When we told people we were going to be in Bali for 7 days everyone said, “that’s so short!” To be honest, I get anxiety if I stay in a place too long. Despite my traveling, I’m a home body at heart so I don’t like being away from home too long if I can help it. Especially if it’s not a city destination. We did Italy for 10 days but we visited 4 cities so there was always something going on. There’s only so long I can relax with a nice view without getting anxiety. I guess it’s the hustler in me, but mommas got work to do!
If you’re like me and thinking of doing about a week in Bali, heres what we did. We tried to find a balance of exploring and relaxing. If you like longer than 1 week trips I suggest you also visit these areas in Bali: Seminyak, Uluwatu, and Canguu. Bali is very spread out so these areas are hours apart from each other.
If you’re coming from the US, the flight is LONG! And you WILL have a layover. From Los Angeles we had a layover in Australia. It was about a 15 hour flight to Australia and then a 6.5 hour flight to Bali. We had a 4 hour layover in between. It was crazy because we left Sunday and landed Tuesday because of the time difference. Basically we spent a whole day in the air. You might be thinking you don’t want a layover and prefer a super long flight but a) Not sure that exist and b) the layover is honesty necessary. It will feel good to take a break from the airplane and get some air, stretch your legs and eat non airplane food. I posted some tips on getting through a long flight HERE. These tips really helped us get through!
Money exchange is super easy. In Bali they use Indonesia Rupiah currency. If you have the US dollar or better yet Euro or Pound, your money goes a LOOOONG way there. You can exchange at your home airport, the Bali airport and you can even get money in Rupiah at the ATMS (be aware of your banks fees though for this). There are also money exchange places all over Bali but in my research I read you can get scammed so if you want to go locally I suggest going to a bank.
Like I said your money goes a long way if you’re exchanging US so I would calculate the exchange rate to see how much you want to bring in cash. Most places outside the hotel will only take cash so it’s best to have it on hand.
HOW TO GET AROUND:
The best way to get from place to place in Bali is to hire a driver. In my research it seemed like getting a taxi from the resorts can be tricky sometimes. Also once we got there I saw how secluded the resorts are so I can see why catching a cab can be tricky. If you are in Ubud, many of the hotels have shuttles that bring you to the city, some bring you back but some just drop you off. Once you’re in the center though there are cab stands.
We hired a driver. My friend Emily had gone before me and recommended her driver. We just contacted him before the trip via What’s app and scheduled all the days we needed a driver ahead of time. He was the best and got us to and from our hotels and all our activities. One day we wanted to leave to grab lunch and he even picked us up waited for us to eat lunch then came back to get us. This made getting around so much easier in Bali because honestly getting around was my least favorite part. The roads are narrow, windy, and the traffic can get really bad. Having a driver made our experience a lot better.
If you’re interested in using our driver send me an email: locksandtrinkets(at)gmail.com and I would be happy to share his contact!
You can also get around by renting a scooter. This is a good option if you’re staying locally but from city to city you will still need a driver. We opted out of the scooter option because they drive on the opposite side of the road in Bali and the traffic was nuts. Cars follow their own rules there and I was way too scared to try a scooter.
WHERE WE STAYED:
We stayed in three different hotels in Ubud. Honestly hopping hotels was our favorite part. I wish we could have stayed at more! All of them are so beautiful and unique. We stayed at Mandapa, A RitzCarlton Reserve (which I’ve posted review of HERE), Adiwana Arya Villas, and Samsara Ubud (review HERE).
Adiwana Arya Villas is a really cool resort where each room is it’s own private villa. The bathrooms are really cool because they are technically outside with a little roof over top to keep the rain out. The shower part was open though. Not going to lie, I was a little scared to use it at night but the most I saw were some tiny lizards and small spiders. You have to kind of be ok with nature and critters if you’re visiting Bali. I would recommend getting the room with the tub if you stay here. It also felt really nice to have our own front porch. It really felt like our little home.
They had a restaurant on the premises that closes til 10pm so if you don’t want to venture out every day this is a good option. There’s also a pool with open cabanas around. They is a spa and gym and they also give you a complimentary 30 minute welcome massage and breakfast is included. You have a butler that you can call on for any special request. The customer service was excellent.
WHAT WE DID:
This is the best rice field in Ubud. It is just as stunning in person as it is in photos. The best view to take a photo is right from the entrance. We learned that the hard way and hiked up and around the whole field, then is started raining. So if you’re not into the hike then I’ll tell you right now it’s not necessary. If you do hike there is a swing up top you can go on. But our driver directed us to what he said were better swings so not sure how great they are.
This was my favorite place we visited on the trip. I love monkeys and it was so amazing to be immersed in them. They were EVERYWHERE! I thought they would be more aggressive and jump on us but they pretty much left us alone. I could have watched them for hours, they were so entertaining. One of the workers there did advise me to take off my earrings (I had big shiny ones on), cause he said they could grab at them. So I wouldn’t wear anything super flashy there. It’s really big and once you walk in you can explore at your own free will.
This place was the best place we ate in Ubud, although that’s not saying much because we didn’t eat many places. BUT it was really good and the prices were great! We ordered like 8 meals and drinks and it totaled to about $45 USD! (We went a little overboard on ordering haha) If you eat like a normal person it would be even less. You have to take your shoes off when you enter and they give you a number and there is also a spa upstairs you can get services at if you want. Locals come here and work on their computers too. We really loved everything about it. It’s also on a main road so there are many shops you can visit afterwards in the area. I got some really cute silver rings to add to my collection.
Not going to lie, I came here strictly for the photo and didn’t realize its a 2KM hike! Make sure you follow the signs when you arrive because we went the wrong way at first and had to turn around. I recommend going super early in the morning so it’s not too hot. It was mid-day by the time we went and way too hot to hike the whole thing. We turned around after about 30 minutes. It was too hot and too long of a hike for us and we were in no way prepared. I suggest you be more prepared then we were if you go!
This temple is beautiful but there is not much to it. The temples weren’t really our thing so I don’t think we appreciated them like someone else would but if you’re into seeing temples in Bali (they’re are plenty) This one is one to visit!
This is another high tourist attraction. In Bali they make a special Luwak coffee made from the beans from the poop of Luwaks. When you go here they will walk you through the whole process of how they make the coffee and you can see some Luwaks. It’s free to enter but you have to pay if you want to try the coffee. They offer a free tea tasting though of 14 teas. Since I’m more of a tea then a coffee persion anyway this was perfect. I LOVED trying out the different teas.
There are also swings here that overlook the rice field. this is where I decided to swing. It was about $11 USD. They let you swing about 15 times. I forgot that swings make me a bit dizzy so I really didn’t feel that week afterwards. If swings make you feel weird I would maybe ask for a few less swings. It was after about the 10th swing I really started feeling it. It wasn’t scary to me but I opted for the regualr swing. They have one that is higher up.
This is also where the cool nest are located. They have nest and swings at multiple locations in Bali but I did like that these had the rice terrace view in the background.
We got up early to get to this waterfall when it was quiet. We got there aroun 8am and it was perfect! There were only a small handful of people there and it’s like we got the waterfall to ourselves. I have seen photos where it jammed packed with people so I would recommend going early. Its about a 100 steps down to the aterfall and on the way there is am ini waterfall off to the side. We stopped there first before going on to the big waterfall. I was so surpirsed by how powerful the waterfall was. Even from 10 ft away I could feel its power. It’s really amazing to see in person.
Things we wanted to do, didn’t get to do, or were recommended:
Dinner+ Show Laka Leke
Swing at d’Alas Warung Restaurant
There are spas all over Bali and they are SUPER affordable. We got 3 full treatments each one day for the cost of 1 treatment for 1 person in the U.S! If you are not staying at a hotel/resort with a spa, I recommend looking some up on Trip Advisor, there will also be some around as you explore around the city.