Ipoh, Malaysia – The Ultimate Guide

Ipoh, Malaysia - The Ultimate Guide

How do I write an article about Ipoh, Malaysia – The Ultimate Guide? Well, the best way to me was to go on a road trip. And that was exactly what I did with a friend from Malaysia.

I took a flight to Kuala Lumpur to meet my Malaysian friend. Then we drove in his car to Ipoh and Penang.

The result was a glorious and fun week of exploring and eating in these three beautiful cities. We spent a short time in Ipoh. And yet, it was filled with so much activities.

In this article, I will provide as much information as I can. Some information would be from research. And some would be from experience.

You will learn about where Ipoh, Malaysia is? Who are the people living there? The culture and religion in this town. The language spoken. The dress code to follow. Where to stay? What good food to enjoy? What are the things to see and do? And many more.


Where is Ipoh, Malaysia?

Ipoh is near Kuala Lumpur, and along the west coast of West Malaysia. As such, we found it quite easy to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh as there were highways direct to this city.

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Who are the People in Ipoh, Malaysia?

I was quite surprised to find out that Ipoh is the third most populous city of Malaysia. Generally, it can be said that the people in Ipoh are the same as the ones mentioned in my article about Malaysia. That is, the city has many races such as Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian.

But to be honest, when I was there and strolling along the streets, I do find a strong influence from the Chinese. And there seemed to be more Chinese than other races there.


What is the Culture in Ipoh, Malaysia?

Having many different races and religions, Malaysia has many different cultures. The diversity in customs and traditions resulted in a very rich and colorful culture in Ipoh.

This was evident when we strolled around this charming town. For example, there were huge mural art everywhere. See the Things to Do in Ipoh section for more information about this and other rich cultural sights.

Each race and religion has their unique and important festivals. This range of culture has created a myriad of fascinating festivals. Read the Festivals section further down for more information.

Travel Tip: Please respect their culture.


What are the Religions in Ipoh, Malaysia?

In Malaysia, there are many people with different beliefs. Some believe in Buddhism. Some in Hinduism. Some are Sikhs. And some are Christians. The majority in Malaysia follow their main religion, which is Islam. In Ipoh, the same can be said to be true.


What is the Common Language Spoken  in Ipoh, Malaysia?

While Malay is the official language in Malaysia, I did find that I could get along with speaking English at the hotel, ordering food at a restaurant, or simply asking for directions from a local.

At times, I did find that the Chinese in Malaysia preferred to speak in Mandarin. When this happens, I gladly obliged as I am able to speak in Mandarin, too.


What are the Festivals and Public Holidays in Ipoh, Malaysia?

Here are the public holidays and festivals that are celebrated in Ipoh. They are basically the same as the national holidays celebrated throughout Malaysia. One difference is in Perak, they celebrate the Birthday of the Sultan of Perak.

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • Chinese New Year
  • Thaipusam
  • May 1 – Labour Day
  • Vesak Day
  • Nuzul Al-Quran Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Hari Raya Adilfitri
  • June 8 – Birthday of SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong
  • Father’s Day
  • Hari Raya Haji
  • Awal Muharram
  • August 31 – National Day
  • September 16 – Malaysia Day
  • Maulidur Rasul
  • November 6 – Birthday of the Sultan of Perak
  • Deepavali
  • December 25 – Christmas Day

To learn more about the above public holidays and festivals, please do visit my article about Malaysia. I cover it in more depth there.

Below are some of the festivals unique to Ipoh and Perak, which by extension includes Ipoh, too. They look like so much fun! Next time when I plan to visit Ipoh, I will make sure to go during one of the festivals. I recommend you do the same, too!


Perak River Safari – April

This festival promises lots of thrills and excitement. It is like a water carnival with many water sports and activities such as jet ski races, and power boat races. And if you prefer the land, there are also tug of war, football and volleyball to enjoy.


Ipoh Food Festival – April

Ipoh food is very delicious. And it is not easy to find out where are the best places for the most yummy food. So, the Ipoh Food Festival sounds perfect. It features the local food as well as cooking schools. Best time to taste all the best food in one place.


Ipoh Fun Run – July

The information about this run is not consistent. Some say it is a run from Ipoh to Bandaraya and back to Ipoh again. Some say it is called the Ipoh Unicorn Fun Run. Honestly, I found the video below, and I must say this run looks lots of fun!


