A friend and I travelled to Bali back in late July 2013. I had been to Bali once with my family when I was nine, but unlike the majority of West Aussies, I hadn’t been back since. We did go out quite a bit while we were there but we were both determine to see and do a lot around Bali during our time there. Friends of mine had told me about a cycling tour they had done when they took their family to Bali a couple of months earlier called Bali on Bike, so we promised them it would be on out must-do list.
We weren’t disappointed. We saw so much of Bali on this tour and the family who run the business are so friendly, it was the best $35 AUD we spent! We got picked up quite early in the morning (7.30 from memory) by an air-conditioned mini van from our accommodation in Legian just north of Kuta. We then spent the next hour or so travelling down through Kuta picking other tour-goers up while making our way into the middle of the island to Ubud. All in all there were about ten of us on the tour this day.
The tour officially started at a coffee plantation where you can try the infamous kopi luwak, a specialty coffee made from beans that have been digested by a civet. We tried a tasting paddle of different coffees (sans the poo coffee) some of which even appealed to my strictly anti-coffee pallet. The coconut coffee was a highlight and would make an amazing, super sweet iced coffee. One particularly brave member of our tour decided to get the kopi luwak and so we all had a sip. If anything it was quite bitter and not at all worth the fuss (or cost!) but hey, at least I can say I’ve tried it right?
From here the mini van then took us up to the top of Mount Batur to a honest-to-God breathtaking viewing spot looking out over the lake. Possibly the best aspect of this tour to my lazy self if that the actual bike ride starts up the top of Mount Batur, it is not a ride to the top. The reason for this is quite simple, it means the entire ride, bar two hills, is downhill and you barely event have to pedal. This makes this tour quite accessible for people regardless of fitness level.
The route of this cycling tour took us through the heart of Bali so we were able to witness some of the more traditional Balinese culture. Our tour guide Moon was sure to spot and explain things to us along the way as well. We saw traditional ceremonies, temples, cockfights and even the Royal family’s palace of residence in Bali!
We ended up riding, over a couple of hours, back into the fringes of Ubud where Bob the owner and his family live. Once here the hospitality was phenomenal from the entirety of Bob’s family. We were all given cold towels and water once we got off our bikes and we then sat, shoes off cross-legged, around a low table on the front verandah of Bob’s house.
The food we got for lunch was by far the best Balinese food I had on the island. One particular dish made of green beans sautéed in God-knows what heaven-sent spices was so good I tried to find it in every restaurant we went to after this day but can’t for the life of me remember the name of it. Once we had completely stuffed ourselves we were taken back to our hotels in the air-conned mini van with plenty of time left for us to nap by the pool before heading for another night out.
It may take up basically an entire day of your trip in Bali but if you want to leave with some sense that you saw a bit of Balinese culture, even if it’s the only culture thing you do, I would strongly suggest doing this tour. We saw a coffee plantation, an amazing view of Mount Batur, endless rice fields and traditional villages and ended it all with an amazing traditional smorgasbord. Our tour guide Moon was hilarious and had us all comfortable with each other within a matter of minutes and the rest of the family were so accommodating. Definitely value for money. I just wish they offered more tours!
Source: All About The Journey
I wake up. We slept in a new room last night. Ian's still asleep. I realize I'm SO itchy. I let Ian sleep and I sneak to the bathroom to take a shower. The hot water feels extra refreshing on my back. Much better.
I sit on the bed by Ian's face and I sweep his hair from his eyes and then- "Don't move." I reach for a tissue and kill a bug that was right by his head. The bug was a hard bead and it popped when I killed it. Blood soaked through the tissue. Ewwwwwwwwww.
We go to the restaurant for breakfast, and while we're waiting for our meals I remember that I need the receipt for our biking adventure today. I return to the room. Where is that damn receipt? I pull back the covers of the bed and my heart sinks.
BED BUGS. Many, many bed bugs, FULL of blood. Pop, pop, pop! The phrase "I CAN'T EVEN" comes to mind, and I think this is the perfect application. I pop all the ones I see- it's a bloodbath- then I start packing. No way are we staying in this room another night.
I go to throw away the tissues in the bathroom and look in the mirror. My FACE has four bites on it alone. (I slept on my face, under the pillow because it was light in our room. The HORROR.) I reluctantly do a spin. FORTY-SIX bites I count. I hold back tears and go to the restaurant and tell Ian to skip the eggs and go pack.
