It’s been almost 10 years since I last visited Bali. This beautiful place has changed so much that it was almost unrecognizable. The Bali from my memory and the Bali I recently visited aren’t the same, but not in a bad way—I love every bit of both of them.

My friends and I recently spent 5 days in Bali, and below is our full itinerary.

Getting to Bali

There is no direct flight from Phnom Penh to Bali, so we decided to take a bus to Ho Chi Minh and stay the night before departing for our final destination the next morning. The round-trip ticket price to Bali from Ho Chi Minh was very affordable; it was only $150 when we booked. Plus, we also wanted to visit Ho Chi Minh, so we thought, why not?

The next morning arrived. We were up at 3:30am to get ready to catch our 6:55am flight. You might be questioning me as you’re reading this right now: “3:30am, really?” Yes, 3:30am, and that was almost not enough.

One tip, honey. If you’re flying from Ho Chi Minh, it’s safer to get to the airport 4-5 hours before your departure time, or else you might miss your flight. This airport is crazy. You’ll find super long queues both at the check-in and immigration. Not all counters were operating, and the officers were also not working at full capacity. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t like this before COVID. It’s sad to see what it has come to; unfriendly and unwelcoming faces seem to be their new normal.

That’s enough ranting. We finally got to Bali after a 3h50mn flight.

Getting from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport to Ubud

I Gusti Ngurah Rai is the name of the airport in Bali. Before getting out, you’ll first have to fill in a custom declaration form. You can fill it out using their computer…

… or by scanning the QR Code here.

Here’s how the printed QR Code looks like.

There are a lot of money exchangers at the airport, but don’t be tempted to exchange your money there. Everyone knows how crazy expensive the rates at the airport are.

If you don’t have Indonesian Rupiah with you but have brought USD, just exchange it along the way to your hotel. And if you don’t have USD, simply withdraw Indonesian Rupiah from an ATM.

I exchanged mine on my way to our first stop. The rate at the airport that day was 14,600 IDR per USD, while it was actually 15,175IDR outside.

You’ll also find a lot of SIM card stalls at the airport. The price is 150K IDR, which was too expensive for me, so I decided to use roaming instead.

There are ride-hailing services like Gojek and Grab in Bali, but it’s cheaper to book a private airport transfer.

There are a lot of private rentals in Bali, and the price usually starts from 350K IDR for a small car. We were a group of 5 with luggage and backpacks. We wouldn’t fit in a small car, so we booked ours with Bali Trip Driver via Whatsapp for 450K IDR. The assigned driver will contact you a day before picking you up and will hold a sign waiting for you outside.

Did you spot the sign “AVY”? That’s Wayan, our driver. Look how cute he is!

I was like the unpaid tour leader for this trip, and I wasn’t in the mood to search for a place to eat. I asked Wayan to pick any local restaurant along the way and drop us there.

Wayan chose a restaurant called Warung Bamboo, as it was close to where we wanted to go next.

The food wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t too bad either.

We invited Wayan to join us for lunch. At first, he kindly declined and said he was just a driver, but we insisted, and he finally joined us. He was super thankful, and we were glad.

We talked during lunch, and Wayan asked us if we had any other places we wanted to visit besides our first destination, Tanah Lot. We had none, so he suggested visiting a nearby coffee plantation to try Luwak coffee, as it was still too early to go to Tanah Lot.

Wayan explained that we could go in, watch their plantation process, sample their drinks, and come back out.

Tourist scams are common in Southeast Asia, but I’m not going deep into that—it’s a story for another day. As a certified Southeast Asian (yes, I’m certified, haha), it’s only natural that I had to make sure we weren’t about to be scammed.

The first question I asked Wayan after hearing his suggestion was “How much is the entrance fee?” instead of “Is there an entrance fee?” I’m the worst, I know. 😂

He said there’s no entrance fee and that we could decide whether or not to buy something from them after the sampling. So, we agreed to go.

Sari Amerta Luwak Coffee

Here we are at Sari Amerta Luwak Coffee, as Wayan suggested.

