Ended our independent journey to Bali. The impression about the island was twofold, it is difficult to give an unequivocal review of Bali. I can not say that everything was bad and terrible, and at the same time everything was not great. One of the main conclusions that I made for myself: the key to a good holiday in Bali is a good budget.
Bali — a fabulously beautiful island with a unique rich culture — only lazy did not say about this. We have long wanted to see the wonderful island with our own eyes, to feel all the magic, magic and power, which are written in every second article about Bali.
The first question that arose before us when planning a trip to Bali, which beach or area of the island to choose.
Where to stay in Bali
In Bali, there are two options where to live: either in Ubud among the rice fields or on the coast near the ocean.
Pluses of Ubud: a lot of housing, very quiet, low prices — the most for rebooting
Cons Ubud: not everywhere there is a good Internet, poor coverage of 4g, go far to the ocean (about an hour in one direction)
Life on the coast is ideal for fans of surfing and just in love with the ocean. But you have to put up with the cons: prices are much higher, a lot of people, a lot of theft, more noisy and dirty.
Among areas with access to the ocean, we considered mainly the south and south-west of the island:
Bukit — a peninsula in the south of Bali. There are many bathing beaches here, but far from everything.
Kuta — a long sandy beach, but very noisy, many clubs, nightlife, souvenirs at every turn, and one solid traffic jam. Kuta thrown back immediately.
Seminyak is a wide sandy beach, not so noisy and more pleasant than on Kuta, but there are also many vacationers.
Changu — a trendy, but cool area. Good surfing beaches, rice fields, lots of accommodation, clubs, restaurants, coworking. Here lives a lot of English-speaking longsters, good community.
The southeast coast is calmer, there are not such waves as on the southwest coast, but there are ports and sand, mostly black volcanic. Our friends advised Candidaz beach — a good place, by the way.
Initially, we wanted to spend a month on the coast and a month in Ubud, but then we decided to spend all two months on the coast.
Our accommodation in Bali
In Bali, a lot of housing, just take a motorbike and go ask the right area. There are a lot of housing rental announcements in groups on Facebook.
A very popular type of housing in Bali is to rent a room in a costa or in a villa.
Coast is like a guesthouse. Our friend rented a small room in Kostya on Bukita for 300 thousand rupees per month, which is less than $ 250. He paid for electricity separately, but there was a problem with the Internet.
Villas — this is a different level of housing. In groups on Facebook, there are often announcements like “looking for a roommate” or “renting a room in a luxury villa”. Prices for rooms in villas in Changu, which we watched, started at $ 350. The room usually has a bed, a wardrobe, and possibly a desk. Kitchen and swimming pool shared.
Plus the villas are that they are protected. The downside is that security / personnel friends rob them so often that we abandoned the idea. I do not really want to play roulette, although the idea of living in a luxury villa is very attractive.
Duplex apartment in Seminyak
The first month in Bali, we lived in a two-story apartment in Seminyak, shot through airbnb. The apartment is located in a three-star apart-hotel, in a small quiet back street near the main road, 5-7 minutes by bike from the beach and 5 minutes walk from the seafood market. Near a lot of eateries with food and grocery stores.
Everything was good: daily cleaning, swimming pool, security, except the Internet. Stable wi-fi was only in the lobby and on floors 1-2, and we lived on the third floor.
The owners of the apartment are so prudent that on a small balcony even a crate of beer was placed so that the tourists would not deny themselves anything.
Bali weather. When is the best time to go to the island
Once we started talking about the high season in Bali, let’s tell you in more detail when it is best to go to the island.
The best months for a holiday in Bali are May, June, July, August, September, October.
From November to April, the island has a rainy season, although in April it doesn’t rain that often. April is considered an ideal off-season, when there are not many tourists, and the weather is good.
In our experience, even March is a good month for holidays in Bali, because housing and transport prices are still low, it is not very hot outside, and it does not rain too often.
Choosing for the rest of March-April, you need to know about the Bali new year — Niepi. On this day, even the airport does not work on the island, you can not go out of the hotel — no kidding! — TV does not work, you can not turn on the light either. In the hotels they warn in advance to stock up on food, and in the evening there are attendants on duty who watch so that the light does not shine anywhere and no one will rustle.
Why is that? Balinese believe that evil spirits come to the island on this day, and if they at least see someone on the street, they will rampage to Bali for a whole year.
