#Natswanderlust – My Eat.Pray.Love Escapade
BALI is everything … the phrase I would always say when you ask me about my Bali trip.
From temples, sceneries, nature, the food, beaches, the activities, the Balinese Culture and Traditions, the place as a whole, the cheap fancy hotels, superb villas, the locals who welcomes the tourists heartwarmingly, the chillin’ vibe and to Instagrammable spots to look out — SEE!! Bali is indeed everything.
It is a place where everyone is loving, a peg everybody has been talking about, a sanctuary they call paradise. A country and place where I am sure you’d fall in love with too ❤ I had its first glimpse of Bali after I watched EAT.PRAY.LOVE movie of Julia Roberts, I fell in love how solo travelling was placed into the picture and how wonderful Bali could be, I did series of research, look over different blogs, talked to my fellow traveler friends hahaha! That certainly helped me finished my own set of itinerary.
Thinking of a perfect birthday treat for me – I knew that Bali is a place where I should spend my birthday week. Julia Roberts was able to find love in Bali (*spoiler alert) and so did I find my love for more travels as well that inspires me to wander more and discover more often.
In this blog, let me share with you my brief itinerary for 1 week, my DIY trip with the places I’ve been, sites, restaurants and Warung to check out, budget and accommodation I fell in love with as well, plus notes and tips for your Bali travel as well.
I’ll be creating more detailed blog post per each site as well, most especially my favorites ❤ so keep in touch and stay updated on my site.
So read on..
BALI is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.
HOW TO GO TO BALI FROM MANILA :
- Going to Bali, there is a direct flight from Manila all the way to Denpasar
- I booked via Cebu Pacific a flight from Manila to DPS worth P3,240 per pax one way; it was a promo fare but you may get cheaper ticket for it.
- We arrived at Densapar International Airport and was picked-up by our Bali Tour Driver directly from the airport
*Notes : to score cheaper flights, always tune in airlines facebook pages, nor newsletter for prompt on promos. I also have Skyscanner over my phone where I check from time to time the cheap flights
- Going back, we booked for Grab Car all the way to the airport
- For the ticket back to Manila – I managed to score a deal from Skyscanner via Trip.com; it was still under Cebu Pacific but the ticket price was really cheaper. It was my first time to use Trip.com and it was legit hahaha!!
GOING AROUND BALI :
- Unlike my other out of the countries trip, going around Bali is thru a private car or van (*if you are in big group)
- There was no MRT or train system around, no jeepneys, nor tuktuk that would take you easily from one place to another.
- The best option would be hiring a private car that would tour you around Bali. You may contact my driver : SATRIA of BALI TOURS via Whatsapp +62 812-4675-3054
- The standard car rate is (IDR 450.000 / PHP 1,700 / USD 32 ) for 10 hours, this includes the driver, gas, toll, parking fees + a bottled water. See !!! it is super cheap! max per car is at least 4 pax (so we get to manage our expenses with almost just P450 – P500 per pax on this or USD 4.58)
- Your itinerary for the day depends on your liking and where you’d want to plan it
- There are some tours that is better to book via Klook.com (*we’ll elaborate the rest later on as we go on the way)
MONEY / CURRENCY :
- The Indonesian currency is called – Indonesian Rupiah / with the symbol IDR
- AS of writing PHP 363 = IDR 100.000
- For Money Changer; there are everywhere in Bali! It is open 24 hours a day and you may see it everywhere, but still be extra cautious as there are also SCAM around.
- I always change my money at NAIA airport, saving myself from stress ahead of time looking for money changers. If not, just change your money to USD so you have dollars in time of your arrival in the foreign country.
- Bali was indeed and surprisingly very cheap! You can actually spend Php 20,000 pesos or less in a week in this paradise
- Off course, it still depends on the final itinerary you are about to do, the activities you’d dwell and shopping escapade!
- AS for my end, if you’d follow my same itinerary below I actually spent Php 28,000 all-in for my 1 week Bali trip (*this includes my shopping and food escapade – that is definitely dependent on your liking, plus my villa choices and hotel accom. I was very particular with as well.
