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Bali Sightseeing/Restaurant Suggestions


Sep 19th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Bali Sightseeing/Restaurant Suggestions

We are off to Bali in a bit over a week and are very excited. I have contacted Putu but have not heard back...other suggestions for drivers?

Anyway I wanted to get some suggestions of some short tours. We are spending a few nights in Tabanan, so there I figure while we are based there we'll see Tanah lot and do some hiking in the rice paddies. We are staying at the Alila Soori, and it seems there are no other restaurants relatively near by. I hate being stuck eating at the hotel every night, so if there are recs for food not too far (under 30 mins) from the Alila, that would be great. From the Alila we move onto Ubud for a few nights.

From Ubud we would like probably hike (or at least visit) Mt. Batur. Any guide suggestions for the hike?

Additionally the Tirga gangga water garden and Ujung water palace look interesting, and closer to Ubud, but still far. Do you think these are worth the day trip if we have 3 days in Ubud? We are early 30s, are intersted in natural beauty, short hikes, and I am interested in Balinese architecture hence interest in these palaces and East Bali. We are not interested in shopping, although a nice, not too expensive massage would be nice.

Any advice is appreciated as unfortunately I haven't had the time to research enough on my own. Thanks!
tansmets is offline  
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Sep 19th, 2012, 10:46 PM
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The area around the Soori has seen a lot of recent development so I wouldn't be surprised if you found some new restaurants nearby. There are quite a few choices in Canggu and Umalas but I can't think of any that I would especially recommend. Oazia looks good, but I haven't been there.

If you head further south to Batu Belig, Kerobokan and the northern part of Seminyak (Petitenget)you will find plenty of very good places, but the drive would be over 30 minutes. There you'd find Mosaic, Metis, Sardine, Sarong, La Lucciola -- some of the best in Bali.

Don't worry about finding a driver. Bali is full of them. Your resort will most likely offer guides and drivers and activities. If not, join one of the events at Arma. Same for massage -- your resort will probably have a facility, but if not there are many places in Ubud. Spas in resorts tend to be more expensive because of the tax, but there are some very nice options at places like at the Alila and Como.

Lovely Balinese architecture can be found in every temple compound -- they're not just buildings but a reflection of the cosmos and a way of life. The mother temple at Besakih is a bit overwhelming because of the annoying vendors and touts, but for architecture it's phenomenal.

I'd also recommend modern architectural interpretations of Balinese elements that you see at the Green School and Como Shambhala. Pick up Made Wijaya's book on Balinese architecture.
marmot is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2012, 09:26 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. As for food in Seminyak, what is your best pick for Balinese food? We have one day there and I'd like to try food that I can't get at home.

The resorts we are at have great looking spas (Hanging Gardens in Ubud and Alila Soori) however they charge quite a lot. I don't think I need to pay over $70USD for an hour long massage in Bali! Any recommendations for non-hotel, cheaper day spa type places?

Also any thoughts if the trip out to Tirga gangga water garden and Ujung water palace is worthwhile? Or should we just stay near Ubud? We have 3 full days.
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Sep 20th, 2012, 11:23 PM
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Simple Balinese food in simple surroundings is available everywhere. Pricier Balinese food is on most menus of Western style restaurants and resort restaurants. I don't have any particular recommendation except to say pick a place that looks inviting. My guess is that there are more places serving local food in lovely surrounding in Ubud than in the beach area, but I really haven't made a comparison.

For upscale Balinese and pan-Asian, Mama San and Sarong are terrific. It's not really fusion because the food and the chefs are authentic but the ambience (and prices) are Balinese-inspired Western.

Sorry no recommendations on spas either. Body Works in Seminyak is very popular, but I've never been there. Semara has also been recommended to me but I haven't tried it yet.

I haven't been to Tirta Gangga or Ujung Water Palace either (I'm striking out today ) but my inclination would be to concentrate on places closer to the Hanging Gardens. You just don't want to spend the whole day in the car and to me these two 20th Century structures wouldn't be worth the effort unless you were already in East Bali. The surounding area is lovely, but no shortage of that where you will already be.

On your earlier question about where to eat near Soori: The Tugu Hotel isn't too far. The food is acceptable (and you can probably get some good Balinese) and the atmosphere is eccentric in a good way.

Also, the Alila Ubud has a terrific trekking guide, San Putu Ardana. If you're not able to connect with a guide and you want to set something up in advance (especially for Mt. Batur) you might ask the Soori to arrange San Putu for you.
marmot is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2012, 05:34 AM
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Putu sometimes takes travelers on extended trips and I do not receive an answer for 4-5 days. He is a good guide I night shooy one more email and see if yours just got backed up when he returned from a 4 day trip.
This Dec. we are making a long trip with Putu to the Pipuan rice fiels but it is said to be magnificand but the downside is you are in the care 5-6 hours the views are said to be awesome. Closer in the volcano and lake region are lovily.
StanKase is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2012, 07:06 AM
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contact him again
rhkkmk is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 07:57 AM
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Thanks all for the advice. The Pipuan rice fields look amazing but I will save that for another trip I recently did a longish (7 hours) hike in the rice fields of LongJi (in China) and it was absolutely amazing. We will go to the Jatliuwih fields as they are near our hotel.

Any thoughts on climbing Mt. Batur vs just visiting during the day? I like hiking but do not like the idea of doing it at 3am. It looks like it would be a nice drive during the day and day trip as well.
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