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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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 :)

 



How to spend 5 days in Bali

Are you thinking about holidays destination? Choose Indonesia! Because this country can offer so many things at once – warm weather, sunny days, beaches, volcanoes, wild nature, rich culture and it’s affordable to travel around.

But usually holidays don’t last long and during it hard to explore a bigger part of Indonesia. If you have only 2 weeks vacation, my suggestion – half of the holidays spend exploring one of the main Indonesian islands – Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi or others and rest of the time – relax in Bali.

First time I stayed in Bali only for 5 days and it was enough to taste a little bit what this island has to offer. Here is where I went, what I did and saw during 5 days in Bali.

Travel itinerary – 5 days in Bali

1st DAY

BALI’S ANCIENT ROCKY TEMPLE – GUNUNG KAWI

This complex is constructed in the 11th century by king Anak Wungsu in honor of his father, the great Balinese ruler Udayana. There are total 10 shrine carved on the stone slope of height ~8 m. The countryside where the complex is located surrounded by beautiful rice paddies where you can enjoy the walk downstairs to the temple.
Location: Banjar Penaka, Tampak Siring, Kec. Gianyar, Bali

TIP:

  • On the way to the temple you will find few souvenir shops. The prices there will be cheaper than in main Bali cities. If you will decide to buy something there – don’t forget to negotiate the price.

HOLY SPRING WATER TEMPLE – TIRTA EMPUL

It’s Hindu temple located between 2 hills with spring water sacred by local residents to purify the soul and mind. People believe that springs were created by God Indra more than 1000 years ago. Because of that, this temple is one of the most important temples in Bali. There are: 3 country yards with 13 holy water fountains for cremation or dead ceremony; 1 pool with 3 fountains for spiritual purification; 1 pool with 5 fountains with holy water for people who come from outside to pray. Is it worth to visit?
Location: Manukaya village, district of Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali

TIP:

  • If you would like to have purification ritual in this temple, please before doing it, ask your guide or local people inside, how to do it in right way. Each fountain has the meaning and should be used in special order. Don’t just go under the fountains and wash yourself.

Also read: Tips for traveling in Asia


LUNCH AT “LAKE VIEW RESTAURANT”

Lake view - Batur in Bali

In this restaurant you can have lunch or dinner with spectacular view of still active Mount Batur with it beautiful caldera and lake Batur. If you are not planning to eat there, visit it just for a cup of tea, juice or beer. Food is simple but good (buffet style). Is it worth to visit?
Location: Jl. Raya Panelokan, Kintamani, Bali

TRANQUIL WATER TEMPLE – GUNUNG KAWI SEBATU

Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple in Bali

It’s a peaceful place with verdant gardens around ponds filled with carp and blooming lotuses. Shrines surrounded by crystal clear pools fed by natural springs. Inside you will find many colorful demons decorations protecting the sacral places. I believe you will enjoy the walk as well. All place reminds cozy park and not so crowded. Is it worth to visit?
Location: Sebatu Village, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali

FAMOUS TEGALALANG RICE TERRACE

Tegalalang rice terrace - Bali trip

This rice terraces are famous for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving the subak (traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system). Tegalalang is one of three most splendid terraced landscapes in Ubud area.
Location: north of Ubud, ~30 min. from Ubud main market

RELAXING CAMPUHAN RIDGE WALK

Green walk in Bali, Ubud

Just after stop in sometimes crowded Tegalalang rice terrace you can enjoy relaxing walk in “green walk” which is not so crowded. It’s ~1 hour one way walking distance. You can enjoy green surrounding, cool wind and have dinner in one of the restaurants on the way, see the sunset. Also you can see people there ridding bicycle, jogging – it’s like a small escape place from busy city. If I wouldn’t go there, I wouldn’t believe that you can have such walk almost in the heart of Ubud. Is it worth to visit?
Location: Jl. Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali

TIPS:

  • Bring a torch with you because the path doesn’t have any lights and after sunset it will be dark.
  • As well can be many mosquitoes, take repellent with you.

COLORFUL BALINESE DANCE PERFORMANCE

Dance performance in Ubud - Bali

I believe you have seen Balinese dance performance photos before coming to Indonesia? Now you can enjoy Balinese music, dance and I could call it small piece of theater in live. In Ubud every day you can see different Balinese dance performances in different places. You can check which performance and where will be on your stay time.

TIPS:

  • If you want to get better sitting places, come at least 20 min. before the performance starts.
  • You can by tickets on the spot or in the streets. You will see many sellers offering tickets.
2nd DAY

UBUD’S MONKEY FOREST

Monkey forest in Ubud, Bali

Officially Monkey forest called Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana (houses three holy temples). In this place lives hundreds of grey-haired and long-tailed Balinese macaque. Walking in this forest you will see not only greedy monkeys but as well some huge trees, old temple and some sculptures. But the most interesting (at least for me) is observing monkeys behavior. Is it worth to visit?
Location: Jl. Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali

If you want more adventure while visiting monkey forest and other Bali areas – take vintage VW tour. Luke from Backstreet Nomad had much fun!

