Backpacking Bali: Everything You Need to Know

Backpacking Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a great place to start your solo travels! With cheap accommodation, high backpacker traffic, and lots of English speakers you can’t go wrong backpacking Bali.

Accommodation

To be honest, I did not do much of the planning for this trip. I traveled with a friend and she did a lot of the research  beforehand… I was just along for the ride. As far as accommodation goes, she booked all home stays, hotels and bungalows for us which were actually pretty nice and cheap if you are sharing the price with a friend. She booked them all in advance because we had a tight schedule and didn’t want to stress about searching for a hostel. She booked all of our accommodation through booking.com. I think we on average paid AU$10 a night for a private room, and you could find some amazing places for that price!

Places to Visit

Our first stop is not worth going too, considering I can’t even remember the name of the town. We only stayed there on the night we arrived so we could get some rest.

Kuta

Kuta is where all the backpackers stay, it is definitely a party town. It is good for a party and shopping in the markets. I think I picked up most of my souvenirs in Kuta. Even if you don’t plan to party your whole trip it is worth at least a quick visit in this dingy town for a good night out. You have to go to Sky Garden to start the night off, it is like $10 all you can eat and drink, but go early because it fills up fast. Then there are tons of bars in that area you can drink and dance your way through for the night. Ronta Bungalows is where we stayed in Kuta, it is in the middle of everything and has a nice pool!

You also have to check out the sunset bars in La plancha. That is where all the colorful beanbag chairs are and you can sit/drink on the beach with a beautiful sunset. Depending how much time you want to spend at the beach, the south side of Bali is a great place to do it. Seminyak is nice and a bit further from the crowd in Kuta, so you could always stay there for a few nights.

Ubud

Ubud was probably my favorite town we stayed in. We stayed there for 4 days and we always had something to do. From Ubud, we rented a scooter and went to Tegalalang rice fields, Pura Tirta Empul, and the Sacred Monkey Forest/Mandala Wisata Wenera Wana. All of these places had entry fees, but it usually wasn’t more than AU$4. Also, from Ubud, we did a tour which was a sunrise hike up Mount Batur. You leave at around midnight, they feed you breakfast and coffee, its a bit of a drive, then its a somewhat difficult hike up, take lots of water and snacks, because they feed you breakfast at the top of the mountain but its not very good. This was probably my favorite moment in Bali, the sunrise was amazing! You are above the clouds as well! I can’t remember the name of the company we went through, because once again I didn’t do any of the bookings, but I’m sure you can find some good deals through your home stay/hostel.

Munduk

From there we rented a driver for 450,000 Rupiah to drive us to Munduk. On the way we stopped at Jatiluwih Rice Terrace for lunch, and Ulun Danu Buyan Temple in the afternoon. We stayed in Munduk for the night just because it was a long journey. We stayed in the mountains, and it was very peaceful for the night, there wasn’t really anything to do and we had dinner at the restaurant attached to our homestay. If you have the time it was a fun day, but the rice fields and temples you see in Ubud are similar.

After, Munduk we hired a private car again to take us to Amed so we could catch a boat to the Gili’s.

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan was the backpacker island for sure! There is a lot of good snorkeling, right off the beach, you can rent bikes and ride around the whole island and there are a lot of good bars and a night market. Gili T is also where you get the insta photo during sunset on a swing at Hotel Ombak. It is on the far side of the island from where everyone stays but it is an easy walk, I would go early if you want a photo because there is a long line during sunset haha. (So ridiculous, but worth it)

Gili Air

I would skip Gili Meno, its very quite and resort-y as well. We jumped over to Gili Air, which is less of a backpacker town and has more snorkeling too. The beaches are small but it is nice to lay out and relax. We also rented clear canoes and paddled up and down one side of the island. Oh, and take some bread if you can find it. Fish will come swarming to you and eat it right out of your hand!

Lombok

From the Gili’s we went to Lombok for a few days and stayed on the southwest side of the island near Mawun beach. We also, rented a scooter here to get to the beach because it is very hilly and too far to walk anywhere.

Other Important Information:

Some other important info you need is about the taxis in Bali. They are called Blue bird taxi. There are a lot of scammers who will charge you double! So you want to make sure you get into a real one.
What to look for:
  • It’s painted blue
  • has white headrests on the front seats with their symbol
  • All legit taxis have a code on their car it starts with either VV or IV on it and has 3 numbers after it
  • The driver is in Uniform
  • Also make sure they turn on the meter!
Uber is also a thing in Bali, so if you have wifi you can order an uber! It is a little cheaper than the taxis but can be a pain to connect to wifi. Also, if you do take an uber watch them “end the ride” because otherwise they will drive off and run up your bill. Oh, also try your best to keep small bills for the taxi because they rarely have change to break a 200,000 bill. Also, wear bug spray always!!! I had three friends get Dengue! Make sure its bug spray with at least 75% deet, but be careful because it is so strong it will peel paint off of benches.

Hopefully this gets you started! Comment below for any questions about backpacking Bali!