Help needed for 1 month of Indonesia travel

Hi I am a new member, however I've heard great things about this forum and hope I can become a useful member. Starting off I'd appreciate if I can get some advice for my next Indonesia adventure please.

I will be starting off from Bangalore, India and land in Bali in the 1st week of December this year. Plan to be there for around 7 days. What are some decent hostels around? I will be meeting the adventure tour operators there - you know dive shops, surf schools, paragliding pilots, canyoning guides, trekking outfits etc. So spots close to where these guys are generally located would help. A little open ended, but any help will be most appreciated!

Also, what is the best way to get around? Is taking Ferry's from Bali to Lombok and further in the wet season safe? Or should I take short flights? And renting a bike when in the city is best I guess?

Thanks and keep adventuring!
Ankit.

Just a few observations which you may find useful…

-There are no youth hostels per se in Bali, however there are plenty of budget accommodations to be found, and the latest edition of The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Bali and Lombok will have a great many of them listed.  In Bali we also have what are called “homestays” which literally are what they sound like…staying with a Balinese family right in their home compound.  That’s a great way to get some exposure to Balinese culture, not to mention home cooked Balinese food.     

-You’re coming during low season, so there is no need to book anything in advance.  Moreover, being here, cash in hand will afford you a stronger bargaining position. 

-Since you say that you will meeting with many local adventure tour operators, they would also be an excellent source of recommendations for nearby quality budget places to stay.  Additionally some adventure tour operators will also have accommodations on site.  For example, if you go to Amed for diving, Eco Dive in Jemeluk Beach has some on site bungalows, and John’s Indonesian wife is a great cook!  John also has a fast speed boat shuttle service from Amed to Lombok.  Bundling services with one provider is also a great way to save money.

Have a great trip!

Thanks so much for this. Yes I too was expecting not to book anything in advance. Easier to go there and bargain. But I think I will book the first 2 days at least - gives you the mental satisfaction and helps on getting used to things.

How do you manage the homestays? Is that also possible after going there?

And yes, I will definitely ask the operators about the best recommendations Being locally located, they would probably be able to guide me the best there! Even in Bali, I would probably need to travel northwards too. Would you have an idea about traveling within Bali? Is public transport better or renting your own bike?

Thanks for your time!

For finding homestays, once again I recommend the latest edition of the Lonely Planet Guide to Bali and Lombok.  As you probably know, Lonely Planet has for years been targeted more towards “back packer” tourism, or budget tourism so they tend to do a good job with keeping current listings in the updated editions.  And, as you find yourself in various areas of Bali, don’t under estimate word of mouth.  You’ll find the Balinese to be extremely friendly and helpful…so a simple inquiry about homestays and where the best warungs are to eat at will also get you plenty of suggestions. 

Normally I don’t recommend first time tourists to Bali to rent motorbikes, but as adventure tourist specialists, you will find them to be the cheapest and easiest way to get around Bali.  Another alternative is to hire a private Balinese driver on a daily basis.  You can find these guys most everywhere, and their rates are generally around $400k to $600k IDR a day (8 to 10 hours).  Most have late model SUV’s with aircon, and those rates are all inclusive.   

Unless there is some miracle between now and the first week of December, you’ll find the IDR rate to most other currencies to be particularly attractive when you arrive.

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