We spent about 10 days in Bali, Nusa Lembongan and Labuan Bajo. It’s doable, but ambitious. As always, if you have more time, try to add at least 5 days to have a more laid back itinerary and enjoy what each place has to offer. The vibe that each place has will make you want to stay longer. In Bali, every area has it’s own personality.
Ubud has a very peaceful and zen vibe to it. There are many people that do yoga living in the area and hindu religion is a big part of people’s lives in Ubud. There are many temples and it’s so nice and inspiring to see people really believing in something and being so devote.
Nusa Lembongan is a laid back island. Extremely beautiful and you can visit its neighbors Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida which ar as beautiful. It’s a great place to relax and explore beaches and marine life. There are many diving and snorkeling spots.
Uluwatu is surfer’s paradise. There are tons of surfing points and the vibe is very much related to this. It’s a pretty fun place to visit because it has beautiful beaches to explore during the day and cool bars to explore at night.
Labuan Bajo is the base town to visit the famous Komodo islands. I have never seen beaches so beautiful and untouched as in these islands. The komodo dragons are amazong creatures, very ugly, but it’s like going back in time and meeting the dinosaurs.
- Bali is by no means representative of Indonesia as a country, it’s a small island in an enormous archipelago that has many cultures. Even with its neighboring islands like Nusa Lembongan, Gili islands and Lombok, there are cultural and religious differences. That said, the best part of Bali is its people. They are so nice and welcoming. They share with you their culture and beliefs. I found them to be very inspiring.
- Bali is very touristy, but at the same time (if you avoid Kuta like we did) you can live the culture and learn a lot during your stay.
- The food everywhere is delicious, try as much as you can, you will not regret it!
- I read a lot of posts about being careful with scams. I had been to Bali 5 years ago and had this same impression. I guess if you go on a extremely tight budget you are always looking out for every penny and might feel that you are over paying all the time. To be fair with the balinese, they will probably charge you a bit more for being a tourist, but if you convert that to dollars or euros, I assure you that the extra charge is very small for you and very significant for them. We took the approach that we are helping out a local economy and decided not to stress out about $1 or $2 surcharges. Of course there are big scams out there, so you still have to be cautious. We did not have an experience with that thankfully so we felt very happy and comfortable in the area.
- Try to spend as much time as possible in the area, there is so much to do and see, it’s worth it.
A couple of traveller tips:
- If you change money into US dollars, make sure they are new bills printed out after 1996. Nobody around Asia will change older dollars (we tried in Indonesia, Japan and Thailand).
- Everything is negotiable, you don’t have to accept first price. At the same time, as I mentioned above, keep in mind how much you’re really bargaining and if it makes sense to do so. This way you bargain for what really matters.
- Be aware of religious dates. In Bali and Nusa Lembongan Hindu is the main religion and there are a lot of celebrations that might impact your plans.
- Be flexible. Make sure the hotels you book have free cancellation policies to give you a chance to move dates in case you need to.
Stay tuned for the individual posts on each place!