Because we wanted to have some cultural fun as well, we decided to go on a short one-day tour around South Bali before we head to our next destination in Seminyak. I’ve contacted several of the top tour agencies with the best reviews prior to going and found one that seemed decent in which the email read:
Our day tour services rates
halfday trip up to 5hours IDR 400k/car
fullday trip up to 10hours IDR 550k/car
extra hours IDR 50k/hours
- air conditioned car
- English speaking driver
- car parking fee
- your meal
- entrance ticket to the sites we visit
I guess I hadn’t thought too much behind the words “English speaking driver” though because our driver was also our tour guide. I don’t know why it hadn’t crossed my mind that this may not really work- I think I had assumed we would be in good hands based on the great reviews I’ve read. But lesson learned, it ended up being the least favorite out of the private tours we’ve done because it just wasn’t professional. The tour guide spent majority of the time parking the car and concentrating on driving that he wasn’t able to actually guide us as normal tour guides would do, missing out on some of the important points of the tour that I actually found out AFTER we’ve returned home as I researched on the internet. So please check to make sure that you’re getting a separate driver when booking a tour agency!
Nevertheless, our itinerary well suited our tight schedule and the sites we were taken to were great! Here is the list of places we’ve visited:
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
Padang Padang Beach
Karma Kandara Private Beach
Drop off at our hotel in Seminyak at the end of the day
Our first stop was the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, situated on a limestone plateau in south Bali, high on the Bukit Peninsula. It was our first cultural experience and we had a great time! It offers a great view of the Jimbaran Bay and Kuta to the west, and Tanjung Benoa and Sanur to the east. Below are some silly couple pictures of us
We also were lucky enough to make it to a show just in time. interesting performance!
Our next stop was Padang Padang Beach, the place where the movie Eat, Pray, Love was shot at. We had gone on the WRONG day though because there was a surfing tournament was going on and it was way too overcrowded. It also had a long flight of stairs down in between rocks which we weren’t prepared for. We’ll never forget the bride we saw here going down these narrow steps, sweating away her makeup and looking miserable- it was almost 100 degrees that day and her beautiful white dress had been ruined due to the long flights of stairs going down. hopefully the photos turned out okay though to make up for the situation..
We stopped by another beach for a short bit, which was similar to Padang, and headed to the Uluwatu temple situated on the top of the cliff. The view here was amazing! If you wait till 6pm, you’d be able to watch the famous Kecak Fire Dance which was highly recommended in the reviews I’ve read, but we decided to skip it due to lack of time. This temple is known to have aggressive monkeys that literally snatch your bags and anything easy to grab so our tour guide made us put away our sunglasses. poor hubby! he forgot to wear contacts so he had to walk without his glasses on…
Taking in the scenery and the vast blue ocean..
Hubby taking a break from the long hike. We were made to wear the purple cloth when entering:
beautiful vegetation/forest inhabitated by wild monkeys:
This was the last stop of our trip, which was an hour or two away from Banyan Tree. Seminyak is known for its high-end restaurants, bars, and spa and we thought it’d be great to spend a night here as it was on the way to the Depansar airport. We arrived here late at night and were surprised to find such vibrant night life.. it was a total tourist area but it was nice to have a night out in a modern city, grabbing delicious dinner and drinks. Not to mention the great couple hot stone massage the next day… we had booked one through katok (yes, they use katok here!) and it was 1/4 the US/Singapore price for more than two hours. We were pampered! After our walk around the small strip of various areas around the town afterwards, it was already time to head back. Hopefully we’ll return soon to experience Ubud, the cultural center of Bali.