Big apology to all those who have replied to my previous post re. exploring in whole of Bali in 9days. Since then my gf has decided to tag along with me for few days so have to slow the pace a little and change the itinerary completely. I'm prepared to copy/absorb the itineraries of the most experienced forum members here as I've given up on re-routing my original itinerary within next few days. I've just come back from manila and singapore with first time travellers to asia and it was a nightmare devising suitable itineraries for them. I have these following criteria for the upcoming trip to Bali:
fri to tues nite with my gf; wed to sat nite by myself
budget of around $100/day
hotel rooms with twinbeds or separate rooms with a/c & ensuite (hostels if they have separate rooms and clean toilets and not crowded)
no alcohol, massages, water sports, western cuisines, etc
kuta only for checking out the rumours of aussie sodomy and debauchery
aim of absorbing in as much culture, SCENERY as possible
no hire cars or scooters; hired cars or taxis only for safety reasons
I thought of this following itinerary:
fri pm - airport to either Balangan or seminyak or nusa dua for first night or two (not sure of which place, also which hotel)
sat or sun - transfer to ubud or sideman (again not sure of which place and hotel)
mon - to tues night - ??? hard to decide as have to accompany gf to airport on tues evening so can't venture too far to north. Or send her off in a hired car? Is this safe for a novice female traveller?
From wed i'll just wing it and see what happens - most probably hiring a driver to drive along the coast for as far as possible to absorb in the scenery (based on previous posts)
When should I squeeze in kuta for few hours? First night or towards the end? Gf doesn't have to go there.
Thank you ya'll very much!
#1 johnno has been a member since 18/12/2009. Posts: 20
"kuta only for checking out the rumours of aussie sodomy and debauchery"
They are not rumours. There I just saved you a night
I'd do Balangan (check out FlowerBud on a budget, La Joya for a splurge)
Sidemen is a bit of a drive from Balangan, but if you're not fussed by eateries, bars and a shedload of other tourists, I think it is a better bet than Ubud. Good flashpacker joint is Uma Agung Villa but if you want fancy, Surya Shanti is pretty good, though I'd say overpriced.
Post Sidemen, you could get a driver and go via Besakih (important and impressive temple at base of volcano -- go early to beat the hordes) and then go onto Gunung Batur where there are a bunch of places (I'm a bit rusty on that area, can't recommend somewhere in particular to stay other than what is listed on the site) . That leaves you well poised to send your girlfriend back in a cab (no probs there) and then you're well poised to head up to the north coast (or wherever).
Big cheers for the quick reply somtam! Much appreciated. Ok I'll start off with Balangan for 2 nites and aim for Sideman for a couple more afterwards. Is there any harm in visiting Ubud along the way? More to the specifics of transportation, is hailing any taxi from the airport a good idea (provided they use the meter) or should I go with the airport taxis as recommended by my friends? Been ripped off a big time in Hanoi just recently, despite using the meter!! I guess once i get to the accommodation, i can request the taxi/driver from the reception right? Just one additional correction to my criteria, my gf has demanded that she does some kind of shopping in Bali. I'm assuming for souvenirs. I've heard Legian is the place to go for shopping if I want to avoid the debauchery of Kuta? Once again, big thumbs up for your input somtam!
#3 johnno has been a member since 18/12/2009. Posts: 20
No harm going via Ubud - just makes the drive a bit longer.
Use an airport taxi - prices are fixed, there is a desk after you exit to the public area.
Yes accommodation should be able to help with a driver.
Legian, Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud all very solid shopping destinations - probably Ubud the best.
"kuta for only checking out the scenes of Aussie sodomy and debauchery." Crikey, I resent that - I haven't debauched anyone in years.
I'd do Balangan off the aircraft. I was frankly disappointed with my last stay in Seminyak - just like Kuta with a worse beach and dodgy money-changers, fewer genuinely bargain eats joints. Balangan I regard as the best beach on mainland Bali and the Bukit pensinsula is pretty unique.
I'm a real Sideman fan but of your choices I'd do Ubud . Way more variety of scenery, activities, places to stay/eat and easier to reach. And if you walk north from the western end of the main street just before it drops into the ravine you will quickly find rice terrace walks 98% as scenic as Sideman. I think Ubud is one of the must-sees for any visit to Bali.
Before gf heads for the airport maybe Sanur is a good option. The very long beach strip is different enough to Balangan, full range of services and maybe 20 minutes to airport. An alternative closer to Ubud is Padangbai (or Candi Dasa) on the east coast - it may be 60-90 minutes depending on time of day to the airport but you could tag along and then go into Kuta for your last day. Kuta worth a very short stay.