It is hard to plan a trip to a country that you have never been to when you live in a country where no one speaks English. We asked questions, read reviews and researched through Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet .. with a final itinerary as follows …
We booked a car with Sila Tours (Highly recommended. They are not tour guides, but $55 a day for a new van and a driver is fantastic) and set out a rough goal of seeing these things:
- Mt. Batur, the volcano.
- Rice fields
- Bird Sanctuary near Ubud
- The Monkey Forest
- A few temples, with Gung Kawi and the Water Palace being the two options
- An Elephant reserve
This is more than we normally do as we definitely do not subscribe to the “as much as you can” philosophy. We like to do less, but really enjoy where we are. As most of these were nature trips, the learning/history element (which is time consuming) was not as big a factor.
Many people stay in Ubud, we stayed in Nusa Dua which meant driving through the traffic laden streets. In other countries that would be an issue, but not in Bali as the countryside is fascinating. I was enthralled looking out the window as we went from town to town. The people, the shops, the never ending temples on every street corner and at every house. Fascinating. I would have loved to spend more time wandering through small village streets.
My only mistake was that I should not have relied on the driver to help us order the trip over the 2 days that we toured as their sense of time and directions is a little deceiving. When I would ask “how far to the next place” I always got the answer “30 minutes”. 30 minutes later I would ask for an update and get “20 more minutes”.
If you are heading there, enjoy. Great place.