- English was widely used but there are still some barriers, anyhow it was easy to do sign languages as well hahaha! So it was smooth sailing
Sharing here some of my useful Indonesian Words I used during the trip :
Terima Kasih – Thank You
Sama sama – Welcome
Maam maam – sorry
Chantik – beautiful(*this isn’t really very useful – gusto lang namen malaman hahaha)
Iyah – Yes
Kamu – you
Pura – delicious
ELECTRICAL SOCKET :
Electrical Socket in Bali uses something like this :
Make sure to bring this adaptor during your travel for your charging devices, I got a universal adopter from ACE Hardware and it was very helpful as well.
If ever you’ll forget to buy one, you may also buy one thru convenient stores as it is widely available
- If you have been keeping up my with my travels, you’d see that I don’t usually settle in one accommodation place or hotel or hostel
- I love checking and trying as much as I could so to maximize my stay in a particular area. Sharing here some discoveries :
UBUD SARI VILLA
Booked via agoda.com
Cost : Php 700 per pax or Php 1,400 per room for 2 (USD 26 / IDR 380.000)
- This hotel / villa type is super fancy for a cheap price, it comes with an AC, spacious room, 2 comfort rooms, an access to the pool side, it comes with a buffet breakfast, and the room has TV, a ref, coffee and mineral water and all amenities from a hotel room
- It is near convenience stores, money changer, spa houses, restaurants and is blocks away over Ubud Market
*Note : Grab Car isn’t available in the Ubud area, if you need a service going from one place to another, ask your hotel receptionist to ask and look for cab rides
VILLA SUNRISE SEMINYAK
Cost : Php 3,668 per night / USD 69 good for max of 6 people
Booked via Airbnb.com
*If it’s your first time to book for Airbnb room, use my link to get discount!!! : Booked thru : http://www.airbnb.com/c/nathalies2488 and get additional travel credits
- Who wouldn’t want to have you own villa when you stay in Bali?
- This villa comes with 2 rooms, a dining area, a swimming pool, private area, cooking is allowed with all the utensils, and cooking items, a refrigerator, a hot and cold dispenser, the rooms comes with an AC and private CR, spacious everywhere
- This villa is near fastfood chains, it is located at the city center of Bali, near convenience stores, near the biggest SB in Bali, a grab car away from the famous spots : Mexicola, La Plancha, Kynd Community and the likes
SEMINYAK GARDEN HOTEL
Cost : Php 1,200 per room for 2 pax / USD 22
Booked via agoda.com
- It comes with a private hotel room, own CR with hotel amenities, it is with AC, hot showers, plus our hotel room comes with a view of the swimming pool as well, it comes with the access on the pool, and there is also a restaurant on the ground floor (*so when you’re too tired to go out at night – this is such a great option!)
- What I love about this hotel, is its cheap, the food from the restaurant is cheap and still it looks fancy, the experience was really great!!
- The hotel is near convenience stores, Kynd Community, mini shops around, restaurants, money changer, spa and salons if you need one, and just a grab car away La Plancha Beach and near sites.
MANILA – UBUD – BEDUGUL – SEMINYAK – ULUWATU – NUSA PENIDA
- A quick look on my 7 days escapade from Manila.
- Just to tell you that my itinerary below is based on my actual trip in Bali, it was base on my liking and the places and restaurants I wanted to spend at the same time. Use it as your guide when coming up on your own
- During all and any of my travels, I opt to do it the DIY style (Do-It-Yourself) this is to manage all my expectations, my phase, my time and budget. I usually do a lot of research ahead of time from various blogs, ask people around with their own experiences whether good or bad and come up with my own.
- If you’ve been following my travels – I make sure that I get to maximize the place as much as possible. Go to various places, eat on food finds, adventures, activities but still managing all my expenses.
