Places to visit in Bali for first timers

We spent 5 days in Bali this school holidays. It was our first time here. Prior to our trip, we took quite some time studying the places of interest in Bali before deciding which one we should go for. I never know Bali is so huge. It was quite tough to narrow down the places of interest we should visit as there are just too many.

Although we were in Bali for 5 days, we only allocated 3 days for sight seeing. We booked two different hotel/resort for this trip. We arrived Bali in the evening hence we did not go anywhere that day. We rested well in preparation for a full next day. The next 2 days were spent sight seeing so we booked a comfy hotel where we only return to rest and sleep while the remaining days were spent in a beautiful resort where kids are treated like VIPs.

We hired a driver to get our family of 4 around the first 3 days in an MPV. It costs us IDR 500,000 (RM157)/per day for the driver, vehicle and diesel for 10 hours/day. Airport transfer to Nusa Dua costs about IDR 150,000 (RM47) – IDR 200,000 (RM63) per way.

As we only hired a driver and not book a tour package, we are free to plan our own trip. The driver will be available to drive us around for 10 hours in a day. Any additional hours will be charged accordingly.


On our first day tour, the driver picked us up from our hotel in Benoa around 10am for a 2 1/2 hours drive up to Bedugul. Bedugul is a mountain lake area in Bali. It is located in the centre-north region of the island near Lake Bratan on the road between Denpasar and Singaraja. Our purpose to Bedugul is to see for ourselves the mystical Lake Bratan Temple.

Lake Bratan Temple, Bedugul Bali


We arrived here at 12.30 noon. Entrance fee for adults is IDR 30,000 (RM9.50) per person. Children enters for free.


Compulsory shot as this is the iconic temple that appears in the picture behind the IDR 50,000 note.


This lake sits at 1240 metres above sea level so it is cooling up here.


The boys love running around in the lush and foggy grassland.


As we arrived here in the afternoon, the boys are getting hungry too. There is an eatery in the area itself so we stopped by for a bite. The IDR 50,000 (RM15) that we used to take picture with the temple is not even enough for a plate of fried rice as the regular fried rice is already priced at IDR 60,000 (RM18).


Total price of two plates of fried rice with additional 20% Tax and Service charges.

It rained while we were having our lunch. There is also a playground here but the boys did not manage to play there as it was all wet after the rain. We spent our time here until around 3pm before making our way down to Tanah Lot.

Watch this video to see more of this place.


It took us 1 hour to reach Tanah Lot from Bedugul although it is only 23km away. Traffic here in Bali can be quite hectic. It rained again during our journey but stopped just in time upon our arrival hence we get the best weather while we were here at Tanah Lot. It wasn’t hot but of coz still humid.

We paid IDR 95,000 (RM30) for all 4 of us to enter Tanah Lot. I don’t know the breakdown of the entrance fee though as they simply quoted us that amount when they saw us in the vehicle.


Still a little misty at Tanah Lot after the rain. I actually carried my tripod with me everywhere I go in order to get all these precious family shots as we traveled by ourselves hence there will be no travel mates to help us with pictures.


It is recommended to wear slippers or go bare footed here as the sea water can come gushing in anytime but we were all in our sports shoes since we came straight from Bedugul.


Love this spot and this shot a lot.


Not bad, my tripod can also stand on the beach.


We bought souvenirs here at Tanah Lot. We walked up this street to the F&B area where we sat down to watch sunset.


Prices vary from one place to another. We got our coconut at IDR 20,000 (RM6.30) at this stall while there was one we saw earlier that sells it at IDR 25,000 (RM7.80).

Here’s our video on Tanah Lot. There are many jagung bakar stalls along the road but we did not buy any. Traveling with kids, I dared not try the street foods especially since this is only our second day here.

The journey back to our hotel in Benoa took about 1 1/2 hours. We retired for the night as it will be another full day the next day.


For the second day tour, we went to Uluwatu which is located just 30 – 45 minutes away from Nusa Dua.


It rained again on our way here but stopped just in time upon our arrival hence it wasn’t too hot. Thank goodness for that.


Entrance fee to Uluwatu is

Adult IDR 30,000 (RM9.40)
Child IDR 20,000 (RM6.30)

The adults were given a sarong  before entering the holy site.


As Uluwatu is well-known for their notorious monkeys, we did not bring our tripod along fearing that these monkeys will snatch our tripod and camera away. We used selfie sticks instead but being our first time with the selfie stick, the boys got deliberately cropped out :lol:


It’s not complete without the boys so we had to ask favours from other tourists to help us take a family picture.


