Recommendations for Bali?
June 16, 2010 9:30 PM   Subscribe

[Travel Filter] Bali recs?

We're leaving for Singapore, and then Bali, in a few days. We'll been in each place for a week. We're traveling with a 19-month-old (for better or for worse). Please share your Bali recommendations. We're staying in Semiyak, but we're pretty open to doing other stuff.

We don't care about clubbing. We like nature. We like museums. We like food. We like beaches. We like doing this stuff with our kid. We also know that doing this stuff with our kid will require short bursts of activity, followed by time at a playground or running around or something.
posted by k8t to Travel & Transportation around Bali, Indonesia (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Get up to Ubud for a couple of days. Fantastic food, tons of interesting art, and you can hand-feed bananas to the monkeys at the monkey forest (which is seriously one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life).
posted by Jacqueline at 9:33 PM on June 16, 2010

Waterbom Park - not all hectic waterslides, there is a great 'river' pool that flows around and you can float about in inner tubes. Gardens are beautiful, and there are places to get massages etc. Probably a nice day for everyone.
posted by AnnaRat at 9:47 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Eat seafood on the beach at Jimbaran! So so good.

Pura Uluwatu is a stunning sight. Lots of monkeys here too.
posted by emeiji at 10:56 PM on June 16, 2010

Ubud. Go to Ubud. You can rent bikes, and ride around the city, and the outskirts (beautiful scenery). Amazing food, though the traveling with a kid might make it more difficult. The dances are amazing, but might be difficult (after sunset, loud noises). I haven't been to Seminyak, but if you get into Kuta, there are essentially a bunch of copy cat restaurants, aside from T.J.s (good Mexican food, traditional Balinese building, but southwestern paint scheme, kind of snazzy) and Poppy's. Go to Poppy's. It's a restaurant in a courtyard, and the tables are separated by trees and plants. Very private atmosphere, under the stars, and really, really tasty Balinese cuisine.

In Ubud, Indus is also pretty fantastic, as is the Dirty Duck restaurant. And, of course, Ibu Oka, the famous pork restaurant (as seen on No Reservations, and nearly every blog mention of Bali/Ubub. It's mentioned for a reason, and that reason is it's just that good.) While overpriced (for Bali) the seafood restaurants on the beach in Jimbaran are pretty fantastic (point at the living creature you'd like to consume, wait thirty minutes, and it arrives at your table made delicious and pleasant).

One thing that can be pretty easy to do is to hire a private driver. You'll essentially pay for his meal if you stop at lunch, and it's a little more expensive than a taxi one way, but it's a handy way to see more of the island.

Also, make sure to get yourself a good massage. In Kuta, as I recall, a no-frills massage was about $5 for an hour long massage. In Ubud, they have much, much more upscale massages, costing between $100 and $200, but wow, they are worth it. Not sure about how to work that around a kid, maybe one parent plays on the beach, the other takes a break in pure bliss.

Have a great time, it's a fantastic place.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:02 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Avoid Kuta. Hit Ubud and Sanur _for sure_ Jimbaran is good, you should not miss Uluwatu, and you should certainly not miss the awesome Kechak dance they do there at sunset.

The ideal approach would be to reach Uluwatu in mid-afternoon, explore the place (there are monkeys there and they can get violent), stay on till the Kechak dance starts, watch it as the sun sets, and the performance lights up with Hanuman destroying Lanka, exit the place, have food at Jimbaran, return to hotel having turned into new people having experienced Ramayana in one of the most awesome settings possible.

Ubud is great to hang out; the Bebek Bengil restaurant is popular for a reason, but let's just say I hadn't seen a single _bad_ restaurant in Ubud. Babi Guleng at Ibu Oka is also highly recommended. Avoid the hotels though; for a true Ubud experience, stay at a homestay, trek to the surrounding towns, especially to the East. Slightly off the beaten tourist track, but the Bali countryside will melt away all your troubles and stress. They have nightly performances at Ubud palace; it's impossible to walk away from these performances without _feeling_ what Bali is all about. Try a cooking class or a painting session too; also be sure to spend an afternoon at Antonio Blanco's baroque house. Forget the art; it's the birds that are what you should be looking for.

Sanur has some awesome beaches, good food and has somehow pushed the rowdy backpacker hordes away; they stick to Kuta for some reason. The night market is the place to have street food.
posted by the cydonian at 11:32 PM on June 16, 2010

Go to Pulau Mejangan. It is an island north-west, which is a bit far from Seminyak... but it is totally worth it. You can snorkel/dive there or just walk around the beach. It is still pristine, the water is clear, not many people around.
posted by bbxx at 1:07 AM on June 17, 2010

A day-drive from Seminyak (with your hire-driver) up to the mountains, past Bedugal/Lake Beratan take a left and go along the ridge road that follows the north shore of Lake Buyan to Munduk for lunch. Continue going west down through the mountains until you hit the next main north/south road.

A long day but views to die for. Start early before the clouds gather and bring a sweater, it will be deliciously cool up there and with luck, you can see both the north and south coasts simultaneously.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:17 AM on June 17, 2010

One more vote for Ubud, including Babi Guling at Ibu Oka (I ate there three times) and the Monkey Forest.
posted by dfan at 12:44 PM on June 17, 2010

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