Bali is one of the most sought after travel destinations in Asia. Honeymooners love it for the romantic feel and lovely weather; budget travelers enjoy it for the variety of experiences and the low budget needed for lodging, food and sightseeing. Those who seek a cultural experience will definitely enjoy Bali and those looking for bargains and traditional goods will be in heaven.
Three days in Bali is not enough to experience what this place is about, but it gives you the time to see some of the highlights. We assume you’ll be staying in Ubud, a city popular among many types of travelers. The itinerary takes you to the famous Money Forest, some temples, the seafood stalls located right on the beach, the crafts villages, the volcano, the rice terraces and even to a Bali dance performance.
After you land at Denpasar, take the regular public bus to Ubud. Tickets cost Rp 8,000 and the travel time is about an hour. However, this is a good choice if you arrive before 4 p.m. since most buses run until then. A more expensive option – ticket: Rp 50,000 – are the private buses which link the airport directly to Ubud and they run four times a day.
You can start exploring Bali with a visit to the Monkey Forest. This is a sacred forest inhabited by monkeys. Make sure to walk through the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, a temple of the dead, as well. Don’t bring any food as you really don’t want the moneys to bite you.
In the late afternoon, go to the Jimbaran Seafood stalls. This a 3 km area of beach side cafes , in total about 40 places to eat. Make sure to try the seafood and don’t be afraid to taste the local delicacies.
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel and then it’s time to do some shopping.
The road to Sanur passes through a series of crafts villages. Celuk is known for the silver jewelry, Mas for the wood carvings, Batuan for the paintings and Batubulan/Singakerta for the stone carvings. Either rent a car with driver or take the local bus and spend some time haggling for interesting souvenirs to take back home.
Get back to Ubud and eat lunch. Then, it’s time to see the Tegallalang area. It’s located just 15 min drive outside Ubud (so you can take the bus). The area is well known for the green terraced hillside, home to traditional rice paddies.
Come back to Ubud and attend a Balinese dance performance at the Palace Ubud. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. And it’s considered one of the best such shows. Tickets cost Rp80,000 (about US$10).
Wake up early in order to catch a morning bus to Kintamani area. Here you can find Mount Batur – which is an active volcano – and Lake Batur. The scenery from the viewing point is worth the trip. This is a famous tourist place and it will get crowded. It’s best to arrive as early as possible. Plus, the most spectacular views are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. especially when the weather is clear.
Get back to Ubud for lunch and then go to Gunung Kawi, the presumed burial complex of King Anak Wungsu and his many wives. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as the temple is reached after climbing 371 steps.
It’s time to travel back to the airport and catch your flight home.