I get a lot of questions on how to travel Bali and I definitely recommend to get a privat driver. Bali is such a wonderful island and being able to explore this amazing island was definitely worth it.
First of all as I am from Germany I´m used to drive on the right site of the road and I was really afraid of the left-hand driving in Bali. To be on the road and not to have to worry about the crowded streets was totally worth every penny.
We booked a driver with Bali Cab. You can choose from different kind of cars on their website. We booked the smallest car and it was really cheap. We paid 39 EUR for 10 hours and the gas was already included.
You can make your own plans of what you want to see, or you can get really good recommendation from the driver. All in all we stayed 12 days in Bali and we did four big day tours. After the tours we always took a day off for relaxation. Here is the guide how to travel Bali in a relaxed way…
- Waterfall Tengenungan
- Pura Tirta Empul
- Rice fields of Ubud
- Monkey Forest
First of all I have to mention that we stayed in Seminyak which is the most fashionable place of Bali. You will find a lot of design and fashion stores with really cool stuff. The driver picked us up directly from the hotel. We chose to go north from Seminyak to the waterfall of Tengenungan.
It´s an amazing and really peaceful place. The waterfall is amazing and you can go even swimming, so bring your swimsuit! It´s located in a beautiful natural surrounding and the stairs which you have go down (and afterwards up) are totally worth the experience.
Afterwards we went to the holy spring water temple which is called Tirta Empul. The temples of Bali are amazing and you definitely should go to Pura Tirta Empul. It´s a peaceful and spiritual place. You will have to cover your shoulders and knees before entering the temple. If you do not bring your own Sari you can get one for free in the front of the temple´s entry which you can borrow for the temple tour.
We have been there on a public holiday and the Balinese families went to the temple for their spiritual ceremonies. Everybody brought their little offerings and prepared for the spiritual washings.
Although religion plays a big role in the daily life of Balinese we never felt displaced. The people are really welcoming and kind. You should respect the traditions and rituals of the locals but you will always feel welcome!
After the beautiful experience in the temple we went to the amazing rice fields near Ubud. The rice fields are the traditional way to grow rice in Bali and there are a lot of great walking trails.
Afterwards the driver suggested to visit the monkey forest. Monkeys are considered as sacred in Bali and they even dedicated a whole jungle forest to them.
The monkeys are living in the forest freely and it´s such an amazing experience to see them in their natural surrounding.
- Padang Padang Beach
- Uluwatu Temple
- Sunset at Uluwatu
On our second tour we went to Uluwatu, to the amazing beach of Padang Padang. The beach is well known for surfing as well as from the movie „Eat, Pray, Love“.
There are o lot of places where you can hire surfboards for 10 EUR. The beach was really peaceful and the water was crystal clear. In order to get to the beach of Padang Padang you have to get down the stairs through a cave and even that is worth the trip.
After a great day relaxing on the beach and some new surfing experiences we went to the Uluwatu temple for the sunset. The temple is really beautiful and the sunset on the cliffs of Uluwatu was mind-blowing .
But take care of your belongings as the monkeys can be really sneaky. One of the monkey stole my sunglasses and refused to give it back. The monkey returned the glasses only in exchange of some nuts which I kept in my bag for snacks. Ha ha ha…
- Ubud market
- Temple Pura Taman Saraswati
- Coffee and Tabac Plantation
For the third trip we went to the amazing town of Ubud. Ubud is the Mekka of hippie souls and yoga retreats. We spend our afternoon in a beautiful cafe in the middle of the town and prepared ourselves for the market. The market was really crowded and I would suggest not to buy in the first shop but to compare prizes, as prizes range can differ for 10 EUR. The people are totally used to bargain so bring some coins and fill your bags. You will find unique items and beautiful typical Balinese pieces.
After this beautiful but exhausting experience we headed to the temple Pura Taman Saraswati. It is a beautiful water temple in central Ubud. The temple is dedicated to the goddess of wisdom and a really peaceful place to get back into the spiritual and peaceful mood.
On the third part of the day the driver suggested to go to a coffee and tabac plantation. This was really great as we did not even think about going beforehand. The plantation was located near Ubud in a real jungle. The experience was amazing and we even learned a lot about coffee and the plantation. In the end of the tour we were invited to taste the coffee and they suggested us to try the tabac as well. But we kind refused as we are not smoking 🙂
- Snorkeling in Amed
- Japanese Ship wrack
- Water Palace Tirta Gangga
The last trip was the most adventures and wonderful experience of the whole trip. We went to the east of Bali. I read that snorkeling is a big thing in the east of Bali so we went to Amed. Amed is a rual area but there are a lot of snorkeling and diving schools where you can hire the equipment for little money.
I suggest not to stay in the first village of Amed but to get a little bit more north. There is a Japanese Ship wrack which sunk during the Second World War on the cost of Amed. Nowadays it is the beautiful home of an amazing riff and colorful fishes. We even saw Dorry from the movie „Finding Nemo“ .
With this amazing pictures in mind we headed to the temple of Pura Lempunyang. The temple is located on the mountains of Amed and we were so happy that the driver was experienced so we did not have to worry about the small roads and the steep slope of the hills.
As we arrived at the temple we were asked to sign the guestbook. We realized that we have been the only foreign guests to the temple in one whole week. So if you are looking for something really unique and something not touristic go to this place.
We had the opportunity to experience a traditional ceremony and to see a dance which was part of their religious ceremony. We were so humbled and thankful that the people were willing to share this special moment with us.
The temple is build on the mountain with several areas. If you want to climb to the top of the temple you should defiantly consider to ask for a guide as the monkeys in the jungle located in the middle of the temple can get really crazy. But the climb is totally worth the view.
On our way back to Seminyak we made a quick stop at the water palace of Tirta Gangga, It is the former royal palace in eastern Bali and so so beautiful. You will definitely enjoy the sculptures and artful water fountains.
All in All Bali was an amazing and spiritual journey. Feel free to ask me for further details in the comment section!