Because Bali is only 33 minutes’ flight from Lombok, one hour and 50 minutes from Jakarta, three hours from Kuala Lumpur and two hours and 45 minutes from Singapore, the island is ideal for incredibly short getaways from any point in South East Asia (including northern parts of Australia).
So, what could travellers do if they only have two days and a half to spare on the ‘Island of the Gods’? Check out the following:
1. Watch Kecak Dance next to Uluwatu temple that is situated alongside a gorgeous cliff during sunset (Mobile: +62 81 629 7032 (I Nyoman Adi Ardika) / +62 81 6470 7984 (I Nyoman Sudarta)) to appreciate Balinese cultural performance while taking in the island’s mysterious atmosphere at dusk.
2. Admire the colossal sculpture made from copper and brass of the Hindu deity Wisnu (The Preserver) riding on the mythically gigantic bird-like creature named Garuda at Garuda Wisnu Kencana, an open-air cultural park. This sculpture, which was designed by the celebrated Balinese artist I Nyoman Nuarta, stands at 75 metres tall and 65 metres wide. Since the whole sculpture is placed on a pedestal, the entire structure reaches the total height of 121 metres, equivalent to a 21-storey building, 30 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
3. Stay at the sharp-looking and contemporary 493-key property called The Anvaya Beach Resort Bali in Kuta, which is Santika Indonesia Hotels and Resorts’ first five-star property that appeals to the sophisticated and design-conscious.
4. Ride on a vintage 1970s Volkswagen Safari with convertible tops (https://www.ubudvwtour.com/) to explore the wistful villages around the island, not just around Badung and Gianyar regencies but also to the other areas like Bedugul and Singaraja. It is interesting to ride around the island on these nostalgic vehicles, especially when the tops are put down, best during a clear morning when it is not yet too hot.
5. Do whitewater-rafting along Ayung River with Alam Tirta Outbound, an outbound service and outdoor adventure company based in Sangeh offering complete facilities, obstacles, equipment and gears on its grounds, ideal for thrilling outdoor experiences and corporate team-building sessions. Alam Tirta Outbound’s office is also surrounded by serene paddy fields and idyllic village-like environment, making it great for relaxing. The price to rent out a raft by Alam Tirta Outbound that fits up to six adults is IDR800,000.
Read also: 10 Best Ways To Explore East Java & Bali
6. Join the three-hour long Balihai Sunset Dinner Cruise around Tanjung Benoa by docking it at Balihai Cruise Harbour, around 20 minutes’ drive away from Kuta using the Bali Mandara Toll Road. Besides enjoying Balinese sunset view, travellers are also feted to a hearty buffet dinner and live entertainment, including disco dancing. The cost is IDR750,000 per person.
7. Dine at Bebek Tepi Sawah branch on Jalan Raya Tuban, located around five minutes’ drive from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport. Popular for its crispy duck and duck-related dishes, including contemporary Western and Indonesian options, the branch in Tuban is ideal for travellers who are pressed for time when being in Bali. Alternatively, travellers can also head to Bale Udang Mang Engking restaurant on Sunset Road, which serves delicious seafood amidst atmospheric environment likened to dining by a lake.