Best Places To Visit in Bali

Best Places To Visit in Bali

Our first vacation in Bali, and we were so thrilled! We heard so much about this beautiful Island of the Gods, and wanted to experience it all. For sure, we would be going to all the Best Places to Visit in Bali.

I heard of some of these places from my students. My friend heard some from his friends. Then we went surfing on the Internet to get a list of all the places we would like to visit.

It was a very long list. I did not know Bali has so much to offer!’

We would visit all of these fun and exciting attractions in due time. For our first visit, we only had a few days. And we wanted a slow and easy paced holiday. So, we narrowed down to just the sights along the coast of Bali.

We reserved Ubud, and the rest of Bali for future visits. Meantime, please continue reading to see the places we discovered.


What You Need To Know About Bali, Indonesia?

Before continuing to see the Best Places to Visit in Bali, you may want to find out more about this lovely island.

Where it is located? Who are the people? What is the culture and religion? What is the dress code? What are the Best Places to Visit in Bali? What are the Best Places to Eat in Bali? And so much more.

To learn all that, and more, click on the image below.

Bali - The Ultimate Guide
Bali – The Ultimate Guide

Ready to find out more about the Best Places to Visit in Bali? Continue reading.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


Are There Many Places To Visit in Bali, Indonesia?

Before we reached Bali, we found out that there were so many temples to see, so many waterfalls to enjoy, so many beaches to swim in, and so many fun and exciting activities to do in Bali.

As we planned our itinerary with our tour guide, we learned that there are different regions in Bali. Each has lots of interesting places and activities. But, unless you are staying Bali for a long time, a vacation usually has only a few days for the experience.

So, for now, we feature the sights along the coastal areas. When we visit Ubud, we will share about that, too.


What To See in Bali, Indonesia?

Along the coast of Bali, there are many beautiful beaches. Each is unique and different. Below is the Petitenget Beach. It was the first beach we explored on our first day in Bali.

It was so memorable. Click on the image below to read more about our experience here. There are photos and a video to show you what the place looks like.

Best Places To Visit In Bali - Best Beaches in Bali - Petitenget Beach
Best Places To Visit In Bali – Best Beaches in Bali – Petitenget Beach

I was so awed by the view at The Uluwatu Temple. This is a popular Instagrammable spot. Just look at the image below. Is it not magnificent?

The deep blue sea that is wide and vast. The soft bubbles as the waves crash on the shores. The tall and steep cliff that affords a bird’s eye view of the entire landscape.

Click on the image below to read the story of this place as well as the many lovely photos and a video to bring you there.

Best Places To Visit In Bali - The Uluwatu Temple
Best Places To Visit In Bali – The Uluwatu Temple

When in Bali, you must experience their culture. And one of the ways is to be a captive audience at a kecak dance. Specifically, the famous and popular kecak dance at The Uluwatu Temple.

You must not miss watching the video. Click on the image below now to see.

Best Places To Visit In Bali - The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance
Best Places To Visit In Bali – The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance

I am sure you must have seen many photos of this place. And yet, they are not enough. Aside from personally being there to experience this once-in-a-lifetime place, you must read about our time there.

It was truly magical. Click the image below now.

Best Places To Visit In Bali - Tanah Lot Temple
Best Places To Visit In Bali – Tanah Lot Temple

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I will be sharing more hotels in Bali. Please do join my I Love Travel community to receive updates.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


If you have ANY questions about Bali Hotels, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Best Places To Eat in Bali

Best Places To Eat in Bali

Even before we arrived at Bali, Indonesia, we searched the Internet for all the Best Places to Eat in Bali. To us, part of experiencing a foreign place is to sample their food. To taste what the locals enjoy eating. Also to savor the cuisine that visitors rave about.

There was a long list of cafes, restaurants and warungs (local restaurants) in Bali. We narrowed down to a few for our vacation in October 2019. And vow to try as many as possible in future visits to Bali.

For now, we chose places that had good reviews. Better still if they have something unique to go along with the dining experience.

Good food with fine or interesting ambience is important to us. We feel that it gives that little extra touch to our vacations. Don’t you agree?


What You Need To Know About Bali, Indonesia?

Besides where to eat and what good food to try, you might like to find out more about Bali, Indonesia.

Where it is located? Who are the people? What is the culture and religion? What is the dress code? What are the Best Places to Visit in Bali? What are the Best Places to Eat in Bali? And so much more.

To learn all that, and more, click on the image below.

Bali - The Ultimate Guide
Bali – The Ultimate Guide

For this article, we will discuss about the Best Places to Eat in Bali. Please continue reading.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


How is The Food in Bali, Indonesia?

When we were in Bali, there were a lot of type of food to consider. This is because there were many restaurants and cafes that offered food from outside of this country.

Bali Food List - Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries
Bali Food List – Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries

Of course, there are the local warungs that offered local food such as nasi padang, nasi campur, sate, and more. You must not miss any of these. Check out Nook and Warung Nia mentioned below.

Then there are many eating places offering food from Italy, France, Australia, Japanese and even fusion style where local and western food are combined to give a unique Bali taste.


Are There Many Places to Eat in Bali, Indonesia?

We visited a few of the towns in Bali, and we can tell you that everywhere you go, there is food. For example, just outside of our villa, La Villais Kamojang Seminyak, there was a stretch of road, called Jl. Pangkung Sari, lined with cafes and restaurants offering all kinds of food; Italian, local, Japanese, etc.

And perpendicular to that road, there was a famous stretch called Jl. Kayu Aya where every few feet there was a cafe or restaurant. Each offered food and drinks from a different culture or country. You will be spoiled for choice.


Where Are The Best Places to Eat in Bali, Indonesia?

We have been to Bali. We spent days along the coast and beaches of Bali. And we have tried many of the food establishments there.

We did it so that we can try the food, and report to you how bad or good tasting it was. Also, to share with you the dining experience.

For a start, here is a lovely place where you can dine next to a paddy field. Click on the image to read about Nook, see the photos of Nook, and watch a video to show you how the place looks like. And what is it like having a meal next to a paddy field.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - NOOK
Best Places To Eat in Bali – NOOK

Here is another local warung we tried. As you can tell from the picture below, they have the best pork ribs in Bali. Click on the image below to read more. The article includes an interesting greeting the staff did every time a guest arrives, the food, and how the place looks like. Again, with lots of photos and a video.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Warung Nia - Best Pork Ribs in Bali
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Warung Nia – Best Pork Ribs in Bali

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We tried more food at more eating places; cafes, restaurants, warungs, and more. To get updates when I publish these reviews, please join my I Love Travel community.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


If you have ANY questions about Best Places to Eat in Bali, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Bali Hotels

Bali Hotels

When we were planning our vacation in Bali, Indonesia, we decided to book our accommodations first. After all, there were so many Bali Hotels, Resorts and Villas to choose from in this Island of the Gods.

And we noticed that many of the flights were booked. People must have planned their holiday in Bali months ago.

So, we thought that it was best to book a room first. Then book the flight. After all, because of the large number of hotels, resorts and villas, it would be easier to adjust the room booking. Also, it would be costly to change the dates of a flight, especially for budget airlines.


What You Need To Know About Bali, Indonesia?

I found Bali to be so interesting and fun! So much to learn about this beautiful island.

Where it is located? Who are the people? What is the culture and religion? What is the dress code? What are the Best Places to Visit in Bali? What are the Best Places to Eat in Bali? And so much more.

To learn all that, and more, click on the image below.

Bali - The Ultimate Guide
Bali – The Ultimate Guide

As you know, for this post, I am going to share about the Bali Hotels.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


Are There Many Hotels in Bali, Indonesia?

There are thousands of hotels, resorts and villas in Bali, Indonesia. This was why we were not concerned about getting a room or villa.

At the same time, Bali has many tourists and visitors. So, it is always good to secure a room or villa before booking your flight. This was what we did.


Where to Stay in Bali, Indonesia?

As I said earlier, there are so many hotels, resorts and villas to choose from. The next thing we needed to decide was our budget. And for that budget, where can we stay in Bali, Indonesia?

To our surprise, our budget was able to afford a stay at a villa. A villa! And entire villa to ourselves. It included a living room, a large bed and bedroom, a huge en-suite bathroom, and a decent private pool!

Click the image below to read more about this awesome villa we stayed at. There are lots of pictures and a video to show you the entire place.

Bali Hotels - La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review
Bali Hotels – La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review

We had a wonderful time at the villa. An entire villa all to ourselves. We even had late night swims under the moonlight. Click the button above to read and see more about our awesome and heavenly experience.


Going to Bali? Book Your Hotel Room, Resort or Villa with Our Best Partner and Get The Best Rates

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I will be sharing more hotels in Bali. Please do join my I Love Travel community to receive updates.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


If you have ANY questions about Bali Hotels, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Bali – The Ultimate Guide

Bali - The Ultimate Guide

Last October, we visited Bali for the very first time. We had a wonderful time and we plan to go again. We did find out some things before that first visit. Now that we intend to go again, I have found out more about Bali, and would like to share in this article – Bali – The Ultimate Guide.

In this ultimate guide to Bali, I will do my best to cover as much about this beautiful island as I can. There was so much to see, so and eat in Bali. For our first adventure, we decided to focus on the coastal areas. Our next time there, we will explore Ubud.

Bali is known as the Island of the Gods. When we were there, we could understand why.

The beaches were truly beautiful. The holy temples were enchanting. The hills and mountains were magnificent. The rice terraces were lush. The food was delicious. And everywhere we went, the people were warm and friendly.

We stayed at a villa, and it was heavenly. Having an entire place to ourselves surely gave us the feeling that we were specially pampered guests.

Continue reading as I share all the above including fun activities and shopping, of course, in this article.


Where is Bali, Indonesia?

There are more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia. And Bali is one of them.

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It is about 2 kilometers (that is almost 1.5 miles) east from Java.

I live in Singapore, and that makes Bali south east of Singapore. We flew across the Java Sea to reach Bali.


What are the Regions and Cities of Bali, Indonesia?

When we were in Bali, we engaged a private driver and tour guide. During one of the days there, I was curious and asked the tour guide about the different areas in Bali. He was very knowledgeable, and gave me a rundown of the regions as well as the foreigners living in some of them.

I found out from him that there are six regions in Bali. There are North Bali, East Bali, South Bali, and West Bali plus Central Bali and Southeastern Islands

South Bali consists of Kuta, Bukit Peninsula, Canggu, Denpasar, Jimbaran, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, and Tanah Lot. According to our private tour guide, the foreigners at Kuta and Legian are mostly Australians. Guests from China love to stay at Nusa Dua. Brazilians prefer to stay at the Canggu area. At chic Seminyak, the foreign visitors are mixed from different countries. The locals live mostly in Denpasar.

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Ubud, Bedugul and Tabanan are in Central Bali, which is considered as the cultural hub. There are plenty of terraced rice fields in the mountains here. According to our private tour guide, most Europeans visit, and some even settled, here.

In North Bali, popular for their black sand beaches, there are Lovina, Munduk, and Singaraja. East Bali includes Amed, Besakih, Candidasa, Kintamani, Klungkung, Mount Agung, Padang Bai, Tirta Gangga. West Bali has Negara, Gilimanuk, Medewi Beach, Pemuteran, and West Bali National Park.

Added to the above, Bali also has the southeastern islands that are Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan. These gorgeous paradises are popular for scuba diving.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


Who are the People in Bali, Indonesia?

Before we visited Bali, I read up about this place. And I was intrigued by the fact that the Balinese people are an Austronesian ethnic group.

Don’t be mistaken by that term. The slightly over 4 million people are still native to Bali, Indonesia. Apparently, a long time ago, their ancestors migrated by sea from Taiwan. This was known as the Austronesian expansion.

I know. Mind blowing right?


What is the Culture in Bali, Indonesia?

When I was in Bali, I was fascinated with their culture. Immediately, I could see how rich a culture they have. This could be due to an exotic mix of Balinese Hindu-Buddhist religion and Balinese customs.

The Balinese dance is popular, and you can watch it at many venues. They have the Barong or lion dance, Calonarang, Kecak, and Legong Keraton. We watched the Uluwatu Kecak Dance, and noticed that it was Indian influenced.

Another cultural delight is the wayang kulit also known as shadow play theatre. In the music and drama arena, they have skilllful gamelan players and talented actors.

One thing we noticed is that the lifestyle in Bali is slow paced. The people are warm, friendly, very tolerant, and welcoming to visitors. They are also modest and polite, which is evident in the way they dress and behave.

Kindly note that I mentioned about modesty. One of the things they do frown upon is any public display of affection. So please be mindful and respect their culture.

As such, partners kissing is actually not acceptable. And please do not display any nudity, even on the beaches. They do not like that.

Travel Tip: Please respect their culture.


What are the Religions in Bali, Indonesia?

If you have been to Indonesia, you would know that most of the population are Muslims. But not Bali. Everywhere we went in Bali, we could see the influence of the Indian culture, and the Hindu religion.

A quick history lesson on Google helped me learn that around 100 BC, the first Hindus arrived in Bali. This is why most of the Balinese are Hindus. And almost every aspect of Balinese life is suffused with this religion. For example, when we were in Bali, almost everywhere we would see canang sari.

Canang sari are tiny leaf tray offerings that contain flowers, glutinous rice, cookies, salt and incense. These are placed at every aspect of the Balinese lives; for example at the house, work, restaurant, shops, etc

Canang Sari - Balinese Offering
Canang Sari – Balinese Offering

Balinese believe it is bad luck to step on a canang sari. So, please be careful!