OTHER NOTES TO BEGIN WITH :
- Bali is relatively cheap, it depends on your final itinerary and activities the total budget you have to shell out. Entrance fees were cheap on every site, temples and photo spots
- Reality Check – please expect a lot of people lining up for the same photo spots all and around Bali; make sure you do you research in advance so you know which spots to look out to.
- In Handara Gate – we were even running and really hurrying up to capture the photo we’d want hahaha!! It was crazily fun (*but it does not add to the total vacation experience-ish as well in the place)
- Photo Spots
- Bali is known for having that picturesque and Instagrammable shot of various form; the famous swing, bird’s nest and the like – but research will tell you that there were actually many sites to see depending on the background you are rooting for.
- The Bali Swing for instance, located in Ubud where the entrance was IDR 500.000 for all the photo spots plus a buffet lunch – we opted to skip this as reality will show you that you have to keep on lining up just for a photo (and I hated wasting our time for that as well) – we went to Tegalallang Rice Terrace instead and the swing and the view was still pretty good and even way better
- The Bird’s nest photo and the likes were all in Wanagiri – the famous one is called Wanagiri Hidden Hill but mind and tell you that everyone also wanted the same photo as you – you’d end up lining up per spot once again. Do note that there is a wide stretch of this beautiful photo spot area even beside the original one and you’d still come up with the same photo anyways (*check on my actual photos as we go along)
- Lempuyang Temple – the famous Gates to Heaven located in Ubud where it would take you around 2 hours travel time was one of the longest line of people during our entire Bali trip, we were at the temple as ealy as 730AM, but still the line of people wishing for a photo op is never-ending. We decided to take photos around instead, appreciate and roam around as we head back to our car service to maximize the day instead.
- Warung – or the food stall and mini-restaurant or in the Philippines (“carinderia-ish) where food is cheaper than restaurants food. You’d see this along the way as you tour around. You may also check out the resto stalls and food places we’ve been able to try out in this blog
- If you have plans of touring Nusa Penida – I would suggest to spend 2 days to really divulge and enjoy the island (if you love the beach more than ever :D) if not, and would rather stay and stick with all the photo spots; a day may have been enough for you.
- Shopping – if you opt to shop for rattan bags and all that sorts, the best place and the cheapest to have one is at Tirta Empul (*the place of the Spiritual Water takes place) the market just right outside offers the cheapest rattan bags — *TAKE NOTE : that one regular size of the rattan bag can go as low as IDR 80.000 per piece (or PHP 295.00 / USD 5.62) this is contrary to Ubud Market that charges as high as IDR 250.000 per piece
- Prepare yourself though as vendors are everywhere, various items can be bought home as souvenirs for your trip.
DAY 1 – MNL – UBUD
Overview : It was a stressful Friday vibe with all the work from the office before I headed straight to airport for my first super early morning call time as I bound for Bali.
Going to Bali from Manila – the usual time is only between late night flight of 11PM to early morning flight like mine at 4AM. Directly from the airport, our tour guide / driver “SATRIA” fetched us directly from the airport and started our day trip all the way to Ubud.
- Car Service rental from Airport to Ubud Day Tour via Satria Bali Tour
- Contact number : SATRIA of BALI TOURS via Whatsapp +62 812-4675-3054
- Rate : IDR 450.000 / Php 1,700.00 (*we were 4 in the group that we manage to save and divide the cost for it)
- Brunch at Teba Sari Restaurant
- Tegalallang Rice Terrace (*if entrance only – IDR 50.000)
- Super Extreme Bali Swing (IDR 200.000 / Php 700 / USD 14.14)
- Open from 6:30AM – 6:30PM
- Alas Harum Agro Tourism
- Free entrance with free coffee and tea tasting
- Luwak Coffee (IDR 50.000 / Php 185 / USD 3.51)
- Tegenungan Waterfall (*if time permits)
- Ubud Temple – FREE Entrance
- Saraswati Temple – FREE Entrance
- Ubud Market
- Shopping escapade
- Make sure to bargain rates as low as 50% off the first offered price
- The Rattan Circular Bag should be at least – IDR 100.000 per piece to be worth the price
- Gourmet Gelato Ubud
- Check-in Sari Villa Ubud
- Dinner Out – Sareng sareng (*near our hotel place in Ubud)
My take aways :
- Convenience store are everywhere, we also have enough IDR money as well for our shopping haven, if you’d stay in Ubud for 2 days at most – it is still better to shop for rattan bags in Tirta Empul where each bag can go as low as IDR 80.000 each.