The thing is, we LOVE the Puspa Ubud Hotel. Everyone is so sweet and it's a hell of a bargain. Had it been our first night in Ubud we would have booked it out of here, but since we had no problems with the other rooms, we give them the option: either we change rooms or change hotels. They find another room for us.
All of this happens before 8AM. At 8:15, a driver named Wayan picks us up. The car already has two riots inside, Bianca and Sasha from Melbourne. The four of us are the entire biking crew today.
The plan is to start the morning with coffee and breakfast at a coffee farm, then drive to the base of a volcano. From there we will bike mostly downhill through villages, stopping at interesting cultural points on the way. We will end at around 2PM, arriving at Bali on Bike's owner's house, where his wife will make us lunch.
We pull in at the same coffee farm we went to with our first Wayan driver. This coffee farm must be a popular tourist destination. Here we meet our guide for the day, and CAN YOU GUESS WHAT HIS NAME IS? (Wayan.)
It's fun to watch Bianca and Sasha very politely HATE the lowak coffee.
After breakfast we drive to the base of the volcano. We pick our bikes (I scour mine for bedbugs) and start our tour, and...
SNOOOOOOOOOZZZEEEEEEE. The entire first hour is downhill. We literally don't have to pedal more than twice. Our only physical exertion comes from our hands pulling on the brakes.
Bali on Bike has a truck following us most of the way to ensure other cars wouldn't get too close. It also carries extra bikes should anything happen to ours. I get that it is for safety, but for some reason I felt like it was a lame caravan.
Though we aren't getting the workout we had hoped for, we get to explore Bali's countryside. Riding around we see nightmare bugs, spiders as big as Ian's hand (not as big as his other extremities though... high five!) and other wildlife less seen around town. We're on roads we haven't been on yet, and Wayan does a good job of stopping to explain things along the way- an elementary school, a community center, village temples, etc.
Everyone's friendly. We go through villages where we get to see real-life Balinese people at work, and they all smile at us. Kids yell "Hal-lo!" and giggle when we say it back. A few even stretch out their hands for high fives... and then some pull them away at the last second, just like punk-ass kids from home!
The road starts to get really gnarly. There are two SUPER steep hills to go down on loose gravel, followed by two SUPER steep hills to bike up against oncoming traffic. We see a few bikers eat it, and Bianca from our group eats it pretty hard.
We arrived at... not the house we would have lunch at. Wayan stops at some random street and us and tells us the biking part is over. We get in the car... and we're driven 500 meters to Bob's (Bali on Bike's owner's) house.
Every house has a chart of how many family members live inside. This is for their census.
Once at the house, Wayan teaches us a little about how families live in Bali, and gives us similar information we had heard at the cooking class the day prior. We head to an outside dining area where our meal awaits.
The food was OK. We don't really LOVE Indonesian cuisine, and it was unfair to compare this meal to the one we made in class the day before. This meal had been waiting for us, while the other meal we ate was fresh.
I'd definitely recommend Bali on Bike for a family or group wanting to see some of Bali's countryside at a slow pace. It's a safe, easy, and dummy-proof system (minus the two hills; novice bikers can walk their bikes), with good educational stops on the way. Since we wanted a workout, had already been to the coffee farm, had learned a little bit about Bali life, and compared our meal to our cooking class, we didn't have the ideal time. But then, who gets a five-star review when the writer's covered in bedbug bites?
Me and My Husband were given a lot of cycling company. Before deciding to use Bob and I'm glad we did it And what makes Bob different from all others is that you can. Add a personal touch to what they do Each rider had no chance to talk to him the Guide.
We booked three days before our trip was immediately answered by Bob.
We rode the bike with a nice pair and guidance from the moon (not sure if spelled correctly). Moon is a beautiful, talkative fellow. has extensive knowledge of the customs and traditions of Bali. He is always a smile on his face and was ready with his jokes.
At first we were afraid our day would have been ruined because it was raining that morning it. Thank God for coffee plantation visit, we had bought some super cheap coffee tasted and heard Organic Luwak coffee, rain.
We were cycling downhill 95%. It was a fun ride to the next village and bumpy is achieved with went smoothly paved roads, where the journey is much faster and windy covered.
Some places where we went: traditional Bali house, where we were dealing with a villager family, primary school where we had to do with the school children, we learned about their lifestyles, Sukarno (Indonesia President) Palace, etc.
We came through the streets there are many, many village children are ready, their smiles and high fives. What a friendly country!
