12 days in Bali, initial report
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Nov 12, 2012 1:51 AM Last Post By: seta666
Oct 25, 2012 12:27 AM
12 days in Bali, initial reportWe have been in Bali for two weeks now (we will stay 45 day total), travelling with low but confortable budget (30€ day pp) and this is my initial report:
- We arrived in Bali airport at noon and took a taxi to Perama office in Kuta (the airport taxi charged us as if we were going to Legian 60.000 idr but I did not want to argue as hour bus to Padang bai was leaving in less than an hour).
We did not like what we saw from the airport to Kuta and the hour waiting for the bus to Padang bai (60.000 idr) is the only time we will expend in that area (south bali)
If you have to change cash use Kuta, outside Kuta exchange rates are not very good
- Padang bai is a nice little place were most foreigners only stop on the way to the gilis; we stayed in Pondok wisata parta 120.000 idr breakfast included for a fan room which was nice, the fan was a bit noisy so we could use the AC with no extra charge.
The dive center we used is a local one (Nusa Dua dive centre) which charged 60$ for 2 dives equipement included, this was way cheaper than what foreign managed dive centres charged. Equipement was good and the owner (Wayan) was an excellent guide
There is a cheaper local dive centre (Wisada) which charged 500.000 idr for 2 dives which should offer similar service, but we found out this one later. Next to the wisada dive centre is a local cafe (Padang bai cafe) which serves very nice fish meals reasonable priced.
We also liked a warung run by three women with very nice local food (I do not remember the name but has blue letters in white background), it is opposite from an IBN bank, maximum 2.000.000 idr from its ATM
So far food in Bali is more expensive than what I thougth (I guess Bali is not indonesia) but if you use local managed warungs you can have nice meals for 3-6€ for two people. Also we are traveling Through coastal and touristic (in a nice way)
areas, I guess foo in places like Ubud, Dempasar can be found cheaper.
- Then we went to Tirta gangga with taxi (130.000 idr), we stayed in Rijasa homestay for 125.000 idr which has nice bungalow like rooms with balcony facing a nice garden, it gwould be a grate place but my girlfriend got bitten by lots of bed bugs, first we thougt it was mosquitos. The place was clean and other people was just fine,
The water palace is just a couple of pools than in case you do not want top swim will get you bored in less than 10 min
The only real reason to stay in toirta gangga is for hikking, we went to Kusambe hill which has very nice views over rice fields, an easy walk (3h return) and you need no guide
We wanted to go to Pura lemboyan but I twisted my ankle few days before and I was not in good shape to climb so many steps
- After two days we went to Jemeluk (Amed) with Bemo (10.000 idr to Culik and 5.000 to Jemeluk); we are staying in a bungalow calle Gallan Kagin for 150.000 idr incluiding breakfast and it is one of the best value rooms I had in all my trips. Very nice room with confortable bed and pillows (25 sq mt) with balcony with sofa (12 sq mt) and clean bathroom ( 10 sq mt). it is in a very nice and well maintaned garden
The beach is very nice with very good snorkeling, nice corals with good visibility and lots of fish. Instead of sand tyou have small round stones that range from very coarse sand to egg size stones. it is not as photogenic as a white sand beach but in my opinion is way better; you do not end up with sand everywhere (you can use you camera or phone without getting sand in delicate parts) There are lots of restaurants (each guesthouse has its own) and lots of local warungs
I liked one called "warung family" were we had the best fish nasi goreng so far; there is anotherr one pretty nice just before Eco dive; also right after Eco dive you have a small alley with many homestays whith double rooms under 100.000 idr
Yesterday we rented a scooter (50.000 idr incluiding 2l petrol) and went snorkeling along Amed coast (Japanese wreck is nice if you have never seen a wreck); also if you get one of the roads inland you my find along the way you will see rice fields and local villages with no tourists. Driving in Amed is easy, low traffic and road is OK (But narrow and with hills, that make very nice viewpoints)
When we got to Jemeluk is when we definetly said we would not go to the gilis; we saw more foreigner in the fastboat pier in Padang bai than staying in Padang bai, Tirta Gangga and Jemeluk together. I guess the gilis complement pretty well a stay in Kuta
- After tomorrow we will start diving in Amed/Tulamben with Dive concepts; 1.300.000 idr for 7 dives plus one free with an easy found flyer(equipement included), this is about 13€ per dive
So far we are expending around 35€ a day for the two of us (Exc diving) including Indonesian Visa and taxi from/to Bangkok airport (We stayed two day in bankok before flying to Bali, we will return thailand the 28th of Nov and stay there 3 weeks)
We decided not to drink/party on this trip (Europe is better for partying than anywere in asia) and try to eat local food instead of western stuff (English breakfast, pizza, burgers)
In my opinion is easy to travel in Bali for 25€ a day for two people if some "luxuries" qare avoided like taxis, private bathroom, milk shakes, alcohol, etc..
