Indonesia is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. If you love the outdoors, you will never get bored here as you will have a tough time trying to fit all the activities into your schedule. If you can, spend at least two weeks here and visit Lombok and Bali.
When to Go
The temperature in Indonesia stays usually around 28˚C but they have a rainy season which is from October to April. It is best to visit during the months of May to September.
Before You Go
Depending on what activities you are looking at doing while in the country, you will need to pack different items. Generally though, it is very hot all year round and can get very humid, so breathable outfits are the best but you will likely find yourself wearing a bathing suit every day if you are staying by the beach. If renting a scooter, make sure you have some closed-toed shoes. There are lots of mosquitos here as well so make sure you bring lots of bug spray as you will be using it all the time. Also, pack some sunscreen as you will likely be in the sun most days. You will need a converter here as well to use the outlets. In Indonesia they use a two-pronged Type C or F plug (the same as Europe) that usually supply electricity at 120 volts.
Never pay full price for anything as vendors will mark prices up because they know you are a tourist. You should be able to negotiate to about half the price they tell you. Tipping is not expected here either. Also, be careful in the super touristy areas that have cheap drink specials, or free drinks, as bars will sometimes use ethanol to make cocktails to save on cost (this is common in Kuta, Bali and Gili T, Lombok). Avoid bars that serve arak or local spirits. Imported alcohol is heavily taxed so if drinks seem too cheap, avoid getting them. It is best to stick to beer or drinks that you can watch them make. If you are with a group and renting a villa or plan to drink with your group outside a bar, buy some alcohol at the duty free shop before entering the country as imported alcohol is very expensive. To put it in perspective, a bottle of Captain Morgan will cost almost $70US there if you buy it in a store. Oh, and don’t do drugs of any kind as there is a death penalty for this in Indonesia.
Coming from the US or Canada, you will have to connect in China or Japan to get to Indonesia. Many large airlines now fly to Bali’s international airport. If you are starting in Lombok though, you will have to fly through Bali or Jakarta or you can fly direct from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Check Jetstar Asia, AirAsia, Silk Air, Garuda Airlines and Lion Air for cheap flights.
If going between Lombok and Bali, you can take a one to two hour boat ride for 350,000-400,000rp. The fast boats leave from Senggigi or Lembar Harbour in Lombok, stop at the Gili Islands, and arrives in Padang Bai in Bali (make sure you don’t take the ferry as it will take 4-5 hours). The waters can sometimes be rough though, and they don’t run during rain storms so make sure you check the weather before going, and take a gravol pill if necessary. Sitting at the back of the boat is a less bumpy ride. The boat ticket also includes a shuttle transfer to certain areas, and sometime straight to your hotel (you might have to pay a bit more for this). In Bali, the ticket price includes drop off or pick you up from Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu and Ubud, Sanur, Denpasar Airport, Candi Dasa, Legian, Nusa Dua and Legian. Some reputable companies are Ekajaya Fast Boat, Blue Water Express and Gili Getaway. You can also fly for as low as 350,000rp one way from Lombok to Bali which takes about 30 minutes, but depending on where you are staying on each island, getting to the airport might be inconvenient. Garuda Airlines and Lion Air/Wings Air have daily flights between Lombok and Bali.
The visa requirements for Canadians and Americans changed just last year and now no visa is needed upon arrival. Also, the exit tax has been lifted so you no longer need to pay 150,000rp to exit the country – although I heard from some locals that they can reinstate this when they like (when the country feels like they need some more money). Make sure to check on this before you head to the airport to leave the country as you will need to pay in cash.
Currently, the Indonesian Rupiah is around 13,000rp to $1USD or 10,000rp to $1CAD. If exchanging USD, it is best to bring large bills as the rate will be lower if exchanging $20 bills or lower. If you need some money when you land, change some before you exit in to the public waiting area of the airport because the rate will be better, and the rate actually isn’t bad at the airport.
What to Eat
Indonesian food is very flavorful and you should try as much of the local food as you can. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- Nasi Goreng – the famous Indonesian fried rice
- Cap Cay – mixed veggies and seafood
- Garo Garo – vegetable salad with peanut sauce
- Satay Ayam – chicken satay
- Pecel Lele – fried catfish
- Tempeh – fermented soybean
- Sweet and Sour Squid – something you don’t really see in other countries
- Indomee – dried instant noodles that you can buy at a convenience store but are delicious
Lombok is a place I highly recommend to visit. It is less touristy than Bali and is more relaxing. There are amazing beaches with crystal clear water around the island, and they have some amazing dive sites around the Gili Islands. There are also many good surf spots and the second highest peak in Indonesia to trek – Mount Rinjani.
