Other things to do and where to eat in Bali

August 25, 2011 ASEAN Backpacking

This is an updated blog post.

I first posted this blog in 2011 after my first visit to Bali to join my sister's birthday celebration.  I just came back from another Bali escape, as part of our group's annual ASEAN backpacking trip and I just decided to add information to this existing blog post.

Please check also my other posts about Bali:

The Mt. Batur climb was my best Bali adventure. The cycling tour was my best Bali tour.

Where to visit:

The Elephant Cave

Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave is one of the most historical sites in Bali said to be developed in the 11th century. The entire site, according to the net, was destroyed by natural disasters and was rediscovered by a team of Dutch archeologists in 1923. Here, the faithful worship Lord Ganesha, the Hindu God of knowledge and wisdom as an entity with the face of an elephant.

Entrance fee is 15,000 rupiah and all guests are required to wear sarongs in reverence to the gods of the temple.  To get to the temple, guests descend long curving stairs. From here, guests can already see the cave and the courtyard in front of it where there's a bathing pool and some artifacts.  Guests can also go down to see what remains of a buddha statue after being destroyed by an earthquake. This is not visible from the trail.

Ketur Liyer's place
As requested by our birthday girl, we visited the home of Balinese spiritual guru Ketut Liyer, who was featured in Elizabeth Gilbert's best selling memoir and Julia Robert's hit movie "Eat Pray Love."

For those who want their fortunes read by the guru, advanced bookings are required. We were happy and content just seeing Ketut's toothy and charming smile.

We really didn't mind the long trip to Ketut's place. His attendants were nice and allowed us to take pictures of Ketut. 

Along the way, we passed by also this nice looking rice terraces and the buzzling tourist area of Ubud.

Sacred Monkey Forest

The sanctuary is home to long-tailed Balinese Macaques. You'll meet a lot of them here at their sanctuary that's filled with towering trees.

Balinese Hinduism combines Animism, Ancestor Worship, Buddhism and Hinduism. They believe that objects can possess souls, which can help humans. Ravines and forested areas harbor human and animal spirits. That is why this forest is considered sacred.

Ulun Danu Temple


Our first stop during my most recent trip to Bali was Bedugul.  It was originally to kill time because we were early for check-in at our hotel in Ubud.  Flight was delayed though, so we arrived just in time for lunch.

The temple is perhaps the most iconic image of Bali.  It sits on a lake and is devoted to the goddess of the lake.  Ulun means heart and danu means lake.

Tirta Empul Temple


Tirta Empul is a Hindu Temple.  This is where Balinese people go for purification because of its holy water.  

When we visited the temple recently, we were divided into two groups.  One of our friends had her period and she was not allowed to go inside.  The others just decided to visit the temple.  I decided to go through the purification ritual.

The sarongs are included in the entrance fee.  There is a common locker room available. 

Uluwatu Temple

South Bali

A great place to view the Sunset in Bali is the Uluwatu Temple, which is perched on a steep hill.  

Guests to the temple have an option to view a traditional Balinese performance or climb up to the temple.  I chose to do neither as I was still recovering from an accident.  I was already happy with our beautiful sunset.

Ulu means land's end and watu means rock.

Entrance fee is 30,000 rupiah.  Sarongs and sashes are available at the entrance.

Batur Natural Hot Springs Resort


This was probably the most relaxing part of my recent trip.  I finally was able to dip my leg in warm water to ease the swelling.  I had an accident six months before the trip and a surgery after and I was still recovering.  

There are several pools here of varying temperature.  It is easy to tell where I stayed.  
The facilities are not first class but the view makes up for it. The hot springs are built in front of the Batur lake and we had a magnificent view of Mts. Batur and Agung on our way to the hot springs.

Kuta Beach


Bali is known for their waves and we didn't have a set itinerary on our last day in Bali, so I just decided to lounge the whole morning at the beach.  Since I cannot walk without assistance, I was happy where I was sited, watching my friends try surfing.  

We rented the beach chairs for 100,000 rupiah for two hours.  That was enough time for me.  

