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1. Posted by jax_07 (Full Member 76 posts) 11y

Hey Everyone

My friend and I are going to Bali for two weeks over the New Year and, as neither of us has been before, any hints and tips as to what do to and where to go to make the absolute most of our time there would be just fab!;)

Many Thanks

Jax

2. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 11y

Yo Jax,
I posted this reply to your initial 'Bali' question in the 'Asia' section back in late August.

I've been to Bali about 8 times (only takes 3.5 hours from Perth in Western Australia thankfully), and there is much more to Bali than Kuta and the nightlife.
For your first time there, I would suggest hiring a Bemo (minivan) for a day (with some other travellers to share the costs)and going to Uluwatu temple in the morning, Tanah Lot temple for sunset (lots of tourists i'm afraid) and maybe Ubud in the mountains between Uluwatu and Tanah Lot (depends how early you start the day!!!). I haven't been to Ubud for about 5 years but the scenery on the way up the mountains and there in Ubud is fantastic. If you get to the Monkey forest just outside Ubud, do what the guide book says.
Watch out for the fecking thieving monkeys!!!
In fact, get the latest Bali Lonely Planet out of your local library and take it with you on holiday.. That's what I usually do, going with the premise that a guide book for any foreign country hasn't been fulfilled till it has been rifled, dropped and smeared with local foodstuffs (curry/satay sauce) and stale beer.
Check out the Bemo prices with other backpackers and expect to bargain if need be, but please don't forget that 5 quid to a Balinese is quite a lot of money, and probably bugger all to you in the cost of your holiday.
If my wife and I are going anywhere in Bali or Lombok to stay, we generally use Perama Travel(they have a kiosk and an office on Jalan Legan which is the main drag). They drive backpackers all over Indonesia (and Bali of course) if needed at a very reasonable price.
If you haven't booked accomodation for the full two weeks, why don't you spend 2-3 nights on the island of Nusa Lembongan. A coupla hours by local boat but so so veged. Check out Perama about getting to Lembongan, as the local boat from Sanur can be very,and I mean VERY, overcrowded.
Get off the local (or Perama) boat, hang a left on the beach, go past Mainsky's and check out the Puri Indah? My wife and I stayed there about 6 years ago and it was basic but so good. Anyway, there are lots of cheap accomodation along Lembongan beach.
You can watch surfers (American, Aussie, Brazilian, etc)launch into the ocean from the steps 5 yards from the hostel lounge on their way to surf Shipwrecks, a nasty shallow reef visible from the Puri Indah.
That island ranks with Gili Meno off north-west Lombok for just Lotus Eating!!!
If you do manage to get to Nusa Lembongan, check out Coconuts Resort (Nusa Lembongan and Coconuts on my pics). MAGIC!!!
If you like snorkelling, Nusa Lembongan is the place to go. You hire a local boat (bring your own gear if you can) and they take you to the cliffs of Nusa Penida island close by.
The current runs slow but sure, so they drop you off at one spot and the current slowly takes you down the reefs with no effort on your part. Fantastic sealife, and the last time we did that in 2003 we saw an huge 8 metre Manta-Ray silently glide by. Awesome!!!
WARNING!!! I'm early 50's and still get local Indonesian's whisper the word 'marijuana' while I'm walking the main streets of Kuta.
I ALWAYS say 'No', NEVER stop and just keep walking.
If that happens to you, do the same for God sake.
Never stop to talk to the person offering, and NEVER be in the same room or even close to anyone who's blowing a spliff.
There are currently 8-12 Aussies nicked in Bali facing 10-15 years in an Indonesian slammer for either being stupid or being in the wrong place, so please DON'T.
WARNING!!! Large Bintangs (local beer) are yummy, but can have an adverse effect if taken to extreme during the heat of the day. Trust me, been there and have done that.
Also, Arak Attacks (local but deadly mix of local Arak spirit and mixers) are EVIL, and should be comsumed as close to your hotel/hostel as possible.
Take a 1/2 hour walk south of Kuta along the beach to Tuban and have lunch at the Pantia restaurant, just back from the Bali Hai Holiday Inn beach.
I love sitting in that restaurant watching surfers out on the reefs and planes flying in to Bali every 20 minutes.
You could also spend a coupla days in Ubud, Candi Dasa or Lovina which is on the north coast of Bali if you are free and easy with accomodation planning.

ENJOY

Anthony

3. Posted by alohaJimbo (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

:)Hi,
I have to agree with 95% of the previous poster. However, as one whom has been to Bali over 10x, you could stay at a number of places additionally. There is a reasonably priced spot on the dry NE coast of the island - I forget the name. Any decent travel spot will have the information, if they don’t simply travel down the street and ask at another shop.
I always center my travels out of Ubud. I am not a surfer, though I did when I was younger - though not too frequently. Rent a local driver for a day or two, they run the gamut so ask around. Ask at the hotels, or sleeping spots, you may be quite suprised.
I have to agree with the previous poster regarding drugs. Absolutely, stay away. On one of my various travels to Bali, I ended up working undercover, if you will, with the local police to ensnare a local(?) Chinese(Singaporean, probably) gambling honcho. I saw Westerners in the hoosegow waiting trial, very sad, not pretty! The story is way too long and probably would make a good novella, but I got to see how the local police operate, very interesting to say the least. Also, got to see the night trade, if you will. Hustlers, hookers, and bancis - very long nights.
Travel to Lombok or Java - it’s worth it.
Good luck and peace,
alohaJimbo

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