Golden Rules for Bali:
One thing I like about Bali is that it’s a Visa free country so no issues of getting all documents in place to apply for a Visa. One just has to carry flight tickets and currency but I would suggest you to carry hotel reservations as well.
For currency, I took dollars with myself from India as you get a good rate for Indonesian rupiah in exchange of dollars. Central Kuta gives the best rate. There are multiple outlets in Bali.
If you are not taking a packaged tour, it’s important to book the right transport service. I booked my car from Sanura Tours & Travels. We explored a number of places with them. The efficient drivers came on time, the cars were clean, the drivers were friendly, spoke English, and even clicked our beautiful family pictures. Not to forget, they coordinated with us on WhatsApp too and told us about local attractions as well.
Whether you are travelling with kids or as a couple, Bali Zoo is must in your itinerary. Night at the Zoo was about fun with elephants, snakes, deers, kangaroos, lions, sunbears and tigers in their nocturnal habitat- from feeding the lions, tigers, elephants and deers to touching and playing with the deers & kangaroos who loved us too. Taking a Python snake on us was another adventure and experience altogether! Breakfast with Orangutans was also once in a lifetime experience!
Bali Swing is also a must visit if you wanna be captured at a high. Bali Swing houses numerous jungle swings ranging from 10m, to 78m above the ground and everyone has ample options to choose from a total of 18 swings. A spectacular view which overlooks the river, tropical greenery and waterfalls is a given whichever swing(s) you choose along with its own thrill and adventure. So whether you are on a solo trip or are a couple, a family or are accompanied with friends, this is a must visit.
Devil’s Tear was one of the highlights of our trip. A must must visit! Waves come in force and what we see is epic. A rainbow formed in the midst of water. Wow! What a sight. One can just sit there for hours and watch the amazing sight. Me and my family were simply awestruck with the sight. Though, one must be careful going too close to the waves. This was a part of our Nusa Lembongan trip which we booked through Sunrise Fast Cruise Bali.
Once our dates were decided, we thought of checking out the flight which works well according to our itinerary. We checked tariffs and reviews of various flights and zeroed down on Malindo Air. I had taken Malindo Air to Malaysia earlier and loved my experience and had no second thoughts about this one. We were booked on Malindo flight OD 206 which had to fly out from Delhi at 10:05 PM IST and reach Bali Denpasar Airport at 12:15 PM (Indonesia time) with a three hour stop over at Kuala Lumpur. We were happy to see that the flight was on time and after a smooth check-in at the Malindo Air counter, collecting boarding pass, immigration and security check, me and my family were relaxed. With services like extra legroom, inflight entertainment, baggage allowance and meals on board, the flights are just perfect! Regional selections in entertainment section is just what an Indian traveler would love. Another highlight was the meal. I have hated having cold meals in almost every flight whether domestic or international but Malindo was a pleasant surprise. The meals were hot and yum! Such a pleasure!
With the love for travel, I have always loved exploring cities I haven’t explored till date. Bali being one of the most popular island holiday destination, it had been in my bucket list for really long.
It was time to plan my annual vacation with my parents and I asked my brother on his suggestions where should we go. My brother is a mastermind and is known for his thorough research. To my surprise he suggested Bali! I always thought Bali to be a honeymoon destination and I rechecked with him. He said No, it’s perfect for a family as well. With no second thought we went ahead with the booking. One thing I like about Bali is that it’s a Visa free country so no issues of getting all documents in place to apply for a Visa. One just has to carry flight tickets and currency but I would suggest you to carry hotel reservations as well. For currency, I took dollars with myself from India as you get a good rate for Indonesian rupiah in exchange of dollars. Central Kuta gives the best rate. There are multiple outlets in Bali.
Once our dates were decided, we thought of checking out the flight which works well according to our itinerary. We checked tariffs and reviews of various flights and zeroed down on Malindo Air. I had taken Malindo Air to Malaysia earlier and loved my experience and had no second thoughts about this one.
Time flew by and we got our luggage in place. Different activities were planned in our itinerary for our trip which included staying at a boutique hotel, a luxury Villa and a luxury hotel. Places to visit included Bali Zoo, Bali Swing, Tegenungan Waterfall, majestic temples, natural backdrop, beaches and we packed our luggage in full enthusiasm for a week long holiday.
Nidhi, me and Shubham picked up some outfits and shoes from Woodland for the adventure ahead. Considering the lovely backdrops the Indonesian Island offers, we couldn’t resist picking some more options from WOODS too.
With full excitement we headed to the airport, however nothing is complete without some drama in life and the night we had to fly out, it was raining. We had planned multiple things everyday of our stay and at no cost would we could have afforded a delayed flight. So the first challenge was to reach the airport on time fighting rains and traffic and yessss we were successful in that.