Travel Tip: Do Not Step on a Canang Sari!

When we were in Bali, we were fortunate to visit a few beautiful temples such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple. These temples, and many more in Bali, have rich cultural and historical values.


What is the Common Language Spoken  in Bali, Indonesia?

It was easy to communicate with our private driver and tour guide as well as the locals. Every Balinese speak Indonesian, Balinese and English. This makes it easy for tourists, like you and me, to get around, order food, shop, etc.


What are the Festivals and Public Holidays in Bali, Indonesia?

Most of the public holidays and festivals held in Bali are the same as the rest of Indonesia. But there are some that are unique to this Island of the Gods.

Note: For rest of public holidays such as New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, kindly refer to the information at Indonesia – Ultimate Guide.


Nyepi – Saka New Year

This is Bali’s lunar new year. It is based on their Saka calendar. Held in the month of March, there are Melasti processions three days before Nyepi.

It would be interesting to watch the pilgrims walk from the temples to the coastline for purification rituals, join in the fun at the ogoh-ogoh parade, and be awed by the thousands of monster-like statues. But after that, on the actual day of Nyepi, the entire island goes silent. It is part of their holy practice to observe absolute non activity. So, I think I will skip this.

To learn more about Nyepi, see how the lovely purification rituals, the colorful costumes, what the ogoh-ogoh parade looks like, and the monster statues, Watch the Video below.


Galungan and Kuningan

This is one of the most celebrated holidays in Bali. It is held twice a year. Families get together to commemorate the victory of Dharma over Adharma, which is good over evil.

At the entrance of every home and along the streets, you will see the tall and well adorned penjor poles. These are beautiful and long poles decorated with young coconut leaves, fruits and flowers. It is curved and at the end hangs something that looks like a tassle.

Hmmm. This looks so enchanting. I hope to see this one day.

To learn more about Galungan and Kuningan, see how the penjor is made, what it looks like, and its symbolism, Watch the Video below.


Bali Arts Festival

This event happens some time between mid June to mid July. It showcases artists’ works on platforms such as exhibitions and performances.

Venues such as Niti Mandala Renon Square and Denpasar Arts Centre are hosts to these shows. There is also the lavish opening of the event that are the street parades.

See what the Bali Arts Festival looks like, Watch the Video below.


Bali Kite Festival

When I was a young boy, I loved playing with kites. Of course, the ones I played with were small little ones that flew really high and then disappeared into the skies forever.

In Bali, I am excited to find out that there is an annual celebration of kite flying. People send huge kites in all shapes while an orchestra plays traditional music. So charming.

Be enthralled by large and beautiful kites flown by teams at the Bali Kite Festival, Watch the Video below.


Makepung Buffalo Races

Strong bulls with men on carts race to the finishing line. The beauty and the drama is enough to entice me to see this at least once. What about you?

Words are not enough to describe this exciting race. Better you Watch the Video below.


Sanur Village Festival

When we visited Sanur Beach, it was very quiet. Almost like a peaceful fishing village if you ignore the tall hotels and bars by the seaside.

It is nice to know that there is this annual Sanur Village Festival that brings life to this lovely place. The festival features food, beverage, health and wellness, sports and environmental-awareness events.

Take a look at the parade at this festival. Watch the Video below.


Lovina Festival

Around September or October, the village of Kalibukbuk Beach hosts the Lovina Festival. The event opens with a parade with a Balinese marching band called balengajur. And the exhibitions and night markets showcases handicrafts and delicious local food.

Check out this festival, Watch the Video below.


Nusa Dua Fiesta

If you are looking for more arts, culture, sports, music and exhibitions, head on to the Nusa Dua Fiesta. It is held in October at, where else, Nusa Dua peninsula. Don’t miss the culinary side events such as the cooking and mixology competitions. I know I won’t.

How happening is this festival? To find out, Watch the Video below.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


What is the Dress Code in Bali, Indonesia?

When we were in Bali, we could literally feel how relaxed the atmosphere was. For clothing, you can wear shorts or bermudas with t shirt. Just be mindful and not wear clothing that is not too sexy.

When you visit temples and religious sites, take note of the strict dress codes. For example, most of these holy sites would advise wearing a shirt that covers your arms and shoulders. And you would be required to wear a kain or sarong. This is a cloth that is wrapped around your waist.

Sarong and Sash Dress Code at The Uluwatu Temple
Sarong and Sash Dress Code at The Uluwatu Temple

What is the National Dress in Bali, Indonesia?

This is the same as the national costume of Indonesia. Kindly refer to my article – Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide.


What is the Popular Sport in Bali, Indonesia?

There are many who may argue, but to me, I find the most popular sport in Bali is Kite Flying. Of course, there are many other sports that Balinese enjoy. These are described in my Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide post.


What Currency Can I Use in Bali, Indonesia?

This would be the Indonesian rupiah (Rp or IDR). You can find out more in my article – Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide.

Tip: When changing money in Bali, find the legitimate money changers to avoid being cheated.


How is the Weather in Bali, Indonesia?

Again, the weather is the same as in Indonesia. Sorry to do this, but I really do not wish to repeat the info that you can find at my Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide post.


How is the Haze Situation in Bali, Indonesia?

I asked our private driver and tour guide about this. And it was amazing to find out that there is little or no haze situation in Bali, Indonesia.


Are There Any Earthquakes in Bali, Indonesia?

Before we traveled to Bali in October 2019, there were reports of earthquakes and volcano eruptions. This was because Indonesia is prone to earthquakes. Bali is no exception. Around that time, Lombok saw many volcano eruptions and earthquakes.

We were wondering if we should postpone our vacation. After a short discussion, we believed all would be all right. And we were glad we visited this beautiful island.


Which are the Hotels to Stay in Bali, Indonesia?

When it was time to choose a hotel to stay in Bali, it was quite a monumental task. There were so many great hotels, resorts and villas to choose from. After much thought, we decided to stay in a villa.

Bali Hotels - La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review
Bali Hotels – La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review

It was a heavenly experience. An entire villa to ourselves. Click on the button above to read more about our stay. Includes a video of the villa, huge bedroom and bathroom plus private pool with kitchen and living room.

You too can have many choices. You can stay at a hotel or a resort with plenty of facilities. Or you can stay at a private villa just like us. Book your choice below and get the best rates.


Book Your Hotel Room, Resort or Villa with Our Best Partner and Get The Best Rates

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What are the Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia?

Oh, there is so much to see and do in Bali! So many Best Places To Visit in Bali! Where to begin?

There are beaches, lots of lovely beaches. We visited quite a few during our vacation. And while every beach had the same things – sand, sea, and sun – each felt different. There was something unique about each of the beaches; Petitenget, Echo, Jimbaran Bay, Sanur, Padang Padang, and many more.

Best Places To Visit In Bali - Best Beaches in Bali - Petitenget Beach
Best Places To Visit In Bali – Best Beaches in Bali – Petitenget Beach

One of the favorite activities we saw at the beaches was surfing. It was fun watching the people riding the waves. But I don’t think we are that adventurous. So, we stuck to walking by the beach, and watching people sail and surf.

Temples are plenty in Bali. So many that it would be quite impossible to see them all. So, we picked a few awesome ones such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple.

Best Places To Visit In Bali - The Uluwatu Temple
Best Places To Visit In Bali – The Uluwatu Temple

Best Places To Visit In Bali - Tanah Lot Temple
Best Places To Visit In Bali – Tanah Lot Temple

We gave Ubud a miss this time round. Only because we only had a few days, and we did not like to rush around. So, we chose coastal activities for this vacation.

On our next visit to Bali, we intend to focus on Ubud. We have found out that in this area there are more beautiful temples, and beaches. In addition, there is a lot of nature to appreciate; such as terraced rice fields, rainforests, and waterfalls.

In Ubud, there are also fun activities such as playing at the water parks, and outdoor adventures. Definitely something for every one in the family.


What Food to Eat in Bali, Indonesia?

I enjoy eating good food. My friends enjoy eating good food, too. So, when we are on a vacation, eating good food is a must. What about you?

Thankfully, Bali has a really wide variety of food. They are offered in a huge range of cafes and restaurants. The local restaurants called warungs serve both local Indonesian and international food. Sometimes, there can be dishes that are mixed. There are also international brands of cafes and restaurants serving their usual fare.

We tried a few of these local warungs. And the food was really yummy. Here is one where you can dine by paddy fields. Very charming.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - NOOK
Best Places To Eat in Bali – NOOK

Here is a warung that serves the best pork ribs in Bali. And I really have not enjoyed such soft and succulent pork ribs for a while. They were really awesome!

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Warung Nia - Best Pork Ribs in Bali
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Warung Nia – Best Pork Ribs in Bali

We also sampled food at smaller local restaurants that not many tourists know of. All thanks to our private tour guide who showed us this awesome eating places. They serve really yummy local nasi campur; rice with local dishes. They were also much cheaper than the food served at the warungs. One of them was even frequented by the president of Indonesia!


Where To Go Shopping in Bali, Indonesia?

There are lots of shopping malls, shops and markets in Bali. We passed by markets and shops on the way to seeing the sights. The only time we stopped to buy anything was to get hats to shade our heads because it was so hot and sunny.

Every zone or region in Bali has a big shopping mall. We did not visit them. The only time we stopped to shop was at this mall called Krisna. It was near the airport, and we dropped by just before we flew back to Singapore.

Krisna was amazing! Many floors with so many stuff at really good prices. We realized we did not need to shop at any time during our vacation. We could have stopped by Krisna when we first arrived, bought all we need – t shirts, juices, hats, etc, and then continued for our vacation.

Now that we know, we will do that the next time we visit Bali. I will be sharing more about this awesome shopping place. So do join my I Love Travel community to get updates when I publish this article.

In the meantime, here is a video about the malls in Bali.


How To Get To Bali, Indonesia?

Once we decided to have our vacation in Bali, the next thing we needed to know was How to Get to Bali? And here is what we found out.

By Airplane

To our delight, Bali has an international airport called Ngurah Rai International Airport. This meant there would be flights from Singapore to Bali.

We checked online, and there were many airlines that flew from our small island to the Island of the Gods.

Indonesia has a national carrier that is Garuda Indonesia. Here is a video about this airline.

There are many other airlines to choose from. For example Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Jetstar, KLM, Malaysia Airlines, Scoot, and many more.

We chose Jetstar because we found out it was the safest budget airlines. According to airlineratings .com, Jetstar has a safety rating of 7/7. But its product rating is 3/5.

To us, that is ok. After all, it is a budget airline. We do not expect too much from the product. Safety at highest score is more important.

By Train

There are no trains to Bali.

By Bus

There are no direct buses to Bali.

By Road

Bali is an island. So, no roads to drive to Bali.

By Boat / Ferry

There are boats and ferries to Bali. But it would take a long time to travel this way. Do not do this unless you have a lot of time on your hands.

To find out which ferry or boat to take from your location, it would be best to Google and search for these services. I would rather not mention all of them here.

One reason is because there are too many to mention. Another reason is the systems keep changing. What I write today may be outdated later.


Caution – This is not a safe choice. Many operators do not maintain their vessels. As such, it is dangerous. And there have been accidents and deaths.

On foot

Not possible.

Visas

There is Visa On Arrival where nationals of certain countries can get a visa upon arrival. Some countries cannot. Please check with the Bali Immigration website for details

Many visitors from many countries can visit Bali visa free. They can visit Indonesia without a visa, and for a period up to 30 days. Again, please check the immigration website to find out if your country has that privilege.


How To Get Around Bali, Indonesia?

My friends and I have discovered Bali to be a large island. And it is not easy to navigate and get around on our own. Especially if we are new to the place.

Traffic in Bali can get chaotic. More so at major tourist areas. There are daily jams. The best is to get a private driver and tour guide who knows when, where and how to get around Bali.

By Train

There are no trains in Bali.

By MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)

This is no MRT in Bali.

By Bus

There are buses in Bali. If you are on a budget, this is a good choice. Check out the local advertisements for a bus company. Do book one day in advance.

By Taxi

Before getting into a cab, please negotiate for the price. Better still, convince your driver to go by meter. Even then, it is quite risky to travel by taxi as some can be unscrupulous. So, please be careful.

By Grab

Private Hire Vehicles like Grab and Uber are available in Bali. And you will be surprised to know that even after the price is confirmed on your app, the driver will still haggle and get you to pay more.

I usually recommend using Grab in other countries. For Bali, I don’t recommend this choice.

By Bemo (Minivans)

This may look like a good option. A whole van for your whole family or a group of friends. Be careful. Find out the price before you agree to engage this service. Sometimes, the cost of these minivans may be even more than a taxi.

By Self-Drive Car or Motorbike

It looks tempting. And you may feel you get the freedom to go where you would like to go without the hassle of being tied to a driver.

But from what I learned, there have been many accidents with both locals and foreigners. So please be careful if you decide to take this method of getting around Bali.

Wear a helmet. Actually, this is compulsory by law. And often, police in Bali catches people who break this law. The fine and inconvenience is not fun at all.

Also, you will need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Private Driver and Tour Guide

To me and my friends, this was the best choice.

When we were on a holiday, we really liked to relax. Preferably, we would like to not worry or think about where to go, how to go there, what to eat, etc.

We loved that with our private driver, we were driven everywhere, and anywhere we requested. The driver was also our tour guide. So, he planned our itinerary. We approved. And he handled the rest.

