CONTRIBUTED BY JAIMIE TELSCHOW

Bali l Okinawa Hai

I had my doubts before visiting Bali, wondering if it would be too touristy for my taste. I can’t begin to describe just how wrong I was. My only regret about Bali is not spending more than four days there. We flew into the island on Air Asia late on a Wednesday night. We were able to get our visas on arrival ($25 per person), which we paid for first and then waited in an extremely long line to get checked and stamped through. Our 11-month-old son was pretty tired at this point and began crying, so we were luckily moved to a shorter line. From that point on, it was a breeze! We were met by a driver from our hotel we had arranged to pick us up. We stayed in the Ubud area which is about an hour and a half drive from the airport. Once at our hotel, we were checked in right away and brought to our room. We stayed at Green Field Hotel,which was extremely well-priced and clean. I can’t say enough good things about it!

Thursday morning we didn’t have any firm plans but decided to just explore the Ubud area. First on our list was Monkey Forest, which was just down the road from our hotel. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, but it ended up being one of the biggest attractions on the island and so close to us we figured we better see! As soon as we walked up we saw at least a dozen monkeys climbing through the trees and just hanging around the entrance. We paid our roughly $2.00 entry fee and went in to explore.

Bali l Okinawa Hai

Despite its name, Monkey Forest is a sacred Balinese Hindu site and not just about the monkeys. You can read more about it here. Although it was extremely humid, we enjoyed watching the monkeys, especially the babies and looking at the different temples.

Bali l Okinawa Hai

After about an hour we headed out to find some lunch. An entirely separate post could be made on the food choices in Bali, but just about everything is excellent and cheap in the Ubud area. We ate at a pizza place that was as good as places in Italy I’ve ate. Large pizzas ran about $4-5 and drinks/smoothies $1-2. Another favorite in our time there was a Mexican restaurant just down the road from our hotel. Balinese food is great as well and there is really no way to go wrong with the food it seems. We spent the rest of the day walking to the Ubud palace and looking in the little shops with breaks to swim in our salt water pool at our hotel.

Friday morning we had booked a cycling tour through Bali Eco Cycling and we were picked up from our hotel at about 7:30 a.m. to start our day.

Bali l Okinawa Hai

First stop was breakfast in Penelokan which had a gorgeous view of the volcano, Mt. Batur.

Bali l Okinawa Hai

Soon after breakfast we were ready to start bicycling through Ubud. Our son had a seat on the back of my husband’s bike and a helmet which we were told is up to Australian standards. We cycled through beautiful rice fields and back roads winding through villages we never would’ve seen on our own.

Bali l Okinawa Hai

Bali l Okinawa Hai We made a couple stops at local houses so we could get an idea of how Balinese live and we’re told how the rice planting takes place. Our guide was great and quick to answer any questions our small group might’ve had. After cycling back we were provided an excellent Balinese lunch buffet. Overall it was a great day and we were able to see many aspects of the Balinese culture we normally wouldn’t have as tourists.

Saturday was unfortunately the day we were scheduled to leave. We had an early lunch and were brought back to the airport by our hotel transportation once again. We were able to sneak in a quick American treat at Cold Stone Creamery at the airport which was a pleasant surprise to find before leaving. Overall Bali was a great trip and has so much to offer. We only had time to explore the Ubud area but the island offers much more from trekking to diving. Whether you are on a family vacation or going solo I wouldn’t miss it!

5 COMMENTS

  1. For anyone looking for flights to Bali, the cheapest way to get there from Okinawa on a commercial flight is to book your tickets through Air Asia. You can book a cheap ticket from Okinawa to Osaka or Taipei on Peach Airlines, and then pick up Air Asia in either of those locations. You will have to book your tickets in segments though, especially if you want to save money. If you subscribe to Air Asia and Peach Airlines newsletters, they will send you really cheap offers (sometimes for 1000-2000 yen) for several destinations off island. Air Asia flies all over Southeast Asia. When you book your tickets, make sure you book an additional checked bag if you plan on taking one, because if you just show up to the airport the day of, the fees are astronomical!

    Bali is absolutely one of my favorite places in the entire world. My husband and I went there for 4 days this past October, and it wasn’t long enough! We stayed at the Kuta Playa Hotel on the beach between Kuta and Sanur, and it was breathtaking, I would recommend this hotel to anyone. You can find it and book it through Expedia, with reduced prices. The first day of our stay, my husband went on a diving trip that he said was absolutely incredible, and I hung out at the beach, which was directly across the street from my hotel. On day 2 we went to the beach, went surfing, and did some walking around the Kuta/Sanur areas. Day 3, we were able to rent a moped and drive all around the island one day, and on our last day there we rented a car for day with a driver for only $40USD! The company is called Happy Bali Drivers. He picked us up in the morning with our luggage and drove us the hour to Ubud and then drove us all around to many of the popular sites. He also recommended a few things that were off the beaten path, which was wonderful. That evening, he drove us back south to the airport. I would highly suggest hitting both the beach and Ubud area, and possibly even the more remote northern areas, especially if you are into cultural and historic sites. We found a Temple on the northwest side of the island called “Temple of the Gods” (though several temples are entitled the same) and it was breathtaking. The religious period of Galugan was happening while we were there, and the man who ran the temple escorted us around and even let us participate in the religious services. Balinese culture is truly incredible, and the people are some of the nicest I have met. If you decide to travel to Bali, make sure to plan enough time to do as much as possible. The cost of most things there is minimal, though Kuta can get expensive because it is in the resort area.

  2. Sorry, I am just seeing these comments. Actually we did a space a flight to Singapore from Tokyo and then got Air Asia flights to Bali. Tickets from Singapore to Bali were only about $100 roundtrip or maybe even a little less. China Eastern Airlines has some decently priced tickets to Bali from Okinawa as well. Our very nice hotel ran us $40ish a night (although you can get rooms for much less) and we spent no more than $20 a day on food. Massages and spa treatments are next to nothing. An all day spa package is about $25-30.

  3. Where in Okinawa you booked this flight? and where is the best place in Okinawa to book any type of flights? Thank you Jaimie and please let me know.

  4. Jaimie did you book your trip as a tour or did you just book flights then plan out your itinerary? Also if you dont mind, how much is a good amount to budget for the trip?

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