We spent our final two days of our Bali holiday in Jimbaran; just 15 minutes south of the airport. I had heard good reviews from coworkers about Jimbaran and wanted to try to see as much of Bali as possible during our short trip. Unfortunately, Jimbaran did not come close to our expectations and was the least enjoyable part of our trip. Allow me to explain..
After leaving the Gili Islands, we went back to Ubud for one night as we didn’t get a chance to do the Mt Batur sunrise trek when we were there earlier. I love hiking and didn’t want to miss what was to be an incredible hike up during the night (which I had never done before) in order to see the sun rise up behind the massive mountains of Agung and Rinjani on Lombok.
I highly recommend you visit a few tour stalls before settling on a price. We were being quoted between 550,000 – 750,000 IDR ($50 – $71 CDN) per person from a few companies. Then we came upon one tour agency that offered us 600,000 IDR for both of us. We were so glad we took the time to look around before making a final decision; this price was half the cost of all the other companies and the itinerary was the same. The name of the trekking tour company was Pineh Trekking and we had no complaints during our trek.
The Gili Islands are comprised of three small islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air – just west of Lombok in Indonesia. They have become a popular destination for tourists who are looking for a relaxing, remote island vacation.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of the islands and is by far the busiest and most developed – has more choice in shops, accommodations, restaurants, and has a bit of a night scene. This island is a good place to go if you want an island experience, but still have a selection of luxuries available to you.
Gili Meno is the middle of the three islands and is the smallest and least busy. This island is great for people who really want to get away from civilization and are looking for simplicity. Since there isn’t much to do on the island, you should come here if all you plan on doing is planting yourself on the beach with a book in hand.
Gili Air is closest to mainland Lombok and is a bit of a mix between Gili T and Gili Meno. This island is a popular destination for couples as it still is quiet and relaxing, but also has a few more options than Gili Meno. You should come here if you are looking for seclusion with satisfactory services.
Monkeys are cute, funny, and friendly.. Right?
Wrong. Heading to the Monkey Forest in Ubud might make you think twice about these furry animals.
Since I am writing about my experience heading to the Ubud Monkey Forest, or the Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary as is stated on the entrance sign (try saying that five times fast), then you can be rest assured that I did survive and my tips might very well help you do the same if you decide to go.
After spending three nights in Kuta, I was ready to leave the craziness behind and head to Ubud. From all the hype that I had heard from others about Ubud, I was really excited to spend some time there. Afterall, Eat, Pray, Love had portrayed this area as a haven for soul-searchers and those wanting to escape their big-city routine life. Though I found Ubud to be much more enjoyable than Kuta, there were a few things that surprised me. And not in the jumping up and down sorta way.
One thing I’ve noticed when travelling is that pending your destination, the name of your accommodations change; hostel, pension house, guesthouse, and so forth. In Ubud, most places were referred to as “homestays” and it is quite a fitting name, as the accommodations were very home-y, alluring, and comfortable.
When walking through the streets of Ubud you will notice steps leading up to a narrow passage with an over-arching frame and usually a statue of an elephant or some other symbol at the front. These are what the entrance-ways to most homestays look like, which is very different from other accommodations I’ve stayed in. Once stepping through the entrance, it felt as though I was transported to a different time and place where I was surrounded by the beauty of Balinese architecture and the simplicity of a far-off time. Finally. This was the Bali I was looking for (you can check out my opinion on Kuta, our first stop, here).