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Old 20th February 2017, 15:00   #1
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Smile Every Mile A Memory! Bali, Indonesia

We went for 6 glorious days to Bali. And no, it was not too long/short. It was just perfect. We split the trip into two portions. Two days in the Seminyak, only about a half hour from the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar and four days in the Bali’s Cultural Heart Tegalalang, Ubud. Each felt different from the other. Seminyak is a bit busier, lots of people, restaurants, shops, etc. Ubud is like Kerala of India, many shops selling goods from the regions artisans, beautiful rice terraces, etc. It is a cultural hub of Bali. Both have unbelievable views that beg you for a photo. Wandering through the narrow streets was one of our favorite parts of being here.
From culture to adventure, Bali has everything for every kind of traveler. We did not go through any travel agents, as we thought it would be more fun to explore our way. But I did some queries with some of the travel agents, more on that later.
Those of you who are interested or thinking of traveling to Bali, then you might get some good ideas.

Prologue

Happily engaged to this Pretty girl on October 23rd, 2016

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So the Wedding is planned on 1st of February, 2017. It seems like everything is falling right into place for your special day. Now there’s just one thing left to decide, we did not have our honeymoon planned at all and had no idea where to go. We wanted adventure, nature and relaxation yet luxurious stay, but did not know where to find it. The places considered were
1. Maldives
2. Bali
3. Malaysia & Singapore
I made some calls to travel agent and requested to share the Itinerary, and quote for the entire trip for the above places. Within a day/ two received all the quotations as requested.
Below are the quotes,

1.Maldives Package
Duration :- 03 Nights / 04 Days
Departure Date :- 06th Feb 2017
Package Cost:- ₹ 82000 per person on Twin sharing Basis.
Hotel :- 4 * Bandos Island Resort with Breakfast & Dinner at Standard Room

HIGHLIGHTS:
• Welcome Drinks on Arrival
• Up to 2 Bottles of Water 500ml per room per day
• Tea/Coffee making facilities at room
• A Bottle of Sparkling Wine and Fruit Basket for Honeymooners
• Return transfers on Speed Boat.

2.Bali Package
Duration :- 04 Nights / 05 Days
Departure Date :- 06th Feb 2017
Package Cost :- ₹ 66,499/- per person on twin sharing (Minimum 2 Pax)
Hotel :- 3* Best Westin Kuta Beach Hotel, Bali

HIGHLIGHTS:
• Return Economy Airfare on Thai Airways including TAXES.
• 4 Nights’ accommodation in 3* Hotel Standard room
• Daily breakfast at the hotel
• WATER SPORTS & ULUWATU TEMPLE SUNSET TOUR
• BARONG DANCE & KINTAMANI TOUR
• HALF DAY TANAH LOT TOUR
• AC private transportation for transfers and tours + English speaking guide
• 1 x Banana Ride & Turtle Island Trip

Not Inclusive:
• Personal expenses
• Any other things which are not mentioned in the itinerary
• Tips

3.Malaysia & Singapore Package
Duration :- 05 Nights / 06 Days
Departure Date :- 06th Feb 2017
Package Cost :- ₹ 85,000 per Person on Twin sharing

HIGHLIGHTS:

• 03 Nights. SINGAPORE : AQUEEN LAVENDER HOTEL OR SIMILAR
• Half day city tour, Sentosa Island Tour Underwater World, Songs of the Sea, Night Saffari and Full day Universal Studio with entrance fee and transfer.
• 01 Nights KUALALUMPUR : STAR POINT HOTEL OR SIMILAR
• Half day city tour.
• 01 Night at GENTING HIGHLAND : FIRST WORLD HOTEL : Cable car ride in Genting highlands, and visit Batu Caves, Snow World admission ticket.

PACKAGE COST INCLUDES:

• Return Economy Air Ticket on Malaysian Airlines.
• All Visa Charges & Airport Taxes.
• 1 Night Hotel Accommodation on Twin Sharing Basis at Kualalumpur with ABF.
• 1 Night Hotel Accommodation on Twin Sharing Basis at Genting Highland with ABF.
• 3 Nights Hotel Accommodation on Twin Sharing Basis at Singapore with ABF.
• Daily Buffet Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at Malaysia. Only Breakfast in Singapore.
• Sightseeing as per the above with entrance fees & English Speaking Guide.

PACKAGE COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

• Mineral Water, Hot or Cold Beverages, Laundry, Insurance, Portage, Etc.

We were still deciding the place and on December 21st evening got a call from friend Sandesh and informed about his trip to Bali in the end of Jan 2017. He recommended to check Bali and also suggested some villas/resorts. I asked him to share his Itinerary details, which he did promptly. Sandesh had booked Padma Resort, Ubud for two nights and Citadines, Kuta for three nights.

Sandesh Itinerary
1. UBUD

24 January - 25 January, 2017
Hotel: Padma Resort
Link: http://www.padmaresortubud.com/
Room Type: Premier Room
Cost: ₹ 27,000.00

2. KUTA
26 January - 28 January, 2017
Hotel: Citadines kuta beach bali
Link: http://www.citadines.com/indonesia/b...ali/index.html
Cost: ₹ 15,600.00

3. Flight Cost
Cost: ₹ 65000

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Summing up ₹1,07,600 for the stay and flight charges. However, as I did a little more research about the villa and place, my choice was made. I came up with a slightly different plan than Sandesh which I discussed with Wife and finalized.

My Itinerary

1. SEMINYAK
07 Feb – 09 Feb, 2017
Hotel: Asa Bali Luxury Villas & Spa, Seminyak
Link: http://www.asabaliluxuryvillas.com/
Room Type: Villa, 1 Bedroom, Private Pool
Cost: ₹ 18,441.62

2. UBUD
09 Feb – 11 Feb, 2017
Hotel: The Kampung Resort Ubud, Tegallalang
Link: http://www.thekampungresortubud.com/
Room Type: Royal Suit
Cost: ₹ 14,261.46

3. UBUD
11 Feb – 12 Feb, 2017
Hotel: The Kampung Resort Ubud, Tegallalang
Room Type: Suit, Valley View
Cost: ₹ 4,753.81

4. Flight Cost
Cost: ₹ 64,299.94

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Summing up ₹1,01,757 for the stay and flight charges

Exchange Currency

Indonesia currency – the rupiah (IDR)
This is a link to a very good currency conversion site which also includes a printable sheet. It can be very helpful to have one of these sheets in your pocket/wallet until you become more confident,
https://www.oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates

You will find many money exchange booths everywhere in Bali. Credit cards are usually accepted for larger purchases, accommodation (apart from smaller establishments), department stores and larger restaurants. The money changers at the airport (just as you leave the baggage claim area) will have a lower exchange rate than those outside. So it is recommend that you only change a little money here to get you through the first 12-24 hours, until you can get to a changer with a better rate.
It is advisable to bring US dollar notes that are issued in 2006 or later (newer) that can be used in Bali. US dollar issued in any earlier year will not be accepted for payment. Also anything more than $50 denomination will fetch you best exchange rate.
Before leaving to Bali, I Exchanged ₹54,560 to $800 at a rate of ₹68.2 / dollar from a colleague of mine. To be on safer side I had asked Sandesh to exchange $20 to Rp during his trip. So I had 2,64,000 Rp ($ 20 * 13,200 Rp) for initial expenses in Bali

VISA on ARRIVAL (VoA)

Indians come under Visa exempted list of Bali, hence we will be issued on arrival a stay permit for 30 days free of charge upon presentation of a passport which is valid at least for another 6 months.

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SIM

Since Sandesh trip was two weeks earlier to mine, I borrowed his SIM which he used in Bali. Getting a SIM card is simple in Bali. Just right at the airport look for Telkomsel booth after custom, should cost you around 3,50,000 Rp for 8GB data and 52 minutes talk time, ask the seller to set everything for you. As a document proof we need to provide Passport copy
Indian Code: 0101791- India number, to make calls to India.

