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10 Days in Bali- The Western side?

Posted by Chaia09 on 25/5/2017 at 16:48

Hello!
My husband and I will be in Bali for a wedding this October. We'll be in Kuta for the ceremony but have about 10 days afterwards to get out of the city and see some more of the island. After some research, we've decided to focus on the Western side and I've seen less information about this part of the island vs the East side.
We're both active and outdoors-y and love snorkeling, hiking, biking, visiting cultural sites, and laying on the beach reading a book.

This is our tentative plan:
-Kuta for the wedding
-2 Days in Tabanan to see Pura Luhur Batukaru and the butterfly park
-2 Days snorkeling around Menjangan Island (planning on staying at one of the hotels in the park)
-1 Day snorkeling in Pemuteran
-1 Day in Bubunan to see Brahma Vihara Arama
-2 Days back in Kuta before flying home.
With some days built in for traveling longer distances.

Some concerns I have:
-Getting around. We've decided not to rent a car of our own so we'd want to use drivers for traveling. Is it easier to get one driver for the entire time we're there or to arrange it piecemeal from place to place? Would we be successful arranging travel through the hotels?
-Traffic. I've tried to plan in enough time to travel in between destinations, just based on google maps. Are those times accurate?
-Trash in the water around Menjangan and Pemuteran. I was really disheartened to learn that this is a problem. Does it take enough away from the experience that it should be avoided completely?

Thank so much!
-Chaia

#1 Chaia09 has been a member since 25/5/2017. Posts: 2
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Posted by somtam2000 on 25/5/2017 at 20:50 admin

Hi Chaia,

Ok, those are definitely a few off the radar spots - I'd never heard of the meditation centre, and haven't visited Luhur Batukaru, tho do know it as one of the directional temples here on the island (so it is a revered one amongst Balinese).

To your questions, a couple of thoughts:

1) Unless you're set on staying in/around Tabanan you could leave Kuta earlyish, visit the temple and the butterfly park and continue on to Munduk —which is roughly half way to the north coast as the crow flies. It's a ridge-top village, plenty of places to stay, pretty waterfalls, hiking and so on. Also a good spot to break the drive.

2) The snorkelling at Menjangan is better by a significant degree than at Pemuteran the latter is of more interest for its reef rehab stuff (artificial reefs) but Menjangan is far better.

3) If you're staying at one of the hotels in the park, do check what they charge for the excursions to Menjangan—there is often quite a mark-up!

4) I'd lean towards recommending a different spot for the last couple of days Canggu perhaps, other than Kuta, but, depends on what you're looking for I guess.

Your questions:
1) A driver, yes you can organise a driver piecemeal (via hotel or off the street) or you can organise one for the entire trip. If the latter you need to nego with driver regarding who pays for what (as far as accommodation, petrol and food go). If you're looking for a driver recommendation, I can reccy Putu, who we've known for years (and many Travelfish readers have used his services!) You can contact him via Facebook here.

2) Yes you've allowed enough time for travel. Outside of South Bali the traffic isn't too bad.

3) The trash can be a real crapshoot. It depends a lot on the tide and the wind. I've been snorkelling there sometimes when the water is covered with plastic (like hundreds of bottles, noodle wrappers etc) and other times barely any plastic at all. It varies and there is no "right" time to go unfortunately. The trash is an island wide problem unfortunately.

Hope that helps!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,015
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Posted by Chaia09 on 26/5/2017 at 10:29

I'd definitely be interested in seeing locations other than Kuta in that area, but we're visiting with friends while we're there so that takes priority :)

Thanks so much for the info, it helps a lot!

#3 Chaia09 has been a member since 25/5/2017. Posts: 2
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Posted by aliah4 on 22/6/2017 at 23:44

Answering to your question here, I would say you can send some time at kuta and Ubud and experience some of the beaches and temple there. Kuta beach, Dream Museum Zone, Vihara Dharmayana Kuta, etc is a must see there.

For Ubud, you have great places like Goa Gajah 'Elephant Cave', Ubud Monkey Forest, Puri Saren Royal Palace, Blanco Renaissance Museum, Campuhan Ridge Walk etc.

Your plan looks pretty clean, but if you are having second thoughts about Menjangan and Pemuteran, then you can go to Tulamben or Nusa Islands for better experience.

Else even these are better island's but you have to look after the trash. Hope when you visit it will be as per your expectation.

"Getting around. We've decided not to rent a car of our own so we'd want to use drivers for traveling. Is it easier to get one driver for the entire time we're there or to arrange it piecemeal from place to place?"
- You can get them easily, but my recommendation would be to book it early so that you will have it all planned. You don’t have to worry if you don’t get any future bookings. It is rare but still why take the risk. You can take help of the local dealers who will provide you with a decent driver.

"Traffic. I've tried to plan in enough time to travel in between destinations, just based on google maps. Are those times accurate?"
- It is not accurate but doable.

"Trash in the water around Menjangan and Pemuteran. I was really disheartened to learn that this is a problem. Does it take enough away from the experience that it should be avoided completely?"
- I have already given you replacements. You can google for the details.

Hope this will help you. If you have got any queries let us know.

#4 aliah4 has been a member since 16/2/2017. Location: India. Posts: 7

Posted by flijten on 23/6/2017 at 04:10

Having spent a few days in Munduk just now, I agree with that suggestion. A nice 3 to 4 hour trek gets you to three nicewaterfalls, accomodation is in abundance and if you stick around another day you could go into the ricefields or drive over to very closeby Bedugul for a walk around the lakes and in the Botanical gardens. Highly reccomended!

#5 flijten has been a member since 19/12/2016. Location: Netherlands. Posts: 78

Posted by Gabe on 5/7/2017 at 06:22

You'll find that Pemuteran is the stepping off place for Menjangan Island, so they're basically the same destination. You can't stay on Menjangan itself. If you want somewhere to stay in Pemuteran, a bit upmarket but not over the top, try Taman Sari. Its gardens are great and right on the beach. I've never experienced trash at Menjangan but certainly have at Nusa Penida. Also please be aware the currents at Penida can be literally lethal. Menjangan is much safer.



If you're heading to the north coast from Tabanan you can also go via Pupuan instead of Munduk.. also a gorgeous drive, there's places to stay, and there's a Buddhist Vihara to visit there as well.

#6 Gabe has been a member since 5/7/2017. Posts: 8



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