Bali Guide: Where to go and how to get there

Bali is an island of Indonesia and is situated 8 degrees from the equator, in the Java Sea. It is one of the most popular locations for most of the tourists who are looking for an island escape. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. As the only Hindu-majority province in Indonesia, Bali embraces a rich and diverse cultural variety. From a meditation retreat to hitting the waves, you can definitely find your favourite type of vacation on this tropical island.

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Best Time To Visit Bali

In general, Bali is climatically comfortable throughout the year, and is a year-round destination. Summer time during July and August, when it is less humid, is the peak season of visiting Bali, if you would like to avoid the crowd and save cost on flights and accommodation, the period before and after peak season, which is April, May, Jun and September, would be the best time to go.

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Places You Should Visit in Bali

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Kuta Beach

The oldest and most visited beach in bali. This beach is recommended by tourists for water sports, especially for surfing. If you are not a water sports lover, you can still get a tan and enjoy the sunset with some beer. Kuta beach is also great for restaurants , pubs, nightclubs and shopping, and there is always something going on with local festivals.

While you’re in the area, you can also visit Museum Siam, a discovery museum housing interactive exhibits that span Thailand’s development throughout the centuries. Take a walk to the Chao Phraya riverside to watch the sunset over the Wat Arun temple and grab dinner and dessert around Hua Lamphong MRT Station, where the nearby Thammasat and Chulalongkorn University campuses make it a vibrant hotspot for eating and shopping among the student crowd.

Ubud Monkey Forest

If you are an animal lover, this place must be on your itinerary. Only 10 minutes’ walk south of the town center in Ubud, the Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, is one of the top attractions in this tourist town. This is a place where monkeys are conservated with respect and care, the evocative jungle setting allows the monkeys roam free. A tip when you visit this place:  Don’t bring food and keep your valuables inside your bag. There are a lot of photo opportunities with the exotic animals, so make sure you bring a camera with you!

Inside the mall, SookSiam is the modern-day traveler’s answer to the floating market experience, without the long drive, canal bottlenecks and inconvenient bathroom access while sitting in a boat. Culinary representatives from all of Thailand’s provinces are present here, so you can immerse yourself in a dining experience along the waterside without ever leaving the comfort of air-conditioning. 

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Also located at Ubud, Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the famous tourist spots in Bali situated in Tegalalang Village, north of Ubud. Featured by the amazing rice terrace set the cliff, this breath-taking scene is what most tourists rated as a must visit spot. You can also ride on the gigantic swing for a new horizon to enjoy this stunning view.

If you’re looking for Muay Thai shorts and Red Bull tank tops, you won’t find them here. The Artbox night market scene is for local apparel brands, customized mobile accessories, vintage shoes, and unusual experiments in food and beverage. (Try salted banana fries or Thai-Taiwanese fusion rice rolls.)

While Artbox Bangkok is currently situated at Chuvit Garden, the market’s location may be subject to change, so make sure you check before you go. 

Mount Batur

If you are a lover of hiking, Mt. Batur is where you should not miss. Every day in Bali’s predawn darkness, hundreds of visitors begin the trek up the 1,700-meter summit of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise. The hike along the well-marked trails is relatively easy and usually takes about two to three hours. If you are joining a guided trek, they always include a picnic breakfast with eggs cooked by the steam from the active volcano. On a clear day, the views are spectacular, stretching all the way across the Batur caldera; the surrounding mountain range; and beautiful Lake Batur, the island’s main source of irrigation water.

Take a break at Chatuchak Park and enjoy a bit of rare greenery in central Bangkok as you enjoy freshly sliced tropical fruits. A local favorite, also a must eat at beverage stalls is an icy yogurt smoothie blended with Pipo fruit jelly to take away some of the heat.

Pura Tanah Lot

One of Bali’s most iconic temples which signature is the spectacular seaside setting on a rocky islet surrounded by crashing waves. Although foreigners can’t enter any of the temples, you can walk across to the main temple at low tide, the stunning sunset behind the temple is a scene you should not miss.

