Bali and Berchtesgaden: Exploring Bali

Singapore Airlines First Class Houston to Moscow
International Business Lounge Moscow
Singapore Airlines First Class Moscow to Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class Singapore to Bali
InterContinental Bali
Exploring Bali
W Retreat Bali Seminyak
Singapore Airlines Business Class Bali to Singapore
The Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore
Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Frankfurt
InterContinental Berchtesgaden & Surrounding Areas
Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt to Washington Dulles
Westin Washington Dulles Airport

Since we had a car and driver for a day included in our room rate, we just had to hire a guide, which the hotel set up for us for $35USD for the entire day. Even though Bali isn’t that huge it can take hours to drive to the North coast due to traffic, so we planned a trip with five stops that would take us about eight hours.

We first stopped at a couple of “art exhibits” (aka “don’t you want to buy this beautiful Balinese painting?”).

Balinese art

We then went to the agriculture area where luwak coffee is made. Luwaks are cute little animals that eat coffee beans, and once the coffee beans come out the other end they’re among the most expensive out there, for reasons I can’t understand.


Words of wisdom


Due to the hype I of course had to try a cup of Luwak coffee for $5, and it tasted like… crap.

Luwak coffee

Fortunately there was also some regular coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, to get the taste out of my mouth. Oddly enough it was free.

Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate

Next we drove all the way to the North of Bali, which features great views of the coast and volcanoes. Obviously the landscape here is completely different than where all the resorts are in the South.

Beautiful scenery

Beautiful scenery

This is also the area where we had lunch, at Kintamani Restaurant. It was evident that the restaurant was almost exclusively for tourists and their tour guides, though I do have to say the food was excellent and only about $10USD per person.

Kintamani Restaurant

Kintamani Restaurant

Kintamani Restaurant

Kintamani Restaurant

The next stop was the rice plantations.

Rice plantations

And the last stop was the Ubud Monkey Forest. I love monkeys. They’re absolutely adorable…

Cute monkeys

Cute monkeys

Cute monkeys

Cute monkeys

Cute monkey

… and evil.

Evil monkey

Next time I’m in Bali I’d love to actually stay in Ubud, because Bali seems to have a lot of charm beyond the South.

Filed Under: Travel
  1. You go all the way to Bali and eat at a buffet aimed at westerners? What a waste. You could really use someone to help you out with the food side of travel. In my opinion you’re missing out on one of the best parts of the travel experience. I wish I could help you out in that regard.

  2. Why do we never see you in the pictures, don’t say cause your taking them that’s a poor excuse? 🙂

  3. I think ubud is the only place to stay. Ive been to the Conrad which is nice but it’s a big resort with no beach. Ubud is Bali. And none of those monkeys are cute as soon as you have a banana!

  4. Looks like the tour guide suckered you like usual. That is why I can never place Bali in my top places like you do. Ubud is nice to stay…but you will be asked 272 times (I counted) in three days if you want a taxi. I had to make a sign saying “NO I DON’T WANT A TAXI”

  5. As some other have said…. You are completely ignorant when it comes to food. Please don’t even try to write a review beyond anything besides warm nuts and coke. Or please try to educate yourself on this front, it’s such a waste traveling the world and not experiencing that part of travel outside western lounges at hotels….

    I generally like your blogs but this really amazes me….

  6. @ Mason @ Gerard — We didn’t choose the restaurant. The hotel arranged a “set” tour, and that was part of it. We had dinner at several local restaurants on other nights of our stay, though for this particular tour that was the “standard” restaurant.

  7. I’m kinda floored that this was your third time to Bali and only the first time you left the fancy Western hotels. And only eight hours of excursion when you stayed four nights?
    Ubud is also a culinary destination, and Balinese food is unique due to multiple factors, including the fact that Bali is majority Hindu in majority Islamic Indonesia.
    Next time at least buy a Lonely Planet guide and do some research; you can hire a driver to take you anywhere you request, not just to the planned places.

  8. You can’t really blame Lucky for not wanting to go outside his comfort zone. Everyone travels differently. Personally, I prefer to venture out and experience as much of the local culture and food as I can. But I do see the appeal in wanting to stay within the comfort and safety of the hotel lounge.

  9. Wow some vicious comments!!!!

    I agree with br – which I would summarize as to each there own!

    In Bali I stayed at very expensive hotels.

    However in Laos and Vietnam I have stayed in village home stays. In one home stay in Laos I asked were the bathroom was and the guide just pointed to the woods. He also told us we could shower in the river!

  10. Everybody travels differently; some people make it about the food, some like to pretend they are locals and some just like to see something new but staying within their confort zone; being or pretending to be a ” foodie” is not for everybody and somewhat overated

  11. Great post. The Mrs. and I will be in Bali later this week. Based on your posts, we’re avoiding the InterContinental, but on the fence on the day trip… We’re staying over at the Grand Hyatt — any recommendations?

  12. Ben, just stunned that you have never left the holes of Kutua, Legian, Sanue et al Denpasar. agrre that the real Bali used to start at Ubud (still close). The most luxurious resorts, exclusive resorts, fine restaurants are all in the hills. The Far East coast is the current trendy area with some excellent resorts etc.. but Bali is all about hiring a Villa, staff , pool etc.. (it’s often a lot cheaper than the large chains like for like and most include a driver and car or it’s only $20-25 per day for one. I tend to hire in the Batur Tengah to Rendang region with close views of the volcanoes, rice terraces sipping a Bombay Blue and tonic watching the sunset over this magical land with Adele a bit loud! Oh and not all monkey’s are guerrillas!

  13. Luwak coffee (also known as Cat Crap Coffee) is prized because the enzymes in the luwak’s stomach break down the acids in the coffee bean.

    Thus, it has a much smoother taste than normal coffee.

  14. I think lucky can do the f*ck he wants when on his trips. Its his blog, maybe you should watch Rick Steve’s if you want something else.

  15. On the one hand Lucky can and should do whatever the hell he pleases when he’s on vacation. On the other hand, for someone who practically vacations for a living, it does seem a little odd that Lucky limits himself to a rather timid style of conventional tourism without much in the way of shocking surprises.

    I think one thing to keep in mind is that just because a given hotel would prefer to sell you a basic no-thought sightseeing trip doesn’t mean you have to take them up on it. You can tell the guide that you don’t want any to buy any silly scam artist junk and don’t want to visit any tourist trap crap. Tell them you want to see as much of the “real” Bali as possible. Any guide worth his salary should be able to accommodate such a request.

    Then again, unlike some of us, Lucky will probably have many more visits with which to take another crack at Indonesia’s more peculiar discoveries and culinary options, which I will welcome, if and when he decides to move down that path.


  16. There are only a few beaches in Bali. Bali is more of a “mountain” destination than a “beach” destination.

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