Mesmerizing Bali and Gili Island


Shot By: Neha Anand Jha


I travelled to Indonesia in 2018 and never thought of writing a blog or something. But then, when I visited this beautiful country, I found something to cherish for life and I wanted to share this story with each travel enthusiast. Also, since I was getting a lot of request from my friends regarding the trip itinerary and travel plans for Bali, Indonesia for quite some time, I thought to share it as soon as possible. And, here it is guys :) Sun-shines, if you have kept this in your bucket list then please don’t keep it for so long and just do it. There is something so incredible about this country which you will remember forever.

The Balinese food, the Indonesian culture, those amazing people, the pristine blue sea beaches, Ubud rice fields/terrains, Balinese temples, the crystal clear turquoise water & dazzling nightlife of Gili’s island, those soothing sunrises of Mount Batur and the mesmerizing sunsets at Tanah Lot and so much more, makes this country extremely lovable and attractive to travelers. So here is how you can plan a trip to Bali, Indonesia.




Guys, please note that Indonesia has got so much to see and explore, and Bali is just a part of it. So if you are following a one-week itinerary, you got to be very selective about the places that you would like to visit. Here is my 7-days itinerary which I created after going through several vlogs and articles on Indonesia Travel Guide:

Bangalore, India ~Denpasar (Bali)~Kuta~Nusa Penida ~Gili Trawangan Island (Lombok)~Ubud(Bali)~Kuta(Bali)~Denpasar(Bali)~Bangalore

We started our trip to Indonesia from Bangalore, India. For Indians, it’s absolutely free visa-on-arrival, if you are planning to stay for less than 30 days.

Day1: Once we landed at Denpasar, Bali, we had to wait in the queue for about an hour to get the passport stamp and free VOA done. The local currency in Bali, as with the rest of Indonesia, is known as the rupiah (IDR). It’s better to carry USDs instead of INR currency since INR to IDR conversion is quite difficult and tedious. You can convert your USDs at Bali Airport or even outside of the airport depending on the currency rates. I would suggest getting the currency exchange done outside the airport somewhere in Bali city considering better conversion rates. We had carried the USD currency and got it converted in Bali city.

The first thing you gotta do is to take a local sim/Data Card of Bali, Indonesia. You can get it at the airport itself. After getting the sim you can book the cab. Uber service is available at the airport, so it’s pretty easy to get the cabs. We had planned to stay in Kuta on the very first day to just relax and admire the local beauty and culture.

Day 2: when we started our trip to Nusa Penida island. It’s an amazing place with so many beautiful sights to visit and explore. The mighty blue ocean, white sands and the lush green landscape make this place truly admirable. To reach Nusa Penida island, you got to take ferry services from Sanur beach in the city. It takes approximately 90 minutes to reach Nusa Penida from Sanur beach. Once you get down from the ferry, you can call up the local point of contact from your hotel and they can arrange cabs. We stayed in Bataran Garden Cottage (Booked through Booking.com and our generous host arranged a cab for us). We were welcomed at the cottage with fruity slush mocktails, the moment we reached. Believe me, folks this cottage was perfect: beautiful, serene and peaceful like heaven.


Link to book the hotel:

https://www.booking.com/hotel/id/bataran-garden-cottage.html


Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

Day 3: After having a peaceful and relaxing contemplation at the ocean, the volcanoes, and the fast-moving ferries last evening, we started our excursion for the mesmerizing kelingking cliff and broken beach early morning around 5 AM. To visit these places, you got to hire a scooter. Because of patchy and broken roads on hilly terrain, you can take a guide if you are scared of driving. We had hired a scooter since we wanted to drive. But it was tough to ride on the broken patches, But like they say all :

Most of the bad roads end up with a beautiful destination.

And it was absolutely true. Wow, this was one of those utterly serene places I have seen till now. The serenity blew my mind, the moment we reached the broken beach. It was a blissful morning. This is how it looked like:

Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

Spending a peaceful time while hearing the soothing mystical sound of waves was the best thing to do here. Also getting kissed by the sun rays in such a beautiful morning was a very warm experience.



We left this place after 45 minutes and started driving towards the Kelingking cliff. Guess what, for a moment we thought that we have lost Kelingking cliff. It’s a little inside, so you got to have little patience while driving on this road. Ohh, I can see one part of the cliff finally. Such a relief after knowing that we have arrived at the right place.


This place was wonderful. All I can say is that if someone didn’t see this in Nusa Penida till now, then they haven’t seen the best of it yet. Staring at the turquoise blue ocean and white sandy terrain from here was such a spellbound experience. This is how the view looked like: After spending some tranquil time at the cliff, we planned to drive back to our cottage since we had to check out at noon itself.


Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

We reached our cottage around 12 PM and had lunch there itself. They serve delicious Balinese food which is to die for. Okay, it’s time to bid goodbye to Nusa Penida and run to catch a ferry for Gili Trawangan.


So here it is, Indonesia has got this beautiful, secluded archipelago of three tiny islands called Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air which is on the west coast of Lombok.


After going through blogs, we decided to land at Gili Trawangan because of more pristine beaches and serenity. Guess what? Though it’s secluded, It still has got dazzling nightlife and is very popular among partyholic people.




Shot By: Neha Anand Jha



After a 2.5-hour ferry ride, we finally landed at the party island “Gili T” and it was like a different world altogether. Since it’s a pretty and a tiny island, we just walked towards our resort- Pearl of Trawangan.


Well, this resort was our ultimate exclusive selection in Gilis because of the oceanfront view, dazzling views, and beautiful sea-front dine-in. No doubt, this place was truly a wonderland.