At Nyepi, many prefer to go to the neighboring island — Lombok.
Bali traffic and transportation
The most popular transport in Asian countries is a moped. Bali is no exception. A lot of people ride bikes, but very few people know what a traffic police is. The movement is very chaotic, but after some time you get used to it. Of course, sometimes there are situations, in particular, at roundabouts, when a traffic jam is obtained due to the fact that everybody leaves the ring and starts trying to move out.
Instead of a thousand arguments, just turn on the video at the beginning of the post for 4 minutes 40 seconds and watch.
Renting a new moped cost 800 thousand rupees per month ($ 70), a car with an automatic gearbox took 300 thousand rupees per day ($ 25) from Balinese friends.
Interestingly, no one made a contract for renting a moped or renting a car. Just gave the keys, documents for transport, took the money and everything.
Do you need driving license in Bali? Yes, we are. We have a Thai driver’s license, which is valid in ASEAN countries.
Locals are advised to give a bribe if you are stopped on the road and asked for documents.
Taxi in Bali
Taxi in Bali is a sore point. There are two types of taxi drivers: taxi-mafia, which are pulling up prices, and taxi drivers, which can be called through the application.
Our contact with the taxi mafia almost ended in a fight. Avoid these people.
The island has several taxi services: Grab-taxi, Go-Jack, Blue taxi.
Taxi in Bali is cheap enough. Taxi prices are approximately as follows: from the airport to Seminyak we drove on the Blue taxi for 90 thousand rupees ($ 7), and the Go-Jack taxi driver took us for 50 thousand rupees ($ 4), the local Mafia taxi offered to get there for 250 thousand rupees
Grab-taxi and Go-Jack applications can be used to call moto-taxis, which is very convenient for Balinese traffic jams.
Life hacking for all times: Go-Jack
Go-Jack is not just an application to call a taxi. Through Go-jack you can order products from the store and even a masseuse at home! We constantly used go-jack. No, not a masseuse called вызыв ordered food in cafes and taxis.
Taxi drivers in GoJa more and less speak English, we never had any problems with them.
Internet in Bali — a problem
Internet in Bali is really a problem. And the speed and stability of the Internet are terrifying. Even if the owner of the villa / apartment says that he has the fastest internet on the island, fiber optic and everything, Speedtest shows disappointing results.
To solve the problem of bad hotel internet, we bought a local sim card with 4g. The most profitable operator with good coverage is XL. Therefore, you can take a sim card from XL without a doubt.
For 15 GB of internet, we paid $ 10, which seems free compared to Malaysia and Thailand. But this is the catch: if in Malaysia and Thailand, the quality of communication is such that 5 GB can fly away in a few days, then due to constant problems with communication in Indonesia, I did not manage to spend all 15 GB in either the first month or in the second.
Beaches in Bali
Beaches are a separate topic. Bali is an island of two oceans: on the one hand the Indian, and on the other — the Pacific. There are not so many beaches suitable for swimming as in the sea, on the island — strong waves. But you can surf all year round.
Entrance to the beaches is paid, usually 2 thousand rupees. But there are beaches, for example, Virgin Beach, where 10 thousand rupees per person are required for entry, or Pandava Beach — 15 thousand rupees per person.
I will not be here to paint a lot about the beaches. They need to see with my own eyes. Azure-turquoise water in a quiet bay or the power of the ocean on one of the stony cliffs of Bali.
But in Bali its sunset culture. Every evening a lot of people gather on the beaches, and everyone is waiting for the sunset. Someone walks along the coast, someone just sits on the sand. But no one is in a hurry. We tried every evening to join the sunset ritual.
Tours in Bali
We traveled a lot in Bali ourselves — on a bike or with friends by car. The routes were also made themselves, the benefit on the Internet, it seems, is already described each landmark Bali, and on Google maps, they also put a rating.
The most popular excursion is the ascent of the Bali volcano.
If you are the first time in Bali and are afraid to drive, I advise you to take two excursions — one sightseeing on the beaches of Bali, the other to the Kintamani area, to the volcano Batur.
By the way, when you are going on excursions to the shrines of Bali — for example, to the Uluwatu temple or Tanah Lot — be prepared for a crowd of people. These places are very popular, everyone wants to see with their own eyes the very temple from the picture, which from the influx of people with cameras loses all its magic.