Suggestions for first trip to Bali

Old Jul 15th, 2003, 06:18 PM
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Suggestions for first trip to Bali

Hi Everyone,

We will visiting Bali in August and wanted to get some recommendations. We have 10 days there (9 nights) and are planning on staying in Ubud for 3 nights and Nusa Dua (Sheraton Laguna) for 4 nights. We are looking to strike a balance between ocean-related activities and the inland tours/activities (not too interested in temples though). So, the things we are looking for advice on are:

- Where to spend the other 2 nights? In Ubud area or somewhere else on the island?
- Where to stay in Ubud? We are looking for something in $80-100/night a range and wanted to stay a little bit away from the main town (like in Sayan or Campuhan etc).
- For ocean related activities, suggestions on snorkeling, beginners scuba diving, the best beaches for swimming etc
- For inland tours/activities, any pointers on renting a car and a driver as well as best itineraries for the mountains/rice fields area.

Thanks a lot.

rvyas is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2003, 10:03 AM
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Alam Indah in Ubud was recommended to me by my friend who has a home in Bedugal. When we were there (and going back in October) we stayed on the beach in Candidasa at Lotus Cottages and likewise, in Permuteran at the Taman Sari on the northwest coast. I prefer local, smaller places rather than chains such as Hyatt and Sheraton. As for snorkelling, Permuteran was our jumping-off place for our trip to Menjengan Island, some of the best snorkelling in the world! The National Park Service has guides with boats that will take you there.
johnpressman is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2003, 02:40 PM
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Just got back from Bali 7/1/03. I have been there before, but this visit was even more wonderful than the last time. We stayed at the Nusa Dua Beach Resort, which was incredible. Since it was a package we didn't make arrangements to stay anywhere else on the islands. Once again, I wish I stayed in Ubud for a few nights. We ended up hiring a driver to visit the area three times. First of all our driver was incredible. He spoke English and was very accomodating. His name is Nengah Suarma (mobile (081)734-0199)For $35 US he took us everywhere and anywhere for a 10-12 hrs. I highly recommend him, my daugther, Kila and I felt real comfortable with him. Actually another guest at our hotel recommended him, but we had to wait til they left Bali before they would give him up. Anyway, Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa in Ubud is a definite place to go. You can probably bargain for room rate. Another person we met said they did and also didn't need the air-con room. They have an incredible natural spa, you actually have your spa treatment outside listening to the river and viewing the jungle. We loved it so much for a 2 hr traditional Mandi Lulu $33US. Check the www.indo.com/hotel/tjampuhan for more details. You might want to add those 2 xtra nights in Ubud.
You must go to Jimbaran to have a sunset dinner, lituraly right on the beach. Lots of restaurants to pick from. They have awesome grilled/barbeque seafood. We went back for our last night, it was so good!
If you want to get original paintings or art work, Bali is the place to go...so inexpensive. Also, if you want any guidedn tours, I highly recommend or guide, Gustaaf Lutaay ph.(0361)721614 with ICT Bali Travel Services. He was one of the best guides I have ever had! I felt he showed us the friendly hospitality of his country and people.
I loved the warm spiritual islands and I am planning to go back to look at future retirement property in Jan"04.
Enjoy the enchanting islands and the wonderful people.
mskeana is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2003, 04:39 AM
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Be careful at Besakih Temple. They are Mafia and you can't enter the temple without them or even you have paid entrance fee for various placees.
I ended up not entering and just saw outside.
It's a pity for such a beautiful place and I won't go back anymore.

Ubud is good, charming. You should spend a few nights there.
Mylene is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2003, 08:46 PM
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I live in Ubud so can't really comment on activities in the southern area, but there is a huge range of activities in Ubud and surroundings. There are also many places with pool and fans that are in the USD 30 to 50 range that are very boutique-y and charming..and of course also in the 80 and up range. One suggestion is to take a few minutes to drive around and stop in to hotels and ask to see their rooms, and check into one that you like. Often what looks great on the internet is just ok in person...on the other hand, what looks boring on the internet is fantastic in person! You are so right to want to stay out of the "downtown" Ubud area, Sayan and Campuhan are much more traditional and quiet, yet less than 2 minutes by car from the nightlife in Ubud.

If you dont' want to see temples you can still do things like river rafting, rice padi walks (the one that starts in Payogan is highly recommended, rice field views in Tegallalang, heron birds roosting at night, and of course the famous nightly dance performances at the Ubud Palace...Also the local massage spas are wonderful...about USD 12 for a one hour massage mandi lulur (where they scrub you with yogurt and spices and you soak in a tub filled with flower petals. There are also day spas in hotels which are wonderful...depending on your budget.

I also highly recommend staying near Menjangan to do the morning dolphin tour and snorkeling in Menjangan. Amazing amounts of colorful fish and corals..there are ample professionally run dive and snorkel operators who will run you out on a boat with local guides.

As for drivers, there are many wonderful people around....again, you don't necessarily have to book ahead...interview a few drivers (you will meet many on the street or standing by at hotels)..check out their car, ask about some possible agendas, and commit to one day only. If you like his service, book for another day. The rates for a car and driver for a 8 - 12 hour day range from Rp 150,000 to 400,000 per day, depending on the type of car, language skills, and experience...

If you have any specific questions about Ubud, feel free to ask any other questions. Bali is very quiet right now and we appreciate every visitor!

P.S. August is the cool time of year and you won't need air conditioning...
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Old Jul 18th, 2003, 04:32 PM
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Hi Kuluk,

Thanks a lot for extremely useful information. This will help us a great deal. I am planning to take your advice and book a hotel in Ubud just for the first night, and then check out a few places in person to determine the rest of the stay. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them.

rvyas is offline  
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