Across the street at Siam Square is where teenagers hang out. Don’t miss the chance to check out the Scala Theatre, an art deco single-screen attraction surviving since the 1960s. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is also nearby, and if you wake up early enough, the area around the Tesco Lotus down the Rama I Road hosts a small local morning market selling mouthwatering food and basic household needs.

The Nusa Islands

If you’re looking for a slower-paced relaxing holiday, without the crowds, traffic, and tourist touts, the Nusa Islands are where you’ll find it. The most popular of the three islands is Nusa Lembongan, about 20 kilometers offshore from Sanur and easily accessible by speedboat. You may enjoy all kinds of water activities here including surfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Many locals still make their living from seaweed farming, and you can watch them harvesting by the shore.

Lempuyang Temple (Gate of heaven)

Lempuyang Temple is well-known among the tourists as a Instagram hotspot, the famous gate of heaven is pretty popular and sometimes the queue for taking photos can take up to 2 hours long. It is recommended to be there early to get an instagram-able picture without the crowd. If you are interested in a cultural tour, this complex of ancient Hindu temples actually consists of 7 different sanctuaries that sit on the highest peak of Mount Lempuyang, visiting all of them would take about 4 hours, so make sure you reserve enough time to explore.

Kuta BeachUbud Monkey ForestTegalalang Rice TerraceMount BaturPura Tanah LotThe Nusa IslandsLempuyang Temple (Gate of heaven)
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Kuta Beach
Ubud Monkey Forest
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Mount Batur
Pura Tanah Lot
The Nusa Islands
Lempuyang Temple (Gate of heaven)
Kuta Beach

The oldest and most visited beach in bali. This beach is recommended by tourists for water sports, especially for surfing. If you are not a water sports lover, you can still get a tan and enjoy the sunset with some beer. Kuta beach is also great for restaurants , pubs, nightclubs and shopping, and there is always something going on with local festivals.

While you’re in the area, you can also visit Museum Siam, a discovery museum housing interactive exhibits that span Thailand’s development throughout the centuries. Take a walk to the Chao Phraya riverside to watch the sunset over the Wat Arun temple and grab dinner and dessert around Hua Lamphong MRT Station, where the nearby Thammasat and Chulalongkorn University campuses make it a vibrant hotspot for eating and shopping among the student crowd.

Ubud Monkey Forest

If you are an animal lover, this place must be on your itinerary. Only 10 minutes’ walk south of the town center in Ubud, the Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, is one of the top attractions in this tourist town. This is a place where monkeys are conservated with respect and care, the evocative jungle setting allows the monkeys roam free. A tip when you visit this place:  Don’t bring food and keep your valuables inside your bag. There are a lot of photo opportunities with the exotic animals, so make sure you bring a camera with you!

Inside the mall, SookSiam is the modern-day traveler’s answer to the floating market experience, without the long drive, canal bottlenecks and inconvenient bathroom access while sitting in a boat. Culinary representatives from all of Thailand’s provinces are present here, so you can immerse yourself in a dining experience along the waterside without ever leaving the comfort of air-conditioning. 

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Also located at Ubud, Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the famous tourist spots in Bali situated in Tegalalang Village, north of Ubud. Featured by the amazing rice terrace set the cliff, this breath-taking scene is what most tourists rated as a must visit spot. You can also ride on the gigantic swing for a new horizon to enjoy this stunning view.

If you’re looking for Muay Thai shorts and Red Bull tank tops, you won’t find them here. The Artbox night market scene is for local apparel brands, customized mobile accessories, vintage shoes, and unusual experiments in food and beverage. (Try salted banana fries or Thai-Taiwanese fusion rice rolls.)

While Artbox Bangkok is currently situated at Chuvit Garden, the market’s location may be subject to change, so make sure you check before you go. 

Mount Batur

If you are a lover of hiking, Mt. Batur is where you should not miss. Every day in Bali’s predawn darkness, hundreds of visitors begin the trek up the 1,700-meter summit of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise. The hike along the well-marked trails is relatively easy and usually takes about two to three hours. If you are joining a guided trek, they always include a picnic breakfast with eggs cooked by the steam from the active volcano. On a clear day, the views are spectacular, stretching all the way across the Batur caldera; the surrounding mountain range; and beautiful Lake Batur, the island’s main source of irrigation water.

