What a fantastic website and helpful forum. I used the Thailand forum last year and got lots of friendly advice from its members. This year I am landing at Denpasar on 27th Feb and will be in the region until 15th March.
I was hoping for some advice around a suggested itinerary. I will be travelling with my girlfriend and we want an even mix of relaxation as well as keeping ourselves busy and entertained. We both hated Phuket so I imagine we would hate Kuta. As we only have two weeks I was thinking of spending time in just 3/4 places. From what I've read, I imagine I couple of days in Ubud would be nice and a few days on the Gilli's (which one??) but apart from that I am open to suggestions. So another coastal area would be good?? (preferably with a nice beach, good food and a sprinkling of bars)
We will be on a limited buget so will be staying in the usual mid-range guesthouse / beach hut accomodation but at the end of the trip the other half would like a couple nights of 'semi-luxury' accomodation somewhere.???
I would also like to do a trek and climb one of the volcanoes but will these treks be permitted during the dates I am there?
#1 slow_mo has been a member since 8/7/2011. Posts: 11
Check out Lembongan Island - a short boat trip from Bali. I have posted before, and this is info in the Indo section of this site. Sorry, work is callings and don't have time to write more! But I'd recommend Lembongan!
Agree with Lizzy that Nusa Lembongan a good option and much closer and cheaper to get to than the Gilis.
Bali's best beaches are on the Bukit Peninsula (so further south from Kuta). They are nearly all surf beaches, but are spectacularly beautiful and a beer is never too far out of reach. We've written quite a bit about the beaches on the Bali Blog, here are a few pointers:
My favourite beaches on the Bukit.
Eastern beaches in the same area
As a place to stay though, Balangan Beach is difficult to beat - I sent a friend from Cambodia there last week and they LOVED it. You can read up on some of the accommodation options there, here. Personally I like Flower Bud a lot. Actually if I remember correctly I had a couple of beers with Busylizzy on this very beach
Other thoughts, If Ubud is too busy for you, Sidemen is a far quieter option and is also very very pretty -- and sort of on the way to Amed which is great for snorkelling...
More questions, ask away
BusyLizzy - Thanks alot, Nusa Lembongan looks like a beuatiful island and somewhere we could pamper ourselves with some luxury before we leave. Any reccomendations of accomodation?
Somtam2000 - Also thanks for your reccomendations... just a quick question (ill probably think of some more later tonight). What are the costs to say get a boat from Padangbia to the Gill's? and from Padangbia to Nusa Lembongan? I'm from England so price in pounds would be useful.
#4 slow_mo has been a member since 8/7/2011. Posts: 11
"Actually if I remember correctly I had a couple of beers with Busylizzy on this very beach"
Indeed, we did. Although I don't remember there being quite so many accom places around though (as seen on the Balangan page) - it must be undergoing lots of change.
slow_mo - please excuse the typo's in my previous post - I really was in a hurry! When I first stayed on Lembongan it was relatively quiet. I stayed in a small, cheapish family run guesthouse (Secret Garden) so it wasn't on the 'luxury' end by any means but I really enjoyed it there for a relaxing time. The second time, 2 years later in 2011, I stayed across the driveway at Jepun Lembongan Villas (200,000rp/night, walkin rate). Again, not luxury, but clean, comfortable and it had a pool. Can't really recommend a luxury place personally.
From Lembongan, you can hire a longboat to take you out for a daytrip of snorkelling at various places off of Lembongan, or off Nusa Penida, next door. There is also some pretty good snorkellling right off the island. I also thoroughly enjoyed hiring a scooter to explore Lembongan, and across the bridge to Nusa Ceningan. They great thing about scootering around here is that there is virtually no other traffic other than a few scooters. This is where I learned to ride, in fact.
Last trip I took the Perama boat from Sanur to Lembongan last time: cost was 125,000rp each which included shuttle pickup from Kuta area. No need to go to Padangbai. Lembongan is changing rapidly - I couldn't believe the differences between 2009 and 2011. Get there quick!
Somtam's suggestion of Amed is also worth checking out - another area that I really loved. I stayed at Arya Amed, which a nice resort-type place. I stayed a few months after they first opened, and got an awesome deal at the time. I stayed again in 2011 and rates had gone up significantly. Check out their website for current prices. But there are plenty of places to stay in the area. It's a lovely flashpacker area with great restaurants, some good snorkelling off the beach in some parts.
If you go to Amed, you can now get a boat direct to the Gili's. I think I must have read that recently on one of the TF blogs, maybe about Amed, or about Gili T?? Have a look. It used to be possible to get a speedboat from Lembongan to Gili Trawangan direct. I thought it was BlueWater express, but looking at their website that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Don't book online - you can easily sort it once you are there, and there are other boat options around.
One place to check out for accom on Gili T is Eden Cottages. http://www.edencottages.com. I haven't been there (yet!) but a fellow Travelfisher took over the place late last year and I thought it looks pretty nice.
Hope that provide some help. Let me know if you need more.
Well thanks for your responses. I have taken your advice on board and come up with a little itinerary. Is this itinerary feasible, should we spend more time in certain places and less in others? once again your advice is appreciated. Also any reccomended places to stay would be useful.
28/02 - Arrive 18:30 - one night in Denpasar
01/03 - Ubud
02/03 - Ubud
03/03 - Ubud
04/03 - Padangbai
05/03 - Padangbai - fast boast to >>>>>
06/03 - Gilli T
07/03 - Gilli T
08/03 - Gilli Air
09/03 - Gill Air - fast boat to >>>>>
10/03 - Nusa Lembongon
11/03 - Nusa Lembongon
12/03 - Nusa Lembongon
13/03 - Sanur
14/03 - Sanur
15/03 - Depart
#6 slow_mo has been a member since 8/7/2011. Posts: 11
Yeah the costs to say get a baiter from Padangbia to the Gill's? and from Padangbia to Nusa Lembongan? I'm from England so amount in pounds would be useful.
#7 mariajames has been a member since 29/9/2012. Posts: 57
@slo_mo yup that looks doable to me.
For rates, best to Google some of the operators, for example Blue Water Express is here -- for Lembongan we recommend Scoot over Rocky and this post on the Indo blog may be of use.
Hope that helps!