We are travelling with our own snorkeling gear, it can save quite a lot of costs if you plan to do lots of snorkeling; also some kind of rubber shoes are nice as some coral is shallow, also you will find rocks instead of sand and as anywhere in asia you may find a glass bottle or whatever (I remember cutting myself with a bottle in Koh Tao years ago)
Sun screen, after sun etc is pretty expensive in small local shops (around 150.000, some local brands cheaper); either buy it in Kuta or bring it from home
We are quite liking Bali and we find it less touristic and less western compared to Thailand; I will keep uploading this post as we move on.
Some costs in idr:
small wasing up powder bag 2.000
Food at "touristy" warungs (English menu/English spoken)
Nasi goreng 15-20.000
Nasi Campur 10-20.000
Gado-Gado with tofu/tempeh 15-25.000
Fish meal 30-40.000
Small water 3.000
Large water 5.000
Fruit lassy 10.000
Tobaco (Price is show on a stamp but normally you are charged more)
Pall Mall 8-10.000
Mangostan in water palace 10.000 4 pieces
Mangostan local shop 10.000 1 kilo 16 mangostan
Magnum like 7-13.000
1l in local shop 5.000
Chicado (Lays like)
Local chips in transparent bags, also beetroot, banana, etc
Small chocolate/caramel bar 1.000
small bitang 15-20.000
Large bitanmg 25-30.000
Hope it helps
Oct 25, 2012 1:12 AM
Oct 25, 2012 3:16 AM
2it looks like we're on similar paths! we sayed in Padangbai, went on to jemeluk and tulamben, and now we're renewing our visas in Lombok!
we're also heading to Thailand in a few weeks. did you notice that there is a lantern festival in Chiang Mai on the 28th? I would not want to miss it...
let us know if you fall in love with any other snorkeling beaches, we're snorkel fiends!
our budget is $50 per day for both of us, including hotel, food, transportation and diving!! so far we're making it work, but there were a few days we chose Ramen in order to stay near the good corals.
thanks for the report!
Oct 25, 2012 5:14 PM
3The Gilis are nothing like south Bali or Kuta, not even remotely similar. The vast majority of the people you saw on the fast boats would be going to Gili T which is still very busy at the moment. Gili Air and Gili Meno are much quieter and the diving and snorkelling is quite nice. I think you missed out there.
For cheaper meals you can also seek out local food. The places locals eat,not the places catering to tourists. You will find them tucked away in side streets sometimes with a little pile of food displayed at the front. Also ask for nasi warung local. You will more than halve your food spending if you want to.
