Why I opted for Bali? Honestly speaking just to impress my Mother in Law that her damaad can spend millions and millions on her daughter including the lipsticks and that he never thinks twice to pay even if the bill for Lunch or Dnner totals upto couple of millions. Well off coarse in ruppia – ye aur baat hai Indonesian Ruppia. This feeling of being a Bill Gates aap ke saath Bali Airport per land kerte hi ajaati hai, the minute you change your $ 1000 which in their local currency totals to couple of crores that always gets you confused in counting.
The mere mention of “Bali” connotes images of serene, tropical paradise clad in exotic culture and maidens walking on evergreen rice paddies. Bali is mysterious, refreshing, serene, a beautiful destination full of culture to spend your holidays and yes cheap too when show maarni ho to your parner.
I suggest about 7 days in Bali – 3 to any Beach Resort either at Nusa Dua, Semainak or Kuta Rest in Ubud among the Rice Paddies. We stayed at Nusa Dua Westin at bargain deal of about Rs 5000 per day including lavish breakfast. In Ubud it was Komandalu Resort which was fabulous but expensive – who cares as long as maza aggaya – specially the open air bath tub main bubble bath laine ka,
Best to explore Bali is by renting a bike and go on your own. However – we negotiated with the taxi driver on full day basis kiyonke Auntyji ko tu yaqeen tha ke main Bali un ko girrane ke liye lay raha (Sach bhi yehi tha) so put her foot down to bike walla option ke wahan dekhna or sochna bhi nahi …. Arre main bike ko thori dekhna tha main tu us per baithee …. Khair leave it. . We negotiated the Taxi driver at about USD 35 per day for 8 hours daily for which he remained at our disposal and even dropped us back to the airport from Ubud. In addition to this at Nusa Dua they have this free shuttle bus from major hotels to the mall at fixed timing which was a good option.. Took many day trips to places like Lake Batur,, rice fields of Ubud, Monkey forest and many beautiful Hindu temples like Pura Taman Saraswati,gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul – I did not find any thing interesting to shop at Bali – May be we Did not searched much.
Bali is all about lazing, exploring and relaxing. Sea food on the beach at Seminyak side resturants, traditional Balinese buffet dinner and their cultural dance is also a must. Stay in Nusa Dua, Legian or Seminyak if you’re looking for a beachfront hotels, a convenient location for touring around Bali’s top attractions. Kuta is the prime nightlife, shopping & tourist area. Seminyak offers a more relaxed & upscale vibe. Meanwhile, Legian sits in the middle. If you are looking to immerse in Bali culture, head to Ubud, the cultural, arts and culinary capital of Bali. Although this can be done as a day trip from South Bali, staying here is also a great idea to get a taste of the cultures and colours.
Visit Bali’s top attractions including Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Tirta Empul Temple & Holy Springs, Gunung Kawi Royal Monument. Witness how local artisans make gold & silver jewelries in Celuk Village and get awed by the talented sculptures of Mas Village, known for the best wood carving in Bali. Get awed by Barong dance performance -,a traditional Balinese dance. And indulge on a Kintamani lunch with a stunning view of Mt.Batur, or simply rafting for more adventure. Uluwatu Temple, one of the oldest and most important temples to the spirit of the sea in Bali. During the 10th century, Empu Kuturan, a Javanese priest, established the first temple here. During the 15th century, the founder of the Hindu-Dharma religion reportedly spent his last days here when he attained moksa (oneness with the godhead). Lake Batur is the largest lake of Bali. It is crescent shaped and it can be found in the smaller, secondary caldera of the Batur volcano, right at the foot of Mount Abang. Due to its height not only the temperature of the area is always cool but also the water of the lake. It is about 2 hours drive from Ubud and highly recomended. Also who have vacationed in Bali after having a lot of sunbathing should do Bali outdoor adventures, one of the most favorite ones is Bali water sports and rafting in Ayung River Ubud. Other than that one should enjoy Balinese massages and beauty treatments – which Auntyji made sure and saath main mujhe bhi lay gayee. Allah maafi bohat sharam aye. Other than that cycle lo ya joggers charhao and nikal paro to enjoy nature, aromas, sites and beauty. Make sure to keep water bottle handy due to humid temperature.
Go during the dry season from April and September. July & August are the peak tourist months. A visit during the shoulder months of April, May, June, and September offers a high chance of sunny skies and warm weather, but with fewer crowds.
The top places to stay in Bali for short trips & first-timers are Nusa Dua, Ubud, Seminyak & Legian. Grab rock-bottom rates and avoid fully-booked rooms For sightseeing trips, I recommend at least 3 full days to visit the main temples & cultural attractions. Bali is a big island with a wealth of interesting spots. It’s easy to fill up a week-long itinerary with exciting things to do, so plan a longer trip if you want to explore different parts of the island.
Regarding shopping – Honestly speaking nothing fancied us or maybe we never looked around.
There are many airlines that offers special discounted deals to Bali. From Lahore we used Malindo Air via Kuala Lumpur. Other option from Karachi / Islamabad & Lahore are Thai, Emirates & Qatar. Tickets should be Rs 85k to 95k depending on the season.
Visa was arranged by our travel agent and it took us about 3 weeks. Following docs are needed to submit with your application.
1. Two visa applications filled with two photographs (white background)
2. Covering letter requesting visa, and mentioning all the details of the visit as well as your job/business and must be on company letterhead where you work or do a business
3. Bank statement of last 6 months + maintenance certificate
4. Confirmed hotel booking for each day in Indonesia
5. Return flight ticket (I submitted reservation)
6. Original passport and previous passports
7. Copy of the passport’s first three pages (A4 size)
8. Copy of CNIC (A4 size)
9. NTN and Registration in case of businessman
10. Visa fee $50 USD (to be paid after visa is issued)
Note no 1: There is some sort of an “Undertaking Letter” which they sometime ask to provide which turned out that the travel agent who has booked the flights and hotel should provide this letter (Undertaking letter) on his letterhead. But if you insist that you have arranged everything yourself then they will process your application without UNDERTAKING LETTER. But confirms that visa will not be guaranteed, so better is to take this thing with you.
Note no 2: For visa applicants from Punjab who apply in Islamabad, they must also submit a “Police Character Certificate” with above listed documents. this is must in Islamabad. and I don’t know why the same country requires it in Islamabad and not in Karachi. You can obtain this certificate from a police station in your city.
Note no 3: you need to pay $50 USD visa fee on the date when you collect your passport with visa. and this $50 must be cash and only in US Dollars not in PKR.
Note no 4: If you are going to Indonesia for 5 days then they’ll issue you only 6 days visa, that means, you can only stay for 6 days in Indonesia. so choose your stay wisely.
So what is Balinese food? Like many aspects of Bali, Bali food is an amalgamation of different cultural influences over time, fused together to create a spectacular cuisine that’s unlike any other. Bumbu Bali curry paste – the base of a lot of Balinese dishes. Even though Indonesia is thelargest country of the Muslim World but Bali has majority of Hindu population so don’t be surprise when you see a Roast Sucking Pig on your Buffet Table. Though pork dishes are marked but better to ask.
Indonesian food varies and changes from island to island, but Bali’s cuisine stands out from them all. Other famous Balinese foods include, satay, Balinese duck or chicken curries, gado gado (mixed vegetables) and pepes – small portions of seasoned meat, tofu or tempe, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled until cooked.
1. Nasi Goreng – Balinese Fried Rice
2. Balinese Satay
3. Balinese Duck Curry
4. Gado Gado – Mixed Vegetables with Peanut Sauce
5. Urap Campur – Balinese Mixed Vegetable Salad
6. Sambal Matah – Raw Shallot, Lemongrass and Chilli Dip
7. Tumis Pakis – Sauteed Fern Tips
8. Sayur Urab – Mixed Vegetable Salad With Coconut and Lime
9. Traditional Grilled Fish or Seafood
10. Kering Tempe – Sweet & Sour Tempe
11. Balinese Chicken Curry
12. Pepes – Bamboo / Tofu/ Veggies or Meat Wrapped and Steamed in Banana Leaf
13. Green Papaya Spiced Balinese Broth
14. Bubur Injin – Black Rice Pudding
Lastly I would specially add Kopi Luwak or Luwak Coffee – How do you feel about drinking coffee that’s been made out of luwak poop? OK, that’s simplifying things a bit but Luwak is one of Bali’s most interesting culinary experiences and the most expensive coffee.
P.S : Don’t be surprise Auntyji’s boasting at Kitty Party – Arre Nazi main tu coffee pee ker 200000 waisse hi tip chor aye.