We highly recommend this choice for getting around Bali.


Traveling to Bali, Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting island that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article with them.


If you have ANY questions about Bali – The Ultimate Guide, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook

Best Places To Eat in Bali - NOOK

After a lovely time strolling along Petitenget Beach, and soaking all the warmth and benefits of the sun, we were getting hungry. So, we headed off to lunch. And we chose one of the Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook!

When we planned our Bali itinerary, our research found lots of social media posts and articles that mentioned Nook. On Instagram and Pinterest, people were taking photos of dining by rice fields. There was a rustic charm to this, and we were keen to try it.

So, we made sure our private tour guide knew of this place and would organize one of our lunches here. It turned out we did not have any concern. He was familiar with Nook.

It seemed that this restaurant was already quite well known. As he drove us to Nook, I silently hoped that it would not be a place where the hype outshone the dining experience. Would I be disappointed? Read on to find out.


Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Nook
Cuisine: Indonesian, Asian Fusion, Western
Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee, Drinks and Cakes
Dining Choices: Dine In, Outdoor Seating,Take Away, Takes Reservations
Parking: Lots and valet parking
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$

Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Bali Food List - Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries
Food Standards & Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary

Dine by the paddy fields. A truly unique once-in-a-lifetime experience offered by Nook, Bali Indonesia. Such rustic charm that offers a quiet and peaceful meal with friends and family.

3.9

Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook – The Video

Imagine enjoying a scrumptious meal and drinks right next to a traditional rice field in Bali. As you enjoy the food, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the wind is gently caressing the growing padi leaves. Watch the video to see why there is all the fuss about Nook, and this unique dining experience.

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What is Nook All About?

As we left Petitenget Beach, I asked our private driver how long would it take to reach Nook? With a confident smile, he answered that it would take about 10 to 15 minutes. This surprised us as in our minds, we had this idea that Nook was far off in some local paddy field.

Well, it was. But it was only just outside the busy streets of Seminyak. When we reached there, we were pleasantly surprised. It was rather quaint. The restaurant was in structures made of wood, much like local houses in Indonesia.

Best Places to Eat in Bali - Entrance to Nook, Bali
Best Places to Eat in Bali – Entrance to Nook, Bali

I wondered how Nook came about? And it was only when I returned home that I found out that a local Indonesian entrepreneur thought of this concept.

In April 16 2013, the restaurateur created this new dining experience where customers can dine next to a rice field (also called a paddy field). It was al fresco dining where guests can enjoy fresh air, a quiet and peaceful space, and of course great food.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Dine Next to Rice Fields at Nook
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Dine Next to Rice Fields at Nook

When we were at Nook, the paddy shoots were just growing. I can only imagine how awesome it would look when the paddy is all full grown, and patrons are treated to panoramic view of lush rice fields.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Nook Bali Rice Field
Best Restaurants in Bali – Nook Bali Rice Field

Travel Tip: Ask for a table just next to the paddy field. It is really an enchanting dining experience.


How is the Food at Nook?

We asked for a table by the paddy fields, and facing it. The staff said they would try their best as it was dependent on availability. We were lucky, and they managed to get us a table just next to the fields.

After we sat down, they showed us the menu. We ordered some food and drinks. Thankfully, the drinks arrived first. We were so thirsty!

Best Restaurants in Bali - Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing - Top View - at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing – Top View – at Nook Bali

Don’t the drinks look so yummilicious!? The mango and pineapple juices were sweet and fresh. I had a drink called the Wild Thing. The name attracted me, and I felt a little wild that day. Just kidding.

The Wild Thing is a mix of apple, pineapple and watermelon. It was refreshing!

Best Restaurants in Bali - Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing - at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing – at Nook Bali

Travel Tip: We heard the coffee is quite good here. We were too full to try it. Maybe you can try it, and let us know?

The food soon arrived. First, the potato fries came. The private tour guide ordered it. It was so little! We kept urging him to order more food. But he politely declined, and said that was all he needed. I believe he may have been a little too shy.

Then the Special Babi Guling, which was Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig, was served. As you can see, there were rice, vegetables, satay, side dishes, and a soup that accompanied the suckling pig.

To be honest, it was mediocre in taste. The suckling pig was a little tough. They could have made it a little more tender. The satay was better than the one we had last night. But still not good enough quality.

Bali Food List - Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries
Bali Food List – Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries

Next was the Udang Balado, which is prawn cooked in tomato based garlic sauce, served with rice and vegetables at the side. This dish was better. The sauce was piquant, and complemented the rice. But the prawns were a little small and tough. It would have been better if the prawns were larger, and juicier.

Bali Food List - Udang Balado at Nook Bali - Prawn Cooked in a Tomato Based Garlic Sauce, served with rice
Bali Food List – Udang Balado at Nook Bali – Prawn Cooked in a Tomato Based Garlic Sauce, served with rice

I had read that some people call Nook as a warung that served a good variety of Balinese, Indonesian, and Asian-Western Fusion cuisine. In fact, some went as far as to say that the Nasi Campur is one of the best in Bali. Nasi means ‘rice’, and Campur means ‘mixed’.

I beg to differ. While I agree the food is good. In the next few days, we discovered some cafes and restaurants that served better dishes. In fact, there is a warung that is very popular with the locals. And I will blog about that later.

Bali Food List - Nasi Campur Dishes to Choose From
Bali Food List – Nasi Campur Dishes to Choose From

To be fair, we did not try the Nasi Campur. We ordered the other special dishes. And my impression of their quality of food is based on what we tried. Maybe the Nasi Campur is really good? You try it, and let us know?


How to Order the Food and Drinks?

Ordering food and drinks at Nook is about the same as ordering food and drinks at most restaurants. There is a menu. The drinks and breakfast choices are printed on one side.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Nook Drinks Menu
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Nook Drinks Menu

The new dishes, appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, local favorites, pasta, dinner dishes, specialties and desserts are printed on the other side. Take your time to choose.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Nook Food Menu
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Nook Food Menu

When ready, just wave to the nearest server. And he or she will come to you to take your orders. There. Simple, right?


What Does Nook Look Like?

After the meal, I decided to walk around to see what the rest of Nook looked like. I captured it all on video. Watch the video above to see a tour of the place.

What Does Nook Bali Look Like Inside
What Does Nook Bali Look Like Inside

One thing nice about Nook is the table setting. Clean. Simple. No fuss. There is the usual displays on food and drinks they suggest for the day. Other than that, the table is clean. And the utensils arrive with the food.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Table Decor at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Table Decor at Nook Bali

*** Travel Tip: Ask for napkins. Strangely, they do not place them at the table until you ask for them.

As you are aware, at Nook, you are dining amidst nature. So, there would be some little birds and creatures around. There are trees, shrubs, open air, clouds, and flowers. The birds are lovely with their sweet chirping. The insects are subjective.

Best Restaurants in Bali - View of Paddy Field at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – View of Paddy Field at Nook Bali

To me, I am all right with all types of creatures and animals moving about as we enjoy our lunch. Here is a little friendly spider that decided to visit us while we ate.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Dine with Nature's Creatures
Best Restaurants in Bali – Dine with Nature’s Creatures

Travel Tip: If you have an aversion to creatures and animals, then this is not the place for you. Consider other venues for your dining needs.


What Else is at Nook?

Besides food and beverages, Nook has a little retail going on. Check out all the nice stuff you can get here.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Little Retail Corner at Nook Bali
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Little Retail Corner at Nook Bali

There are some things you can even get as souvenirs.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - More Retail at Nook Bali
Best Places To Eat in Bali – More Retail at Nook Bali

And of course, there are all the pretty flowers to appreciate as you take your time, and have a good breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Bougainvilleas at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Bougainvilleas at Nook Bali

Nook – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 3.9 out of 5.0

After all that I have seen on articles and social media about the unique dining experience at Nook, I must say they do have that winning factor. It was really charming to sit and enjoy the view of paddy fields.

The sun shining on the plantation, the gentle breeze teasing the leaves of the paddy, the peaceful ambience, all made the time spent here delightful.

But that very unique feature made me think – how many times will a customer have their meals at Nook? What will make a customer come back?

After all, the eating by the paddy field thing needs only be done once, and that’s it.

So, the next level of selling proposition must be the food. And to be honest, the food is not that memorable. What we have tasted have not succeed in alluring us back for another round.

Don’t get me wrong. The food is good. It is worth it to visit Nook, and enjoy a meal. But to go back again? Well, maybe not.

Still, the unique experience has saved this restaurant from a terrible three star rating. But because the food is not good enough, it does not deserve a five star rating. I give this a four star rating. And encourage you to try only to be able to have said you have tried Nook, and ate by a paddy field.


Where is Nook?

One of the saving graces of Nook is that it is not in the busy city areas. But that is also one of the inconveniences because you have to travel there by a vehicle.

Booking.com

Address

Jalan Umalas I No.3, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 8 am to 11 pm

Telephone: +62 361 8475625


How to Get to Nook?

Train

Nope. No train to Nook. In fact, no train in Bali.

Bus

From what I have seen, it is better to take the taxi or get a private driver.

Walk

You are going to Nook to enjoy a meal. Don’t walk. It is too far, and you will end up drinking more than eating. Perhaps be so exhausted that you are unable to enjoy the pretty paddy field view. Take the taxi or get a private driver.

Taxi/Grab

You can take the taxi or Grab to Nook. For more information about getting about an Indonesian city, read my article about Indonesia.

Scooter/Motorcycle

Looks tempting because it is a cheap way to get around. But be careful. Wear a helmet. We did not choose this after reading about the accidents that killed many locals and tourists who rode scooters or motorcycles.

Private Driver and Tour Guide

Our choice of transport in Bali. And we will get our favorite private driver and tour guide again when we visit next time. It is so convenient.

Travel Tip: Get a private driver and tour guide. Contact me, and I will connect to ours. He is awesome!


We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Bali? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome island? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance

Best Places To Visit In Bali - The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance

When you visit The Uluwatu Temple, you must buy a ticket and watch The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance. That was what our private tour guide told us, and he was so right! Set against the sun setting into the Indian Ocean, the performance was one of the most memorable sights during our Bali vacation.

When we reached the temple grounds, our kind and helpful tour guide joined the long queue to buy us tickets. Eventually, it took him slightly over an hour to get the tickets to the show!

During that time, we enjoyed the awesome view of the cliff, the Indian Ocean, and the sight of the temple at the edge of a steep cliff. We were so grateful for our tour guide who queued and gave us the time to take lots of great photos and videos. Lots of magnificent scenery and beautiful memories. It is truly one of the Best Places to Visit in Bali.

Travel Tip – Get the best tour guide who can make your vacation stress free, and a truly enjoyable one. Leave a comment, and I will connect you to the best tour guide in Bali.

Soon enough, it was time to enter the amphitheater, and be thrilled by the Kecak Dance performance. Below is the video of their enchanting chants and dance.

The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance
Entertainment
Historical Significance
Natural or Cultural Value
Beauty – Natural or Built

Summary

Watch The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance set against the backdrop of the famous temple, the vast and magnificent Indian Ocean, and one of the most breath taking sunset in Bali, Indonesia.

4

Video of The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance

As the sun sets, the dancers enter the stage with their arms raised and chants of ‘Kecak’ repeatedly. It was mesmerizing. The entire performance told of the story of the Ramayana epic. Colorful characters from the story joined the performance, and the audience were watching in silence, totally absorbed. Watch the video to see it all.

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What Is The Kecak Dance?

Before I visited Bali, I had no idea what the Kecak Dance was all about. Then I watched this cultural delight at The Uluwatu Temple, and I was mesmerized!

Of course, I had to find out what this is all about, right? And I did.

It is a very unique Balinese dance. The special part of it is that the dance is not accompanied by any musical instrument or gamelan. Note – a gamelan is the traditional music that is created using percussive instruments.

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As I sat in the audience, I was enraptured by the choir of 70 men as they raised their arms and sang ‘Kecak’. At certain parts of the performance, the 70 men got up and did the traditional dances.

I have also found out that traditionally, the sacred dance, also known as Sang Hyang, was performed with one of the dancers possessed by the spirits. This dancer was then able to communicate with the Gods or ancestors, and delivered their messages. (Don’t worry, this did not happen during The Uluwatu Kecak Dance performance)

Interestingly enough, some time in the 1930s, the story of the Ramayana epic was incorporated into the dance. I felt that the story made the dance more engaging.


What Is The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance About?

The performance of The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance was about the Ramayana epic. It started with the conspiracy of Dewi Kakayi, who was the stepmother of Sri Rama. Because of that conspiracy, Sri Rama, the legitimate crown prince of the kingdo of Ayohdya, was exiled from his father’s palace, the Prabu Dasarata.

Ramayana
Ramayana

Together with his younger brother, Laksamana, and his loyal wife, Dewi Sinta, Sri Rama entered the Dandaka Forest. There, there were discovered by Prabu Dasamuka (also known as Rahwana). The latter was a despotic king. Immediately, he was captivated by the beauty of Dewi Sinta.

His lust caused him to make an attempt to kidnap Sinta. His servant, Marica, assisted him to achieve that. First, they separated Sinta from Rama and Laksamana. Then they kidnapped Sinta and took her away to Alengka Pura.

Of course, upon finding out what happened, Rama and Laksamana tried to rescue Sinta. With the help of the ape army that was under the comman of Hanoman, they succeeded in defeating Rama’s army. Sinta returend to Rama safely.