- Don’t be confused – there are so many Bali swings available everywhere!!!! But the largest one is the one in Tegalallang. We initially dropped off at BALI SWING where the swing and the rest of the photo spots plus buffet lunch is worth IDR 500.000 (* it was definitely really expensive + the fact of the Bali reality where everyone has to line up first just for a photo op)
- Having a car service the entire day from airport transfers and spot hopping was really efficient, it was also cheap as imagine splitting the cost for the whole day trip. If you are a bigger group – best to rent a van instead. Habal is also available on some sites – but I do not recommend it in Ubud where everything is far from one place to another.
- I enjoyed the Luwak Coffee experience, it was like a short field trip vibe where the process of Luwak Coffee Making was explained – try it with the chocolate cookies as well !!! it perfectly blends well.
DAY 2 – UBUD
Overview : My initial itinerary was swapped between the first and second day due to certain considerations that was mentioned by our guide. We continued the Ubud Trip once again on the second day.
- Hotel buffet breakfast from Ubud Sari Villa
- But since we started the trip pretty early, we only have pancakes for breakfast hahaha!!
- 5:00AM | Pick-up from hotel
- Pura Lempuyang
- The Golden Gate to Heaven
- Free Entrance
- But everyone needs to wear a sarong with a rent for IDR 10.000 per sarong. If you opt to buy a big sarong for you – it would be better as well so no need to rent
- Tirta Gangga
- Entrance Fee IDR 40.000
- Fish Pellet IDR 5.000
- Tirta Empul
- Holy Spring Water
- Entrance IDR 50.000
- Our tour guide IDR 100.000 / 4 = IDR 25.000 per pax
- Shopping in Tirta Empul
- Back to hotel
- Swimming in Hotel
- Dinner – Sareng Sareng
My Take aways :
- Going to Pura Lempuyang would take you 2 – 3hours, we left our hotel by 5AM and we made it in time for 7:30AM in Pura Lempuyang. There was a super duper long lines already which makes us wander to the rest of the temples you’d see around. It depends on you, if you’d still opt to stay and line up for 2 – 3 hours for that 1 photo over the gate *it’s a matter of choice
- We rode habal habal for IDR 20.000 per pax going from Pura Lempuyang to the next temple then back. It was foggy and super cold on this side of Bali so be OOTD ready as well (*a pashmina and sarong always on point!!!!)
- I enjoyed the Fish feeding activity – the place was nice, the view was scenic and I find it amazing
- Going from one place to another usually takes at least an hour – so we actually managed to power nap over the car every now and then hahaha!!
- I so love Tirta Empul where a taste of Balinese Religious activity was shared, we had a guide who helped and explained us everything about the rituals the meaning of each holy spring and the proper ways and means to do it – he was also holding our cameras and personal phones the entire time, and we only gave him a tip for everything. So make sure to ask a guide to help you explain the do’s and don’ts also of the ritual to better appreciate it.
- Shopping in Tirta Empul is what I am telling you about – you’d be shocked how cheap everything is in here! Just remember to still bargain (*wag po tayong papatalo)
- If it wasn’t about our shopping that eats up our time – you can still and also visit a Waterfalls near it as well.
- We exchange money on the second night – coz shopping is life hahahaha!! Thank god for all the money changer around (*with free water also)
- Eating out over warung and restaurants around – make sure to buy insect repellant as well *better safe than sorry)
- We went back to our hotel and enjoy the rest of our day over the pool side.
