Bali was not what we expected – we were picturing beautiful beach town, somewhat Hawaii vibes, with calm quiet beaches. It was more of a city with tons of traffic and buildings crammed together… definitely would not recommend renting a car there.
We got picked up from the airport by the Devdan Show at Bali Nusa Dua Theatre. Because there was a gap between our flight landing and the show beginning, they brought us to a cute mall shopping area nearby (a block away from the show). The show went through the history and culture of the country via dance and song… honestly we all passed out from the 24 hours of traveling.
They also drove us to our hotel after the show. The bathroom was low-key outside in the jungle – completely enclosed from unwanted visitors, of course. We rented the two room villa with private pool. In hindsight, we should have stayed in the location called Ubud, because that’s where almost all of the sightseeing activities were and where most free shuttles from hotels to activities exist (more of a central location than Kerobokan).
Day #2 – we did a full day design your own tour of Bali. It was $60 for the whole day, the entire group included, but we did have to pay entrance fees on top of the $60. The guide spoke English and they essentially drove us around the city. They also only accept cash for entrance fees, as a heads up. We highly recommend our drive Raka +628123612524, who taught us much about the culture in Bali, and was super nice. You should wear a nice outfit on this day because we didn’t get dirty, and there were so many photo opportunities. We started off at the Bali Swings, which is made for tourists and Instagrammers – beautiful scenery and spots to take pictures. (If you pay extra, they have professional photographers available who can airdrop you the pictures from their cameras. Also, get here early to beat the crowds. More about that later).
Next stop was Monkey Forest – the monkeys there are PSYCHO – you are not allowed to touch, feed, or stare these monkeys in the eye. This is not a drill. The monkeys will most likely also climb on your head – the baby monkeys are adorable, but we also didn’t stay too long because we were also scared of most of the monkeys present (see picture below).
Then we went to Tegenungan Waterfall which had a nice little hike down, but nothing too strenuous. The Rice Fields came next, which also had its own Bali Swings, so if you don’t like big crowds, this would be a better place to get a photo – the swings here are also prettier, if that helps (we waited half an hour for the first set of swings at the beginning of the day). They also have other activities there, such as zip-lining. We didn’t each much this day, but you must bring your own kosher food as a general rule of thumb for Bali.
Day #3 – 1 a.m. pickup, so go to bed early the night before 🙂 If we would have stayed in Ubud, the pickup would have been at 3 am and wouldn’t have cost extra. We did a sunrise hike of the Batur Volcano. It was a difficult hike up (about 2.5 hours) but we were given flashlights… it’s pretty chilly once you get to the top, post hike, so bring a jacket and a blanket if you don’t mind carrying it up in a backpack. They sell blankets at the top if you have cash on you. The view is absolutely stunning, the guide was helpful and encouraging (his name is Ketut), and we would do it all again (from Ubud) if we went back.
They have little burners at the top, so we had brought marshmallows and skewers from America to roast with (our guides had no idea what marshmallows were!) – they also gave us free fruit. You also get to meet other tour groups along the way, which was a really nice experience. The hike back down was during the daylight, and the scenery was beautiful. Really steep as a heads up! The volcano is also active, so there’s ash and molten rock around that disintegrate under you as you walk – our sneakers got really dirty after that and we couldn’t really wear them the rest of the trip. They also take you to a coffee plantation after, but we opted out because we were exhausted, and had already visited a coffee plantation in Costa Rica #firstworldproblems.
We went back to the villa to rest up, and at night, we hit up… the Night Safari. It’s a pretty big deal in Bali (John Legend and his family had gone, among other celebrities). They also offer cool day time tours with other perks available, but we chose the Night Safari. They picked us up from our hotel, and gave us a tour of their zoo as the sun began to set. Then, they put you in a special caged truck, and you drive through the area of animals, where the animals climb over the truck. You’re given food to feed the animals through the caged truck. When you get back from this reverse zoo, they have a free non-kosher dinner buffet (we swiped some fruit), and also a fire dance show.
Day #4 – Snorkel Tour at Blue Lagoon. Their driver brought us to port where we could change into your own bathing suits; they give you the snorkel gear. They take you on their boat to two snorkeling spots – the first spot was nicer than the second spot, and definitely bring some sort of water camera, because those fish are cayuttte. We brought our own food for after the tour (they typically have a free restaurant meal, not kosher, so we gave it to our driver who was very appreciative). This tour brought us to a coffee and tea plantation, where we got to make our own tea, and learned about the tea making process. They gave us tasting samples as well. This was our last activity of our stay in Bali!
We hired a company to bring us to the airport (about an hour away). Just as a heads up – they take a picture of your for security purposes, which startled us at first. Our hotel was also great, because they let us stay keep our luggage even though we had already checked out, and they also gave us a private room to shower and chill in before our flight (let’s also not forget the free ac and wifi).