Ipoh Music Festival – September

Music brings people together. And a festival of music is one of the best ways to celebrate together. This opening act for the Ipoh Music Festival looks awesome.


Ipoh Nine Emperors Festival – October

This festival is thrilling and colorful. The street parades are spectacular. The prayers and processions are beautiful to watch. Word of caution though. The festival includes a ritual where devotees cut themselves. They do not feel pain. But surely not for the faint hearted.


What is the Dress Code in Ipoh, Malaysia?

My friend and I walked around town in casual wear; bermudas or shorts with light t shirt. And we noticed most people in Ipoh have the same dress code. So, no worries. Pack light and enjoy your time in Ipoh.


What is the National Dress in Ipoh, Malaysia?

The National Dress is the same as for the entire country. You can see what it looks like in my Malaysia article.


What is the Popular Sport in Ipoh, Malaysia?

Perak wants to be the sports hub of the nation. This is to promote healthy lifestyle. So, all forms of sports are being promoted in this city. Most people in Ipoh prefer football though.


What Currency Can I Use in Ipoh, Malaysia?

Holidays in Malaysia - Ringgit

All throughout Malaysia, the currency used is the Malaysian Ringgit.


How is the Weather in Ipoh, Malaysia?

I have written in length about the weather in Malaysia. And it is the same weather for Ipoh. To find out more info, please refer to my Malaysia article.


How is the Haze Situation in Ipoh, Malaysia?

In the past, when Malaysia reported about the haze situation, Ipoh rarely was mentioned. But, just like any of the major cities, Ipoh does get affected by the haze.

The haze has been known to occur during the hot season. This is from May to October.

Travel Tip: Check the haze situation for Ipoh before traveling to this city.


Which are the Hotels to Stay in Ipoh, Malaysia?

Although not a large city, Ipoh surprisingly has many lovely hotels. For this round of visit, I chose the Hotel Excelsior. This was because it is a very established hotel. In fact, one of the first in Ipoh.

Ipoh Hotels Review - Hotel Excelsior Ipoh - Superior Room
Hotel Excelsior in Ipoh. Click image above to read review.

If a traditional and established hotel is not your cup of tea, then there are plenty of new and cool hotels that would please you. Whatever your taste, Ipoh has the hotel to suit your needs. Check out your options below.

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What are the Things to Do in Ipoh, Malaysia?

Ipoh surprised me. I had expected a sleepy town with very little to see and do. But there were so many Things to Do in Ipoh. After only two days stay, I realized I should have allocated more time for Ipoh.

I will not make that mistake again. Next time, I will make sure I stay at least four days to experience more that Ipoh has to offer.

Mural Art

Ipoh gave me a taste of mural art. And I have grown to love it. It is like walking in an entire city that is a museum of artwork. After Ipoh, I look out for street art in every city I visited.

Things To Do In Ipoh - Mural Art - header
Things To Do In Ipoh – Mural Art. Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

Kek Look Tong

Ipoh is a city with mountains and caves. And some of these are mystical. Kek Look Tong is one of these that has become a spiritual site. There are statues of divine beings like Buddha, and an enchanting garden with beautiful creatures.

I felt such peace and tranquility there. I felt as if I have walked into another realm that is heavenly.

Things To Do In Ipoh - Kek Look Tong (極樂洞) - Steps to Entrance
Kek LookTong – Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

First Concubine Lane

Ipoh’s First Concubine Lane has become a hip and cool area to enjoy shopping and dining at some really chic cafes and restaurants. Even the boutique hotel here is charming.

I really liked the street. Unfortunately, I visited during the low peak season, and there was very little activity. Fortunately, because of the low peak season, it was easy to find seats at the restaurants, and at the cafe where we enjoyed delicious desserts.

Er Nai Gang (), which actually means First Concubine Lane.
Ipoh First Concubine Lane – Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

Ho Yan Hor Museum

After a day in the sun touring the city, the Ho Yan Hor cooling tea was so refreshing to us. Served since the tin mining days to keep the workers healthy, this museum serves to remind the locals and visitors of its grand history.

There was a shop to buy the wide variety of herbal teas. I regretted not buying it when I was there.

A colorful mural created by art teacher-cum-artist Chin Choon Yau
Hor Yan Hor Museum – Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

What Food to Eat in Ipoh, Malaysia?