If you like to hike, book a trekking tour to summit Mount Rinjani as it has an amazing view. You will stay in the city of Senaru for one night before heading out to Sambalun (an hour away from Senaru) to start the trek. There are two-day or three-day treks. For the two-day trek you will only hike up to the summit and back. This starts and ends in Sambalun. For the three-day trek, you will hike to the summit, then to the lake in the crater, and then back. This starts in Sambalun and ends in Senaru. I suggest doing the three-day trek if you have the time.
When to Hike
Hiking season is from April to December. The national park closes from January to March because of heavy rains. Anytime tin the dry season (May – September) is best to hike but to avoid the large tourist crowds, try booking in May or September.
There are many tour companies that off to take you to the summit, ranging in price. If you are on a tight budget, you will be able to find some companies that will take you up for $100US, but I highly suggest you spend a little more for a better guide, better equipment and better food, as it really makes a difference, especially when you are exhausted. Also, the cheap tours usually are groups of 20 people and only a few guides, as opposed to having 2 guides for 6 people with the more luxurious tours.
The tour company Rudy Trekker is a very good one – it is more on the higher end (though not outrageously expensive). The more people you have in the group, the cheaper it will be per person. For two people, they charge $300US per person for the three-day trek, but for six people, it drops to $260US per person. This price includes the first night stay at the lodge in Senaru. Here are some of the main reasons to go with Rudy Trekker:
- They provide all of your camping gear – tent, sleeping bags, mattress, toilet paper, tarp etc.
- They provide all of your food and water and cook for you at every meal – for every meal, they set up a stove and cook everything from curry to noodles.
- They pick you up and drop you off from anywhere on the island at no additional cost. Senaru is about three hours from the airport and the drive can be windy at times.
- They can lend you camping gear that you forget or don’t have space to pack for free: ponchos, fleece sweaters, windbreakers, toques/beanies, gloves, headlamps, hiking poles, day hiking bag.
- They provide porters to carry all of your camping equipment. You just have to carry your own clothes and personal belongings, but you can hire a porter to carry that for you as well at an additional cost of $20US per day and a max of 25kg.
- The guides are awesome! Try to get Andre and Fahme. They were the best.
What to Pack
Although temperatures in the villages and at the bottom of the mountain are high and can get hot, you need to make sure to pack some warm clothes for the first campsite and the summit as temperatures are around 1˚C. Here is a list of essentials to pack:
- Hiking backpack (Rudy Trekker will provide this if needed but they aren’t great quality)
- Flashlight/headlamp (Rudy Trekker will provide headlamp if needed)
- First aid kit – second skin is a must in case you get blisters!
- Good pair of hiking boots
- Insect repellent
- Muscle balm
- Wet wipes/hand sanitizer
- Small towel
- Gloves (Rudy Trekker will provide if needed)
- 3 dry-fit shirts
- 2 pairs of hiking shorts
- 1 pair of hiking pants
- 3-4 pairs of hiking socks
- Thermal pants & long sleeve shirt
- Windbreaker (Rudy Trekker will provide if needed)
- Waterproof jacket
- Poncho (Rudy Trekker will provide if needed)
- Swimsuit (for the hot spring – if you are doing the three-day trek)
- Country flag for the summit
- Energy bars, nuts and/or dried fruit (they provide snacks but none as nutritious as this and sometimes you will need the boost of energy to get up the mountain)
- USD as they only accept payment in USD, cash upon arrival. Have some extra cash handy to tip the guides and porters. The standard is $15US for each guide and $10US for each porter.
Check out the itinerary options on Rudy Trekkers website to see what best suits you. The three day trek itinerary that I did can be found here. We started at 1050m and hiked to 2639m the first day which took 8 hours for the 12km. The next morning we were supposed to wake up at 3am to hike to the summit for sunrise but the rain pushed back our schedule so we ended up getting up there a bit later. The hike is a total of 37.5km to summit the 3826m high mountain and see the crater.
- The weather changes so quickly on the mountain that you need to be prepared for a downpour at any moment. If you didn’t bring anything waterproof make sure to ask for a poncho before you leave the office.
- Put all of your clothes and items in zip-lock backs to avoid them getting wet and to save space. Rudy Trekkers can provide you with plastic bags which you can put all your belongings in if you don’t have zip-lock bags.
- Pack some extra plastic bags (Rudy Trekkers can provide). If it rains, your boots will not dry and these can be a life saver for comfort if you slip them on top of your socks before you put your feet in the wet boots.
- Don’t be discouraged if the summit looks cloudy or if it starts to rain, because the clouds can be gone by the time you get up there and the rain might not stay long.
- Take pictures when you see a good view. Don’t think you will take it on the way back down because it might not be there because of the clouds.
- Bring a trekking pole(s) for the trek down from the summit. Your knees will appreciate it as you are trekking down a lot of gravel and steep hills. The porters can carry this up for you if you if you will only use it on the way down.
- Don’t forget to stretch during breaks and once you reach your campsite – it will really help your muscles the next day. You can use their metal thermoses as a roller for your gluts and IT band.
- Arrive early on the first day or stay a day after to get a chance to explore Senaru. There are two amazing waterfalls a short walk from the village center called Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep (this one is better) that you can visit for only 10,000rp. Wear your bathing suit because you can swim in them. Wearing water shoes would be handy because you have to cross a few rivers to get there but flip flops work as well (just be careful you don’t lose one in the current!) On the walk back from the waterfalls, walk through the tunnel of water (if you have a guide, ask him to take you). Even though it is dark, it is a cool experience. Just walk slowly and watch your step. The tunnel is used to irrigate the rice patties. You might see some of the local kids bring rubber tubes to float down the tunnels.
This is the most developed place for tourism after the Gili Islands on Lombok. Located on the west coast of Lombok, the city is very relaxing with access to most of the same outdoor attractions as the Gili Islands but at a much lower cost.
Blue Bird Taxi is the main taxi company here and they are pretty quick when you call one to pick you up. The number is (0370) 627 000. Depending on where you stay as well, hotels and even Airbnb’s offer free transportation to and from places within the city.
Where to Stay
If going with a group, you can find some amazing villas to rent for a reasonable price on Airbnb. We stayed at Villa Guilliana a bit up the mountain and it was a great place for a group. There is an infinity pool with an amazing view of the ocean. The house came with a local phone that we could take out with us and a driver to take us around the city for one day. They also dropped us off at the airport. There are many nice resorts along the beach as well. Check out Qunci Villas, Puri Mas Resort and Spa, the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort or the Jeeva Klui Resort.
What to Do
- Go get a massage at one of the three Orchid Spa locations in Senggigi. One of their locations is on the main strip in the city, Senggigi Road, where you can find all the restaurants. A traditional one hour massage will only cost you 70,000rp here, which is about $6US! Their phone number is 0819 1593 2899.
- Go Scuba Diving with Blue Marlin Diving. Right of the coast of Senggigi, around the Gili Islands, has some of the most amazing diving in the world. Blue Marlin Diving has an office in Senggigi and can pick you up and drop you off. It costs 1,100,000rp for two dives including all equipment, fees and transfers. A 3 day, 6 dive package costs 3,150,000rp and for non-diving members traveling with you who would like to join and snorkel for the day, they charge 500,000rp for two guided snorkel tours.
Where to Eat
- Square Restaurant has a mix of western and local foods. The restaurant can pick you up and drop you off for free from your hotel or villa if you call them.
- Warung Paradiso for a casual local dinner.
- Asmara Restaurant for local food.
GILI ISLANDS – GILI TRAWANGAN
The Gili Islands are made up of three small island off the northwest coast of Lombok: Gili Trawangan (known as Gili T), Gili Meno and Gili Air. Gili Meno is the quietest of the three islands and is best for couples. Gili Air is more laid-back and relaxed and is best for families. Gili T is known as a party island and is more for a younger crowd. Below is some information on Gili T.
Before You Go
- Internet is available on the island but the connection can sometimes be slow.
- Credit cards are accepted at the dive shops here and the larger hotels and restaurants. There are ATM’s on Gili T as well as money exchange booths but the rates here will be much worse than on the mainland so change some money before heading over.
- The island is very casual and you can go out in flip flips and shorts. No need to pack anything fancy or heals!
