How to Conquer Bali Like Locals?

I have never been to Bali before and I would never be in Bali as I told myself when I was little. But then when I opened my eyes, I was literally in Bali.

This post I dedicated to myself, me and I to be brave enough to fight the unsure, to seek the opportunity, to yell the victory and to celebrate my survival skill. I thought one year would be enough for me. But then, I asked for more.  

So here I am. It’s been almost 5 years since the first time I landed in Bali. Time flew fast indeed. It was a really long story until I ended up here in Bali. Lemme tell you. Honestly, I’m kinda shaking writing this LOL. So, let’s kick in. On January 2018, I finished my master’s degree then yes, I was in the middle of a future crisis. Poor fresh grad. I was jobless but needed an escape. Then March 2018, I had a 4-month long trip with a very limited budget and I survived!. Here’s the journey:

In June, I came back to my home country to find some jobs. Been to some interviews and all of them were a big FAILURE. After three months, I gave up. No money. Even I stayed with my friend in Jakarta because I couldn’t afford my own place. Thanks to her who gave me food as well. What a homeless me back then. I couldn’t stay forever in Jakarta without having a job and money. So I decided to move to Bandung at the beginning of October 2018 to calm myself while trying to dig deeper into my future plan which I didn’t find it still. Luckily, a very good friend of mine offered me to stay with her in Bandung until I got my job. Again, she gave me food as well cuz I couldn’t even afford my food.

So when I was in Bandung, I wasn’t really motivated to find random jobs because I wanted to do something that I like. In the middle of nowhere, I got an offer in Singapore. Suddenly, I wasn’t poor anymore HAHA.  Got back to Indonesia with lots of money, so I decided to travel from Jogja to Surabaya. It was too good to be true. Well, let’s fly to Bali! (even though I had no idea what I wanna do in Bali). No plan, no itinerary, I didn’t care. I got rid of all my unnecessary stuff in my backpack, I bought a new smaller bag, and boom! I headed to Bali like other crazy rich foreigners.

3rd of November 2018, I arrived in Bali around 9 pm local time. I don’t remember how I felt about it. It was kinda weird because I didn’t plan it. Bali wasn’t even one of the lists I wanted to visit. So yeah, I landed in Bali without knowing what I was doing in Bali.

Whatever, as somebody told me “the best plan is no plan”.  (The person who told me this back then is currently my husband. What a funny life)

Long stooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooory short, I met a super weird French guy alive, Alex, in Bali and we ended up traveling intensely together for two weeks. We discovered Bali with a motorbike from one place to another place. He is such a super cool travel mate I could have ever asked for (I hope he reads this and treat me to a fancy dinner as I mention a good thing about him which I usually don’t do). Well, yes. This person is my husband now. He gave already taken me to fancy restaurants multiple times 😛

So two weeks exploring Bali crazily was sick. There was no dull moment we had as we moved every single day to discover new places that I couldn’t have done if I was alone (simply cuz I need somebody to be a driver, you know HAHA). From the beach day, waterfall, snorkeling, singing out loud on the motorbike in the middle of the night, shopping day, and even making a spontaneous tattoo together! We tried so hard to act like a tourist even though most of the time it went wrong as we couldn’t pretend to be crazy rich foreigners for some reason. But still, even though we didn’t plan our trip, it just happened like that, spontaneously fun and memorable.

“No plan is the best plan”. Yeah, ya got dat, mate.

Two weeks just passed. My travel mate needed to go back to Australia, it was super sad. Couldn’t find any solution as my money was almost finished, yeah I was almost broke. I was tired of traveling and that was the moment I thought perhaps it was time to go back to Jakarta. I didn’t want to be homeless in Bali with no money and no job. It drove me pretty nuts. So I checked the flight back to Jakarta and YES, fu*king expensive! FU*K ME DEAD. So I decided to stay for another week.

