Bali is just one of the many islands of Indonesia. Like the Philippines, the country of Indonesia is an archipelago with so many islands, and Bali is one of the most famous. It’s nicknamed the Island of Gods; you can see here and it really shows how important Hindu as a religion to the Balinese culture. They have numerous temples: I cannot even imagine how many I saw along the way. All of the local houses have a temple of their own. It varies in sizes and shapes mostly identical to each other, you will see everywhere.

Bali is rich in everything – lush forests, beautiful beaches and oceans, stunning wildlife and amazing temples. Probably these are the reason why it is on the list of many tourists. The people of Bali are kind, and therefore popular for tourists all over the world.

It is close to the Philippines and the plane ride is just four hours away. It’s also cheap to go here. It’s funny, you will become an instant millionaire when you change your cash to the local currency. Their money is really different compared to ours. It’s a $ 1 – PHP 51 – IDR 14,000. I was also confused in my early days here.

Driving is different here, too!  The driver is on the right side of the vehicle:  the same as what Singapore and Japan have. There are also a lot of speeding motorcycles in the street, and it is very common for them. It’s amazing to see how fast they maneuver a motorcycle even on the main roads or expressways.

The number of tourists traveling here is overwhelming. As soon as you arrive at the airport, you will see different types of people in the Immigration queue. Filipinos can get a free visa: just give them your valid passport and it will be stamped right away. I was also surprised at the number of people you will see outside the airport. Mostly locals waiting for their guests to come to the hotels and transfers. Also at the arrival, you will see businesses offering such as car transfers, Wi-fi rentals, restaurants and more.

Since Bali is full of tourists everywhere you go, traffic congestion on the island is inevitable. For those who want a peaceful and quiet place, there are plenty of places to choose from. Accommodation places are enough and a huge business all around the island. Don’t worry, it’s easy to walk around here and many of the tourists would rather walk outside to see more of places and have time to interact with the people. I would have preferred to walk if I want to go to a certain place such as marketplaces for shopping or to eat at restaurants which were less expensive compared to the hotel I was staying at. I stayed in Bali for 6 days, and only half of my stay is used for roaming around or travel. It is my first time and I literally don’t have any planned itinerary at all. I thought it is fun and exciting, making your trip as spontaneous as possible. There’s a lot of pros and cons though. You just need to be ready for everything that can possibly happen along the way.

There is no need to worry about first-time people coming here. I can say that the whole island is backpacker-friendly if you are planning to be one, far from what Timor-Leste is about when it comes to solo traveling. There are numerous options to travel or going around – Go-Jek or motorcycle rentals is very common. Grab is also popular, and there is also what they call Grab-Bike or motorcycle. The typical taxi is also available. Remember, they are a little bit expensive compared to the latter. If you want to try, there are also locals who provide motorcycle rides at the right price. This is what I tried on my last day in the area and still enjoyed it.

There are a lot of options for lodging too. Nusa Dua is famous for 5-star hotels, and a variety of hotels can be found in Kuta and Jimbaran which are famous there. My tour guide also told me that nightlife in Kuta and Jimbaran is abundant and vibrant. How did I get to visit and tour some of Bali’s famous destinations? One night, I decided to find cheaper restaurants outside my hotel. At one spot, I spoke with the owner and he said that he also offered tours. I took it and booked it with them. There is a set price for the entire car, and since I’m only one, the $75 for a day trip is way expensive. But, if you are in a group, the total price can be divided among all of you and it’s very reasonable for a full day of driving. But I did not have to think twice about it anymore and grabbed the chance rather than staying in Bali not seeing anything. 

Here are some of the places I visited. There are many things to do and must-see here and these are just a few of them. My 3-days was definitely not enough to see everything.  If you have your own car or on a private tour like I was, you can choose the places you want to go first and not to follow what is on your itinerary.

The Barong and Keris Dance – This is a cultural show that is unique to Bali. The characters in the show include a beast, monkey, female dancers and musicians, and other characters. For IDR 100,000 – $ 7, you can watch the show.

