Although I had five days in Bali a couple of months ago, I had much ground to cover, and I had resorts to review. And let’s face it—time in a such a beautiful island comes faster than normal, or so it seems. After carefully plotting my schedule, I actually had only a couple of free days. I didn’t want to waste my time, so I took a full day tour with Bali Golden Tour that covered the essentials—the five must-visit spots for those who only have a day.
TANAH LOT TEMPLE
The rough translation for Tanah Lot is “land in the sea.” The temple itself stands on top of a rock, yet unfortunately, non-Hindu visitors may only reach the base, where the temple’s elders gives blessings by a spring.
But aside from the temple itself, what draws in visitors are the gorgeous views of the sea.
VIEW OF MOUNT BATUR FROM KINTAMANI VILLAGE
The active volcano Mount Batur, along with the surrounding Batur Lake, is one of Bali’s most picturesque features. It’s best viewed from Kintamani Village, which is under three hours from the touristy South Bali. Unfortunately, when I went, it was raining and foggy—though at one point, the mountain was seen partially.
In Kintamani Village was also where we had lunch, along with tourists in groups. Bali Golden Tour brings their guests to a restaurant, which offers a wide array of Western, Asian, and Indonesian fare.
BALINESE COFFEE PLANTATION
Bali does have its coffee plantation, and they specialize in the famed kopi luwak or civet coffee, which is from animal’s droppings. By visiting a coffee plantation in Kintamani, I saw how the droppings were processed, and I had a taste of the coffee too. But aside from the civet coffee, which I paid 50,000 IDR (~190 PHP) for, the plantation gave me a free tasting of the various teas and coffees they had on offer like vanilla coffee and ginger tea.
TEGALALANG RICE TERRACES
En route to Kintamani Village, we made a brief stop at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. I had passed by the area in my past trips, but I never had the chance to stop by. The view was charming.
Dedicated to the supreme Hindu god Sanghyang Widi Wasa, Uluwatu Temple is regarded as one of the sad kahyangan or the six holiest places of worship in Bali. It wasn’t my first time visiting, but I thought the views of the cliffs were still phenomenal. And the monkeys were cute but still as pesky as ever.
After being guided around the vast temple grounds, I was taken to the amphitheater for the temple’s daily kecak dance, which paid homage to the ancient epic Ramayana. The sunset in the background added a dramatic effect.
BALI GOLDEN TOUR
Again, I took the trip with Bali Golden Tour, and I had a very positive experience. I was picked up from my resort and driven around by Dendy, who was friendly, patient, and knowledgeable of the places we went to. The vehicle assigned to me was a Toyota Innova in tiptop shape, so the ride was comfortable.
The itinerary we followed was:
08:00 – Pick up at the hotel
09:30 – Visit Tanah Lot Temple
12:00 – Visit Kintamani Village for view of Mount Batur
12:30 – Lunch at Kintamani with a view
14:00 – Visit Bali Coffee Plantation
15:00 – Visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace
17:30 – Visit Uluwatu Temple
18:00 – Watching Kecak Dance Performance
20:00 – Dinner at Jimbaran Beach
22:00 – Back to hotel
22:30 – Arrive at hotel
I didn’t do the dinner in Jimbaran, however, since I had an appointment back in my resort. Without question, Dendy accommodated my request and coordinated the necessary adjustments.
The package I took was the all-inclusive one (1,000,000 IDR or ~3,770 PHP), which aside from transportation and driver/guide, included tickets and entrance fees, meals, and water. There’s also a transport-only package that starts at 650,000 IDR (~2,470 PHP) per vehicle for a group of up to six.