“What will you do in Bali for more than three days?” a friend quipped as we told him our plans of visiting the island of gods for 6 nights and 7 days. He had recently come back from Bali from his honeymoon and wasn’t sure how we were going to spend our days there. But believe me, we found that 7 days were less to enjoy the beauty, art and culture of this island.
The first question that our tour guide asked when we landed in Bali was, “Sir, would you like to go for water sports or white water rafting?” And we looked at each-other all amused. OH said that such activities are also available in India and we would rather spend time experiencing the unique places in Bali than indulge in such activities. The guide said, “Most of the Indians arriving in Bali are honeymooning couples and they go for water sports and other adventure sports here.” We said, “This couple is not honeymooning so you can suggest us places of cultural interest.” Anyway we already had kept our checklist ready about what to do and where to go in Bali.
Bali is a small island and you can cover from one end to another in flat three and a half hours. The topography is contrasting as you get to experience few of the best beaches as well as mountain area within this little island. It is very difficult to cover everything in one post so I will be putting up a series of posts to help you plan your trip to Bali. Bali is 2.5 hours ahead of us, so if it’s 10:30 am in Bali then its 8:00 am in India. You need not buy a local sim if you have internet at home as we made international calls to home through Viber whenever we were in a wifi zone. In other times, which was rare, we asked the hotel to coordinate on our behalf with the tour operators, etc.
We did a customized trip through MakeMyTrip.com which covered Ubud and Nusa Dua. Though, MakeMyTrip was reluctant to give us the combination of Nusa Dua and Ubud as they felt Ubud was far and the transportation would become expensive. But we insisted and finally they obliged. If you want to experience real Bali then you should not miss Ubud. Ubud and Nusa Dua are two contrasting areas in Bali as Ubud is the culture capital whereas Nusa Dua is laid back luxury in the lap of 5 star hotels. Ubud is near the hills whereas Nusa Dua has clean white beaches. We had been suggested Kuta or Seminiyak for best nightlife experience but it wasn’t necessary to stay there. We took a taxi from our hotel in Nusa Dua and reached Kuta within half an hour. So, if you are not the kinds who love tourist hustle and bustle then stay away from Kuta and Seminiyak and visit only when required. Though, these two areas provide some cheap boarding and breakfast hotels and is ideal for party hoppers.
We had boarded Malindo Airlines from Mumbai International Airport till Kaula Lumpur and later boarded a connecting flight from KL to Bali. Malindo Airlines is a low frill airline which provides only biscuit and water during KL-Bali flight and a small tiffin of boiled food items (rice, dal, vegetable/chicken curry) during Mumbai – KL trip. You can buy food in the flight if you need additional food or beverages. I realized it was best to eat at the Mumbai airport before boarding the flight. There are many restaurants inside the airport. Malindo Airlines takes 5.5 hours between Mumbai and KL and then there is a transit time of 3 hours before you board the KL – Bali flight. KL to Bali takes another 2.5 hours. The airline has in-flight entertainment system but doesn’t provide earphones so it is best to carry your own. It does provide a small pillow but blankets are available only on request. The good part about Malindo Airlines is that it has ample of leg space and the flight attendants are efficient.
KL transit area at the airport is rather disappointing with very less places to eat/shop, etc. But it provides free wifi for 3 hours. On our way back, we decided to park ourselves at Plaza Airport Lounge for three hours with unlimited food (limited menu options though), beverages and wifi. It cost us around Rs. 1500 per person but was worth it. We were allowed to check the food menu before placing an order with them.
Bali International Airport Duty Free area was expensive than Mumbai International Airport so we didn’t buy much stuff other than chocolates on our way back. Shopping at the local stores was better pricewise. If you want to buy last minute souvenirs then you should look for WHSmith store near gate number 1 and 2 which has lowest prices in the Bali airport. Malindo allows you to bring food from outside so pack a sandwich and some coffee before boarding Bali – KL flight.
Hope this is helpful while planning your Bali trip.