Indonesia – Bali

Since Bali has loads of cheap international flights, we used it as our base while traveling in and around Indonesia and Malaysia. We got to know the island pretty well as we hopped in and out over the past several months. Our friends Grace and Kirn joined us for a whirlwind couple of days in Bali so we revisited a couple of sites that we had previously been to (Besakih Temple, Tegallalang Rice Fields, Goa Gajah Elephant Cave) but there were plenty of new destinations to explore. Highlights of our time in Bali include checking out the macro diving at Tulamben and Amed (both are fabulous SCUBA destinations for a plethora of nudibranchs), Tirta Gangga Royal Water Palace, seeing all the Ogoh-ogoh paper mâché statues sprouting up in villages throughout Bali in preparation for the annual Ngrupuk Parade, visiting waterfalls (Blangsinga, Uma Anyar, Sumampan, Kanto Lampo), witnessing the holy purification ceremony of Melasti at Masceti Beach, playing with monkeys at the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest, and watching the fantastic Ogoh -ogoh parade the day before Nyepi. Bali never fails to disappoint and we will definitely be back again one of these days!

Nitty Gritty:

Tulamben Dive (WhatsApp +62 81915699681): With over 500 glowing reviews online, we chose this local owned operator as our dive center in Tulamben and could not have been happier. We had our own private dive master (the excellent Kadek), all dive gear, lunch, and 3 dives for IDR 1100k ($70 USD) each per day. Additionally, the dive center owns Tulamben Dive Villa so they offered us accommodation with breakfast, AC, hot showers and swimming pool for IDR 350k ($22) per night. It was easy to keep extending our stay here and we ended up doing 10 dives over 3 days.

Chops and Hops: The best restaurant in Tulamben, hands down! Order the schnitzel and you won’t be disappointed.

Kubu Di-kayla Guesthouse (+62 81236803366): Need a great place to stay in Sanur? This guesthouse has rave reviews on but save yourself some money by booking directly with the owner. We paid IDR 250k ($16) for a private room with ensuite bathroom, AC, hot water shower, WiFi, flat screen TV, fridge, shared kitchen. Extremely clean and comfortable and the owner is lovely.

Bali Made Tour ( Need a private car and driver? We got a great deal booking with these guys and they are willing to create any custom tour you’d like for a good price. Our driver was fantastic and the vehicle was clean and comfortable for the four of us. We paid IDR 750k ($47) for a driver/vehicle for up to 10 hours.

Wahwik’s House (+62 81239317998): Want a clean, comfortable and budget place to stay in Ubud? Booking directly with the owner will get you a better price than Nyoman (owner) is wonderful and prepares breakfasts for you daily on the top floor overlooking the monkey sanctuary. Our room had an ensuite bathroom, AC, hot water shower, good WiFi and breakfast. We paid IDR 729k ($46) for 5 nights which works out to $9 a day.

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