Bali, Indonesia, is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Asia among Filipino travelers. With its breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture, and affordable prices, Bali has become a popular choice for Filipinos and solo travelers alike. In my case, Bali has been part of my list ever since; and since I’ve always been fascinated by living or staying on an island; Bali is definitely on my bucket list!
Thus, I decided to travel solo to Bali to celebrate my birthday! I didn’t really prepare for anything; I had no itinerary until I decided to get a package tour and hire a tour guide. I wanted to make it spontaneous since I just really wanted to chill and relax while celebrating my birthday. Nevertheless, I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn more about Bali after staying for one week.
From things to do to must-visit attractions, here’s an ultimate travel guide to Bali; providing you with all the essential information you need to know before jetting off to this island paradise.
Table of Contents
Understanding Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia, is an enchanting island located in the Indonesian archipelago and is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It offers a diverse range of experiences, from stunning beaches and lush landscapes to vibrant culture and spiritual charm.
Furthermore, Bali is a beautiful island known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and spiritual charm. Here’s a well-rounded itinerary that combines adventure, relaxation, culture, and exploration.
- Geography: Bali is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands and lies between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. The island is characterized by its volcanic mountains, terraced rice paddies, and beautiful coastline.
- Culture: Balinese culture is deeply rooted in Hindu traditions, and you’ll find numerous temples, shrines, and ceremonies throughout the island. The locals are known for their warm hospitality and artistic talents, including traditional dance, music, and crafts.
- Capital: Denpasar is the capital city of Bali and serves as the main gateway to the island, as it is home to Ngurah Rai International Airport.
- Language: The official language of Bali is Indonesian. However, Balinese and English are also widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
- Currency: The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). It is recommended to carry some cash, but credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments.
Getting Around Bali
Bali has a well-developed transportation system. Taxis, ride-sharing services (such as Grab and GoJek), and motorcycle rentals are common in tourist areas. Thus, it is very convenient to get around Bali, Indonesia.
Where to stay in Bali?
There are a lot of options to stay in Bali, depending on which area you’re staying at. In my case, I stayed in the Canggu area, Ubud, and Kuta (nearby the airport). Here are the accommodations I stayed in that I highly recommend.
- The Hostel Canggu
- Amatara Royal Ganesha
- Cara Cara Inn
Must-visit Tourist Attractions in Bali
If you’re traveling to Bali, Indonesia, for the first time, here are the most common places to visit the country.
- The Edge Bali (General Admission: 400K IDR): The Edge Bali or The Edge Eighty One is a day club that features a breathtaking glass-bottom sky pool overhanging the ocean, along with a sunbed area and an enclosed bar. The menu offers classic beachside food, which you can enjoy amongst the swaying palm trees and the ambiance. Take note that the admission fee is consumable for food!
- Melasti Beach (Donation: 15K IDR): a beautiful beach located at the foot of a high cliff. Its unspoiled blue sea makes this beach one of the best in the Ungasan region.
- Starbucks Dewata: Dewata Coffee Sanctuary is built to create something that provides more than just a store; it is an experience to remember, a destination that makes you learn and look at coffee differently. On one side, an iconic coffee shop; on the other, an oasis for those who love coffee and are interested in learning.
- W Hotel Bamboo Entrance: an entrance to a hotel that looks like a tunnel made from bamboo.
- Uluwatu Temple: renowned for its traditional Balinese performances, including the Kecak dance, which is performed daily at sunset. The Kecak dance is a mesmerizing spectacle of dance and music, featuring a group of men chanting and moving in unison.
