Travel resources

Here I share my favorite and useful travel resources which I use before or during my trips and while I’m living in Indonesia.

Travel resources guides

  • Lonely Planet – sometimes nice to have a paper guide to read it during travel, while drinking morning coffee. Pick one of a paper book or e-version for your next destination.
  • TripAdvisor– before adding any “to see/do/stay” object to my travel plan I check here what other travelers say about those places.
  • Wiki voyage – the free, worldwide travel guide. Valuable that every traveler can edit the newest information from their trips.
  • Bali survival guide – safety tips and everything you need to know before coming and staying in Bali
  • My travel stories, the advice in Asia – check reviews, tips as well.

Travel resources accommodation

  • Airbnb – 1st place which I check. I can know better local people & sometimes it’s cheaper than stay in hostels ;). Register – get FREE CREDITS for next booking! Want host travelers? Get back money when you will host 1st guest. Check my tips for using Airbnb.
  • Agoda – I find here the most selection for low-budget accommodation in Asia.
  • Booking – is one of those resources that I can find low-budget accommodation outside of Asia.
  • Hotelscombined – even if I found some good place with a good price, I always check once more here. Sometimes they have even better deals.
  • Couchsurfing – one of the most popular platform to search local hosts. But it’s not just free accommodation during your trip – it’s sharing and giving as well.

Cheap flights

  • Skyscanner – I love that I can choose “to” destination “flexible”. It helps me to find the cheapest destination from Europe to Asia (no matter Thailand, Malaysia or other, from there to go to Indonesia simpler).
  • Momondo – If my travel dates are flexible it’s great to see all the prices in the chart by dates and choose the cheapest date to fly.
  • Nusatrip – here I find sometimes cheapest flights inside Asia.
  • Tiket – one of the website that you can find as well cheapest flights tickets inside Asia. As well you can buy train tickets, rent a car, book the hotel in Indonesia.
  • Traveloka –  here you can find flights, hotels, trains tickets and much more.

Travel resources communities

  • Thorn Tree – many travel advice from local travelers and not only. I like that people most of the time give exhaustive answers to questions.
  • Couchsurfing – people not only host you but share their experiences, advice. Often organize meetings with travelers and local people.
  • FB groups – you can find many travel groups by different regions, traveling types and etc.

Travel resources programs

  • Darmasiswa scholarship – possibility to study about Indonesian culture, live here for 6-12 months. I was selected for this program.
  • Internship in Indonesia – another possibility to stay in Indonesia and share your academic and cultural knowledge with Indonesian students.
  • Work away – voluntary program around the world and many possibilities for Asia as well. I already have several projects in my mind that would like to attend.
  • European voluntary service – possibility for youth to travel, learn and share their knowledge in many different projects. I was a volunteer by this program in Greece.
  • GoAbroad – providing the most comprehensive international education and alternative travel resource. You can find a study, internship, volunteering programs and more.

Travel resources traveling

  • Easy book – largest booking website in SE Asia: bus, train, car, ferry and local tours in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and more. Often suggest discounts for online tickets.
  • Klook – car with a drivers rental, pick up/drop off from the airport and much more. All around Southeast Asia and other countries. Prices are really good.
  • Tiket – train tickets, car rentals in Indonesia. Easier to buy Indonesian train tickets here.
  • Go-jek – works like Uber in Indonesia. You can book not only a ride but as well food delivery and much more.
  • Grab – similar like Go-jek but works not only in Indonesia but as well in other Southeast countries.
  • Blue Bird taxi – official taxi in Indonesia that you can order in Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Banten, Batam, Lombok, Manado, Medan, Padang, Pekanbaru, Palembang, Semarang, Solo, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Very easy to use their app “MyBlueBird”.
  • Viator – you can find local guides and see who is certificated, get quite full information about suggested routes, experiences.

Travel resources links

Travel resources

  • InterNations – making life easier for expats.
  • Expats blog – uniting expat bloggers site, with expats latest blog posts, blog reviews, expat interviews & contests.
  • Culture plate – connects people who love cooking & hosting dinners with people who love eating authentic home-cooked meals.
  • Mekar Bhuana – family based Balinese gamelan music and dance center in Denpasar, Bali. Offers workshops, lessons, making documentation, reconstruction of rare and lost Balinese gamelan instruments and dance art-forms, sells gamelan and dance products.
  • WhatssApp – an app that uses most of Asian people. It’s more popular than call or text SMS
  • Here maps – an app that I use during my trips. I love that the map works even when it’s offline, as well you can get information about how to get to the place with walking, using public transport and much more.

