help me make the most out of Bali
December 16, 2011 8:48 PM   Subscribe

7 day itinerary for Bali in February? Recommendations specific places to stay, specific places to go, instead of just "stay in Ubud"? Details inside.

I am going to be in Singapore for work around February (don't know the exact dates yet because it is for work), and I would like to travel to Bali from there for about a week. I'm in my late 20's, female, traveling alone.

I would like to see beautiful beaches and do some snorkeling (and possibly diving), see beautiful mountainous landscapes and rainforests, old temples. I want to eat some good food, get some cheap massages ($10 for an hour for a basic no-frills massage?? Is that true?? Where do I go for that??), wander around taking pictures without worrying about my camera being stolen or being pick-pocketed because I have a fancy looking camera. I want to hike/trek up Mt. Batur or Mt. Agung (with a guide!). No clubs for me, but a cold drink at a bar with a nice view would be great - recommendations for that? It would also be amazing to find a guide to go rock climbing/bouldering - is there any climbing in Bali? What would a good itinerary be if you have 7 days in Bali and want to see all of those things?

I was thinking about splitting my time between Sanur and Ubud, with a day trip to one of the mountains I mention above. Can you recommend me a cheap place to stay in either location, or suggest better towns to go for me to see all I want to see? I don't care about hotel luxury, all I want is a safe place with clean sheets, a toilet and a shower with warm water, AC is not necessary - a fan would do, and free/inexpensive wifi. I would much rather spend money on doing/seeing things or hiring a driver to take me to beautiful places (where should I go to see beautiful places??).

My ideal plan would be to stay at a place with friendly and helpful owners who I can ask for help to hire a driver who they know is trustworthy, or to recommend a guide to hike up to the summit, or to recommend a restaurant to try on the beach. I feel like if I find a place to stay that will help me plan what to do the next day, then everything else will fall into place on its own.

So can you recommend specific hotels/guest houses/guides or tour companies/restaurants/massage places? I've done a lot of googling, but that just leads me to a browser with 20 open tabs, and I prefer recommendations from people who have been there.

Also, this is kind of random, but I read in a couple of guide books that flip flops are considered rude in Indonesia. Really? Should I wear sandals that look less flip floppy? Any other tips/advice are very welcome!
posted by to Travel & Transportation around Indonesia (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've been to Bali quite a few times and outside of Kuta, it's lovely. You'll have a great time. I'm afraid I can't recommend any places to stay, but I would recommend hiring a moped and driving from Ubud to the north coast. You can take in a lot scenery that way.
posted by rhymer at 12:53 AM on December 17, 2011

Check your memail.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:57 AM on December 17, 2011

I would say just stay in Ubud, but failing that, avoid Kuta with one exception: go to Poppy's for dinner at least one night while you're there. It's a beautiful restaurant, and you're essentially eating outdoors in a (meticulously maintained) jungle. Great food, wonderful setting.

Unfortunately, I'm not good at remembering place names, though I distinctly remember the food, and have a good number of recommendations there (mostly in Ubud). If you can, try to go to Ibu Oka for lunch, it really is as good as the hype, as long as you like pork. Indus is a fantastic restaurant overlooking the river valley, and Casa Luna, which is owned by the same people, has a fantastic cooking course available in the mornings with a different menu available each day. I can't recommend that enough, it was truly a wonderful experience. Also in Ubud, (can't remember the Indonesian name) the Dirty Duck was fantastic, again, half ambience, half stunningly good food.

I haven't been for a couple of years, but just walking around anywhere where tourists might be, there will be places for massages. It wasn't uncommon to see hour long massages for roughly $5-6. There are plenty of more expensive places, and some of them are worth it, but if you go to Bali and don't at least try to get a massage a day, you've planned wrong somehow.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:01 AM on December 17, 2011

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