Canadian living in Germany - Enjoying Travel & Documenting as I go! My goal is to bring you honest reporting based on my experience. As blogging took over the internet, so did glossy photos and life is perfect mentality. The world is now officially viewed through rose coloured glasses. I aim to bring you a truer, more realistic version. Hope you enjoy and please share if you do.
Quiet, affordable accommodation within Walking Distance to Legian Beach, Kuta Clubs and Restaurants.
Hotel Name:Grand Bimasen Hostel Address:Jalan Legian No. 190, Legian, Kuta, Badung, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Note: This is an independent hotel review based on my personal experience.
The Hotel: We arrived late in the evening, but our wonderful hostess greeted us with a big warm smile and quickly checked us in. We were on the second floor. The room itself is simple and outdated, but a comfortable bed, a night table, a lamp and a tv provided the bare necessities. The bathroom was a typical Asian wet room – toilet, sink and shower in one small area. A big bar of soap and towels were provided at no extra charge.
The Service: Fantastic! Friendly, helpful and outgoing.
The Breakfast: Included in the price, the breakfast was a definite highlight. I had a banana pancake while my husband enjoyed fried eggs. A plate of fresh fruit, butter, marmalade, fresh pressed juice, coffee and tea were presented on a table by the pool.
Convenience: Restaurants, clubs, shops and Legian Beach are all within walking distance. The side street where it is located helps with night life noise levels and while we were there, the guests seemed quiet and respectful.
Breakdown Positive: Almost everything; the host, the breakfast, the location, the pool. Negative: Outdated, run down rooms; Internet is often weak to non-existent so best idea is to buy a SIM card so you don’t have to rely on it. Both afternoons we came back to no electricity, which lasted a few hours due to hedge / tree trimming, I think.
The Cost: €13 / US$16 per night (3 nights, Rp 689,700 / €40 / US$50)
Do I recommend it? Yes! If you are a person who is looking for a quiet place to lay your head at night for a great price, this is what you are looking for.
Contact: +62 818-0564-4611
Location: Asia > SouthEast Asia > Indonesia > Bali Island > Kuta Badung > Jalan Legian > Legian Beach > Grand Bimasena
Triple C follows B for Bali, Cocaine, Clubs, Crowds – Kuta Legian Beach
Where Ed Sheeran’s Perfect blares out of every bar, the song I will always associate with Bali.
Arrival in Denpasar, Season: February Airport experience & need to know info:
It was Pouring rain. Ladies with umbrellas greeted us at the airplane stairway and walked us to the waiting bus. Immigration: Do not have your phone on and go one at a time to the immigration booth (couples separate) – the Process was easy but very unfriendly, especially after super friendly Singapore. Make sure your entrance paper is filled out before proceeding to exit.
SIM – as soon as you get out of the luggage area, go right and head to the last shop on the left. It is all pink and says internet. 30 GB for 350,000 Rupias / US$27
ATM: Not one machine in the entire airport worked. Huge line ups of frustrated travellers. WARNING: throughout our stay in Bali, 2 credit cards and one debit card were eaten by ATM Machines, so be careful and have backup. There are many ATM machines, but our card did not work in most of them, however the Western Union bank machine did work.
Taxi / Transportation: all official taxis are the same price. Go to the taxi counter or speak with any guy with the blue flowered shirt.
Weather: February is rainy season and it was pouring when we arrived.
Insider Tip: Kuta Night Market was recommended by our taxi driver. He says the food is very good and the price also. Suckling pig is a specialty, and Ayam means chicken ie. Ayam Goreng means chicken noodles. We did not go, let me know in the comments below if you did, and what your experience was.
Legian Beach, Kuta
Our Hotel: Grand Bimasena – is it for you?
The Beach: Beautiful long stretches of light brown, sandy beach with light waves rolling in make Legian Beach the perfect water area to learn how to surf. The numerous surf schools and surfers support this fact.
Beginners are busy trying to catch the perfect wave and stay standing for longer than 5 seconds before falling or crashing into someone and determinedly getting back up for another go.
Unfortunately, this picture perfect view is destroyed by the massive amount of garbage laying all over the beach.