I love the food in Malaysia. Almost every place I ate served really delicious dishes. No exception here where I found some of the Best Food in Ipoh .

Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken

Some people said this is the best chicken rice in Ipoh. Some people said that the standard has dropped. So, I went with my friend to try it. Click the image below to read my review.

A delicious and full meal - Chicken with Bean Sprouts, Hor Fun (Flat white noodles), and meat balls in soup
Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken Rice. Click image above to read my review.

Foh San Dim Sum

This dining establishment was behind the Excelsior Hotel where we stayed at. According to my friend, this is one of the best dim sum in Ipoh. Was it? Click the image below to find out.

Some of the dim sum we had - siew mai, har kow, cheong fun & tea
Foh San Dim Sum – Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

Where To Go Shopping in Ipoh, Malaysia?

We did not visit the malls during our stopover at Ipoh. That was because we did not particularly enjoy shopping in a mall. Now, I learned that there was a mall there. Just to share my experience, maybe next time I will take a look?


Best Time to Visit Ipoh, Malaysia?

There are high season and low season to visit Malaysia. The same goes for visiting Ipoh. Each season has its pros and cons. For me, I prefer the low season so that I do not jostle with large crowds. Also, the hotel room rates are lower during this season.

To find out more about the two seasons, please go to my Malaysia article.


How To Get To Ipoh, Malaysia?

By Airplane

You can catch a flight to Ipoh because there is the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport. It is 6 kilometers from the city centre. But the flights only fly from two destinations.

From Johor Bahru, there are AirAsia and Malindo Air. From Singapore, there are AirAsia and Scoot.

Personally, I prefer to fly by JetStar, from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Then catch a bus or rent a car to travel to Ipoh. The flights are more frequent, and I get to see more, including another city.

But, if you plan to only visit Ipoh, then this can be a good choice.

By Train

When I was a young boy, my parents, my brother and I took the train to Kuala Lumpur. It was a wonderful experience for a little boy. Today, I find that a train ride would not be so thrilling.

Still, if you choose to, you can take a train from KL Sentral to Ipoh railway station, which is southwest of the city. The Gold Service train takes about two hours and twenty minutes to reach Ipoh. And the Silver Service train takes about two hours and thirty minutes, and stops at every station between KL Sentral and Ipoh.

Here is a video by me, taking the train from KLCC to Batu Caves. It is not to Ipoh, but I hope the video will help you see how KL Sentral looks like as well how good the train is.

By Bus

There are buses from Singapore to Ipoh. Do check for various transport providers for individual pricing and schedule.

Also there are buses from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Again, the same, also check various vendors for their unique prices and schedules.

By Road

After the road trip with my friend, I found traveling by road to Ipoh to be really fun. At the same time, it can be a little boring because you will see nothing but mountains for hours. I enjoy it though because I love being in nature.

There is a highway to Ipoh. Just follow the Lebuhraya Utara – Selatan/E1 south from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. It will take about two hours drive. If you are concern about directions, there is an app called Waze that can guide you on the journey.

Do You Need a Visa to Go to Ipoh?

Visitors from some countries can visit Malaysia, and all her cities without a visa. Some will need a visa. It is best to check the immigration websites to find out if you need a visa to enter.


How To Get Around Ipoh, Malaysia?

By Bus

The Ipoh Bus Terminal is in Old Town. There are buses with routes to almost all parts of the city. Make sure you get the bus schedule to know how to get to your destinations, and how much each ride costs.

By Taxi

There are plenty of taxis in Ipoh. But, just like everywhere in Malaysia, please do negotiate the price, and agree on it before you board the cab. Do not go by meter.

By Grab

Private Hire Vehicles like Grab is available in Ipoh, Malaysia. I recommend using this service because it is so convenient. Also, prices are fixed before you confirm the ride. So, there is no problem with haggling or sudden increase in fare.

By Car

You have the choice to rent a car. If you live in Singapore or another part of Malaysia, and you own a car, this is a better option.

Rental of cars is quite affordable. Just make sure the rental service is legit, and get insurance.

I found that driving in your own car is a very good option to get around Ipoh. You can choose where you would like to go, how long to stay at each attraction, cafe or restaurant. Some hotels even provide free parking. I highly recommend this choice of transport if you can have it.


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If you have ANY questions about Ipoh, Malaysia – 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

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.


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.


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.


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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.


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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