The Plan
We had researched enough about the must-see places to visit in Bali, based on which I made a plan,

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Sandesh had hired a TAXI driver for three days at $35/ Day. He passed on his contact details with me, later I contacted Mr. Made (Taxi driver) through Whats-app and shared my itinerary details. I also asked him to pick me from the airport.

Here are few pictures

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Pink Fortuner
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Old 20th February 2017, 16:05   #2
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Day 0: Start of a grand Adventure
6th February 2017

We were anxious about the next 6 days filled with lots of adventure and excitement. With all the bags packed, we started off at around 6:30PM from home in Nagarbhavi only to get stuck in Goraguntepalya signal for about 45 minutes. Parents, in-laws, sister and bro-in-law accompanied us to the airport. We reached airport by 8:30PM, our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:05PM.
Entered the airport at around 9:00PM, cleared security check, checked in the baggages, collected boarding pass. Cleared the immigration and other process by 9:30PM.

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So our most adventures and exciting journey began with boarding flight to Bangkok from where we had a transit flight to Denpasar, Bali. The journey was little tiring and uneventful

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Day 1: Denpasar, Seminyak
7th February 2017

We landed in Denpasar at 11:15AM and got on arrival Visa stamped. The process was hassle free

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on arrival I contacted Made who was already waiting for us with a sign board to pick us up. As we boarded the taxi I shared my trip itinerary with Made. He suggested some changes in the order of visiting places based on the locations and villas booked.
The Asa villa which we booked was around half an hour journey from the airport, on the way during a discussion I asked Made the meaning of his name, he told in Bali the first child is named as Wayan, the second as Made, third as Nyoman and the fourth Ketut. If the fifth Child is born again the name will start from Wayan. He was the second child so his name is Made and his full name is Made Buda Astawa.

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Today's exchange rate

I exchanged money for $200. If you observe in the above picture you can see two different rates for USD as USD B and USD M. USD B is anything above $50 denomination, USD M is for the denomination less than $50. I had only $20 notes, hence I got 13,200 Rp/ dollar

We were very hungry and asked Made to take us to a good restaurant to have lunch. Queen’s Indian cuisine restaurant

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There are four branches of Queen’s restaurant in Bali, one in Kuta, one in Seminyak, one in Ubud, and one in Nusa Dua.

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After having quick lunch at the restaurant we checked into our Villa at 2:30PM

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The Reception

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Welcome Drink

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Private Pool

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We relaxed in the villa till 6:00PM. Later we went to local market Krisna for shopping. We hired a local taxi to get there and back to villa which costed us Rp 60,000 to and fro. Overall the whole was soothing and calm experience.

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One stop shop for souvenirs, no bargaining all prices are fixed.

We cooked ready to eat food which we got from India, finished our dinner and signed off for the day

Here are Some pictures for the day

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Ghatotkacha Statue

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They are actually twice the size of coconuts that we get in India

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Old 20th February 2017, 17:01   #3
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Day 2: Water sports @ Nusa Dua, Uluwatu Temple and Kecak dance
8th February 2017

Made had suggested that we play watersports on this day since we can visit Tanah Lot on the way to Ubud. We had our breakfast in the villa and were ready by 9:00AM, Made was waiting for us in the Lounge to pick us up. We headed to Nusa Dua to play watersports. Made took us to Apollo dive and water sports

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Toll booth on the way

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Once we reached there we were greeted by a staff and started to explain about the games and the safety taken care by the guards during playing games. Me and my wife chose three games to play,
1. Donut boat
2. Parasailing
3. Sea walk

Initially for the above games he quoted $360, after bargaining the amount was reduced to $190 plus I was charged an amount of $24 for the underwater camera which they provide. We have to do more and more bargaining in Bali, you have start from 40% of the actual amount quoted by them then only you can get best offer.