I have to admit, when Wayan mentioned a coffee plantation, I imagined it to be a large plantation. But here at Sari Amerta, it was quite the opposite—it was more like a small coffee farm. I wasn’t disappointed though; we had such a great experience.

We were greeted warmly. The staff walked us around, showing us various plants and explaining their benefits. We also got to see Luwak, the animal whose droppings are used to make Luwak coffee.

The tour ended with samples of 8 different drinks. As Wayan said, these samples were indeed free.

But who in their right mind would leave without ordering or buying something after all that? Our human conscience wouldn’t allow it. So, we each ordered Luwak Coffee and a shared fried banana. It wasn’t expensive—Luwak coffee was only 50K IDR per glass.

I mean, how often in life do you get to try coffee made from animal poop? I’m glad to pay just 50K IDR for such a unique experience.

After the samplings, if there is anything you like, you can also buy their plants and coffee powders to make yourself a drink at home.

Tanah Lot

It was already 4:30pm by the time we left Sari Amerta Luwak Coffee. Our second stop for the day was Tanah Lot.

The entrance fee is 75K IDR per person. My first impression after these 8 years was, “Wow, is this really the Tanah Lot I once visited?”

I’m not talking about the crowd. I was surprised to see how much this place has changed. I didn’t remember there being so many souvenir stores and restaurants here. It used to be just the viewpoint and beaches.

I also didn’t remember it being this big. The only viewpoint I recalled was the Hindu temple completely enclosed by the ocean at high tide. I remembered pulling my pants up to cross to the temple. It was strange to just walk normally to the temple this time. Haha

When at Tanah Lot, don’t forget to go for the holy water blessing. I’m not sure what happened, but a lot of good opportunities have been coming my way after the holy water blessing here. Coincidence much? 🤣

Here’s what I don’t remember—the Batu Bulong Temple on the other side.

Did they just combine 2 places into 1? Or did I just forget?

After walking around, we continued our way up to the restaurant to wait for sunset. Sadly, the sunset wasn’t pretty that day.

Hotel Check-in: Arumasta Ubud

Ubud is an hour’s drive from Tanah Lot. We finally got to our hotel at around 8pm.

We were welcomed with a glass of cold orange juice.

I hate packing everything up to move to another place during the stay, so I decided to stay at Arumasta Ubud for the entire time we were in Bali.

We booked 3 rooms for 4 nights, and it cost us $422 in total. That makes it only $84.4 each.

Really cheap, right? And the room was nice too!

Here’s how our hotel looks in the morning.

Hotels in Ubud are homestay-like. Their family house is usually at the front, and the guest rooms are at the back.

The hotel entrance is like a temple. It’s not just our hotel; this is very common in Ubud.

Dinner at Warung Pondok Madu

Warung Pondok Madu isn’t just a random restaurant we stumbled upon while walking past. I actually did some research about where to eat around our hotel while planning the itinerary, and Warung Pondok Madu came up. I read several review pages, and almost all of them were positive, so we decided to go there.

They didn’t disappoint us; they really lived up to their reviews.

Their service is great, the food is affordable, and it tastes amazing.

One thing I noticed about restaurants in Bali is that their staff always ask you how the food was after you’ve finished eating, so if it’s not up to your taste, you can give comments right away.

There’s no nightlife in Ubud. Most of the restaurants close at 11pm, so we just headed back to the hotel after we ate.

Day 2

Our second day started early. We asked our driver to pick us up at 7am.

I haven’t told you about how to travel around Bali yet, have I?

At first, I thought of renting a motorbike to get around. But as I researched further, I found out that you’re required to have an international driving license to drive in Bali. I checked online to see where to apply for that, and the price was quite expensive.

I then compared the cost of renting a car with a driver price to the combined cost of renting a motorbike and getting the international license, and the prices were almost equal. So I thought, well, just rent the car with a driver then. We have enough members to share the budget.

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of private rentals in Bali, and this is one of the best options to travel around. The car rental with a driver starts from 550K IDR for 10 hours, and that includes the driver, gas, and parking. If you’re going outside of their designated zones, you are required to pay for toll fees as well as the outside area charge.

