Tag Archives: scooter

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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.


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 πŸ™‚

  • 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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!


I really miss driving a car

Although driving a scooter really has many benefits, especially here in Bali and generally in SE Asia traffic, I still really miss driving a car. I know that some people just like the sensation of going on a drive, even if there’s no specific destination, and I’m one of them. You can put on some great music, relax and just enjoy the miles going by. Or sometimes you don’t want to relax, you want to grab the steering wheel a little bit tighter, turn on the sport mode (if there is one πŸ™‚ ), feel the feedback from the wheels and the engine andΒ  just go for it! Of course, everything in a sensible manner on public roads :). Honestly I didn’t think that I would be missing this of all the things in the world but that’s the case. I have been driving a car since I got 18 which is already 12 years by now and I guess it has really kind of grown on me. Of course I could just rent a car here for a couple of days but firstly in order do to it legally it would require an international driving license, which I don’t have. Secondly most of the time I’d just be stuck in a traffic jam and thirdly it’s not long before we will be heading back home and there we will soon purchase a new four-wheeled companion for us :).

In a car you have more room, you’re protected from the elements and it’s safer. Of course you can’t squeeze yourself through a 0.5m wide gap but most of the time that’s not the issue :). Meanwhile we try to stick to the traffic-free, beautiful views, off the grid roads since driving a scooter there is a true bliss πŸ™‚

BMW ConnectedDrive, BMW Dynamic Light Spot, 05/2011

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.


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 πŸ™‚


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

What to know when travelling around Bali + the second video

As I already mentioned in the last post renting a scooter is a must since the distances in here are noticeable. In order to get from one side of the island to the other it can take up to 4-5 hours without the crazy traffic that you’ll encounter around Kuta, Denpasar and other bigger areas. With a car it probably takes much longer because of the already mentioned traffic + in some places roads are really not roads and unless you’re in a 4×4 there’s just no way to pass. And be very careful in junctions since there are no rules. If a big enough mass gathers it’s your time to go. Be sure to look left, right, behind, ahead and down because there will be surprises coming from each direction :)! If to compare it with Phuket, the other place with notoriously horrible traffic, I think that this place is a bit worse, especially during rush hours. But you’ll get used to that :)!

Secondly be sure to carry cash everywhere you go. Since in almost every beach, temple and tourist object there is a small fee for parking your scooter + a fee per person to enter the area. Sometimes these two fees can be combined but you can be sure that someone will ask you a small amount of money :). Usually it’s about 2000-3000 for parking a scooter and entrance tickets can be from 2000 to 10000 with prices going up to 60000 in most popular tourist attractions. I get all that but what seems a bit weird is that even if you want to go to McDonalds or just a walk in the park for example, even there they’ll charge you for parking :). I don’t know from where this kind of tradition has come from but it’s just easier to get used to it!

Petrol/gasoline is really inexpensive (about ~0,53€ per liter) here. You can find it being sold almost everywhere in small home-made gas stations and in old liquor bottles on wooden shelves by the road. It comes in different colors πŸ™‚ but as I’ve been told the only thing that they differ from is the price and an average scooter drinks almost about everything.

Since there are sadly a huge number of stray dogs roaming on the streets you have to be really careful about them also. In addition quite often you can meet just standing in the middle of the street: cats, chickens, rats, lizards, cows, geese, turkeys and a huge variety of other unknown animals :).

I hope you found some value in these tips! Meanwhile here’s the second video of Bali. Go and have a look!

Beach day and a huge cloud of white smoke


Today we decided to spend most of the day just chilling on the beautiful Tanjung Rhu beach. We just liked that place so much and decided to go back. It’s everything you’d want from a tropical beach – white sand, blue water, breathtaking scenery and relaxing atmosphere with not many people around.

But our journey started with quite a adventure. About 3km from our hostel while we were driving with our scooter I gazed at the mirror and suddenly saw a huge cloud of white smoke coming from the back of our bike accompanied by an oil spill and a sudden loss of power. Just great!, I thought! Luckily it didn’t happen on the other side of the island. So we pulled over and called an emergency number given to us from the hostel. After about half an hour of waiting they came to get us… with another scooter that was basically just as broken as ours :). Either way we somehow limped back to the hostel withΒ  both 2 scooters creating a massive hole in the ozone layer (luckily it wasn’t that bad but still πŸ™‚ ). There we were given a substitute machine with about half a million miles on it. But hey, at least the engine was working properly :).

These kind of things can happen, especially with rental machines and since it wasn’t our fault all repair works will be covered by the hostel. Big thanks to them for such a quick reaction to come to get us and providing us with a new scooter! But still, their machine park is in a need of an update :).

In the end we got to the beach and spent most of the day there as planned. I don’t know is it due to the fact that we’re nearer to the equator but middays here are really scorching! So definitely bring sun-screen and every once in a while stay in the shadows while visiting Langkawi.

And one more thing. Maybe at first you may not like Langkawi as much as some other placesΒ but this island has a tendency to grow on you :). Just look at it…



Phuket aquarium and Ton Ao Yon waterfall

Ton Ao Yon

Although we had already been to the peninsula where Phuket aquarium is located in the beginning of our trip to Phuket, that time we didn’t visit the aquarium itself. Now we fixed that. And I’m glad we did since for a 180 baht entrance fee it has a lot to offer. A huge number of fish (one of the biggest I’ve ever seen included) and other sea creatures can be find inside numerous tanks. I also made a video about a lot of them so you can have a better look when I finish the next and most likely the last video of Phuket.