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So after the deal is finalized he will give the following above Terms and condition paper which you need to read and sign

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They took us for Donut ride first then the Parasailing

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I was a bit nervous at first but that went away quickly and I was very surprised by how well it all worked! It was so awesome being down so deep in the water without your head even getting wet. The overall safety and experience was amazing. The water is not so clear, we got to see and feed fishes close and personal. The instructor took photos for us while feeding them. Weather was just perfect this day, we were little worried since it rained yesterday in the night.They provide Locker, Towels, Shower facilities and Undersea Shoes. Absolutely loved it.
There are many other water sports centers which are even much better than Apollo. Just do a survey and opt the best one.
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Old 21st February 2017, 10:37   #4
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Day 2 Continued:
Uluwatu temple, Even though it was very crowded with loads of people this is one of the best temples in Bali. Beautifully located, this is a must visit place in Bali. Very picturesque, One has to put Sarong to enter the premises of the temple and while one is not allowed inside the temple. The highlight without doubt is the kechak dance performance of Ramayana with Indian Ocean in the background at sunset. It will cost you 100,000 Rp per pax.

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The sea view is very good from here and there are many photo options

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There are lots of monkeys around the temple. So one has to be careful with their belongings since the monkeys will take anything it sees attracting, they even jump on you to check what is there in the bag. Made had already instructed about the monkeys stealing the shoes and glasses from people. In the below pictures you can see monkeys stealing shoes, mobile.

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Kecak and fire dance at Uluwatu temple – This was one of the thing I wanted to watch, there are lots of places like in Ubud which plays this show but this one is the best. The show is all about Ramayana, how Sita is kidnaped by Rahwana. Show starts at 6:00PM and is performed in the open theater, one has to reach there before 6:00PM to have the best view because the theater will be packed if late.

Act 1: Rama, Sita and golden deer
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana enter the arena, then a golden deer appears. Sita asks Rama to capture the deer for her, Rama leaves Sita under Lakshmana protection. Soon a cry for help is heard, Sita thinks it is the voice of Rama and sends Lakshmana to help him. At first Lakshmana refuses to leave her alone. Being accused of expecting Rama's death Lakshmana becomes very angry and leaves alone.

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Act 2: Sita, Rahwana, Bagawan and Garuda
Rahwana appeared and wanted to kidnap Sita, but he failed and then by his bad mind changed himself to be bagawan a thirsty old man. He asked Sita for a glass of water. Sita took pity to see him, then she bought him a glass of water. But suddenly the old man took Sita away. Sita cried and shouted asking for help, Garuda heard the shouting of Sita. Then Garuda tried fighting against Rahwana but failed and injured his wings. Rahwana brought Sita to Alengka Pura.

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Act 3: Twalen, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman
Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman. Rama asks Hanuman to meet Sita and gave a ring to give to Sita

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Act 4: Sita, Trijata and Hanuman
Accompanied by Trijata, Rahwana's niece, Sita is bemoaning her misfortune in the garden of Rahwana's palace. Hanuman appears, and shows Sita the Ring given by Rama. Sita gives a hairpin in return to Hanuman to be given to Rama as a message that she is waiting for him for his rescue. Hanuman heads to Alengka pura park and damages it in disorder. FInally Hanuman escapes

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NOTE: The above story narration is taken from a information sheet which they give to all who come to watch the dance. The information is printed in many languages.

The dance was impressive and we enjoyed the play. After the show we headed back to the villa, cooked our food and signed off for the day.
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Old 21st February 2017, 14:30   #5
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Just wow, subscribed.
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Old 21st February 2017, 15:44   #6
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Day 3: Tanah Lot & Ubud
9th February 2017

This was our last day in Seminyak, got up leisurely finished our breakfast at the villa and we checked out at 11:30AM and headed to Ubud.

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About the villa – Asa, we loved our stay at Asa Bali, our pool villa was superb, the staff are so friendly and helpful, they were so willing to make sure our stay was exactly what we wanted it to be.Outdoor dining and lounge area, air conditioned huge bedroom, Asa Bali was beyond our expectations!!