DAY 3 – BEDUGUL – SEMINYAK
Overview : After our 2 nights stay in Ubud; we’re now bound to the city center of Bali. On our 3rd day we focuses on the famous photo spots area in Bali; the photos you see over Instagram and everything in between.
- Breakfast over our hotel
- buffet breakfast from our hotel (which is extremely good, though expect more Bali dishes for this hihi!)
- Check-out from Sari Villa Ubud
- Wanagiri Swing and Bird’s Nest
- Entrance Fee : IDR 50.000 per pax
- Lunch – Ngereng ngewedang
- Nice view !!! but service is slow
- Waterfall (*there was also a waterfall nearby; if you have more time to spare go with it)
- Handara Gate
- IDR 30.000 per pax
- Ulun Danu Temple
- IDR 50.000 per pax
- Check-in to Seminyak Villa – Villa Sunrise Seminyak
- Booking via Airbnb
- Rate :
- Dinner – Mcdonalds!!!!! Hahahaha!!!
- it was good to be back in the city!! first line of business is our comfort food haha!
- Night Out – La Favela
- Wanagiri is like a long stretch of Instagrammable photo area / spots; there were everywhere so just look where you can actually save your time and where there is no line of people at the same time
- We had our late lunch near Wanagiri at Ngiring Ngewedang, though the view was superb and very beautiful it took us time to have our orders ready
- This particular spot in Bali was also extremely cold – considering it was summer when we visits; having a pashmina is really a must have everywhere you go
- On restaurants – they do not serve free tap water (*and better not to drink over tap water as well – just buy mineral bottled waters)
- Handara Gate – is one on my bucket list!! To run over this golf entrance everyone is raving about. There is a line of people waiting for their turn for a photo op, so manage your time at the same time. We even had to line up the second time around to have another sets of photo and ditched the waterfalls instead hahahaha!! It was actually funny how you act out for a photo op while everyone else is looking at you hahaha!!
- We were carrying all our luggages and bags over the car since we checked-out in the morning already to move to our villa in Seminyak.
- If you’ve seen my villa booking earlier in this post, just to reiterate that the location was really nice as it is near fastfood chains at the same time! We ate at Mcdonalds for dinner!!! Super happy hahahahah!! It was like our forever comfort food in a foreign country.
- La Favela was also a big place for a night out! It’s long stretch makes it comfortable to move around.
- Locating from one place to another via Grab App was pretty convenient – just make sure you have small bills for paying.
DAY 4 – ULUWATU
Overview : Happy Birthday Self! As I welcome my 27th Birthday over our villa fronting the swimming pool across our glass room. Coming from our late night out over La Favela – we managed for a staycation vibe over the morning, swam over the pool and waited for our tour for the rest of the day by the afternoon.
- South Kuta Tour
- Booked via Klook.com (Php 900.00 per pax / IDR 244.000 / USD 17)
- It is a good buy as it includes (van pick-up from hotel and back, Entrance Fees for the day, car service to Uluwatu)
- Padang – padang Beach
- IDR 30.000 (*part of the package)
- This beach is best for surfing, it was somehow crowded but it was still nice to spend a laid back afternoon
- Padang – padang Beach
- Lunch – over Warung
- Uluwatu Cliff
- Kecak Sunset Dance
- IDR 100.000 (*part of the package)
- Back to hotel
- Night Out – Motel Mexicola
My Take-aways :
- A villa staycation where you manage your time is definitely something one should do about, I was thinking about Yoga and swimming and everything in between our free time and it depends on what you’d like to do for the rest of the day.
- Booking via klook as well for the Uluwatu Package is worth every penny, it was hassle free and everything was managed at the same time
- I appreciate the Kecak Sunset Dance where the location was really on point over the cliff in time for the sunset. The traditional Balinese Dance was also nice to see as it teaches and shows us a glimpse of a Balinese Tradition
- Be extra early to secure a perfect spot and seat! It gets super and extra full by past 5PM though the show starts at 6:00PM
- There were warung across Uluwatu should you wish to dine out for late lunch
- Our second night – night out at Mexicola – be extra early! Hahaha!! They closes at 1AM soooo better be drunk by 9PM hahahaha!! *we had our pre-game over our villa and bought Bali alcohol for experience! Hahahaha!!! Coz. Drinks over Mexicola is too expensive already.