If you like it, you can book this place right here at booking.com

Well, it was a gloomy evening and yet our resort was looking extremely charismatic, dazzling literally like a pearl in water. We had chosen this place for the amazing sunrise view. There are sunset points as well on the island which can be explored. This resort offers sea-front dine-in experience. Well in the evening, a candlelight dinner was arranged which was pretty amazing. Hearing the ocean waves and just looking at the stars was the best thing to do apart from enjoying the delicious meal. A glimpse of the same:

Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

You must be wondering how come our Day -3 is having so many activities. Well, because we started our day quite early around 5:00 AM and didn't sit back because of this beautiful country which offers so many amazing things to feel and experience.

Day 4: Started with a lovely view from our cottage which encouraged us to go out and participate in some yoga activities before the sunrise. Well, the sunrise at this place was just mesmerizing. This is how it looked like:

Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

After spending some soothing sun-kissed moments, we planned for breakfast and island hopping. Well, what to say about breakfast, it had all the good things good for the gut, salmon, vegetables, bread, juices, special Indonesian black coffee, and desert. After having a power breakfast, we took the bicycles and started roaming around the island. Bicycles are quite easy to hire in Gili T, most of the resorts have got the option of hiring a bicycle. This island very small and can be explored easily in 5–6 hours. You can experience swings above the crystal clear water.

Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

Post the island tour we returned back to our cottage and indulged in the pool and mocktails therapy to recover from suntan and tiredness caused due to bicycle ride. After some wonderful swimming experience at the pool, we decided to have lunch and check out from Gilis for the next adventure. Around 12 ' O clock, we checked out and left Gili Trawangan for Ubud. You got to take a ferry back till Padang Bai for Ubud. As you can easily get cabs and other transport options from Padang Bai. It took almost three hours to reach Padang Bai from Gili Trawangan. And from there, we took a shared cab which took us to Ubud. The shared transport will drop you till the main cab stand of Ubud. Now you got to call up your hotel and check if they can arrange to pick up from the bus stand to the hotel. Be cautious, we had a little incident while booking with Uber. The local drivers in Ubud, kind of don’t let Uber drivers come in for pick up in few areas which is a little disappointing. Well, our hotel arranged the cab and we finally reached it.


Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

In Ubud, we stayed at Ananda Cottages. Wow, this place was marvelous. It has such an antique royal temple alike architecture. The place is lush green, so calm that you can even listen to tiny raindrops drizzling. It was truly like heaven. Ubud was one of our most favorite places in Bali. It’s so pretty, spiritual, clean, green and antique. Looks like you are touched with culture everywhere. Since we reached quite late at night, we just decided to get freshen up, relax and then explore the local culture and cuisines. It was such a lovely experience walking on the green trails and feeling the soothing breeze here.




A glimpse of Ubud:



Shot By: Neha Anand Jha





Day 5: was totally dedicated to Ubud, since we loved this place so much. We started our day quite early in the morning. As we had planned for a hike to Campuhan Ridge. It’s a popular Instagram spot for photographers. The hike was definitely sweaty one, though we started early in the morning. But this wonderful lush green trail made us forget all the tiredness. I totally loved this beautiful, heavenly gorgeous part surrounded by rice paddy terrains.


Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

After this revitalizing hike, we planned to return to our cottage and wrap the day with a last tour of Ananda Cottage, which was our first pick for staying in Ubud because of many reasons like location, mouth-watering food, antique architecture, and amazing views. And it proved it all:

Okay, it’s time to bid bye to Ubud, though it was tough because it was our most favorite place among all. But, like it’s said everything comes to an end someday. After bidding Goodbye to Ubud, we started for our final and last exploration in Bali, Indonesia which was Kuta & Tanah Lot Temple.

Kuta is about 38 km from Ubud. You can hire a taxi till your resort in Kuta. Tanah lot can be covered from both Kuta or Seminyak. We decided to stay in Kuta and cover from there, since we already had a booking in Mercure, Kuta. Well, we reached Kuta around 1:00 PM. After getting some rest and sleep, we decided to go out and explore the commercial hub of Indonesia. Well, Kuta is a little commercial and crowded. You can get mostly everything here, like shopping, food, water activities, parties and so on. Around 4 PM, we started for Tanah Lot to see the famous sunset. Also, if you want to go inside the temple, please carry sarong otherwise they don’t allow inside. This temple is popular to give the most wonderful sunset view and it was so true.


Doubtful?

Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

And this sunset was a spellbound experience for us. I have never seen a sunset like this before in my life. It felt like we are in some wonderland which is emerging colors every now and then. It was marvelous and sensational. I loved being here at this moment. After experiencing this beautiful sunset, we started wrapping for the day and returned back to our hotel in Kuta. After resting a little, we went out to explore the bustling nightlife of Kuta, where we kind of indulged in different cuisines and street hopping. And then we returned back to our hotel and slept off.

Day 6: The morning started with a super cool brunch in roof type restaurant in the hotel. Well, Mercure Kuta, is another paradise which offers oceanfront, rooftop dinner, and brunch experience. Their infinity pool is something to indulge in while looking at the ocean. This is how Mercure, Kuta looked like while it was about to rain in the morning around 10:00 AM:

Shot By: Neha Anand Jha

With this, we had to wrap our Bali trip, no wonder why we just didn’t realize that we have come to an end of our trip. Bali is an extremely beautiful place to explore at least once in life. There are still a few places which we wanted to explore but we could not, because of our exigent schedule. If you are planning to visit Indonesia anytime soon, please add one more week additional to explore Mount Rinjani trek, Lombok (which we dropped due to a minimum of 3 days trek, up and down, we had to give up). Mount Rinjani is popular for its active volcanos and gorgeous crater lake view!

Please don’t forget to endorse me if you liked this guide and travel plan for your next trip to Indonesia. You can also send me a message for any further details.😊

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