Bali, Legian Beach

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Oct 11th, 2012, 07:25 PM
  #1
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Bali, Legian Beach

Traveling in early November and staying at Bali NIksoma for 3 days on Legian Beach for some R&R. Have a few questions about the area:

1. About how much USD should a taxi cab ride from airport to Legian? Is it necessary to bargain for the fare? tip or no tipping?
2. Any suggestions on maybe one day trip that's not too far by car to get a feel for the
country? Would prefer not to ride more than an hour away.
3. Suggestions for an area nearby for diving for my daughter or snorkeling? Is it easy to arrange a boat trip to a nearby island or would it be better to hire a driver and go to another part of the island; and about how much should it cost?
4. Nearby restaurant recommendations, or street food?
5. Good shopping? (and I don't mean boutique shopping).

As always, appreciate all the advice of fellow fodorites.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 11:25 PM
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1. There are fixed rates for taxis from the airport to specific areas. I believe Legian would be about IDR50,000 TO 60,000 or about USD7. If you don't get a fixed rate, ask the driver to use the meter. I generally tip. It's small money but meaningful to the Balinese.

2. I'd head up to the Ubud area, about an hour to an hour and a half from Legian. Maybe have lunch at one of the places along the Ayung River valley. Or, go late in the day, for shopping and dinner in Ubud and attend a dance performance at Ubud Palace.

3. Except for the area around Lembongan (which is quite treacherous) there's no good diving or snorkling in south Bali. You could arrange a day trip to north Bali (Pemuteran) or east Bali (Amed) but it's a long drive. Or you could combine with point 2.

4. No specific restaurant recommendations, but there are many many inexpensive, casual choices on Jl Double 6 and Jl Seminyak all the way to Petitenget. In the higher price range (but not extravagant) I like La Lucciola on the beach in Petitenget for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also KuDeTa for sunset cocktails.

There is a string of beach shacks just north of Niksoma. Very basic, but not too bad and very cheap. Especially popular for sundowners.

5. If you mean arts and crafts, Kuta/Legian/Seminyak isn't such a good location. There are plenty of knickknack shops along Double 6, but for quality handmade handicrafts you'd be better off in Ubud. Again, you can combine with point 2.
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Oct 12th, 2012, 05:55 AM
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the cost of a driver is about equal to a self drive, so go with the driver... many of us have used Putu...

ubud is a good suggestion for a single day trip..
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Oct 12th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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Marmot, thank you for our detailed reply. Do I need to make plans for Ubud dance performance ahead of time or can I do that once I get to Ubud?
I think my daughter might enjoy Pemuteran and Amed. I assume those beaches are nicer than Legian? How far a drive is it from Legian? How much would a driver cost approx? How does that work? Will the driver stay with us all day or come back for us? Is waiting time included in the cost of the driver? or would it be easier to just take a tax? would I be able to grab a return tax from Pemuteran or Amed easily enough?
Many thanks.
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Oct 12th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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You don't need reservations for the Ubud dance performance but show up a little early to get a front seat. They usually start around 7 to 7:30 p.m. Your resort will have a list of performances. Ubud Palace is always high quality, but there are others in the area as well.

Pemuteran is about 4 hours from Legian. I'm not sure about Amed or other eastcoast sites, maybe a little less. Your best bet is to retain one of the dive shops who will organize the trip. They will pick you up at your resort and provide equipment and meals. You can do this in a (long) day or spend the night. I don't have any suggestions but I'm sure you can find information on line.

I've only dived at Menjangan Island which is near Pemuteran and it was quite good. You could start a separate thread for other scuba advice.

The beaches of north and east are mostly black sand and a little scruffy, though they're calm for swimming.

Legian beach is lively, but it's well used and shows the stress of too many people. Jl Double 6 is, I think, depressing.

I spend a fair amount of time there because my son likes to surf there. If you go north about 500 meters you get to Petitenget which is wide and sandy, though there's a big variation depending on the tide. You can rent chairs and umbrellas anywhere on the beach for about USD3 to 5 an hour.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 05:32 AM
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Probably a little too far to go to Pemuteran since we are there for only three days. What about Nusa Dua or Jimbaran? Are the close enough or worth the trip to check out the beaches? We will probably go into Ubud one afternoon and stay for dinner and a dance performance.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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Nusa Dua is a sterile tourist enclave. No reason to go there IMO.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Traffic, as I'm sure you've heard, is variable, especially going across island midday because of the road construction. At best from Legian, Jimbaran is 45 minutes to an hour, Nusa Dua about an hour, Sanur and Ulu Watu about 1.5 hours.

If your objective is just to see a little more of south Bali then I'd suggest Sanur or Ulu Watu. Sanur has a nice boardwalk along the beach and several restaurants. Ulu Watu has some luxe resorts and spectacular views.

