Just less than three hours away from Singapore by plane, Bali is the perfect destination for a short getaway.
Take your pick on a holiday you desire. Don’t feel like doing anything and just want to chill on a soft, sandy beach? Think you deserve to party and celebrate all day? Or is your body in need of some relaxing deep tissue massage?
No matter what type of traveller you are, our Bali guide has what you want!
1. The beach lover
One of the best beach clubs in Bali, in my opinion, is La Brisa in Canggu. Every corner is Instagram-worthy and if you get there before 11am, there’s no minimum spend for their bean bags or front row seats to the sea. Their menu pricing is also very reasonable and you can stay for as long as you want. We spent about IDR 315K (S$30) in total for breakfast and two drinks.
If you are staying in Seminyak and do not want to travel out, you are lucky that the beach is probably walkable from your accommodation. A popular hangout for sunset is La Plancha. But if you are going there in the morning, you can rent beach chairs (around IDR 200K for two hours) and surfboards (around IDR 50 to 100K for an hour). Don’t want to rent a chair? No problem, just lay your beach mat anywhere and enjoy!
For the surfers, Blue Point Beach is amazing. The nearby Padang Padang beach a.k.a. Eat Pray Love beach is a crowded beach with a mini cave you can swim to and explore.
Further south of Bali you will find Sundays beach club, a beautiful venue in Uluwatu. Entry costs IDR 450K, which includes IDR 250K of food credits, full beach access with towels and WIFI, and use of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and snorkelling gear.
2. The spa-goer
When I saw a photo of Spring Spa on Instagram, I immediately put it on my to-go list for my next Bali trip. I enjoyed my shower and their signature massage at the Canggu outlet. It also helps that the interior is so chic! The only gripe I had – they didn’t offer complimentary tea. Any drinks you order are chargeable.
One of the largest spas in Bali, Prana Spa in Seminyak offers an entirely different experience. Stepping in brings you into a whole new world, surrounded by Indian and Middle Eastern-themed interiors. The signature massage starts with a foot bath and scrub, followed by a massage using a combination of Swedish and Balinese techniques. Free transport service to and from the spa is provided.
If you are looking for some luxurious pampering, try Spa Alila in Ubud. Their pricing is expensive for Bali standards but you wouldn’t get the same value in such a setting in Singapore.
3. The foodie
Throughout my whole trip in Bali, I never had a bad meal. One of my favourite places to dine at is Bambu, a stunning Indonesian restaurant. Try their shrimp coconut glass noodles served inside a banana leaf and chicken sate.
Another restaurant at the top of my list is the Potato Head Restaurant, where their clams in coconut broth and chilli and pepper fried calamari got me planning my next visit. I recommend getting their daybed (first-come-first-serve) with a minimum spend of IDR 500K.
Craving for some Nasi Campur? I stumbled across Batik and got attracted by their charming outdoor seating. The food turned out to be delicious as well. It is also conveniently located near Seminyak Village.
Right opposite Seminyak Village is Sisterfields, a hip cafe with an amazing brunch menu.
At Ubud, Gaya Gelato is a must-try. They have interesting fruit flavours like Soursop, Tamarillo, and Passionfruit. For dining, Arang Sate Bar has great online reviews.
Also, don’t forget to try Bali’s street food, such as Lawar (with Babi Guling), Bakso, and grilled corn!
4. The tastemaker
Bali is basically homeware paradise. It’s hard to go home without buying some baskets, cushion covers, and tableware. Some shops you have to visit are Mercredi, Quince, Kim Soo, Satunama, and Bungalow Living.
In need of some new Bikini? Then you must pop by Olenka, a local swimwear label. Prices are on the steeper side but you would find their bright prints hard to resist.
Bali is peppered with Australian brands. Enki Eyewear is one of them. You can find their unique sunglasses at many stores, including multi-brand fashion store Escalier at the Potato Head Beach Club.
5. The adventure seeker
Bali is a great destination for adventure seekers. Ascending Mount Batur in the early morning darkness is a popular choice. But for those who are not up for it, there’s always the easy Campuhan Ridge Walk located near Ubud centre.
