Birthday in Bali 2017: Pre-Planning, Budget & First Day in Kuta

Hi beshies! I'm back! Grabeeee, so much happened this month, it was like being stuck in a black & white movie. I wouldn't delve deep into the details but it was a whirlwind (more of a hurricane, really) of everything. I spent most of my time with family and close friends just to be able to deal. Now the smoke from the past 3 weeks is finally clearing out and I am feeling more motivated and inspired to go back to how my life was before. I am slowly getting my mojo back and regaining my momentum. So, here's my first personal post after quite some time! To be honest, this Bali birthday trip ALMOST didn't happen. I was quite determined to just let this trip go because I really felt like it would not help me heal from all the heartbreak. But wadduyoknow! Two days before the trip, Nico and I decided to just go for it. Read on for more feels, stories and details about our BALI trip...


It all started last May during one of Cebu Pacific's online seat sale. I randomly checked fares for Bali and instead of the usual P8,000 to P14,000, it was just P4,400 for a 2-way ticket!!! Remember how I said we'd spend our next birthday in Bali? It was the clearest sign ever! So I immediately asked my co-August celebrant Paula and asked if she's game. Luckily, she always is. Love you girl. Haha. We also asked some of our family and friends and 5 others also said yes. I booked our tickets around lunch time, by 7pm the fare doubled na! Swerte! So guys, it's best to book agad especially for destinations such as Bali because they only offer 1 flight per day. A lot of our family & friends missed their chance because they took hours and days to decide. Haha. 

Total Cost: P4,400(without check-in)


I researched for days trying to find the best accommodation for all 7 of us. I had to filter all the listings according to our budget, preferred location (Kuta or Seminyak), number of beds & rooms and must have a nice pool! Luckily we found this one, Villa Panacea, which comfortably fits all 7 of us (kasha pa 10! haha), located in Seminyak (where our friend Kim is also staying), has a nice pool (OMG) and is super afforable! I asked my friend Jules to book the house so he could use my AirBnb code. It could only be used by first time users. From P20,000+, we only paid P18,478 for 5 days & 4 nights! We each paid P2,640 for our whole stay. What a steal!!! :)

A lot of people asked me if the place is really nice in person and if it's worth it. Guysss, IT IS!!! Sulit na sulit. Even if we didn't get to meet our host Roger during our stay, he was always ready to answer inquiries and help us with anything. Mia, his housekeeper, kept the house clean everyday. Love her! :) We were really taken care of our whole stay. There was free wifi, free water, free towels, there was a kitchen we used to cook our breakfast, there was a bathroom in each room and an extra restroom near the kitchen. I will share with you actual photos of the house on my next post! 

Accommodation: P2,640

*Use my code to get a discount when you book!

**Book this villa! Link: 

*Location: Jalan Beji Ayu, Seminyak

So ito na nga, because of all the things that happened 2 weeks before the trip, I decided not to go. DAPAT. My plan was just to spend my birthday in Enchanted Kingdom with my blogger friends and then fly to Singapore to meet my bestfriend Cecille. BUT! Last minute, Nico and I decided to just go 'coz sayang din. Since we're fixing things, we decided to do the trip on our own and just separate from the group. So 2 days before our trip, I booked a room in GORA BEACH INN, Kuta via Booking.com. I know, ang gastos db? But don't worry, it's not that bad. Haha. 

Chose this hostel/inn because of the location, the pool and the price! 

We booked a Standard room with breakfast for just P3980 for 4 nights or P995 a night. Not bad! We just needed a room to sleep in anyway because we'll be out the whole day. Since we booked through Booking.com, payment was directly to the property. There was also no pre-payment needed to book the room. Yey! It was perfect because we suddenly decided to just stay in our original AirBnb villa. I was still able to cancel our booking. We still stayed in Gora Beach Inn on our 1st day for a few hours. Glad we did because we were able to rest and sleep and the location was insane. It was so lively and it was near the super busy Jalan Legian Kaja street! The staff were also super nice and helpful. :) I thought they would charge me the whole amount for the last minute cancellation but the receptionist said there was no cancellation fee. Whew! We still paid P990 for a room. :) Will post photos of the hostel later on! :)

Accommodation Cost: P990

*Book Gora Beach Inn here: 

Jalan Legian, Gang Poppies II, 80361 Kuta, Indonesia


I love fixing itineraries. A lot of people may find it tedious, but I live for it. Haha. I was really excited to do this trip because it will be everyone's first time in Bali. We had to choose from the long list of places-to-go-to recommended by friends and from days of research. It was super difficult choosing and finalizing because the island of Bali is quite huge and a lot of major tourist spots are a few hours drive away from each other. We only had 4 days to visit every place we can, so we had to really trim down our list. 

 Tentative trip itinerary

I first consulted Agung Wijaya, an Indonesian van rental owner/guide, recommended by a friend. His offer was more or less P1,800 for a 10-hour van rental. Not bad! He helped me organize our tours by telling me which places are within the same area and if my suggestions are doable. In the end, our tour with Agung did not push through. When Nico and I backed out from the trip, the rest of the Bali group just decided to rent a van via Klook which was P100-200 cheaper. I still would have hired him though! Next time, I promise! :)

Want to book Agung? Click here:

After a 2-hour consultation with Agung, finally finalized our itinerary! The group still used this as reference for their Klook Uluwatu & Ubud tours.  

So as I said, the group rented a private van with driver via Klook. It is a nice alternative if you're travelling as a group and if you want to tour around at your own pace. Klook has become my go-to travel website lately, especially when it comes to transport and rental of portable WiFi! Hassle free and convenient! :)

Book for a private van or car here:

You can choose from their list of vehicles! The group booked an Avanza for their Uluwatu tour (Nico and I skipped this one because we were supposed to book our own tour but decided to join nalang the group the next day) and then an APV for the Ubud tour. 

Ubud tour cost: P1776 / 7 = P254 
Uluwatu tour cost (if we joined them) : P1776 / 7 = P254 
Drover's overtime fee: Rp.50,000 per hour x 2 = Rp.100,000 or P382

 We were only able to visit a few places because we left the house at around 10am (should be 8am!) and we spent around 3 hours at the Hidden Canyon, but it was still loads of fun! 

Ubud itinerary: Hidden Canyon, Ubud Ricefields, Tegenungan Waterfalls, Pura Saraswati Temple & Ubud Market. 

For Nusa Penida, I booked our tour through http://www.nusapenidaexpedition.com :) Out of all the tours I saw online, it was the cheapest and their itinerary fits our schedule perfectly. We chose their "Half-Day Land Explore Tour" because the last boat leaves the island at around 5pm and we don't have the luxury of time to be left behind. Haha.

Broken Beach in Nusa Penida

Our itinerary!

Exchanged emails with Made Sutarsa (the owner I think) and asked him if they could include Sanur to Nusa Penida boat fees in the price so that everything's settled when we get to the port. He sent me an updated quote that is still within our budget. We paid Rp.330,000 or P1270 each person for the whole tour!

Half Day Nusa Penida tour: Rp.330,000 or P1,270 each

Book this tour! 

4.) Budget

After finalizing our tours, booking our accommodation and paying for our airfare, it was now time to finalize our budget. We still had 2-3 months to save up and the group asked me to send them a target, so I made this travel budget worksheet! I just downloaded this file from google and just tweaked the formulas a bit and changed the labels and categories. If you want your own copy, just message me and I'll email it to you! :)

For this trip, our projected expenses was P16,000+ (inclusive of everything) and true enough our total was close to that number! I spent more or less P10,000 pocket money (food, tours, shopping, transport) for the whole trip. Most of it got eaten by our tours. It was worth it though. Will breakdown my expenses each day at the bottom of this post and on my next posts. :)

4.) Transportation

Compared to Krabi where renting a motorbike is as easy as buying candy, in Bali we were advised not to drive a motorbike especially outside the city if you don't have an international license. So we got around using GRAB and we also tried renting an Ojek or motorcycle taxi as seen above! Both hassle-free and super convenient! Ojek could be quite pricey. We paid Rp.50,000 or P190 each for a short ride going to La Plancha beach. It is quite an experience because super skillz sila Kuya Ojek magdrive! Singit everywhere! It is also the fastest way to reach your destination because the streets of Bali becomes very congested! 

During our whole trip, we utilized GRAB the most because it was waaaay cheaper. From Kuta to our villa in Seminyak, our fare averaged Rp.23,000 or P80 for a car that fits 7 people. And then from our villa (Jalan Beji Ayu) to the airport, we only paid Rp.33,000 or P130. From our villa to Sanur port which was a 20-minute drive, we only paid Rp.55,000 or P211. Most of the time we divide it by 7. :) Cheaper than renting a motorbike or riding a cab!

Nico and I decided to just chill on our 1st day in Bali, so I booked our transfer from Ngurah Rai airport to Gora Beach Inn, Kuta via KLOOK. :) We only paid P350 for a car that could fit 4-5 people! They were also consistently updating me re name and status of driver. Hassle free! Amazing customer service too.

Book for your airport transfer here: 

 Different prices for different areas

We chose Kuta where Gora Beach Inn is located

5.) Internet

Instead of buying a local sim card (my friend Paula bought one from Klook for P600+ and was not able to use it because we were not able to activate it) or renting a portable WiFi device in Manila, I chose to rent a local device via KLOOK. Best decision ever! Only downside was the device's short battery life (maximum of 4-6 hours), but the signal was strong (except for Nusa Penida, no signal at all) and it was super reliable. We were able to connect 5 devices to it including my laptop! 

It's cheaper than other alternatives for just P155 per day! 

 Minimum rental is 3 days. I rented it for 4 days and it never failed me! Except for Nusa Penida but that's understandable because it's a secluded island. Hehe.

So after booking online, save a screenshot or print your voucher. Claim your device at the Discover Bali booth/lounge (it has a Klook signage too) at the arrival hall. After immigration and baggage collection, enter the Arrival Hall and turn right. You'd see their booth immediately! A deposit of $50 or Rp.700,000 is required before they hand over the device. Don't worry, you'll get it back after you return the device. Just don't break it! :) 

Look for this booth!

Remember to return your device (same booth) before going inside the Departure Hall. Don't forget to tell them what time you're returning the device. In our case, we told them we will be returning it at around 6:30-7:00am. We panicked a little when we got there because the booth was still closed! But someone and attended to us a few minutes after. Whew. Got our deposit which we used to buy pasalubongs and food inside!

Portable wiFi rental for 4 days: P620

6.) Foreign Exchange

I usually do a Philippine Peso to (insert country's currency) exchange during my tripsI only bought dollars when I travelled to Cambodia (coz they accept USD) and Myanmar (they don't change PHP). For this trip, the rest of the group exchanged their PHP to USD and then USD to IDR which is actually a great idea because only a few money changers in Bali accepts PHP. Which, to be honest, surprised me! Wala atang mashado value pera natin dun. Huhu. We had no time to exchange our PHP to USD, so Nico and I decided to just change our pesos when we get there. We tried exchanging a few pesos at the airport but they don't accept PHP guys. Haha. Good thing I always have a backup plan! During my past travels, I realized it's sometimes better to just withdraw money from ATMs abroad. Oftentimes, banks also give the best exchange rates. So for this trip, that's what I did! I used my BPI atm card to withdraw from banks which accepts Cirrus. I checked the fees I incurred and they were very minimal. Nico also found a good money changer that changed his PHP to IDR. We exchanged P10,000 each. 

7.) Baggage and Packing

For this trip, I used my trusty 44L White Cabin Zero bag! I was able to fit everything in it: my laptop, clothes, slippers, makeup, skincare stash, extra bag, powerbanks, chargers, swimwear, etc. I was able to save because I had no  bags for check-in! But why choose Cabin Zero when buying a travel bag? Here are the reasons why!

*Built in Global Luggage Tracker, powered by Okoban (bongga!)
*Lockable Zippers on main compartment (lock not included)
*10 years warranty (upgradable to 25 years free of charge if you 'like' them on FaceBook)
*Thick padded shoulder straps that makes it easy to carry
*Fully Lined
*Side compression straps
*Top and side handles
*Front zipped pocket
*Inside zipped and mesh pocket

Buy from here:

Or from Urbanize stores in Manila!

So without further delay, here are stories and photos from our 1st day in Bali!
 So nice my Cabin Zero bag noh? Hehe

 Nico and I were first to arrive. Met up with the gang soon after!

 Checked in early so we could have good seats!

 Row 4 yaasss

 The Bali Gang! Insert Paula haha

 We left Manila at around 4am and arrived in Bali at around 8am. I was able to sleep the whole 4 hours!



 Gondo ng airport

 Liam Gallagher daw in Bali. Kainiz. Lol.

Terima kasih!

 After going through immigration & customs, headed straight to the Discover Bali lounge at the arrival hall to pick up the portable wifi I rented!

 As I mentioned earlier, I withdrew money from the ATM to pay for the Rp.700,000 or P2,690 deposit

 Our airport transfer driver was already waiting for us when we got out

 The Ngurah Rai airport is like a huge temple. I love it!

 The ride from the airport to Kuta only took 15-20 minutes

Bye, airport service!

Busy alley Jalan Legian Gang Poppies II

We've arrived!

Even though we cancelled our reservation, we decided to book a room for 1 night since we were so tired and sleepy and we needed place to rest before touring the area. 

Side entrance

We were given the cheapest aircon room! I hate tiled floors and walls but it was alright since we were only staying there for a few hours. There was only 1 socket din which we were not able to use because we did't bring na adapter. Boo. 

It's very chill and quiet inside. Saw a lot of backpackers! Sayang if we stayed longer I'm sure we'll make friends din.

I especially loved the pool! If you want to meet new friends, stay here and tambay at this area. Daming pogi guyzzz.

There are surf shops all over town! There are 2 in front of Gora Beach Inn.

Exploring our neighborhood

At the end of our street on the left is the Bali Bombing Monument

On the right were more shops, restos, clubs & bars

While walking, we saw a lot of shops (mostly surfing & outdoor brands) on sale! So tempting!!! Saw this shop selling Roxy swimsuits for under Rp.100,000 or P380!!!

The place to be for all you surfers out there

Passed by 7-11 to check out their beers and to buy C1000! Got to load up on Vit Cs!

Uy, San Mig Light!

Whenever we travel, we always look for local carinderias first. So we got super excited when we saw this Warung (small family-owned restaurant/cafe in Indonesia) across the street! 

Part of cultural immersion!

Menu:) Prices are in thousands. Super cheap! 

They were all nice & lovely but they can't speak English so mejo challenge. We just pointed our orders on the menu.

Haggarda much!!! Team no sleep!

Tried to look for these but failed. Huhu

Ordered Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken), Mie Goreng Komplit (Fried Noodles) & Terong Goreng (Eggplant)! 

Verdict? ENAK SEKALI!!! We did not expect the food to be this good and tasty. OMG. It was our first meal in Bali and it left a pretty good impression on us. Or I think it might be because of their homemade sambal? So gooood! We only paid Rp.42,000 or P160 for our meal! Plus 10,000 or P40 for a big bottle of water. We came back on our last day in Bali and brought the whole gang. The owner was so nice, took our photos and showed us how they make their sambal! Photos on my next posts. :)

After eating, Nico and I decided to go back to our room in Gora, nap for a few hours and then go to the beach for sunset.

 ATM machines a few steps away from our hostel

Woke up at around 4pm, took a shower and then headed to the beach!

Along the way, we saw this Bakso vendor and decided to try out his soup! Paid Rp.15,000 for 1 bowl.

Bakso is a steaming & delicious soup made of bone marrow broth, vermicelli rice noodles, tofu, eggs, meatballs, cabbage, bean sprouts, shallots and celery. Nyeaaam!!! 

From our hostel, we tried walking going to La Plancha at Mesari beach using Waze for navigation.

Had some pesos changed here! Okay naman rates nila. :)


It was already 5:20pm and we still had to walk for about 20 minutes according to waze, so we decided to get on a motorbike taxi to make it in time for sunset! 

Go Kuyasss! Singit pa moreee

Pakahangin sa labas guyzzz. Wala ding helmet helmet to

Almost there! Skillz sila kuya sa sidewalk dumadaan! Haha. We paid Rp.50,000 or P190 for the short ride.

Aaaah, made it. What a beauty...

...these guys noh?! Haha! Hi boys I'm girl. Ahihi.

Local vendors selling beach mats or sarongs! So niceee.

Jalan Mesari Beach, Kuta. :)

Almost. Almost.

La Plancha was packed so we settled at D'Joglo Beach Bar instead. Less people, same colorful bean bags & umbrellas!

Nakakainis yung tattoos nia db?

Super chill place!

Found our spot!

Sling bag from SM Accessories



Zalora top, from IG shorts, CLN sandals

Never got to try this grilled corn huhu (as if d ko alam lasa eh noh haha)

From the beach, we walked 'til we got to the main road and looked for someplace to eat

Feels like I'm dreaming. I wanted to take home everything inside this store!

While walking, we saw this warung called Warung Murah Double Six and of course, no-brainer, we ended up eating here! It was packed with locals and foreigners. Luckily they had one vacant table for us! We didn't know what to do at first until the waitress explained it to us. She told us to go to the counter and just choose any food we want by pointing at them. SO.MUCH.FUN. The term for this local Balinese buffet-style meal is called NASI CAMPUR

So I got the yellow rice, spicy shredded chicken, fried shrimp, fried egg & eggplant (or is that chili? haha)

When you're done choosing, they will give you a tag/card with your meal's price on it. And then you pay for it after eating. So cool!

Verdict? Found another winner!!! We also brought the gang here and they loved it. I love variety especially when I'm eating, so this was heaven for me. There were so many wonderful dishes to choose from. All tasty. All good! Mejo bitin lang sa rice so don't be shy, just order that extra rice! No judgements. Haha. My meal was only Rp.41,800 or P160! Nico paid Rp.28,000 lang for his coz he only chose 2 dishes ata. 

Address: Jl. Arjuna No. 99, Legian, Kuta

Decided to stop by this beauty salon to have my nails done! Nico also had foot massage while waiting for me. Hehe.

The Ates were all super nice and chatty. Haha! I paid Rp.120,000 or P560 (aray ko beh) for manicure (with regular polish) & pedicure (without). Nico paid Rp.50,000 or P190 for his foot massage. Mejo mahalia but no choice. Haha.

Rode a motorbike taxi again back to our hostel! We paid Rp.50,000 each or P190. It's kinda pricey pala noh! Imagine, we paid almost P400 for a 10-minute ride lang. Mag Grab nalang kayo guys but in secret coz bawal. 

We got back in Gora Inn at around 9pm. We packed our bags, checked out and booked a Grab Car going to Daluman Villas where our close friend Kim (straight from the US!) was staying with his girlfriend Cath. We haven't seen Kimmy in 2 years, so this trip was also for him too. :)
The birthday boy!!!

We love you Kim & Cath!!!

Chillin' in their indoor pool! Yayamanin ang villa!

We spent hours just catching up, laughing, drinking, eating, hugging and smiling. It's been 2 years since we last saw each other, yet it only seemed like yesterday. We missed you so much heyboyitskimmieboywatchudoinayt. Haha! Let's plan our next trip soon! Dumaan ka naman sa Pinas next time okay? We would have stayed longer if only we didn't have scheduled tours the next day. Huhu. :) So from Daluman, we booked a Grab car going to Villa Panacea. When we got there the whole gang was already asleep!  We spent half an hour trying to get inside. Full support pa si Kuya Grab driver and one of our neighbors. Haha! Finally, after countless feeble attempts to get in, Chuckie finally heard the doorbell and opened the gate. Yahoooo! After chatting with my cousin Pat, we settled inside the room and tried to sleep. Had to recharge for our early morning Ubud tour. Will share with you our Ubud itinerary on my next post!  Thanks for reading! xo


Gora Beach Inn Standard room - 250,000
C1000 - 15,000 
Warung lunch - 52,000 / 2 - 26,000
Bakso soup - 15,000
Ojek or motorbike taxi to La Plancha - 50,000
Bintang Beer at D'Joglo - 35,000 
Dinner at Warung Murah - 41,800
Nails - 120,000
Ojek or motorbike taxi back to Gora Inn - 50,000
Grab car to Daluman - 40,000 
Grab car from Daluman to Villa Panacea - 11,000
Miscellaneous (water, snacks, etc) - 40,000
TOTAL = 693,800 or P2,663

Other expenses: (which I paid online)
Airport Service : P348
Portable wiFi rental: P620
Portable wiFi deposit - $50 or Rp.700,000 (refundable)

*Will make a new Bali budget / expense sheet after all my posts for the actual numbers!

Link to all my travel posts:


  1. Hi aisa, just wanna ask..strict ba sa time ung nusapenidaexpedition?like mabilisan?coz if ever, we want to go down sa kelingking beach and i heard it will take time.. so im thinking if we should hire a freelance driver nalang? Thank you!

    1. Hi! Yes ung samin strict sha coz half day tour lang kami. So we were there for almost 5 hours lang and the sights are mejo far from each other so mabilisan. :) If you want to enjoy the place I suggest stay kayo overnight. :)

  2. I like your blog so very good


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