I was quite excited when a colleague of mine came asking about Bali. She is planning her honeymoon in February and it gave me the perfect opportunity to reminisce about my honeymoon in Bali. Situated eight degrees south of the equator, Bali is the perfect honeymoon destination for the winter wedding season in India. The warm weather is ideal to bring out the bikinis and cute dresses that you’ve been collecting for your honeymoon. Even if you’re not planning your honeymoon, Bali is a great destination for a quick getaway from India.
If you’re planning a trip to the island, here are a few tips that might help you plan your trip.
Bali is fairly easy to get to from India. Although there are no direct flights, the flying time is not too long. We flew Singapore airlines and Changi Airport kept us quite busy during our five-hour halt there. Try Traveloka.com for some good deals on flight tickets and hotel bookings.
Lucky for us Indians, Bali has visa on arrival. It costs $35 USD and is valid for 30 days.
Bali makes you feel like a millionaire! 1 INR = 197 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah), or 1 USD = 13,458 IDR. So convert 100 USD and you’re a millionaire! Remember to carry exchangeable currency like USD or EURO as Indian currency is not acceptable for exchanging. Also, keep an eye on the zeros for you will definitely lose track of them!
Staying in Bali
As a honeymooner, you want to be pampered. Fortunately Bali offers a wide variety of luxurious villas with private pools and they are quite pocket friendly. We got lucky (thanks to hubby’s hotel points) to get a great deal at Conrad Bali in Nusa Dua and Yubi Villas in Seminyak. We also remember walking past Inaya Putri, Bali which looked absolutely stunning. If you’re looking for budget travel, the options are endless.
Things to Do in Bali
Where do I begin. Bali is such a mixed bag of experiences that it suits the palette of any king of traveler. Whether you like to bum it out on the beach, or are the adventure seeker, Bali has you covered, and how! For us, we needed the first two days to get over the madness that was our wedding. Nusa Dua allowed us to do just that! Massages at the spa, followed by stiff drinks at the beach and swims in the pool was the perfect way to get our batteries recharged before we hit Seminyak and Kuta, the center of it all!! I will try my best to cover, in brief, the experiences that Bali has to offer.
- Bum it Out!
I am definitely the beach bum. Give me a beer, a good book, the beach and the sound of waves, and watch me disappear into oblivion. Bali has some really beautiful beaches and if your hotel has a private beach, you’re so sorted. One of the best ways to enjoy Bali is to bum it out.. all the way!
- Adventure Sports
If you’re not so much into bumming it out, or you have recharged your batteries enough to rev up that heart rate, Bali offers a wide range of adventure activities as well. Hubby and I had our first experience of Scuba Diving in Tulamben. This is the site of the wreck of the Liberty, a US Army Transport ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. The wreck lies just off the shore and helps ease into the experience of Scuba Diving for nervous beginners like me. You can also try going to Gili islands like some of my friends. They went there to do their PADI diving course, and they absolutely loved it there. Scuba diving is just one of the many adventure sports that the island has to offer.
- Temple Hopping
Bali is predominantly a Hindu island and full of gorgeous temples that adorn the highlands and the coastline. The ancient temples with their iconic architecture and exotic backdrop make it impossible not to give these temples a visit. One of the best temples to visit, are Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, because of their dramatic setting. Since it is a temple, one must ensure that they are appropriately dressed before they enter the temples. The temples usually have places to rent sarongs to cover your legs so that there is no disrespect caused to the Balinese people and culture.
- Kecak Dance
This form of traditional Balinese dance is one of the most beautiful renditions of the Ramayana that I have ever seen. It does help to know the mythological story to follow the dance better, but as a visitor to Bali, this has to feature on you itinerary. We saw the Kecak Dance at Uluwatu temple during sunset, which is one of the best times to see the dance.
- All the Sunsets
Honeymoon or not, Bali’s sunsets are stellar! The best places to witness sunsets are via a sunset cruise (oh so romantic!), Rock Bar, or even while you chill on one of the beaches. Unless the weather does not cooperate, you are assured of a beautiful sunset each day.
- Bar Hopping
Kuta is where you want to be if you enjoy heading out at night. Bar, club, pub hopping at it’s best! The main street of Kuta is lined with bars and clubs that stay open way into the night. It was the first time that we had visited an ‘entertainment complex’, where every level had a different genre of music playing. The complex was such a maze that never ended up going to the same club twice. Definitely pay Skygarden a visit when in Kuta.
- Food! Food! Food!
Bali is a haven for all sea food lovers. Unfortunately, when I went to Bali, I was not much of a meat eater (being brought up a vegetarian and all) and I ended up sticking to vegetarian food most of the time. But I did find my favorite veggie dish, Mie Goreng and I loved it. Fried noodles with vegetables, this is the food that speaks to my heart. I didn’t mind having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! For the sea food lovers, you have to give Jimbaran Bay a visit. Fresh sea food served on the beach side, doesn’t get better than that. Perhaps if I go again now, I might enjoy some more of the meaty delights that Bali has to offer.
- Mt. Batur
Mount Batur is an active volcano located towards the north of the island. Trekking to the summit to watch the sunrise is very popular in Bali and is offered by many adventure groups. Although the climb is a little strenuous, the takes about 2-2.5hrs to summit, where you can enjoy magnificent views of the island during sunrise and have breakfast cooked by the steam of the active volcano. You can check out Tammy Burns’, a blogger, talk about his experience of the climb here. This is on my ‘To-Do List’ for my next trip to Bali, whenever that is. In retrospect, it reminds me of our trek from Fira to Oia in Santorini, one of the best treks with the best views of the island.
Bali is your go to destination for all shopping. From high street fashion to street side shopping, little nick knacks for your house or if you want to decorate a hotel with bespoke pieces of sculpture and art, Bali is your one stop shop. The main streets of Seminyak and Kuta are lined with shops selling fashion merchandise. Our best buy for the house was in Ubud, where we invested in intricate sculptures depicting Lord Ram and Sita made of stone. My parents, too, went a little crazy buying artifacts for their house when they visited Bali earlier this year. Before you visit Bali, ensure that you keep a fair bit money aside for all the shopping that you will be doing out there. Oh yes.. do not forget to bargain.
Here we are. Making me all nostalgic and reminding me of the wonderful time during my visit to Bali, and also reminding me that there is still so much to experience on the island. Have you been to Bali? What are your favourite experiences and what would you like to put on the ‘must visit’ list in Bali? I’d love to know!