And yes, you read that right. It’s 10 hours; they don’t charge per day here. So if it goes over 10 hours and you’re still not back at your hotel, an additional fee of 70K IDR per hour will be added.

We were a group of 5 and needed a bigger car. Our first day’s car rental cost us 630K IDR in total.

We knew we made the best decision as soon as we saw the road conditions in Bali and how locals usually drive. I’d have had a heart attack if I had chosen to drive the motorbike myself. The roads are narrow, and drivers are even crazier than in Cambodia and Vietnam.

1. Ubud Coffee Roastery

We all need coffee to start our day, so Ubud Coffee Roastery was our first stop.

Don’t feel bad for my friend on the right. The only couple in this photo is me and my boyfriend. 😂

When the word “roastery” is used, you’d always expect their coffee to be good. Sadly, it’s not the case here.

Their coffee was just so so, but the cafe’s ambience was great.

2. Uma Ceking Resto & Swing

We left for the famous Tegalalang rice terrace after the coffee.

When I first saw photos of the rice terraces in Bali, I thought maybe it was just a big field of layered rice terraces. It never occurred to me that they are privately owned.

There are a lot of restaurants here with rice terrace viewpoints. They set up their own swings and several photo spots around. Our driver took us to Uma Ceking.

The entrance fee is 50K IDR, but if you’re taking the swing, they’ll charge you only 200K IDR for the swing, and you won’t have to pay for the entrance fee.

When taking the swing, they will give you a queue number. Since it was still early and we were one of the first few groups there, we didn’t have to wait for the swing and just went for it.

I’m sure you’ve seen those photos of people in silky, flowy long dresses on the swing in Bali. If that’s what you like, you don’t have to prepare an outfit for this; you can rent one. There are many colors available for rent, and the cost is 150K IDR.

I thought I already had a great outfit and didn’t want my photos to look the same as everyone else’s, so I didn’t rent one. Now tell me, how’s my outfit? 🙈

If you’re not a fan of the high swing, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the screams. 😂

3. Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu

There are many places to visit in Bali. With such little time, deciding which ones to skip was the hardest part. It was already my second time in Bali, and I still couldn’t tick off all the places.

Our third stop was Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu. Unlike other places we visited in Bali, this was by far the most peaceful.

The entrance ticket is 30K IDR per person. Sarong and sashes are part of their traditional attire. All visitors, regardless of gender, must wear a sarong if you’re wearing shorts. If you’re wearing long bottoms, you will be provided with a sash. The great thing is, they provide the sarong and sash free of charge; you simply return them upon exiting the temple.

Here’s your first look of Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu as you first entered.

On your right hand side, you’ll see this beautiful pond with Goddess Sarasvati in the center.

The water is crystal clear, and you can see a lot of fish here.

Trust me, I wasn’t trying to mimic the goddess. Hahah

My boyfriend said this photo looks straight out of a movie scene, and I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see these bathing pool photos, I immediately recognize them as Bali. In case you didn’t know, there are similar bathing pools scattered across the island. However, unlike Pura Tirta Empul, which is always crowded with foreign visitors, this one at Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu offers a more serene atmosphere while being equally enchanting.

To enter the bathing pools, you must first make offerings. Unfortunately, I couldn’t provide much information about this place and its backstory. It was only after I visited several temples in Bali did I realize that hiring a tour guide is essential when visiting temples in Bali. Otherwise, you’d just wander through the temples cluelessly and be gone in 10 minutes like I did.

How do they keep the water so clean and clear? I need their maintenance method!

4. Pura Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul was among the search results I came across while planning my trip to Bali, and this was our third stop.

