WHAT TO DO IN BALI IN 3 DAYS
Check out my full Bali video here :)
We chose to stay in Ubud for our first few nights because we felt like it was in the centre of all the things that we wanted to do while we were there. Although some places we wanted to go was over an hour drive, we still really liked the nearby things as well. Granted, the culture and vibes in Ubud are just amazing!
Day 1: We checked into our hotel (Nyuh Ubud Bali Resort & Spa), and went to the Ubud Traditional Art Market. We shopped, had lunch there and returned to our villa in the afternoon where we spent the rest of the day lounging around in our private pool and enjoying the vibes. This was much needed after an early morning flight!
TEGALLALANG RICE TERRACE
It is known that the best time to visit the rice terrace is during sunrise as it is very serene and beautiful. But we wanted to do yoga and eat breakfast at our villa so we arrived at around 11:00AM.
Yes, there were other tourists but no it was not crowded and the rice terrace is so big that even if they land in your photos, they will be so far away you can barely see them. You must buy a ticket for 10,000IDR (less than $1USD) by one of the men selling them outside the entrance. It is known as a “donation” but you MUST pay it! When you enter the rice terrace, there will be some areas where locals will ask you to donate 10,000IDR to pass onto their area. You cannot pass them without paying this “donation” or you will be yelled at. It is NOT a scam!! It is such a small fee to pay, do not fight it. We go on so much of their property for so cheap and sometimes completely free that this $1 fee is not going to make or break you. But it is a lot for the locals, so don't be a brat. K thx.
There are also lots of swings to choose from here. They are about 50,000IDR... feel free to baragain it.
After the rice terraces, we drove all the way up to Lempuyang Temple - "Gateway to Heaven".
There are multiple temples at this location and it can take the entire day to hike up to all of them but the main ones that people go for photos are only a 5 minute walk up.
You MUST wear a sarong at these temples! You can either buy one from the market before you arrive or you can rent one for 10,000IDR before you walk up to the gates.
Photos come out best when the clouds are not covering Mount Agung like they are in my photo... hahaha. So have patience and wait, because I didn't.
There were lots of tourists because we arrived in the afternoon but the locals working there will make sure there is a line up for photos so that people are not in your photo. Honestly, this temple was probably the biggest disappointment of my trip there (aside from not being able to rent a scooter... that's a whole other story you can read here). I was really excited to visit these gates because it seems so magical when I see photos online. Unfortunately, all of the magic was gone because of how many tourists there were. I suggest arriving very early in the morning if you want it to feel like the magic that you expect it to. p.s. yes, there are chickens hanging out here. Chickens are everywhere in Bali.
Tirta Gangga is located only 15 minutes away from the Lempuyang gates so it is a great idea to do these on the same day.
I believe it was about 20,000IDR (less than $2USD) per person to enter.
We had a lot of fun here. You can buy fish food from the locals outside the temple or if you’re lucky like I was, you can find a full package of fish food that someone left behind. 1 package is enough for a group of people. Try not to feed the fish your own random leftovers... These fish get fed so much by tourists that they are massive!! If you don’t have fish food but you want fish in your photo, try holding your hand out to see if the fish will be tricked into thinking you have food and come to you. Happened with us.
Oh and also, don’t drop your phone in the water like @travellingmyope did haha.
OKAY.. HERE WE GO. BALI SWING: Does it really look as fun as it does in the pictures?!! Hell ya!!!! The views were unreal! And being so high up in the sky was a thrill! (Don't forget your gopro straps to strap onto your head / body. They dont let you hold it in your hand... I forgot mine)
Price: $35USD. I was told by instafriends to not pay that price and to go to "Zen Hideaway" which is right next to Bali Swing and it is half the price with less line ups. That was our plan.
Our driver dropped us off in front of Bali Swing and we were swarmed with the sales staff. They took us in right away and told us the price: $35USD. I showed them the picture of the swing with the view I wanted (Zen Hideaway) and they said that they have that swing so I assumed that Zen Hideaway wasn't a thing anymore and it all became one big place because Bali Swing had so many different swings! Ok so we paid it because we didn't want to waste any time.
It was so worth it!!! Buffet and cold bottled water was included and there were lots of swings and nests to choose from! I also fell in love with the staff because they were so funny and entertaining, it made the experience that much better haha.
Later I realized that there is a separate company with a swing and I could see it from Bali Swing (could also be different from ZenHideaway).. no line up there. So it's up to you... if you don't want to pay the $35USD, to the left (a little more down the road) of Bali Swing will be a separate company but with less swings. Not sure the price. Not sure if they feed you there but if you are on a budget, I believe it's cheaper & you can get a similar view (obviously not the exact same view) from the swing on the photo above.
Bali Swing takes a long time, we were there for about 3-4hours because there are lots of swings to choose from, lots of nests to take photos in and oh, all the line-ups... Definitely a busy tourist attraction. Not sure how long Zen Hideaway takes.
We spent the rest of the day at our resort (Nyuh Ubud Bali Resort & Spa) hanging out in our pool as well as learning how to make traditional Balinese offerings with the resort staff! This was an amazing experience!
BONUS: Tukad Cepung Waterfall
A friend I met on the trip took me here as a surprise. It was the most beautiful and breath-taking waterfall, especially because we went for sunrise!
So here's the deal, this waterfall is inside a cave, and when the sun rays shine down on it, it is so incredible. We tried to make it there for sunrise. So we woke up at 5AM and arrived at 7AM. Can you guess our first mistake? Like I said, the waterfall is inside a cave. That means in order for the sun rays to shine down on it, it needs to be way past "sunrise hour". Not sure why we didn't think of this earlier.
So we chilled in a dark cave for 2 hours. Granted, we also didn't have breakfast because for some reason when we were rushing in the morning, we were worried about missing the rays.
Ok so moral of the story, you don't need to arrive until around just before 9AM to see the rays shine down at an angle but around 11AM-12PM is when the rays come straight down. (These times I am giving are for the month of May... so do your calculations for the other months that you are going). Yes, other tourists will start showing up as well and you will have to be in a line up to take a photo. We saw it shine down at an angle and then we left because I was starving and I was sure that I was probably going to faint if I didn't get food in my system ASAP.
Oh p.s.... we saw a snake in the water right after taking photos. Pretty sure it was poisonous. That's also a main reason why we ran out of there right away haha. :)