Take a break at Chatuchak Park and enjoy a bit of rare greenery in central Bangkok as you enjoy freshly sliced tropical fruits. A local favorite, also a must eat at beverage stalls is an icy yogurt smoothie blended with Pipo fruit jelly to take away some of the heat.

Pura Tanah Lot

One of Bali’s most iconic temples which signature is the spectacular seaside setting on a rocky islet surrounded by crashing waves. Although foreigners can’t enter any of the temples, you can walk across to the main temple at low tide, the stunning sunset behind the temple is a scene you should not miss.

Across the street at Siam Square is where teenagers hang out. Don’t miss the chance to check out the Scala Theatre, an art deco single-screen attraction surviving since the 1960s. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is also nearby, and if you wake up early enough, the area around the Tesco Lotus down the Rama I Road hosts a small local morning market selling mouthwatering food and basic household needs.

The Nusa Islands

If you’re looking for a slower-paced relaxing holiday, without the crowds, traffic, and tourist touts, the Nusa Islands are where you’ll find it. The most popular of the three islands is Nusa Lembongan, about 20 kilometers offshore from Sanur and easily accessible by speedboat. You may enjoy all kinds of water activities here including surfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Many locals still make their living from seaweed farming, and you can watch them harvesting by the shore.

Lempuyang Temple (Gate of heaven)

Lempuyang Temple is well-known among the tourists as a Instagram hotspot, the famous gate of heaven is pretty popular and sometimes the queue for taking photos can take up to 2 hours long. It is recommended to be there early to get an instagram-able picture without the crowd. If you are interested in a cultural tour, this complex of ancient Hindu temples actually consists of 7 different sanctuaries that sit on the highest peak of Mount Lempuyang, visiting all of them would take about 4 hours, so make sure you reserve enough time to explore.

Top-Rated Hotels in Bali

Hoshinoya Tokyo

Shin-Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Ultimate 5-star Ryokan in the City Centre
$ $ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo

Ginza,Tokyo
A Taste of Modern Luxury in Ginza
$ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

Akasaka, Tokyo
5-star Urban Retreats
$ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

Hoshinoya Tokyo

Shin-Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Ultimate 5-star Ryokan in the City Centre
$ $ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo

Ginza,Tokyo
A Taste of Modern Luxury in Ginza
$ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

Akasaka, Tokyo
5-star Urban Retreats
$ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

Hoshinoya Tokyo

Shin-Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Ultimate 5-star Ryokan in the City Centre
$ $ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo

Ginza,Tokyo
A Taste of Modern Luxury in Ginza
$ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

Akasaka, Tokyo
5-star Urban Retreats
$ $ $ $

Book via Agoda

Bali Travel Tips

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How To Get Around Bali

By ride-sharing apps

Grab and Gojek and the apps that are commonly used in Bali. Given that the traffic condition is always congested in Bali, calling a moped instead of a car would be a faster and cheaper choice. You may even rent a driver for a day of 8-10 hours to take you around Bali, the Grab drivers are usually more friendly than local taxi drivers and most of them speak English.

By boat

When you’re traveling around Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Lombok and the Gili Islands, speedboat is a popular choice. However, the lack of safety regulations, lack of crew training and the rough condition of water off Bali make safety of boat riding a big concern. For your safety, make sure you ride on a bigger boat without overcrowding and check for safety equipment when you get on the boat. And the most important note is to  take responsibility for your own safety because no one else will.

By tourist bus

Although there are local buses and bemos (minibus) running across the cities in Bali, tourist buses are more economical and convenient ways to get around. You’ll see signs offering services in major tourist areas. Typically a tourist bus is an 8- to 20-passenger vehicle. Service is not as quick as with your own car and driver but it’s far easier than trying for public bemos and buses. Kura-Kura Bus and Perama are the major tourist bus operators, while Kura-Kura Bus is owned by innovative expat which offers wifi on it fleet and you can check their schedule online or via app.

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