TIPS:

  • You can enter forest through 1 of 3 gates: the main one at the Southern end of Jl. Monkey Forest; from 100 m further East, near the car parking; from the Southern side, on the lane from Nyuhkuning.
  • Please, don’t feed monkeys, avoid eye contact and showing your teeth, including smiling, which is deemed a sign of aggression.

Also read: Travel resources


ELEPHANT CAVE TEMPLE – GOA GAJAH

Goa Gajah temple - travel in Bali

Legend says that the name of this temple came from nearby Sungai Peatanu, which was known like Elephant river. It was build in 11th century and discovered by Dutch archaeologists.
The cave is carved into a rock face and you enter through the cavernous mouth of a demon. Inside you can see fragmentary remains of the Hindu god Shiva, a statue of Shiva’s son, the elephant-headed god Ganesha. It’s really small temple but you can have a walk around the area. Is it worth to visit?
Location: Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Ubud, Bali

VISIT TRADITIONAL BALINESE VILLAGE AND HOUSES

During you trip you will see many Balinese houses but only after visiting them you can see and understand how all buildings inside the house area follows a strict ancient architectural guide, how everything build to bring a harmony for a family. I was visiting Singapadu village. People there was very nice and explained, showed their homes.

LEARN TRADITIONAL BALINESE DANCE, MUSIC IN MEKAR BHUANA GAMELAM MUSIC, DANCE CENTER

You can better understand Balinese culture if you will become a part of it. This center is founded by family. And they not only share the secrets of Balinese culture but as well reconstructs rare or extinct Balinese music instruments, with Balinese musicians, dancers organize performances all around Bali. I really enjoy the time spending in this center, which by the way, is in their home. It was a big pleasure to learn and play gamelan music, as well to remember some moves of Balinese dances (I was studying traditional Indonesian dance before).
Location: Jl. Gandapura 3 No. 501x, Kesiman-Kertalangu, Denpasar

TIP:

  • You don’t need to prepare yourself before visiting this center, you will get everything you need there. So bring your good mood and will to learn something new.

KECAK DANCE IN ULUWATU TEMPLE

Kecak dance - Uluwatu in Bali

Uluwatu is one of the important temples to the spirits of the sea along the South coast of Bali. It’s build on the Indian Ocean cliff. It’s really beautiful to see the sunset there – seeing the temples silhouette in the horizon of the Ocean. But more impressive to see Kecak dance while sun goes down.
Kecak is a form of Balinese dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s in Bali. Some people call this performance fire dance or Ramayana Monkey Chant as well. Nowadays Kecak dance (in touristic places) contains some flat jokes for pleasing travelers (honestly, I don’t like this part), still the sound and the rhythm of Kecak gives some spiritual energy. Is it worth to visit?
Location: Kawasan Wisata Pura Uluwatu, Pecatu, Bali

TIPS:

  • For watching Kecak dance come at least 30 min. before the performance starts to get the best seats.
  • If you will decide to sit in the side facing ocean, bring your sun glasses – like sun will shine straight to your face and will be hard to see the dance.
  • In the temple lives a lot of monkeys – so take care of your belongings, monkeys can steal it.
3rd – 5th DAYS

 

I spend my 3 days in Sanur. I just enjoy the time there, had a walk and small shopping around. If you want in Bali just relax, have sunbath, enjoy beaches – rest 3 days stay in one of South Bali beaches. Some of them are famous for soft sand, others for beautiful sunset views from the cliffs.

If to stay 3 days in the beach is too much for you, you prefer to explore more in Bali – you can have half day trips for example to Tanah Lot or Lampuyangan temples, water palace, Taman festival, hidden canyon or one of amazing waterfalls.

If you want to see not only Bali – you can go to Lombok, one of the Gilis or Lembongan islands.

If you love snorkeling or diving – go to Tulamben, Amed, Padang Bay or even plan 1 day trip to the North of Bali.


Also read: My days in Bali beaches


WHERE I STAYED?

  • Tjampuhan Ubud & Spa – cozy, beautiful place with a view to a temple and just a couple minute walk from Campuhan Ridge Walk. Breakfast was very delicious.
  • Manyi Village Ubud  – place surrounded by rice paddies but further from the main streets. It’s not big place, quite, intimate. From the balcony you can see the sunrise, from bathroom window paddies.
  • Puri Santrian Resort Sanur  –  quite big hotel but has access to the beach, several swimming pools. I enjoy breakfast with Gamelan music.
  • Sudamala Suites & Villas Sanur  –  I love this place, it’s like small oasis near main Sanur area (but you even don’t hear the sounds from the street). So many unique details inside, inspiring surrounding.

Mentioned and visited places on the map


5 days in Bali Pinterest
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SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Would you like to visit these places?
  • If you have been in these places what was our experience?
  • Maybe you have other places recommend in Bali to visit?

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Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

Cooking classes in Bali: suitable even for those who dislike cooking
Unique Bali ceremonies, festivals, rituals
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