5 days in Bali on my own

Old Feb 8th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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5 days in Bali on my own

I'll be finishing up a 2-week Asia business trip with a visit to Bali in late March. I'm a 40-yr old woman, experienced traveler, and I'll be on my own. I'm interested in seeing the culture, a bit of shopping, and taking photographs. Luckily, I'll be on Bali time when I arrive, but I realize 5 days isn't much time. What do you recommend for such a short visit? Should I just stay in one place (where?) and hire a driver for a few days? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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Nice finish to your business trip!

Yes, stay in one place - either outside Ubud or a beach area. I like Sanur, but there are lots of other places to choose from. Just avoid Kuta and Nusa Dua like the plague. Hire a driver for a few days. Putu is often recommended here I haven't used him, but Gpanda and rhkkmk have, for instance). You can do a search for how to contact him.
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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Stay in Ubud. It has everything you described. Putu is a great guide. You can reach him at MyBaliFriend.com. He's one of the best guides we ever had. A great sense of humor. He may take you to his family compound, which is a wonderful way to get a view of traditional Bali life.
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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I'd also recommend Ubud for a four night stay. Ubud is in a central location and much of the island is within a two hour drive. Some prefer in-town accommodations near good restaurants and shops. I prefer a hotel a few minutes outside of town, situated in the lush countryside.

Putu (email: [email protected]) is also a talented photographer as well as a driver and licensed guide. He can take you to great spots and Balinese ceremonies where you can take photos during your tours with him. Putu has his vehicles specially registered and insured for transporting tourists which can be important in Indonesia.
http://baliphototour.multiply.com/photos
http://www.baliartphoto.com/?p=46
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 10:58 PM
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Stay in ubud! I've been here for over 3 weeks and this last week will be on my own. It's a great little village/town with lots to see and do.
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Old Feb 8th, 2009, 11:07 PM
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chris, for five days I'd definitely stay in one place, unless your objective is to research for a future trip. The initial choice usually boils down to beach or inland. There's a lot to be said about both -- and Bali is small enough so that whichever you choose you can "commute" to the other.

Personally, even though I like the countryside around Ubud a lot, for a single traveler, I'd choose the beach. There is more diversion, more people to watch and interact with if you please. The countryside is profoundly beautiful, but very , very quiet.

My personal favorite is the Seminyak area -- a scenic walking beach, good access to shopping, restaurants, spas, nightlife if that interests you.

It's fairly easy to arrange a guide with a car to take you on excursions to other parts of the island. All the resorts have their recommended people. For the best outcome you should have a fairly good idea of your priorities. For example, dance performances, handicrafts shopping, trekking or just general sightseeing.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Thanks everyone! I will stay in Ubud as it sounds perfect for me, and will reach out to Putu once I secure my dates.

I've heard so much about beautiful, inexpensive accommodations... what are your top picks in Ubud? I'm looking for beautiful surroundings, something local (no chains), where I could walk to shopping & restaurants. I see other posters say bargain hard for rates-- does that mean you're contacting the hotels via phone? email? Any idea what I should expect to pay?

Many thanks!
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 09:44 AM
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We stayed at the Alam Shanti and loved it. It's on the back of the Monkey Forest and a 10 minute walk into the center of town through the MF. There are sister properties that have also gotten good reviews, the Alam Jiwa and Alam Indus. Check out the website. I think it's $150++(++ is an additional service and tax charge of abouit 17%).

You might also do a search on this forum for Bali hotels or accomodations. Lots of suggestions.
Make sure to tell Putu that you got his name from Fodors. Many here have used him to universal acclaim.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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I've been staying at Adi Cottages, it is smack in the center of Monkey forest Road, lots of restaurants and shops on either side.

took a cooking class the other day on the Alam Shanti grounds and it is a bit of a walk on your own, don't know if I would want to walk it at night, but it is beautiful over there. For me I prefer where it is just a bit busier. The staff at Adi is great if you contact them tell Wayan Andrea sent you, cute little pool and good breakfast. I have been here a while so got a break on the room price but I think they start at 35-75 p night. Also have a great driver will grab his card from the room after breakfast.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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i can't wait to get back to alam shanti...it was perfect in every way...and you will love putu...get on his calendar early...
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 09:15 PM
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Andrea (laartista)-
I do hope you are going to write a trip report for us about your Bali adventures (I know you must be having some, you always do. ;-) )
BTW, the folks over on the Europe board miss your updates about living in Florence.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 03:08 AM
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As far as accomodation is concerned and particularly as you are travelling by your self it may pay to also think about somewhere central in Ubud to enable you to do that shopping etc with ease when you have time and therefore not need a car or to walk far.

Have a look at Kajane Mua . Loved by many and we stayed there last year and its position is faultless .Did not like its food but opposite and around it were good alternatives and some excellent shopping especially for artefacts and antiques .
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 06:38 AM
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For a visit in late March, you should be aware of Nyepi Day on March 26th this year I think. It is a day of silence - the airport is closed and you cannot leave the grounds where you are staying. There are processions everywhere the evening before with large colorful statues of monsters that are made to represent cleansing the world of evil. www.balifriend.net/nyepi_day.html

To book a room, check the websites of the hotel/villa first. Some offer steep discounts for booking through their websites. You can also contact them by email and ask for a discount/best price for a four night stay and finally check these prices versus booking sites like Agoda.com
Some will include the 21% tax and service charge in the price quote and some will not.

For pricing, there are very nice basic accommodations in Ubud for $50 - $100 and more upscale places for $100 and up.

Two often recommended, in-town places not mentioned yet are Komaneka Monkey Forest (upscale) if lucky discounted to around $150 inclusive and Ketut's Place for about $50.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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shrubs, you must be a tout if you are recommending she visit Kuta and Nusa Dua. No more advertising, please.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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i too recommend Putu as a driver as i used him a month ago. for 5 days hmmm, i think it would have to be ubud , well at least for a few days.I stayed at alam shanti and it was the best hotel with the bali feel that you would want. and if your thinking of the beach, the only one that i thought was any good was gerger beach in nusa dua. and thanks to all for your recommendations with my trip,all went as planned...
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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stephenmat-- Thank you, I have emailed Alam Shanti about availability. May I ask if you received a discount on the hotel rate beyond what's listed on the Internet, and what I should expect to pay for Putu per day? Since I am leaving my husband at home, I need to be a bit conservative on this trip! Many thanks...
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