Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   Short stop in Bali (

carl170 Nov 29th, 2019 10:58 AM

Short stop in Bali

I am taking a cruise to Singapore and our ship stops in Bali. I'd like to hire a driver for the day to go to some of the sights. We should have a full day, so about eight hours. For such a short time, what can I plan to see? I was thinking Ubud and the Pura Besikah temple. I know we could plan a week or more there, but the ship has a set schedule. Should I plan to see anything else? I didn't see any recent driver recommendations posted here, but Tripadvisor has some listed.

Thank you,

CounterClifton Nov 29th, 2019 02:52 PM

I think you could probably see those two with the trip back and forth from Denpasar (presumably, I'm not quite sure where cruise ships dock). I don't know that I'd try to do much more than that. Roads are pretty small and winding and goes through lots of small villages with dogs and people in the road, plus traffic nearer the city unpredictable. So you will (or at least could) spend more time in a car than you'd think.

On the other hand, Ubud is a pretty well worn route back to town and there's no shortage of things to see and do, including the chance to take some peaceful, scenic walks just outside town amongst the rice fields. A real slice of Balinese life. So you may want to consider seeing the Besikah temple first and then Ubud where you can leave whenever your driver thinks it best in order to get back to the boat in time.

marmot Nov 29th, 2019 08:25 PM

I think you're planning too much time in the car. Getting from the port, either Padang Bai or Benoa, to Ubud central or Besikih will take 1.5 hours (maybe a little less) so you will have already used up a chunk of time.

My suggestion would be to concentrate on Ubud town and the surrounding country side. There are no shortage of temples in Ubud. Maybe not as grand as Besikih, but still vibrant. If you're there at the time of a full or new moon most likely there will be a ceremony going on.

Have a Balinese lunch either in town or at one of the holels overlooking the Ayung River valley. Take the Campuhan Ridge Walk (about 1.5 hours). Stroll the Jl. Hanoman & Monkey Forest Road loop. Do some shopping for handicrafts, textiles. Visit a museum, like the Setia Darma Mask Museum. Take in the Jatiluwih rice terraces.

I don't have a recommendation for a driver, but I don't think you'll have any problem finding someone who will help you fix an itinerary.

carl170 Nov 30th, 2019 06:48 AM

Thanks. Our ship docks at Benoa.

Should I go somewhere thats not as far like Semarapura? Friends who went said that Besikah was one of their highlights.


mlgb Nov 30th, 2019 10:14 AM

I wonder if your friends were there on vacation or as a cruise port stop?

Yes, there is plenty to see in and around Ubud, even with lots of other people. Possibly the Semarapula temple and Ubud would work (if you don't do the full Campuhan Ridge walk).

If you dock early and can get to Ubud by 9am on a MTFSat, I'd recommend the Bali Bird Walk (not just for birders), but it may take more time than you want. It starts and ends at Murni's and doesn't require a reservation.

Bali Bird Walk

carl170 Nov 30th, 2019 11:08 AM

My friends were there for a week's vacation so they had a chance to stay in four different places around the island.

marmot Nov 30th, 2019 06:03 PM

If Besakih is your top priority then you should certainly go there. It's quite impressive, and depending on your interest in Balinese Hinduism, you could spend a couple of hours there. It's best to go with a driver/guide who can run interference with the persistent hawkers. After Besakih you could still visit Ubud town, but won't have time to see too much of the surrounding area. You could also consider focusing on the eastern side of Bali. I'm not too enthusiastic about Semarapura/Klungkung. The Sidemen area which is about half an hour south of Besakih is very scenic -- rice terraces, mountains. Sidemen is also Bali's main textile weaving center.

carl170 Jan 9th, 2020 03:58 PM

Thank you for the responses. I did receive this proposed itinerary, does anyone have any opinions? I may adjust these stops to spend more time exploring Ubud.

For example:
Besakih Temple
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Bali Pulina Luwak Cofee and Jungle Swing
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary , if remain time
Ubud Art Market (free time)

mrwunrfl Jan 10th, 2020 09:07 AM

I hired Putu Arnawa over 15 years ago on the recommendation of other fodorites. He did a great job. Looks like he has 5 other drivers working with him now, see About Us | Bali Tour Guide by Balifriend Tour.

I imagine that your ship is going to spawn its own traffic, at least around the port, with everyone going ashore, but as a cruiser you probably know what to expect better than me as far as the time it takes to get out/in of the port area.

marmot Jan 10th, 2020 07:18 PM

That itinerary sounds to me like too much car time. My suggestion would be to pick one among Besakih,Tukad Cepung Waterfall and Tegalalang Rice Terrace and spent the rest of your time strolling around Ubud town. (Or visit all three and skip Ubud town.)

I would give the luwak coffee a miss (the animals are mistreated) and avoid the monkey forest. Unless you're looking for bargains, I think the regular shops in Ubud are more interesting than the Ubud Art Market.

As I mentioned, you could have a late lunch at one of the resorts overlooking the Ayung River Valley then head back to Benoa. Maybe first take the Campuan Ridge Walk which is about 1.5 hours round trip.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:07 PM.