Bali: All you need to know before going
Bali is best known as the tropical heaven. Is it really expensive to pamper yourself in the tropical paradise from the UK? The answer is NO.
This blog post explains all the cost for having a nice long (10 days) holiday from the gloomy cloudy UK to the hot and sunny Bali Island, Indonesia.
What you must know before going to Bali!
1.Bali is in Indonesia. It’s not a country, it’s an Island. 😀
2. The most populated area in Bali is Denpasar.
3. There are some other interesting regions in Bali to visit other than Denpasar, but be aware as each region has their own strict rules. Respect the local rules and you’ll be fine. 🙂
4. It’s better to rent the daily car if you’re visiting the other regions outside Denpasar (Ubud, Canggu, Uluwatu, Kintamani, Lovina Beach)
5. Online taxis are the best option to go around Denpasar city if you’re in more than 2 people group. There are 2 online taxi apps you can use, Gojek and Grab Car. My favourite app is Gojek as it’s an all services in one app. They have online taxi, online motorcycle taxi, food delivery, massage at home, even laundry and house cleaning services all in one app! You don’t need to have an Indonesian bank account to top-up. Just simply top-up from the nearest Alfa mart (a local mini market you can find almost anywhere in Denpasar). Very handy, no?
6. You need a valid International motorcycle driving license to rent and ride a motorcycle in Bali! If you don’t have an international motorcycle driving license, but you can ride a motorcycle, you can get a local Indonesian motorcycle driving license from Denpasar police office for less than £15
7. If there is no price printed in the menu, always ask for the price before hand! Bargain, bargain, and bargain! 😀
8. Full body massage is a must to-do-list in Bali! The average fee is only around £5 for an hour full body massage. There are so many massage studios in Bali but not al of them are good. Google and read review before go to one! My favourite massage place is Marissa Spa located at Jl. Kunti I, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
9. Booked at least a one-day trip to Nusa Penida!
10. Don’t miss having the super delish Bubble tea from KoI and Chatime that will cost you about £1.20 – £1.50 each!
11. NO DRUGS! In any kinds, including marijuana! DRUGS == DEATH PENALTY!!!
Fly to Bali from London
The normal price for a return tickets from London to Bali would be not more than £500. There is no direct flights for sure, but it is possible to get only 1 transfer flight. In total, from London to Bali 1 way flight takes about 20 hours flight including the shortest connecting time.
Personally, I like to take a connection flight that is in the half way distance between by departure place and the destination, such as take a connection flight via Dubai or Doha.
My latest trip to Bali was in late October 2018. However, my trip was a bit different because I was not only visiting Bali, but also Jakarta. So, I bought a multiple-city return tickets of London – Bali – Jakarta – London. I bought the tickets less than 3 months before my departure date. It costed me £480. If you bought the tickets much earlier, it would cost you even cheaper as long as it’s not in the high peak seasons.
Accommodations in Bali
The accommodation for a nice private studio room or even the whole villa with swimming pool in Bali is very affordable compared to any other places in Europe.
If you’re travelling privately (not in a big group), the best way to find hotels with very competitive price is from http://traveloka.com/. If you’re travelling in big group, renting a whole villa is the best option. The villas are usually come with a very nice private swimming pool. You can get good deals villas from https://www.airbnb.co.uk/.
We got our accommodation from https://www.airbnb.co.uk/. We stayed in a very nice Condotel (Condominium and hotel) in Legian area called The Legian Sunset Residence. We stayed in a 2-floor studio apartment for 11 nights only costed us around £240!
Food in Bali
The best way to eat in Bali is to avoid the touristic restaurants. Instead, try to eat at the very local places. The local food are amazing! The must try ones are:
Sate Lilit – It’s a traditional Balinese skewers cuisine. It’s mostly made from mince pork and fish, but you can get the chicken ones as well.
Ayam Betutu (Lemon grass Chicken)
Bebek Betutu (Lemon grass Duck)
Sate ayam (Chicken skewers)
Nasi goreng (the very famous Fried Rice)
Sayur urap (Some kind of Indonesian salad with shredded coconut, palm sugar, and chilli)
Tempe and Tofu
Nasi Tumpeng Kuning (Yellow rice in a 3-D triangle shape)
Nasi campur (Mixed rice)
Nasi ayam Ibu Oki (Rice with chicken in red chilli)
The must try Indonesian local fruit are:
Durian – It’s the matter of whether you’ll LOVE it or you will hate it. I LOVEEEEEEE it sooo much!!!
