If you are anything like me you make some pretty ridiculous purchases when traveling through Bali. Those purple elephant pants that looked so cute on the streets of Kuta don’t carry the same appeal now that I am walking through downtown Vancouver. While I pride myself in practicing minimalism and love that everything important to me fits in one tiny van it is easy to get swept up in the cheap prices of Bali.
Even though I made some questionable purchases while abroad I also made one really great one. While taking a car around town we started chatting with the driver about the popular sites around Bali. He offered to take us for a tourist trip all around the island. For 600,000 IDR (around $55 CAD) we would get a private driver for an eight hour period that would take us anywhere we wanted to go. Did I mention that this car ride was air conditioned? I told you it’s a good buy!
Eager to see the island Myles and I rushed to a coffee shop to acquire WiFi and plan our big day. Planning all the big sites while placing a large priority on heading north to find the best places to scuba dive we had our route planned.
When our driver came to pick us up we threw our bags in the back of his car and handed him a map with a bunch of circles over the places we wanted to visit. All smiles we headed north to Ubud.
The culture in Bali is amazing to experience. In Indonesia 90% of the population recognizes as Muslims with 10% other denomination. On the island of Bali 80% of the population is Hindu. This makes for a rich culture that can be seen in almost every aspect of their life. A visit to the any of the many temples is not to be missed. Doing so with a driver/tour guide is even better.
From getting to sit and help make one of the daily offerings to learning some of the customs and practices made the experience truly unforgettable. Bali is known for wood and stone carvings and even if you are not interested in being a part of the religion the architecture is an experience in itself.
While there are waterfalls everywhere there is nothing quite like splashing in one in the middle of a hot and humid 40℃ day. A beautiful sight we found these waterfalls to be incredibly busy and touristy with a ton of street vendors lined up. While the refreshing dip was well worth it, this was something we would have been fine with missing.
I have written about all our crazy adventures with this scary forest before. As scary as it was, it is definitely an unforgettable experience that everyone should do ONCE. Seriously, I would NOT go back a second time.
The real reason we decided to hire the car was the lush rice farms. After trekking through rice paddies in Vietnam I knew how cool of an experience it was and had to show Myles. No where else do you get to experience such a deep and pure green. Full of life, climbing through these wet rice terraces was a true experience. With endless beautiful views there are tons of restaurants and coffee shops where you can relax and take in all the beautiful views of this area.
Nearing the end of our day we passed by the famous volcano on the island. With not a ton of time left for our day we only stopped to snap a few photos and stand in awe for a few moments before continuing our long and windy drive north.
We ended our eight hour day being dropped off in the northern town of Tulamben. This small town is far away from the tourist district but has some of the best dive sites in Indonesia. Being recently scuba certified Myles and I couldn’t wait to further explore this city.
Needless to say it was an action packed day and one will be remembered for a while. Eight hours of having a tour guide, driver and get a tour of the entire island, now that was a win! Did I mention the air conditioning?
Been to any of the places that we visited? Let us know your favourite below.