The same fast boats that take you from Senggigi to Bali will take you to Gili T (see info in the Getting There section above). They stop here on the way. Some hotels also offer transfers that you can inquire about. The fast boats will take about 80 minutes from Bali to Gili T, but could take longer if the water is choppy.
To get around the island you can walk, rent a bike or take a cidomo (horse carriage). The island is pretty small, and it will only take you about an hour to walk from one side to the other. A day rental for a bike is only $4-$5US if you want to get from place to place quicker than walking. A cidomo will cost about $3-4US for a short distance.
Where to Stay
Make sure that where you choose to stay has AC, because it is worth paying the few extra dollars. Water is scarce on the islands and is shipped daily from the mainland. Smaller homestays and hostels will only provide salt water to shower. Be sure to ask before booking otherwise, use bottled water to rinse off. Also, the islands electricity is supplied by generators so you may experience a blackout. Many places have their own generators but some of the smaller places will rely on candles and lanterns if the power goes out. Here are a few good places to look into.
- Pearl Beach Lounge
- Pondok Santi Estate
- Scallywags Resort
- The Beach House Resort
What to Do
- Go Scuba Diving with Blue Marlin Diving. The Gili Islands has some of the most amazing diving in the world. Visibility is up to 30m and the water temperature is so warm you can go in just a swimsuit. Blue Marlin Diving has an office right on the main road and offers certification courses as well. It is a great place to get certified as an Open Water Diver it costs only 5,500,000rp, which is significantly cheaper than Canada or the US. If only diving for the day, it will cost 1,100,000rp for two dives including all equipment and fees. Some of the most popular diving spots include: Shark Point, Manta Point, Biorok, Deep Turbo, Han’s Reef and Secret Reef.
- If you don’t want to scuba dive, go snorkeling. The waters are clear and calm and you can see many colorful fish. Many places offer snorkeling tours around the 3 Gili Islands from 9am to 4pm but make sure to check if the company includes lunch and gear.
- Take a picture on a giant swing while watching the sunset. You will find a few giant swings around the island but the best ones are at Hotel Ombak on the south side of the island. Get there early and take a few shots before the sun sets as there will be a long line when the sun is on the horizon.
- Book a party cruise. Samba Cruise or Jiggy Boat Party are good and only cost $25US.
- Watch a movie at Vila Ombak’s beach open air cinema.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Try some of the local foods at the Sentral night market located right near the jetty. Dishes are cheap and delicious.
- Casa Vintage for an amazing home cooked meal. Come here to watch the sunset while eating dinner. All their food is sourced locally. Don’t go too late as they will run out of some dishes. They also have a bonfire once the sun goes down.
- Scallywags if you need your American food fix. Right on the waterfront, this place has an amazing setting but service can be very slow. It is a good place to grab a drink as well.
- Pearl Beach Lounge for drinks and ice cream at their ice cream stand Cookies & Cones.
- Sama Sama Reggae Bar for a drink while listening to live music.
If you like to surf, go to Kuta. I never made it here but I heard it is really nice and not too touristy.
Bali has a lot to offer for tourism but because of its increasing popularity over the past years, it has become more westernized and you will find areas very touristy at times. It is also much more expensive than some of the other surrounding Indonesian islands such as Lombok. The beaches and the scenery is unbelievable and if heading to Indonesia, you have to go visit.
Before You Go
When exchanging US dollars in Bali, the rates are better if you change larger bills. So try to bring $100’s as opposed to $20’s because most places will give you a significantly better exchange rate, sometimes even better than market price. Usually the rates posted outside of exchange booths are for the larger bills. Also, make sure you calculate the exchange on your own phone calculator and count all the money once they give it to you as some places have rigged calculators or don’t give you all the money. Here you will notice that most of the restaurants will have an additional tax and gratuity on top of the listed price in the menu. A lot of the smaller places only take cash as well, so make sure you have enough before going.
See above on how to get from Lombok to Bali and vice versa in the Getting There section. The best way to get around Bali is to rent a scooter. You can rent one for about 50,000 to 60,000rp per day and gas is only 8,000rp per bottle which is very cheap. On the streets near tourist spots, sometimes there may be someone asking for money for parking your scooter there but just say no because they are just a local trying to rip tourists off.