Bali Shopping TourPainting, Batik, Silver and Wood Carving – I do not like to shop but it was also included in my package. It is popular with half-day tours to experience and showcase the making of Balinese traditional hand-made products. You can also take pictures of the people who do it: one of the ways they can show off the beauty of their own products.

Coffee Plantation Visit – this is one of the reasons why Bali is so popular today. The coffee they call Kofi Luwak is said to be one of the most expensive coffees in the world. It is a coffee bean that passes through the digestive tract of an animal called a civet. This is one of the things you should not miss when traveling to Bali. Since I’m one of those who loves to drink coffee, I did not miss it. There are other types of coffee that they are also famous for. There are no entrance fees to these places. Just don’t forget to get some of their products at least.

Explore Mt. Batur – If you are an adventure-seeker you can try climbing Mt. Batur, just one of the many volcanoes in the country. I was satisfied to see it. From the famous Grand Puncak Sari restaurant, you can see it very well from this restaurant. It’s on the edge of the mountain and gives you a great view. There is also a coolness to the place because of the high altitude that is similar to Tagaytay in the Philippines. You will also find gardens of various flowers, paddy fields, and oranges.

Temple Gaming – When you say Bali, the first thing comes into your mind is temples and famous pagodas. True enough, as I landed at the airport, a big detailed temple gate-ish will greet you right away. Fret not if you haven’t taken a picture of it because you will see the same thing along the way and will get enough of it. Or maybe even your hotel will have too, you will never know.

One of the famous temples – Tanah Lot which I really enjoyed even though it’s very touristy. It is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrop. If you are looking for an Instagram-worthy spot that is truly Bali, this religious icon should not be missed.

Next on the list, the Ulun Danu BeratanTemple that is located at Lake Beratan. It’s another religious place and a very picturesque landmark. It is a big complex as well so expect to walk a lot inside and get those Bali images. I was traveling alone so I don’t have many of my own photos here. However, there are a lot of locals offering photo services inside for a fee to get the best photo with the very scenic floating temple.

Lastly, if you feel sweaty and want to refresh yourself, why not try to have a dip at Tirta Empul Temple? Yes, tourists can also do what the locals do. They say it’s a holy water spring so you can perform a purification bath. It can be touristy and crowded sometimes as when I visited. These famous landmarks are all religious icons so be mindful of your clothing; most temples offer a sarong for you to use upon entering the premises.

Temples are everywhere in Bali so don’t worry if you feel you want to see more.

Stroll down the rice paddies – We’ve seen rice terraces our whole life in the Philippines, and Bali rice paddies are generally alike. Don’t be too overwhelmed with all of these activities because you can see a lot when you drive around Ubud. Also, the famous Bali swing, which is Instagram-worthy for some, can be seen in the area. Most of the restaurants and spots along the road offer the same, and you just need to choose the right spot. Souvenirs and local garments are also endless.

Hunting hidden waterfalls – If you are a fan of walking through the lush forest and to see big rocks hidden inside; why not try to check some of the beautiful and very calm places like waterfalls in Bali? I’ve seen just one but they said they have a lot just waiting to be explored. Gitgit Waterfalls in Singaraja is a very nice spot to have a closer look for your waterfall gaming. I was alone when I reached the area, but the local guide will offer to show you around and tell some information about the communities near the area and how people preserved it. I was invited to have a swim but sadly I didn’t have extra clothes with me.

These places I’ve visited are just a few of so many places you can check out in Bali. I actually didn’t see half of it. Traffic and traveling from place to place can be exhausting sometimes especially during peak hours when locals are going home after work or late afternoon. Most of the sites also have walking tours so bringing some extra shirts and your own drinking water is a must. And most importantly, bring cash since some tourist spots have entrance fees – though there are also some that are free to visit.

Overall, I can consider Bali as one perfect getaway place for your vacation plans. I will definitely come back if I will have a chance. It’s very cheap with a lot of accommodation options from hostels to 5 stars hotels! I actually feel that accommodation in Bali is much cheaper compared to what Palawan, Siargao or Boracay have. Shopping is endless, the nightlife is energetic, activities and attractions are everywhere with tons of possibilities. And people are so warm and so welcoming.

Have you been to Bali? What’re your favorites? Give me your thoughts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *