2018 has been a year of extremes. I’ve had the hardest battles at one end and got answered prayers on the other. But for the mountaintops and setbacks, I’m grateful. I’m grateful because more than anything else, His grace abounds.
I’m grateful that every time I make stupid decisions, my Dad up there embraces me with discipline and unfathomable love. I’m grateful because I don’t deserve everything I have, yet God continuously opens His hands generously. I’m grateful that even if I’m a work in progress, I can still be used somewhere somehow. I’m grateful that I have Jesus because even if I’m just a speck in a world filled with trillions of people, I still exist because I have a purpose.
I’m grateful that I have strong, supportive loved ones who see the best and worst of me every day, yet choose to love and back me up nevertheless. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve encountered this year — those who left and those who’ve chosen to stay.
I’m grateful for new experiences, new cultures explored, and all the opportunities that came unexpectedly. I’m grateful for the humbling failures which reminded me that learning never stops, and that traversing life isn’t easy.
I’m grateful for this year, for every minute of it, because He has designed my days and made them all worthwhile.
Tourists from different continents have been flocking into Bali, Indonesia in recent years, and as a fellow Asian, it made me wonder why. My sheer curiosity led to actual flight tickets from Manila to Bali last August 31, 2018.
There’s so much to explore in this region, but because two of my friends and I only had four days to wander, we’ve decided to explore just three of the most popular districts in Bali: Ubud, Buleleng, and Kuta.
Meanwhile, if you’re planning to visit Bali, Indonesia anytime soon, you can save this Ubud-Baleleng-Kuta itinerary for reference.
Let’s get straight into the tourist destinations, then I’ll share with you the budget or breakdown of expenses before the blog ends.
DAY 1 – Ubud
We started our DIY tour in Ubud, one of the most culturally-rich regions in Indonesia. You’ll see temples, statues and worship places almost everywhere in this city, even at the hotel you’ll be staying in.
Balinese are immensely religious people. You’ll notice them putting incense at their doorstep. They also have “dance worship nights” that you can easily watch across the street. Ubud is aesthetically pleasing and colorful as well, especially because of its picturesque Hindu temples and palaces such as Ubud Royal Palace, Pura Desa Ubud, Pura Tamaran Sarasuati, and Ubud Water Palace.
Aside from temple-hopping, we’ve also tasted some of their famous cuisines, including Nasi Goreng, Satay and Nasi Campur. My favorite restaurant in Ubud is Warung Biah! Biah! This restaurant has a TripAdvisor badge, serving reasonably-priced, authentic Balinese dishes. I’ve noticed that most of the diners here are Europeans.
We also went to The Blanco Renaissance Museum, owned by the Filipino Artist Don Antonio Blanco. You’ll have to pay IDR50,000 or P180.55 to enter, inclusive of a free drink. It has become a landmark in Ubud because of the museum’s attractive architecture and Blanco’s collection of alluring paintings of women.
We also went to another temple that offers sarong for rent for only IDR10,000 or P37.00.
Tourist Spots Mentioned:
Ubud Royal Palace
Pura Desa Ubud
Pura Tamaran Sarasuati
Ubud Water Palace
The Blanco Renaissance Museum (Entrance Fee: IDR50,000 or P185)
Day 2 – Buleleng & Ubud
On the first half of our second day, we drove all the way to the northern part of Bali via private car for rent. This region is called Buleleng, which is 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Ubud center. To be honest, we came here for the ‘gram. We didn’t see anything different, except for the Instagrammable spots in Handara Golf & Resort Entrance, Wanagiri Hidden Hills and Ulun Daru Beratan Temple.
After taking hundreds of photos in Baleleng region, we went back to Ubud to see Goa Gajah, a famous elephant cave that also serves as a sanctuary. Then, we moved forward to Tegalalang Rice Terraces, also located in Ubud.
Aside from trekking, you can also go for a swing on top of Tegalalang Rice Terraces, grab some snacks or simply enjoy the relaxing, green landscape.
Our second day ended with a fine dinner at Bumi Bali, and by watching a band perform on a park near the hotel.
Tourist Spots Mentioned:
Handara Golf & Resort (Entrance Fee: IDR30,000 or P111.00)
Wanagiri Hidden Hills (The amount you’ll pay depends on the photo package that you’ll avail and the number of tourist spots you’ll visit.)
Ulun Daru Beratan Temple
Goa Gajah (Entrance fee: IDR15,000 or P55.5)
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
DAY 3 – Ubud & Kuta
It’s our last day in Ubud so we dedicated it for shopping. We searched for rattan bags, crafts, and other unique pasalubong items at the Ubud Art Market. After that, we checked out from our hotel and left for Kuta.
Kuta is a district in Badung Regency, Indonesia. It’s been famous for its surfing-friendly beach, and world-class resorts. I haven’t tried surfing before so I was very excited about this part of the trip.
We checked in at Lusa Hotel, freshened up, and went out for a walk. We ended up at Beachwalk Shopping center, the popular mall with vibrant architecture just across Kuta beach.
The rest of our day was spent chillin’ by the beach, talking about life, our dreams, heartaches, etc. In fact, we’ve enjoyed this day so much that we weren’t able to take as many photos as we did on the previous days. And that’s not a problem after all.
Tourist Spots Mentioned:
Ubud Art Market
Beachwalk Shopping Center
DAY 4 – Kuta
Surfing day, finally! We’ve spent half of our last day braving the waves in Kuta Beach.
We had a late lunch at the Beachwalk Shopping Mall, and watched the releasing of turtles at Kuta Beach c/o the Bali Sea Turtle Society. After that, we went straight to Ngurah Rai International Airport to catch our flight back to Manila.
Ubud: Dono Guest House (with FREE breakfast)
Kuta: Lusa Hotel (with FREE breakfast)
Budget/Expenses (per pax)
Roundtrip Airfare: P8,540 via Cebu Pacific & Air Asia
Travel Tax: P1,620
Dono Guest House: P908/pax (Total bill is P2,722.6 for two (2) nights divided by three (3) pax)
Lusa Hotel: P433/pax (Total bill is P1,400 for one (1) night divided by three (3) pax)
10-hour private car rental with driver for Buleleng tour: P710/pax (Total is US$40 divided by three (3) pax)
Transpo from Airport to Hotel: P196/pax (Total bill is P587 (IDR160,000) divided by three (3) pax)
The Blanco Renaissance Museum Entrance Fee: P184 or IDR50,000
Goa Gajah Entrance Fee: P165 or IDR15,000
Handara Golf & Resort Entrance Fee: P110.00 or IDR30,000
Wanagiri Hidden Hills: P518 or IDR140,000
Transpo from Dono Guest House to Lusa Hotel: 370/pax (Total bill is P1,110 (IDR300,000) divided by three (3) pax)
Surfing Board Rentals + Lessons: P2,035 or IDR550,000
Transpo from Lusa Hotel to Airport: P185/pax (Total bill is P555 (IDR150,000) divided by three (3) pax)
I hope you’ve learned a thing or two from this itinerary. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask away, or message me on Instagram. Thanks and have an awesome trip ahead!