If you aren’t comfortable riding a scooter or rather take a car, use the apps Grab, Uber or Go-Jek. They will be significantly cheaper than any other means of transportation. For example a taxi from Canggu to Ubud could cost around 150,000rp but with Grab, it only costs 65,000rp. You can also look up promo codes online that can help bring down the cost even more. But if you use these apps, make sure to leave some buffer time as drivers tend to cancel rides often here or get lost trying to find you. There are also areas where pickup through these apps aren’t allowed so beware of this and try to walk somewhere where they can pick you up. You will need Wi-Fi to use these apps. If you are traveling by yourself, Go-Jek also offers rides on scooters which are very cheap.
Where to Stay
There are many good hostels and hotels in Canggu but if on a budget and looking to meet people, stay at the Lay Day Surf Hostel. A higher end option that looked nice is Pink Buddha Villas.
Where to Eat and Drink
There are so many good places to eat in Canggu and you can probably wander down a street and find an awesome looking café but here are a few places that you should check out:
- Deus – great place for dinner and drinks. Food is western but sometimes you just need a good healthy salad. They have girls night on Thursdays where girls get 2 free drinks from 8 – 9pm. They also take credit card here.
- Old Mans – great for food and drinks. Located right next to Old Man’s beach, this place is very popular Wednesday nights as they host a beer pong tournament (with different rules than the US though).
- Betelnut Café – go here. The food is amazing. Go for breakfast. They have great juices and bowls.
- Varuna – my go to place for local food at a really cheap price. You likely won’t pay more than a few dollars here and don’t order off the menu, pick from the window!
- Bro Resto – great for breakfast. For 45,000rp you can get a massive breakfast that is delicious.
- Mike & Madu – for breakfast or lunch.
- Warung Muslim Bondowoso – for a very cheap Indonesian meal. It will cost between $1-2US.
- Cloud 9 – for breakfast and coffee.
- Cinta Café – for breakfast or lunch.
- Marakuja – have great dessert here.
- El Jefe Jose – a food stand selling great Cubanos for 65,000rp.
- Nude – for breakfast or lunch.
- Finns Beach Club – for day drinks.
- La Laguna – for a great view but expensive.
- Gimme Shelter – a rock and roll bar for the after hour party.
- Pretty Poison – an old stable, good to grab drinks.
What to Do
- Take surf lessons at Old Man’s Beach with Lolak Surf School. Lolak is a great teacher and Old Man’s is the best beach to learn. A two hour class costs 400,000rp.
- Visit Tanah Lot Temple. Go for sunset but make sure to leave enough time in case you hit traffic or get lost. You don’t want to miss the sunset because it gets dark quick. It is about a 30 minute drive from Canggu without traffic. There are also a few souvenir shops around there where you can find some cool stuff. Costs 60,000rp to get in plus 2,000rp more if you are parking a scooter.
- Canggu is only 20 minutes from Seminyak so it if you have an extra day it is worth heading down there to explore.
Where to Stay
- Wayan Family II Homestay or Wayan Family Hostel (although the hostel doesn’t have AC)
- Bamboo Birds-Nest Rice Field (View 4) – book on Airbnb for an authentic experience
Where to Eat
- Bali Buda
- Veggie Table (for vegan food)
- Bohemia Café
- Naughty Nuris
- Ibu Oka (famous for their suckling pig)
- Murni’s Warung (for local food)
- Laughing Buddha (live music on Fridays)
- Atman Café
- Kebun Bistro
- Bebek Bengil (for crispy duck)
- Melting Wok (be sure to make a reservation)
What to Do
- Visit the Monkey Forest Sanctuary. It is quite a large space and if you walk all ends of the forest you can easily spend an hour there. It costs 40,000rp for adults and 30,000rp for kids to enter. You can buy bananas inside for 20,000rp to feed the monkeys. Make sure when you go, you don’t have any jewelry, glasses or things hanging out the sides of your backpack because the monkeys will steal it from you!
- Get a massage. There are many places to choose from around the city center and it will be hit or miss for the cheap massages ranging from 70,000rp to 100,000rp but below are a few spa’s that are still quite cheap but will provide you with the true spa feeling:
- Sang Spa – there are 3 locations around Ubud that are open daily from 9-10pm. Here you can get a 1 hour traditional Balinese massage for 185,000rp, and they take credit card. Book ahead of time, online or by calling, as the spots fill up quickly.
- Karse Spa – have a great outdoor spa room. To get there, you can trek up the Campuhan Ridge for 30 minutes or you can drive there. An hour massage costs 180,000rp, and they take credit card.
- Jean’s Spa – great massages, especially Balinese, in a central location. Open daily from 9am-9pm. A one hour Balinese massage will cost 165,000rp, and they also provide complimentary pick-ups from your accommodation.
- Check out the Central Market if you are looking to buy souvenirs. Packed with small stands, you will find almost everything you are looking for but make sure to bargain.
- Stroll around the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Located 20-30 minutes north of the center of Ubud, it is worth visiting. It is free to enter but you will come across locals who will ask you to donate some money in order to continue down the terrace paths. There are a few of these along the way so make sure you have small bills to donate.
- Walk the Capuhan Ridge to see some great views. Go early to avoid the high temperatures. The hike is approximately 9km.
- Visit Goa Gojah, the elephant temple if you have a driver. This is probably not worth taking a cab to but if you have hired a driver for the day or have a scooter, it is worth checking out. You will need to cover your knees to enter but they provide you with a sarong if you aren’t wearing pants.
- Take a cooking class.
- Take an art class. You can find these all around Ubud and I never got a chance to take one but I met this artist who had some really nice work who also provided classes. Her name is Agung Gek and if you are interested in taking a class her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. A 1-hour class is 100,000rp. She teaches out of her home which is where she works.
- Go to a yoga class at Yoga Barn.
- Check out the store Suen Noaj – a local brand that has some awesome clothes.
- Hike Mount Batur – a bus will pick you up at3am and you can climb to the top to watch the sunrise and to see a great view.
- Do not go to a Balinese dance show – I heard that it is very loud, your ears will ring for days after and it is not price.
NUSA LEMBONGAN & NUSA CENINGAN
This was my favorite place in Bali. If you can, try to stay on either of these islands for a few days as they are beautiful and less touristy. I unfortunately only had planned a day trip which was not long enough and will definitely be coming back!
Take the D’Camel Fast Ferry to get to the island. For ease you can book online and pay by credit card for 550,000rp round trip including pickup and drop-off from Seminyak, Densapar Airport, Ubud Central, Kuta, Jimbaran and Canggu. You can also book packages with them if you are planning a day trip or planning to stay on the island. If you want to save some money though, book in person through a local who can usually get the cost down to 350,000-400,000rp. On the island, rent a scooter to get around and explore.
Where to Stay
Secret Beach Huts and Ceningan Resort are both great places to stay.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Warung Paradise for a delicious local home-cooked meal.
- Jibaku for drinks and to go out. This beach club will throw big full moon and new moon parties.
What to Do
- Go diving in Manta Cove and Ceningan Wall. There are many place where you can book dives but Ceningan Resort or Lembongan Dive Center is a good choice. You will need to stay longer than a day to dive though.
- If you don’t have time to dive, go snorkeling. The water is so clear and there are so many fish. The snorkeling is amazing. Contact my friend Adis to book a snorkeling tour. He can also show you around the whole island or help plan whatever you want to do! His number is 082146478822 and his e-mail is email@example.com.
- Go to Secret Point to surf and cliff jump. Have a drink at Mahanal Point Warung & Bar in Ceningan to get the best lookout of Secret point. You can rent surfboards here for cheap.
- Go see the Blue Lagoon. Drive through the Ceningan Resort entrance to get to the best Blue Lagoon viewpoint. After passing the entrance of the resort, there is a small path on the right that will lead you to the viewpoint. You will see an old bar that used to be there that is now closed.
- Spend a few hours at Secret Beach. This beach that is not easy to find is located in between Mushroom Bay and Tamarine Beach. Ask a local for directions as it is not marked. But because of how hard it is to find, you may find yourself as the only person on the beach. Adis can bring you there if you contact him.
If budget isn’t an issue, stay a night or two in Seminyak, but you will notice that it is very touristy and westernized here. It is very expensive to go out and to stay. A drink at a nice bar will run $17US upwards. The W hotel is a nice place to stay. Potato Head Beach Club is a great place to hang out for the day and watch the sunset. And two bars that were good were La Favela and Shanghai Baby.
I would not recommend staying in Kuta as there is not much to do there other than party. But it is very close to the airport so if you have only one night to spend on the island, this might be a convenient spot. This area is a little grungier than other parts of the island and it is always packed with tourists, especially Australians. Because it is a very touristy area, you will find locals trying to sell you things at all times – it will get annoying. Sky Garden club in this area is supposed to be good if you are in the area.