I know i’m super late writing this post on Bali, but jet lag has been real! Jet lag from this trip has hit me harder than any trip i’ve been on. Other than that, this island is everything and more. With so much culture, dreamy views and an extensive list of things to do, this island is becoming more and more popular by the minute and you just have to visit! You may recognize Bali in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ or more recent it is known because of the volcano that just erupted (literally 7 days after my trip *woah*). There is so much to see & I hope this guide makes your planning a breeze. Let’s dive in!
Currency: Bali uses the Rupiah for their currency. $1USD=13,565 rupiah meaning the U.S. dollar is stronger (YAY). I highly suggest using all cash if you wish to visit here. Tourist love to bargain, and it is so much easier when you have cash. Also, we ran into a few locations that could not accept cards so we had to make ATM visits (which are located everywhere).
Note: Beware of your bank charging foreign transaction fees. If you can, take out money all at once at the beginning of your trip, or exchange money with your bank before you take the trip so you don’t get charged repetitively.
Language: The official language of Bali is Indonesian, but some locals speak Balinese. Thanks to high tourism, you will have no problems finding someone that speaks English.
Climate: I visited the first week of November “monsoon season”. It seriously rained every day starting around 1:00pm. The rain only lasted a few hours and we were mostly in the car or eating during the rain time. The weather in the morning was hot hot hot, and by evening we needed a light jacket because it was chilly.
Getting around: Bali’s streets are crowded with motor scooters and cars. Most people get around by scooter and they are available for rent while you visit. This isn’t the fun sight seeing type of scooter riding you do while on south beach. This is the real deal, know where you’re going or your up for a rude awakening. Scooters can also be an inconvenience due to extreme heat conditions or the rain. Most places happen to be an hour apart from each other (even more with traffic), so keep that in mind before renting a scooter. Download the GO-JEK app, it is “Bali’s uber” on a motor bike. Each person would have to download the app separately because there is only one scooter per person.
Most people prefer to hire a driver while visiting. My friends came across Edy while at the airport. He charged $40 a day and stayed with us the entire time we were out. There were many days he picked us up at 9am and didn’t drop us off until 9pm. We split the $40 a day by 5 people which was beyond a reasonable price (which means we left a great tip). He spoke english which helped us in many situations. He was also very patient with us, I mean can you imagine driving around 5 girls for a whole week? We were always late and had plenty of karaoke sessions in the car lol. Bali drivers will turn into your friends for life. If you plan to visit, you should certainly contact Edy to be your driver. He has a truck which can fit up to 7 passengers and he will work with you for any other special requests. You can contact him by phone: +62 857 921 706 95 or on facebook: Edy Ari
Last option for getting around: Uber! As most places, Uber is still new, and not accepted every where you go. You have to walk outside the airport in order to get picked up by Uber. The taxi drivers will be out front hounding you for a ride, so it’s best to walk all the way out. Once your out and about, uber will be available everywhere at hand. Use my Uber code: anisab344ue for money off your first ride!
↓Below is a few of my favorite places we ate at in Seminyak↓
This burger spot is just soooooo cute! Located in Seminyak, these burgers and fries were amazing. I know I know you’re probably thinking “who eats burgers in other countries”? Listen, this spot is raved about so go see it for the hype. Seating is very limited which is the only downfall if you go while it’s busy. They make the burgers in front of you and offer to make the burger just the way you like. It’s just really cute so go visit! You can get a combo meal was $13.50. Make sure you get the cheese fries!
Hank’s Pizza & Liquor
I’m a huge fan of “cute” places to eat. Hank’s was another one. We were sold on this sign:
This place had a nice ambiance and the design really made us feel like we went back in time. The only downfall is they did not accept cards-cash only.
Check out the back wall, if you take a picture on the wall, you get free shots! Thats free beer AND a free shot.
This restaurant wasn’t located in Seminyak but while we were in Ubud, Edy insisted we eat at a traditional Balinese restaurant before we left. This restaurant was outside and you sit on cushions on the floor with a low table. The ambiance was very private and chill. The food was amazing, and if you’re not into spicy food, make sure you let your server know. A lot of the noodles/rice we ate were beyond the spicy that we are used to. Nonetheless, make sure this restaurant is on your itinerary when you visit.
I didn’t have the chance to stop here, but we walked by and this place is so adorable. If you’re in Bali it looks like its worth the visit.
Where to stay:
Unless you plan to stay in a hotel that provides everything you need, I highly recommend you book a room on Airbnb. Most houses/villas listed on Airbnb are super affordable. There are hundreds to look at and it is so hard to choose because they all look luxurious for a great price. If you can’t decide what area to stay in, here’s my break down: Ubud is for the honeymooners/couples and nature crew. Kuta is certainly for the party crew and those that want to spend less money but have a fun time. Seminyak is for the “uppidy” crew and those that want to spend more money with a relaxed vibe. If you have a driver, it doesn’t matter what area you stay in, you will be able to go out and do what you want anyway.
I’m not uppidy lol but we stayed at the Bali Zen Villas which was 2 miles from Seminyak square. Most of the villas we wanted got booked before we were able to reserve so we chose this one which was perfect for us.
Don’t forget to pack a universal charger!
Download the Globe Converter app (free) to help with money exchange.
Be aware of scammers! Negotiate a price before taking a taxi- don’t trust the meters because they will not work in your favor.
Beware of people that will take from you. One of my travel friends got her purse snatched while riding a scooter. Luckily it was a cross body purse so they didn’t get away with it. But I just want you be alert at all times!
CLICK HERE for $40 off your first Airbnb rental.
Let me know if you have any questions while you’re planning your trip. I would love to help as much as I can! Also dont forget to Check out my post HERE on activities to do while in Bali!