Aquarium had also a lot of written and video information about the sea life in Thailand and Andaman sea. Although as mentioned before a lot of damage has been done but at least in there it seemed that they are now starting to really work towards a better future – in order these hundreds of species of coral and fish would be there also in 100 years.

During our trip we also discovered a picturesque small waterfall called Ton Ao Yon (picture seen above). It’s located in rather remote area and there’s only one small road leading to it, hence we were the only ones there. What I really liked about it was that it’s located in the middle of dense jungle with a lot of trees and other plants covering the area. It was just like “the waterfall” when someone asks you to close your eyes and try to imagine a beautiful tropical waterfall. It also had many pools in it so we just couldn’t skip the opportunity to go for a little swim. At that point it just started raining which made the experience even more memorable. Once again I highly recommend a visit when you’re in Phuket.

Shortly after our visit to the waterfall the rain started coming down like I’ve only seen once here in Bangkok. We had raincoats so at least the upper body was relatively dry but otherwise it was soaking wet. The biggest difference compared to Estonia for example is that when it rains there and you get wet then most likely you will be cold also. But here, even if it’s a massive downpour, there’s still about 30 degrees so you don’t have to worry about that. Driving a scooter with this kind of weather was also quite interesting :). In lower places there were rivers and lakes where the road used to be and in some cases you even had to put your feet up since the water was so high. Of course you have to be extra careful since wet roads are much more slippery and the visibility is also quite bad. But we were cautious and drove slowly :).

Btw we have tried a lot of different exotic fruits here but none we’re really any good at least by our tastes. But now we found the passion fruit which is really good and healthy! Luckily we have a small fruit market about a minute drive from us where you can get a beautiful pineapple, several passion fruits, a bunch of bananas or something similar for only 20 baht. I wish there would be something like that back home also… πŸ™‚



Phuket Grand Tour and Beach Guide

Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island. It covers approximately 543 square kilometers, houses about 600,000 inhabitants plus a a horde of tourists and has definitely a lot to offer from picturesque beaches, beautiful mountains and green lush jungle. You can read more about it from here. And so yesterday we decided to go and make a full circle round the island. It took around 6 hours (with all the stops included), 120km’s (which doesn’t seem like much of a distance but believe me on our small scooter it’s quite a ride!) and 2 fuel stops. We started from where we live, at the southern part in Rawai, drove all the way to the airport through the west coast and then back again from the east coast. We missed the most northern tip of the island but maybe we will go there some other time in the future πŸ™‚


Either way – the southern part and most of the west coast is lined with beautiful beaches with mountains and cliffs dividing them. Of course in most of the places they are supported with smaller and bigger towns, hotels, resorts and villages. I have already in the previous posts written about Yanui, Nai Harn and Ao Sane beaches. Also more touristy Kata and Karon have been mentioned along with crazy Patong area. But if to drive north from there there are still tens of bigger and smaller beaches to be discovered. And the more further you go from Patong the more relaxing and chill the scenery goes. The nearest ones to that direction are Kamala and Surin beaches, latter of which we really liked. There’s a beautiful area of palm trees near the sand where you can just lay back in the tree shadows and enjoy the view without being disturbed by much of a crowd. There are also few dining places and an opportunity to rent lazy tubes or kayaks.

But a bit further north from there you can find the Bang Thao beach, also called a Dream Beach. And it really lives up to the name. I have never seen so long beach in my life (more than eight kilometers long; only Mai Khao beach which is located in the northern part of Phuket near Sarasin bridge is even longer). There were very few people strolling along the beach and beautiful sand as far as the eye can see. On the way there we drove through a high-end residential area filled with gorgeous huge villas and other beautiful houses. It seems that people living there go to this beach when they’re in a mood to dive somewhere else than they’re home swimming pool :). In addition there was a lot of luxurious hotels and resorts on the way.Β  If you like to stay in a more secluded relaxing area then this is a place to be and also one of the most-visits when you’re on Phuket:)!

Next is the Banana beach. Which makes this one special is that in order to get there you have to park your scooter or car at the side of the road and then walk/climb down from a rather steep hill. And when you get down there it’s just the beach. No touristy establishments, just you, the sand, the sea (and of course the other people who have decided to make the climb). So it’s once again rather secluded area where do have a swim and just relax.

And the last ones on our journey were Naithon and Naiyang which resemble Kamala and Surin beaches but even more quiet. So there’s plenty to choose from :)!

All in all the west coast is the area to visit. Most beautiful places and beaches as described are all on that side of the island. And it’s really fun drive also – constantly up&down, left&right. Be sure to have some resting stops for both yourself and the scooter (if you decide to go with one).

Driving back from the other side of the island there are a lot of tree plantations, fields, small towns and highways. Basically there are mostly local people living in that part of the island and not many tourists seen around. Also there isn’t actually an opportunity to drive on the coast so you don’t get a glimpse of the sea which is unfortunate. We tried to visit Bang Pae waterfall but as it turns out it’s a part of a national park and there’s a 200baht entrance fee per person. Since by that point we already had quite a long drive behind us so we decided not to visit and really if you want to see some magnificent waterfalls – go to Chiang Mai :)!

I hope you found some value from this post! Phuket awaits you :)!

All the Best!