A ten day completely itinerary on what to do in Bali.
Oh, Bali. Where should I even start? Bali has l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y a billion things to do, see and well, Instagram. Whether you’re a newly wed and would love to kick back and enjoy all that Bali has to offer, or whether you’re a solo traveller looking to see the world and Eat, Pray, Love your way through this Indonesian island, this post will definitely help you in planning a bitchin’ time in one of the most beautiful places on earth; Bali. Just a little heads up. The post is hella long, but it’s also all you need. #You’reWelcome
Day One: Seminyak: Chillaxing.
Once you’ve settled in from wherever you’ve been traveling from, you’d most likely like to spend the first day kicking back and enjoying the beauty that is Bali. There’s no better place to do this in than Seminyak, one of Bali’s beach areas. Although Seminyak is not as densely populated as other tourist areas in Bali (such as Kuta), it is definitely a beauty. With endless beach front hotels and bars, you’ll definitely find something that will suit your needs.
Breakfast: Coffee Cartel
We started off the day with breakfast at the Coffee Cartel, a little coffee shop with the freshest produce and the tastiest breakfast options. I recommend the Acaii bowl – I’m a sucker for them.
There’s so many spa’s all over Bali, with the craziest prices. This means affordable prices. Choose between Prana Spa, Bodyworks and W hotel Away.
Beaching: W hotel
We spent the day at the W hotel, a beach front must. You may have heard or read about ‘Potato Head’ bar with probably the best views of the sunset. Well, W hotel and Potato Head are right by each other, so if you’re looking for a more relaxed and private setting, the W hotel is the choice for you. If you’re looking to party and mingle, then hop on over to Potato Head and get on socialising! I would also like to take this moment to suggest that another hotspot that been increasing in popularity is Mrs Sippy, another beach bar near by. There’s a beautiful pool with lots of fun and young people who by the looks of it, definitely know how to party! Check that out!
Tip: Bali has some of the best sunsets I have ever seen. The thing is though, once the sun settles down, the sunset still goes on for a while after that. That means that the sky turns this pink/purple colour that you can’t imagine! So if you’re staying for the sunset, stay a little longer to witness what I would call #skyporn.
Dinner: Merah Putih
It’s true that Bali is a foodies paradise. There’s probably more amazing restaurants that you can imagine, and again, for super affordable prices. We dined at Merah Putih restaurant, an authentic Balinese restaurant with the yummiest lobster dumpling that I have ever tasted. A 10 out of 10 from me!
Day 2: Uluwatu Road Trip
I am definitely not the only person who has seen that incredible floating pool over ‘The Edge’, hence the name. Alongside that, I wanted to visit the ultimate surf-spot in Bali, right on the Peninsula, and it’s beautiful attractions. Being just a two hour drive from Seminyak, Uluwatu and its stunning places seemed like the smart choice for a day road trip.
Our first stop was at ’The Edge’ because hello, #poolgoals. You need to reserve a place beforehand as there might not be any free spaces available. You’ll need to book a table at their restaurant for lunch or whatever time you’re planning on going, but I would suggest going early to avoid as many people as possible.
Green Bowl Beach
We then continued on visiting a not so famous beach, Green Bowl Beach. Although hard to get to (a 300 steep steps down hard to get to) it’s non arguably a beautiful, almost secluded beach with stunning landscapes. If you’re lucky, you can also get the chance to see amazing surfers in action!
Wrapping it up, we chose ‘SUNDAY’S’ beach bar, as it was a Sunday. Here’s the catch: I expected a more upbeat environment with a little party, but I was faced with a more calm ambience with a number of families. However, the sunset at ‘SUNDAY’S’ was out of this world! You get a front row seat to it, and a bonus, there’s a bonfire where you get to roast some marshmallows! #Yum.
We then left Uluwatu by sunset as the traffic back to Seminyak can be a real b*tch. We dined at Sarong, an Indian themed restaurant with the yummiest dishes. If you’re not a fan of curries (like my boyfriend) I would suggest choosing somewhere else to dine at. However, Sarong is a winner in my book. I recommend the Saag curry and the Malabari prawn curry – so. much. yum.
Day 3: Seminyak/Ubud: Shopping Therapy + Monkey forest
Our third and final day in Seminyak was devoted to exploring the Seminyak Square A.K.A shopping therapy. Seminyak is known for its shopping. Whether you’re looking for authentic Balinese products such as clothes or household goods, you’ll find anything there!
