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My 10-Day Solo Trip Across Indonesia Part 1 Bali - Itinerary, Budget And Tips

Updated: May 19

With a few days off work and everyone else I knew going home for Diwali, I decided to travel to Indonesia on yet another solo trip. I got myself Air Asia tickets just about a couple of weeks before the trip - which is unlike me because I've booked tickets as far back as 6 months in advance for my Australia trip and 5 months for my Japan trip. But since Indonesia didn't need a visa (and still doesn't), a last minute there works out just fine.

Day 1 Landing in Bali and first impressions

After an 8-hour flight with a brief layover in Kuala Lumpur, I landed on a sunny noon at Denpasar Airport, Bali's airport. Now most travelers to Indonesia prefer to land in Bali and most actually spend all their time in Bali itself, but Indonesia is huge and diverse with over a 1000 inhabited islands! So I only had 3 days to spend in Bali.

Getting vegetarian food in Bali

I settled in my guest house in the busy Kuta area and immediately set out to explore on feet. My first stop was a local cafe or "Warung" to get whatever vegetarian I could find to eat. And Indonesia does't disappoint! Even though like the rest of Southeast Asia, Indonesia is also meat-dominant, but Bali is a Hindu-majority island and vegetarian and vegan food is easily available. However at a local street-side stall and even finding much variety in the vegetarian option is limited you can always get a "Nasi Goreng" or "Mi Goreng" (fried rice). It's a basic fried rice with some veggies and spring onions topped with fried peanuts and onion - simple, delicious and pocket friendly.

vegetarian food in Bali Mi Goreng

Attempt to go to Uluwatu Temple

I rented a bike and decided to go to the Uluwatu temple located on Southern coast of Bali but it was 5 pm and already too late to catch the sunset, so I decided to take a raincheck and walk around Kuta instead. Thankfully, a local festival was on a the Kuta Beach so I went to it and caught a local music performance where a bunch of local boys and girls decided to give me company and we chilled over beers, peanuts and Balinese rock!

I had a long day the next so I decided to crash early.

Day 2 Onwards to Sanur for my ferry to Nusa Penida

This was the most-awaited part of my trip. Since I started researching about my Indonesia trip, I wanted to go to Nusa Penida, the one with the crescent shaped beach with the most stunning waters and many other natural treats.

To get there, you need to catch a ferry from Sanur and there are many options to do that. I got on a fast boat that takes you to Nusa Penida in just about 2 hours.

The ride was choppy but nothing unexpected. On reaching Nusa Penida I checked into the most charming hostel, said hello to other solo travelers like myself and set out to rent a scooty. I found a French girl, Sarah on an online group for company for the next 2 days and off we went exploring Nusa Penida - me riding and Sara on pillion.

Most of the roads on Nusa Penida were atrocious but the views on the coastal side made it worth the effort! Shakily, we would go around the Island, passing scores of trees, rocks, warungs and monkeys on our ways. We would make little tea stops and carry on ahead.

Day 2 The Broken Beach, Angel's Billabong, and Kelingking beach

After an adventurous 2 hour ride, through a short halt at the raw and rocky broken beach, we were finally at the place that was in the pre-Instagram hype era and thankfully not crowded. The famous Kelingking beach or it's popularly called "T-Rex Bay" because it's supposed to look like the back of the dino.

dino shaped beach bali

We managed to get a few pictures of ourselves but decided to not go down the 1000+ steps down a slipper path to the beach as there was a warning sign for bad weather and choppy tidal weaves on the beach today.

A short ride away is the Angel's Billabong - A bridge shaped rock formation lies over the stunning blue waters of the Balinese coast. (Did the Australians name this place?)

Just close to this photo spot is a magnificent rock pool amidst rocks and opening into the sea. Sounds cozy and nice but it could be pretty dangerous during high tides - I mean check out those violent waves!

The ride back to the hostel in the dark was spooky and twice it felt like we were going to get gulped by a pothole or worse, dive off the steep cliff on either side. But I'm an able driver for the most part and managed to get us both to our respective hostels safe and sound.

