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Is 3 weeks in Bali too long?

Posted by marie79 on 4/10/2013 at 14:07

Hi everyone,
We're a family of 4 (parents, 1 3 years old, and one 1 year old) going to Bali in February.
- We are thinking of staying 3 weeks, would it be too long or should we include a nearby island or places like Nusa Lembongan?
We don't want to "see as much as possible", we know that traveling with 2 young children is much slower now than when my husband and I were backpacking....
All we want is a relaxing holiday, spending time with our children and doing things with them, and of course, discover the local culture.
Basically, we want a mix between some time on the beach and some sightseeing but without rushing.
-We were thinking spending a few days in Ubud, then one week in Sanur beach, and .... (don't know yet)
We were thinking of staying in a hotel in Ubud, and then rent a villa/apartment.
-Any recommendation for villa rentals?
-Is it better to hire a car and drive ourselves or is it better to hire a car with a driver day by day?
Also, we will be flying out of Jakarta ? Would you recommend to spend a few days in Jakarta or just fly from Bali to Jakarta and straight home?
-One last question if I may... For the domestic flight from Bali to Jakarta, is it better (I mean cheaper) to book it now (departure date is February 26) or just leave it to the last minute according the the plans?
Thanks a lot for your time and apologies if some of the questions here have been answered already.

#1 marie79 has been a member since 18/12/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by somtam2000 on 4/10/2013 at 19:48 admin

Hi Marie,

A few questions there, so I'll give it a go - we have two kids (5 & 6) and have lived in Bali for over 5 years now (Jakarta before that).

* Three weeks is a good stint in Bali and if you were to add somewhere else, I'd say Nusa Lembongan would be a good choice, but there is plenty enough on Bali itself.

* Sanur is a popular choice for those with young kids as the beach is protected by a reef so is safer for little kids. It isn't the islands most beautiful beach, but it's none too shabby.

So if you have a week in Sanur, then a fairly typical loop I'd recommend from there is first to Ubud to get the ricefield fix - plenty of places to stay -- both guesthouses and resorts as well as villas by the truckload. It is a very developed area -- so don't go expecting chilled out village life. I'd suggest 3-4 nights

* Get the chilled out village life at Sidemen -- your next stop from Ubud -- it is sort of like Ubud without the hordes and certainly without the traffic. There's a good selection of places to stay, and the main past times are hanging out, ricefield walks and so on. Say 3 nights

* From Sidemen, back down to the coast to Candi Dasa for a night. While the beaches are a mess here there is some good day tripping and boat trips you can do from here and a day trip to White Sand Beach is recommended. Say 2 nights

* Then onto Amed . I'm a big fan of Amed -- there's a bunch of black sand bays, very calm water and heaps of places to stay. The snorkelling is ok. Perhaps 3-4 nights.

* Then the four hour drive back to south Bali for 1-2 nights somewhere in South Bali - perhaps Seminyak for shopping and eating or Canggu for more a villa fix then the flight out.

That's just a sample of course, you could drop say Candi Dasa and then fit Lembongan in... Lots of possibilities.

Your other questions:
* Villa rentals: What sort of budget are you looking at?
* Driving or driver: If you're comfortable driving in SE Asia, then Bali is find to drive yourself (you'll need an international driver's license). You can rent a Daihatsi Xenia for around 250,000 rupiah per day (or thereabouts) Not all will have seatbelts and to my knowledge you can't rent car for kids seats -- we've got two if you want them ;-).
* Jakarta: I am not Jakarta's biggest fan and with young kids, I'd be inclined to skip it.
* Booking flights - if your dates are set, I'd book it now (try Garuda or AirAsia) as you'll more likely get a good price than closer to the date.

Also, for kids, check the Bali for kids section on the Bali wire - there are suggestions for kid's playgrounds/fun centres etc etc in there.

More questions, ask away.



#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,941
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Posted by marie79 on 6/10/2013 at 14:58

Dear Stuart,
Thank you so much for this very helpful answer.
3 weeks in Bali it is... We'll not bother with another island or Jakarta, there seems to be plenty of things to do in Bali itself.
Thank you again for the suggestions about the itinerary. We were actually thinking of visiting the island and then spend the last week on the beach in Samur (because I read it was a good beach for small children) but any other suggestion is welcome. Didn't hear so many good things about Kuta but we would consider any other place you would suggest.
For the villa rentals, we were thinking about 50/60 euros a day, I don't know if this is possible??? Haven't done so much research yet, so I don't have any idea about the prices... We are certainly NOT looking for luxury, it is just that we have noticed that with 2 young children, enjoying a quiet evening meal in a restaurant is (almost) never possible, .. and it is easier to enjoy a nice bottle of wine later at night, knowing the kids are quiet and asleep in the other room... A kitchen is also nice to prepare the youngest one pureed food,... Anyways...
About the driving versus driver. none of us have driven in SE Asia but we live in Turkey and my husband doesn't mind driving in Istanbul (huge city and crazy traffic). Not that you can compare it with SE Asia, but he might be ok... I was just wondering if price wise, one option is more economical than the other.
Thank you again for the tip about the domestic flights, we'll have a look and book ASAP since we know we don't want to stop in Jakarta.
I will check the Bali for kids article. I already saw on this website that there were a book called Bali with kids, we have ordered it online and received it, seems like there are tons of activities...
Thank you again so much for your time and answer, this website has been very helpful so far (and I haven't read everything yet!!)
All the best

#3 marie79 has been a member since 18/12/2009. Posts: 8

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