We were booked on Malindo flight OD 206 which had to fly out from Delhi at 10:05 PM IST and reach Bali Denpasar Airport at 12:15 PM (Indonesia time) with a three hour stop over at Kuala Lumpur. We were happy to see that the flight was on time and after a smooth check-in at the Malindo Air counter, collecting boarding pass, immigration and security check, me and my family were relaxed. With ample time in our hand we looked around on what we can do.
I do try to relax and grab a bite at the lounge before I take a flight (specially international ones) and I headed to ITC Hotels Green Lounge located at Terminal 3 of IGI Airport in Delhi.
The lounge has a variety of well-lit seating options, which can be used to sit, relax and eat. With a wide variety of choices to eat, there was something to appeal everyone. Delicious varieties across light snacks like sandwiches, puffs, kachori and samosa while main course included North Indian as well as Chinese delicacies. A wide selection amongst Fried Rice, Manchurian, Kadhai Paneer, Dal, Mixed Vegetables, Roti and Chicken! Not to forget was the nutritious soup and yummy salad.
Computer stations worked as workstations for adults and game consoles for kids. Complimentary Wi-Fi helped me check mails and messages. There were also a wide variety of reading options spread across newspapers and magazines… Also the shower rooms inside the well-lit and spacious washrooms.
Loved how everything was so smooth. The lounge is big enough to accommodate 130 people at one go so fret not even if you are a big group. The Eco Responsible sustainable facility follows eco smart processes and uses eco responsible materials and energy efficient equipment. I must say the lounge experience is one of a kind and everything was superb and with ITC standard. Perfect to relax & unwind before a long flight! Also they use eco friendly materials & energy efficient equipment so another thumbs up from me 🙂
The flight information display screen kept us abreast with information on when the gate would open for our flight. When we saw that the boarding gates were open for our Malindo Air flight we headed to take up our flight. With services like extra legroom, inflight entertainment, baggage allowance and meals on board, Malindo Air is just perfect! Don’t forget to carry your headphones with you to enjoy moves, TV shows and more. Regional selections in entertainment section is just what an Indian traveler would love. Another highlight was the meal. I have hated having cold meals in almost every flight whether domestic or international but Malindo was a pleasant surprise. The meals were hot and yum! Such a pleasure!
After a few hours we were in Kuala Lumpur Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) (No, I didn’t get mixed up between Bali and Malaysia…this was only a 3 hour stop over after which we were to catch our connecting flight to Bali! I have been to Malaysia twice earlier and airport was giving me all the nostalgic feels! With ample time in our hand, we headed to Plaza Premium Lounge. The lovely, spacious & cosy lounge was an experience in itself!
I was delighted to see four different shower rooms in the lounge and I took a quick shower. This helped us save our time in Bali. Post the shower, we headed to have yummy delicacies.
From the widespread array of the buffet laid with scrumptious food along with freshly brewed coffee, tea & soft drinks, we were spoilt for choice! It was early morning (6:10 AM) and the buffet had scrambled eggs, chicken sausages, baked beans, noodles, fresh juices, salads, croissants, muffins and so much more! The busy lounge was a perfect solution for many more flyers like me. A perfect place not only to unwind and chill, but to freshen up, take a shower and have breakfast too.
There was also amazing Wi-Fi connectivity, TV, work stations, newspapers, local & international Magazines to read and enjoy and spend your time.
You can relax in the spacious set up of comfy sofas. The view of the airport runway from while dining was another enjoyable attraction. We had a relaxing time at the lounge waiting for our flight and getting ourselves refreshed in the meantime. A visit here is definitely a must whenever you have a flight from the KLIA Airport in Malaysia!
Time to head to the boarding gate at Kuala Lumpur to catch our Malindo flight to Baliiiiiii! Our Malindo flight was waiting for us! Great leg space, smiling, hospitable and helpful staff made our journey even more delightful. The best part was the flight was on time! It was 12:15 PM when we reached Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) and post immigration headed out. The airport of the touristy Island was really cute. I was loving the vibe of the Island the moment I stepped here.
Our pick-up from L Hotel, Bali was already waiting. L Hotel Seminyak is a 30-room modern, luxury boutique hotel which offers modern and stylish rooms. With services across a pillow menu, Sensatia Botanicals toiletries, personal butlers on-call 24-hours, the hotel is perfect for the millennial travellers of today. As I entered the boutique hotel, I was captivated by the vibrant atmosphere You can read more about our wonderful stay here.