Our first stop was at Cafe Revolver, the coolest cafe I have ever been to. It’s in the Square, so it’s easy to find. I’m not even a coffee fan, and their coffee is so good – no wonder it’s so popular. You can then continue to shop either in the old market square, the stores surrounding the area or there’s even a mall with a wider variety of more “high-end” products.
We left Seminyak to head on over to Ubud. Since we left relatively early, we still had some time to make a stop at a Coffee plantation, Teba Sari Acrowidsata. We got the chance to taste all kinds of coffees made in Ubud. The most memorable Balinese coffee however, was Luwak which basically is cat-poop fermented coffee beans. It’s very strong, and although not my favourite thing, is worth the try. Fun fact: this coffee is referred to as cat-poo-cino which I find hilarious.
Being in Ubud, I was eager to visit the famous ‘Monkey Forest‘. We made it just in time as it closes at around 5:30 and were given special tips on how to deal with monkeys. You need to be very cautious with them as they are in their natural habitat and may bite you if they feel threatened. Although you’ll be given instructions such as don’t stare at them for long or tease them with food/other goods, here’s a list to read prior to your arrival there to avoid mishaps. If in case you do, you need to get your tetanus shots immediately.
Dinner: Copper Restaurant
We chose Copper Rooftop restaurant and bar for our first night in Ubud. This rooftop restaurant offers delicious food choices while local talents perform authentic Balinese music giving you the ultimate experience. Affordable, authentic and quite the experience.
Day 4: Ubud: Culture
I was waiting for this day to come for over 2 months (a.k.a. when I booked my tickets). Ubud is the definition of a tropical paradise. I wanted to get started right away and I started off the day with wait for it… food poisoning. #YayBaliBelly. Despite my staying in bed for over 18 hours, here’s what was in the original plan.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Starting off the day with an easy hike on Campuhan Ridge walk, and by early, I mean 6 AM early. The temperature gets really warm during the day, so it is truly recommended you head on over for a super easy walk.
Breakfast: Alchemy Cafe
The original plan included grabbing breakfast in a cute restaurant called ‘Alchemy Café’ which offers a wide variety of vegan choices, all freshly made.
Pasar Ubud Market
Upon wrapping up the AM agenda, a little bit of shopping therapy would follow. Ubud has some really interesting shops with the cutest Balinese products ranging from the super popular twine bags, to household products. Devoting some time to shop around is a definite must for people who like gathering souvenirs.
Snack: Tukie’s coconut shop.
Cooking class (+Dinner)
One of the things I looked really forward to is to take up a Balinese cooking class. I researched online and found ‘Paon Bali‘ to be one of the most popular, and affordable options. Communicating with the organisers was a piece of cake, and they were a delight to deal with. Even when I cancelled last minute due to food poisoning. I truly recommend you experience this as it looks so much fun and you get to eat your dinner afterwards! Win-Win!
To wrap the day up, we planned on catching a culture oriented show at the Royal Ubud Palace. There’s normally two shows available every night at two different locations, and everyday the shows are different. They both start at about 8:30, but I would suggest getting there earlier to grab good seats. You can find tickets from sellers outside the Royal Ubud palace, and anywhere around Ubud market really. The shows last 1-1:30 hours.
Day 5: Ubud: Tourists
While in Ubud, one must definitely visit a few of Bali’s IG hotspots. These include waterfalls, rice terraces, swings and birds nests and interacting with elephants. I decided to do all of these in a day so I could experience Ubud like a true tourist. On the bright side, it is totally feasible, and not so tiring because genuinely, visiting these places is a dream!
It goes without saying that if you want to have a waterfall nearly all to yourself, you should go early in the AM. Depending on where you’re staying, Tibumana is not that far from Ubud centre so it shouldn’t take you longer than an hour to get to. The good thing is that this waterfall isn’t as popular as others, and so odds are it won’t be super crowded. However, I still recommend this being your first stop to enjoy some private time frolicking under the relatively cold water.
