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What You Should Know More About Cycling in Bali
Bali is a fun trip but as much as you have looked forward to this picturesque vacation, it does take some amount of trouble getting to the Islands. There is no direct flight from India to Bali. However, it’s fairly easy and cheap to get a connecting one via Singapore or Malaysia. Popular airlines serving the Bali International Airport include Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Singapore Air, Qantas Airways and Etihad Airways.
The second and most important thing to consider is the visa. Bali has a very strict visa policy but if you are an Indian Passport holder, you can easily get visa on arrival. The entry permit allows for a 30 days of stay and is extendable for a single time for another thirty days. Do not overstay as it can lead to a huge fine and even some amount of jail time!
Cycling in Bali is an amazing way to indulge and imbibe in the countryside spirit. There a lot of new opportunities you come across when you choose to pedal around – the rugged terrains past volcanic rims, ancient temples, green plantations, quaint villages and the picturesque beaches. However, at the same time, it is necessary to understand that the general temperature in Ubud is quite humid.
Whatever time of the year you choose, it will be humid and dehydrating. Bali gets a lot of sun and this makes the months between May and July the best to cycle around. These are the coolest three months before the rainy season starts.
There are several destinations around Bali that offer a good cycling experience. These would mostly consist of the small villages located outside the cities, the forest roads, and a dozen of well-known trekking routes.
If you are picking up a cycle, plant to visit:
The various places for sightseeing in Bali while cycling are:
Bali is a popular tourist destination and even if you have forgot to carry something important, be pretty sure that it will be available at Bali. However, some things that you cannot miss include:
It’s a tropical climate in Bali but being an island, be ready for a lot of humidity. The average temperature during the day is about 26 degree Celsius, all round the year. Evenings and nights are a little cooler but nevertheless, humid. The coolest time of the year is between the months of May and July and between August and October, it rains a lot.
The sun can be pinching but the sea breeze will cool things out at the same time. Bali is comfortable as long as you are well protecting your skin and aren’t wearing something too heavy or sticky.
While the journey itself is safe, there will always be a lot of things that you should look over your shoulders when riding a bicycle in Bali. The roads are winding and if you are sharing the same road as do motor vehicles, it is necessary to be on the side to not get hit or run over.
However, when you proceed to the jungle roads and volcanic terrains, it would be a blissful experience. You can either go on a self guided tour or join a group of other cyclists. There are always groups heading out for cycling, wherever you are in Bali. Going on a group or arranged tour will be a safer and more comfortable option too.
Bali on cycle will be amazing. Pedaling on the tarmac tracks is perhaps the best way to check out the countryside. It certainly will be hard work climbing the mountains but there will always be an easier ride downhill! It is necessary that you pick your bike well, especially if you are looking to do a lot of off-roading and mountain terrains.
The minimum recommendation is an 18-gear cycle but 28 gear ones are always better. Similarly, wide tires will be good for the slippery tracks that you will need to ride along. The best choice is a mountain bike that has independent suspensions, both in the font and at the back. Picking up a proper helmet too can be a life saving. Also, do ask for a good quality lock since these bikes won’t be cheap.
A great product would be the Banshee Paradox 29er hardtail size M, with RS Reba 120mm, drive train X.9 with race face crank, carbon brakes and WTB tires. Apart from that, do carry the official stuff, including: Passport with 6+ months validity Ongoing ticket Your landing card Your visa Prescription for any medication you may be carrying
If you are looking to cover all of Bali on cycle and check out all prominent destinations, the minimum duration of your trip should be for 15 days.
There are several places to be with your cycle and include:
Needless to say, to be able to all the cycling and in such humidity and high temperatures, requires a certain level of fitness. If you are not in the habit of cycling, it could be a tough ride. It’s easy getting dehydrated around Bali. Further, taking a bicycle will require a lot of stress on your leg muscles, hips and spine. If you are not into the scene, don’t try it at Bali.
You certainly can rent a bicycle for a day for small trails across the forest or around the beach or city. But riding off road with minimum level of fitness is not quite recommended.
You have both the options. One of the biggest advantages to go on a group cycling tours is that you get to meet a lot of other people who share your passion for riding. Most of the riders will also be locals and passionate guides who would help you with understanding the history of places o showing you new shortcuts and off-road adventures.
Having someone along is also helpful in case you have a vehicle problem or are in need of any kind of assistance. On the other hand, solo bicycle trips give you the privacy and flexibility of making and breaking your own itinerary. Renting a cycle is pretty easy and costs about US$5 a day. You can put all essential luggages and be off for the whole day.
If you are going for group tours, it will be recommended that you book/register well in advance. This ensures that you get the time slot according to your plans.
When you are going on a guided bicycle tour, there will a tour manager along. In some cases (longer rides), groups are also accompanied by a vehicle (jeep mostly) that will be helpful in carrying the bags, food for the day and be of assistance in emergencies. A tour manager will also act as a guide and you will be better able to understand the places and culture you witness on the trip.
There are petty few adventurous trips that you can make on a bicycle. The popular ones are the ride to the Mount Batur volcano and cycling around Kintamani Highlands. The trip will require you to both cycle and walk to make the road. Sometimes, you will need to cross streams and other natural hurdles to go forward. The experience is pretty adventurous and set in natural locations.
Taking kids on a bicycle tour could be fun but make sure that the ride is restricted to short distances. The best cycling trip with kids is perhaps checking out the cities like Ubud or doing a beach ride from Ubud to Lovina. It’s the heat and humidity that can be the spoil-sport. However, if your kid has been cycling for a long time now, longer trips can be made.
Do however ensure that you are carrying water and food. It is also recommended to get into group tours if you are planning on cycling with your kids.
Near to Bali’s southern coasts, the Carangsari Village with its well paved cycling trains will be an important landmark of your trip. This is the birthplace of the Bali national hero, ‘Nugurah Rai, the man after which the international airport too is named. The region offers a distinct combination of village scene and rural cultural lifestyle.
As you pedal across the rice paddies, you will witness some of the most ancient temples to this region, the quaint village huts and the ever curious locals too would be good company to spend time with. The trip will also take you past the Bali Elephant Camp and you can extend pedaling into the Sangeh Monkey Forest to see its macaques.
The picturesque village of Abun in the valley of Kintamani is one of the best cycling routes around Bali. You can start from Nusa Dua and explore the Kintamani highlights and the nearby rice terraces for all day. The cycling trip will also take you across coffee plantations, the Banjar Pisang and several Balinese traditional huts. After the Abun Village is the Taro Village, famous for its handicrafts. Group trips typically end at the next Sebali Village
A cycling trip across the Kintamani Highlands will let you soak in the rural and cultural scene around Bali. The trip passes through several small hamlets, coffee plantations, rice fields, and old temples and will be a perfect day out. Nested amidst the landscape of Mount Batur, this will be a seriously beautiful experience. The popular villages include Abun, Taro and Sebali. Other landmarks include the Banjar Pisang and Mount Batur.
Denpasar has a fair amount of traffic on its road. If you are looking to get around Denpasar on a bicycle, it wouldn’t be a much recommended option. However, you can always take a cycle to head north and it would be a very comfortable experience. While there is no such restriction to cycle inside Denpasar, it is better to take public transport.
Cycling around the rice fields in Bali is one of a kind of experience. Not only are you surrounded by greenery but you can experience the traditional Balinese culture and way of living. Much before Bali became a top tourist destination, it is through agriculture and farming that the economy was supported.
Even today, you can see small hamlets and traditional huts in the middle of green paddy terraces and it would be an experience of a lifetime. The best places to search for cycling tracks around rice paddy fields are in:
Educational cycling tours in Bali are centered on sustainable tourism wherein you get to learn the eco-friendly way of living alongside nature. It’s a tour where you get to learn how the Balinese tradition has survived through ages by being closely connected to nature worshipping.
Balinese are hard workers and this is the tour that will take your away from the ‘touristy’ areas and offer a glimpse of the real Bali. You get to go to remote hamlets, talk to local people, try out their cuisine, be a part of their life and participate in local events and celebrations. Further, you will get a glimpse of the less renowned but much older and sacred temples and the history and architecture revolving around it.
Cultural cycling tours in Bali take you through the less known villages, small hamlets and old temples. You will get into pathways that are unreachable by car. With experienced guides alongside, you get a closer understanding of the lifestyle of the locals and the things they do on a daily basis. This is a tour where participants of all ages can participate.
Perfect for families, it takes you away from the hustle of the ‘touristy’ destinations and drops you into the much less known but all the more enchanting cultural experience. The trip will let you be part of old Balinese festivals, try out the authentic local cuisine and witness age old customs and rituals.
Cycling across Mount Batur is completely safe as long as you are properly equipped. It is recommended that you make the cycling expedition to Mount Batur in group. If you are a lone travel, you can always join a group. For couples, it is also recommended that you trek to the volcanic mountain in a bigger group. While there is no physical threat, there is always a chance of injury and accident in the volcanic terrain.
Depending on the nature of the tour, a cycling tour in Bali could be inclusive of overnight accommodation. This is if you are booking with a travel agent that offers eco cycling tours beyond a night. Mostly, cycling tours start in the early morning and commence by evening. However, you can always ask for customization with your travel agent.
You can do camping on cycling tours if you are traveling in a private group or are alone. Most group tours don’t arrange for tents and the usual stop over are in village that have pre-arranged meals. However, if you are traveling along or with your partner, camping near a village could be an exciting way to reach into the culture of the country.
One of the top advantages of going in a group cycling tours is their preparedness for emergency. With most service providers, cyclists would also be accompanied by a bigger automobile and it will help meet any eventualities – injuries or accidents. Most cycling tours are around city and it won’t take too much time reaching the nearby hospital for immediate medical attention.
It is completely safe for single women to travel around Bali. However, it always helps if you can be a part of a group when traveling to the countryside. This is not for personal safety reasons but for any kind of emergency assistance you may need. The landscape around Bali is both beautiful and risky. The daytime temperatures are high and you can easily get a sun stroke if you aren’t rightly prepared.
Further, if you have been planning on cycling and offbeat tours, the risk of the rugged terrains comes into play. It will be safer to be accompanied by a guide or go for an arranged group tour.
Traveller Tales from Bali
22 September 2016
Bali is indeed a great vacation destination! I went over here along with my husband on our honeymoon, initially I was bit afraid to take up a cycling tour as you need lot of energy to cycle in and around Bali, but the organizers gave us lot of rest time so that we could refresh. Well speaking about the trip – great and fabulous. Cycling to the terraced rice fields and visiting the adjacent landmarks and villages were more than memorable. Jatiluwih is known for its famous rice paddies and I am happy that I saw that for real, well speaking about the real fun – the water rides, the sporting activities and the bonfire were charming. Food was good and we were offered plenty of activities to indulge in. The guides were supportive and had good communication skill. Suggestions – Carry comfy footwear, sunglasses and a good camera (Guys you have loads to capture at Bali). It was an amazing and pleasant stay at the Pacung mountain resort (nice resort experience – I ll write about this a review separately) Well guys if you are planning to take this trip I advise you to take few days of stretching exercise in prior so that you can enjoy to the core!
22 September 2016
Well that now I am back from my Bali 6D/5N cycling tour, I have only two words to say – enchantment incarnate! Even though this trip can be a great trip for couples or friends, I feel it is ideal for family vacation too. I took up this trip with my wife and we got that full-to-full enjoyment. The itinerary and the procedures were explained to us well in advance to us by our team and so it was easy for us to stick to it. The whole way cycling to Volcano at Batur and then cycling to Pacung - Mengwi – Ubud was a bit tiresome (but if you have stamina you can very well manage it). Still the night halt at the hotels and the resorts gave us the needed break and took off the tiredness’. My wife loved the cycling to the rice fields and the nearby village. The folk dancers danced well to the local music and we should admit that we got an exhilarating experience, well all that being said, the trip was above average with prices being at par with the services. Lastly I would like to wind this review by saying that I recommend this trip for sure.
22 September 2016
What matters from any trip is not only the enjoyment that we get throughout the trip, but upon the aftermath of the trip and yes our trip to Bali for six days and five nights was indeed a memorable one. I wanted a trip that will not start and finish in hurry-burry, and I am glad this one trip was not one such, I was relaxed whole way and enjoyed each minute relaxingly, we went over here last month as a gang of eight friends, we had planned and booked the trip online from our travel agents and everything was as perfect as it ought to be. As said before it was a 6D/5N trip and the day one as soon as we landed in the airport we headed off to our hotel at Kuta, we were given ample time to relax, swim and explore the adjacent places. Our actual enjoyment started when we were given the bicycles to ride till the Volcano Batur which was around 35 kms, we were allowed to stop then and there for refreshment ( though I managed to use this time to take lot of selfies of the nearby places like the rice fields, Uluwatu temple, tropical plantations and so on). The itinerary covered almost many places including the rustic Balinese villages, Mengwi, Pacung, Jatiluwih, Kitmani and more. One of my friends was curious to know more about the culture and history of Bali and so we headed on the last day to some of the historical monuments and temples, this bit was amazing as we were lucky enough to witness the dance performance of the Balinese. And even though we were eight in number the accommodation sharing was only two in a room and this was even more comforting for us. Overall a great experience!
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