Photo: The back blocks of Candi Dasa.

Indonesia forum

where to stay in Bali

Posted by arenal on 26/12/2011 at 15:46

I'm planning to spend 10 days in Bali end of February- beginning of March 2012 and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out where to base myself. I thought Sanur, since there's the beach, and then hire a scooter to go around the island. I'm not into the party scene at all... Would that be a good idea? Any suggestions? Maybe there's a more laid back, nice beach town that I don't know of? Or may be it would be better to spend a couple of days in Sanur, then some time in Amed, some time in Ubud, etc? I'd like some swimming in the beach and some of the rest of Bali as well, of course... Also, any recommendations for accommodation (30/40usd) will be appreciated. Thanks!

#1 arenal has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by tezza on 27/12/2011 at 03:55

Although Bali is relatively small, the traffic and roads are bad enough to make just one spot as a base for scooter daytrips not practical.
I like your idea of a few days in Sanur , then a few days in other locations. Amed is good for the north east. Padangbai good for central east (Candidasa also, but it is getting a bit close to Amed - actually you could stay in Candi and do Amed and Padangbai plus surrounding rice terrace areas) and of course Ubud .
Some other areas I like are Sideman in the rice fields between Padangbai and Ubud and Lovina on the north coast. The offshore (from Sanur best bet) island of Nusa Lembongan is a good location too.

#2 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

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Posted by arenal on 27/12/2011 at 09:04

Thank you Tezza, your reply is really helpful. I just read your post on Kuta Lombok and it seems the kind of place I'd like to visit too, nice quiet beach. I'll try to do that as well. I hope end of February-March won't be too rainy.

#3 arenal has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by arenal on 27/12/2011 at 09:57

I would appreciate information regarding getting to Kuta Lombok. I know you can fly or take a ferry from Bali and it's not far from the airport. How far is it from the harbor?
Thanks so much!

#4 arenal has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by tezza on 27/12/2011 at 18:31

I wrote this a few months back after my latest Kuta Trip. The new airport was just about to open:

A new Bandaraya International Airport in south Lombok is due to open in October 2011. From this time the old Mataram airport reportedly will close. The new airport is good news to Kuta because it is only 15 minutes away. Not so good for Mataram (maybe one hour although a very nice 4 lane road is under construction so it may be quicker) or Bangsal for the Gilis (90 minutes).
Given the distance and time I'm thinking a taxi to Kuta should be 100k or less in 2011 terms. Made from Mimpimanis Homestay who does pickups for any accommodation is thinking his price will be around 100k when it opens.

Lembar is the closest port to Kuta for boats from Bali. This is where the big vehicle/passenger ferries from Padangbai in east Bali (36k in Sept 2011) land roughly hourly. There is also a fast boat from Padangbai, but I think only once per day.
Getting a taxi from Lembar to Kuta is a bit of a trick because the local transport mafia will not allow them into the port area. If you walk outside you should be able to get one for around 225-250k.
It's not a bad idea to have some one organised to pick you up if arriving in Lembar - apparently the transport mafia is pretty hectic and will try to load your bags into one of their vehicles before negotiating a price, which turns out to be outrageous*. Made from Mimpimanis Homestay arranged for his mate to take Lady T and me to Lembar for 250k in Sept 2011.
Perama will run a shuttle-bus for 2 or more people from Lembar - it is possible to buy a combined shuttle-slow ferry ticket from many places in Bali to Kuta from this outfit.
* and don't use a porter from boat to vehicle or reverse without prior price negotiation. We saw one Euro guy hit with a 50k fee for a few minutes work. 10k would have been too much.

Labuhan Lombok on the north-east coast is the port for the big ferries from Sumbawa. I'm not sure of taxi prices but Made told me he charges 400k for this long route.

Bangsal is the mainland arrival point from the Gilis. Once again Perama will run a shuttle for two or more, although you usually have to change shuttles in Mataram and there can be some standing around there and in Bangsal.
Taxis are hard to come by in Bangsal - the transport mafia here tend to be bastards too.
Made was waiting for us when we hopped off the boat and charged 350k for the trip to Kuta - normally 90 minutes give or take but public holiday traffic made it more like 2.5 hours for us which I reckoned was worth a bonus.

#5 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by somtam2000 on 27/12/2011 at 20:01 admin

Sorry a bit late in on this :)

I'm a big fan of riding around the island -- there's a few pieces on the Bali Blog detailed here (I've only blogged as far as Pemuteran though!) Agree with Tezza re Sideman Candi Dasa and Nusa Lembongan - all good spots.

As for specific accommodation listings, there's lots on Travelfish & I've seen them all, so if you want a double check on any of the reviews, let me know.

Kuta,Lombok in Feb will see some rain. I was last there in Jan 2011 and we saw a lot of rain. Each time we've been to Lombok has been via the Padang Bai to Lembar slow ferry (because we take the car with us) -- it is the cheapest way across, but the taxi mafia (as Tezza says) are a nightmare -- sort out a transfer with your accommodation.

CHeers & drop us a line when in Sanur :)

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by arenal on 28/12/2011 at 11:17

Thanks so much Tezza and Somtam 2000 for the info and taking the time to write it down. This is really helpful.
Somtam, your pieces about riding in Bali are great. Following on that, I guess that from Amed I can go down down to Ubud, stay there a few days, and then back to Sanur... Please, let me know if you have any advice on that. And doing all this on a scooter will be OK? I never rode a bigger bike...

#7 arenal has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/12/2011 at 18:42 admin

Yes all my riding is just on a step through scooter.

For Amed to Ubud if you want you can go roughly Amed - Amplapura - Sideman - Klungkung - Ubud rather than the slightly more direct Amed - Amlapura - Bangli - Ubud route. That way you can take an overnighter at Sideman, which I'd certainly recommend if time allows. Very very scenic part of Bali & not toooo much traffic.

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by arenal on 29/12/2011 at 17:44

Thanks so much again. You make it much much easier to plan my trip.

#9 arenal has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by mooball on 3/1/2012 at 02:49 TF writer

Even though it has a bad reputation because of pushy touts, the Kintamani area and Batur caldera are incredible. If you're on a bike, check it out. Well-worth swinging by.

Also agree with the others that one of the best ways to see Bali is to hit the road and visit a few different places. Really allows you to see the side of Bali 95% of visitors miss.

#10 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 439
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Posted by arenal on 3/1/2012 at 13:34

Thanks a lot Mooball, I'll try to get to the places you suggest.

#11 arenal has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 12

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