So this is a tricky one. I have made my research online about the Mason Elephant Park sanctuary, to make sure its ethical and the elephants are being looked after properly. Everything online seemed fine, and so I visited this place first hand. Although I had a hell of an experience washing and feeding an elephant, something just doesn’t really seem right. Don’t get me wrong, my ultimate dream came true (see below), and the elephants seemed happy there! But still, perhaps the idea behind the whole thing… I don’t know.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace
If you have done any research whatsoever on Bali, you definitely must have come across the ever so famous rice terraces. There’s numerous rice terraces all along Ubud, but the most famous one is Tegallalang. It’s quite big in size, and the views are spectacular. It can get a little hot whilst exploring the area, so take a hat and wear comfortable clothes. There’s also a swing and bird’s nests available for pictures, but I wasn’t a big of a fan on that specific swing, and so continued my adventure to find my personal favourite, Bali Swing.
Bali Swing & Birds’ Nest:
There’s a lot of swings and birds nests all around Ubud, so choosing one shouldn’t be that difficult. I chose ‘Bali Swing’ since it overlooked the river and had a really pretty bird’s nest. You do pay an amount to enter though, but on the bright side, the ticket accounts for a free drink all the way down to the river. Be cautious, the walk down to the café is a steep and long one.
Dinner: Sayan House
Ok let me just say that the ‘Sayan House‘ is hands down one of the tastiest places I have ever visited, and I have visited my fair share of restaurants. The dishes are Latin/Asian inspired, with the yummiest tacos I’ve had in like, ever. Although not as cheap as other places, it is definitely worth the extra bucks. Do plan ahead as it might be harder to find a reservation here, and do try the “Los de Langosta” tacos please.
Day 6: Ubud
So here’s the deal. I’m obsessed with waterfalls, and have thus included another one in my itinerary. Although you may not be as big of a fan as I am, both of these waterfalls, and especially Tukad Cepung are absolutely stunning. The plan follows visiting other popular places you see online, such as the “Gates of Heaven” and the famous KOI fish Tirta Gangga water palace. Although these places are in fact beautiful, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit like a victim of social media, where places seem much prettier online than they do, well, offline.
I fell in love with this waterfall. First of all, you walk 15 minutes to get there, and once you reach the area, you need to climb down a flight of stairs, walk though the “jungle” in water, pass through rocks and then you get to see this beauty. The experience of getting there is so fun, and the waterfall itself is just so pretty! We went there relatively early, and there was still a few people there before us, so once again, do make this your first stop if you can.
Tirta Gangga Water Palace
This water palace used to be the King of Karangasem’s home, and he himself designed and helped with its construction. It is surrounded by lush gardens, pools and carved statues. The main water pond is the one you probably have seen online, with the KOI fish and the stones. It is in fact beautiful, but there’s not a lot to it.
Pura Lempuyang a.k.a. Gates of Heaven
Ok here’s the deal with this place. Although I did not get the change to see the temple as I wasn’t planning on praying hence my entering it was restricted, I can only guess its beauty. However, the majority of people solely visit just for the “Gates of Heaven” picture. Literally, there’s nothing else to see. I completely felt like a victim of SM, thinking that there was much more to the temple than what I saw on IG. In the end, it really is just two gates sprung in the air, and if you stand correctly, you’ll have a view of the mountain behind you. But this comes at a price. Due to its popularity, a crazy amount of tourists wait almost three hours in line to take a picture. A picture taken by a “professional” who takes 4 shots of you on your phone. Thanks but no thanks.
This Michelin star restaurant deserves its star so freaking much! There’s two choices of tasting menus to choose from, and all dishes are made with the freshest and seasonal ingredients made by the best chefs. The service is out of this world polite, and although considered as a tasting menu, that definitely won’t leave you feeling hungry. However, it is relatively pricey, but hey, it comes with its status. Consider booking Locavore way in advance and perhaps on a special occasion. Don’t forget to let them know too!
Here’s a bonus! If you’re a sweet tooth like me, there’s this amazing place called “Room4Dessert” which literally only serves desserts made by a Michelin starred chef. Plan your day accordingly as this place doesn’t stay upon until the wee hours of the day, unfortunately.
Day 7: Luxury
Considering that the past few days were a little hectic, we wanted to devote a day to relax and enjoy Ubud. I wanted to spend a special day (my birthday) in a hotel that I’ve dreamt of staying. The Hanging Gardens of Bali, located in the deep heart of the jungle. The views are just out of this world, and the service is even outer of this world (lol). It is expensive, and if you’re not on a special occasion in Bali, this might not even be worth the stay but you can still visit this hotel for the day. There’s three options to choose from, and a bonus is that their restaurant is actually very good. If you want to splurge then this place is the place for you. If not, here are other cheaper options on hotels visits for the day!