I planned to do voluntary work to save money. I applied for an opportunity to be a volunteer but hey, they hired me to fill a full-time position. They paid me! HELL YEAH! I had no plan. I went with the flow. Damn! It was actually the shortest and the most straightforward interview I have ever done in my whole life and the good news is I got the job! I nailed it!

So, I am not gonna talk about my job here. So in the next chapter, the real story began. I am gonna tell you everything about Bali. Where to go and how to live in Bali like locals or even like a crazy rich tourist. So keep reading my bloody story as it’s going to be super wild and insane. I’ll show you what crazy can do. 

So, let’s start with the South of Bali.


Uluwatu is one of my fav destinations in Bali. You can enjoy many different beaches there such as Suluban Beach to swim and Dreamland Beach or Green Bowl Beach to watch the sunset. If you want to witness the sunset from the cliff, you can try Single Fin or Ulu Cliff :). If you want to experience a little bit of Balinese culture in the south, you may visit Uluwatu Temple. It’s the Balinese Hindu Temple on top of a steep cliff around 70 meters above the waves. This place is well-known for its amazing sunset view and the Kecak dance after the sunset (to see the Kecak dance, you just need to pay like 100k rupiahs). It took me about an hour to drive from Denpasar.  But then, totally worth it. To go inside it requires you to wear a sarong (skirt to cover your legs) as well as a shirt that covers your shoulder in order to respect the temple.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park

GWK is one of the tourist destinations located in Ungasan. 15-20 minutes from the airport but then almost 2 hours from Denpasar. It is devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion. The whole park is about 60 hectares and 263 meters above the sea. The last time I went here, I paid 175K rupiahs. Not sure how much it cost now. If you are into history and are pretty much inspired by architecture, this place might suit you at one point. The size of the statue is super huge at nearly 30 meters. It reminded me of the Liberty Statue of Bali version. 

Karang Boma Cliff 

Located in the South of Kuta. The view is pretty sick. If you are afraid of heights, perhaps you should skip this spot. But then, if you wanna step out a little bit from your comfort zone, you may try to challenge yourself. You can also hike down in less than 10 minutes. Standing up on top of the cliff while watching down is fun as well. Up to you. The price to go in is like 10K rupiahs. If you are not rich enough to afford your next move to Bali, you can easily give up on your money here. Well, the sunset view is amazing. The area is super huge and it’s not crowded as Uluwatu is. 

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot means Land in the Sea. It took me like 45 minutes to drive from Denpasar. This place is the icon of Bali as the view is super romantic when you want to enjoy the view of waves splashing to the Pura which stands strong surrounded by rock facing the ocean. The crashing waves’ view is going to make your heart beating goes dramatic in silence. Tanah Lot is located in Tabanan, only 30 km away from Denpasar, the capital city. There is a sea snake as well there is believed to protect the temple. You can also get blessed by the priests close to the temple. Just the temple itself is not for the public since it’s very sacred. 

Hard Rock Cafe Kuta 

This cafe is located in the popular surf spot of Kuta. It’s just across the Kuta beach and pretty close to the Beachwalk shopping mall. I really enjoyed my last time visit here as they had a really good musician perform and the vibe was just cozy and warm. The bartenders were super friendly. I could even stay longer even though I finished my drink already. But yeah, the price was quite expensive but the service was great. 

Kuta Beach

I am not a fan of this beach but then the reason I put this beach on the list because of two reasons. The first one, for those of you, is the first time to come to Bali, this mainstream beach is a must. As you can’t say you are in Bali if you skipped this beach. Despite your experience being different (bad or good; like or dislike), but still, this beach is a legend. So you can tell and decide once you are here. My second reason is, I came to Kuta beach only for surfing. Even though a bit crowded, but then this beach is recommended to learn the basics of surfing since the wave is kinda friendly. So you may don’t want to miss this beach. But then the drinks are pretty expensive because of the tourist spot. Better to bring your own water bottle. One more thing, the first time I was here was when I just arrived in Bali. The beach was super dirty and smelly but then the next time I came to surf, it was clean and not smelly anymore. Just to remind you to be responsible for your trash and perhaps doing a little bit of trash walk would help our beach to remain clean. Cheers mate! (I think now the beach is crowded).

