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3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Essen, Germany
8 posts
3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Hello guys!

My girlfriend and me want to celebrate a great year with a vacation to Bali in September.

However - it's a little complicated. Let me try to explain:

We both want to see the wonders of Bali: culture, beaches, waterfalls, rice fields, go snorkeling.

However: we never went backpack traveling and dont really dare to just go for it. We kind of want a hotel as our central anchor to come back to.

So we planned to book a hotel for the full 3 weeks, and book some local stays for a couple of days in between on top - especially in Ubud (so we dont have to bother with carrying all of our luggage around).

Weve got a few offers from our travel agency like the Movenpick Hotel in Jimbaran - which looks fantastic. Then again we were told that the south of Bali is a tourist grave and traffic is supposed to be horrible in that part of Bali.

So, considering all this - can you recommend Jimbaran or would you recommend another area; maybe even a hotel which could function as our hub?

Hope Bali can be enjoyed in a more old fashioned way of doing vacation :)

Greetings from Germany!

10 replies to this topic
coffs harbour...
Destination Expert
for Tulamben, Lovina Beach
Level Contributor
9,293 posts
60 reviews
1. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Most of us just move areas a few times during our stay, it's really quite simple to do with a driver. We carry about 100kg of luggage (dive gear/camera equipment etc) and move 3-4 times every trip.

And staying right in the south is going to make travel times to other areas very long indeed. As an example, say you wanted to go to Amed for a few days to snorkel and explore the east coast and then to Ubud. Why would you go all the way back south again? Best to look at a map of Bali and try to plan a trip in a sensible manner - circular, rather than an "M" shape.

If you do decide to stick with your plan using a hotel as a base, not only will you be wasting money paying for 2 hotels, you'll also waste money paying for drivers and you'll also waste lots of time in the car going backwards and forwards.

BTW, with your list of interests, a couple of days in Ubud is nowhere near enough, unless you want to spend 4-5 hours a day going backwards and forwards in a car back to your southern hotel.

Perhaps you could re-think your plans to make your trip flow better.

If you haven't already done so, please read about the areas of Bali, and the snorkelling areas, both in the first pinned post on this forum.

Level Contributor
2,246 posts
2. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

I certainly agree with everything cbimages has advised. The majority of travellers to Bali are not backpackers. Rethink your priorities and take time to look at a map. Good luck.

Level Contributor
2,535 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Morning. We have just had 3 weeks in Bali and we moved about 5 times which was fine. Can o ask what age you are and what’s your budget per night for a accomodation? I definitely wouldn’t be basing myself in Jimbaran x

Breda, The...
Level Contributor
2,415 posts
195 reviews
4. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

We also don't like and want to move around, booked 3 weeks Seminyak and for us a good base to relax and take it day by day to look what to do or where to go.

Just do some research on Jimbaran and other places before booking.

Level Contributor
202 posts
1 review
5. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Moving 2 or 3 times or even more over 3 weeks would be easy to do and you can do some sightseeing along the way on the transfer days. If you are set on having a base my suggestion would be Sanur or Ubud as these locations are more central to do daytrips from. Less traffic and less travel distances than from Jimbaran. We always spend a large part of our Bali trips in Amed to get our snorkeling fix and you really cant do that comfortably as a daytrip from south Bali. My idea of a great Bali trip involves staying in Ubud/Amed/Sanur to cover a good cross section of what Bali has to offer, but that is just my preference.

Edited: 19 July 2018, 06:52
Munich, Germany
Destination Expert
for Bali
Level Contributor
15,116 posts
89 reviews
6. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Hi KeFraPi,

my first advise is if you want to see more stuff stay away from your travel agent.

The offer you have had is the typical narrow minded selection offered by Travel agents - especially German ones.

Surprise Surprise our German friend went to Bali a few years ago, although she travels widely she always uses travel agents and ended up in the Moevenpick in Jimbaran.

As "cbimages" said she travels around with loads of gear. I, like her, am a diver so always have all my gear. 28kg. Wife normal case (space for shopping).

Our preferred Airline is Singapore Airlines. We've also done Thai Airways.

Try to keep our changes to 1 stop and arrive in Bali around midday to mid afternoon latest (as we generally transfer to Amed straight away).

e.g. This year we did

Land at DPS - transfer directly to AMED (diving/snorkeling/chillaxing) - PEMUTERAN (more of same) - UBUD - KUTA


We all use Private Drivers for transfer and tours (again avoid travel agents). Easy to find either by recommendations on here, on the street or from your accommodation itself.

Private drivers have 5-7 seater minibuses so plenty of space. You hire the driver+van for 1 price - e.g. IDR600K ~ 40Euros for the day 9am to 6/7pm ish - for tours.

You can hire them for shorter time tours - 6hrs generally IDR400k

Avoid like the plague any tour offers quoting gimmicks like "entrance fee/lunch included" - these are a tourist scam/ripoff. Often rigid itineraries and take you to places they get commission. Seen these advertised at $49 PER PERSON!!!!

Entrance fees are a few euros or free. 5 euros gets you a nice enough main course. Mie Goreng is generally on IDR40k so 5 euros would get you that and a beer.

As an example for transfer we use a driver in Tulamben recommended to us by "cbimages" above. He picks us up at DPS to transfer to Amed (2h30 drive). We've used him for local tours and transfers to Ubud and Pemuteran.

Pemuteran to Ubud - we contacted a couple of recommended drivers in Ubud but actually our hotel in Pemuteran was cheaper.

When we were in Ubud and wanted a driver just found a guy on the street outside of our hotel.

Please note in any planning that you will not average much more than 30kmh even on longer distances away from busy areas.

As I mentioned we transfer directly to Amed. Barely 90km but invariably takes the best part of 3hrs.

DPS to Ubud is 45km. Traffic around DPS and Ubud itself can be horrendous. Genrally take 1h30 during the day.


Again avoid travel agents offers. Book locally to get best offers.

All activities include free transport.


There are numerous fastboat services to the Gili Islands, Lembongan and Penida.

All fastboats will include free pickup from Ubud and all major "southern resorts" Hotels (Ubud sometimes central point only) and free dropoff on return.

If further up the coast there are also fastboats from Amed to Gilis (shortest crossing).

Again book locally for best prices.


We do something different every year.

Next year we are looking at doing UBUD - AMED - GILIS - KUTA LOMBOK - 'south Bali before flight home"


UBUD - AMED - then

flying to Flores/LBJ for a few days to do some diving/snorkeling and Komodo dragon tours -

Back to south Bali.

Edited: 19 July 2018, 07:07
Essen, Germany
8 posts
7. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Hey guys, thank you so much for all your valuable information!

We are considering to just book 3 hotels across Bali for our trip (Samur, Ubud, Jimbaran for example).

We are the typically afraid first timers, who want the highest possible security of everything going smoothly, so we wanted to have someone responsible incase something goes wrong :)

Munich, Germany
Destination Expert
for Bali
Level Contributor
15,116 posts
89 reviews
8. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Hi KeFraPi,

Even if somebody is arranging something for you it should still be your choice and I suggest you still have a good read before committing. Just because they are arranging things for you doesn't mean you have to take their add-ons.

e.g.About 12 years ago we did a Bali trip through MeiersWeltResien and they were good with arrangements, flights and prices (I still book some hotels through them sometimes as they sometimes have better prices than TA, Expedia etc) but we got to choose out Hotels ourselves.

We had already booked our Bali trip then decided we wanted to stop in Singapore for a few days. We told them where we wanted to stay (Fairmont) and they were good rearranging the flights (we still had to pay 50euros fee) and organizing a free Airport pickup.

In addition. like most people, we just did our own thing as regards tours and activities once in Bali.

Please don't go through the travel agent or Hotel tours/activities. Nothing goes wrong.

JIMBARAN is a manufactured resort area just south of the Airport. Just basically loads of Hotels. No town. No street for casual drinking/shopping etc.


Again important you get to choose or know your exact property especially if you want stuff/town within walking distance.

Ubud is as much a Region as a town centre. Some properties can easily be 8km or more from Ubud centre with Little to nothing outside of them.

Some properties take the pi$$ calling themselves Ubud when they are over 18km away and not even in Ubud district.. Very misleading.

Some properties have shuttle Services but These often stop at 5/6pm. There are no Taxis in Ubud so to get back you would Need to contact the Hotel or engage a local Driver.

Level Contributor
1,590 posts
39 reviews
9. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Jimbaran seems to be like Nusa Dua.

A travel agent's favourite, but a tourist's - first timer's, trap.


Edited: 19 July 2018, 12:22
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,052 posts
56 reviews
10. Re: 3 weeks non-backpacking vacation Bali in Septembers

Jimbaran has some good little places however the big expensive hotels tend to rule. I have stayed at the White House Jimbaran which is a privately owned small property and it's excellent. I've also stayed at Udayana Eco Resort up on the hill which was also great. Jimbaran can be brilliant if you search out the gems.

It seems a waste to spend good money on a hotel you will not spend much time at while you travel around. When I'm travelling around or even staying in Sanur I quite like Little Pond as a cheap base, it's only $25 per night and is the quaint little type of place that I prefer. It has aircon and a lovely shaded pool which is pretty much all I need after a day out in the sun.

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