Day 3 Onwards to Ubud

We would've loved to lounge about another day in Nusa Penida but time was short and we were pretty much done with its 2 biggest draws so the next morning, we just took the same boat back to Sanur and then an Uber-ride later, got to Ubud.

Ubud back then wasn't as popular as it is now and hence more serene and calm. Full of paddy fields, greenery and ancient temples and red-stone houses, Ubud was a village-town that was recently discovered by the west. There were Yoga schools and a cafe culture emerging which by 2024 has become mainstream enough for more purist travelers to want to avoid it altogether!

We managed to get a hotel room with a lush garden courtyard and a swimming pool for a great price. (I think $10/night with breakfast included.)

It was time to rent bike #3 to explore Ubud.

Ubud in a day by bike

Sarah and I both had a similar itinerary so it worked out great that we could explore Ubud together. Our first stop was the famous rice terraces - an expansive hilly area with acres of steps dedicated to rice farming. We have similar ones in India all over Himachal, and even in Kerala but I guess they haven't been able to make themselves quite the tourist attraction as Bali has.

Due to it being just post-Monsoons, the rice terraces were lush green and perfect for a trip. We walked around many levels admiring the views and the weather. For lunch, we got ourselves a great seat by view of the terraces at a restaurant located right opposite. Strongly recommend getting a coffee or meal to get more out of this experience.

Ubud rice terraces

The soothing bike ride through Ubud We made our way to go to the next stop - the Tegenungan waterfalls, but it's really the way there that had us swooning. We rode for an hour on a thin lane with nothing but paddy fields and old Balinese temples all around us - almost reminding of similar routes back home in Hampi, India.

Also, there was a market full of shops selling local Balinese art like bamboo lamps, knick knacks and the famous Balinese furniture, which we didn't stop to buy as we wanted to travel light for the rest of the trip but big mistake! Lesson learned

SHOP in Bali. It's amazing and cheap

The waterfalls per se weren't the greatest sight, but being near water really helped cool off after a long day out in the sun and heat.

We also went to an ancient temple that requires one to cover one's shoulders and legs and can involve taking a dip in the sacred pool. You can rent a sarong if you are dressed a little more nude.

Monkey temple, Ubud

It's really what it sounds like. Thousands of monkeys throng the temple compounds which is really a large forested land and one can touch and feed the monkeys - in fact it's encouraged. Everywhere you see, there's either a monkey figurine or an actual monkey and sometimes it's hard to tell the two apart! A great way to spend an hour or two in Ubud. Parts of the monkey temple feel like a trek through a jungle with waterfalls, streams and rickety little wooden bridges making this is a unique experience and something to do in Ubud.

Finally, we were done with the sightseeing in Ubud and just wanted to chill and unwind. Ubud is full of great cafes, bars and little gig spaces.

By chance, we ended up walking into a beautiful temple with burnt orange walls and intricate carvings, offset by a lotus pond. In the evening, you can catch a recital of the Ramayan - As Bali is a Hindu subset of Islam-majority Indonesia, its traditions and rituals are steeped in Hinduism, albeit a bit different from the ones in India.

For dinner, we settled ourselves on a charming little cafe on bar seats and were joined in a couple of other women, one of whom turned out to be a major Indophile and wouldn't stop telling me how much she loved India!

Day 4 - Ferry out of Bali and on to Java

As I mentioned, I wasn't going to spend all my trip in Bali alone so I left Ubud the next morning alone while Sarah stayed back. I got myself a Grab moto-taxi, then a local bus and got to the Denpasar Ferry terminal 2 hours away from Ubud. This bus ride is beautiful as most rides in Bali are with most of its being coastal.

Since the Java leg of my trip was longer and very different from the Bali leg, it's housed on another blogpost. This post also includes the total trip costs and other details. Check out:


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 I (Monica) am a lifelong traveler, (40 countries), sustainability and veganism advocate, and a marketer by profession. I'm old school in that I still like to blog and document rather than shoot and post.

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