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Cooking classes in Bali: suitable even for those who dislike cooking

First of all, I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of cooking. While living in Lithuania, I used to cook (simple dishes) mainly at home, because it was cheaper than eating out and I didn’t have enough free time to go to restaurants. However, since I’ve moved to Indonesia, I stopped cooking almost completely. It is often much cheaper to eat out at local places than prepare meals at home (especially because I know a number of cheap places that serve delicious food), and it is more convenient: you avoid shopping, preparation and washing dishes. Also, I am one of those people who follow a recipe to the letter and who will not start cooking until I carefully prepare all ingredients which takes a really long time. Also, I can only look after one pot at a time! I was always really envious of people who possess that magic touch, who can open their fridge, have a quick look round and effortlessly create culinary masterpieces.

This long introduction is to show that cooking and I often go our separate ways. And I really wouldn’t have believed that one day I will be the one who not only takes part in cooking classes but also recommends them to others. I’ve discovered that, even for somebody who is not a natural chef, cooking classes in Bali are not only a great pastime, but also an opportunity to get to know Bali and its everyday life.

I’ve taken part at a few different cooking classes and want to bust some of the false myths about them. Do any of these seem familiar and is a reason why you haven’t yet chosen this activity while in Bali?

Maisto gaminimo pamoka Balyje

Cooking Classes in Bali – False Myths

“I cook loads at home already and don’t want to make food while on holiday”
Believe me, you won’t need to cook as much as you do at home. Everything is done much simpler, easier and quicker. Chefs have their assistants, who will gladly take over from you if you had enough of cooking. You will be able to observe the remaining process and eat delicious food at the end.

“It’s not worth it because I won’t be able to make this at home”
After the lesson, all participants receive recipes with clear description of the ingredients, exact measurements, and cooking process. During the lesson, chefs also advise which local ingredients can be swapped for products that are easier to come by in Europe.

“I don’t know how to cook, so there will be nothing for me to do”
If you know how to use a knife and can distinguish between a chopping board and a bowl – it’s more than enough. You don’t have to be a master chef. Chefs and their assistants will always be around to show the best way to chop ingredients, etc. Also, cooking classes in Bali are not only about learning how to make traditional food, but also deeper knowledge of Bali and opportunity to taste real, authentic dishes.

“It will be too hot”
Almost all cooking classes in Bali happen in outdoor gazebo with perfect natural air circulation. These tents even have powerful fans (although you shouldn’t expect them to have air conditioning). I never felt too hot during the lessons I’ve attended so far.

Do you have some other doubts about cooking classes in Bali or reasons why you wouldn’t try them? Share your thoughts and I’m sure I’ll manage to prove you wrong.

Maisto gaminimo mokykla Balio saloje

Why attending cooking classes in Bali is a great idea?

It’s a chance to see everyday life in Bali and to know more about local delicacies. Before the class, many chefs offer a trip to local markets where you can get to know Balinese/Indonesian spices, fruit, vegetables and seafood. Chefs tell you everything you need to know about any unfamiliar products, so you won’t need to stand there guessing “what on earth is this?”.

During one class, you will taste 5-9 different local dishes. So later, when you are at a local restaurant, you will be able to either order something new or go for your favorite dish tasted during the cooking class.

It is very easy to include these classes to your trip. They are often organized twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, nearly every day. So, you can choose a time that suits you best. Cooking classes and tasting the dishes (that you have made) takes around 2-4 hours, so you can easily spend the rest of the day doing other things.

Making food will be pretty simple. Chefs and their assistants are always on hand telling you what, when and how to chop, etc. You will never be left on your own with an unfamiliar recipe and ingredients. And if you ever get too tired, the assistants will happily take over and finish making the dish.

The menu will be adjusted to your needs. If you are vegetarian, vegan, have food allergies or avoid certain foods – chefs will always offer alternative ingredients or dishes suitable to your eating habits.

Maisto ruošimo pamoka Balyje

With whom I had the cooking classes in Bali?

With chef Ketut (Ubud)

Cooking classes in BaliHe is the most positive person on earth. Ketut will make sure you have a great time during your cooking class. Before opening his own cooking studio where he employs his relatives and friends, this chef spent quite a few years working in different restaurants. His studio praises itself for its hygienic environment, everybody works with disposable gloves. The space is very simple (as you can see from my photos), but this shouldn’t deter you from cooking with Ketut. Two people share one workspace. What you make together, that’s what you eat at the end. You can add stuff to your own dish if you like it to be more spicy or salty.

The place: 10 min. driving from Ubud center
Time: morning classes (8.30 am-1.00 pm) and evening classes (3 pm – 7.30 pm). Monday to Saturday
Menu: you will learn how to cook 9 Balinese dishes. There is a separate vegetarian menu.
Number of participants: at one time can participate up to 30 people
Language: English
Advantage: free transportation to/from the lesson to your hotel in Ubud (possible pick-up/drop-off from other places but for an additional cost). Includes a visit to the local market.
Price: 350 000 Rp (~ 22 EUR)/person. Minimum 2 people. Contact me if you want to get 10% discount for the cooking class with Ketut.