That was the story from the Ramayana epic that was told during the Kecak Dance performance. Awesome, wasn’t it? There was palace intrigue, battle, and romance.

The Kecak Dance performance was delivered with four dramatic scenes:

Scene 1 – Rama, Sinta and the Golden Deer

Rama, Sinta and Laksamana entered the stage. The Golden Deer came, and Sinta asked Rama to arrest him. Rama left to do as Sinta wanted, with Laksamana left to guard her. Suddenly, there was a scream for help.

The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance
The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance

Worried, Sinta felt it must be Rama. She told Laksamana to help him. Laksamana wanted to help Rama, but was reluctant because he remembered Rama’s order to stay and protect Sinta.

He was then accused of benefiting should Rama die. Faced with such accusation, Laksamana ignored the order, and left Sinta alone.

Scene 2 – Sinta, Rahwana, Bhagawan and Garuda

In scene 2, Rahwana made his attempt to kidnap Sinta. But he failed.

Using his magic tricks, he transformed into a Bhagawan (an old man), and approached Sinta. He said he was thirsty, and asked her for water. Sinta, with her good and generous heart, gave him water.

At that moment of her weakness, Rahwana (disguised as the Bhagawan) took her away. Sinta screamed for help. Her screams were heard by a Garuda that was flying by. A Garuda is a large bird.

Garuda Giant Bird
Garuda Giant Bird

Then the Garuda helped Sinta. But its attempt was unsuccessful because Rahwana cut off it wings. Sinta was then taken away to Alengka Pura by Rahwana

Scene 3 – Sinta, Trijata and Hanoman

In the next scene, we see Sinta lamenting her fate to Trijata, Rahwana’s nephew. Suddenly, Hanoman (the White Ape) showed up, and he said that he was the envoy of the Rama. He showed Rama’s ring as proof.

Hanoman The Great White Ape
Hanoman The Great White Ape

Sinta then handed over some flowers to be handed over to Rama, with the message of asking Rama to rescue her immediately. Hanoman immediately went to Alengka Pura’s garden, and then he ruined it.

The servants of Alengka Pura were surprised by the damage done by Hanoman. They immediately ordered the giants to find the troublemaker. Soon, Hanoman was captured. He was tied and burned. But because of his power, Hanoman managed to escape safely.

Scene 4 – Tualen, Sugriwa, Rahwana, Rama and Laksamana

In the final scene, Tualen, a servant from Sugriwa, the King of the Red Ape, came to Alengka Pura to help Rama to take Sinta away from Rahwana. Knowing this, Rahwana was angry. A fierce battle ensued between Sugriwa and Rahwana.

At the right time, Hanoman, Rama and Laksamana arrived with the magic of Rama’s arrow. They defeated Rahwana. Hanoman jumped forward to take the head of Rahwana so he would not fall to the ground.

Finally, Rahwana died, and Rama and Sinta were reunited.

Cool story, right? It was even better to watch it told through The Uluwatu Kecak Dance performance.

Booking.com

The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

There is no doubt about it. You really must watch this awesome dance performance. It is rich in heritage and culture. Plus, its unique venue makes this a once in a lifetime experience.

Thumbs Up

I give The Uluwatu Kecak Dance performance a Thumbs Up!

As the crowd arrived, I could sense the anticipation building. The first thing everyone was looking out for was the sunset. It was truly a sight to behold.

The amphitheater was built at an elevated level such that everyone could enjoy the vast and magnificent Indian Ocean view. As we sat and basked in the rays of the setting sun, it was so peaceful to immerse in that world.

Then as the sun set, you could see people taking photos. No one was going to miss this picture perfect moment.

As soon as the sun began to set, the Kecak Dance performance began. From the second I heard the cries of ‘Kecak’ as the dancers gathered just outside the amphitheater, to the moment I left, it was a magical experience. Do watch the video to see what I mean.

I truly and highly recommend that you watch The Uluwatu Kecak Dance performance.


Where is The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance?

To watch The Uluwatu Kecak Dance, you must go to The Uluwatu Temple. The temple is located at the far south of Bali, Indonesia.

Booking.com

What is The Showtime for The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance?

While The Uluwatu Temple operates from 9 am to 6 pm, the performance begins as soon as the sun sets. This can be any time from 6 pm to 7 pm.

Travel Tip – Arrive early to get the best seats

As soon as it is 6 pm, do make your way to the amphitheater, and find good seats. You may be early, and have to bear the heat from the setting sun. But trust me, it is better than arriving late, and trying to find a row of seats so that you can sit together.

What is the Address of The Uluwatu Temple?

Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan Kelod, North Kuta District, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia

What is the Ticket Price for The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance?

This changes over time. As of October 2019, when we watched this dance, the price of a ticket for an adult was IDR100,000.


How to Get to The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance?

The performance is held at the amphitheater within The Uluwatu Temple. So, you need to get to the temple.

Train

There are no mass rapid transit trains in Bali. So, no train service to The Uluwatu Temple. Better to take taxi or get a tour guide. See below.

Bus

I understand that there are no buses to The Uluwatu Temple.

Taxi

As mentioned above, The Uluwatu Temple is really far south of the island. So, if you choose to take the taxi, make sure you have a way back to your hotel or villa. Once again, BlueBird taxis are reliable. You can try to ask for meter. But be prepared to bargain for a fixed rate before you get into a cab.

Grab or Gojek

This is like Uber. Read more about this and other choices of transport in my Indonesia article. My advise – do not choose this option when going to The Uluwatu Temple.

Private Driver/Tour Guide

It is best to hire a private driver and tour guide. He can plan the best itinerary for you. He can help you know what time to arrive so that you have enough time to tour the temple and grounds as well as be on time for the show.

He can and will even queue for over an hour to get the tickets for you while you explore the site. If you need a private driver and tour guide, please contact me. I can connect you to him.

Scooter or Motorcycle

In Bali, you can rent a scooter or motorcycle at a very cheap price. But I do not recommend this. It is dangerous. Many tourists and locals have lost their lives because of this mode of transport.

If you ever choose this, please wear a helmet. Be safe.

Walk

Sure. If your hotel is nearby, and within walking distance. Otherwise, best to go by taxi, Grab or private driver.


We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Bali? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome island? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this post – The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

The Uluwatu Temple

Best Places To Visit In Bali - The Uluwatu Temple

The vacation has been awesome so far! For the past few days, we woke up to days of bright sunshine and clear blue skies. On the day we were to visit The Uluwatu Temple, mother nature rewarded us once again with the lovely weather. Perfect for the seaside and sightseeing.

Because of the nice sunny days, we were able to visit many beautiful beaches like Petitenget Beach, and temples like Tanah Lot. All the Best Places to visit in Bali, including The Uluwatu Temple.

We had seen lots of beautiful photos about this place. And were looking forward to be there in person, and experience all the beauty. Today, we will share with you all the charm of this wondrous place.

We will start from the entrance where you can get tickets and loan the sarong to adhere to their dress code. Then to the magnificent view of the cliff and Indian Ocean. And finally the enchanting Kecak Dance performance set against the most beautiful sunset.

And of course, there is the mention of the most Instagrammable spot here. Don’t forget to watch the video, too.

The Uluwatu Temple Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

The Uluwatu Temple at The Edge of a Cliff
Entertainment
Historical Significance
Natural or Cultural Value
Beauty – Natural or Built

Summary

Perched on the edge of a cliff, facing the vast Indian Ocean, The Uluwatu Temple is a sight you must see when you visit Bali, Indonesia. And don’t forget the popular Kecack Dance.

4

Video of The Uluwatu Temple

Before we continue, I would like to share with you a video I created featuring The Uluwatu Temple. In this video, there is the journey from the entrance to the scenic landscapes, breath taking view of the Indian Ocean, the Kecak Dance performance, and the famous sunset that everyone is talking about. Watch the video now.

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What To Do and See at The Uluwatu Temple?

It was so good to have a private car with driver and tour guide. We arrived in the late afternoon, and the car park was packed. The driver was so considerate that he alighted us near the ticket counter. This was so that he would handle finding a car park lot.

After the car was parked, he came along, and we gave him the money to buy the tickets. It was so much easier with a local speaking to the counter staff. Plus, he knew exactly what to do. After buying the tickets, he advised us on the right dress code.


What is the Dress Code at The Uluwatu Temple?

To dress appropriately and according to the dress code, we had to wear a sarong with a scarf or sash tied around the waist.

Don’t have one? No worries. They do provide the sarong and sash near the ticket counter. Again, the tour guide was so helpful. He taught us how to wear the purple sarong and bright orange sash.

Travel Tip – As a sign of respect, men and women must wear the sarong with a scarf or sash tied when visiting any temples in Bali. Get the ones provided by the temple.

Sarong and Sash Dress Code at The Uluwatu Temple
Sarong and Sash Dress Code at The Uluwatu Temple

What to See at The Uluwatu Temple?

After getting dressed as required, we walked through the gates of The Uluwatu Temple, down a path and into the temple grounds. It was so exciting to see so many people wandering about, and soaking in the sights.

At The Uluwatu Temple, besides the superb view of the temple, cliff, and Indian Ocean, most visitors were there to see the renowned Kecak Dance performance. The dance was performed against the backdrop of the sun setting into the Indian Ocean.

Our guide informed us that he would queue and get for us the tickets to see the popular and famous Kecak Dance performance. We were so naive and said we would queue with him.

He pointed to a long queue, a very very very long queue. Then smiled and answered that our time was better spent enjoying and seeing the sights. When we saw the queue, we were so relieved to have him help us. Our guide is the best!

Additional Travel Tip – Get the best tour guide who can make your vacation stress free, and a truly enjoyable one. Leave a comment, and I will connect you to the best tour guide in Bali.


How Did The Uluwatu Temple Get Its Name?

Freed from spending over an hour queuing for the dance tickets, we explored the area. As we walked around, a thought came back to my mind. I had always wondered about the names given to each place we visit. And I had wondered how The Uluwatu Temple got its name as well as what it means?

For the past few days before writing this article, I did some research. And I found out that The Uluwatu Temple is also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu. First, Ulu means ‘land’s end’, and watu is for ‘rock’. This is in the old language. So, Uluwatu means ‘the rock at land’s end’. Isn’t that so cool?

As for the traditional name – Pura Luhur Uluwatu, the word Pura is Sanskrit for ‘city’, ‘walled city’, ‘towered city’, or ‘palace’. And Luhur is ‘something of divine origin’. Put them all together and you have a name that means ‘a city of divine origin’. Such a astonishing name!


How is The View at The Uluwatu Temple?

The view at The Uluwatu Temple is Awesome!

View of Indian Ocean and Waves at The Uluwatu Temple
View of Indian Ocean and Waves at The Uluwatu Temple

There is the temple that sits at the edge of the steep cliff with the beautiful blue ocean below.

The Uluwatu Temple at The Edge of a Cliff
The Uluwatu Temple at The Edge of a Cliff

The waves of the ocean continually breaks into white froths of lines as they approach the shores.

View of Cliff and Waves at The Uluwatu-Temple
View of Cliff and Waves at The Uluwatu-Temple

There is an entire stretch of path for visitors to walk and appreciate the sights. So many places to take memorable selfies.


What is The Uluwatu Kecak Dance All About?

After about an hour of touring, we returned to the previously agreed meeting place. Our guide has our tickets for us. It was round 6 pm, and he said it was the right time to enter the amphitheater and get good seats. Off we went as he advised.

Travel Tip – There is limited seats at the amphitheater. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets or entrance fee of Kecak Dance is Uluwatu is IDR 100,000 per person can be purchased in advance, and arriving early is advised, and the stage has limit space or seating.

There were many places where you can watch the Kecak Dance. Our guide told us that the Kecak Dance at The Uluwatu Temple was the best because of the unique setting. He reminded us to watch out for the sunset that would be unforgettable.

We entered the amphitheater, and there were already quite a number of people seated.

Audience Start to Arrive for Uluwatu Kecak Dance Performance
Audience Start to Arrive for Uluwatu Kecak Dance Performance

We decided to sit at the top row. Partly to get a bird’s eye view of the performance. Partly to be near the exit because we could imagine the number of people crowding to leave the place after the performance.

Travel Tip – Sit at the first front rows if you wish to get a close up view of the dancers and performance. Plus you can get really creative and memorable photos.

Additional Travel Tip – But if you are afraid of crowds, then sit near the exits so that you can leave easily.

In the next hour or so, more people arrived. The sun began to set. And at one point, after enduring the hot evening sun, we were rewarded with a beautiful sun setting. The entire scene with the sunset, the temple at the edge of the cliff, and the wide Indian Ocean was breath taking.

Beautiful Sunset at The Uluwatu Temple
Beautiful Sunset at The Uluwatu Temple

Travel Tip – Enjoy the sunset. Don’t forget to take some photos to remember this precious moment.

As soon as the sun set, the performance began. There were voices of ‘kecak’ chanted repeatedly. And everyone was craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the dancers as they arrived along the perimeter of the amphitheater.

Then suddenly they enter the center stage. A troupe of male dancers. Their arms extended and shaking into the air. A chorus of ‘kecak’ that filled the entire theater. It was so exciting! Set against the stunning backdrop of the sunset scene, it was spectacular!

Uluwatu Kecak Dance Performance
Uluwatu Kecak Dance Performance
Booking.com

For me, it would be my first time watching the Balinese performance art. I love the arts and culture. And what better way for me to be introduced to the Balinese art form than here. I will always remember this moment forever.