The entrance fee is 50K IDR per person. Before entering the temple, there are several prohibitions you have to follow:

• Visitors must wear modest attire, covering up with a sarong over short or long pants
• Both men and women must tie their hair up
• Women are requested to stay away during menstruation
• Wet clothing is not permitted
• Climbing on holy buildings is strictly prohibited

There’s no additional charge on the sarong. Just return it back when you exit. Due to the large number of visitors, the sarongs provided did not emit a particularly unpleasant odor, though it was noticeable. 😶

I chose such a bright color. I look kind of nice in their sarong, don’t you agree? 🤭

I knew there was a bathing pool here, but I was unaware of its popularity among foreign visitors. I was taken aback to see a large group of foreigners dressed in Balinese traditional attire participating in some sort of rituals before entering the pool.

Curiosity piqued, I decided to do a little research after returning. Only then did I discover that Tirta Empul is actually considered one of the five holiest temples in Bali. It is believed that the holy springs here were created by the gods and possess the power to purify those who bathe in them. Well, that explains the crowd.

I love how well-maintained Balinese traditions are. Everywhere I went, I saw people dressed in their traditional clothes. They look really beautiful.

Besides the famous bathing pools, there are also a few other spots to check out here at Tirta Empul.

As you walk out, you’ll notice many souvenir stores.

You could simply walk straight to reach the parking lot, but instead, they’ve clearly organized the stalls in a way that guides you to turn left, right, left, right until you reach the exit. This way, the locals have the opportunity to earn more from the visitors.

Everywhere I go, I need my dose of watermelon juice after a stroll.

5. Lunch at Pangkon Bali Resto & Agritourism

It was still early for lunch, but we had to eat early because our next stop was almost a 2h drive away.

Once again, we left the decision of where to eat to our drive. I guess he was also feeling indecisive, so he simply dropped us off at a restaurant near Tirta Empul called Pangkon Bali Resto & Agritourism.

On our first day, we asked our driver, Wayan, for recommendations on what to eat in Bali. He suggested trying pork ribs and bebek, which is duck. Since we already had pork ribs on our first night, we only went for bebek this time. It was delicious! Everything was tasty except for their meatball soup.

I almost forgot that I had been in Indonesia for 2 months back in 2016, and one of the dishes I didn’t enjoy was their meatball soup. I can’t quite describe it, but it just didn’t meet my standards. The taste is quite different compared to what I’m used to.

To my Indonesian friends reading this, please don’t be offended. I promise to take you to try the best meatball of your life when you’re visiting me in Cambodia.

6. GWK Cultural Park

We finally got to GWK Cultural Park after a 2h drive.

When we were getting close to GWK, our driver asked us if we already had the tickets. We said no, and he mentioned that he had heard from his friends that tickets must be booked in advance because unlike other places, there’s no ticket counter next to the parking lot here.

Since we hadn’t booked in advance, our driver went above and beyond to help us. He checked with GWK staff to inquire about tickets and made sure we could enter before returning to his car.

Yes, it’s really like that. It’s important to note that there’s no ticket counter at the park entrance. Tickets must be booked online through their website.

There are 2 types of tickets. For a full experience, consider purchasing the Ultimate Bundling Package for 300K IDR and plan to spend a minimum of 3 hours here. This package includes access to a tour of the GWK statue’s top on the 9th and 29th floors, guided by a tour guide.

Alternatively, if you’re short on time and mainly interested in photographing the major statue spots, you can opt for a regular ticket priced at 120K IDR per person.

However, I still highly recommend the bundling package for a comprehensive understanding and connection with the place.

After successfully booking your tickets online, these red cars will take you inside.

I didn’t understand why they didn’t drop us directly at the entrance like they did for others. We had to walk quite a distance to reach this entrance.

These statues look like game characters. So beautiful!

Only when I arrived did I realize that I underestimated the size of this park, planning only half a day for both the park and Uluwatu Temple. The park turned out to be bigger than expected, causing us to miss Uluwatu. To get an easy view, GWK resembles a theme park just without the thrilling rides.

There are 3 main statues here; the Wisnu, Garuda, and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana.

I’m impressed by the meticulous craftsmanship. The face expressions and details are perfect!

Here are some great photo spots at the park.

Here we are in front of the main statue at GWK Cultural Park.

This statue is so massive that you could easily spot it as you land in Bali. I vividly remember pointing at the statue from the airplane’s window telling my boyfriend to see what’s so big.