Darling climbed very high to help a tourist couple with their picture. In return, the guy climbed just as high to help us get this pic with the amazing cliff at the back.


My backpack works as a tripod when the monkeys are no where in sight.


Breathtaking view of the horizon where the sky meets the sea.

I did not expect to spend so much time here but we ended up spending over a couple of hours here. Our plan was to head to Kuta after Uluwatu but since we’re already running late, we decided to skip Kuta and head back straight to Nusa Dua to check into the resort.

Here’s our video of Uluwatu.


At the resort, we booked their Cycling Tour Package that comes with a guide.

Bicycle Rental With Guide Without Guide
Adult IDR 75,000 (RM24) IDR 50,000 (RM16)
Children IDR 50,000 (RM16) IDR 30,000 (RM9)


We cycled to this spot called Water Blow, the number 4 must-visit place in Bali according to TripAdvisor.

The best part about Water Blow is it is FREE! No entrance fee whatsoever so anybody can just come here and if you are lucky, you’ll get to witness the giant splash. We were not as lucky though as it was low tide when we were there.


We cycled a total of 8km but it felt like 80km with Ayden on Daddy’s lap like that.

It was a fun ride though, cycling through the entire stretch of Nusa Dua.


Our guide took good care of us and our safety. He also helped to take these candid shots of us.


It was low tide and the highest the water went was captured in the above pic.

Devdan Show

In the evening, we went for Devdan Show, winner of Indonesia Leading Tourism Show – ITTA 2014/15. 


Devdan show is at Nusa Dua Theatre (only 7 minutes drive away from our resort). We had a mind-blowing overview of Indonesian culture in 90 minutes.


Devdan performs 4 days a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays only. We caught the Wednesday show. Tickets price ranged from IDR 260,000 (RM81) up to IDR 780,000 (RM245).



The show is also interactive with confetti shooting down on audience as well as dancers getting audience to dance along. 


Dancers getting audience to dance along. 


I thoroughly enjoyed this show as I love anything cultural so if you are into theatre shows, this is definitely a must-watch in Bali.

Click here for our complete blog post on Devdan show.

So that is our Bali tour in a nutshell. We managed to visit Bedugul, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Water Blow as well as catch the Devdan show in just 3 days. The remaining 2 days were spent relaxing in the resort where the kids are the VIPs and doing stuffs specially catered for children. Will blog about that in a separate post. 

10 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    great guide. definitely something i can refer when i get the chance to visit bali. was actually wanting to drop by for long.


    Merryn Reply:

    Honestly speaking, I was never interested to go to Bali especially with the two boys but the hubby has always pestered me to make a trip there, at least once, he said. Never thought it can be this mystical. Now I am glad we made this trip and I’m sure we’ll return one day. There are more places to explore :)


  • //

    A well-planned family holiday in Bali. It is good to hire own driver than follow package tour. You go where you want to go.

    Always wanted to visit Bali. Actually it was my honeymoon destination but due to bombing and safety, I did not get to visit it. But one day. Will keep your itinerary as my guide. ^^


    Merryn Reply:

    I think travelling with kids, it is always more suitable to plan our own itinerary. It will be difficult to rush the kids to follow a group tour. I’ll avoid that for as long as I can until the kids are all grown up.


  • //

    The photos taken were very nice and reminded me of Bali a lot too. The last time I went also hired a local driver. Just have to do a bit of homework in advance to customize our own itinerary in order to maximize the 10 hrs..haha


    Merryn Reply:

    I did not do any homework actually. The hubby did all the work. He wants to go so he has to do all the studying. I’ll only do it if I am the one suggesting to go to that particular place. Haha.


  • //

    Love the shot too, look at the waves splashing on the rocks, simply magnificent!


  • //

    Wow! Beautiful photos you took with your tripod. You are so pro. What an amazing family holiday, all your 3 boys sure enjoy themselves. Your husband is a super strong man to cycle with Ayden on one of his leg.


  • //

    Wah, seems like a very nice family trip!!
    I wish to go Bali, but my hubby isn’t interested… T_T He is not so into island or sight seeing this kinda thing, hemp!


  • //

    Never been to Bali, dunno if I will ever make a trip there. Next time, you can send your boys to me to babysit, you and William go honeymoon…mana tau…get a girl next round? Wink! Wink! LOL!!!


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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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