Jerman Beach

This beach is underrated. That’s why I want you to come to visit this beach. It’s close to the airport but it’s not crowded. I like to come to this beach to watch the sunset while seeing airplane flying in and out. The sky is way amazing. So many little local stalls here. You can enjoy beers and coconut water or even eating at some restaurants with the decent price.

Park 23 Creative Space

This is a truly hidden gem. It looks like a shopping mall but it’s a creative hub building. There are a lot of exhibitions happening here. Art exhibition in general. Also, there is vinyl and old school music store’s here. I a ot gonna tell you the name. Find it by yourself. If you are a vinyl collector or a DJ yourself, this place is your home.

Before we move to Denpasar, I wanna talk a little bit about Seminyak and Canggu. I am honestly not sure what to talk about these 2 places. Mostly just the beach. I can just make a short conclusion about beaches okay? Seminyak Beach, Batu Belig Beach (this is my favorite one___enjoying the sunset at 707 Beach Berm) and Double Six Beach (at least these are my favorite beaches to go to). For hanging out, try to check Black Sand Brewery (this is a paradise for fine beers drinkers hahaha this place they brew their own beer. The quality is indeed like European standard)

But then, I have one strong reason to spend time in Seminyak, only for Jazz Music at Ryoshi Seminyak (House of Jazz). You shall come here every Friday and Monday night for the performance. Start from 9 pm till 1 am in the morning. You can have dinner here as well. You know Japanese restaurants will offer you many kinds of dishes. Next, Canggu. The reason I went to Canggu is just for food at Surfside Cafe and for surfing at Berawa Beach. The most important thing is for bouldering a.k.a indoor climbing at Climbing Gym Canggu.

Well, now we move to the capital city, Denpasar.

Denpasar is very unique to me. I chose to put Denpasar on my list because I love the authenticity of Bali through the capital city. Simply because this is the only place that I think you will feel like local. Walk like locals, drive motorbike like locals, and for sure eats like locals. If you are up for culinary, go hit Denpasar. You may not see any foreigners around which is good. The foods are cheap (you know the local price). I’ll show you what to visit around Denpasar if you are keen on exploring like a humble local. Let’s get to the lists.

Pasar Badung 

This is a traditional market in Denpasar. Located in front of Haris hotel. The first time I came to Bali, I came to visit this traditional market during the day. Kinda hot for sure and it’s just amazing to see fresh vegetables, fruits, and even fish in there. You can even see fresh brains! HAHA (this is my favorite place). I suggest you come in the afternoon close to the evening since so many street foods around and the vibe is just super amazing. 

Pasar Kreneng and Asoka

If you are crazy about shopping like locals. This place is super recommended! Why? Anything you need at a cheaper price is here. Even the second-hand shop is available here. Plus, if you want to try authentic tobacco from Indonesia, this traditional market offers you many kinds of tobacco as well as papers to roll. And yes, local foods are everywhere.

Sushi on The Street

Eat like locals! yes! This is it. Good food and affordable. You can eat as much as sushi you want and the price is so friendly. You can order ramen and edamame as well. The ice ocha is so fresh!

Downtown Cafe or Level Up

Wanna have some space to chill while having a good time with friends playing board games? This is it! You can drop yourself here. The cafe is super cozy. It has 2 floors and the drinks are amazing. They have a bunch of board games that succeed enough to make you stay till late at night. 

Karakter Kopi and Toko Seniman Sudirman

I came here a lot to enjoy my coffee and have a cake chilling during the day. The place is quite simple in front of the main road so easy to find. The staffs are super friendly. Their coffees are sooooooo good. YOU SHOULD GIVE A VISIT! Do not tell me you are a coffee fan if you skipped these two. 

