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Bali - what excursion?

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I am so confused.  The more research I do, the more I feel like throwing my hands up and thinking I will decide when we get there.   We have had good luck in the past with hiring a taxi driver to take us around but not so sure.      We will be in port from 8 to 5 and luckily we are the only ship in port that day.   I would appreciate any suggestions for an excursion that would show us the highlights of the island.   Not real excited about the ship's tours.  We are doing an elephant orphanage a few days before.  We don't want to stop to watch arts and craft demos.   I guess we really would just like to see some of the beautiful sites we see in pictures of the island.    I would love to scuba dive but my husband doesn't and I kind of promised him I would leave my gear at home and do tours with him.   I have left him on ships too many times while I was diving.   I read another post here about hiring a driver and it said to tell him where you want to go.     I have no idea where I want to go or what to see and I don't want a stranger to pick out spots.   Been there when a friend found a local tour - the driver stopped at many places where he received compensation for taking us to them.   Maybe I have not been looking in the right places.  I just requested some travel books on Indonesia from the library.  Maybe they will help.               Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Choose a driver, tell him what kind of things you like (temples, nature, animals) and he would probably have some suggestions. Personally I’ve really enjoy ubud with the monkey forest, rice fields & temples. Also love the beaches in Sanur.

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First time in  Bali I did choose a ship excursion - a really good Highlights og Bali tour -  early days of cruise ships in Bali and not sure how safe it would be! - at the same cruise we were the first big cruise ship visiting Lombok - our excursion was three ours late due to traffic - happy it was a ship and not private tour.

Second time a Bali we hired a driver, booked in advance.b However my advise will depend on for how long you’re visiting Bali - not a fun location to miss a cruise ship.

Lots of beautiful sights - a driver can certainly assist and make a day once you have told him what your preferences are. Here is a Link to reliable driver. - just note that Dewa is a very, very common name in Bali - in some families the first boy child is named Dewa - and many of those are drivers.

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Thanks TT81   That sounds like a good plan.   But when you say "choose a driver"   what do you mean.   In a clean vehicle, looks honest?

 

hallllasm,   I was looking for a highlights tour but they are not offering one.  Maybe it is booked already....  That is what I think we want.   At least if we miss the ship, it is our last port so we would have two days to get to Singapore to get our flight home.    We are always very careful with timing our private tours.   We make sure we know island and ship times and get back in plenty of time.  thanks for your help

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Posted (edited)

I haven't been to Bali (yet) but have done a lot of research, and bought a book on Bali by Tuttle from Barnes & Noble.  I'm in the process of hiring the driver hallasm used, because earlier this year, someone else recommended him, and others then used/liked him.  We're not going to be in Bali just for a day, though, so I'll try to address my comments from the standpoint of spending a day in Bali rather than spending several days before joining the cruise ship.  It has been really hard figuring out what I wanted to do, as there were no real "tours" to simply read and make decisions.  And the ship isn't offering any excursions, as it's embarkation/disembarkation day.

 

Traffic can be bad in the southern part of Bali, so once you get the book you ordered, I would look at various parts of Bali and pick just one or two to explore.  And of course, I would start your day as early as you can, and allow plenty of time to get back to the ship.  My place of choice would be Ubud, in central Bali.  There's lots there, and on the way up you could drive through some small towns to see (but not necessarily to shop!)  some crafts people/shops along the way (Sukawati, Mas, Bali Bird Center, etc.)  You could also go through Sanur, a beach on the southeastern side of the island.  However, if you're going in December, and probably January as well, keep in mind that there will likely be some rain, but apparently not all day.  It's the wet season.  Unless you're young and beach loving, I would stay away from the big beach area on the west side of the island (Kuta, Nusa Dua, etc.) - winter time rain, traffic,  not too authentic. 

 

Getting up to Ubud might take up to two hours, and certainly at least one, but there are great things you could do around there like temples, rock carvings, Elephant Cave Goa Gajah (great exterior), rice fields in the city or outside at Tegallalang, Tirta Empul temple where people stand under the holy springs, etc.

 

If you want something closer to the port, which is in Benoa, you might want to see if you can find the Roll Call for Oceania Cruise's Around the World Cruise this year (2019).  Someone on there went to some pretty interesting places in Bali on a day tour, and those places were closer to Benoa than Ubud.  I was drooling over the pictures she took.  There is a big, maybe touristy but also maybe pretty visually-stimulating center a bit northeast of Benoa.  I can't remember the name, though, but for people with limited time, it may be a good option. 

 

I don't suppose you'll be in Bali Dec. 21 (this year), but if so, you may be on my cruise!

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea

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There are 1000s of Driver’s in Bali, some better then others so By “choose a driver” I used to ask around for recommendations from people I know (I live only a few hours flight from Bali so it’s a popular holiday destination for friends and family). Now a days I have a favourite driver so I always use Yan at Yan Bali tour service or if he is busy I’ll book one of his friends

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I’m just about to finalize my Bali blog with reviews, video and pictures (post for each day of my 14 days stay.) Plan to add more videos over time.

I did five day-tours during my stay -  posts with those tours are marked excursion - other days I stayed at the hotel, did som shopping or went to the beach.

The blog is still under development and I’m trying to improve my English writing - sorry if something is still reflecting my Danish origin.

Link to The Magical Island of Bali - Blog and review

 

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On 10/13/2019 at 9:29 AM, hallasm said:

I’m just about to finalize my Bali blog with reviews, video and pictures (post for each day of my 14 days stay.) Plan to add more videos over time.

I did five day-tours during my stay -  posts with those tours are marked excursion - other days I stayed at the hotel, did som shopping or went to the beach.

The blog is still under development and I’m trying to improve my English writing - sorry if something is still reflecting my Danish origin.

Link to The Magical Island of Bali - Blog and review

 

Hello Hallasm,

I believe you found Dewa through one of my posts on CC.  

I just posted a new post a few minutes ago so composer, this is the same Dewa...  Hope you hire him as you will not be disappointed...

The Canadians!😎

 

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