You could watch world class surfing from the pool of Blue Point and continue on to Ulu Watu temple. Alila Ulu Watu and Banyan Tree are good choices for sea view drinks or lunch (but pricy).

Actually my favorite thing to do in south Bali is as little as possible. Time spent in a car is, to me, the worst aspect of Bali.

Rent a beach chair and umbrella, watch the waves, take walk at low tide, do some body boarding, have a meal, a drink, a coffee and dessert, a spa treatment, watch a temple ceremony at Petitenget beach.

How old is your daughter? I might be able to suggest something age appropriate.
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Oct 15th, 2012, 07:13 AM
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My daughter is 23 and looking forward to exploring Katu if you have any suggestions. She would like to dive, but not willing to spend hours in the car to get to the location. Knock-off shopping, a nice beach, good food is up her alley.
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Oct 15th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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I've had some exposure to 20 somethings through my son. I'd suggest that she choose Petitenget instead of Kuta, for a nice beach, good shopping, good spas and (if she's interested) lively nightlife.

I'd avoid places like Bounty in Kuta. The area can get a little rough, especially at night.

For sunset cocktails as I've already mentioned -- KuDeTa and the beach shacks. Also W, Potato Head further up the beach. I like the beach in front of KuDeTa during the day too for people watching. Chair/umbrella rates vary but you shouldn't pay more than IDR50,000 per hour.

Later night socializing: KuDeTa, Mantra, Hu'u, Potato Head, W. There are so many places in Petitenget. Get a copy of Yak Magazine to see what they recommend.

Body Works for all sorts of spa treatments. Shopping along Jl. Seminyak. They don't really have knockoffs, but they have a ton of young, trendy resortwear -- clothing shoes bags. I'd start at Biasa and Paul Ropp and wander north.

My favorite dinner restaurants are Sardine, Metis, LaLucciola, Sarong and MamaSan. These are all on the pricy side but still casual and design focused. For coffee/tea and fabulous desserts -- Biku.

I agree diving is a whole other trip. She might try one of the surfing schools at Double 6. They are enegetic and lots of fun. Otherwise, just rent a body board and have fun in the waves.
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Oct 16th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Great list of suggestions, Marmot! How far is Petitenget from Legian by taxi?
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Oct 16th, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Niksoma to Petitenget Temple is 10 minutes by taxi, and 15 to 20 minutes walk along the beach. It's really one long continuous beach that extends about 10 kms from Kuta to Batubelig. Legian is in the middle, Petitenget to the North.

There's quite a bit of tidal variance, depending on the moon. At low tide it's a wonderful walk. At high tide you'll get wet.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 08:50 AM
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This may seem a silly question, but I have seen different answers on different sources. Are taxi fares negotiable or should you negotiate a taxi fare before you leave, and do you add a tip on top of that? same for restaurant checks?
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Fares from the airport are flat rates. If you're traveling some distance, say from Legian to Ubud, you might want to negotiate a flat rate. Also if you intend to keep the taxi for a long period. Then it's usually figured by the hour.

In South Bali my preference is to go with the meter. It's easier and clearer. Occasionally you will get a driver who, for various reasons, doesn't want to use the meter. I get out and find another. Also, I recently had a taxi with a meter that was doing double time. That was the exception though.

There are fewer taxis in Ubud and more private transport. Rates are usually negotiated in advance either flat or by the hour.

I always tip. Maybe IDR10,000 or 20,000(USD1-2) for taxi drivers and service providers at the airport and hotel. 5% to 15% in a restaurant depending on how much service charge has already been added.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Marmot, really appreciate all your good advice. We decided to book a trip through Viator to the Kintamani volcano and Ubud. The other two days we will see what suits us on the day we awake. We have a full day on Saturday after we check out of our hotel since our fight back to Singapore isn't until 7:00 pm. Do you think we should just hang by our hotel or venture to, say, Jimbaran? Only thing is we will have our luggage.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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I think it's a good idea to see as much of Bali as you can. You'll be back so you want to be able to compare and contrast.

I wouldn't consider Jimbaran an especially appealing destination. Some nice resorts, lovely spas, the popular beach barbeques, but not much of a beach, especially the limited public areas. My preference would be to do your touring earlier in your trip (as you are) and spend your last day on the beach in Seminyak/Petitenget.

It's not my preference but if you wanted to, you could go to a different restaurant every day for months. Personally, I never get tired of the power and the beauty of ocean at Seminyak beach, but you may feel differently.
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Oct 29th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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Glad I'm not leaving until Sandy blows out to sea.
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Dec 28th, 2012, 05:07 AM
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Great info, Marmot! Any recommendations for pool villas in Petitenget or Seminyak?
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