Happy Puppy Gatsu 

Indonesians love karaoke in general. Especially me. Karaoke is always my plan every time some friends ask me to hang out. This place is a must to visit in Denpasar if you wanna try how it feels to hang out like Indonesians. For sure karaoke night! Once you get in, the staff will prepare a room for you. The size of the room depends on how many people will join you. The room’s size is divided into small, medium, and large. You can order drinks and snacks as well. The song lists are from everywhere in the world. You just need to go through the screen and choose the songs. 

Cinema XXI at Level 21 Shopping Mall or Trans Studio Mall

I know most tourists will avoid the shopping mall. But hey, I am focusing on the cinema only (even though I love to do window shopping as well HAHAHA). Come on, be like locals! Indonesians also love to spend the weekend watching a movie at the cinema with friends. It was not expensive. Believe me. The fanciest one that we call the premier class (big moving seat, blanket) is only 100K. The normal room is around 40K-60K K depends on the days (the weekend is a bit expensive). Don’t worry about the movie. It’s not dubbing. If it’s Hollywood movies, they are original in English just we put the Bahasa Indonesia subtitle. You will love it to watch movie in cinema in different country 🙂

Finally, we finish Denpasar. Now let’s move to Ubud.  

Ubud is a tourist place as so many people come to Ubud to do Yoga classes, meditation, visit the museums, or just want to chill in the villa close to the rice field and far from the crowds. But then, for me personally, I like Ubud’s vibe because it’s super friendly within walking distance and so many shops that can provide me with natural beauty care plus super cute pieces of jewelry. Let’s see the list!

Monkey Forest Ubud

I know you probably have heard about this place. I went here only once because of my work but then I didn’t like it because of super crowded and the monkeys are kinda aggressive. To go in is expensive as well. If you wanna take a look, you can do it. Perhaps you have a better experience than me. Just I would love to suggest you visit Monkey Forest in Sangeh because this place is the first one in Bali and the biggest one as well. The monkeys are friendly plus it’s not crowded since it’s outside of Ubud. The price is cheap like less than 50K. But still, be mindful once you are inside. Avoid showing the monkeys some shiny items. Otherwise, they will grab it from you. But overall, it’s safe. The guides are checking around to make sure nothing bad happens because of the monkey.

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

This place is famous as well. Even though it can be crowded but then it’s definitely worth a visit. You can try the swing as well. The price may vary from 100k-300k. You can do a little bit of trekking exploring the rice terrace. The beautiful scenery is so relaxing. There are so many cafes and restaurants as well for you to chill after the long steps. But then, if you are too obsessed with the rice field, you can go to Jatiluwih Rice Terrace. It’s actually one of the cultural heritage by UNESCO 

Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah is a sacred Elephant Cave which is the house of Ganesha. Carving stone is the icon of this area. To go in, make sure you wear a sarong and cover your shoulder. This place is very holy for the Balinese so it’s just amazing to visit. 

Tegenungan Waterfall

Be ready to do a little bit of exercise to get these waterfalls. The steps are worth trying. The area is kinda big and the view is lovely. You can go swimming as well just be mindful to not go nearby the waterfall because the water is extremely strong. 

Campuhan Ridge Walk

This place is another place for jogging. Super good for exercise. Little hard to find but I suggest you if you are staying around the city center of Ubud, just take a walk around 5 pm and then you will get the best sunset at this place. 

Hidden Canyon Beji 

This place is not literally in Ubud. Since it’s kinda close to Ubud so I put it here. This canyon is my favorite place to visit around Ubud. Not only to visit. You will do 2-3 hours of trekking in the hidden canyon. Crossing the river, swinging, jumping, and experiencing the challenge during your walk. I went to this place three times. I always get excited. Better you come with the group so you can split the bill as this journey requires the guide as the trek is kinda challenging. So prepare your outfit that’s okay to get wet. Just wear flip-flops, no need to bring a towel as they will provide you. Even though they give you a small bottle of water, better to bring your own water with your reusable water bottle. Stop throwing on a single-use plastic bottle. Love the environment people! 