There was a story to the dance performance. A story about love and betrayal from the ancient Ramayana epic. I will share more about the Kecak Dance in another post that I would write soon. Watch for that.


Why You Must Beware of the Monkeys at The Uluwatu Temple?

A little side note here for all my readers who plan to visit this beautiful place.

As you enter the grounds of the temple, you cannot help but notice there are many monkeys around. This is because there is a forest nearby where they reside.

There are precautionary signs to warn visitors of monkeys grabbing stuff from people, such as sunglasses, cameras, phones, etc.

Cautionary Signs at The Uluwatu Temple About Monkeys
Cautionary Signs at The Uluwatu Temple About Monkeys

Caution – Do not bring valuable items or wear/carry them here. The monkeys find them attractive, and may grab them.

Heed the signs’ warnings. Be careful. Please don’t bring valuable items or wear/carry them; things like expensive sunglasses, earrings or necklaces. Naturally, you would like to bring cameras or take photos and videos with your smartphones.

Travel Tip – Keep your cameras, wallets and smartphones close to you.


Where is the Most Instagrammable Spot at The Uluwatu Temple?

There are quite a few spots that are so Instagram worthy. But to me, the one view that is so awesome is the one shown below. It is the most memorable.

The view is taken from the other cliff, and faced the cliff where the amphitheater is located. You get the high cliffs, the amphitheater, the waves breaking, and the deep blue Indian Ocean.


The Uluwatu Temple – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

When I first read about The UluWatu Temple, and saw photos and videos on the Internet about it, I did think that it would be a very interesting place to visit. What I did not count on was how awesome this attraction is.

Thumbs Up

I give this place a Thumbs Up!

I loved standing and watching the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean becoming rows of white froth as they broke into the shores. The sound of the waves as I watched this made the entire scene mesmerizing.

Then I looked up and saw how wide and immense the Indian Ocean is. And I felt this emotion of love and respect for nature. Add the steep cliffs and temple perched at the edge of one of the cliffs, and you have a potent combination of the most awesome scenery.

Plus the Kecak Dance performance. It was my first experience with Balinese art, and I have full admiration for it. I thirst for more, and plan to watch more arts and culture in Bali, and any other places I visit.

I highly recommend visiting this place, and adding another memory of your lifetime.


Where is The Uluwatu Temple?

The Uluwatu Temple is at the furthest south area of Bali, Indonesia. It is in the Pecatu Village that is within the south district of Badung. We stayed at Seminyak, and it took us over an hour to reach there. Thankfully, we had a private car and driver so that we just sat back and relaxed all the way there.

Booking.com

What are the Operating Hours at The Uluwatu Temple?

The Uluwatu Temple is open for visitors daily from 9 am to 6 pm. For worship, it is open 24 hours daily.


When is the Best Time to Visit The Uluwatu Temple?

We were there during the first week of October. And we were told by our guide that the rainy season was supposed to have started. We were very lucky that it did not rain while we were there.

Our guide also told us that the best time to visit Bali and The Uluwatu Temple was between March and September. These are the best month when there is a higher chance of watching the sunset with clear skies.

Travel Tip – Avoid the rainy season. Evening rain can spoil the tour and watching the Kecak Dance performance.


What is the Address of The Uluwatu Temple?

Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan Kelod, North Kuta District, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia


What is the Entrance Fee of The Uluwatu Temple?

This changes over time. When we visited during October 2019, the entrance fee was IDR 50,000 for adult foreigners, and IDR 30,000 for child foreigners. Kindly note that the fee can change over time. Please check before going or at the ticket counter when you arrive.

Travel Tip – Payment for tickets is Cash Only. So, please prepare the right amounts before you come here.


How to Get to The Uluwatu Temple?

Train

There are no mass rapid transit trains in Bali. So, no train service to The Uluwatu Temple. Better to take taxi or get a tour guide. See below.

Bus

I understand that there are no buses to The Uluwatu Temple.

Taxi

As mentioned above, The Uluwatu Temple is really far south of the island. So, if you choose to take the taxi, make sure you have a way back to your hotel or villa. Once again, BlueBird taxis are reliable. You can try to ask for meter. But be prepared to bargain for a fixed rate before you get into a cab.

Grab or Gojek

This is like Uber. Read more about this and other choices of transport in my Indonesia article. My advise – do not choose this option when going to The Uluwatu Temple.

Private Driver/Tour Guide

Our awesome private driver and tour guide had an emergency on the day we were to visit here. So, he arranged for one of his team members to take over for the day. And he was just as good!

He was the one I mentioned earlier in this article, about how helpful he was, and he even stood in the queue to get us the Kecak Dance tickets.

If you need a private driver and tour guide, please contact me. I can connect you to Kadek.

Scooter or Motorcycle

In Bali, you can rent a scooter or motorcycle at a very cheap price. But I do not recommend this. It is dangerous. Many tourists and locals have lost their lives because of this mode of transport.

If you ever choose this, please wear a helmet. Be safe.

Walk

Sure. If your hotel is nearby, and within walking distance. Otherwise, best to go by taxi, Grab or private driver.


Before the end of this post, I would like to share a few more tips:

Travel Tip – Please do not take photos directly in front of worshippers

Travel Tip – Please do not step over or tread on offerings called canang sari

Canang sari are offerings that are palm leaves woven into a small box. There are flowers, herbs, money and snacks inside. These offerings are to appease the spirits. Please be careful and watch where you are going.

Enchanting Evening Scene at The Uluwatu Temple
Enchanting Evening Scene at The Uluwatu Temple

We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Bali? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome island? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this post –The Uluwatu Temple, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review

Bali Hotels - La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review

I was so excited to be in Bali for a holiday! During this vacation, my friend and I stayed at a villa. That’s right! We had an entire villa all to ourselves. All at a very affordable price! It was so awesome! And here is the La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review.

Before we get to the review, I would like to share with you how we came to the idea of staying at a villa. One of my students visit Bali quite regularly. In class, during breaks, he would rave about how he enjoyed sitting on the beach and relishing an ongoing flow of beer. His type of vacation.

I asked him about accommodations. That was when he gushed about some people who stayed at villas. They had the whole place to themselves. Like a bungalow with private pool and all.

I thought it sounded awesome. So, I suggested to my friend, and we agreed to book and stay at a villa in Bali. And after months of searching, we found this one.


La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review – The Overview & Rankings:

Hotel: La Villais Kamojang Seminyak
Room Rates: SGD 140.72 (USD 103.59) per night (as at October 2019)
Cheapest Place to Book: Agoda
Location: Jl. Pangkung Sari, Banjar Taman, Seminyak, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia 80361
Hotel Rooms:

  1. Superior Room with City View
  2. Deluxe Room with Pool View
  3. Deluxe Lagoon with Pool Access

Villas:

  1. One Bedroom Villa with Private Pool
  2. Two Bedroom Villa with Private Pool
  3. Three Bedroom Villa with Private Pool

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Villa Private Pool
Villa / Hotel Room Quality
Amenities
Facilities
Service Quality
Sleep Quality
Location
Value for Money

Summary

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak offers an entire villa with private pool all to yourselves. Excellent and spacious for you and friends or family. Read the review for more details.

3

Thinking of going to Bali? Check out these deals below. Click the ‘See all deals’ to get better room rates.

Booking.com

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review – The Video 

It was so nice to have an entire villa to ourselves. It made filming the place so much easier. The pathway to the villa, filled with lush greenery, was so peaceful. We had so much fun time at the private pool. The bedroom and bathroom were heavenly, especially after a day of touring. You got to see it to believe it. Watch the Video Now.

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About La Villais Kamojang Seminyak

When we arrived at La Villais Kamojang Seminyak, I only thought of the villa where we will be staying at. And for that moment, I totally forgot that this establishment actually has a hotel too.

View of Fascinating Sculpture and Hotel at La Villais Kamojang Seminyak
View of Fascinating Sculpture and Hotel at La Villais Kamojang Seminyak

At the lobby, you can see their restaurant, and the main pool (where every guest can enjoy a swim). Surrounding the pool are the hotel rooms.

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Main Pool
La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Main Pool

We were shown past the main pool, and there was a beautiful path to our villa. The path was filled with lush plants, trees and beautiful flowers.

Beautiful Flowers and Lush Greenery along Pathway to Villa
Beautiful Flowers and Lush Greenery along Pathway to Villa

We arrived at our villa, and it was awesome! A whole villa to ourselves, and a private pool. While the main pool was nice, a private pool was better.

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Villa Private Pool
La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Villa Private Pool

The villa also has a traditional-style Balinese entrance gate, living area, pavilion, dining area and kitchenette. More about the amenities and facilities further down this article. Or you can watch the video above to see everything about the villa.

This hotel is at the heart of Seminyak. So, it was very convenient to walk to cafes, restaurants, shops and entertainment areas. Later, during our stay, our tour guide showed us how close we were to the night life scene.


Rooms

One of the nice points about this place is that they offered both hotel rooms and villas. So, you get to choose which option you like. For hotel rooms, here are the following types:

Hotel Rooms:

  1. Superior Room with City View
  2. Deluxe Room with Pool View
  3. Deluxe Lagoon with Pool Access

I have seen the hotel area from outside. While it was nice that all rooms faced the main pool, I did not want to stay at a hotel room. It was something I normally did. I wanted something different for this vacation, and the villas were a superb choice.

Villas:

  1. One Bedroom Villa with Private Pool
  2. Two Bedroom Villa with Private Pool
  3. Three Bedroom Villa with Private Pool

We eventually chose the One Bedroom Villa with Private Pool. And we were so happy we did. When we stepped in to the villa for the first time, the feeling was super! The first thing that caught my eye was the private pool. For the next few nights, we had fun playing and enjoying at the pool, under the stars and moon.

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak One Bedroom Villa
La Villais Kamojang Seminyak One Bedroom Villa

There was a living room next to the pool should you like to have a drink, watch the TV or simply relax and zone out as you gaze at the water in the pool. The kitchenette was complete but we hardly used it since we dined out for every meal.

The bedroom was spacious, and the king size bed was large and comfy. There was even a mosquito net that we could lower and cover the bed at night to keep the mozzies away. And we did that every night.

*Travel Tip: No worries about mosquitoes. Bali does a great job at controlling this insect. But if you feel you need some repellents, you can ask for anti-mosquito spray, lotion and coil from the front desk. They provide all these for FREE here.

Honestly, there need not be any concern for mosquitoes or any other insects. I believe the hotel is excellent at keeping these away. There was only one night where I heard a mosquito buzzing around my right ear. A smack at that area and use of the anti-mosquito spray soon dealt with that problem.

Bed with Mosquito Net
Bed with Mosquito Net

Continuing on about the villa, there was a work desk with a mirror in the bedroom. It ended up as a place to charge our phones and devices.

*Travel Tip: Speaking of charging electronic devices, the type of power sockets used in Bali are Types C and F. The voltage used is 230V and Frequency is 50 Hz. Make sure your equipment like phones use the same type. If not, remember to bring an adapter.

Travel Adapter to Use in Bali
Travel Adapter to Use in Bali

One of the side tables had a tray of fruits to welcome us on the first day. We kept them in the refrigerator, and enjoyed them by the pool for the next few days.

Welcome Platter of Fruits
Welcome Platter of Fruits

The bathroom was also very spacious. There was a bath tub and shower. Also, the usual bathroom sink and toilet. Watch the video to see how huge it was.


Amenities

With different types of rooms and villas, there are different range of amenities. Sure, this makes sense, right? So, here they are.

Superior Room with City View, Deluxe Room with Pool View, Deluxe Room with Pool Access

  • Hot and cold shower
  • Telephone
  • LED Television
  • Air conditioner
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Tea and coffee making facilities

One Bedroom Villa with Private Pool, Two Bedroom Villa with Private Pool , Three Bedroom Villa with Private Pool

  • Private swimming pool
  • King size bed
  • Pool gazebo and long chair
  • Living room
  • Kitchenette
  • Hot and cold shower
  • Bath tub
  • Refrigerator
  • LED Television
  • Air conditioner
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Telephone
  • Work desk

*Travel Tip: Besides the bottles of water provided, there is a water dispenser at the kitchenette. Free flow of drinking water.

Common amenities for all rooms and villas include:

  • Laundry and dry cleaning
  • Baby sitter service
  • Money exchange
  • Buggy ride to villa
  • 24-hour security
  • Free WIFI
  • Car rental
  • Doctor on call
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour front office

Facilities

When we were there, we noticed that on the ground floor there were a restaurant and bar next to the main pool. Also, from our villa, we could see that there was a rooftop dining area. More about these dining and entertainment places in the Food section below.

Just like our villa that has a private pool, each villa has one, too. It is not a really big pool. Then again, it is not a small pool either. I found the size just right. And the cool waters a delight whenever we took a break from touring.

For those who stayed at the hotel, there was the main pool. Not many people swim here. We only witnessed a few people once or twice. It could be that people are more keen to explore the city or bask in the sun at the beaches. We know we did have loads of fun at Petitenget Beach, nearest beach to our villa.

La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Deck Chairs at Main Pool
La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Deck Chairs at Main Pool

If you need to rejuvenate and recharge, there is the Adella Spa at this location. It is one of the luxuries offered here. Actually, we did not had any massage during this vacation. We always ended up relaxing at our own private pool.