Here’s how it looks like as you enter the building.

Since we bought the Ultimate Bundling Ticket, we had the opportunity to go up and listen to the park’s backstory.

This was taken from the 29th floor, which was equal to the statue’s shoulders.

The experience was fun and interactive. Again, I recommend you taking the Ultimate Bundling Package.

This is how the statue structure looks like. Not me, the structure. Haha

That’s not all; GWK Cultural Park also hosts daily shows. We had the chance to witness such beautiful dances.

What made the experience even more memorable was when the lovely dancers invited guests to join them.

You don’t have to watch the video to know how robotic my moves were. 😂

7. Dinner at Ely’s Kitchen

It was already 8pm by the time we got back to Ubud. I know I can always trust my boyfriend when it comes to choosing a place to eat, and he really didn’t disappoint me.

He led us to Ely’s Kitchen.

The staff knew what to recommend, and the food here was surprisingly good. The only thing we didn’t like was the pizza. It tasted like Indonesian pizza, but what did we expect? Haha

Day 3

Do you think we started our Day 2 early? Well, our Day 3 started even earlier — we were up at 2:00am, waiting for our driver to pick us up.

1. Mount Batur Sunrise Jeep Tour

My boyfriend has really gotten used to me after all these years, so he didn’t mind waking up this early. He trusts me with choosing places to go to like I trust him with choosing restaurants to eat.

But my friends? I guess they’ll stop traveling with me for good after this trip. 😂

Traveling with me is like going to war. Instead of feeling fully recharged after the trip, you’ll feel like you need another week off just to recover. Up for sunrise at 2am? Start hiking at midnight? Visit 10 different places in a day? Yes, I’m all in.

We booked a Mount Batur Jeep Sunrise Tour with Floating Temple on Klook for $33.49 per person.

The tour included a pickup from our hotel in Ubud to Kintamani, a thrilling Jeep ride to Mount Batur viewpoint, breakfast, and a visit to the nearby temple.

This was our breakfast. It’s funny how I actually enjoyed their banana bread because it was literally banana and bread. How had I not thought of this combination before? 😂

We arrived at the viewpoint around 4:30am, and it was already packed.

When did all these people get here? Didn’t they get any sleep?

The sky was magical that night. The lyrics “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you” suddenly popped into my head.

It was gradually getting brighter, but trying to capture the best shots wasn’t easy. This was the first time I felt that my camera and phone were useless. Thankfully, our driver came to the rescue.

His photography skills were top-notch! He knew exactly which settings to use to capture the starlit sky and the subtle hues at dawn. What’s even more impressive is that he even brought lighting to ensure we looked our best in photos. 😂

Torturing my friends into waking up at 2am was fun. Look at them and look me smiling! 🤣

Although we didn’t see the sunrise, the view and experience didn’t disappoint. We loved it!

A traffic jam couldn’t be more beautiful here. Haha this was taken on our way back. Look at all the Jeeps!

2. Pura Segara Ulun Danu Batur

Our next stop before returning to Ubud was the floating temple, Pura Segara Ulun Danu Batur.

There’s no entrance fee to this temple; instead, you can donate any amount you’re comfortable with.

Just like other temples, you also have to cover yourself with a sarong before entering. My boyfriend looks like a Balinese millionaire living in a temple instead of a house here. 🤣

Since we were the first ones here, we got the entire place to ourselves.

3. Lunch at Sun Sun Warung

We got back to our hotel in Ubud at around 9:45am and had an hour rest before heading out for lunch.

My kind-hearted Indonesian friend, Thie, told me about a really good restaurant called Sun Sun Warung near our hotel. She booked a table for us at 11am and even ordered and paid for 5 lunch sets with mixed juice.

My friend mentioned that she had been to Sun Sun during her last trip to Bali and loved their Nasi Campur Langit, so she wanted me and my friends to try it too. She also warned us that the restaurant is always packed, so even with a reservation, we might still have to wait in line.

Luckily, we didn’t have to wait. The restaurant opens at 11:00am, and we arrived right on time, being the first ones there.