Day 5 – FREE DAY!! SEMINYAK
Overview : For a week of itinerary, it is still best to spend a chill day where you get to decide where to go based on your preference. And the best place for the lazy day is thru — A VISIT TO THE BEACH!!!
We checked-out over our villa and moved to another hotel just across Seminyak as well – Seminyak Garden Hotel.
- Lunch over Rustica
- La Plancha Beach
- Beach bum
- Kynd Community *if you prefer
- Sea Circus
- W Bali Hotel Bamboo
My Take-aways :
- What makes Bali more complete is its option to see and locate nearby beaches as well, and Seminyak Beach – La Plancha is on top of mind.
- Known for its picture perfect, colored umbrellas and seats everywhere – this is a best spot for that laid back lazy afternoon
- Food were okay and no need to pay should you be staying over the resto and buy food at the same time
- There is also a nice beach which would take you 1 hour travel time – the Dreamland Beach. If I had more time; I’ll go visit this spot as well.
- After staying over La Plancha, we decided to spend the rest of the night in our hotel, where we swam over the pool and enjoy a good and sumptuous dinner over the pool.
- Photo op spots is optional – depending on your liking, but it is just near each other.
DAY 6 – NUSA PENIDA
Overview : Bound towards the end of our Bali escapade – one shouldn’t miss out this enchanting island of Bali. The Nusa Penida tour was actually our most expensive ticket towards the week.
There were various tour agencies offering this tour and I loved how I discovered and booked thru Klook.com | it was hassle free and the package was also the cheapest compare to the rest of my researched. You also have the option to include the pick-up and drop off from and to your hotel so it would be more convenient.
- Pick-up from hotel in Seminyak
- Fast boat from Sanur to Nusa Penida
- Nusa Penida Tour booked via Klook.com – each pax may cost around IDR 600.000 / Php 2,100 each
- Kelingking Beach
- Angel Billabong
- Broken Beach
- Crystal Beach
- Back to Sanur
- Warung – over Sanur
- Dinner – Eat Lah
- TRY THE SALTED EGG FLAVORED CHICKEN!!! Super good!!!
My take-aways :
- I love how Nusa Penida looks like, it was really one of the best site to see in Bali
- traffic was worse at this side of the island as there were so many tourists as well visiting.
- A short time at Crystal Beach where you can swim around and possibly to snorkel is also nice to try
- I just hated how everything was too compressed with the itinerary — we manage to visit all sites but we haven’t really had the chance to really immersed and divulge into it.
- I feel like the place has more to offer than an Instagram photo shot. Should I return to Bali — I’ll do this for 2 days instead and really immersed into this side of the island.
If you wanted to see the actual places I’ve been, check out my IG story highlight @nathaliecsalcedo || all my Bali discoveries are there!!
See what best interests you and plan your itinerary well!!!
Hope this helps you too.
I’ll be happy to share my excel file for my actual expense, for your personal trip.
Follow me on IG @nathaliecsalcedo and send me DM if you need one!
I also update my FB Page @ilovenatsblog
Personal Notes :
A week to this beautiful island isn’t enough, if I’ll ever return to Bali I’d want to do it the solo way, I wanted to immerse more into their traditions and practices, I wanted to divulge more on beaches and go beyond the instagram photos we think Bali is.
Bali is more than a photo spot area, it is rich with so many wonders we should experience and see. I wanted to see more of this country. The cheap and fancy stay, the food that helped me be very healthy for almost a week with all the veggies and all that sorts, the view, the ambiance, the vibe — is what I would always look back.
All photos were all original from the blogger @nathaliecsalcedo
All my travels were self-financed and no sponsor was involve at any forms.