Oct 25, 2012 5:28 PM
4Excellent, detailed report. Thanks for taking the time posting it. I will be staying in Padangbai next time round instead of just passing through. Enjoy the rest of your travels
Oct 26, 2012 1:36 AM
5fantastic, thanks for taking the time.....we are headed to Padang Bai soon so this info is very helpful !! Enjoy the rest of your travels
Oct 26, 2012 2:42 AM
6@jimenitayo Thanks for the info; I did not know!! We arrive in Chiang Mai on the 28th Nov at 9PM; maybe too late
@FreoGirl I met people telling me that they are nice and some telling me the opposite; also all divers I met told me diving in the Gilis is nont worth it; corals are in bad shape due to dinamite fishing and very few large fish. Also no sharks as they still do shark finning. Jemeluk is as good as I need (even better) so I will not bother with the Gilis. We did it in some local place in Padang bai, but we do not speak balinesh and many locals do not speak english so is difficult to get anything other than nasi campur/goreng. I find the tourist oriented but localy managed warungs to be very good value with very good food at. Things that really add up costs are more the Lassis, milkshakes, beer etc
Today we dived at Tulanben in the USAT Liberty wreck; an amaizing dive site, one of the best I have been too.
We did it with dive concepts and the 9 dive package is 1.9 million rupias and includes an extra fun dive (so 10 in total); this is hard to beat at under 14€ per dive incluiding equipment.
Tomorrow we will do a couple of fun dives in Amed with them and day after we will move to their resort and stay there 3-4 day diving
Oct 26, 2012 10:48 AM
7Excellent post! I'm flying in with my family on the 29th and have no idea what to expect. Some people love Kuta others hate it. We'll be going there though since we'll only be staying for 2 nights. Has it been raining? Would you know how to arrange for beginner surf lessons in Kuta without paying too much? I've been warned several times that tourist prices are sky high if you don't know how to bargain. Any tips would be great.
Thanks again :)
Oct 26, 2012 4:19 PM
8Well, travelling with family is another business. I guess kids will love kuta but what I saw was few kilometers of shops, australians with no t-shirt wearing vietnamise-like hats. I think is somekind of benidorm in Spain.
Also I have no idea about surf, but then Kuta makes sense; if you do not like Kuta there are quiter areas in Bukit peninsula. Diving costs vary a lot from one shop to the other; the fancier the shop the more expenssive tends to be (and it does not mean you will have better experience). With surf I guess is the same, shop around and ask in some local managed ones.
It has not rain one day since we are here, maybe in the interior mountains but not where we have been.
About tulamben some corrections; the 9 fun dive ( + 1 free) package is 1.6 million rupias (around 130€)
Lonely planet say that Gili Trawagan has one of the few free diving schools in Asia; well, in Jemeluk there is a diving centre which also offer free diving lessons
Oct 28, 2012 3:09 AM
9This is a great post - thanks! We are travelling to Bali and Lombok for a month.. leaving in a few days. It was useful to see the accommodation you recommended. Did you find it easy to find places for these prices? Places I have looked at online seem pretty expensive but I guess I can only see the places that have a website. Will you be updating us on the next part of your trip?!
Oct 28, 2012 10:39 PM
10@seta666, I was really responding more to your comment "I guess the gilis complement pretty well a stay in Kuta ", which is really well off the mark. I agree that the diving is not spectacular on the Gilis, anywhere that has dozens of people trooping in and out of the water diving day after day is going to be not spectacular. Add to that the fact that a good deal of them are inexperienced divers, and the reef will be damaged. There has been no dynamiting on the Gili reefs for well over a decade. Most of the damage is from boats, inexperienced divers and wet season storms.
If you ever come back to Indonesia, do some research about the real dive spots on Lombok - there are pristine almost untouched dive areas that will blow you away. They are not part of the 3 famous "gilis", and some of them are only for experienced divers.
Thanks for your JBR
Oct 29, 2012 4:10 AM
11@Jen_a_g It has been very easy to find accomodation on that range (100/150.000 idr) and even lower (we where offered 80.000 double room with bathroom in Jemeluk) but the 150.000 one was very good value. We have not booked on advance anywhere; I guess online prices are more a wish than a realistic aproach, at least in some places.
@Freogirl The only torist crowds we have seen have been in Kuta and heading to the gilis, I do not doubt they might be a nice place but I feel we came already late. Jemeluk offered me everything I needed from a beach location with very nice corals and good diving; at least to us there is no reason to go to the Gilis. In case we get boired in munduk/Ubud we will go to Gili Meno we will have to see.
