A Bite-Sized Guide to Bali

If you have been following along, I figured I would start with Bali since that’s where it all began. I would like to start by saying the flights are a lot less expensive than one might anticipate. One of the things that used to stop me from traveling to distant places was the ominous thought of the price of the flight. however, with a little bit of research and price comparison on sites such as Google flights, Skiplagged and Hopper, you will find that flights are very affordable. It also shows you comparisons by date if you have a flexible schedule. And I must say, being flexible is what allows me to do this full time. I do understand that not everyone has that luxury.

My original round-trip flight to Bali was under $500. I decided to go during the “rainy season “which turned out to be not so rainy. I feel that when you read about weather on the Internet about your destination, that can be a deterrence. But don’t let that stop you. Typically, the rainy season can also be the best time to go, less tourists and the cheapest. So you can use that to your advantage.

The flight to Bali is long. So prepare yourself. From Los Angeles, it’s nearly 21 hours with stops. Typically, you will end up stopping in China. This is your chance to be a smart traveler knowing you’ve got a long leg ahead of you. Pack for the plane. You most likely will be checking a bag, so pack a plane bag. Snacks, an inflatable pillow, a large scarf (doubles as a blanket), compression socks, an eye mask (I can’t sleep on a plane with any sort of light), ear plugs, toiletries (in case your layover is longer than anticipated or worse, missed), comfortable shoes, a layered outfit (the weather will differ between each stop), chargers, download your movies ahead of time, headphones, a good book, vitamin C (emergenC) magnesium (CALM magnesium).

Organize a driver ahead of time. Typically your villa can recommend or even has a driver and you’ll want to make contact with them prior to your departure and if plans change, you can text them.

Make sure you have downloaded WhatsApp. If you have T mobile, international is an included plan. Otherwise, buy a SIM card for your destination country. It’s cheaper than paying the $10/day for Verizon if you plan on being overseas for more than 4 days.

When you arrive, you have 30 days without a proper visa to remain in Indonesia. If you do overstay, you can be fined or worse. I typically acquire a 60 day visa from the Indonesian consulate prior to leaving the US. All you need for this is your passport and your flight information. Sometimes they ask for a bank statement to ensure you have enough money to return to your home country. This process takes about a week.

Depending on where you are staying in Bali, it typically takes about one hour or more to reach most of the Popular areas. Traffic is awful, get used to it. Most people drive scooters and the cars are mainly for tourism. This combined with the fact that there are only one or two main routes to take to all major areas makes for awful traffic.

the most popular areas to visit in Bali are as follows:
-Ubud: Central Bali, not near a beach, westernized, lots of restaurants, shopping, near the famed monkey forest, yoga chalets and retreats, waterfalls and temples
-Canggu: western shore, near Echo Beach and Old Man’s Beach, nearest to Mt Batur hike, restaurants, Deus ex Machina Temple, shopping, surfing, co-working spaces, rice fields.
-Seminyak/Berawa: just south of Canggu, bars, restaurants, surfing, beach clubs, higher end hotels such as the Alila and Omnia, yoga studios, shopping.
-Uluwatu: experiences surfing, Double Six beach, Sanur beach cave, yoga retreats, more remote, high end villas, beach bars.

The good news is, Bali is not an extremely large island. So if you want to hit all of these major areas, it is quite possible to do day trips or overnight trips without breaking the bank. A lot of villas are also able to accommodate and help with arrangements for transportation as well as recommendations.

If you have your international drivers license and an M1 or M3, which is something quite easy to get a AAA prior to leaving the United States, then you will be able to rent a scooter. If you feel comfortable on a scooter, I highly recommend this as it is the fastest way to get around. But make sure that you also wear a helmet. There are many tourist related deaths on scooters that are often not reported so as to not deter tourism. But it is a very real danger. So be smart if you are going to rent a scooter. If you do not know what you’re doing, then it’s perfectly fine to stick with renting cars and having drivers. It is not that expensive and much more safe.

 Here are my top things to do in each of the above-mentioned areas. (recommended for a two week or longer visit)


·      Yoga Barn (yoga chalet)
·      Monkey Forest
·      Sekempul Waterfall (bit of a drive, easy hike)
·      Gaya Ceramics (ceramic classes)
·      Folk Ubud (pool bar and lounge)
·      Tegalalang Rice Fields
·      Tirta Empul (holy water spring temple)
·      Kanto Lampo Waterfall (gushing waterfall, bit of a drive)
·      Art market (infamous shopping market)

Nusa Penida/ Lembongan
·      Broken Beach
·      Kling Kling (dinosaur island)
·      Sunsrise at Pantai Karang, Sanur (where you get the boat for Nusa Penida)
·      Lembongan (island hop from Nusa Penida)
·      Snorkel at Manta Bay
·      Angels Billabong (tide pool near Broken Beach)

·      Love Anchor market
·      Deus ex Machina
·      Echo Beach & Old Man’s for surfing
·      Give Café (vegan Indonesian food)
·      I Am (Vegan Babe) vegan food
·      Crate Café (inexpensive breakfast & hangout spot)
·      Samadi Bali (yoga retreat and Sunday market)
·      The Practice (yoga)
·  Tonic for massage
·  AMO spa for ice bath and spa day

·      Suluban Beach (famous surf spot, not for the beginners)
·      Kecak Fire Dance (Uluwatu Temple)
·      Padang Padang Beach
·      Bingin Beach
·      Thomas Beach (more private)
·      Single Fin’s (sunset drinks)

·      Lempuyang Temple (infamous temple pillars shot w/ reflection)
·      Kuta Beach
·      Omnia Bali (& other higher end, traditional hotels)

Stay tuned for more Bite-Sized Guides for some of the other countries I have been to- Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia & more!