Bali continues to be the most popular tourist destination among Indonesia's more than 17,000 islands. Of course, there are many other tropical attractions, but this beautiful island is the favorite of millions of tourists each year.
Bali is a destination that offers something for everyone. A vacation on the island offers a diverse range of activities, including adventure and relaxation, socializing and spiritualism, breathtaking natural scenery, and lavish luxury lodgings. Here are some of the reasons why I'm considering Bali, Indonesia as my next destination.
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The endless number of beautiful beaches is undoubtedly one of the most obvious reasons for visiting this Indonesian island. Each beach has its own unique charm, from silky white sand and limestone rocks to intense water sports and diving. There's a beach for everyone, every need, and every mood, from the mainstream Kuta and upscale Nusa Dua neighborhoods to hidden, lonely beaches away from the people.
Kuta Beach: Undoubtedly, this is the most popular beach, located just outside Kuta city. This wasn't our favorite but is still a reasonably appealing beach with plenty of beach bars and space to relax and bathe.
Seminyak Beach: This more upscale beach is close to several fantastic clubs and restaurants, and it's a nice place to experience the beautiful sunset while sipping a beverage.
Canggu Beach: This is a popular area for surfers and those searching for a more laid-back beach experience. Although it is still considered up and coming, I believe it has passed that stage.
Temples and Museums in Bali
Many temples can be found all throughout Bali, which is why it's called the "Island of the Gods." Visiting them is one of the most amazing things to do in Bali on a tight budget. They are typically distinguished by magnificent architecture and picturesque surroundings, whether they are located by the sea or in the countryside. The areas surrounding these temples are wonderful for exploring and learning about Bali's history and culture.
Pura Tirta Empul Temple: This temple, also known as the water temple, features baths with sacred water where people bathe and receive blessings, and it is located in a beautiful countryside environment. The price will be 15,000 Rupiah (1 USD). But, yes, it costs one dollar!
Elephant Cave Temple / Goa Gajah: This is one of Bali's most famous temple complexes, and it's worth braving the crowds. It has a big open courtyard, a tiny cave, and bathing ponds from the 11th century. And, it also costs 15,000 Rupiah, which is equivalent to 1 USD.
Pura Taman Ayun: This is another excellent place, with lovely gardens and classic Balinese architecture to appreciate, that is always listed in "top 10 Bali temples" lists. I only need to spend 20,000 Rupiah (1.40 USD) for this.
Pura Taman Saraswati: This temple, also known as the lotus temple, is located in central Ubud and features a beautiful lotus-filled pond in front of the main gate and a tiny temple structure in the back. And, of course, we can go there for free.
Its ever-expanding range of fantastic lodgings matches Bali's natural attractions. From luxury resorts to budget hostels, developers go to great lengths to provide exceptional, well-equipped, and enjoyable places to stay. Private villas can also be hired for a discount. In addition, many resorts and hotels offer magnificent swimming and infinity pools, which are usually attractions in and of themselves.
Many of the private rooms with attached bathrooms are priced between $20 and $30 per night. They also include breakfast in the accommodation rate, so it'll be set for the day! You may expect to pay $10-$15 per night, similar to hostels. They also include a pool and a lounge area where I can meet new people.
Yummy Food and Drinks at Warungs
Small, local restaurants known as Warungs serve the best Indonesian and Balinese cuisine. These are frequently "hole in the wall" restaurants. However, the Warungs are fantastic since the environment is laid-back, the menu isn't overly extensive, and you'll meet some of the kindest hosts. In addition, the food in the Warungs is relatively inexpensive.
The nasi campur is a go-to dish at the Warung. Rice, small quantities of meat, eggs, peanuts, and fried fish make up Nasi Campur, an iconic Indonesian dish. It's a tasty, healthful, and simple dish. This dish costs between 25,000 Rupiah and 75,000 Rupiah ($1.80-$5.00) depending on the Warung. As a result, this lunch isn't going to break the bank. There is vegetarian nasi campur offered, which commonly includes tofu and tempeh (fermented soybeans).
The Currency Exchange Rate Between USD and Indonesian Rupiah
Here's the fun part if you are a US traveler like me because the Indonesian rupiah to US dollar exchange rate is so high, your whole vacation will have a surreal effect on your finances, making you think you're spending a lot of money in Bali while you're really just spending a little amount.
A $1 USD is worth 14,383 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) as of March 6th, 2022. That's great, right? But what can 14,383 IDR buy you?