When I returned to Singapore, I learned from my colleagues and students that the Balinese massage is one of the must-do pleasures in Bali. They said it was very different from other forms of massage. It truly relaxes and recharges you. Next time, I visit Bali, I will definitely try their massage!

*Travel Tip: The spa at hotels charge premium prices for high quality massages. But I heard that the massages outside are just as good. And at lower rates. Explore and find out more before deciding on which spa to get your special treat.


Service Quality

I found the service quality of La Villais Kamojang Seminyak to be erratic. Some of their staff were friendly, always with a smile, and ready to assist and help. Some never smiled and were simply cold. They even looked like they would rather run away than be present to assist us.

Thumbs Down

For example, when we approached the front desk, there were times when the staff looked unhappy that we were there. They did not greet us, and never smiled. And when we requested for stuff (which they should have provided or done; e.g. housekeeping), they answered they would look into it in a very robotic manner.

We requested for housekeeping because they did not do that for us on the second day. After check-in on first day, and having slept in the first night, the beds and items in the bedroom are in a disarray. We left for our tour on the second day, and expected the room to be all clean and tidy when we returned. To our horror, it was not.

To their credit, when we called for housekeeping to be done, the team came and have it all sorted out very quickly. They were great! They were friendly as they did their work. Even when they forgot to replace the used shower gel, shampoo and conditioner bottles, and had to return to give the new ones, they did it all with apologies and great smiles.

Hence, on the third day, we decided to give them a gentle reminder to make sure housekeeping was done. And that was another one of the times when we encountered bad service (the unhappy face and robotic response mentioned above).


Sleep Quality

Sleep is always important during any travel. And, if you read all my hotel reviews, you would know this is one ranking factor that is very important to me. I am sure it is important to you, too. After all, a good night’s sleep can make the next day a great day and fun.

We had very good sleep on the king size bed. It was just the right level of firmness. Not too soft until you sink into the bed and feel ‘trapped’ and unsupported. And not too hard that you would rather sleep on the floor.

Large King Sized Bed at One Bedroom Villa
Large King Sized Bed at One Bedroom Villa

The pillows were firm yet soft enough to rest and support your head. They were thick enough to cater to side sleepers. But as I slept, I did found the pillow started to sink a little. As such, the loft of the pillow did not support the distance between my head and outside shoulders enough. Overall, they were comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep. I believe being extremely tired after a full day’s tour helped.

Comfortable Pillows and Mattress at One Bedroom Villa
Comfortable Pillows and Mattress at One Bedroom Villa

Services Near the Hotel

We found that there are many convenience stores and mini marts along the road, outside the hotel. Every ten to twenty meters, there is a convenience store or mini mart. So, there is no worries to get snacks, drinks, suntan lotion, many personal items and needs, and even a hot meal like instant noodles.

There was even a convenience store just opposite the hotel. That was where we bought most of our snacks and drinks. And yes, ice cream. I bought the Magnum ice creams that usually cost nearly SGD 4 in Singapore. In Bali, they were only SGD 1 plus!


Good Food Nearby

We did not need to go far for meals. At the villa itself, there was the Teripta Restaurant and Cafe and the View Rooftop Bar Seminyak. But we did not patronize either because we preferred to explore the cafes and restaurants outside. We heard of some really good Bali Food, and we were intent on having that.

The Teripta Restaurant and Cafe was at the main lobby area. They served western dishes with Asian touch. Every morning, we glanced at the breakfast buffet spread, and we were unimpressed. We were so glad we chose to have breakfast at places like the Cafe Bali, and the Junction House.

The View Rooftop Bar Seminyak was located at the rooftop (duh) of the hotel. Buildings in Bali are not tall. The bar was at the top of a six-storey hotel. Not too high. So, don’t expect any magnificent panoramic view of the city like the hotel claimed. The hotel did boast of weddings held there. There were also cooking classes if that is something you like to experience.

Around the hotel, and nearby, about 10 to 15 minutes walk, there were many cafes and restaurants. From the entrance of the hotel, turn right and you can find decent dining sprinkled along the way. Turn left, and walk to Jl. Kayu Aya for plenty of cafes and restaurants along the entire stretch of the road.

For breakfast, the choices were few. Perhaps that was why most hotels offer breakfast? We did manage to find a few breakfast places like Cafe Bali and the Junction House. Both offer really tasty breakfast.

We knew that there were many local eating places that offer breakfast, but they were a little far from our hotel. Our tour usually started around 10 am because we wanted a slow, easy and relaxing vacation. Should your itinerary include local breakfast, we highly recommend you try it.

For lunch and dinner, we dined mostly wherever we were during the tour. But just for your info, when near lunch time and later, the food places in the areas mentioned above would have even more choices as more food and beverage places open for business.


Attractions Nearby

The attractions are nearby but not so near that you could walk to the sites within minutes. It is a better option to drive or be driven. We had an excellent tour guide (read more about him further down in How to Get Around Bali? section).

On our first day of tour, it took us about 30 minutes, by car, to Petitenget Beach. Our tour guide informed us that this was the beach nearest to our hotel. Near our hotel, there were also the famed Ku De Ta Restaurant, Potato Head Beach Club, Oberoi Street of Seminyak.


Where is La Villais Kamojang Seminyak?

As the name of the villa indicated, it is located in Seminyak. More accurately, it is in the district of Kerobokan.

Booking.com

Address: Jl. Pangkung Sari, Banjar Taman, Seminyak, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia 80361

Phone: +62 361 739118, +62 361 737 975

Email: reservation@lavillais.com

*Travel Tip: Rather than book direct, it is better to book via Booking.com. You can compare prices and get the best deals. I have also noticed that prices on Booking.com are lower than the rates offered at their website.


How To Get There?

By Train

There are no trains to get to this villa. Everyone takes a cab or already have transport arrangement with hotel or tour guide.

By Private Car with Driver and Tour Guide

Most people choose this option. You can contact the driver/tour guide before your vacation. And arrange for them to pick you up from the airport when you arrive.

The rate is included in the package, and I have found that it is very affordable. In fact, if you take a cab or the airport taxi, you will be charged more. I discovered this the hard way when we had to pay around USD 18 for a one way trip from the airport to the villa. And this was in a bluebird taxi.

Also, with a private car, it is more comfortable. Again, the bluebird cab that we took was a little cramped. If you travel with your family, a private car will be very comfortable. The tour guide we had, Kadek, drove a car that could easily accommodate a family or 6 people. In addition, he was an excellent tour guide.

*Travel Tip: The ride to the villa was around 40 minutes. Depending on where you stay, the ride can take quite a while. Make sure you get a drink, sit comfortably, and enjoy the view from the ride. P.S. Kadek makes sure there is a 1.5 litre of water for every passenger.

By Airport Taxi

Do not take this option. They have bad reputation. And the price is the same as a Bluebird taxi (USD 18), which is a better choice than this. Still, the private car with driver and tour guide is the best option.

By Public Taxi

The best of this option is the Bluebird taxi. You can try to ask them to go by meter, but usually they will charge a fixed rate. As mentioned, ours was USD 18. Again, the best choice is the private car with driver and tour guide.

By Public Bus

There are buses to different parts of Bali. Unless you are very familiar with the routes, I suggest you take the Bluebird taxi or the better choice of private car with driver and tour guide. Especially if you are traveling with family, do not take this transportation.

Should you wish to try the public bus, look for the terminal that is on the ground floor. Follow the signs or ask around.

By Hotel Transfer

Some hotels, like La Villais Kamojang Seminyak, offer airport transfers. Depending on your hotel package, you may get it for free.

There are those that offer this at a price. It is worthwhile asking the rate, just to compare prices.

By Motorbike Taxi or Gojek

This can be a choice if you are traveling alone or with friends who are ok with this mode of transport. But you cannot have luggage. Best is you have only a backpack.

You can find the Motorbike taxi riders hanging around the Starbucks or Burger King. Agree on a price before you hire the ride. One thing to note, the prices can be not much better than taking a taxi or Grab.

For Gojek, you need to get the app installed on your smartphone in order to book a ride. You need to book this in advance. Or you will have to wait for your driver to get to where you are, and that can take a while.

*Travel Tip: Not recommended. Only choose this if you travel light and are familiar with Bali.

By Grab

Uber has exited Asia. There is a similar service called Grab. It works just like Uber where you download the app on your smartphone, set up an account, and make bookings via the app. The prices are confirmed when you book, and payment can be cash or credit card.

Although I like taking Grab when I travel, Bali is one place where I do not like to use this app. I find it better to hire a private car with driver and tour guide.


Getting Around Bali

You can read all about how to get around in my article about Indonesia. In that article, I explained about the various modes of transportation available in the various cities like Bali.

I do find the best way to get around Bali is to hire a driver who is also a tour guide. There are so many fascinating and interesting places to visit in Bali. And it can be quite a lot of work to organize the ideal itinerary to see as many of these attractions as possible within the limited days of your vacation.

*Travel Tip: Make your vacation stress free. Get a tour guide. It is also cost efficient.

When we were planning our Bali vacation, we did some research and found some places we would like to visit. At the same time, we wanted a relaxing vacation and take our time to explore and enjoy our time there.

Timotheus, Than and Kadek, Our Balinese Private Driver and Tour Guide
Timotheus, Than and Kadek, Our Balinese Private Driver and Tour Guide

Kadek helped us to plan the ideal itinerary. He clustered the places of interests that were in the same districts so that we do not rush from one end of Bali to another. Plus, he arranged the schedule as we desired – light and lots of time to immerse into each location.

*Travel Tip: Visiting Bali and need a reliable, trustworthy and excellent tour guide? Kadek and his team can make your vacation a truly enjoyable one. Write a comment below, and I will connect you to him.


La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

When you search on the Internet, you will see photos of La Villais Kamojang Seminyak where the rooms, villas and amenities look really nice. That is, looking clean and well maintained. Don’t trust those photos.

As you can see my photos and videos, generally the entire place is quite lovely. But the furniture and furnishings are not well maintained. In fact, they look quite run down.

Some people may find this charming. I do not deny that. For example, when you watch the video, you can see the awnings looking very old and worn down. But some people may say they have character.

Sure. I get that. But when the furniture has cracks and looks like the it is at the point of falling apart, the charm flies out the villa. For example, we found the side tables have cracks. It could collapse at any time. In fact, the mosquito net fell apart on our last night of stay.

Another reason for the low rating is because of the inconsistent service quality. They should train all the staff to be friendly, helpful and with a sincere smile. After all, they are in the hospitality trade. Plus, there are many other choices out there.

This is not to say this hotel is a total failure and you should give it a miss. I do find that there is some value for money. And the villas are nice. With the 3 bedroom villa option, I can imagine an entire family or large group of friends bonding and having a great time there.

Plus the convenience of excellent dining and entertainment within easy access. And good quality sleep, lush greenery, and awesome private pool. These points saved this place from getting a poor 2.0 or even a 1.5 rating.


Booking.com

We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Bali? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome island? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about La Villais Kamojang Seminyak Review, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Best Beaches in Bali – Petitenget Beach

Best Places To Visit In Bali - Best Beaches in Bali - Petitenget Beach

It was the second day after we arrived in Bali. A beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies. Perfect start to our tour and vacation. Our awesome tour guide, Kadek, had arrived to pick us up, and take us to our first stop on today’s adventure – one of the Best Beaches in Bali – Petitenget Beach.

As mentioned above, we had arrived a day earlier in the late afternoon. We decided to take things easy on our first day in Bali. And we were glad we did. We had a good rest at our hotel, had a nice swim in our private pool, explored the shops, cafes and restaurants around the hotel, and then rested some more.

Being rested, we were very excited to start our tour of Bali. We had planned to visit temples, museums, and beaches this time round. We will save Ubud for the next time.

The sun was shining. The air was cool. Come join me and my friend on this lovely visit to Petitenget Beach, definitely one of the Best Places To Visit in Bali.

Petitenget Beach Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Best Places To Visit In Bali - Best Beaches in Bali - Petitenget Beach
Entertainment
Natural or Cultural Value
Beauty – Natural or Built

Summary

Petitenget Beach is unlike many of the other beaches in Bali, Indonesia. It is less crowded and quieter, giving you space, peace with plenty of natural beauty and nature.

4

Best Beaches in Bali – Petitenget Beach – The Video

I know many people now prefer photos and videos. So, I took a lot of photos and videos of all the places I visited in Bali. In this video, you will see the entrance of Petitenget Beach, the sweet swing that is the perfect Instagrammable spot, and lots of sun, sand and sea where people have fun swimming and surfing. Watch the video below.

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What Is At Petitenget Beach in Bali?

Before I traveled anywhere, I would be so curious about a place, and I would do research to find out more about the place before I arrived. For Bali, I was so busy with work that I did not do enough research. So, I visited many of the places without much idea of what it was all about, what to look out for, and what key points to take note as well as take photos and videos.

And I am so glad it happened that way.

Knowing a just a bit made the discovery and exploration of each site we visited so much more fascinating! When the tour guide dropped us off at Petitenget Beach, I did not know what to expect.

I filmed the journey from the car park to the entrance, and then to this very interesting swing that is also a sign to say that we have arrived at Petitenget Beach.

Isn’t it quite a sight to behold? Imagine sitting on the swing, facing the sea, and simply swing and enjoy the view. That was what my friend and I did exactly. Just be in the moment. Breathe the sea air. And soak in the magnificent view.

Of course, I have to share the bit of research I did about the place, right? So here it is.

