Two Days in Bali

For years, I had been hearing about Bali and all its beauty and magic. I had no doubt the island was as beautiful as all the blogs, films, and books said it was, but I come from the Philippines, an archipelago with hundreds of thousands of miles of shoreline that could rival that of Bali’s. As a rule, I travel overseas to experience cultures and to see landscapes different from my own, and not to go visit a beach I could very well find in my own country.

So it’s no wonder that it has taken me a long time to go to Bali. But for some twist of fate, we found a promotional fare by Cebu Pacific which cut the usual fare down to 50%. Besides, my friends and I really did need to go on vacation no matter how brief.

So we booked the flight  and for the next month and a half, found myself researching about Bali in preparation for creating our itinerary.

Yes, I am one of those people. Whether I like it or not, the task of planning a trip has always fallen on my shoulders. I can’t say that I don’t like it because I really do. It’s just that sometimes I wish that one day, someone else could do all the planning for me while I sit back, relax and just wait for the actual vacation to arrive. Seems like a dream but it never happens. It has its perks, though. Being the travel planner of the group means I get to decide where we go and that includes choosing our hotel.

In my twenties, I was a gung-ho solo backpacker and I had no qualms staying at a cheap, rundown hotel in Malaysia, for example (with a broken mirror, dusty sheets, dog-chewn slippers, and a shared bathroom down the hall), but as I grew older, I have since gotten particular about the places I stay at, especially when I’m with friends.

Stories aside, my research on Bali yielded huge surprises. I should’ve known better than to assume anything about a destination.

Bali isn’t just all about the beach. It offers a whole range of options for every kind of traveler. Surfers, swimmers, sunbathers, spa enthusiasts can all find their own spot on the island. So, too, can hikers and yoga/meditation practitioners. There are waterfalls, thousands of temples, art villages, festivals, a gamut of restaurants and food choices, white water rafting, safaris, cultural shows – you name it, Bali has it.

It was tough trying to figure out what to cram in only two days. How to experience Bali in two days without missing anything much?

Technically, one cannot fit all those in two days. But the secret, really, is to take a sampling of what really represents Bali best. It also depends on you and your friends’ interests. Still, it took me more than a week to make my choices and finalize the itinerary. In the end, though, it was all worth it.

So if you only have a weekend to spare (or two days) in Bali, what would you do? What are the places you mustn’t miss? What should you consider? Below is my two-day itinerary. Feel free to explore the links for more information and stories.

Happy weekending!

DAY 1
7.50 AM
– Arrival in Bali, I Gusti Ngura Rai International Airport
– Immigration and Customs

8.30 AM
Pick up by driver, Ketut, at airport
– Money exchange at PT Money exchange
– Head off to hotel, the Bali Chaya Hotel Legian
– Freshen up

9.30 AM
– Late breakfast

10.00 AM – 5.30 PM
– Head to South Bali, explore beaches, go swimming
– High Cliff and beach at Melasti
– Padang Padang
– Suluban Beach
– Lunch at Surya Café

5.30 PM
– Head to Uluwatu Temple
– Purchase tickets

6.00 – 7.00 PM
– Kecak Fire Dance

7.00 PM onwards
– Head back to hotel
– Dinner at hotel
– Option to explore the nightlife in Kuta and Legian

DAY 2
7.00 AM
– Breakfast
– Prepare

8.30 AM
– Pick up by Ketut Ardana
– Head to Ubud

9.30 AM
– Batubulan Village – Barong and Keris Dance

10.00 AM onwards
– Explore Ubud: Art villages
– Head to Sanur for lunch at the Byrdhouse Bali Beach Club
– Tegenungan Waterfalls
– Batuan Temple
– Options: Ubud Market, Ubud Royal Palace

6.00 PM
– Head back to Legian
– Along the way, shop for souvenirs at Cening Bagus along Jl. Raya Batubulan near Kuta

7.00 PM
– Dinner at McDonald’s
– Head back to hotel
– Swimming at pool or head out to enjoy the Bali nightlife

DAY 3
5.30 AM
– Pick up by Ketut Ardana
– Arrive at airport
– Check in, immigration, customs

8.35 AM
– Flight back to Manila

Here is a printable version:

Bali itinerary
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