Where to eat

Made Warung
Kuta, Bali

We celebrated the eve of my sister's birthday by dining at Made's Warung, one of the places recommended to her by her friends. It is a big place and there are quaint shops selling books, chocolates, souvenirs and other things surrounding the restaurants to keep the diners busy while waiting for their meals. For those who want live entertainment, there's an area with a live band.

There are a lot of dishes to choose from (Indonesian, European, Japanese, etc). We let the birthday girl order for us and we all enjoyed what was served. I especially liked the Chicken Cashew Nut and the Sate Chicken. Total amount paid for a group of 7 was only 295,000 rupiah. Not bad at all.


For an amazing view of Mt. Batur, cool weather and lots of good Balinese cuisine, have lunch at Kintamani.

There are lots of restaurants to choose from here. We ate at Batur Sari. We arrived quite late and the restaurant was so full so we started our lunch inside the restaurant. But, we were able to sip hot tea with an amazing view of Mt. Batur and the lake. They charged 70,000 rupiah per person for the buffet but we were able to bargain it down to 60,000 rupiah.

JI Pantai Kedonganan

There was a full moon during our last night in Bali and that is an important occasion in Bali. There were festivities everywhere. It was a good time to dine outside, by the beach, under the full moon. We ate at New Moon Cafe.

This is "dampa" style dining where you choose your fresh seafood and tell the attendants how you want it cooked. It comes with free rice, vegetables, sauce and fruit salad.

This is where I noticed there was really not a lot of cheap and fresh seafood in Bali, considering it being surrounded by the sea, just like here in the Philippines. Either that or we didn't go to the right place. We paid 354,000 rupiah for a dinner of fish, squid and prawns.  Since it was a full moon, there were traditional Balinese dance performances.  The best part of my meal was the one I got from a peddler. It was the best grilled corn ever, for only 10,000 rupiah. It was really expensive actually, but hey, I was in Bali.



Before we visited the temple, we decided to have a buffet lunch first at the temple complex.  I skipped breakfast because of an early morning flight so I was really hungry when we got there.  

Their satay was really good.  Others were also, but I enjoyed the satay more.

Babi Guling

One of Bali's famed dishes is Babi Guling or suckling pig. Before we transferred from Ubud to Kuta, we had to have our first Babi Guling.

We chose Bu Oka House and we were not disappointed.  Babi Guling is really good. 

Where to Stay

Teba House


Located in the heart of Ubud, Teba House is a really good place to stay.  It is a stone's throw away from the Ubud shopping area and the Monkey Forest.  The place is very quiet though, so perfect for vacationers.

We love the traditional Balinese interiors.  The owners are nice.  This is really great value.  

Tanaya House

Legian Road

This is right smack where the action is. The hotel is located at the main road, where the shops and restaurants are.

The rooms are nice and clean.  The comfort room is spacious.  There is really nothing to complain about here.  

The breakfast is also good.

Bali Kuta Resort


This is pricey compared to the other two resorts but this has a buffet breakfast, big rooms and a bar in the middle of the pool.  This is where we stayed the first time we visited Bali and we enjoyed our stay here.  

We had a really comfortable stay here.

Where to Shop
Bedugul Market

We were lured by the strawberries so we decided to explore the market.  

There are a lot of great finds here like spices, incense and other souvenirs but we had to bargain really hard.  They priced the items hundred times (okay, an exaggeration but feels like it) higher.  

I did get fresh strawberries here and some souvenirs for my friends including ref magnets, incense and a plate.

Ubud Market

I enjoyed this market more and I wish I had more time. I skipped the visit to the Monkey Forest the second time I visited Bali in favor of this.

I didn't learn a lot from my Bedugul experience and started buying only to find out I can get the items really cheap elsewhere.  Well, at least I was able to get a lot of sarongs for 20,000 rupiah.

Sukuwatu Market


I did the rest of my shopping here.  We dropped by this market when we were transferring hotels from Ubud to Kuta.  

This is where I got my Bali beer shirts and some more souvenirs.  Bargaining here was easier and we were all happy after.

Other Good Travels


  1. Oh thanks a lot,this information is actually good to me..Bali is without doubt one of the most popular destinations in world, attracting a whopping 60 million visitors every year...