Sukowati Art Market

This is the biggest traditional market in Bali. Even though this market is not in Ubud, but it’s kinda close. So the shopping day must be here. Good quality at a local price. Anything you need for your souvenir, this place is the answer. Try to bargain but not too mean okay?

Ubud Central Market

If you are just lazy to move too far, you can just explore the art market of Ubud as well. But then, the price is mostly tourist price so don’t be surprised. At least, you can find gelato here.

Clear Cafe  

Wanna have a decent meal? This place is super good for your lunch. Even though the price is a bit expensive but the foods are so good. On the second floor, you should try the massage. The massage is super good as well. Make sure you book a day before your massage. 

Bali Bohemia

How about for your dinner? This place is the answer. Many kinds of foods they offer. The drinks are amazing. Every Thursday night they have an open mic. So there will be some people performing arts. Every Saturday night, normally they have African/Jazz musical instruments. You should check their Instagram!

Cafe Pomegranate

Who told you sunset only exists on the beach? That’s super harsh. Try to enjoy the sunset in the rice field. This cafe is a perfect place to enjoy your afternoon. Reading a book while enjoying the rice field view plus order a cup of ginger tea! What a fine day.

Yoga Barn 

Even though I am not doing yoga, I came to this place for aesthetic dance. It was such a blast! Yoga Barn offers you many kinds of classes. You should check them out based on your needs! Ahh… They have some healthy food stores as well inside. 

Laughing Buddha

Ubud also offers you night life. Good band and drinks are a perfect combo. Come to this place to get both.

Bali International Archery

If you are an outdoorsy person. Should try this one.

Already tired of reading? haha, man! we are not even halfway yet. Let’s move step by step to the North, shall we?

Nungnung Waterfall

Even though a bit far, this waterfall is just amazing. NOT crowded indeed. Last time I was here. It was just me and Alex. You can swim but still be careful, don’t be too close to the waterfall, the stream is freaky strong. 

Mother of Temple Besakih

Besakih Temple is the biggest temple in Bali, on the slope of Mount Agung to be exact. If you are willing to visit this temple, make sure to wear a sarong and cover your shoulder since this is a very holy place.

Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking

I’ve hiked many times (I did it during the day as well). But better earlier morning to catch the sunrise. You can try to book a tour or find some local friends that can accompany you on the trek. But still, for foreigners, you need to pay double the prices. You need to have a guide as well (it’s compulsory). So better to have a group of people so you can always split the bill. The guide will give you a flashlight and make sure you are safe and doing alright. Normally you start climbing around 4 am early morning and will be on the top around 5.30 to 6 am to catch the sunrise. It depends on your speed. But then, avoid climbing during the weekend as super crowded. Make sure you bring a raincoat. The weather is unpredictable. For the guide, can find Kembara Adventure on Instagram. They will give you a reasonable price. 

Batur Natural Hot Spring @Toya Devasya

The place is well structured. It has some pools and safety lockers to put your stuff in. Better to visit in the morning while people are not around and the water is still clean. The view is excellent. You can enjoy the mountain and the lake and it’s just spectacular. 

Terunyan Village

This place is well-known as Terunyan Cemetery which is the only place in Bali where the dead are not buried. Placed above the ground under bamboo cages located on the shores of Lake Batur in the shadows of Mount Kintamani. Surprisingly They are not smelly. Skulls are everywhere but organized in one place under the big tree that locals believe kills the smell of the dead bodies. To get to this place you must take a small boat. Can fit 7 people by paying 700K for 2 ways. 

