A simple holiday hack to Bali
I had a quick getaway to Bali last weekend. It was an announced plan, because I was kind of hesitating to go at first. Because, I went alone... I went alone, that's why. I meant to attend TEDxUbud last week (and I did!). I will spare you the detail in another post, because I have so much to tell!
So if you are looking for a pleasant short getaway to Bali. Follow my lead.
It is always good to book early! I booked mine a month before my departure. It costed me about 120 USD or RM 600++ for return ticket from KL to Denpasar, well I think it was okay, I travelled budget. It was pleasant night flight with AirAsia. Luckily, I got a chance to travel with their The Apprentice AirAsia livery. Yes, I am the follower of the show. I am rooting for Jonathan and Alexis, mmm... those two young men... okay, I am getting out of line.
You can choose your budget. There are always options to travel. I have flown Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia and Qatar Airways (via KL, connecting flight) before to Bali, and I could say that any flight to Bali has always been a pleasant air travel. Pick window seat so you get a chance to view amazing sea during take-off and landing!
main pic : ubud inn view
top corner : my ubud inn room
bottom corner : pop harris
... there are only few pictures I took, I do not like taking pictures
I spent 2 nights in Bali. One night in Denpasar and one night in Ubud. They were a nice stay.
I stayed in POP Harris Hotel Denpasar, my regular driver booked it for me. One night costs about 30 USD or Rp.328.000. It was a valued stay, economic and the amenities are complete. You will have towels, fresh linen bed sheets, hot and cold shower, free breakfast (not buffet but satisfying), soap and hair shampoo (it is a nice effort, but then I shopped for them again at the nearest convenience store) and complete cable channels (sue me, I haven't watch TV cable for a while, those Star World, E!, MTV, AXN I am so happy).
They budget hotel reminds me of Wink Hostel, I mention about them in my Singapore post. The hotel has this fresh, lively, AirAsia-type of look, yet very modern colorful and chic. A true resemblance of Asia's growing business industry (I can't believe I am writing this haha). A good stay for your family and friend. They have another branch in Kuta, but the Denpasar branch is pretty strategic. And if you are keen on drawing yourself from Kuta Hoo-Haa, Woop Woop, or whatever you call it, choose the Denpasar hotel. You can actually see Bali as your regular hometown. People riding motorbike in the morning, hawker food vendor in cart and many things.
The next night, I stay in Ubud Inn which is located in Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud. It is one-hour drive from Denpasar to Ubud. Monkey Forest is located in the heart of Ubud towncenter, so you have few options to stay and places to shop. Ubud is a very small town, it stretches from one end to another end. It is not hard to remember the road and you will definitely not lost. For a single female traveller, you do not have to worry about your safety, because Ubud men are just the gentle kind. You will never hear them calling you when you walk down the streets, not because you are unattractive, but because they are just that polite!
The rate per night is Rp.500.000 for Indonesian citizen. The room was extremely large for a single person to stay. I have one queen bed and one single bed, I wish I could bring few companies to stay. The room has a nice foyer overlook the swimming pool and the greenery. They offer breakfast of 3 set selections. The best thing about this inn or, any inn in Ubud basically, you will be risen up in the morning by sounds of birds, chickens, crickets... It is so lovely. It is just that they do not offer any amenities accept soap, I hope I can get two bottled water at least, because it gets very hot in Ubud in the afternoon!
What to do? : Shop and Cycle
In Denpasar, I did not do some much of wandering around. I have been to Bali before, but I only explore the commercial spot such as Kuta, Legian, beach clubs in Seminyak... Ubud is considered commercial but I think you have to stay a day in order to make it your own. Normally, domestic tourist would go to Ubud to try out "Bebek Bengil" or "Dirty Duck" which is a famous duck dish made in Ubud... which I did not try out that time and I ended up eating at a Nasi Padang restaurant... haha.....
You can shop in the morning at Ubud Market which has been nicely renovated. The price is relatively similar to local shop in and around Bali. I will share you a bargaining trick, well, this is going to be hard if you don't look local haha. Maybe some people have known or have not, so here.
Bargaining trick :
- Ask for initial price
- Ask for 50% - 70% discount (e.g : for a dress that cost about Rp. 175.000 , ask for Rp. 90.000)
- The seller, THEY MUST REFUSE YOU
- you just walk down the store, looking as if not interested....
-... wait for it....
-THEY WILL CALL YOU BACK AND GIVE YOUR BARGAINED PRICE!
Well, I tell you one does not shop one item in Bali, eventhough you are meant to travel alone. All I wanted are only few items, such as peace bracelet, and one single white clothing. But I ended up buying like two more unnecessary but pretty tops. Come early so sellers will give your morning price.
You should ride a bike to stroll down Ubud streets. You can walk but it is pretty exhausting, and it gets hot and it gets raining the next second. You do not want that. For those who haven't rode a bike for years, polish your cycling skill. I lost mine because I forgot how to ride a bike. So embarrassing.
There are no nightclubs in Ubud, that is what I like about it. No drunk tourist shouting on the streets. There are only bars and cafes. I went to Bettlenut next to Casa Luna at the towncenter. It is a nice spot to hang out. The TEDx crew spent the Saturday Night there.
I ended up the day by watching sunset in Kuta, which did not turn up, sadly. I got my vacation tattoo by the beach. Then flew home.... or work exactly.
Within 3 days and 2 night, I spent 120 USD for 2 night stays and driver's fee. 120 USD for the flight ticket and 50 USD for some shopping. You count how much I spend. You can definitely adjust my budget as your preference. But if I shall comment, it is a bit pricey for a 3-day activity, because I am not being selective in Ubud, because I was not that familiar to the area. But no worries, now Ubud town is in my hand hehe....
Have your own good getaway,