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On the way Made bought these KELEPON sweet, it was really yummy. 2000 Rp/5 pieces

Tanah Lot:
It took us around 40 minutes to reach here from the villa. After paying entrance fee of 60,000 Rp / pax which is on the higher side when compared to other temple entry fee. The view is beautiful but the place is too crowded and commercialized, it is full of souvenir shops and restaurants. We walked across at low tide and got the blessings, a small donation has to be paid here. Overall it was amazing, the place was little crowded but the entire view was very beautiful.
Just before entering Tanah Lot there is a snake park, better you can avoid this place. The animals are kept caged and the place is very dirty. Better to avoid this place, the entry to park is free.
Wife bought some souvenirs and we headed towards Pura Taman Ayun temple.

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Pura Taman Ayun
The temple is very beautiful with the lake surrounding. The temple is kept very clean. Made told me this temple was built in 1634AD during the ruling of first king of Mengwi. The temple is a place to worship Royal ancestors and invoke prosperity for the people of Mengwi. The gardens are really nice and peaceful. Anyone visiting Bali do not miss this temple.

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We were very hungry, it was already 4:00PM. I asked Made to take us to the Queen's Indian restaurant in Ubud for lunch. we reached here by 4:40PM, we finished our lunch and headed towards our hotel/resort. There are not many options for vegetarians in Bali, since we were vegetarians it was little difficult in finding the good restaurants. Last three days we had lunch in Queen's, all different branches in Bali.

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Reached our hotel at 6:00PM, I had already informed the hotel that we would be late reaching there. The check in time here in Bali is 2:00PM and check out is 12:00PM(Most of the hotels). The suit which i booked was really amazing and the views are simply superb. I had chosen this hotel after extensive research and I was very happy that I made a good choice. The staff are very friendly and professional. We were greeted with a welcome drink.

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SALAK, Snake fruit

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Old 22nd February 2017, 09:26   #7
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Awesome, great pics, Bali is indeed a very value for money tourist destination for us.
Congratulations to the couple
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Old 22nd February 2017, 10:17   #8
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Congratulations for the wedding, for the trip, and having such an awesome time. Cute Couple, god bless you.

Bali seems value for money destination. I have a habit of saving links to such destinations, to use it for travel planning later. And the list keeps growing, hope I get time to use it soon..
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Old 22nd February 2017, 12:24   #9
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Day 4: Taking the day off
10th February 2017


This day I had not planned much activities, We got up leisurely, finished our breakfast and relaxed for sometime in the pool. Later we just explored the resort and the beautiful gardens.
The Kampung Resort, Ubud – It is about 20 minutes drive from Ubud market and it is about a 15 minutes walk to the Tegallalang rice terraces from the resort. The rooms are very spacious and comfortable, from the balcony we had a great view of the lovely green jungle and landscaped gardens all you hear is the sounds of birds, frogs. There are a lot of stairs to go up and down, we need to be very careful if they are wet because they will be slippery. Going up and down was not at all a problem for us since the views are very soothing and gardens are quite nice to roam around. It was very peaceful and a real treat to eyes. It had a infinite pool where one can relax. The only negative point is the lighting in the room, it needs to be improved since they use the low wattage bulbs. The food was amazing with lots of variety, and was very reasonably priced compared to other restaurants. The free shuttle provided by the resort was definitely a plus as the resort is located a distant from Ubud market.


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Deeksha with Bullu

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Resort has 4 labrador retriever

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We had a quick lunch at the restaurant and requested to arrange a shuttle for us at 4:00PM to go to Ubud Palace. Later we went to local market for shopping on the way to Tegalalang Rice terrace. Wife bought some souvenirs here, they are really worth but need to do lots and lots of bargaining.

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And unexpected shower made the day even more special
We reached Resort around 4:15PM and the shuttle was ready to drop us to the central Ubud. We were dropped near the palace and were informed that he will pick us in the same location.
Puri Saren Palace - Entry is free, we made a quick visit to the palace. There were no sign boards and was not much of interesting. Only limited area is accessible. We wanted to visit Museum which is located very close to the palace. But we were very late and the museum was closed.

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So what next? Made had told me to visit Saraswathi temple which is also close to the palace. So we headed towards the temple. The entry is free and has 2 large lotus ponds in the front and you can walk on the centre walkway between both the lotus ponds with the temple proper right in front.

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Next we visited Ubud market, I personally did not like the market. Nothing was interesting for us. It was already 6:45PM, I made a call to the resort and requested to send the shuttle. We finished our dinner and packed our luggage and signed off for the day.

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Old 22nd February 2017, 13:13   #10
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Default Re: Every Mile A Memory! Bali, Indonesia

First of all, congratulations on your wedding. God bless you two.
Secondly, thanks for such a detailed post on Bali. Like many, it has been in my list of destinations to visit and I will surely re-visit your thread when the time comes for my trip.
And
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Old 22nd February 2017, 13:19   #11
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Default Re: Every Mile A Memory! Bali, Indonesia

Congratulations on your wedding. Very detailed itinerary and good choice of stay too.
Is there an option to hire a car and drive around Bali with an Indian License?
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Old 22nd February 2017, 13:36   #12
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Default Re: Every Mile A Memory! Bali, Indonesia

Absolutely 5 stars for your travelogue, abhayankara. Congrats on your wedding. Thanks for sharing with us, details of an absolutely fabulous destination. You have added Bali into the "Bucket List" of many travelers by your post here. Bali definitely is a must visit place and looks like great value for money too.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 13:49   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Every Mile A Memory! Bali, Indonesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartindboy View Post
Just wow, subscribed.
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by amiya.c View Post
Awesome, great pics, Bali is indeed a very value for money tourist destination for us.
Congratulations to the couple
Thanks a lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
Congratulations for the wedding, for the trip, and having such an awesome time. Cute Couple, god bless you.

Bali seems value for money destination. I have a habit of saving links to such destinations, to use it for travel planning later. And the list keeps growing, hope I get time to use it soon..
Thank you, Bali is a destination not to be missed!
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive2eternity View Post
First of all, congratulations on your wedding. God bless you two.
Secondly, thanks for such a detailed post on Bali. Like many, it has been in my list of destinations to visit and I will surely re-visit your thread when the time comes for my trip.
And
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by BopsKA12 View Post
Congratulations on your wedding. Very detailed itinerary and good choice of stay too.
Is there an option to hire a car and drive around Bali with an Indian License?
Thank you. I will give a detailed information at the end regarding the self driven car, scooter hire and driving license.
Quote:
Originally Posted by venkatt1800 View Post
Absolutely 5 stars for your travelogue, abhayankara. Congrats on your wedding. Thanks for sharing with us, details of an absolutely fabulous destination. You have added Bali into the "Bucket List" of many travelers by your post here. Bali definitely is a must visit place and looks like great value for money too.
Thank you
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Old 22nd February 2017, 14:20   #14
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Day 5: Ubud - Sightseeing
11th February 2017

This day was reserved for exploring most of the places near Ubud. We finished our breakfast soon and were ready in lobby by 8:00AM. Made came on time as he promised and we started our most adventures and beautiful day. This day was the best in the whole trip. Initially I had planned to visit Bali Zoo, but wife suggested that we go for Bali Bird Park and to be frank that was the good decision we made. We were lucky to feed and play with the birds. They have around 250 different species of birds. The entry fee is little expensive which includes entry to adjacent Reptile park.There are several bird shows during the day which last for around 15 minutes. Here I saw many exotic birds and those which I saw only on TV. The staff seem to be knowledgeable and informative. Many birds were not caged, they were left free to wander around the park. They are trained and follow the instructions given by their masters. We almost spent half a day here, but time well spent here

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I was running out of cash, so exchanged money for $90. $1 = 13,210 Rp

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The staff were very good and entertaining. We can interact with them and have them sit on our arm or shoulder for pictures

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There are around 4 shows which they conduct daily, each lasting for around 15~20 minutes. There is also theater where they screen an animated movie. We really enjoyed a lot these shows, they are very well trained.
I have many pictures but I am restricted to post only 30 pictures per post, so will update the other pictures in the next post.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 14:50   #15
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Anyone who plans to visit Bali bird park, please be there by 9:00AM. Else you will miss the initial shows.

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Deeksha got an opportunity to feed ducks.
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As a token of thanks, Deeksha got a badge

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