With chef Mudana (Sanur)

Balinese food classesThis Balinese chef is very attentive and helpful. Previously he worked abroad and in a few restaurants in Indonesia, and now, together with his family, he opened a small, but very cozy cooking studio at his home. The food is kept and made following strict hygienic standards. They also have a small corner where you can get various cooking souvenirs. Two people share one workspace, but, at the end of class, all food is put on individual plates and shared amongst all the participants.

 

The place: 10 min. driving from Sanur center
Time: morning classes (7 am-2.00 pm) and evening classes (5 pm – 9 pm). On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays – Indonesian dishes. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – Balinese dishes.
Menu: you will learn how to cook 7 dishes. There is a separate vegetarian menu.
Number of participants: at one time can participate up to 12 people
Language: English
Advantage: free transportation to/from the lesson to your hotel in Sanur (possible pick-up/drop-off from other places but for an additional cost). Includes visit to the local Jimbaran fish market (not possible during evening classes).
Price: 750 000 Rp (~ 47 EUR)/person, morning class. 500 000 Rp (~ 31 EUR)/person, evening class. Minimum 2 people.


With chef Wayan (Bangli)

Wayan cooking class in BaliWayan is a very experienced chef. He is quiet but very professional and friendly. He’s established his cooking studio in a rice field. It is a perfect environment for cooking and then eating the food, you simply don’t what to leave there afterward. Everything is also very hygienic. I especially liked that he donates some of the takings to the local community in his village: to fix the roads, help those in need, etc. Two people share one workspace and, after the class, all food is put on individual plates and shared amongst all the participants.

 

The place: 40 min. driving from Ubud center
Time: morning classes (9 am-1.30 pm) and evening classes (2 pm – 6.30 pm). Monday to Sunday.
Menu: you will learn how to cook 7 Balinese dishes. There is a separate vegetarian menu.
Number of participants: at one time can participate up to 27 people
Language: English
Advantage: includes the local market visit. You can watch or even participate in the rice planting process. Near the cooking class, you can also visit traditional Balinese homes, spend half of the day with Balinese people and help them on their daily activities (but this is a separate service for additional fees).
Price: 680 000 Rp (~ 43 EUR)/person (transportation not included). Minimum 2 people. Contact me if you want to get 10% discount for the cooking class with Wayan.


There are other chefs who also organise cooking classes in Bali. I haven’t tried them myself, but heard some good things about them. Here are a few of them:

Maisto gaminimo pamokos Balio saloje

Finally, a few observations and pieces of advice:

  • The cost of cooking classes in Bali differs. So, before booking, check if the cost includes free travel to and from the cooking studio and free water (you will have to pay extra for any other drinks). Also, ask what else is included in the price.
  • I would strongly advise to attend cooking class during your first days in Bali. It will make it easier to choose meals from restaurant menus because you’ll be already familiar with the dishes, or choose to taste something new.
  • I would recommend to go for the morning cooking class. In the mornings, markets are busier and the stalls offer more varied products. Also, in the morning you will have more energy and after a great lunch will be able to continue with your exploration of Bali.
  • Before coming to cooking class, don’t eat at least for a few hours. Believe me, there will be enough food to not only have while you are there but also plenty of leftovers to take home with you.
  • If you choose to have your cooking class at the hotel, double check if it is happening somewhere else or at the hotel itself. Unfortunately, not all hotels have cozy spaces for cooking.
  • If you enjoyed your class, you can always leave a tip (but it’s not obligatory).

You know, even I, who clearly has a very conflicted relationship with cooking, really enjoyed to move around the kitchen during the cooking class in Bali. And I got to taste new dishes. Maybe I should rediscover my love of cooking also here, in Indonesia?

Cooking classes in Bali - pinterest
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SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Do you think a cooking class in Bali will make it onto your wish list now?
  • Maybe you have already attended cooking classes in Bali and would like to share your experience and thoughts?
  • Have you participated in any cooking classes in other countries? How was it?

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If you haven't decided where to stay in Bali, here are some places I've stayed (click to read):

 


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Tips for traveling in Asia

So far all my tips for traveling in Asia in one place. Hope it will be useful for your travels.

Tips for traveling in Asia Indonesia

Tips for traveling in Asia Malaysia

Tips for traveling in Asia Vietnam


Have more questions? Need more tips for traveling in Asia, especially in Indonesia? Contact me and I will try to help you :)