Kuta, Canggu, and Uluwatu are parts of the island’s most popular area: Southern Bali. There are tons of things you can do and places you can visit. However, being so popular and touristic oftentimes makes these places overpriced. Even simple things like finding good affordable food can be challenging, especially for international tourists. Here is a little guideline from a local’s point of view to help you explore this part of the island more with just a few bucks from your pocket.
Right on the northern border of Kuta, the city of Denpasar offers you cheaper facilities including accommodation. Just around 30 minutes away from the airport, there are affordable hotels available at half-price compared to those in touristic areas. The Joglo Guest House, for instance, provides all of the amenities that highly rated hotels do for just 140,000 IDR (approximately 10 USD) per guest. With a comfortable bed, bathroom and closet to yourself, AC, a common room with a TV and kitchen surrounded by tropical gardens, that is a great deal. For more information about The Joglo Guest House, read this article: Hidden Piece Of Peace In Denpasar: The Joglo Guest House Bali.
Getting breakfast in Denpasar is easy. There are many traditional eateries available which serve plenty of buffet options. These are called warung. I recommend you go to Gula Bali The Joglo. It is a cozy place offering local Balinese dishes at affordable prices. For just 20,000 IDR (approximately 1.4 USD), you can get one filling dish and one refreshing beverage. So that leaves you with around 18 USD to spend for the rest of the day. Read more about Gula Bali The Joglo in this article: Gula Bali The Joglo: Get A Taste Of All Balinese Cuisine In One Spot!.
Rent a scooter and drive around to save more money
Most hotels in Bali provide scooter rentals for their guests. Scooter rental usually costs 50,000 IDR (approximately 3.5 USD) per scooter per 24 hours. Helmets are provided. And with just 20,000 IDR (approximately 1.5 USD) worth of gasoline, you can drive around southern Bali for your one day adventure and safely return to your hotel.
If you cannot drive a motorcycle or you don’t feel like it, no need to worry. There are plenty of online car services available such as Uber, Gojek, and Grab. All you have to do is download the app, place an order, and enjoy the ride. The rate is fairly cheap. It is only around 1,500 IDR (approximately 0.1 USD) per kilometer. So, as long as you plan your itinerary right, you won’t be spending more than 100,000 IDR (approximately 7 USD) on fares per day. With that, you still have 11–13 USD to spend.
Surf at Pantai Nelayan, Canggu
Right now, Canggu is the most rapidly growing touristic area in Bali. However, you can still find a less crowded spot here. Instead of Pantai Berawa or Pantai Batu Bolong, try Pantai Nelayan. It takes around 30 to 45 minutes to get there from southern Denpasar. I spent the whole day here and I had my own spot on the sand with an exclusive view of the beach to myself. And the best part is I didn’t have to rent a sunbed, bean bag or pay any entrance ticket. It is all accessible for free. So, you still have your 11 USD intact.
Whether it is for a private yoga session, semi-pro surf, or simply relaxing by the beach with a cold beer in your hand, this beach is a great place to start your adventure exploring southern Bali.
Ride along the coast for better sightseeing
Most beaches on the western coast of Bali offer a similar ambiance. So, it is good enough to visit just one for one day. From Pantai Nelayan, Canggu, drive through those beaches up to Kuta towards Uluwatu. You can choose to drive alongside the beach for better sightseeing or take the highway through Sunset Road for a faster route.
Make a quick pit stop for lunch on Jalan Raya Kuta. There are many eateries you can choose from. There is one place I usually go to whenever I’m around this area: Ayam Penyet Surabaya. This place offers affordable food with great flavor. One complete dish with fried chicken, tempeh, tofu, veggies, sambal, and rice plus one refreshing drink costs only 20,000 IDR (approximately 1.5 USD).
Uluwatu itself has a lot of beaches you can visit, depending on your preferences. I recommend you to go to Uluwatu Temple for the best view of the horizon from the cliff. Besides, you get to visit one of Bali’s main temples and get acquainted with monkeys guarding the forest surrounding it.
This visit will cost you less than 15,000 IDR (approximately 1 USD) for the entrance fee and parking. A quick budget check: you still have around 9 USD in your pocket.
Wrap up the day with a quick visit to the Bali Bombing Memorial
Drive back from Uluwatu Temple through the same route you take before it gets dark. The roads on Uluwatu hill can be tricky to drive at night because there are no adequate streetlights available. Don’t worry about missing the great view of sunset. As soon as you get to Kuta’s shore, you will have the whole horizon right in front of you.
Seminyak Beach is my favorite part of Kuta’s shore for it has less traffic and crowds. Grab a beer at a mini market across from the beach for 20,000 IDR (approximately 1.5 USD), pick a free spot on the sand, and enjoy the sun setting on the horizon.
Before you drive back to your hotel, stop by Warung Murah, just a few minutes away from Seminyak Beach, for a cheap dinner. They have a vast selection from both the buffet and menu. A complete filling dish plus a refreshing beverage costs no more than 40,000 IDR (approximately 3 USD). In case you’re still hungry, you still have around 4.5 USD to spend on snacks or more beer!
Drive through Legian street and pay your respect to the victims of the Bali bombing at the Bali Bombing Memorial.
You can explore Bali’s touristic area on a budget
Who says Southern Bali is too expensive for backpackers? With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can still explore this touristic area of Bali on a budget of less than 30 USD per day!
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