I loved the Balinese decoration of the restaurant and the traditional music playing in the background.

The Nasi Campur Langit was delicious! The chicken satay and egg were the highlights for me.

Thank you for treating us to such a wonderful meal, Thie. If you’re reading this, come visit me in Cambodia soon. I​ promise to treat you to a very good meal. 😚

We just realized that we had been up since 2:00am and still hadn’t had our dose of coffee. So, we dropped by Sun Sun Cafe, right in front of the Sun Sun restaurant, and grabbed our coffee before heading to our next destination, Tirta Gangga.

I haven’t found the best coffee in Bali yet. Their coffee here tasted okay.

4. Tirta Gangga

We finally arrived at Tirta Gangga after a 2h drive from Ubud. The entrance fee is 70K IDR per person.

Seeing so many beautiful photos of Tirta Gangga had set my expectation high, and that, my friends, really contributed to my disappointment.

I thought this place would be big with various photo spots besides the famous one on the fish pond, but I was wrong. That was the only notable spot. I personally recommend skipping Tirta Gangga and going directly to Lempuyang Temple and Lahangan Sweet instead.

Additionally, the weather wasn’t on our side that day. It suddenly started pouring, even though April is usually a dry season in Bali.

5. Lahangan Sweet

Of course I know Lempuyang’s Heaven’s Gate is the most iconic place of Bali. But I wanted a different photo of Mount Agung for a change, so I intentionally skipped that for Lahangan Sweet.

There are 2 separate fees here at Lahangan. The first one is 50K IDR round trip for the Jeep.

If you don’t want to pay for the Jeep, you can walk to the entrance, but I wouldn’t do that if I were you. The path was very muddy and hilly, it was quite challenging.

Upon reaching the entrance, you have to pay another entrance ticket fee of 50K IDR per person.

Lahangan Sweet is actually a very nice place, but we couldn’t get any nice photo because the weather was still very gloomy.

We waited for an hour for the rain to stop and we still couldn’t see the Mount Agung view. :’)

This photo of my boyfriend is the clearest we could have. :’)

6. Dinner at Sugriwa’s Warung

We arrived back at our hotel around 8pm. Since we were all soaked from the rain, we had to take a quick shower before heading out for dinner.

Sugriwa’s Warung was our choice for dinner.

As I reflected back, that day seemed cursed from the start. Tirta Gangga disappointed us, the Mount Agung viewpoint was obscured, and the rain just wouldn’t stop. And then there was this food.

Great presentation, right?

What’s that one dish that you’d remember for life? Not because it was good, but because it will haunt your culinary memories forever. For me, it’s this dish, Nasi Kuning.

I hate how oily and overpowering the rice fragrance was, it nearly made me puke. I ended up eating my boyfriend’s food. Fortunately, the other dishes were decent.

Day 4: Nusa Penida

Here comes our day 4, another early wake-up call. 😂

Nusa Penida is another island you can visit from Bali. Initially, we planned to go there ourselves, but after calculating all the costs, booking a tour on Klook proved to be a cheaper option.

We booked a day trip tour from Bali for $38.15 each. The tour included pick-up and drop-off from Circle K Central Ubud to Sanur Harbor, a boat transfer to Nusa Penida, a car with a driver who also acts as a guide to places around East Nusa Penida, entrance fees, and lunch.

Nusa Penida’s attractions are divided into 2; the east and the west. Since we didn’t have enough time and wanted to see Kelingking Beach, we opted for the east. There are so many places to explore on Nusa Penida; I recommend staying for a minimum 2 nights on the island if you’ve got the time.

Upon arriving at the pick-up point in Ubud, the driver will take a photo of your group to send to the guide on Nusa Penida. This way, the guide will recognize you instantly when you arrive on the island.

We left Sanur Harbor at 7:30am and reached Nusa Penida at 8:30am.

Upon arrival, you’ll see many motorbikes ready for rent. This makes it super easy for travelers who want to explore the island themselves. But beware, the roads on Nusa Penida are even narrower than those in Bali. I don’t recommend self-driving if you’re not used to riding motorbikes.

1. Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong

Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong are located at the same place, and these two were our first stops.

Welcome to Broken Beach. But I’m not broken, just broke. 😂

It might look like I was alone at the Broken Beach, right? No, look at all the people waiting for their turns here. 🤣

And here’s Angel’s Billabong. It was quite windy, so I couldn’t get the best photos here.

There are usually a lot of people queueing up for photos here, so be mindful and don’t spend too long for yourself.

Once you’re done taking photos of these 2 spots, don’t head back just yet. Take a walk around and enjoy the ocean breeze. It was really refreshing.

2. Kelingking Beach

Kelingking Beach was our next stop after Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong. This was the place we looked forward to the most.

It truly lived up to my expectations. How could a beach be this beautiful?

Find someone who takes photos for you like Balinese guides do. 😂

We had a short lunch break before heading to our next destination.

3. Crystal Bay

If only we had known that Crystal Bay was like this, we would have asked our guide to stay at Kelingking. :’)

This Crystal Bay isn’t crystal at all. This photo looks nice because I took it with full natural light. It was far from reality. So if you have Crystal Bay on your itinerary, just skip it. :’)

After visiting all the places on the east side, I realized that we could actually do East and West in the same day had we arrived in Nusa Penida earlier. I couldn’t find the combined tour on Klook when I booked, but later I saw an ad for the East and West Nusa Penida day trip tour on our driver’s car.

So if you’re ever in Bali and wanting to visit Nusa Penida, I recommend either doing the East and West day trip or staying for 2 nights for the best experience. This way, you’ll have enough time to explore both sides of the island and fully appreciate its beauty.

4. Sang Spa and Yoga Center

We got back to our hotel around 7:00pm. It’s a sin to leave Bali without trying a Balinese massage, so I booked a session for all my friends at Sang Spa.

Besides, I had a very good Balinese massage during my first time in Bali, so I wanted my friends to try it too. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the place so I just googled, read some reviews, and decided to give Sang Spa a try.

The service was nice, and they welcomed us with a cold towel and a welcoming drink upon arrival.

I didn’t know what that was, but their welcoming drink tasted weird.

They also provided a form to fill out so we could indicate which areas to apply pressure to and which areas to avoid.

But it was all in vain. My masseuse didn’t even focus on the areas I wanted her to.

The room seemed old, and they didn’t dim the lights during the massage. The massage bed wasn’t comfortable and made noises as they massaged you. I really hated the experience.

So yeah, avoid Sang Spa at all cost.

5. Dinner at This is Bali

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, there’s no nightlife in Ubud. The only restaurant still open after our massage session was This is Bali.

My friend had read the reviews before going and told us it’s a 5-star spot.

The vibe was cool, but…

… but the food and drinks were far from it. They were expensive and tasted dreadful. I mean, how could you mess up a watermelon juice?

Having been to 2 places with good reviews but disappointing experiences really made us think that most places in Bali might have paid for reviews.

Day 5

Here comes our last day in Bali. This was the only day of the trip that we could sleep in until 8:00am. 😂

The last place we wanted to visit before flying back was the Sacred Monkey Forest. Since it opens at 9:00am, we decided to go check out Ubud Street Market first. Unfortunately, the market wasn’t fully opened yet.

So, we continued on our way to have breakfast at Grandpa’s while we waited for the Monkey Forest to open.

Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud

Since we had very little time before leaving for the airport, we had to rush to the Monkey Forest as soon as it opened.

The entrance fee is 80K IDR per person.

I remember the Monkey Forest being really big during my first visit in 2016. I don’t get why it felt so small now. Maybe because they closed down some temples inside? I guess.

There are also some guidelines you have to follow at the Monkey Forest. Follow them, and you’ll be safe.

Here’s the whole look of the Monkey Forest.

I wore a white flowy pants and that was kind of too attractive for the monkeys. The little ones kept following and climbing my pants, so here’s a little tip, avoid wearing white.

Wondering how much I spent for this 4 nights and 5 days trip in Bali? Here’s my expense breakdown.