Roadtripping in Bali

Following my previous post with my Top 10 things to do in South East Asia, I decided that I would write about some of the time I spent in Bali. We were only there for 3 days and in hindsight, I definitely think we should have stayed longer.

To cram in as much as possible in the time we were there, we hired a man and his taxi to drive us to some of the top attractions on the island in one day. This sounds expensive, but if there are a few of you (another girl from our hostel came along too), you can split the cost which isn't too bad. I think in the end it came to around £30-40 and this was a long day; from around 11am to 7pm!

Before I describe the itinerary we did, let's get some basic facts about Bali. 

What language is spoken there?
Indonesian but it is very easy to get around as most people speak English and signs and menus are in both languages.

What is the currency?
Indonesian Rupiah. At the moment, it's around 20,000 Rupiah to the pound

How do I get around?
The best way to get around and possibly the easiest is local taxis which are relatively cheap. There are a limited number of buses on the Island, mainly connecting to the main airport. 

Local culture
Unlike the majority of Indonesia, Bali is a Hindu region so you unlike the other Islamic regions of Indonesia you do not have to worry so much what you wear out and about.

View over some of the rice fields at Ubud

1. Rice Fields and Kopi Luwak

First we headed to the central of the island to the town of Ubud to the famous terraced rice fields. There are lots of different views you can see, but we went to a place where they made Kopi Luwak - coffee made from beans that have been partly digested by the Civet (a small cat like animal).

At the farm you will see the civets (cute but smelly!) and see how they make and process the coffee as well as having some FREE coffee at the end (although you'll have to pay to sample the actual Luwak coffee).

You can sit on the top terrace and look out over the fields drinking a nice cup of coffee, or if you're like me and don't like coffee, tea or hot chocolate!

2. Monkey Temple

Next we headed to the famous Monkey Temple and Forest in Ubud to meet some very cheeky monkeys. It was amazing how bold and fearless the Macaque monkeys were - we saw them ambush some old ladies at a banana stall at the entrance to the forest and they'd climb up on top of your head as if you were a tree!

I'm not sure whether these monkeys or the ones I experienced at the Batu Caves in Malaysia (see my post about it here) were more cheeky!

In the middle of the forest is a Hindu Temple where the monkeys make themselves at home. To find out more see their website

Not too shy to pose for a photo!

3. Bali Zoo

I know it's a bit cliché to go to a country abroad and go to a zoo, but there was a big variety of different animals which are indigenous to Indonesia and the surrounding Asian countries compared to what you would find in any zoo in Europe. 

Of course we had to get up and personal with an Asian elephant and if you pay a little extra you get go on a ride on it. It's touching to see the relationship between each elephant and their personal keepers - the keeper for the elephant we rode said that she was his 'wife'.

We also got the opportunity to feed a Bengal Tiger and a Crocodile (scary!), as well as holding a baby crocodile and a bear cat (Google it, so cute!). 

Enjoying our new ride!

4. Balinese dance

Finally later on in the evening we watched a traditional Balinese dance performance which told the story of Rama and Sita, a Hindu Diwali story.

All the costumes and make up were spectacularly elaborate and their dance was very elaborate with intricate hand, arm and eye gestures like they were in a trance. There was also a chorus of local men chanting constantly during the story 

It was quite hypnotic at times and very entertaining, the perfect end to a long day of site-seeing!

Have you been to Bali? Been to any of the places I've recommended or are there any other things that you'd recommend doing or seeing when out there? Please leave your comments in the section below!

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