Petitenget Beach is considered the main beach of Seminyak. It is named after the Petitenget Temple that is near the entrance of the beach. You can see the large parking space outside the temple in the video above.

Sadly, on the day we arrived, we were unable to visit the temple. Our tour guide, Kadek, informed us that there was a holy ceremony that day, and no outside visitors were allowed.

One of the things I noted about the beach was that the sand was of a light brown color. I thought it would be white in color. But light brown is still OK. At least it was soft and fine.

Travel Tip – Do not believe what many other websites claim – that the sand here is white. I have been there, and I can tell you it is light brown.

The nice thing about Petitenget Beach is that it is not as crowded as the other beaches, for example in Kuta and Legian. We visited the other beaches later that day, and for the next two days. Look out for the posts about these beaches, and you will see what I mean by crowded.

Also, take a look at the video above, and you can see how quiet this beach is. If you like less crowded and quiet beaches, this is a good one for you.

In addition, if you like large waves and surfing, this is also a good choice. You can see people surfing in the video above. In the photo below, you can see a couple of men going out to sail in the sea. Brave men.

The beach is quite a long stretch, and there are few places to enjoy a drink or dinner or both while you watch sunsets. You can look for La Lucciola, Mano Beach Club, Ku De Ta, Potato Head Beach Club or Woobar. We didn’t get to watch the sunset here. We went to Double Six Beach for that.

Booking.com

Where is the Most Instagrammable Spot at Petitenget Beach?

As I mentioned above, there is an Instagrammable Spot here at Petitenget Beach. It is the swing and sign at the entrance of the beach. That’s me below, enjoying the view on the swing, and also getting a photo for Asia Travel Gem’s Instagram account.


Petitenget Beach – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

While we do appreciate a crowded beach because the people make it all very exciting, we were looking forward to a quiet and relaxing vacation. Months of hard work can make you want that.

Thumbs Up

I give this place a Thumbs Up!

So, Petitenget Beach was perfect with offering exactly what we wanted. If you, like us, prefer a quieter seaside, this is the one for you.

On top of that plus point, the seaside was lovely. There are people walking or jogging on the sand. Some were surfing or sailing. Not too many. Just the right amount of people.

Plus, there are a few drinking holes for you to enjoy a drink while you sit and appreciate the view. For me, I love watching the waves. Especially large and strong waves. It was really nice seeing crystal clear waters. Even nicer to feel the cool waters.


Where is Petitenget Beach?

Petitenget Beach is near the hotel where we stayed. We realized that when it was the first stop of our tour, and we arrived in less than 30 minutes.

So, it is actually in Seminyak, Bali. And in the Kerobokan Kelod area, same area as our hotel. I also found out that it is located at the north coast of Mesari Beach, Seminyak.

Booking.com

Operating Hours

It is a public beach. So, technically it is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. But you would not want to swim during the night. Too dark. Too dangerous because of the waves and strong undercurrents.

Address

Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan Kelod, North Kuta District, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia

Entrance Fee

Some beaches in Bali require an entrance fee. I know. Unbelievable right?But it is what it is.

The good news is that there is no entrance fee to this beach. Do not believe anyone who asks you for entrance fee.


How to Get to Petitenget Beach?

Train

There are no mass rapid transit trains in Bali. So, no train service to Petitenget Beach. Better to take taxi or get a tour guide. See below.

Bus

The public buses are more mini-buses. Unless you are familiar with Bali and the bus routes, I suggest you take the taxi, Grab or get a private driver who can also double as your tour guide.

Taxi

This is one of the best ways to go to Petitenget Beach. Look for the BlueBird taxis. They are more reliable. And always go by meter.

If you encounter a driver who demands a standard fee, then bargain and agree to the rate before you get into the cab.

Grab or Gojek

This is like Uber. Read more about this and other choices of transport in my Indonesia article.

Private Driver/Tour Guide

We hired a private driver and tour guide. And he was Awesome!

It was so convenient. Wherever we wanted to go, he would take us there. Plus, he would share info about each place we visited. Even local tips about them.

In addition, before we arrived, we discussed the itinerary. We told him how many days we wanted to tour, and he would suggest an itinerary. And he was so accommodating, so willing to change the itinerary to our liking.

Timotheus, Than and Kadek, Our Balinese Private Driver and Tour Guide
Timotheus, Than and Kadek, Our Balinese Private Driver and Tour Guide

If you need a private driver and tour guide, please contact me. I can connect you to Kadek.

Scooter or Motorcycle

In Bali, you can rent a scooter or motorcycle at a very cheap price. But I do not recommend this. It is dangerous. Many tourists and locals have lost their lives because of this mode of transport.

If you ever choose this, please wear a helmet. Be safe.

Walk

Sure. If your hotel is nearby, and within walking distance. Otherwise, best to go by taxi, Grab or private driver.


We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Bali? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome island? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this post – Best Beaches in Bali – Petitenget Beach, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide

Indonesia - The Ultimate Guide

Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide

I am so excited! I’m going to Bali next week! That’s right! Bali in Indonesia!

Curious to know more about the country I’ll be visiting soon, I decided to research and find out more. And today, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned here with you!


About Indonesia

Indonesia is not new to me actually. I’ve been to Jakarta, Batam and Bintan before. All three cities, and Bali are part of this world’s largest island country. Batam, Bintan and Bali are three of the seventeen thousand islands that are part of Indonesia.

During June this year, I was in Kuching. An interesting titbit is that Kuching is part of East Malaysia, and they share land border with Indonesia on the large island known as Borneo. Imagine that! I was so close to Indonesia back then. Also, sharing land borders with Indonesia are Papua New Guinea and East Timor.

Birds of Petulu, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Birds of Petulu, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

I have also found out that Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that supports a high level of biodiversity. If you are into nature vacations, this will appeal to you. There is a section further down this article with more information about this.

To my surprise, Indonesia has abundant natural resources like oil, natural gas, coal, tin, copper, gold and nickel. Imagine that! Oil and gold! Surely this must be a rich country? They also have agriculture that  produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber.

Now that I read about coffee and cacao, I do remember coffee from Sumatra being served at some coffee places in Singapore. I went to one at Frankel Avenue. The coffee was a little too sour for my taste.


Where is Indonesia?

As a Singaporean, I am very well aware that Indonesia are on the East, West, and South of my country. To the north is Malaysia. Here is a map showing the location of Indonesia.

Just like Singapore, Indonesia is situated near and along the equator. It is not only the largest island country in the world. It also boasts around 17,504 islands that are scattered on the equator as well as above and below it.

The largest islands are largest are Java, Sumatra, Borneo (shared with Brunei and Malaysia), Sulawesi, and New Guinea (shared with Papua New Guinea). These islands are spread out in the Indian and Pacific oceans.


Traveling to Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting country that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share with them.


What are the Races, Culture & Religion in Indonesia?

What are the Races in Indonesia?

When I last visited Batam, I met some local people. All are Muslims. So it was no surprise to me when I found out in my research that the over 261 million people in Indonesia are mostly Muslims.

I also found out that 58% of the population lives in Java. No wonder at least 2 of the 3 people I met in Batam told me they are Javanese. This makes Java the most populous island in the world.

Still, Indonesia is ethnically diverse. There are around 300 distinct native ethnic groups.

What is Indonesian Culture?

The history of Indonesia is so fascinating. Last year, there was an exhibition about Indonesia in one of the museums in Singapore. When I visited the show, I learned that the country has more than two millennium of influence from the Indian subcontinent, mainland China, the Middle East, and Europe.

This is so interesting. And makes the Indonesia culture so fascinating. Now, I understand better how the culture came about due to influences from so many sources. It must also be noted that the Austronesian people have historically contributed to shaping the culture, too.

Today, the modern day Indonesia has multicultural, multilingual and multi-ethnic society.

Interesting Fun Fact – Indonesia has won the UNESCO’s intangible Cultural Heritage for wayang puppet theatre, batik, angklung, and three genres of traditional Balinese dance.

What are the Religions in Indonesia?

In the past, I did hear and read articles about religious activities in Indonesia. And I noticed that most of them are about Islam, and the Muslims. But this is not to say that the country does not have religious freedom.

The government recognizes Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The religions of the indigenous people are partly acknowledged.


What is the Common Language Spoken in Indonesia?

Having met a few Indonesians and even making friends with them, I have observed that when Indonesians meet, they would converse in Indonesian. This is a variant of the Malay language. I love listening to foreign languages. And when my friends converse in Indonesian, and when I happen to be present, I love listening to how they talk.

Another thing I learned from my friends is that there are many local languages. For example, Javanese. And there are more than 700 local languages.

For instance, I have a Javanese friend who would speak Indonesian when he encounters another Indonesian. And when they discover they are both Javanese, they would continue their conversation in Javanese. Or so he told me. haha


What are the Festivals and Public Holidays in Indonesia?

When visiting a country, it is always good to know when are the public holidays and festivals for that country. In a large country, it is better to also know the holidays and festivals for individual region, province or state.

For my upcoming Bali holiday, I was very mindful of this. The reason is we do not want to visit during a holiday or festival that is celebrated by the people and as such many of the places like attractions, shops and even cafes or restaurants may be closed.

What are the Public Holidays in Indonesia?

1 Jan 2020 – New Year’s Day

25 Jan 2020 – Chinese New Year

The Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is a time to visit friends and families and enjoy good food, too.

25 Mar 2020 – Bali Hindu New Year

Also known as Hari Raya Nyepi. The Hindus celebrate in a unique way by keeping silent and doing self reflection.

22 Mar 2020 – Isra Miraj

This is a very important holiday for the Indonesians. It marks the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad.

10 Apr 2020- Good Friday

Christians observe this holiday, and continue the celebrations through the weekend as Easter weekend.

May 1 2020 – Labour Day

This holiday celebrates the contributions of the workers to the nation’s economy.

7 May 2020 – Waisak Day

Waisak Day is the day that Buddhists celebrate the birth, life, death and enlightenment of Buddha.

21 May 2020 – Ascension Day

The Ascension of Jesus Christ. This day always falls on a Thursday, and is celebrated by Christians.

24 May to 25 May 2020 – Hari Raya Idul Fitri

After a month of fasting, the Muslims celebrate with this holiday. It is a time for Indonesians to spend time with friends and family.

1 Jun 2020 – Pancasila Day

In 2016, President Joko Widodo announced that Pancasila Day is officially a public holiday in Indonesia.

31 Jul 2020 – Idul Adha

This is also known as the Day of Sacrifice. It is celebrated by Muslims.

17 Aug 2020 – Independence Day

Parades, flags, performances and many more activities celebrate the anniversary of the country’s independence.

20 Aug 2020 – Islam New Year

A very important time for Muslims to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.

29 Oct 2020 – Maulid Nabi

A holiday to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Dec 25 2020 – Christmas

While this has Christian origins, it has evolved to be a worldwide celebration, mostly for the fun and festivities.

What are the Festivals in Indonesia?

Festivals in Indonesia
Festivals in Indonesia

Chap Go Meh in West Kalimantan

A Chinese festival that is held regularly every hear on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. A parade of spiritual exorcists perform ceremonies and rituals to drive away evil spirits so that the new year can have a good start.

Rambu Solo in South Sulawesi

A tradition where the Toraja people send off the dead to the afterlife. Many fascinating funeral rites has caught the attention of tourists. And today, this has become a major festival and attraction.

Warning – The following video has images that may not be suitable for children. Also, if you are averse to animal sacrifices, please do not watch.

Bau Nyale Fishing Festival in Lombok

Large numbers of people from all over the country gather in Lombok to have the first look at the first nyale. Nyale is a worm like fish. The first fish caught is immediately roasted in banana leaves and consumed. Yum!

Penyengat Festival in Riau Islands

This is a competition filled festival where people in Riau Islands participate in many competitions. It is a relatively new event that was created in 2016 in conjunction with the Tanjungpinang City Superior Destinations.

International Jazz Festival of Jakarta

Three days of Jazz bliss. This 3 day music event attracts music lovers and quality musicians from all over the world.

Tomini Bay Festival in Central Sulawesi

The cultural wisdom of the past hundreds of years is repackaged and shared with performing arts shows.

Gebyar Pesona Budaya Garut in West Java

A festival to strengthen the relationship between artists in West Java. It showcases traditional arts as well as modern music.

Yadnya Kasada Bromo in East Java

A colorful event that you must see if you are ever in this region. Features tribal ceremonies every tenth month of the traditional calendar. Held on the slopes and craters of Mount Bromo.

Tomohon International Flower Festival in North Sulawesi

Love flowers? Then this is a sight to see. A Flower parade of vehicles decorated with flowers of the Tomohon City, and other regions.

Gandrung Sewu in East Java

The biggest and baddest dance event in the world! Thousands of Gandrung dancers perform at the Marina Boom Beach, Bangyuwangi.

Travel Tip – The dates of some of the above public holidays and festivals may change on the solar calendar dates. This is because they follow either the lunar calendar or local calendar. Please do check the actual dates for the year you intend to visit and attend any of the above


What are the Dress Codes & National Dress in Indonesia?

The Indonesian Kebaya is really pretty. And the art on Batik is truly beautiful. At least, to me they are. And I find it no wonder that the Kebaya and Batik are the most recognized national costumes.

Indonesia National Costume - Kebaya
Indonesia National Costume – Kebaya

Aside from the two, there are various styles of clothing. Just like the Indonesian culture, this is because of the long and rich cultural history.

Aside from the national dress, each province has their own traditional costume. For example, the Ulos of Batak from North Sumatra, the Songket of Malay and the Minangkabau from Sumatra.

