Bali is not a very typical Filipino budget travel destination mainly because even the promo fares are not that cheap let’s say compared to Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia. I wasn’t planning on spending a lot on this trip since I have a major one this coming September and I needed to save. Still with my budget woes, I decided to go ahead and book a plane ticket to Bali, Indonesia as my last out-of-the-country destination in Asia before I move to another continent. I have visited many cities in Asia but I wanted this trip to be different. I mostly explored cityscapes in my past trips but now I longed for beaches, waterfalls and sunsets… and Bali is blessed with them.
I spent about P 20,000 ($ 440) on this trip, airfare and accommodation included. This could be actually cheaper if I went with more friends since we could have shared the transportation and AirBnb expenses. Anyway, here’s how we did it:
1. We booked this Balinese-style villa via AirBnB.
We got a sweet deal of three nights for 2 persons for € 84 ($ 93) in Villa Surya Abadi. It’s not a typical AirBnB listing since it’s not a private house or flat but a legit Balinese resort with a swimming pool, resort staff and free breakfast.
The room was huge for two persons and it has a very rural feel. You can hear chickens crowing and lots of birds and crickets. The property is surrounded by rice fields so you can enjoy your breakfast with this view.
It’s located in Kuta, 40 minutes from the Ngurah Rai Airport and 30-75 minutes from the major tourist spots in Bali.
2. We hired a private driver.
This is the most convenient mode of transportation to get around Bali. Other options are 1. taxis, 2. renting a motorcycle, or 3. riding their public buses. We didn’t dare to try those since 1. we didn’t want to be ripped off by taxi touts, 2. you need to have a license, 3. I read that it will take forever.
Agus was referred to us by Morgan, the owner of the AirBnB villa. We paid 250.000 IDR for the airport pick up + 500.000 IDR daily driver rate + 250.000 IDR for the airport drop off. We paid him 2.000.000 IDR in total or ($ 133/ ₱ 6000) plus tip.
Our driver was very nice and most importantly, punctual. His arms were all covered in tattoo but he had the most high-pitched laugh, he’s so adorable.
3. We visited the Pura Uluwatu sea temple and watched the Uluwatu Kecak Dance.
Pura Uluwatu from Kuta is a 1 and a half hour ride. We left our villa at 2:30 in the afternoon so we could roam around the temple before the Kecak dance.
Entrance to the temple is 20.000 IDR ($ 1.50/ ₱ 68).
The cliff and ocean view was just stunning, all the more during sunset.
At 5 PM, they started selling tickets to the Kecak dance show but it actually started at around 6. We bought ours early so we could get good seats. One ticket costs 100.000 IDR ($ 7.53/ ₱ 340). We were given a paper with the summary of the story of Ramayana. The show lasts about an hour but don’t be like the other tourists who arrive late and leave early. That’s just rude.
I totally loved it and it gave me a serious case of last song syndrome. Towards the end, it became partly funny and interactive as they made the audience participate a bit.
4. We had dinner at Jimbaran Bay.
I admit this one you could (or should) skip. Restaurant prices of average food are inflated. The ambiance was pretty cool but we had an unpleasant experience. I’m not sure if they forgot our order but we had to wait an hour for our food.