Our family thoroughly enjoyed our 6-day visit with our driver, Sila. He comes highly recommended in Trip Advisor and he did not disappoint. We were based in Sanur and in our six days there, we visited the Bali Safari & Marine Park (which our kids loved), watched a Barong dance, drove up to Kintamani to get a view of the majestic Mount Batur (an active volcano), played on the beautiful Nusa Dua beach (great for kids), enjoyed a sunset dinner at Jimbaran beach, and visited the Ubud area and the famous Sacred Monkey Forest. While there, we also toured the temples, Pura Tirta Empul and Pura Luhr in Uluwantu. Based on Sila’s recommendation, we also visited a couple artist shops, a wood carving place where you get to see master carvers at work, and a coffee and spice plantation. If you are into shopping for artwork and wood carvings, Sila will be a great help as he will steer you away from the knock-offs and give you a general idea how much discounts you can bargain down.
There are a lot more places we wish we had time to visit, but Bali is a much bigger place than we realized, and we just couldn’t fit it in (especially with kids). Our kids’ favorites are definitely the Bali Safari & Marine Park and the Nusa Dua beach. For me, it was definitely the sunset dinner at Jimbaran beach and the Pura Luhr. For dinner at Jimbaran, make sure you get there by 5 pm to get the best spot/view and to not miss the sunset. Sitting on the beach watching the sunset and soaking in the view is something you simply need to experience for yourself.
Sila also know the better restaurants to go to in each area. Be sure to get his suggestions. The last thing I like to add is there are lots of peddlers everywhere. It is simply part of Bali and cannot be avoided. Just understand that they are very poor and they are just trying to make a living. Best thing to do is simply keep saying ‘No Thank You’ and walk away.
We had a great time and won’t hesitate to go back again (if the opportunity arises). Sila spoke great English, is a very skilled driver (almost too skillful), punctual, and best of all, very personable.
Sila's web site: http://funwithsila.blogspot.com/
Ben, Mary, and family