There’s not much left for us to say about our time in Bali that wasn’t already covered in the last post. Despite a rocky start, we built a deep appreciation for the island after we were able to move beyond tourist-central (as is often the case). Bali held a lot of surprises for us – how terrible Kuta was, how incredible the food was, and how mind-bendingly beautiful the island was – but one thing that did not catch us off guard were the prices. Don't believe me? Well, we budgeted $70 per day for the two of us, and how did we do?
|Days in Country:||14|
|Daily Per Person:||$35.05|
Juuuust a bit too much. I mean, we were over budget by the price of two ice cream cones we bought in Kuta. Literally. I'm OK with over-budget for ice cream, you?
|Money Spent||% of Budget|
Accommodation reigns supreme now in the budget world thanks to the low cost of transportation in SE Asia. Now, the amount we spent might more appropriately reflect a low-level flashpacker budget as there were cheaper options to be found. But, we thought it worthwhile to spend a little extra and our experiences at Tanaya, Si Pitung, and Kamol were confirmation of that. All three included breakfast, A/C (except Si Pitung), and friendly staff willing to help out however they could. The pool at Si Pitung offset the missing A/C and being in the middle of the rice fields at Kamol was incredible. Transport, the usual King of the Budget, was only so high because of the fast boat ride we took from Bali to Gili Air and back that clocked in at $48.40/550,000 IDR per person round trip and included a bus from Kuta to the pier and from the pier to Ubud. Otherwise, we only spent on taxis to/from the airport and the 150,00 0 IDR Departure Tax that everyone pays when they leave. Don't forget to bring that with you!
Eating Out ranks second as every meal but breakfast was had at some restaurant or – our favorites – warung. I'm surprised a bit that we didn't spend more as we really loved the food and we splurged on a few meals, like a big, fresh seafood dinner on Gili Air and a few more expensive options in Kuta and Ubud. In Kuta/Legian, search out Warung Yogya and De Yogi Warung for cheaper meals. Warung Muslim was the best meal we had on Gili Air and is a must for lunch. Chill Out was a good spot for dinner and we enjoyed the gado gado, vegetable curry, and had a delicious fresh-fish BBQ there. In Ubud, we didn't do very well finding cheap food, but we did enjoy our meals at Fair Warung Bale, Melting Wok, and Dapur Bunda Homecooking.
Groceries includes plenty of water (we were still getting used to the heat and humidity.....and still are six months later!), ice cream, beer, and snacks. Don't judge – when the food is as good as it was, there's no need to buy anything else! Entertainment was pretty heavy as we did a few expensive activities while we were in Ubud. The Paon Bali cooking class was 700,000 IDR for two of us, or $61.60; the Eco Cycling tour was 840,000 IDR/$73.92 for two. We also had massages at Iman Spa, went to the Semara Ratih cultural show, visited the Monkey Forest, and spent an afternoon at the Puri Lukisan museum. Miscellaneous includes a dress and pair of sarongs that Anaïs bought and 700 IDR left over that some lucky soul found on a Singapore Air flight...
Schedule – 14 days
Kuta/Legian – 4 days
Gili Air – 4 days
Ubud – 5 days
(Our 14th day was waking up in Ubud and heading to the airport to catch our flight, so 4+4+5+1=14.)
Bali in Retrospect
I really don't have many thoughts other than the ones expressed in our last post. We both wish we had spent one night in Kuta and immediately moved on to Gili Air. We also wish we would have had more time as there was a lot of the island we didn't explore, including the West Bali National Park in the northwest and the last not-super-touristy area, Amed (so-called by an Australian woman we met who visits Bali multiple times a year). And we also want to eat a lot more of the food. I mean, a ton of it. A metric ton, even. We weren't acquainted with Balinese and Indonesian cuisine and – as I've said 42 times already – we loved it. Sadly, we didn't take enough pictures of it all to warrant its own food post.
After a layover in Singapore and some more delicious kaya toast, we hopped on our short connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur. There's never enough time to see everything and like everyone, we had to make cuts. Malaysia was one of those places and we only had 5 days to see her capital city. What did we think? Stay tuned!