Tamblingan and Buyan Lake Trekking

If you’re pretty sick with the crowds, try the trekking experience here. It’s only 3 hours of trekking with a very nice easy path. Super relaxing. You will pass the lakes in your trekking and you can build a tent as well close to the lake. The last time I was here was super calm. They are some local restaurants as well so you can just eat there while you are camping in nature. 

Jempana Lakeside View

If you are the biggest fan of camping and enjoying the view of a stunning lake. You must hit this place. I went here with a bunch of friends to spend the weekend camping by the lake view. It was super incredible as the owner of the campsite provided the tent including the mattress as well as the blanket. Breakfast is available on-site as well. You can do fishing as well. Plus a private campfire. Too perfect to be true!

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

This temple is very iconic as the temple architecture is very brilliant. The view is stunning as you can see the mountain and the lake. The temple area is huge and decorated with beautiful gardens around. Take your time to enjoy the moment of silence here. 

Pasar Payangan

Hidden authentic Balinese gem. Away from the tourist crowd, that’s why this market is worth visiting. Come at 6.30 AM in the morning, you will see everything from homemade Balinese sweets and also fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmers. The vibe is just so alive. You won’t regret it once you stop here from the long drive. 

Bangkung Bridge

Nice spot to do sightseeing. The view is just fantastic as it requires you with the high-skill of driving to pass this bridge on the way to Singaraja. This is actually the highest bridge in Asia so be mindful if you’re afraid of height. 

Tibumana Waterfall

Located in Bangli, but then need to come in the morning to get the fresh air. The water is fabulous for swimming. The entrance is only 10K and super worth it because of the natural pool around. Just be mindful to not get too close to the waterfall because is so deep. 

Banyumala Twin Waterfalls

It can be crowded sometimes but it’s just so gorgeous. The way down is long and super challenging for exercising. The water is crystal clear. It’s just such a shame if you skip it. 

Sekumpul Waterfall 

Yes, people are talking about this waterfall. This is my fav as well because of the hike you need to do. Steep stairs and paths, are you ready for it? You can swim!

Singaraja City

Singaraja is the capital city of Buleleng regency, the second largest city in Bali. The first President of Indonesia was born here (I know you don’t care, well I’m just saying). Singaraja is also a city of education. The town is super unique. It’s recommended for you spend time in the local area. At least for local foods! yum!

Batu Kursi Temple

Located just next to Matahari Resort, Pemuteran. Just go inside about 300 meters. There are 700 meters of steps until the top which are quite safe, easy, and fun. The entrance is only 10K, don’t forget to bring your water as you need to hydrate yourself during the steps. The view is extraordinary so don’t miss it!

Lovina Beach

The first time I came to Bali, people said the beach was super dirty but then a few months after, the beach was clean. So, I gave it a try. Since it’s a typical famous beach in the North, it’s not hard to find. Sunrise and sunset views are amazing as I can say. The sands are pretty dark which is uncommon. Be mindful that if you wanna swim, the corals may hurt you. 

Oh boy! It took me like 3 hours to write the lists for the North. Let’s move to the Southeast.

Southeast of Bali is so attractive to me because it all is about the ocean and a chill beachy vibe. I went to Amed a couple of times. Either for chilling in the rasta bar, just to sleep well during the weekend, or even for snorkeling, and why not try some fun dives? Here’s the list

Virgin Beach  

This beach is kinda famous as well with its white sands. On the way to Amed, you can stop here to enjoy the coconut drinks. The view is amazing. Perhaps because is kinda far, not so many tourists here. Really recommended!

Snorkeling at Blue Lagoon (Padang Bai)

Located on Blue Lagoon beach, swimming, and snorkeling at the same time! Beautiful corals and beautiful tropical fish. Typical small beach to chill out as well. It’s just so good for spending some quiet time away from the crowds. 


Where to start about Amed? Reggae bar? chill accommodation? Nice foods? Friendly within walking distance? Nice black sands beach? All in one! Amed is just one of a kind. The vibe is just different. People are super chill here. Don’t forget to snorkel in the Japanese Ship Wreck!


