Bali sometimes has an unfair reputation of being full of Bintang singlets, local hagglers and drunken bogans. If you don’t venture out of Kuta then unfortunately this could easily become your experience too.
I’ve been to Bali four times spanning over several years, and with a few years break it was time to go back. I made a promise to myself that I would steer clear of the ‘Kuta vortex’ and I did so in the literal sense – steering clear on the best way to get around – on a scooter.
Over 7 days we explored the island on bike and whilst the traffic can sometimes be a beast, with a little bit of confidence and erring on the side of caution, you can get around unscathed. When the traffic is filled to the brim and at times at a standstill, a bike can be the easiest option, allowing you to weave your way through and get to any destination faster.
We stayed in Uluwatu and in Seminyak, but ventured through to Jimbaran Bay, Nusa Dua, Ubud, Celuk, Canguu, Tegalalang, Mas, Gianyar and Sukawati. A bike really is the best way to avoid the unfavourable side of Bali and explore what the island has to offer – rolling hills, balinese jungle, rice paddies, waterfalls and much more.
We arrived in Bali in the late evening and headed straight to our villa in Uluwatu. One thing I noticed was the new and improved streamlined process of getting into the country. In the past Australians had to buy a Visa on arrival which normally meant long queues in the exhausting heat, however now with the Visa waiver, Australians can bypass this process.
With our luggage we needed to arrange a lift from the airport so doing this through a friend we paid 150,000 rupiah which is roughly $15AUD. The villa we were staying at offered transport for $35 per person so it is sometimes best to shop around for the best price, especially on transport.
WHERE TO STAY
Prasana by Arjani Resorts Bali is seriously the most amazing resort I have ever stayed at. It is located in Ungasan which is not far from Uluwatu, and whilst it is a little secluded, this is possibly the best thing about the resort. You feel like you are there on your own and with amenities like your own personal infinity pool and an outdoor bath, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
THINGS TO DO
Single Fin Sundays for sunset drinks. Nothing beats sunset cocktails but be sure to get there before 4pm if you want to get a seat!
Monkey Forest in Ubud. Get up close and personal with the cheeky monkeys but be sure to watch your stuff as they will steal it if they get the chance!
Rice terrace in Tegallalang. This is one of my favourite things! It is literally breath-taking scenery and worth the trip.
Silver and gold shopping in Celuk. Here you can literally watch the fine workmanship of goldsmiths as they make each silver and gold item, and shop the numerous stores which sell the highest quality jewellery.
WHERE TO EAT
Motel Mexicola in Seminyak. Try the vegetarian tacos and pina coladas!
Sea Circus in Seminyak for their rice paper rolls!
Cafe Organic in Seminyak for breakfast and lunch.
Vegan ice creams from Mad Pops.
Corn from the street vendors.
Australian style coffee from Revolver.