Discovering Bali: An Unforgettable 10-Day Adventure from Kuta Beach to Jungle Thrills

Bali has been on my travel bucket list for a while now and when an RTC offer came up last Summer, I knew I had to book it! The offer was for 10 nights B&B in Kuta Beach Club (formally Sol by Melia) and 2 Sharing it was £1350pp or £1499 for a solo traveller. As I’m based in the South, even with the conversion from Sterling to Euro, the offer was incredible value so I booked it for myself and my boyfriend for our Summer holiday.

I’d never been to Bali before and TikTok became my tour guide in the lead-up to the holiday. I was able to search the area we were staying to get 100s of different recommendations and I was also able to utilise the Rory’s Travel Club Members Only Facebook Page for more tips and tricks from other members who’d been to Bali. Personally, for our holidays, we like to be a bit laid back so while we made a list of things we’d like to do, we had nothing booked and were happy to go with the flow a bit and book when we arrived for any activities we’d in mind and this worked out in our favour. 

Airport transfers were included in our package and we struck gold with our driver - he WhatsApp’d us to let us know where he’d be waiting for us and prepared us a little for how crazy the transfer line was but to just ignore the shouting taxi drivers and to head to the end where he was standing. He texted to let us know he’d stop off on the way to the hotel to get a SIM card for our phones if we wanted as the wait times in the airport could be crazy long. Once we were in the car, we got chatting and he let us know that he was also a tour guide and would send us his prices. Now while nearly every airport transfer is also a tour guide of some sort, Punji was so lovely and not pushing anything on us.

Once we checked into the hotel, we were greeted with a welcome drink and the friendliest staff I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting in a hotel. We were brought down to our room which was at the bottom of the pool and informed of the key information such as breakfast times, ordering taxis etc. Given our long travelling day, we decided to get food and did the only thing that felt right and headed to McDonalds before back to the hotel to crash. 

Our first morning we headed to get breakfast and we were in for a treat. We weren’t sure what to expect given a South Asian breakfast is very different to a typical Irish fry up and we were pleasantly surprised by the food options. They had your usual continental breakfast bar with pastries and local cakes, an incredible fruit bar, and an egg station where the staff would make up any style of egg you liked alongside the hot food which was a mixture of Asian dishes such as noodles, sweet and sour chicken and more typical Western breakfast items such as beans, fried tomatoes and beef or chicken sausages. For any bacon lovers, this particular hotel didn’t offer it however other places did. 

After breakfast, we decide to take things easy and head to the pool. The Bali sun is intense so we were head to toe in Factor 50 as my practically see-through skin was not able for it. There are plenty of sun loungers around the pool and you’re provided with a towel from the staff member on duty. Also dotted around the pool were some large umbrellas so you had the option of being in the shade or not. There were two pools, the larger pool with a swim up bar and the smaller pool which while you might think was a kid's pool was actually the deeper of the two. There was also a small hot tub area as well. The pool bar offered a range of drinks and you could also order food to be delivered to where you were sitting or else head into the main bar if you preferred. There was happy hour from 4pm - 6pm with a select number of drinks being 2 for 1 which we took advantage of throughout the week.

The hotel is in an ideal location as it was on a small road with a number of shops and just around the corner was the main street with plenty of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and so much more. Despite such a busy street being a stones throw away, once you were in the hotel, you could’ve been in the middle of nowhere as you didn’t hear anything beyond the four walls. Given the location, it also eliminated the need of taxis most nights as everything was in walking distance. 

Most nights we headed out to the main street for dinner and were spoilt for choice. Any and every type of restaurant was available and there wasn’t one night where we had a bad meal. The value for money was incredible and the most expensive meal we had was a shared starter, 2 steaks, 2 beer/cocktails for approximately €35/£30. You could get a cheaper dinner but you didn’t lose out on quality or value for money. For anyone that is Coeliac or Vegetarian/Vegan, you equally have plenty of food options in the majority of restaurants around. 

For things to do in Bali, you’re only limited by the time you have to do them and your imagination. There’s is absolutely something for everyone from thrill seekers to culture vultures and everything in between. We did a mix of traditional activities and physical activities. Through Punji we booked our tours which included pick up and drop off from out hotel and he doubled as our photographer at any opportunity he could. Below are the activities we did over the 10 days. Anything we did, really was incredible value for money as the transfers with Bali traffic, we could be an hour + in the car and the experiences were quite long so you couldn’t question you go your money’s worth

Breakfast with the Orangutans & Elephant Mud Fun - approx €80/£75

We were picked up at 7am and brought to Bali Zoo for an incredible buffet breakfast. While at breakfast the Organutans were around us and you could go up to see them and take photos with them. While you couldn’t touch them and it was an amazing experience to get up close to them and the breakfast was phenomenal. After breakfast, we headed to the Elephant enclosure for the Mud Fun. This was 2 hours of washing and playing with the rescued elephants. Part of the experience was preparing food for them and feeding them before we climbed into the pool to cover them in mud to protect their skin from the heat and bugs and then washing them down. Once the experience was over, we were able to shower and a buffet lunch was also included. 

ATV Ride and White Water Rafting - approx €80/£75

Another early morning we headed to Ubud which is the more jungle part of Bali. Once we arrived at the centre were were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink before being shown how to work the ATVs (quad bikes) We then headed off on a 2 hour ride around the rice fields and into the jungle area where we drove through caves and a waterfall. We then got back to the centre for lunch before heading down to the White water rafting centre. We got ourselves ready in our helmets and lifejackets and headed off to the river. Our guide made us feel very safe and was great craic and really made the trip. The rafting was a grade 2 so nothing too intense but good fun all the same. We were able to stop off at a waterfall for photos and also for drinks along the way. 

If Bali isn’t somewhere you considered before I hope this convinces you to get it onto your travel bucket list. While it’s a long flight to get there (Dublin to Doha 6hrs, Doha to Bali 8/9hrs) it is incredibly worth it. It’s an incredible country with the friendliest people, incredible food and so much to do.

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      Discovering Bali: An Unforgettable 10-Day Adven...

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      Discovering Bali: An Unforgettable 10-Day Adven...

      Bali had long been on my travel bucket list, and when an RTC offer appeared, I couldn't resist. The package included 10 nights at Kuta Beach Club, breakfast, and airport...