In October 2018, when I was 4 and a half years old, we went to Bali, Indonesia for a week and we had a great time! My parents kept saying what a wonderful little island this is to explore with kids, autistic or not. Despite its small size, there is a lot to see and do, from cultural sites and temples to waterfalls and stunning beaches. Bali is located in between Java and Lombok and is the only Hindu-majority province in Indonesia. Bali is part of The Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine life. So let me break down for you the best things we did in Bali and hopefully our experiences will help you to make the best out of your stay on Bali! Special note: three of my coolest cousins came over for a few days from The Philippines to join us on this adventure which was awesome!
Most international flights head to Ngurah Rai Airport, about 15 kilometers south of Bali's capital Denpasar. We would recommend staying at the least the first night in Bali close to Denpasar, especially if your journey to get to Bali exceeds 20 hours, like ours did. We first flew from Amsterdam to Shanghai in about 11 hours. We then had a stopover of almost 4 hours before embarking on a second flight which took about 7 hours. It was the longest travel I had been on -at least until our return flight- and I did great!
We stayed in Kuta which is about 10 kilometers from the airport. Our accommodation was Wina Villa Holiday, which was just the perfect place for a little rascal like me. As you know by now, I love pools and this place had no less than THREE! The water was heated to perfect temperature and there were enough safe edges to stand on and jump off.
And what better way to chill after some intense swimming than laying on bed with your iPad?
Wina Villa Holiday is on the doorstep of Kuta Beach, which is a sparkling place with lots to do. Kuta itself is also a very nice place with many shopping and catering opportunities.
And now let's get to the REALLY good stuff: what to see and do in Bali! Mommy and daddy wanted to rent a car and in Bali it's pretty common that a rental car comes with a driver. The good thing about having your own transportation is that you can enjoy the freedom of seeing what you want to see at your pace and according to your own plan. Mommy and daddy mapped out the sites they wanted to visit and discussed it with the driver.
Now one thing you cannot see with a rental car -but surely not to be missed- is the beautiful island Nusa Penida, just a short distance southeast of Bali. There are many tour operators offering trips to Nusa Penida and we highly recommend just taking a stroll anywhere in Bali really to find a good offer. Nusa Penida has some great diving locations as well as Manta Bay, a place where you can swim with mantas (if you're lucky enough). Although mommy and daddy love to dive and love marine life, it was not possible with me around, which they totally accept. Still; the island has a lot to offer for those who decide to bring small kids with them.
Karang Dawa Viewpoint
Jatiluwih Rice Fields
So on our first day on the road with our rental car we visited Jatiluwah Rice Fields, about two hours from Kuta. This is truly great place and I got to walk on the fields a bit which I loved!
Tegallalang Rice Fields
Tegellalang near Ubud are probably the most visited rice fields on Bali and although we found Jatiluwah more impressive and picturesque, it was fun that there were swings for the thrill seeking travellers.
During our days touring Bali we saw several waterfalls, one even more stunning than the other. I love the sight and sound of waterfalls and I can stare at the thundering flow of water endlessly. These are some of the most beautiful falls we saw.
Git Git Waterfall
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Bali has quite a few important temples, which are often located at amazing locations. We visited as many as we could.
Hanara Golf Course entrance
Tanah Lot Temple
Gunung Kawi Temple
Sadly, this temple was closed to the public during our stay due to filming activities. Thankfully, our driver took us to another temple nearby.
Pura Tirta Temple
UBUD MONKEY FOREST
One of the most fun things to do is visit the money forest in Ubud. Now prepare for some personal time with countless monkeys walking around the enchanting rainforest. You think I was scared of them? No way!
Bali has many hot springs and wellness resorts and you can imagine I really enjoyed spending time in the naturally heated water. In fact; they couldn't get me out of it! It is truly a very relaxing experience, not to be missed by anyone visiting Bali. We were treated to a wonderful time at Toya Devasya Hot Spring.
Is there really a better way to end your day than a relaxing stroll at the beach witnessing an astonishing sunset? We were lucky to have this experience at Jimbaran Beach. Jimbaran is a really peaceful fisherman's town located on the southwestern coast of Bali. We had an amazing time. At first I was a bit stressed by the ocean, only wanting to stare at it from a safe distance while being carried by daddy. But like so many times before, after a few minutes I dared to set foot on the ground and even showed the courage to take steps into the water. And you might have guessed it by now: after about 30 minutes they couldn't take me away from it, running up and down, completely in awe of 'that gigantic puddle of water'.
We had a fantastic time in Bali and I would especially like to thank our driver who showed such kindness and patience towards me. Since I love driving, I had the time of my life in his spacious and very cool car! I'm missing Bali -and the people- already!