This area is super cool for the diving course. My recommendation is to do your class with the DIVE CONCEPT. You can explore the Liberty Ship Wreck. It takes only 30 minutes by driving from Amed to Tulamben. 

Lempuyang Temple

I knew this place is pretty mainstream, but then while you are in Amed, why not stop here? The way to go up is pretty steep so be mindful. Pretty crowded sometimes, but yeah try to go early morning to get the best view. Wear your sarong and cover your shoulder. It’s a such pain in the ass waiting for your turn to take the picture in the Gate of Heaven as they call it. So be patient.

Well well well, just it for the Southeast. Last but not least, let’s talk about the West of Bali. Honestly, I don’t really have long lists for West of Bali but then, I’ve been all the way from South to North through West. I hope my English is still correct HAHAHA. First, Negara, I heard there are bull races which are once a month. I am not sure about that. I only passed Negara on the way to Menjangan Island for snorkeling. Close to Menjangan Island, you can do trekking in the national park. One more thing, the beach close to Menjangan Island is super empty and the last time I joined Dance for Peace Festival there. I think that’s all for West Bali that I know. I’m sure there are so many things to see in West Bali. You can figure it out. 

To finish my bloody long adventure, I would love to share about The Nusa Islands. I am just super lucky to visit the Nusa Islands a couple of times (either because of my work or just spending a holiday). I’m just super happy to share the adventure with you. Hopefully, it will be super helpful for your next travel. So let’s just kick in!

Nusa Penida, This island is a booming tourist as I can say. However, the place is magical. You gotta need to deal with the bumpy roads before you hit the amazing view. Among the three Nusa Islands, Nusa Penida is the biggest one. To get to this island, there are two ways. First, through Padang Bai Port. You can take the ferry and take your motorbike with you. The ferry is cheaper but then if you wanna go to the other Nusa Islands (Lembongan and Ceningan), you can’t bring your motorbike with you. If you travel solo and cheaply, you can take this option.

But then, to get to Padang Bai Port, It’s like 2 hours and I’m not sure how many times the ferry will serve you and I have no idea what time the ferry leaves. If I were you, I’ll not get things complicated. That’s why I prefer the second option, Fast Boat from Sanur Port. Price is different between locals and foreigners (locals: 150k for two ways, foreigners: 300k for two ways). Last time, I arrived at Buyuk Port and I rent a 70k motorbike per day (full tank) then I stayed at Green Valley Homestay which is far from the crowds (a bit West of Nusa Penida). The accommodation is super fancy but cheap which is only 150k a night for a king-size bed (including breakfast). The homestay is literally up the hill which requires you to have a kinda strong motorbike to pass the steep road but my gosh! The view is amazing. The fresh air in the morning man! worth it!

I went to Rumah Pohon. The view is super amazing as you can enjoy the cliff from the treehouse. Be mindful when you step up. For sunset, I went to Atuh Beach. You need to go down to reach the beach. It’s a bit crowded but that’s okay. On day 2, I went to Pura Mobil close to Kelingking Beach. The temple is quite unique because there is a small car inside. Talking about Kelingking Beach, it’s a mainstream tourism spot in  Nusa Penida as the shape of the island looks like a “pinky finger”. I was just enjoying the moment on the top, I didn’t go down because so many tourists taking pictures.

Next, Angel Billabong. Another mainstream spot. The road to get there is horrible. Don’t drive during the night, especially in the rain. To end my second day, I went to Segening Waterfall. Dude! This spot is totally ANTI-MAINSTREAM! If I could turn the time back, I wish I could go there earlier in the morning so I could spend my whole day there. If you are crazy about rock climbing and extreme sport, this one IS A MUST! You will not regret it! The way to go down is super challenging and once you arrive, a small private pool and tiny waterfall will wait for you. Your scenery is a huge ocean with the splash of big waves.

