One Cruise Day in Bali
When you arrive in Bali at Tanjun Benoa Cruise Port, you may want to utilize the good money changers in the harbor building. Indonesia uses the Indonesian Rupiah. You will want local money for purchases, dining, taxis and excursions. Most places do take the American dollar if you run short. Be careful using credit cards here as there is a lot fraud in Indonesia. Tipping is not a common practice In Asia.
There is so much to do, and with only one day you will need to make some choices. Kuta Beach is the most popular and developed beach for a lazy day in the sun. You can see the 2002 memorial to bombing victims here. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and surf shops and some smaller shopping malls.
If you prefer to see some culture and sightseeing, Ubud is a charming city in Bali and full of museums and temples. There is also a monkey sanctuary there, that is a must see. And if you are hungry in Ubud, Ibu Oka Restaurant is famous for their roast suckling pig. You can even take some cooking classes and visit the pasar/market for any purchases you may want. And if you are looking to purchase any art or furniture, you have come to the right city.
Or if you are truly adventurous there is the Elephants Safari Parks Lodge. You can touch and feed the elephants and ride them through the nice cool forest of Taro. Walk through beautiful parks with lovely landscaped gardens and refreshing waterfalls. There is also a museum there where you can learn some interesting facts about these animals. And you can have your picture taken with the elephants to cherish this memory.
Whatever you choose to do in Bali, it will be a beautiful, fun filled trip.
If you dock in Benoa, there are good money changers in the harbor building. Exchange some money there. If you don’t prearrange a driver, it is hard to spot the proper taxi drivers.
Money & Tipping
Indonesia’s currency is the Indonesian Rupiah. Australian dollars are widely accepted including taxis. Be careful of using your credit card since there is a lot of fraud in Indonesia. Tipping is not a common practice in Asia. Exchange rate on Nov 2016 – 1 USD = 13,541.00 IDR
1 IDR = 0.0000738498 USD
You will need to take a taxi to get out of the Benoa port area since there is nothing around. The Bemo (private minivan) drivers have bullied out competitors at the port area so you will need to negotiate for a rate to get out. Keep in mind a metered taxi to Kuta Beach should cost around 100,000-120,000 IRD ($10 USD). Outside the port, Bluebird taxis are abundant, reputable and metered and can take you back to the terminal. Australian dollars are usually accepted. Be aware of copycat taxis. There are buses but schedules are erratic and they only leave when they are full.
Traffic is pretty congested so give yourself plenty of time to get anywhere. Taxi drivers may drive on the shoulder, turn right and then U-turn to bypass the roundabouts to save time.
Kuta Beach – The most popular and most developed beach in Bali. There is a memorial here to the victims of the 2002 bombing.
Ubud – Considered the cultural center of Bali with many temples and museums. There is a monkey sanctuary here. If you want to take a taxi to Ubud from South Bali, it is best to charter the vehicle for a return trip, otherwise, you’ll be hit with a 30% fee for going out-of-town. Metered fares, one-way and not including surcharge, are around Rp 100,000 from Denpasar and Rp 200,000 from Kuta.
Sanur – This beachside resort town is more upscale and popular with older families.
Denpasar – The largest city and capital of Bali. There are temples and a central market here.
Nusa Dua / Tanjung Benoa – Across the harbour from Benoa port, this area has a long beachfront with plenty of resorts. You will need to go all the way around the harbor to get to this area. There is a public beach at Geger.
Seminyak – An upscale resort area north of Kuta. There are high end boutiques and spas in this area.
You may be tempted to try a fish spa where fish nibble on your feet’s dead skin. However, there is a risk of catching an infection (including HIV and hepatitis) from these tanks.
Shopping and Restaurants
The Kuta Beach area has a few small malls and lots of surf shops. There is a Hard Rock Cafe here as well.
There are some stalls setup in the cruise terminal and souvenir sellers outside the terminal gates.
In Ubud, Ibu Oka Restaurant is famous for their roast suckling pig. There are multiple locations and reviews are a bit mixed.