- Ulun Danu Temple: Lies above Beratan Lake, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is both a famous picturesque landmark and a significant temple complex on the western side of Beratan Lake in Bedugul, central Bali. Entrance Fee: 75K
- Handara Gate Bali: Handara Gate is actually the entrance to a golf resort. The traditional Hindu gate symbolizes the entrance from the outer world to the temple, or in this case, the golf course, and plays an important role in Indonesian culture, particularly in Bali. Entrance Fee: 50K
- Wanagiri Hidden Hill: the Instagrammable spot for standstill swings, bird nests, and cocoon nests with twin lakes and hills as a backdrop Entrance Fee: 100K
- Other places to visit (Chocolate Factory)
- Batik, Yanyan Silver, and Batuan Temple: Experience and see how jewelry is made and visit the famous community temple of Batuan Ubud. Entrance Fee: 20K
- Coffee Plantation & Bali Swing: Known by the popular name Bali Agrotourism, this is a place to see various tropical plantations such as coffee robusta, Balinese snake fruit (salak), cacao, etc. Learn how to make Balinese coffee and see the civet cat, the most expensive coffee maker, also known as Luwak. Swing Fee: 200K
- Elephant Sanctuary Bali Zoo: The Elephant Sanctuary Bali is the only dedicated elephant rescue park in Ubud, Bali. Entrance Fee: 390K
- Tirta Empul Holy Spring Temple: is a Hindu Balinese Water Temple that consists of a pertiraan, or bathing structure, famous for its holy spring water, which Balinese Hindus go to for ritual purification. Entrance Fee: 50K
- Tegalalang Rice Terraces: This popular tourist attraction in Ubud is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the stunning beauty of Bali’s agricultural landscape in the form of terraced rice fields.
- Heaven Gate Temple: This is the famous sacred Lempuyang Temple with the water reflection photography trick. Locally known as Pura Luhur Lempuyang, it is one of Bali’s oldest and most highly regarded temples. It is also believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island, and the six holiest places in Bali. Entrance Fee: 100K
- Maha Kencana (pay donation): a pond with a swing and lotus with Mt. Agung as a backdrop.
- Tirta Gangga, Royal Heritage of Karangasem: is a beautiful recreational garden in East Bali.
- Candidasa Temple (pay donation): a magnificent Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess of fertility and rain.
- Flamingo Beach Club: This restaurant and beach club serves a flavorful menu of Asian fusion cuisine with a special emphasis on local ingredients and freshly caught seafood.
- Kelingking Beach
- Paluang Cliff
- Broken Beach
- Angel Billabong
- Crystal Bay
- Atuh Beach
- Diamond Beach
- Thousand Island
- Tree House
Things to Do in Bali
Visit the beaches and go surfing.
Bali is renowned for its beautiful beaches, each offering something unique. You may visit some popular beach areas, including Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, and Nusa Dua. Whether you’re a surfer, sunbather, or beach explorer, Bali has a beach for everyone.
Try Balinese cuisine.
If you’re in Bali, trying out some of their local dishes shouldn’t be missed! Some Balinese dishes that are a must-try are Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Mie Goreng (fried noodles), and Babi Guling (suckling pig), which are popular choices.
During my stay, I tried most of their local cuisines, and I definitely fell in love with their local dishes! I literally splurged on food while I was in Bali. I must say, this is one of my favorite things I did on the island! Haha!
Try out some thrilling activities.
Bali offers a wide range of adventure activities, including surfing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and white-water rafting. The island’s diverse landscapes provide an excellent backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go surfing or diving, which means, it’s another reason to go back to Bali, right?
See the Rice Terraces in Ubud.
The iconic rice terraces of Bali, such as the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud, are not only a stunning sight but also showcase the traditional agricultural practices of the island.
Definitely one of my bucket lists! I could say that visiting and staying in Ubud was the highlight of my Bali trip. I wish I stayed longer in this area.
Visit Temples and Spiritual sites.
Bali is dotted with countless temples, each with its own unique architecture and significance. Some must-visit temples include Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot Temple, and Besakih Temple.
If you’re into shopping, you’ll definitely love Bali. With a wide array of markets, boutiques, and art galleries, you shouldn’t miss exploring the local markets for souvenirs, handicrafts, and traditional Balinese artwork.
Experience the nightlife.
Bali offers a vibrant nightlife scene, especially in areas like Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu. You’ll find beach clubs, bars, and live music venues to enjoy the evenings.
Go to a spa.
If you’re into wellness and spas, you’ll get to try various traditional and holistic treatments in Bali, Indonesia.
8D7N Bali Itinerary
Take note that I didn’t get to visit some of the iconic and popular tourist spots because I just really wanted to chill all throughout my journey. To give you an idea, here’s my sample Bali itinerary for 8 days and 7 nights!