On day 3, I went to Tembeling Beach and Forest. This place absolutely worth it! This place is super exclusive. There are 3 freshwater springs all amazing for swimming. The water is just super refreshing. Next, I continued to Peguyangan Waterfall. Another shot of exercise with super steep stairs! There you go! The small pool is waiting for you down there. The hike is absolutely amazing. To close day three, I went to Bukit Teletubbies. You know the hill of Teletubbies, right? Exactly, you will enjoy the green view on the hill. But then, the way is kinda rough just be careful while driving.

Day 4, Pura Pucuk Mundi, the highest temple on the island. I did pray there together with the locals. There is a small warung close to the main temple that sells the offerings. Then I headed to Crystal Bay for swimming and snorkeling. There is a small hike on the beach to go to the other side. The beach on the other side is better because of less crowded and quiet. On day 5, I went to Goa Giri Putri, This place is just amazing. There is a temple inside the cave. Can you believe that! You should take a look!

From Nusa Penida, you can take a small local boat to go to Nusa Lembongan. To explore Nusa Lembongan, just rent a motorbike. During my time in Lembongan, I only spent 2 days there including crossing The Yellow Bridge to reach Nusa Ceningan. But then, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are very chill as so many tourists go to Nusa Penida. This is what I like the most. The longest time for me to be at Nusa Lembongan was only three days. I could just only explore everything in one day, but then, this island is just super calm and chill. I could spend one entire day sleeping profoundly haha.

So, what to see in Lembongan? Visit Nano-Nano Restaurant. Why? Because the foods are so good, you can do snorkeling and kayaking around the mangrove. You can go to the Devil’s Tears, This is not my favorite place since so many people take a selfie-and yes super crowded. But then, if you like something mainstream for your Instagram picture, go ahead. Take tons of selfies. Just be mindful, the waves can be really strong and dangerous enough to wash you inside.

Next, for the beach, I would say Dream Beach. Pretty mainstream yes, but sunbathing is just great. Not so crowded. kind of chill. Time to move to Nusa Ceningan. I only went to Ceningan before sunset. Because of so many bars around that offer, you have a great view of the sunset and there is a bar with a swimming pool as well. You can just check it out. It’s not that far from the Yellow Bridge. I think that’s all from me. Oh yeah, one more thing, to get back to Sanur, just take the fast boat from Jungut Batu Port in Nusa Lembongan to go back to Sanur. Hell, man! this is actually the longest post I’ve ever written.   

Well, we are actually at the end of the story of my one year in Bali. I can’t be more grateful than this. So many good people around me. People in Bali are just super nice. Everywhere I go, every inch of Bali, there will be always positivity surrounding me. The energy of Bali is just different. I can’t just explain in a short motion. I believe so many people want to come to Bali.

I’ve met so many people within my five year in Bali. Some people had bad experiences in Bali, and some of them had a really good times and kept coming back. I hope you will enjoy your stay in Bali and keep coming back for something good. Just one more little tip about traveling in Bali before I close this.

First, learning how to drive a motorbike wisely is a must. Just it’s better to travel around with a motorbike despite being more adventurous, you will press the budget to use taxis and online transportation which may cost you double. Driving with car is such a pain in the ass as well. Traffic jam every where. 

Secondly, be careful of your belongings once you are walking especially your phone. Keep it in your bag or pocket as some irresponsible folks will grab it from your hand.

Thirdly, if you wanna buy something in the local market, please do not bargain too much. I mean don’t be too mean. Use your logic. Last but not least, there are some cheap accommodations around you can find. I always rely on Captain Goose in Kuta (55k a night, close to the airport) and Gandhi hostel 2 in Denpasar (44k a night).  

I’ll see you in Bali!    


One Reply to “How to Conquer Bali Like Locals?”

  1. Rahmawati Rizalia says: Reply

    Wow, so enjoy and makes me forget that I’m actually still in the toilet 🎃

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