I know there is some good diving in south Lombok and also in Komodo; but they will have to wait for next time
We have finished outr diving in Tulamben/Amed area. Total dives 10 for 1.600.000 idr
Some extras for some dives like:
100.000 for night dive
250.000 for 2 dives for 2 people in Amed/Jemeluk area
25.000/dive for some dives close to tulamben
Even with these extras dive are still best value in Bali at under 16€ per dive equipment included
Room was 100.000 for a double which waqs OK; nothing special but good for a couple of days
Tulamben is just a diving getto on the way to North bali; not worth staying unless you are going to dive but if you are a diver the USAT Liberty wreck is one of the best dives we have done ever; night dive was simply espectacular.
Tomorrow we will move to Lovina and then to Permuteran for some more diving
Oct 29, 2012 5:02 AM
12Great - keep us updated! I have been reading a little about Lovina so will be interested to hear what you think. Have fun!
Oct 30, 2012 9:32 PM
We are finally in Lovina; from Tulamben we took the bus (no bemo) that goes from Amlapura to Gullimanuk (You just have to stop it); they ran every 1-2 hours and cost was 30.000 per person. It stops in Singaraja for 15min but you do not have to change bus.
Lovina is a touristic town with not so many tourists, lots of eateries, supermarkets, ATMs, pharmacies and bars but it is a laid down town.
Yesterday I did qa bit of snorkelling and is not really worth it (small patches of corals, can not compare to Padang bai or Amed/Jemeluk) but still OK for swiming
First we stayed in a cheap homestay but place was not very clean and fan a bit noisy; still for 75.000 breakfast included can suit some people (there are few 80.000 option in town too). We have moved a a newish place (2.5 years old) called Elsa II (next to Angsoka hotel). Bungalow rooms very nice, simillar to the one we had in Jemeluk; oficial rate is 150.000 breakfast included and free wifi but we will get it for 105.000 a night because we will stay 8 nights. EDIT At the end we have also left this place as the room was an oven, the toilet smelly and there was little natural light. Now we are at Manik sari bungalows wich look a bit older but have nice matress, pillows, lots of light and rooms are fresh; room 95.000 idr from oficial 150.000
The thing is that we have gone today Wednesday for the visa extension to the inmigration office in Pemaron (village just before singaraja) and we have to go back on Monday to pay and next thrusday to pick the passports up. Doing the Visa extension here is very easy, no many foreigners here and wwe have our own counter. Presenting the forms and waiting was less than 30 min. Bemo to Pemaron inmigration office is 5.000 idr from Kalibukbuk (center Lovina)
Food here is cheaper than in Jemeluk/Padang bai with lots of options and even a local nigh market were you can eat very cheap. In supermarkets you can buy cheap drinks, food, icecreams just like in thailand's 7 elevens
Most cafes/bars have happy our from 5 to 8 PM; large beer 20.000, fresh juice or soft drink 4.000
You will see many street foodstalls where you can read "bakso"; it is a very tasty soup with "meat" balls, one of th best dishes we have tried so far here in lovina 7-10.000 idr
We did not want to saty that long in Lovina but we will use this time to chill out and visit singaraja and other towns in the area. We will also try to get a propper driving licence in Singarajja
We could go diving to permuteran right away but we preffer to relax a few days; we will go when we pick up the passports and stay there diving for 5-6 days. Then we will expend the last 15 days between Munduk and Ubud
Nov 4, 2012 12:12 AM
14Good work seta666...your info sure helps with itinerary and budget planning. I will be doing a similar trip in April-May 2013.
I don't dive, but I'm a keen snorkeller, so I'm really looking forward to your report on Pemuteran and Menjangan Island. Hope you have a great time for the rest of your adventure :)
(4 star Hotel)
From US$99.42 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$64.10 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$55.21 per night