L Hotel has a complimentary shuttle service to the neighbourhoods around which we even used for visiting the chic Seminyak market and Seminyak Village. We went to variety of brands which I am listing here for reference:
- Toko Emporium known for colourful, quirky and fun accessories
- Capbali known for beautiful kaftans, capes, shirts, tees, caps and jewellery, all made in Balinese style
- Skull Bali: An interesting place where you would find skull decorations, men clothes, kids clothes, women clothes, baby clothes, art, furniture, soaps, towels, scarves, jackets, blankets, sarongs and jewellery with skull as the main element across everything
- Bali Tees: Merchandise available for men, women and kids inspired by the love of the Island Bali, the daily life, the cultural elements which are reflected on clothes expressed in witty and funky ideas and designs
- Tujuan: The funky store was full of interesting props and artefacts which stocked men’s shirt in different designs and patterns. The shop window had animal mannequins dressed in shirts which caught our fancy.
You can read more about the brands and what we got on this detailed blog.
Did I tell you L Hotel had provided us a phone with a local sim card for us to be able to call the butlers or to call for a shuttle car at any point of time? So after getting exhausted with our shopping spree we called for a shuttle and headed back to the hotel. Dining was an ultimate experience at L Hotel Seminyak as the rooftop restaurant brings quirky decor as well as a view to cherish. We had some amazing delicacies for dinner that night at their terrace restaurant to retire for an interesting day ahead!
We got up in the morning and after freshening up headed to the restaurant for our breakfast. By the time we wrapped up breakfast, our car had arrived. No, this wasn’t a packaged tour, neither did we take the car from the hotel. We had booked our car from Sanura Tours & Travels. They were just perfect for our diverse requirements. Being a family of 5 whose requirements were diverse, we wanted to explore a number of places yet at our own pace. The efficient drivers came on time, the cars were clean, the drivers were friendly, spoke English, and even clicked our beautiful family pictures. Not to forget, they coordinated with us on WhatsApp too and told us about local attractions as well. We did our research well before finalizing Sanura and they came out as a winner across different parameters. Great reviews as well as best rates!
The first touristy place we explored at Bali was Tanah Lot which was 16 kms away from the hotel. A smooth drive led us to one of Bali’s most important landmarks. A visit to Bali is incomplete without a visit to Tanah Lot Temple. A unique offshore setting, the place looks mesmerising with sunset backdrops, clear blue water and the rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. Tanah Lot means “Land [in the] Sea” in the Balinese language. We had a great time in the holy place which is perfect for photo opps as well owing to the stunning view of the temple. Nidhi chose to keep herself comfortable and stylish and wore a T-shirt and sparkling English rosy pink shoes from WOODS and I wore a beautiful kaftan from Capbali, a brand inspired by Balinese culture. Afterall, one needs the perfect outfit for the stunning shots at such a gorgeous location.
We stepped out of the temple and wanted to quench our thirst. So we looked around and found a shop selling coconuts & ice-creams. To our surprise, these coconuts were much bigger than what we have had in India. So cool, one coconut water was sufficient for all of us. Just when we came out of Tanah Lot, we saw shops selling famous Bali bags and souvenirs.
Next on our list was something we had been hearing heard amazing reviews about. It was Ulluwatu Temple but before that we wanted to stop by for some food. With not much time in hand, we thought of stopping by at McDonald’s. Wherever in the world you are, we are all bound to visit our famous QSR’s. We asked our driver from Sanura Tours & Travels to stop by McDonalds on the way and he dutifully did the needful. This McDonalds interestingly had a big screen for us to place our order which was different from the outlets in Delhi and we did go ahead with this technological innovation and proceeded for payment.
Post filling our belly, we proceeded to Ulluwatu Temple. On the ticket counter, one would also find sarong which everyone needs to wear before going in. It is compulsory for both men and women to wear them. The Balinese Hindu sea temple is located on a hill top and one walks through a beautiful landscape overlooking the waves of the Indian Ocean. The Spectacular views would leave anyone awe struck. Ulu means the ‘top’ or the ‘tip’ and watu is ‘stone’ or ‘rock’ in Balinese.
One of the highlight here is Kecak Fire & Dance Show. The Kecak dance show was beautiful which happens at sunset hour. The lively and colourful show depicts the story of Ramayana in a very innovative and descriptive way. The character Hanuman interacted with the audience and also danced on fire. We enjoyed so much and also got clicked with the amazing characters too. One needs to ensure that they come on time to get good seating.
We went back to the hotel and had our dinner at the beautiful rooftop restaurant of L Hotel after which we went back to our stylish room and retired for the day
Next morning we headed to Balizen at Seminyak for picking some colourful and quirky home décor. Balizen is a beautiful store by Andrea and Nyoman which has designs inspired by nature and the zen traditions of craftsmanship, simplicity, harmony and the use of natural materials.
We used the free shuttle of L Hotel for the short ride and then came back to have our breakfast at L Hotel. Post the yummy food, we headed to another experience of a lifetime.
Check out our next blogpost to know more!
Photos shot & edited by Shubham Arora