Go Eco, Go Cycling in Bali

Company announced that my division’s regional meeting this year will be held in Bali. As usual, I decided to extend a few days on my own, this time I went 2 days earlier (i.e. arrived on Fri night for the weekends). So I had the whole of Sat on my own. My initial plan was to go diving…contacted a few dive centres there…spoke to a few diver friends…then decided that 1 day is not worth the travelling time & money to do it. Then there was a lot of ding dong-ing on what else to do…googled, emailed, called…activities on the list – surfing, sightseeing to the lakes around Bedugul, cycling, hiking, back to diving…everything just didn’t seem right. Until the day before I flew off, I was still ‘activity-less’ for Sat, so I looked at the list again & decided to do more research on the cycling tour, which ranked one of the top things to do in Bali on TripAdvisor. I brushed it off earlier because it sounded a bit touristy and from past experience with the island-hopping thingy in Phuket, I learned that tours designed for westerners are ‘not really that great’. They get excited over small things…like seeing monkeys. So I was quite hesitant about the cycling tour at first. So I searched for more reviews on it, especially by Asians, and finally I read a Malaysian who reviewed the Bali Eco Cycling Tour & said that it was good & worth it. OK, so I wrote to them on Thurs late evening. Within minutes, they replied to say that they could accommodate me for Sat. And the price was pretty reasonable too (around RM110 per pax), everything inclusive. So I confirmed & we made arrangements. All done. Finally. Within minutes. Woohoo!!!!!

So they came to pick me up from my hotel (I stayed at Tune Hotel Kuta) on Sat at 7am. They picked up a few other people in the group too…there were an American couple, an Aussie family (dad, mom & son), and 2 Shanghainese girls. And me, of course.

First, they brought us to Kintamani for breakfast. This was my 3rd time there already, so I wasn’t exactly all that excited with the view. But it was an awesome view, really.

Then they brought us to the Luwak coffee factory. If you search on it, you’ll learn that Luwak coffee is made from the luwak (civet cat)’s poo. πŸ™‚ And it’s not cheap at all. Then we had some coffee & tea tasting session. As I don’t drink coffee, I just took the teas. This visiting part, I thought, could have been skipped. I mean, the main thing that we signed up for was the cycling part, so we should just get on with it right after breakfast. Anyway, tours being tours, I suppose they just had to slip in at least 1 touristy site for us.

Luwak (civet cat)

Roasting coffee beans

Coffee & tea tasting session

Coffee has genders too!

After that, we went to their base to start the cycling tour. Yay, finally! πŸ˜€

So what do I have to say about it? Well, to sum it up, I think it was a very interesting experience indeed. I’m glad I ended up doing this cycling tour.

It’s something for the semi-adventurous. “Semi” because it’s still designed for tourists, you know. It’s good for people like me who haven’t cycled for more than 10 years…and for families who are looking to do some activities together too. The whole way was almost a downhill trail (so very little pedalling required). Each group consists of max 8-10 people only, with a guide in front, middle & the back. Any time when one of us stopped to take photos, the guide at the back will stop to wait. So it was good that it was quite flexible. And they even had their van following us from behind most of the time. Haha. If we had finished the water supply on our bikes, hey they had more in the van! So they made sure that everything was in control.

They brought us to the paddy fields, though I was hoping that it would be the terrace paddy fields, but they were all just the normal ones. It was still OK…managed to get some nice photos there too. They also took us into one of the family compounds & explained to us how a typical Balinese family lives, their culture & values. That, I thought was quite insightful. I learned that:

  • In a Balinese family, it’s the youngest son who will be heir to the family’s throne…unlike the Chinese, where it’s normally the eldest son.
  • Everybody must be married before they die. If they die as a single, they will perform a wedding ceremony after the person is dead…and he/she will be married to…a wood! Goodness gracious me!
  • Β And a whole lot of other stuffs. πŸ™‚

The whole cycling thingy took about 2-3 hours. We ended almost to 2pm. We had an option of continuing to do an uphill trail for the more adventurous. Initially I thought I’d do it…but by the time we ended the tour, I was hungry like crazy…and the guide asked…to do the uphill trail which will take another 45 mins, or go for lunch which will take 10 mins by van from where we were? The choice was obvious.

The lunch was pretty good. I read so much great reviews about the lunch. Well, I wouldn’t say it was fantastic but it was good. Worth the sweat & all. Haha.

All in all, the cycling tour was worth spending a day on. And I thought these guys were quite professional too. But of course if you’re an avid cyclist already, you will find this tour pretty boring. But I think if you want a customised tour just to bring your group to other parts of the island, they’re able to do that too. I found out later from my big big boss that he once took his kids on a cycling tour from Kuta all the way up north to Lovina over a course of 2 days, with a guide. So I think these guys could do this sort of stuff if you ask them to. That would be something I’d love to do the next time in Bali. πŸ™‚

Anyways, if you’re looking for something different to do in Bali other than the usual driver bringing you sightseeing, you may want to check them out.

Bali Eco Cycling –Β

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