To top it all until the end of the trip we got to enjoy breakfast from Bob's wife. Super Food! The satay is wonderful (I have 10 of them!). I can only pay for the food! Moreover, one can beer or soft drink of your choice. And we learn about the culture of Bali most of Moon in 26 years within one Tag.Es is no better than that
Thank you, Bob Moon and an unforgettable experience. We would come back.
Bali On Bike Documentation
Source: Bali Wonderland
We just got back from spending the day with Bali on Bike tours around Ubud, it was the most sensational day and we loved every minute of it. All the staff where so incredibly attentive especially to our sons 9 yrs and 7 years, we felt very held and safe. Dewa our guide is a wonderful human, so warm, friendly and knows so much about the Balinese culture, so many gems he shared with us. The ride was 95 percent down hill and so much beautiful scenery along the way as well as stopping, learning and watching. Yeoman (our driver - spelt incorrectly I think) and the other man who ferried the bikes around was always not that far behind so if we had enough we could jump in the car and the bike was put in the back. When we arrived at Bobs for lunch his lovely wife had cooked the most incredible food for us, one of the best meals I have had in Bali so far, just beautiful even the children devoured it all. Another big shout out to the young guy who worked on this tour (name I cannot remember) but he was so wonderful with the children always shadowing them by their side if needed and kept them safe. I highly recommend this adventure to everyone. Thank you Bob, Dewa and everyone else who made this a wonderful day for us and the lovely two Dutch peeps who were on the tour with us.
Visited September 2015
When I called Bob to make a reservation for the next day he was very friendly!
We could even bring our backpacks and leave it in the bus as we are leaving our accomodation. Bob was a very professional and kind guide. He gave us some in and outs of the area we were biking in. His stories are really great. Bob is cheaper than the other tours and less comercial than the other tours we saw.
Saftey comes first at Bob's. The views we had at this tour were amazing.
Thanks Bob for the great experience!
With so many biking experiences available in Bali, we chose this one from a recommendation...we met Dewa and his team on day two of our ten day holiday..luckily we were the only couples booked for the day..it was the ultimate personal tour for us, we were treated to an historical, cultural experience that we will never forget..Dewa is an amazing teacher/guide/historian..the ride is very cruisee, water was supplied and the bikes were fine for the long trip down hill...the lunch provided was better than a lot of the meals we had in restaurants, very Balinese and prepared by his lovely wife..i totally recommend Dewa and Bali on Bikes...good luck Dewa and will may see you again...Kev, Sho, Pete and Ange...
Visited September 2015
This is simply a grand day out.
The pick up was arranged the night before by email and they arrived early for us.
A nice coffee or twelve (tasters) and pancakes with coconut and palm sugar syrup and then a drive to the top of the crater rim to look at the caldera of the volcano.
Then it's downhill all the way back (well, virtually all the way) by bike, via various stops to show interesting stuff about the mainly farming-based life in Bali, along quiet-ish roads fringed by friendly waving people.
It's a great excursion, topped by a mountainous buffet back at Bobs place with some superb dishes. We were stuffed.
Dewa was a great guide and very knowledgeable. Nothing was made up for the tourists, it was simply him as himself and a more pleasant and open guy you couldn't wish to meet.
Loved it. Just loved it.
Visited September 2015
When booking the tour we assumed there would be a few of us, turns out there was just me & my partner - which I think I preferred.
Our guide, Moon, was wonderful.
After being taken to the starting point, we were both helped with our bikes & safety equipment and tour began.
The scenery throughout was breathtaking, blue skies, gorgeous greenery surrounding.
We did so much, met local school children, helped out in the rice fields, saw how 'poo coffee' was made, was told all about the festival that was happening at the time.
Moon was very informative, friendly and was just pleasure to have his company, and his colleague (who's name escapes me) was fantastic - every now and then he would appear to direct the traffic so it was safe for us to continue.
We cycled around for approx 3 hours - amazing, and to end it with a wonderful meal was perfect - I would recommend this trip (and I have done) to anyone who visiting the area.
Visited March 2015
Putuh is a great guide who told us a lot about Balinese culture/life. He's not a sleezy touristtout but seems very honest and trustable.
It was quite a long busride from Seminyak but we got a great breakfast with a beautifull view over Mount Batur & the lake. We visited a coffeeplantation where we could sample different coffees.
The ride was downhill, there's not a lot of cycling involved, rather braking all the time because you go too fast. The scenery was great in the small villages and ricefields. In the end we got a nice lunch. We had a wonderfull day, dankuwel Putuh & co!
Visited September 2015