The national and regional costumes are a source of pride for the Indonesian people. And they wear them during weddings, formal events as well as government and official occasions.

Interesting Fun Fact – In 2009, Batik was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity


What is the National Sport of Indonesia?

Badminton and football are very popular sports in Indonesian. Every one of my Indonesian friends would share with me that they either like badminton or football. And on weekends, they love participating in either sport with their friends.

Badminton - One of the Popular Sports in Indonesia
Badminton – One of the Popular Sports in Indonesia

Not surprisingly, Indonesia has won the Thomas and Uber Cup in the past.

Another sport that has been seeing some rise in popularity recently is the traditional sport called Sepak Takraw. To me, this sport is almost like volley ball. But instead of a bouncy ball, a ball made of hard bamboo is used. I never played this sport but can imagine the toughness needed to engage with such a hard object. Ouch!


What Currency Can I Use in Indonesia?

Everywhere you go in Indonesia, the currency used is the Indonesia rupiah (Rp or IDR). In the past, when I visit Jakarta, Bintan or Batam, I would go to a money exchange service in Singapore, and make sure I get some rupiah. Without it, you cannot get a ride, pay for food or shop.

Of course, you can exchange your currency for Indonesia rupiah at money exchange services in the Indonesian city you visit. But be wary of money exchange scams. Here is a pin (from Pinterest) that I found with information on what to look out for when you visit Bali. Useful for all cities, too.


How is the Weather in Indonesia?

As I prepare for my holiday in Bali, I notice the weather here in Singapore. And I wonder if the weather is the same in Bali or anywhere in Indonesia.

Basically, Indonesia is also along the equator. As such, just like Singapore, there are 2 seasons – the wet season and the dry season.

The dry season is from April to October. During the dry season, there is very little rainfall. The weather is hot and sunny. Sometimes, the heat can be a bit unbearable. So, wear light clothing but not too revealing because it is frowned upon in Indonesia. Drink lots of water or take a break at cafes for a refreshing drink.

The wet season is from November to March. There is a lot of rain during this season. Sometimes, it can be days of thunderstorms. The nice part is that this is cooling. Very pleasant in the evenings and at night. I had nights when I did not even need to turn on the air conditioning because the breezes are so cool.

Monsoon Season in Indonesia
Monsoon Season in Indonesia

Travel Tip: If you like water sports, year-end monsoon is not a good time to visit Indonesia. Also, the frequent rain can dampen your plans to tour the city.

How is the Haze Situation in Indonesia?

For years, the palm oil plantations in Indonesia has been burning the trees. This is usually around the period any time from June to September. This has created the problem of haze. Not only for Indonesia but also for neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

In Singapore, the haze can get quite bad. Schools can be closed for the day when the haze goes into the hazardous levels. Thankfully, so far, I do not get affected so much by the haze. But this does not mean I like it. To me, it is awful to see, or rather not see beyond a few hundred meters, and know it is caused by the haze. Also, the smell can be quite bad.

Haze in Indonesia
Haze in Indonesia

Warning: If you have chronic heart of lung conditions, or simply do not want to suffer unhealthy pollution situation, then avoid this period – June to September.


Are there any Earthquakes in Indonesia?

One of the reasons I have not visited Bali is because of the many reports of frequent earthquakes in Indonesia. It is quite scary to read the news and watch videos of the people reacting to earthquakes and running from tsunamis.

The reason for the frequent earthquakes is that parts of Indonesia is tectonically unstable. There are also many volcanoes in the region that rumbles often and erupts quite often. In addition, Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

There are around 400 volcanoes, and 130 of them are still active. Famous eruptions and earthquakes happened in 1815, Mount Tambora and 1883, Krakatoa. The latter was the largest recorded in history. Till today, even people in Singapore and Malaysia remember this catastrophe.

Even more recent, in 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake with the epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra was devastating. It was the 3rd largest earthquake ever recorded. And cost the lives of more than 200,000 people.

All this does not make me feel more at ease. But I am still ok to go to Bali. I believe my friend and I will be safe.


What are the Things to Do in Indonesia?

Tourism is a big industry in Indonesia. I have many friends in the hospitality industry, and they tell me many of the businesses in Indonesia rely on tourism. No surprise that tourism contributed around US$28.2 billion to GDP in 2017 for Indonesia, and saw 14.04 million visitors to their country.

So what is it about Indonesia that people want to see and do?

There are many as Indonesia has much to offer. When I was in Batam, I saw quite a few cool places. From my research, I expect more when I go to Bali next week.

From what I have learned, Indonesia is a wondrous place to visit. She is filled with beautiful scenic natural landscapes, unique temples with fascinating history, white sandy beaches, magnificent mountains, tranquil lakes and many many more things to see and do.

You can find it all in various regions such as Java, Maluka & Papua, Bali & Tenggara, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, and Sumatra. I am so looking forward to Bali next week!

As mentioned above, if you are into nature and adventure vacations, Indonesia has a lot to offer you. Enjoy exploring the biodiversity in the many rainforests. See species such as the Sumatran tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, asian elephant, and (sadly soon to be extinct) leopard. In fact, she has won 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Borobudur Temple Compounds, and the Komodo National Park.

In addition, she has 19 heritage sites on the wait list. They are the much beloved Jakarta Old Town, the Bunaken National Park, the Raja Ampat Islands, and many more.


Which are the Hotels to Stay at in Indonesia?

There are many hotels to stay at in Indonesia. And as such, you are never short of a place to rest and get a good night’s sleep.

Best of all, because of the competition, you can get really good deals and room rates at any city you stay at in Indonesia. There are chain hotels, luxury hotels, luxury chain hotels, mid priced hotels, budget hotels, hostels, and even private apartments that are like AirBnB types. Simply pick and choose what suits you.

Here is a great site for comparing prices and getting the best deals and room rates:

Booking.com

What Food to Eat in Indonesia?

Even when I was younger, I enjoyed Indonesian cuisine. I remember patronizing an Indonesian restaurant with my parents, and sampling the nasi goreng, tahu goreng and the many delicious desserts for the first time. Since then, I was hooked. I would have Indonesian food ever so often.

The Indonesian food is very diverse. It is vibrant, colorful, and has intense flavor. In my opinion, intense but so tasteful and tantalizing.

Interestingly, many of their dishes are not simply local. Some are based on indigenous cultures but includes foreign influences such as Chinese, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian. Rice is the staple dish and often served with side dishes. Much like most other Southeast Asian food.

Spices used are oftentimes chilli, coconut milk, fish and chicken are fundamental ingredients.

The popular dishes are the ones I mentioned above – nasi goreng, tahu goreng – and also sate, soto, rendang, dengdeng and gulai. Oddly enough, the Ministry of Tourism chose tumpeng as official national dish in 2014. But the CNN Travel readers had their final say when in 2017, they named rendang as the World’s Most Delicious Food.

Another dish has risen in popularity, especially in Singapore. It is the Ayam Penyet. I have tried this in Batam, and will definitely try it in Bali. I wonder what is the difference in taste between these two places? I will give my review when I return from Bali.

Ayam Penyet has also invaded the Singapore food courts, with many stalls offering various versions of this dish as well as the original. To be honest, for some reason, I prefer the Ayam Penyet in Batam. The version in Singapore is weak in taste and flavor.


Where To Go Shopping in Indonesia?

From small retail shops to markets to mega shopping malls, Indonesia has them all. I should know. When I visited Batam, I have been to all of these. And to be honest, some malls are quite similar to other malls, and even to malls in Singapore.

It is the unique store in a mall, the stalls in the markets or the small retail shop that sells unique local stuff that stands out. I mean, after all, we are tourists. We would like to get some local souvenir, right?

So, do shop around and look out for these shops that offer you local stuff such as textile, handicrafts, souvenirs, antiques, silver goods, ceramics, and furniture. These are produced by highly-skilled artisans, and can be excellent home decorations or gifts for loved ones. There can even be fashion and local costume wear for you to buy and wear.

Of course, if you are still interested to shop for the usual international brand goods, the mega shopping mall is the place to go to.


How to get to Indonesia?

By Airplane

There are many airports in Indonesia. The major airport is the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. It is in Tangerang, just outside of Jakarta. Most airlines arrive here.

But if you are not going to Jakarta, you may consider the other airports like Ngurah Rai International Airport and Juanda International Airport. Or any airport near where you plan to visit. For example, I will be going to Bali, and I would arrive at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

By train

There are no trains to Indonesia. Not even from Borneo. Maybe better to travel by air?

By bus

There is a crossing over land by road between Kuching, East Malaysia, and Pontianak, West Kalimantan. I have done research, and not much said about this route. Maybe better to travel by air?

By car

Same info for By bus – see above.

By boat / ferry

If you are traveling from Singapore, Malaysia or Philippines, there is the option to sail by ferry or boat to Indonesia. When I traveled from Singapore to Batam, I would take the ferry from Harbourfront in Singapore, and a short ferry ride brought me to the shores of Batam. The same for Bintan, but from another port in Singapore.

Ferry to Batam Indonesia
Ferry to Batam Indonesia

From Malaysia, the ferry service is from the Sabah state and East Kalimantan. From Philippines, you can get to Bitung, North Sulawesi from their ports at Genral Santos and Davao.

On foot

This is only possible at borders where Indonesia share land with other countries. The major and busiest border crossing is at Entikong, Indonesia and Tebedu, Malaysia. I wouldn’t recommend it though.

Visas

Every country has different visa requirements. Please check with Indonesia’s Visa and Immigration Policies for entry policies and other related information.


How to Get Around in Indonesia?

By Train

The railway tracks span across the entire country. So, getting around from city to city is easy. These trains are freight and passenger. The local commuter rail services also complement the inter-city rail network in several cities.

All trains have classes – Economy, Business, Executive, Priority and Luxury. Depending on your budget and preference, choose the class best suited for your travel.

Some airports have airport trains. Check if there is any at the airport you will be arriving at. For sure, the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has one.

By Ferry

There are hundreds of ports in Indonesia. So, getting around by ferry from city to city is possible. Look for the port nearest where you are at in Indonesia. You can buy the ferry tickets at these ports.

Just a side track, there are also luxury cruises that you can choose to enjoy the seas around the country.

To be honest, I am a little scared to take the ferry. There had been too many accidents.

By MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)

Jakarta has its first MRT service running. This is definitely a convenient way to move from place to place in this city. Here’s hoping more MRT routes will be added to Jakarta as well as the other cities.

By Bus

There is a free city-tour double decker bus in some cities. Do find out if the city you are in has this service. If not, there are public buses in most cities. But, I highly recommend you travel more by the next few options. It is safer and more comfortable.

By Taxi

Lots of taxis to get your from one point to another in Indonesian cities. But beware of illegal taxis. Look for reputable cab services. And request to go by meter rather than a fare demanded by the driver. If you can afford it, you can rent a reliable cab for the day, which can also come with a guided tour service.

By Grab

This is one private hire vehicles available in Indonesia. It is a great alternative to taxis. They are reliable and the price is affordable, even sometimes cheaper than taxis. I use Grab when I travel in Singapore and overseas.

By Go-jek

This is a motorcycle taxi service where you get to ride pillion. It is great for short trips and traveling during rush hours in busy cities like Jakarta. Do bargain for the price before you hop on. With online Go-jek, the price is fixed, and there is no need to bargain. You then pay via the phone app.

Travel Tip – Follow the law. Wear a helmet when you ride on Ojek or any motorcycle. Or else you will risk getting fined.

Go-jek has expanded to Go-Ride that offers you to hire private cars as your ride, and Go-BlueBird that enables you to hire the reliable Blue Bird taxis.

By Rickshaws

In Indonesia, rickshaws are called Becak. It is a two-wheeled passenger cart with a seat at the front, powered by a driver paddling on a bicycle at the back. In all, there are 3 wheels that offer you a slower and more laid back ride through the city. It can be more enjoyable as you get to see more of the city. But do bargain before you get on board.

There is another rickshaw option called Bentor. This is quite similar to the Becak except it is powered by a motorcycle. Again, bargain before taking a ride.

By Bajaj

This is like a really small minivan. The driver sits in front, and you and your friend (at most two please!) sit at the passenger seat behind. It is powered by motor, and a little more safer and stable than the rickshaws mentioned above. It is great alternative to taxis or Grab as it can be much cheaper, and yet able to transport you from one point to another.

By Scooter

Some cities, it makes sense to travel about in scooters. In the movie, Eat Love Pray, I am sure you have seen Julia Roberts moving about in Ubud on one. It is rather easy and convenient.

But you have to make sure you follow the laws carefully or you may end up getting fined by the police. Also, do know this is a high risk mode of transportation. There has been many reported deaths every year to scooter accidents. For both locals and tourists.

By Foot

You can actually get around on foot. But not for long distances. And only in some of the cities.

Like for example, if you are in Jakarta, then it is best to choose one of the modes of transport above. Preferably Grab or Gojek. Unless you are just going to the convenience store or the market near your hotel. And at most 20 minutes walk.

In Bali, from my research, I will be walking quite a bit to nearby cafes, restaurants, temples, shops and the beach. And all within 20 minutes walking time, at most. Any further, I would definitely book a cab and a guide.


Traveling to Indonesia? Or know anyone who may like to visit this enchanting country that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share with them.


We have come to the end of this article – Indonesia – The Ultimate Guide. If you have ANY questions about Indonesia, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus