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Exploring Bali with a private guide

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Bali is so much more than just an extension of Australia like so many people believe. There is a lot of history and a lot of rich culture worthy of being explored. Although most of Indonesia is Muslim, Bali provides an exception and Hinduism is their practising belief; a religion reflected in Bali's beautiful temples and their daily offerings to the Gods. For more on my own personal experience in Bali, visit my blog: https://travelislifenz.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/2-days-in-bali-with-a-private-driver/

Good for
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

11 Places

10 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Saraswati Temple

Sacred & Religious Sites

SiDoi

Hotels

Bali Safest Driver

Cultural Tours, Water Sports, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips

Kuta

Destinations

Ubud

Destinations

Tirta Empul Temple

Sacred & Religious Sites

Uluwatu Temple

Sacred & Religious Sites

Kecak Fire & Trance Dance (Pura Dalem Taman Kaja)

Performances

Jatiluwih Green Land

Scenic Walking Areas, Farms, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

Ancient Ruins, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites

Tanah Lot Temple

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Sacred & Religious Sites

MzTaylor88's City Tips

  • Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Its amazing how dehydration can affect you even on overcast days. I learnt this the hard way and got very sick (vomiting) because I didn't drink enough water one day while in Bali.
  • Always pack a spare memory card and camera batteries when you go out on day trips. Bali is a beautiful place filled with so many beautiful things to see and do and it will surprise you how many photos you will end up taking!
  • Women, if you are on your period it is respectful to avoid entering any place of worship. The same goes with anyone who has an open wound or who is bleeding as this is a sign of impurity. This ruling may be something that we Westerners find hard to understand but please be respectful of the locals and their culture.
  • Most of the Balinese in more populated areas (i.e Kuta and Seminyak) have grown accustomed to Westerners and their way of life so many things that we do don't offend as much as they may have done once. In Bali it is traditional not to give or take using your left hand as historically this was the hand used to clean yourself after bathroom visits - a good tip to be aware of. Using BOTH hands to give or take is shown as a huge sign of respect so try and do this when you can.
  • Avoid over-the-top displays of public affection when visiting rural areas or religious sites. The Balinese are a lot more modest than Westerners and you want to be respectful to their culture. Bali is a lot more relaxed than many other areas in Asia however and holding hands as you walk down the streets of Kuta and Seminyak for example is of course, perfectly acceptable.
  • Women should always carry a scarf or sarong with them in their handbags as these come in handy when visiting temples, shrines and other religious sites. Most of these religious places will require you to cover your shoulders and as much of your upper arms as possible as a sign of respect. Legs often need to be covered as well. From time to time, men will need to cover up also although in these instances, 9 times out of 10 you will be able to hire spare sarongs/scarves from the temple for a small fee before you enter.
  • Always do your research when organising tours as many tour companies or tour booking companies will set out to take a little more money off you than necessary. I found Trip Advisor to be a great resource, allowing me to be sure that the company I was booking with was reputable; safe, honest and value for money.
  • Along with avoiding tap water, also be careful when ordering dishes where the food item might have been washed in tap water and left raw for you to eat i.e. salads, fruit and vegetables. Food in your hotel and in most restaurants should be fine but be careful all the same and avoid these foods when ordering from roadside stalls.
  • Don't drink the tap water as it will more than likely make you sick. Most hotels will provide bottled water for you to drink but alternatively, you can buy bottles of water in most stores throughout Bali (7-Elevens are my pick) for really cheap - just make sure the seal is still intact when you buy. Also be careful about drinking beverages with ice in them!
  • Overall, the Balinese people are friendly and helpful. It is a poor island though therefore pickpocketing can be common in tourist areas or in areas crowded with people i.e. the markets and beaches. Keep your valuables with you and in sight at all times.
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    Saraswati Temple
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    Saraswati Temple was built in the 19th century and it is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of Art and Learning. The grounds of this temple offer peace and serenity despite the busy street outside and it is a wonderful place to wander around in and to look at the beautiful buildings and the ponds with their pretty lotus pads. The temple itself has many intricate carvings which honor the Goddess.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Located in Ubud, about a 40 minute drive from Kuta
    • This temple has free admission
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 139 things to do in Ubud
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Water temple 18/07/2018
    • Beautiful twmple 17/07/2018
    • Saraswati Temple
    Address:
    Jl. Raya
    Ubud 80571
    Indonesia
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 18:00
  • Save
    SiDoi
    Hotels
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    The Sidoi hotel is a great budget-friendly accommodation choice, located in the heart of Kuta. The staff here are friendly and helpful and they take the time to remember you and to remember your name. The swimming pool is lovely and private and offers relief after a hot and busy day exploring Bali. The hotel has a restaurant onsite offering simple but cheap food (even by Bali standards).

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Ask for the corner room with the balcony on level one - I believe that it's larger than the other rooms
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 289 Bed and Breakfasts in Kuta
    • Nice pleasant stay 19/06/2018
    • Great Budget Accommodation 02/06/2018
    • SiDoi
    Address:
    Jalan Benesari
    Kuta 80361
    Indonesia
    Phone:
    011 62 361 756522
    Other:
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    Bali Safest Driver
    Cultural Tours, Water Sports, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    We found this company to be an excellent choice to arrange our 2 day private tour through Bali with. The response time from when we first emailed the request to when they confirmed their availability was within a couple of hours and we were able to schedule something for the very next day. The tour guide/driver was very friendly, spoke good English and was knowledgeable about all the places we visited. Dwija (or as we knew him, "Mad") was also very flexible and was happy to change things last minute if we so wished and/or weather dependant. For a private driver for 2 full days (at least 8 hours per day) it cost us $125 inclusive of petrol and most parking fees. Entry fees were additional but as these were mainly into temples, only an extra couple of dollars here and there is required. I thoroughly recommend this tour company.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Ask for the tour guide Dwija/Mad (pronounced Mada) - we found him to be an excellent choice in tour guide/driver
    • Set aside a little bit extra to tip your tour guide/driver if you can afford to. The tips are really appreciated and well deserved
    • Unless you're interested in the handicraft stores, make sure that you tell the guide/driver you're not interested in this sort of thing from the get go otherwise he will incorporate it in the tour.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 555 Outdoor Activities in Denpasar
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing service! 21/07/2018
    • Awesome Service 21/07/2018
    • Bali Safest Driver
    Address:
    Jl. Gunung Salak, Perum Pondok Tegal Indah Permai 1 No.12
    Denpasar 80117
    Indonesia
    Phone:
    +62 812-4637-4339
    Price range:
    US$2 - US$2
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
    Other:
  • Save
    Kuta
    Destinations
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    Kuta to me is the heart of Bali. It is a very busy place to be as it is a tourist hub but it's a great place to base yourself and to experience all aspects of Bali; the restaurants, the nightlife, the shopping and the beach. Most places within Kuta are in walking distance or are a cheap taxi fare away. There is also plenty of accommodation to choose from here.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • The beach isn't as nice to swim in as you would expect. When choosing a hotel, try and choose one with a swimming pool as you'll want to swim here more. Sidoi is an excellent hotel choice for those on a budget and the Legian 101 is a great choice for those who can afford a bit more luxury (I've stayed there before too).
    • Don't accept the first price given to you at the markets. A tip we learnt is to haggle until you get the item for about 70% less than the original offer - this is usually all it is worth
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Kuta
  • Save
    Ubud
    Destinations
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    Ubud is located about a 40 minute drive from Kuta. It is a lot quieter than the likes of Kuta and Seminyak and offers you a glimpse of the more rural side of Bali

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Hire a driver or do a day trip out to Ubud as it is well worth the visit
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Ubud
  • Save
    Tirta Empul Temple
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    People have been coming to this temple for over 1000 years to bathe in its holy waters. It is said that the temple was created in around 926 AD by the God known as Indra who is the king of the Gods and ruler of the heavens as well as God of thunder and rain. As Indra was also a symbol of courage and strength, people come to his temple for healing and spiritual merit.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This temple is certainly not as tranquil and as spiritual as the description suggests. Be prepared for large crowds
    • Sarongs/scarves can be hired here to wear within the temple's grounds
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 30 things to do in Tampaksiring
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Definitely must do/see 19/07/2018
    • Nice temple. Watch the cleansing process. 13/07/2018
    • Tirta Empul Temple
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:00 - 18:00
  • Save
    Uluwatu Temple
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    For me, the temple isn't all that much to write home about, it is the setting that captured my heart. The temple is situated on the edge of mighty cliffs that plunge into the depths of the Indian Ocean that then spreads out before you. A beautiful place to enjoy the sunrise or sunset and/or to watch the Kecak Dance that takes place each night nearby.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Beware of the monkeys! Make sure not to have any loose items on your body that can easily be stolen from these cheeky creatures i.e. cameras, sunglasses, bags and scarves.
    • Get to the temple in time for sunrise or sunset. The Kecak Dance takes place each evening at sunset and is well worth watching for about IDR 100,000 (NZD $10.50) per ticket.
    • This is where I suffered from intense dehydration/heat stroke. Make sure to bring a bottle of water with you if you plan on attending the Kecak Dance.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 32 things to do in Pecatu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Cheeky Monkeys!! 21/07/2018
    • An overcrowded temple arena on the cliff 20/07/2018
    • Uluwatu Temple
    Address:
    Jl. Raya Uluwatu
    Southern part of Bali
    Pecatu 80361
    Indonesia
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 18:00
  • Save
    Kecak Fire & Trance Dance (Pura Dalem Taman Kaja)
    Performances
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    The Kecak Dance is a fire dance that acts out the famous Hindu story of Ramayana, the immortal tale that teaches the values of ideology, devotion, duty, relationships, karma and dharma. It is best to know this before you go and see the dance for yourself as it is quite complicated and hard to understand the storyline at the time. The haunting chants and the bright whirls of colour along with the beauty of the sun as it sets behind you makes the Kecak Dance well worth your time and your money.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • This is where I suffered from intense dehydration/heat stroke. Make sure to bring a bottle of water with you
    • Bring your camera! This is definitely something you'll want to take photos of
    • Tickets to the Kecak Dance cost about IDR 100,000 (NZD $10.50) per person
    • Stay after the show to get photos with some of the performers
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 21 Concerts & Shows in Ubud
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • One of the things I cherish from Bali memories. 13/07/2018
    • Interesting 09/07/2018
    • Kecak Fire & Trance Dance (Pura Dalem Taman Kaja)
    Address:
    Jl. Sriwedari
    Taman Kaja Community
    Ubud 80571
    Indonesia
    Phone:
    +62 361 970508
    Hours:
    Wed
    19:30 - 21:30
    Sat
    19:30 - 21:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Jatiluwih Green Land
    Scenic Walking Areas, Farms, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are located about a 70 minute drive from Kuta Beach so you will definitely need to hire a car/driver for this one. The roads to the terraces are steep and windy (they are 700 meters above sea level after all!) But the views on arrival are incredibly rewarding; green and lush for as far as the eye can see. The air feels very still up here and the peace you feel makes the likes of Kuta and Seminyak seem so far away.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The roads to the terraces are steep and windy and can be quite harsh in the rainy season - make sure you drive carefully.
    • Tickets to the terraces are IDR 15,000 each (NZD $1.50) so have small change on you.
    • This spot is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site but visit them soon - developers have plans to fight for the land and build luxury accommodation on it.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 70 things to do in Tabanan
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Absolutely stunning heralds back to the Bali of old 21/07/2018
    • Visiting the biggest rice terraces in the world 20/07/2018
    • Jatiluwih Green Land
    Address:
    Jatiluwih Village
    Tabanan 82152
    Indonesia
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:00 - 19:00
  • Save
    Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
    Ancient Ruins, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    This beautiful Hindu temple is situated on the edge of the Beratan Lake and is actually made up of 4 smaller temples; Lingga Petak Temple built for the worship of the Siwa God (the 4 armed God who represents the source of all life), Penataran Pucak Mangu Temple to worship the Wisnu God (the half man, half bird God of life and peace), Terate Bang Temple to worship the Brahma God (the God with 4 arms, 4 heads and 4 faces that is the God of creation) and the Dalem Purwa Temple to worship the Danu Goddess (who in most simple forms is known as the mother Goddess but is also the Goddess of the lake).

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Just so that you're aware, the temple itself is actually located just off the shores of the Beratan Lake and is not accessible to tourists
    • Admission is IDR 30,000 (NZD $3) each
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 70 things to do in Tabanan
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • fabulous location even on an over cast day 21/07/2018
    • Beautiful scenery 20/07/2018
    • Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
    Address:
    Jl. Raya Candi Kuning
    Tabanan 82191
    Indonesia
    Phone:
    +62 368 2033050
    Other:
  • Save
    Tanah Lot Temple
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    MzTaylor88 Says:

    Tanah Lot is actually built on a rock formation just offshore into the sea and is thought to be the most photographed temple in Bali. Hindu priests will bless you on arrival and before you are allowed onto the rock formation. The temple itself (situated around the back) is inaccessible to tourists

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Visit at low tide so it is easier for you to walk across the shore to the base of the temple - it's a couple of meters out and could be hard to access at high tide
    • Being the most photographed temple in Bali means that Tanah Lot is always busy - be expectant of large crowds - it doesn't look as peaceful as it does in said photos!
    • A great place to visit at sunset
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Beraban
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Crowded but pretty 20/07/2018
    • Highly overrated 20/07/2018
    • Tanah Lot Temple
    Address:
    Jl. Raya Tanah Lot, Kawasan Pura Tanah Lot
    Desa Beraban, Kecamatan Kediri
    Beraban 82121
    Indonesia
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:00 - 20:00
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