Day 8: Nusa Penida
Being in Bali, I felt like I had to pop on over to Nusa Penida to see what the fuss was about. Just a quick 45 min boat ride there, I wanted to see the spectacular views first hand. If you’re thinking about visiting Nusa Penida, read my other blog post coming soon on whether it’s worth it or not.
Angel Billabong + Broken beach:
These two areas are right next to each other so you walk to one another. Angel Billabong is very beautiful, with almost teal colours filling the natural pool. If you’re lucky and it’s a low tide day, you can even get a chance to swim in the pool. However, if it’s a high-tide day, watching the waves crash onto the rocks and creating a huge splash is also pretty beautiful to look at.
Broken beach is just a stones throw away, and you get to see spectacular views of natural rock formation, and a secluded beach that almost looks too tempting to just jump – but don’t, you’ll die. We were very lucky as we were relatively late to the party and had the whole area to ourselves!
Kellingling Cliff Point:
Probably the most famous area in Nusa Penida, and understandably why is Kellingling beach. This T-Rex looking view point is just breathtaking, and if you’re looking to splash around on the beach, go early as you’ll need some time getting all the way down, relaxing and then having the energy to get all the way up again.
Day 9: Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida does not end here. There’s a few other things travellers put on their Nusa Penida bucket list such as Crystal bay beach, Raja Lima, the famous Tree house at Bukit Montereng and finally Atuh beach. Although all of these places look stunning, I decided to just sit this out and enjoy my last day in Indonesia with kicking it back and enjoying the sun. However, as I may not have the pictures to show you, I’ll still give you an insight on what each place is.
Crystal bay beach:
This beach is mainly famous for its diving and snorkelling sites, hence the name crystal “clear”. If you’re looking to explore the underworld a.k.a. the fishes, this is a great place. The beach is pretty okay too if you’re looking to kick back and get your tanning session on.
This tourist attraction speaks for itself. The natural rock formations in the blue ocean look like small islands surrounding the area, which in my book, make it a perfect opportunity for some stunning landscape photos.
Apparently this hill resembles the Teletubbies Hill from the show. Although it actually does, do make sure that the grass is thriving and not cropped to ensure you won’t waste the trip there.
This was probably the one place I felt bad about missing out, since it’s a long beach with really beautiful views. Although you need some caution while going down this beach it is considered as one of the prettiest ones on Nusa Penida.
The story with this treehouse is that it actually became famous through Instagram. In real life, you can actually rent it and stay in through Airbnb, but be cautious because you’ll probably get an influx of tourists climbing up and down the stairs just to take that IG gold content!
P.S.: You can choose to visit Nusa Penida solo travel style or you can reach out to a tour agency to help you out with getting the most out of every place. I personally chose to go with a tour guide as they definitely knew more than I did and felt very thankful I made that choice. For more information, please click here.
P.P.S.:In addition, we stayed at Pandawa beach Resort and Spa Luxury, a very affordable and clean place to stay in to spend the night.
Day 10: Back home
On this day, we headed back to Bali and then back home. However, there were a few things that I wish I did on my trip, and have decided to include them here in case you have some extra time or extra days to do them.
1. Ubud raftings:
There wasn’t one person on my trip who hasn’t mentioned how fun and memorable their rafting experience was. I personally don’t like rafting due to a bad experience, but everyone said that it was on the top highlights of their trip. Here are a few options on how to book!
2. Tegenungan waterfall:
This waterfall is situated on the Southern part of Bali. It looks like a beautiful waterfall, however, due to it’s location, it was kind of harder for us to plan our whole trip just to make it to this waterfall. Although, I’d love to have my own “Hakuna Matata” moment on that log.
3. Tirta Empul Temple:
This is my number one regret! This Holy Water Temple attracts thousands of worshipers for over a thousand years to its curative springs. You get to see worshipers as well as tourists bathing in the blessed waters.
That’s a wrap folks! I hope you enjoy my very long 10 day Bali itinerary, and I hope it helps you with planning your next trip there. Feel free to check out my other Asia blog posts!