A little while ago I announced that I had some surprises coming up soon, and after receiving feedback from you readers via this website and its Facebook page I’m happy to announce I will be guiding my first tour in January 2014. It’s been quite some time that I’ve been wanting to organize and guide a tour and finally things have come through and I’m able to announce Mai Travel Tour: Bali & Lombok 2014, a unique trip for you travelers willing to explore and visit these two islands in Indonesia venturing on and off the beaten path and immersing yourselves in local culture. I will show you why this is a unique place on Earth, and despite them being world famous we will visit countless corners and unspoiled attractions missed by most vacationers- but not us.
Bali and Lombok 2014
Bali is perhaps the most famous of Indonesia’s more than 18,000 islands, inhabited by almost 4 million people most of whom are Hindu unlike inhabitants in Lombok and the rest of the country where Islam is the most important faith. It has a unique culture the captivates every traveler who drops by as it captivated me when I first came here in 2004. Despite having grown extravagantly and receiving millions of tourists every year the island has managed to keep its unique culture and way of life, something Lombok has managed to accomplish as well without requiring as much effort as less than 10% of the tourists who come to Bali hop to Lombok- or the Gili islands. This tour will take you to the best spots in Bali and offer you the chance to explore the West coast of Lombok, learning about their different cultures and indulging in local food while mingling with the local population to really experience this part of Indonesia. We’ll be using a combination of private a public transportation to get from one place to another, will be eating in local eateries and warungs sampling local food and drinks, and will be staying in simple yet clean hotels for the ultimate traveler experience.
Mai Travel Tour: Bali & Lombok 2014 will last 12 days, this being the itinerary:
February 24th-March 7th 2014
Day 1 Rendezvous in Kuta We’ll use the morning of this first day to recover from the international flights and get a chance to know each other better, enjoying a fantastic breakfast and getting a first glimpse of what the most visited and populated part of Bali is. This stretch of sand off Denpasar is where all new travelers begin their trip, many of which never leave it during their stay- but we will. During the afternoon we’ll be heading to the beach for some action: Bali is one of the best destinations in the world where to surf and you’ll get a chance to give the “sport of kings”a try.
Day 2 After breakfast we’ll take a walk along Kuta and its streets, perhaps take a massage if you’re up for it and take it easy on the beach. After lunch we’ll make our way to Tanah Lot and Monkey Forest, where we’ll visit the village of Gulingan and the royal temple of Mengwi – Pura Taman Ayun, surround ourselves by hundreds of native monkeys in the Monkey Forest and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets you have ever seen. Back in Kuta those who want to join me for a drink after dinner will do so at the hundreds of bars we’ll have available!
Day 3 Time for some more action! After a full breakfast we’ll hit the beach and surf some more, take some time to rest before having lunch. Right after lunch we’ll visit the Temple of Uluwatu in the Bukit peninsula and continue on to the rocks at Uluwatu surf break where we’ll watch some world class surfing action. Next we’ll travel back to Kuta stopping at Jimbaran Bay for a swim.
Day 4 We’re heading inland! After three days at the beach we will make our way to Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. Upon arrival we’ll leave our travel gear at the hotel and head to a warung for lunch after a quick stroll. Right after lunch we’ll walk around visiting the local art galleries and the Pasar Seri market, a very popular market among tourists and an attraction as well- there are great deals to be found! If we have time we’ll also visit other markets nearby before chilling out and getting a massage (not included) or drinking a Bintang somewhere before dinner.
Day 5 After a nice breakfast we will head over to the rice terraces North of Ubud and continue on to Lake Bratan where we’ll see the majestic Ulun Danu temple. We’ll continue to the market at Candi Kunig and head back to Ubud just in time to have dinner before heading to a local theater and watch a local Barong Dance. This performance is one that I first saw more than ten years ago and still find absolutely unique.
Day 6 Sightseeing today will include the Gunung Kawi tomb, the Lotus Temple and the monkey forest. After lunch we will next travel to Amed, a small village in the North coast of Bali seldom visited by tourists that offers some great snorkeling opportunities. Bear in mind that the first phone line here only came in 2003!
Day 7 We’ll take the morning to walk around the beach, relax at the hotel and snorkel in the live reef there is right by if you want to- I will! At around noon we’ll hop on a fast boat and travel to the small island of Gili Trawangan, right off the North West tip of Lombok.
Day 8 Free day. Walk around the island, enjoy the superb snorkeling and chill out under the sun admiring the beautiful views this island boasts. It’s common to spot turtles and even small sharks if you’re lucky…
Day 9 Travel from Gili Trawangan to Senggigi in Lombok. Take in the beautiful views along the way and look out for monkeys while we enjoy the ride along the coast of Lombok. In Senggigi we’ll walk around town and you’ll get to see how different culture is here versus in Bali. The lovely beach will call you for a swim, and try snorkeling at the reef as well!
Day 10 After a healthy breakfast we will head out and explore the area. There are plenty of artisan villages, great trekking to enjoy and lots of opportunities to get lost…the best way to discover hidden gems! We’ll return late in the afternoon and prepare for next day’s trip.
Day 11 We’ll be traveling like locals from Sengiggi in Lombok to Sanur back in Bali, mingling with local people and learning about their way of life. Once in Sanur we’ll spend the rest of day walking around this also famous beach town in Bali…and of course go for a swim!
Day 12 Sanur to Kuta. This will be a short trip, arriving just in time for our final Balinese surf session. After a free afternoon we’ll get together for a final group dinner before we each head our way!
PRICE: 875 USD per person
DATES: February 24th-March 7th 2014
Only ten spaces available!
What’s included in the tour
–Accommodation – 12 nights at good quality budget guesthouses & hotels based on double occupancy
–Meals – 12 breakfasts (one for every day)
–Transportation – all transportation within the visited destinations during the tour
–Activities – all included activities and associated entrance & guide fees unless otherwise noted.
What’s not included in the tour
Flights or other transportation to/from Bali (at the start and end of the tour)
Extra food and drinks
Health/travel insurance (required)
Subject to Change
The above itinerary and activities are subject to change. Travel almost always involves unexpected situations so things might need to be re-arranged at times. Unlike tours elsewhere this tour also wants to be flexible with the travelers, allowing the schedule to adjust to the group’s interest if every member agrees. However, it is important to remember that travel is all about the journey, and so even the unexpected situations we may face should be treated as part of the overall experience!
All tour participants will be required to sign a waiver releasing myself and Mai Travel Tours from any liability related to any aspect of this “Mai Travel Tour: Bali & Lombok 2014”. It’s just a standard formality but I wanted to let you know ahead of time.
All tour participants will be required to obtain travel insurance that includes coverage for any potential medical needs as well as changes/cancellation of the trip due to any reason or circumstances.
Book your spot on the tour
If you wish to confirm your spot, please forward a deposit of $250 USD using Paypal.com. You can send the payment to: firstname.lastname@example.org (If you don’t have a PayPal account, just let me know.)
In the message, simply write your full name and “Bali & Lombok 2014”. Once received, I will send you a confirmation email confirming your spot on the tour.
Deposit: $300 USD to secure a spot
Balance: $575 USD – will be due prior to January 21st, 2014
Deposit – Once paid, the deposit will be refundable until January 21st 2014. After January 21st, the deposit will become non-refundable as certain preparations for the tour will have been confirmed. (The deposit will be refunded if your spot is filled.)
Balance – If you cancel after paying the balance, the following applies to that balance:
– Up to January 31st, 2014 – 50% refundable
– After January 31st, 2014 – non-refundable (unless your spot is filled)
If you have any questions about this trip send me an email, reach me via email, Facebook or even Twitter! I’ll happy to answer any question you might have or even guide you on what clothes to bring or help you find a cheap flight to Bali.