Place   |   Oct 17, 2015
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I decided to visit Bali for the first time, having heard so much positive speaking about it, and seen so many wonderful pictures of this tropical island.
Bali offers a huge choice between very economic and very expensive hotels. For a low budget I suggest the Gran Whiz Nusa Dua hotel which is very convenient and reasonable in price, offering big rooms and a close walking distance to the beach. For a higher budget I recommend The Mulia Resort, St. Regis, Hanging Gardens or Ayana Resort.
 Upon my arrival I dropped my luggage and went straight to Nikki Beach which was just a 5 minute walk, right at the Sofitel hotel. I am a big fan of this beach club chain so I couldn’t miss the party.
 Firstly I suggest you rent a motorbike which is very cheap and makes your life much easier, as the traffic (especially at rush hour) can be crazy.
 Must-sees include the Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot Temple, Tirta Ganga, Besakih Temple and the Ulun Danu Bratan Temple giving you a wonderful impression of Hinduism. Every hotel also offers a vast choice of day tours which I can only recommend, the prices are approx. 70 USD per person. I booked such a tour and it was great fun.
First we started with rafting down the Ayung River, which took us around 2 hours. From there I went to visit the Kintamani Batur volcano where I tried many different kind of local fruits like snakeskin fruit, passion fruit and baby bananas. Then I headed off to the Satria coffee and tea plantation with a very interesting tasting, locally made Luwak Coffee, and teas like Rosella tea, Lemongrass tea and Ginger tea. There is a small shop located where you can buy tea and coffee.
Time was running out so I had to leave to the Monkey Forest and believe me the apes you meet there are simply cheeky.  Trying to get hands on sunglasses, cameras and whatever is not tight to your body.  One of the highlights that day for sure was the stop at one of the rice fields in Ubud, called Tegalalang. Walking by the narrow walkways up the peaceful hills gives you a breathtaking view.
Last but not least the driver brought me to have a look at a traditional Balinese dance which I enjoyed before I got ready for dinner at Jimbaran Bay, which offers in total 24 restaurants that serve fresh fish and seafood right on the beach.
 If you have a special venue to celebrate I suggest you to book a table at the Swept Away in the Samaya, offering International and Asian cuisine. It´s the perfect place to spend some quiet time, located at the river with lots of candles and a very romantic atmosphere. The Soleil, one of the restaurants in The Mulia resorts, is another alternative for fine dining.
Another highlight of this trip was my stay at the world-famous Hanging Gardens Ubud, and it´s a unique experience to enjoy an infinity pool in the middle of the jungle.
I will keep Bali in deep memory and surely return to explore more of this island in the Balinese Sea, as there is so much more to do and to see.

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