Indonesian Meal and drink at Warung 25,000 - 75,000 IDR ($1.74 - $5.21 USD)
Resort Hotel stays start around 1,236,955 IDR per night ($86 USD)
4 Rolls of toilet paper 22,886 IDR ($1.59 USD)
1 Cocktail at a fancy club 101,824 IDR ($7.08 USD)
1 Beer local neighborhood 45,791 ($3.18 USD)
1 Coffee in ex-pat area 32,336 IDR ($2.25 USD)
No Transaction Fees While Using an ATM Card
In Bali, cash is widely used. If we use a credit card, we'll have to pay an additional 3-5 percent credit card fee. As a result, we can make frequent trips to the ATM to withdraw cash.
Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking Accounts are available to residents of the United States. When traveling, this is one of the most useful ATM cards. The main benefit of this debit card is that you can use it anywhere in the world and get the ATM transaction charge reimbursed at the end of each month. The fees add up when ATM fees range from $3 to $5 for every withdrawal.
Because Bali is a tiny island, getting around is simple. There are various modes of transportation to choose from, with alternatives to fit any budget.
Private Cabs: Hiring a private cab is the most reliable mode of transportation in Bali. It might cost as little as 430,000 Rupiah ($30) for five hours and as much as 516,00 Rupiah ($36) for eight hours. This is undoubtedly the greatest alternative for those who want to take in the scenery of the countryside. Pro-Tip: There'll be situations when you only need a one-way ride, in which case you should use applications like Uber or GrabTaxi, or take a local cab.
Rent a motorcycle: The public transportation system in Bali is poor. Because many of the island's attractions are dispersed, planning your route around the island is recommended. It's a beautiful alternative if we know how to ride a motorcycle. Traveling around the island on a motorcycle is less expensive. Depending on the type of motorcycle, daily rentals range from 60,000 Rupiah to 300,000 Rupiah ($4.00-$20.10). We may be able to rent a bike through the lodgings. Furthermore, we have complete control over the Bali itinerary and where we go. If there is traffic, we can zoom past the cars.
Book Tours on the Island
Usually, it's ideal to plan tours ahead of time, but Bali being as laid back as it is, there is no need to rush. So instead, Bali has tours going all the time, so it's easy enough to one a few days before the scheduled departure date.
One of our top activities, for example, is hiking Mount Batur at daybreak. While we could have pre-booked the tour online, it will be less expensive to go around Ubud's main area and inquire about prices at several tour operators. In addition, we can make inquiries at any of the little kiosks that are located throughout the area. The sunrise climbs on Mount Batur cost 300,000 - 400,000 Rupiah ($21-$28).
Activities to do in Bali
There are numerous tourist-oriented activities, ranging from snorkeling cruises and dolphin watching, to handicraft workshops and various walks. In general, I found that activities provided decent value for money; thus, they can all be regarded as terrific cheap things to do.
Cycling will save us the most money in terms of transportation. We can rent a bicycle and explore the island. We might be scared at first because of the hectic traffic, but we'll get used to it quickly, and it'll be fantastic. In addition, the costs are cheap; a day rental is roughly $3.
On my trip to Bali, activities will account for a large portion of my budget. The majority of activities are located in Nusa Dua and Ubud. Nusa Dua is the most popular for watersports, and Ubud is the best for rafting and the Mount Batur trip.
Sticking to Ubud
Many travelers visiting Bali spend their whole stay in Ubud, a laid-back village surrounded by vast rice paddies and old temples in the island's beautiful central core. This low-cost, tourist-friendly town is considered Bali's cultural center. From painters and sculptors to silversmiths, Ubud and its neighboring villages are home to various artisans. Ubud also features a plethora of low-cost cafes and guest homes in and around town, and most attractions, such as The Yoga Barn and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, are walkable, so visitors won't have to rely on cabs as much.
Let's enroll in a cooking class! I am a foodie who enjoys learning about Indonesian and Balinese cuisine as well as learning new cooking techniques along with recipes from a local chef. Cooking classes are great since we get to help with the prep work as well as make the food. We can customize the flavors because you're the cook for a few hours. The most enjoyable aspect of the course will be eating the food that I prepared.
While cooking is more costly than eating at a warung, it is a unique vacation experience. A 6-hour class will cost roughly 700,000 Rupiah ($48.00).
I'm looking forward to my trip to Bali and all that it has to offer. In addition, I can enjoy the activities and adventures that excite my interest because it is a budget-friendly destination. Due to these aspects, as well as the fact that Bali is an affordable holiday location, I know where my next trip will be taking me: Bali.
(Warning: all photography in this post is stock, I have not been to Bali yet.)