Deepavali in Bali | Travel Diary
I wasn’t exactly raving about Bali, but I still wanted to give an overview of the activities we have done in Bali. So stay tuned for my travel diary.
Via Terminal 1 of Changi Airport, we flew to Despansar/Bali with the B777 from KLM, which flies from Amsterdam to Bali and makes a stopover in Singapore. Due to the time difference, we landed in Bali at 19:30 and needed over an hour by taxi to our hotel, which was about 11 km away from the airport (cue: traffic chaos!)
Our hotel in Seminyak at the Double Six Beach was excellent and can be highly recommended, even if – or just because – it is a little out of the hustle and bustle of Seminyak.
With three outdoor pools and its own access to the beach as well as two restaurants, a bar, a huge gym and altogether a large green area, the hotel really offered enough to discover and enough space to walk around (if resort, then I like to move and not only want to go from room, to breakfast, to pool and back…)
The first evening we spent only in the in-house beach bar, where we had some pretty good sushi and tapas at high but (in comparison to Singapore) affordable prices. The next days we spent at the pool and/or the sea during the day, but we also made some trips of which I like to tell you about:
Uluwatu – Karang Boma Cliff and Single Fin Bar
One afternoon, we decided that we were fed up with laze around in the sun and booked a taxi for a ride to Uluwatu. Uluwatu is located in the south of Bali and offers an impressive view to the sea from the Karang Boma Cliff.
One cliff further on, the Uluwatu Temple is also located on a cliff and invites visitors of Uluwatu to visit the temple grounds and the temple itself (it is said to be especially beautiful at sunset).
We started at 14:00 o’clock. We made the first on the Karang Boma cliff and because the cliff was only 27 km away, we calculated with approx. one hour driving time. In the end it turned into 2.5 hours (traffic chaos!), which we spent alone on the way there in the car of a nervous and really bad taxi driver.
In this respect we now have pictures of the Karang Boma Cliff in the Golden Hour, which is really wonderful, but unfortunately we didn’t make it to the Uluwatu Temple, because we wanted to spend the sunset in the Single Fin – a beach club, which is also located on a cliff and offers a great view to the sea, the sunset and the surfers.
We arrived just in time at sunset and were placed at a shared table where we got into conversation with really nice Australians. We were even invited by the Australians the same evening to the villa they rent for one year.
The Australians villa was a stone’s throw away from our hotel, so they offered to share the Grab they had booked for the whole day with us. But we didn’t want to move our driver, with whom we had agreed to wait for us for 1.5 hours and then drive back to the hotel.
I guess we were too nice – the driver dumped us instead. And the evening turned into a real nightmare when we wandered completely alone and unaware in Uluwatu to organize a driver who would bring us home „halfway legal“ and for an affordable price. Well, hinsight is always 20/20 and after two hours of desperate searching and several Grab orders with drivers who took the order and came to us just to drive past us waving wildly. We learned that all of Uluwatu was declared a taxi-free zone due to riots and fights (but this does not apply to full-time drivers, which is why the Australians came home…). Therefore, from there, one can only drive with a so-called „private driver“ at a price defined by him. These private drivers sit on the pavements, smoke and shout „taxi, taxi“ when you walk past them – just like us. Very trustworthy then…
I would like to tell you personally how we finally came home. In any case it was very adventurous and didn’t make Bali any better for me.
The view of the Karang Boma Cliff and also the sunset in the Single Fins were nevertheless beautiful and – despite the exertions – really worth the journey. Nevertheless, I would recommend all Bali newcomers to plan a whole day for this trip. Otherwise you’ll be sitting in the car like us and won’t be able to take the necessary time for the really worth seeing destinations.
We went to Ubud a few days later (this time because of the experiences in Uluwatu) a few hours earlier and with a Grab driver, we had booked for the whole day. From Ubud, we wanted to go on to the rice terraces and we really didn’t want to experience another desperate search for a driver during this holiday. Our driver was actually very nice and reliable and drove much more comfortably than the driver from the first day. In the end, he just stopped the trip and suddenly wanted to have the money in cash instead of the usual payment via the app… at least we arrived safely, even if we lost a lot of Grab points and we don’t really know to what extent this booking was safe.
For those who don’t know, Ubud is a city in the highlands of Bali and is considered a center for traditional crafts and dance. Ubud is located in the middle of the rainforest, between green areas and rice terraces, which are a popular destination for a day or a half-day trip. You’ll find also many Hindu temples and shrines, which are among Bali’s most important symbols. Ubud is also known for its yoga scene and healthy food (acai bowls).
We strolled around Ubud for a while, looked at the different boutiques, drank a café, and visited two temples. We definitely and by far liked Ubud better than Seminyak, but despite all that, we found it to be a bit too crowded, dusty and above all too busy…
Tegallalang rice terraces
From Ubud, it was still about half an hour’s drive to the Tegallalang rice terraces, which were our actual destination for the day. We were lucky to be there at the right season because the rice terraces were blooming in a lush green and there was much more to see and climb than we had thought. We were almost the only ones in the terraces, which is why we were able to let the terraces really take effect on us, and on top of that, we could take some great pictures.
It was extremely humid in the rice terraces and it was teeming with mosquitoes, which is why we were almost glad after about 1,5 hours when the sun disappeared behind the trees and slowly set. For the sunset (which was rather less spectacular as the clouds were hanging densely in the palms and trees) we drank a coconut and a tiger beer in one of the restaurants with a view of the rice terraces and were really happy to finally be able to put our feet up.
Afterward, we went on our 2-hour drive home, not without being pulled over by our driver after a really positive experience with him… but I wanted to stop with the negative stories 🙂 In the evening we fell tired and really lastingly knocked out in bed.
And the next evening we flew home again – to Singapore.
— If this article helps you travel, please book your trip via the links on this page or through the banner in the sidebar. This will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!