What are the things you would like to do most in Bali, one of the world’s most popular islands for tourists? Sunbathing on one of its exotic beaches, visiting puras (Hindu temple), watching lively Kecak dance (a traditional dance where a large group of male dancers shake their hands and chant the words ‘cak’) or having fun at the new safari park in Gianyar? These attractions, along with many other attractions spread throughout the island, are so well known among tourists, hence most of the time you will find these places crowded. Moreover, those places don’t give you a picture of how Balinese live in their traditional ways. Would you consider a one-day itinerary into rural Bali, far away from other tourists and a chance to know the local’s way of life and their villages on a bike?
In order to have such an experience, you need an organizer to organize your trip. There are some tour operators in South Bali (e.g. Kuta, Seminyak, Legian) and each has its own route and itinerary. If you want an easy downhill biking route where you can bring kids along with you, choose ‘Bali Hai’.
Uphill journey from your hotel
You will be picked up by a shuttle car from your hotel at around 8.30am, so make sure you have early breakfast in your hotel. First part of the journey is an uphill car trip to the biking starting point on the hill. The biking part hasn’t begun, but the fun starts here.
During the uphill trip by car, the driver will stop at a tea and coffee plantation named Bali Pulina. They have several different blends of locally produced coffee and tea (e.g. ginseng tea, ginger coffee, chocolate coffee, etc.) for you to try for free (in cups). If you like the one you have tasted, you can buy a Bali Pulina’s product of that particular blend.
Lunch at Kintamani
After the plantation visit, you will continue to travel up the hill to Kintamani for lunch buffet (around 12pm) at Lakeview restaurant. Indonesian foods like satay and fried banana (must try this banana! sweet and crispy!) and simple Western foods like omelet shall be served. Not only is the food good, but the surrounding view is amazing. The scenic view of Lake Batur, Mount Batur and Mount Agung will accompany you during your lunch!
It's an easy and safe ride
After lunch, you will be taken to where the bicycles are to start the downhill biking adventure (15 minute from the restaurant). It’s an easy 21-km ride, so you don’t have to be a professional biker to join the ride. As long as you can ride a bike, you are good to go. This tour is definitely recommended for kids. All bikes are in good condition and they have mini bikes and helmets for children.
During the downhill bike trip, you will be cycling along many narrow paths, hence all of you will be riding in a line with a guide on the lead to show you the way to go. You will have another guide behind the line to make sure everyone is okay and no one is left behind. Sometimes, you need to cross busy roads, but the guides always stop the traffic for your group. You don’t need to bring water as it is provided by the guides.
Bamboo forest, villages and more
You will be riding through paddy fields where you will get an opportunity to join the farmers to do farming activities like harvesting or sowing seeds. During the trip, you will be surprised to find there is a bamboo forest in Bali. Although there are no bamboo-eating bears named panda here, the bamboo forest is beautiful and cool. It is nice to stop here to have your photos taken by your guides.
Riding through villages
You will also be riding your bike through small villages where you can find unique houses (thatched roofs, carved gates made of stone and bamboo walls) and a big Hindu temple named ‘Pura Kehen’ where people from its surrounding villages occasionally come to worship their Gods. In one of the villages named Penglipuran, you will make a stop to see how the villagers live. There are many things you can see in the village. You may see some Balinese moms (or sometimes dad) with their baby sleeping in a 'selendang", a cloth tied on someone’s shoulder and waist where a baby is placed and to be carried around wherever she goes. You may also see many kids playing in their house yards and a few dogs that belong to the locals barking and roaming on the street. They are friendly people and will be happy to show their houses and be photographed with you.
The best way to see Bali
If you want to enjoy Bali differently, this tour is definitely suited for you. There is no better way to experience real Bali than hopping on a bike and going through its forest, seeing their villages and interacting with the locals.
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