For the last 5 days we were discovering Bali, making a round trip around the island, staying each night in different accommodations. I highly recommend everyone to do it if you have a chance. Take your time though – even if distances in kilometers are not long, it still takes time to travel.

Bali is much more than only the tourist-oriented southern part. In a matter of fact if you plan to visit Bali to see beautiful nature, enjoy a relaxed environment, drive around in the mountains, go snorkeling or enjoy more quieter areas I recommend to stay either in Amed or Pemuteran areas. When we’ll someday come back here, we’ll definitely stay in either of those places.

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In tomorrow’s post I will share with more detail where we went to, what we did and what you definitely shouldn’t miss. There will also be a lot of photos coming plus I have the material for 3 more videos which I hopefully will manage to put together soon :).

During our trip we also discovered the most beautiful place that I’ve ever been. More about it in the post day after tomorrow :).

Meanwhile here are some photos of beautiful places in Bali

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Bali weather in February

During February it’s a rainy season in Bali. This means that you can have 3 sunshine days straight in a row but you can also have some days when it’s raining most of the time. In addition some days it rains for 30 minutes which in turn is followed by 30 minutes of scorching sun :). In short during this time of the year (rainy season is roughly from November to March) everything can happen and you have to be prepared. Luckily we understood right in the beginning that proper raincoats are a must so we bought two of them from a local store and they have been loyal friends of ours :). Don’t misunderstand me, majority of the time the weather is still beautiful and honestly these rains are quite often very refreshing since otherwise it would just get too hot in here. The graph below maybe a bit too over-exaggerated but I can imagine it can be quite burning to be here in July-Aug.

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It’s just the fact that rain can literally come out of nowhere in minutes. And trust me, it’s not a very pleasant feeling to drive with a scooter when you’re soaking wet. Just today when we decided to go on a bit longer trip to Ubud the heavens opened up while we were just starting out trip and it basically hasn’t stopped since. Ubud itself seemed to be quite nice place with many beautiful temples, surrounding rice fields and honestly thousands and thousands of handicrafts and souvenir shops. If you plan to go souvenir shopping then Ubud is definitely the place to go and check out. You can see some clips of it in the 7th video of Bali.

Oh, I also ate one the best kebab’s I ever had anywhere! To be honest it was not an authentic kebab as such but nevertheless it was really really tasty! Definitely going to get a few of them when I see this place again ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sending warm degrees to everyone who is feeling cold at the moment :)!