Locals flock in groups, setting up for a day out with family and friends while tourists sunbathe amongst them. We are told this (February) is low season, therefore very quiet; I can not imagine how crowded it must be in high season!
We strolled the not too busy beach before scooting across the road to an affordable Circle K convenience store, grabbing some drinks and sitting at a beach view table watching the world go by.
Our day was gorgeous sunshine until the skies clouded over and opened up and poured at around 6:30 pm.
Laundry: We dropped off our dirty clothes at a little place beside our hotel. Many laundry places offer 3 hour service, where we dropped our clothes, it is next day. Went back the next morning (dropped previous morning) and they told us no, it will be ready at 3 pm; went back at 4 pm and they told us nobody is there, come back at 5 pm which is when they said tomorrow. Frustrated, we informed them that it is impossible because we leave and then they had it ready in 5 minutes. One large bag $2.
Motorbike Rental / Highway Permit: Do Not Drive on the highway without an international drivers license and a highway permit. The permit can be bought at any convenience store for 5000 IDR (practically free) and it is a value card. We did not know, were pulled over by the police, were allowed to pay the 5000 IDR. Our license was not international so we were told to take the bike back immediately and do not rent a bike again.
The police officer in this case was very friendly and helpful. He told us at least 3 bike accidents a day occur in this area with tourists and because they do not have an international drivers license, their travel insurance does not cover the hospital expenses. Good to know. He also said Indonesia has the 5th highest transportation mortality rate in the world.
Drink / Night: Roti Cafe has great bucket deals – 3 beer, 60,000 IDR / €3.55 / USD$4.36
Cocaine and marijuana can be bought / is offered everywhere on the street and in the bars. I would strongly recommend not participating, but each to their own.
Kuta / Legian did not live up to my expectations, however, one can understand the draw for the party crowds.
Bali Bombing Memorial: Take time to visit the 2014 Bomb Memorial. This touching dedication lists all of the names of people who lost their lives in this senseless act of terrorism.
Leaving to Ubud after 3 nights: Uber did not work so we used Grab. The lady who picked us up told us that we need to pay 50,000 IDR on top of the agreed app fee of 150,000 IDR for a total of 200,000 IDR.
Want a private driver? I can recommend Gita: Whatapp Tel: +62 87861653398
**Please be careful when using Grab as it is known the Ubud taxis beat up Grab drivers. Best is to act as if it is a friend picking you up.
Happy hour, live music, food and fun! When the Bali sun sets in Legian Kuta, it is time to head to the Apache.
Restaurant Name: Apache Reggae Bar / Our Kitchen / Apache Surfer Bar Address: Jl. Raya Legian No.146, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Note: This is an independent restaurant review based on my personal experience.
The Restaurant / Bar: has Happy Hour two for one and themed nights of live entertainment including rock, reggae, and chart performed by great bands. There are several bars, a dance floor, high seating and table seating.
On the first night when we arrived, a super duper Indonesian live band was performing cover music of hits from the 80’s to present. People were dancing, drinking and having an all round good time.
It is a fantastic atmosphere with disco balls, patio lanterns, palm leaves and neon lights. They say “the air is charged with the positive energy of love and sweet music” and from what we saw, we have to agree. Bands start playing at 11 pm.
They serve Indonesian, Chinese, Western and Mexican food from 11 am in the morning until late. We ordered Satay Campur and Ayam Sambal Matah. Both dishes were fantastic, I think the Satay was some of the best we had on the Island.
Cost: Our night including our meals, 4 beers and 2 slings cost 344,500 IDR / €19.50 / US$25
Simply because there is never enough info about this luscious area in the incredibly popular Bali.
What is it about Bali that makes everyone want to rush there and never leave? Canggu was one of my personal favourite spots in Bali and although it is not everything the hype would make you believe, it is a great place.
Here is a general outline of our experience. Please feel free to add your comments below.
Dubbed the quieter Kuta / Legian, Canggu is simply not as drunk, or I mean the tourists. The vibe here seems to be self important, I’m so pretty and do you know who I am. Heads turn the other way to avoid eye contact with non-conforming fellow travellers. Six packs, veganites, long hair, tattoos, beards, bikinis and the list goes on with the youthful beautiful wanderers. Before you tie your🙊 in a knot and starting posting nasty comments below, question whether this applies to you and if it does not, then it does not 🤘🏽 !
This wandering arrogance is so disheartening when compared with the Balinese locals who are such friendly, outgoing people pleasers with true belief and understanding of karma – the very thing the tourist masses claim to be here for.
Definition of karma: noun 1.(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. 2.Informal, destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.
At the bottom, I will post links to the places we ate, happy hours and where we stayed. Again, if you have recommendations or favourite places, please post them in the comments for others to find.
Beaches: The surf is up and this is the perfect opportunity to learn how to surf or to hone your skills. The two main beaches in Canggu are Echo Beach and Old Man’s Beach. Both were nice to visit and each has it’s own vibe. I personally liked Echo Beach a little more, but I really can’t point to anything specific to say why. Is one better than the other for surfing?
The worst thing about Bali is the tourists. The best thing about Bali is the locals!
Laundry: It cost us 75,000 IDR / €5 for 2 bags and was washed, dried and pressed in 24 hours. It was located basically right across the road from La Pan Nam.
Happy Hour really varies in meaning. Sometimes it is 2 for 1, or it can be buy 3 get 1, or only beer, or only mojitos. You get the idea what you get is as varied as the times it happens! Let us know your favourite place and what they are offering. Our Happy Hour experiences is linked below.
Grab Taxi Wars – this is a very real and big problem. Our Grab app was not working when we wanted to return from Echo Beach, so we were forced to take a taxi. Our Grab to the Beach had cost 12,000 IDR / €0.71 / US$0.84; the Taxi wanted 60,000 IDR / €3.55 / US$4.20. We tried to barter, but they ALL insisted 60,000 IDR or walk. We agreed to their mafia structure and got in the cab. Not only did the cab stink, the driver asked again where to and we told him. He asked “where” again before we figured out he didn’t speak any English. Finally we fired up our phone and showed him where to go. We have never had any of those problems with Grab. What is your experience?
Which brings us to Motorbike Rental. Of course, after that experience, we decided to lower the risk and get our own transportation. Super great way to get around and very affordable at 50,000 IDR / €3 / US$3.65 per day. Freedom!
We rented the bike from our Guesthouse, but we did see places renting all over. Bring on your favourite rental places and prices in the comments!
Now you have the freedom to go where you want, but where do you go? Just touring around can be fun. Stop for a smoothie here a coffee there, check out the beaches and the surfers, take in the rice fields, but do not forget visit Tanah Lot & Batu Balong, it really has a wow factor. Again, I have the link below.
To sum it up, basically, the worst thing about Bali is the tourists. The best thing about Bali is the locals!
Craving Pizza? This well priced roadside Restaurant between Tanah Lot and Canggu may calm your Hunger!
Restaurant Name: Warung D’ Pererenan Address: Jl. Raya Canggu No.88, Pererenan, Mengwi, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia
Note: This is an independent restaurant review based on my personal experience.
After a wonderful morning walking the park setting of Tanah Lot, we were ravenous and looking for somewhere to eat in the Canggu area. Driving along the Jl. Prerenan-Tanah Lot highway, we eventually stopped at Warung D’Pererenan.
This is a simple, convenient roadside stop serving traditional Indonesian dishes, salads, pasta, burgers, steak and pizza. It is very noisy due to the constant passing traffic, but easy access, fabulous prices and lots of parking make it an easy choice. This is Indonesian Food without the Bali price!
No complaints at all. All though the lovely ladies working could not speak any english, they tried very hard to understand and kept smiling through it all!
For drinks, we ordered a vanilla milkshake as well as a papaya juice. We kept switching, because one was as good as the other!
Along with the drinks, we asked for a Mie Goreng and a Nasi Goreng. Again, both dishes, although not huge, were more than filling and tasted delicious. If you have been following my blogs, you will understand why the following prices make this restaurant an all around winner.