Nangka (Jackfruit) – an amazingly very expensive fruit in the UK and Europe, but it’s super cheap and super sweet in Bali. Even if you get it from a supermarket, it’s still cheap!
Salak – this is a very Balinese local fruit. Some people call it a “snake skin fruit” because the skin looks like snake skin. Peel the skin off and the 2nd layer skin before eating the meat. Careful with the stone in the middle! It’s big and hard and not edible.
Manggis (Mangosteen) – I found this fruit in a local fruit and veggies market in London that was priced A LOT!! In Bali and in other places in Indonesia, this fruit is not the cheapest, but it is cheap enough. It costs about 75p to £1 per kilogram (kg)
Buah Duku (not sure what it’s called in English, but its scientific name is lansium parasiticum) – The good Duku is supposed to be firmed and sweet
Kelengkeng (longan) – This fruit is small and sweet. Careful with the stone though. You actually can find this fruit in London Chinatown as well, but it is super pricey. Get this fruit from a big supermarket in Bali for a fair price. 🙂
Rambutan (The hairy fruit) – This is also another home-grow fruit in Indonesia. The good to eat ones supposed to be red, juicy, and sweet. But not too mushy. It has stone inside too.
Coconut! – Have the whole coconut from the fruit and don’t forget to eat the coconut meat. The best ones are the young ones with thick meat inside. Ask for a spoon to eat the meat! The normal price for a coconut is around IDR20K. It costed 25K in a nice and fancy lounge. But it costed 30K – 35K in the most touristic pubs.
The average food price for a complete meal (rice with 3 sides) in local eating place in Bali is around 75p to £1.50. It’s including meat sides as well. My favourite local food place in Bali are:
Warung Murah Double Six -> Murah in English means “Cheap”. It’s located near Legian Kuta. You can either choose the food you want to eat from the counter or just do the normal way by sitting and order the food to the waitress. I suggested you to come to the counter and choose the food. That way, you can see all the amazing options you can eat, instead of reading the names in the menu book. -> the address is Jl. Arjuna No.99, Legian, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Warung Mak Beng -> a very famous fish cuisine place near Sanur Beach. It’s quite pricey for a local price, but still cheap compared to the European food price. Rice with fish soup and fried fish costs about £3.
Warung Surya -> It’s some kind of 1 plate buffet. You take whatever you want to eat directly into your plate, then the cashier guy will count and give you the card price. The average price for a rice with 3 dishes (combination of meat and veggies)
Warung Liku -> They have a very delish Ayam and Bebek Betutu (Chicken and Duck Lemon Grass)
Lalapan Racing -> A super local food place. They have an amazing Pecel Lele (Fried cat fish with rice that comes with local veggies salad and chilli) for 50p!
Lilla Pantai Sanur -> A really cozy nice restaurant by the beach. It has a very beautiful Sanur beach view. They have super nice price for such place! The food are amazing too. I kept coming back to this place for a few times just because it’s amazing. One of the must visit and my fav place in Bali.
Cocoo Restaurant Bar Beach Club -> Another fav place in Bali! The best place to chill in the hot days by enjoying a nice young coconut in the open-air swimming pool with a Legian Beach view.