Day 1: Arrival in Bali
- Arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar.
- Seminyak Beach
- Motel Mexicola
- Penglipuran Bamboo Forest
- The Edge Bali
- Uluwatu Temple
Day 2: Explore Bedugul
- Ulun Danu Temple
- Handara Gate Bali
- Wanagiri Hidden Hill
- Coffee Plantation
- Chocolate Factory
- Monkey Forest
- Atlas Beach Club
- Eden Hookah Club
Day 3: Free Day / Canggu Area
- Miel Coffee Shop
- Secret Spot
- Moana Restaurant
- Love Anchor (Bazaar)
Day 4: Free Day / Canggu Area
- Canggu Beach
Day 5: Ubud Tour
- Batik, Yanyan Silver, and Batuan Temple
- Tellegagang Rice Terraces
- Tirta Empul Holy Spring Temple
Day 6: Free day
- Stay at the resort
- Campuhan Ridge Walk
- Cafe hopping
Day 7: Nusa Penida (Day Tour)
- Kelingking Beach
- Paluang Cliff
- Thousand Island
- Tree House
Day 8: Back to Manila
- Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for departure.
Essential Travel Tips & Reminders
- Balinese culture is deeply rooted in Hinduism, and you’ll find many temples, shrines, and ceremonies throughout the island. Make sure to respect local customs and dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
- Bali is a tropical island, and it is as hot as the Philippines (I even felt like it was even hotter and more humid in Bali), so make sure to take sunscreen with you.
- Be cautious with your belongings and in crowded areas.
- I highly recommend withdrawing cash through an ATM since conversion is much higher than exchanging it at the money changer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best month to visit Bali?
Bali has a tropical climate with two main seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March). Thus, the best month to visit Bali is from April to October, as it offers sunny and pleasant weather.
Do I need a visa for Bali?
For Philippine passport holders, you can enter Bali without a visa. Filipinos can stay in Bali, Indonesia, visa-free for a maximum of 30 days.
Should I exchange money before visiting Bali?
You can exchange money upon arrival in Bali. But it is highly recommended to just withdraw your money through an ATM, as the conversion rate is much higher than exchanging it at the money changer. ATM fees are not high, so no worries!
Where can I buy a local SIM card?
You can purchase a local SIM card at the airport. But if you prefer not to purchase a local SIM card, you may also consider getting a global eSIM via Klook, especially if you are traveling abroad frequently.
Is it safe to visit Bali?
Definitely! It is safe to visit Bali, Indonesia, whether you’re a solo traveler or traveling with a group. But it’s still essential to take standard precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and being cautious in crowded areas.
How much budget do I need for my Bali trip?
It’s cheap to travel to Bali. If you’re traveling solo to Bali for a week, the ideal budget would be around $1000. Depending on which tours you’re availing, where you’re staying, and eating, this should be enough for a one-week Bali trip.
Traveling to Bali, Indonesia is definitely one for the books! It’s truly a dream come true to travel solo to this island paradise. Trust me, every single penny is worth spending on this island. I truly enjoyed hopping from one coffee shop to another, trying out some unfamiliar local dishes, seeing the wonders of the island, and having the opportunity to get connected with the locals! I felt like I could definitely live on this island for a long time. It’s super cheap, and I just love the simple vibe on this island.
Recommended Tour Guide
Whether you’re traveling solo or group, I highly recommend Kuya Ketut as your guide in Bali, Indonesia. He’ll take care of everything, from day 1 up to the last day of your trip! He’s very accommodating and friendly.
Planning a trip to Bali? Here’s the complete Bali travel guide, just for you!
A half-travel blogger in the Philippines (based in Cavite) and a half-K-pop enthusiast, Ara Patria (The Adventuress) pursues her passion and love for traveling. She’s been blogging for years, where she writes about her own travel experiences and promotes the wonders of the Philippines. Not only does she promote the beauty of her country, but she also focuses on promoting sustainable tourism. She dreams to travel the world and inspire other people through her own written works and captured moments with her camera.
The Adventuress is a travel blogger with a purpose. She aims to inspire other people through her personal experiences, stories, and lenses. Outside her blogging world, she is an English teacher, an SEO specialist, and TEFL/TESOL certified.
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