December 27, 2014

Bali, Indonesia: 10 Reasons Why Bali is the Perfect Cure for Burnout

There is so much to see in Bali other than the beach. For one, it is a melting pot of culture, people, sights, and of course, food. Let me take you to a journey around and the other things you need to know before visiting the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia.

Find out why Bali is the perfect cure for burnout
1. You can judge the rich culture of a foreign place by its airport. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is inspired by Balinese temples. They have fast and reliable wifi with a lot of coffee shops to hang out.

2. You can make the most out of your itinerary by ditching the group tours and hiring your personal driver. Get a driver so you can customize your trip with a little help of your driver's recommendations. If you're looking for an honest, harmless, and excellent service, I strongly suggest that you hire Edy Dazonk of Edy's Smile Tours.

With our driver Edy

Aside from good discounts, his humor consistently works most especially on trips that would require long hours on the road. Check out his tripadvisor reviews.

P.S. He was awarded by TripAdvisor's certificate of excellence for 2014 so if that won't convince you, I don't know what else will.

3. Make sure to save a few Rupiahs before leaving. Airport tax costs Rp 200,000.00 / 800 pesos. Unless you want the hassle of finding a money changer and lowering the value of your money, prepare this in advance.

4. Head to Ubud if you're a sucker for culture. There's a reason why Elizabeth Gilbert made this place iconic: its chill and relaxing atmosphere. A word of advice from the locals though... Don't bother visiting Ketut. It's a complete waste of money. Take it from the villagers when I asked them about him.

Ubud - Where the lush of greens rejuvenate your burned out soul.
Out of all the hotel lists we've researched, The Uma Dewi Guest House piqued my interest.

Our host - Ibu and Desak
For P1959/night, you get this: They're rated 100% on TripAdvisor and 10/10 in Agoda. The hosts are warm, very accommodating, and generous. We had unlimited refills in our Balinese tea and coffee. Plus, Desak and Ibu gave us really good discounts on their Balinese coffee. (Rp 12,000.00 for a bag)

5. When in Ubud, drop by at the Traditional Market because it's cheaper to buy souvenirs here than in Kuta.

The side entrance to the Ubud Traditional Market
Don't stop haggling! But make sure you purchase after. You don't want to disappoint them.
6. After you've tried all the local dishes, you may want to get your hands on the best ribs at Naughty Nuri. 

Get your hands on their big bad Ribs :)
An Irish pub that serves good but a little pricey Eastern and Western dishes.

7. Enough about food. Let's talk about temples!

Our first stop was at Ulun Danu Bratan, a temple dedicated to the goddess of prosperity, Dewi Uma. 

The Ulun Danu Bratan
Rice paddies are everywhere. But, take a selfie when you pass by the Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The Kintamani Volcano view
If you have the time, head out to the Kintamani Village that offers you the dramatic view of the Batur Volcano. 

Pura Besakih aka the Mother Temple
I wouldn't recommend this but the Besakih Temple might lure you since its the mother of all temples in Bali. Be warned though, scammers are everywhere. Beauty is wasted on the scammers, aka mafia, surrounding the temple, offering tourists overpriced tours. 

Just pay the Rp 10,000.00 entrance fee and ignore everything else. When someone approaches you, don't hesitate to say NO. But my word of advice: it's not worth it.

Located in the Eastern side of Bali, the Tirta Gangga Water Palace is a lovely maze of pools and fountains built on the late 1940s by the late heir of Karangasem. This is a much better place to visit with less tourists rather than the infamous Besakih Temple.

8. Let's talk about Kuta! Located in the heart of Kuta, Tune Hotels is a budget hotel that offers all the basics. 

A good dinner at Yulia's Kitchen would suffice one's craving for good local and Western food. Resto closes at 10 so be early. Check out the reviews at Trip Advisor.

We had little time and were allowed to visit one beach. So, instead of going to Sanur or Nusa Dua or even Kuta beach, we chose Bingin.

Bingin Beach - Not what I expected on Bali's beautiful beaches
In my opinion, this beach is less touristy because of the long distance. An hour and a half away from Kuta, but nearer to Uluwatu. From the parking lot, you have to walk a bit more to reach the tip. And be prepared as you go down along the uneven steps. I thought the end of the tunnel revealed Paradise. But the truth is, it was a beach for surfers. The shores are rocky and slippery. The sand was hot and hard to walk on because of the pebbles, and the water was dirty. 

Tutti's Warung - Waiting time is long but the food quality is worth the wait.

The only saving grace for me at that time was the delicious food at Tutti's Warung. In short, if you're here just for swimming... go to other beaches mentioned above.

9. Get your sunset fix at the Uluwatu temple. It is 15 minutes from Bingin Beach, best to visit at 5pm. Be careful of the monkeys! Leave your hat, glasses, or anything they can steal off your face.

Beware of the monkeys!
10. And lastly, enjoy the moment. Bali may give you a collection of selfies with good backdrops, but make sure to save some for your memories.

These fishies will follow you every step of the way

Picture perfect birthday celebration with friends
Bali is a picture perfect trip for anyone. The difference is whether you're open to the ups and downs of it. Not all trips are perfect. But, it's up to you if you're gonna roll with it and just let go of everything you expect it would be.

See the beauty of Bali (Including Yogyakarta) through this 3 minute video: