A Week in Bali and Singapore

Here’s how I split a week between Bali and Singapore in October 2016. To my surprise, I fell in love with Bali. I can’t recommend it enough.


  • If you are short on time in Bali, like we were, you can jam a lot in on one day. We hiked Mt. Batur to see the sunrise, went to a coffee plantation, saw the Tegalagang Rice Terraces, explored Ubud and saw Tanah Lot. We customized this day trip with Bali Jungle Trekking, which was a great tour operator.
  • The climb up Mt. Batour is fairly tough. It’s loose volcanic rock on a steep incline. I recommend trekking shoes/boots, but it can be done in sneakers.
  • The current is very strong around Bali.  Be careful at the beach and when snorkeling and scuba diving.
  • There are many areas to stay in Bali–it really depends on what you’re looking for.  We wanted a relaxing area next to the beach and near restaurants so we stayed in Legian. Our hotel was amazing–the Bali Niksoma Resort.
  • For Singapore, if there’s no price for its famous dish, the chili cab, negotiate a price before you order it. At the time of writing, a medium sized chili crab was about US$60.
  • The MRT transit system in Singapore is inexpensive and easy to use, but Grab (ridesharing app) and cabs are also cheap.
  • The Helix Bridge and Merlion Park provide excellent views of the city skyline and Marina Bay Sands respectively.  Merlion Park is especially fun at night.

Must Do’s:

  • Scuba dive or snorkel at Manta Point in Bali
  • Hike Mount Batur to see the sunrise
  • Eat in Singapore! The country is a foodie’s paradise with its numerous hawker centres.
  • Explore Singapore’s neighborhoods, especially Chinatown
  • Wander around Marina Bay Sands and its Gardens
  • Have a very expensive Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles Hotel

If I had more time:

  • You can do a lot in Ubud alone (read about nine activities here and all of the waterfalls nearby here.) There’s a ton more to Bali and its surrounding islands–here’s a top ten list.
  • I would have explored Canngu. Here’s a great list of things to do.
  • For Singapore, I would like to have done the night safari at the zoo.  You can see the animals when they are most active.

Do overs: 

  • None

Itinerary and Packing List:

Download my itinerary and packing list here.

Recommended reading: 

  • Snowing in Bali
  • Love and Death in Bali
  • Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation
  • Raffles and the British Invasion of Java
  • Singapore Noir
  • Tanamera
  • From Third World to First:  The Singapore Story 1965 – 2000
  • The Defense and Fall of Singapore 1940 – 1942


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