Always in search for the perfect photo opportunity? Then you wouldn’t want to miss Bali Swing (entry at 10 USD), where the lush greenery below you serves as your backdrop.
For the water lovers, Bali presents the ideal conditions for rafting, surfing, snorkelling, and waterfall chasing. All these can be booked in advance online.
6. The Yogi
In Bali, yoga focuses equally on spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. My recommended studio to visit is Ubud Yoga Centre. For me, if I am going to do yoga in Bali, I want an environment or class that is different than Singapore. The setting of Ubud Yoga Centre is breathtaking and I wished we had an affordable studio in Singapore that looked like this! I went for the Breathwork class (IDR 140K) and it was indeed something new.
Another studio you can consider is Samadi Yoga, located in Canggu. It is more rustic, bringing you back to basics. Doing yoga surrounded by nature is such a treat.
7. The merrymaker
Bali is a wonderland for the fun-loving. Motel Mexicola is my number one pick when it comes to partying. There’s just no place quite like it. Picture people dancing on tables, shots from the bottle and flaming flamingos given out freely, and amazing mambo night style music playing all night long. This place is arguably the best place to have an unforgettable stag or hen’s night.
If you are a sucker for sunsets and good drinks, go to Single Fin and Rock Bar in Uluwatu, Woobar at W Hotel, Ku De Ta, La Plancha, and Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak, Old Man’s, The Lawn, and Finns Beach Club in Canggu.
8. The Culture Junkie
Go temple hopping – get a rice blessing at Tanah Lot Temple, watch the nightly Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple, bathe in holy water at Tirta Empul Temple, and travel back in time at Goa Gajah.
Marvel at the iconic Ubud Royal Palace, which was the official residence of the royal family of Ubud. Once inside, take your time to appreciate the building’s history and well-preserved Balinese architecture and gardens. Also, don’t miss their daily evening dance performances (IDR 100K).
Lastly, some would say the best way to understand a country’s culture is through its food. Bali offers a host of cooking classes where you can learn more about the local cuisine and maybe make it yourself when you are back home!
Bali guide: where to stay
What’s great about Bali is that it has accommodation options for every budget!
For budget travellers, Airbnb is your best friend. I booked Penelopy Suites via Airbnb and only paid less than S$50 per night. New to Airbnb? Use my promo code and get S$45 worth of credits (that’s one night stay in Bali!).
If you prefer a fancier stay that doesn’t break the bank, consider Bloomfield Umalas and The Slow in Canggu, The Colony Hotel and Dash Hotel in Seminyak, and Villa Kalisat and The Pandora Hotel in Ubud.
Bali guide: getting around
For airport transfers, I would recommend you to book a driver in advance (try Klook or word of mouth). It costs about IDR 150K to 200K one way. Taking a taxi from the airport will put you in a position of being ripped off. If you really find yourself having to take a taxi from the airport, you may want to walk out of the airport area for cheaper fares. Some taxi drivers may also ask you to pay for the airport toll fee but it should have been included in their quoted price. Unless you are feeling generous, simply refuse.
For full day car and driver hire, it should cost around IDR 450K to 600K – where you go doesn’t seem to matter. You can also easily rent a motorbike from any shop along the streets, a budget way to explore Bali.
When I stayed in Seminyak, I could walk to almost everywhere. I didn’t take a single taxi to get from place to place and only rented a car when I wanted to head to Canggu and Ubud. In fact, walking everywhere allowed me to discover shops and see more things.
Bali guide: Data options
Getting a data sim card at Bali airport is not very worth it. Their offerings include more data than you probably need at a higher price. So it would be smart to have your data roaming settled before you depart Singapore. Here’s an article on the best options for data roaming from Singapore.
Book your Bali trip and spend with these air miles credit cards
- DBS Altitude Card for your online flight and hotel booking (3 miles/S$1)
- Citi Rewards Card for clothes, bag and shoe shopping (4 miles/dollar)
- BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard for everything transacted in foreign currencies (such as partying and cafe-hopping) to enjoy 5 miles/dollar until 31 Dec 2018.