Warung Mama Muda -> This is my super favourite place! Super local food place. It’s not even a restaurant, but instead it’s a tiny food stall by by the Sunset Road. Mama Muda means “a young mother”, whom I assumed it’s the owner who was also the only person who runs this place. She literally will start cutting the veggies when you ordered the food. It took a while of waiting time as she cooked everything super fresh. But it’s so damn worth it! Price wise? Don’t even think to spend for more than £1 for such delish and big portion food! My favourite was the Nasi Goreng and Bihun Goreng, which each costed about 60p. There is no price printed on the menu, so better to ask the price first before ordering. Lazy to go out from your room? They do delivery on GoJek app food and grab food. 🙂
Krisna Oleh-oleh Bali Food Court -> It’s the centre of gifts shop. You can find anything in this massive store. There are 2 (two) food courts in this place, at the rear and front entrance. My favourite is the food court at the front entrance. They have many options of food. I had Bebek Betutu (Duck in Lemon Grass Sauce) and my bf had Sate Lilit. The prices were okay for a tourist place. For each portion of our food costed about £1.50
Dewi Shri Food Centre -> It’s a massive food centre at Dewi Shri road. It really is massive! There is no price printed on the menu book, so better to ask all the prices before ordering. I had cat fish with rice that costed me about £1
Soleria -> It’s a modern franchise Chinese food. The best menu is Kwetiau Sapi Siram. It’s a flat long noodles cooked in thick gravy of beef and vegetables. Super yummy!
Warung Bu Mi Canggu -> Another kind of 1 plate buffet place. Instead of taking the food yourself, you just need to go to the counter and pointing on the food you’re fancy to eat. Very good price too indeed! Rice with 3 sides costed about 75p. 🙂
Transportation in Bali
Online Taxi in Bali
Online Taxi is my most favourite transportation in Bali. It is very handy. But you can only use this within the Denpasar city only.
There are 2 (two) main online taxi apps in Indonesia, those are GoJek and Grab Car. My favourite was GoJek because in one app, they have almost anything you can think of, such as order a motorcycle taxi, order food, order massage service at home, even you can also order a home cleaning service! 😀
If you’re planning to spend your day within the Denpasar city, you can order an online taxi from Gojek app from your hotel/villa to your first destination. Then walk around that area to the next destination within walking distance. Then you can order another online taxi to go to the other destination that is farther. When ordering an online taxi using Gojek or Grab car, you can see the estimated fee. The cost from one place to another within Denpasar is about 50p. The farthest we went using online taxi in Bali was from Legian beach (west side of Bali Island – the sunset beach) to Sanur beach (east side of Bali Island – the sunrise beach. This distance costed us around £1.50!
Online Motorbike Taxi in Bali
This is another alternative transportation in Bali. You don’t need to have a driving license for this. This is the perfect transportation within the city to beat the traffic jam. Online motorbike taxi is cheaper than the online car taxi. You can order a motorbike taxi using the same app with the car online taxi, which are GoJek and GrabBike. These online motorbike taxi will provide you a helmet for your safety.
Renting a Car in Bali
Ubud, Canggu, Kintamani, and Uluwatu are some of the most famous regions outside Denpasar. These regions have a very strict rules about online taxi. It’s much safer if you go to these areas using a rental car or rent a car with driver. There are many car rentals with competitive price. However, local tourist and international tourist price different applies! 😀 Better to rent a car by browsing it online first because they put the price on their website. When you contacted them by WhatsApp, don’t forget to reconfirm the price before making a deal or pay a downpayment. 🙂
There are options to rent a car with and without a driver. If you ordered one with a driver, usually you will need to give the driver lunch and tips. Moreover, if you rent a car without a driver, you must have a valid Indonesian car driving license or the international ones.
Renting a Motorcycle (Motorbike) in Bali
You can easily rent a motorbike by order it online. They will deliver the motorbike to your place and you need to pay them in person. There are many Motorcycle rental you can find in Bali, but the best way is to book online, so you know the exact price. Here is my favourite website to book a motorcycle for rent: https://kutascooterrental.com/
The Other Interesting Things to Try in Bali
Canggu Cats Villa!!! -> The home of more than 90 cats!!! You can come and play with the cats for free! The cats were very friendly and playful too! They receive donations if you want to help the cats. They also accept adoption if you live there. 😀
Surfing class -> There are many surfing class available in Bali. My recommendation is the ones in Batu Bolong Beach in Canggu area.
A day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida -> These are amazingly very beautiful small islands near Bali. It’s just recently opened for tourist. Better to book a tour package online that already includes lunch and a car with a driver. You’ll see many of breath-taking view! <3
Luwak Coffee Tour
Ubud Monkey Forest
I’ll post my trip diary in Bali soon! Check the pictures on my instagram and feel free to send me questions via my instagram account!
Happy planning an amazing tropical holidays!