Planning for an Affordable 3D2N Bali Itinerary with UnionPay Cards17 January, 2018
When you think about Bali, the first thing that comes to mind is shopping! Food! Massage! With Bali being close neighbours with Singapore (less than a 3-hour flight away), it’s no wonder it is a popular destination for us Singapore tourists.
Just last August, I visited Bali for a short holiday and managed to reap some significant savings with my UnionPay card. At the moment, however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have advised Singaporeans to defer travels to Bali due to volcanic activity at Mount Agung. If you are travelling to Bali, you are also advised to monitor developments closely and avoid Mount Agung and its vicinity – for your safety is of paramount importance! For the latest updates, refer to the MFA travel advisory dated 5 January 2018.
In any case, here are some tips on how you can make the best use of your money when holidaying in Bali.
Simply apply for a UnionPay card because there are so much savings you can enjoy during your Bali trip. Your savings can start even before you fly to Bali if you plan your trip properly.
Hotel and Airfare Discounts with UnionPay Card
With your UnionPay card, you can enjoy a 10% discount when you book your hotel with Expedia using the promo code UNIONPAY17SGH. This offer is valid till 30 June 2018 for bookings made via this site: https://www.expedia.com.sg/g/pt/ms-other-unionpay
Aside from saving on your accommodation, you can also take 10% off on all airfares at the AirAsia website with your UnionPay card. This promo is valid till 28 February 2018, and the travel period begins from 3 January 2018 and ends 30 January 2019.
Discounts at Changi Airport with UnionPay Cards
One of the most frustrating thing about travelling in Bali is the traffic jam and I strongly recommend bringing some snacks along when travelling around Bali. You can buy your favourite snacks and chocolate at Changi Airport before your flight. With your UnionPay card, you can enjoy discounts at selected shops at the airport such as 10% off with a minimum purchase of S$80 at So Chocolate and The Chocolatier.
At Discover Singapore shops in the transit halls in Terminal 1 to 3, you can enjoy 10% off with a minimum purchase of S$100 with UnionPay card.
In addition, UnionPay is currently holding a CNY promotion (16 January 2018 – 28 February 2018) at iShopChangi.com where you stand to receive an S$18 Changi Gift Card if you use the CNY promo code along with your UnionPay card at the checkout page. Visit http://ishopchangi.com/ for more details.
Day 1 Bali – Kuta
We stayed at Hard Rock Hotel Bali in Kuta for this short 3D2N trip to Bali. Kuta is one of the best-known tourist area on the island of Bali, offering an amazing, beautiful beach and a vibrant shopping destination. While Kuta is near the airport, do factor in traffic jams in your travelling time. The journey from the airport to Kuta could take as long as 30 to 45 minutes.
Being a UnionPay cardholder, there are many perks when it comes to booking accommodation in Bali. Cardholders can enjoy promotional rates at Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort, Wyndham Garden Kuta Beach Bali, Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa and Belmond Jimbaran Puri. For the latest lowdown on accommodation promotions in Bali, head over here.
If you are in Bali in August, look out for opportunities to participate in the turtle release programme run by the Bali Turtle Society almost every evening. The Bali Turtle Society is just a short 6-minute walk away from Hard Rock Hotel Bali along Kuta beach. And best of all, this activity is free!
After releasing the turtles, explore the area of Kuta starting with Poppies Lane, a popular district of shops on the street selling souvenirs and massage shops. If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy a wide variety of shopping and dining under an air-conditioned shopping centre environment, check out the Beachwalk Shopping Center located just 8-10 minutes’ walk from Hard Rock Hotel. Here, you will find lots of dining options (e.g. Imperial Treasure restaurant, Kitchenette) as well as toy and child essentials shops (e.g. Lego and Mothercare). There is even a huge cinema with Gold Class-type of seats – huge comfortable recliner seats are always a plus after a long day of shopping!
Editorial credit: The Clay Machine Gun / Shutterstock.com
The best part about shopping and dining at Beachwalk Shopping Center is that as a UnionPay cardholder, you enjoy discounts and free gifts! Currently, there are two UnionPay card offers – spend any amount with your UnionPay card and redeem a handmade fan, or spend Rp1,250,000 (about S$125) in a maximum of two receipts and redeem a gift voucher of Rp250,000 (about S$25). There is plenty to buy at Beachwalk Shopping Center – just buying 1-2 lego sets and you will be able to clock Rp1,250,000 for the Rp250,000 voucher.
You can spend the Rp250,000 voucher in any of the dining outlets at Beachwalk – I spent mine at Kitchenette where I enjoyed the Southern Boneless Fried Chicken served with Waffles, Chili Butter & Maple Syrup (Rp105,000 + taxes).
Wrap up your evening in Bali with a drink at Centerstage Bali while you enjoy the live performance of the Hard Rock Hotel Bali’s in-house band, as they belt out popular English pop songs through the night. When I was there, UnionPay had a promotion for its cardholders to enjoy 20% discount off beverages at Centerstage Bali, and I definitely took advantage of that!
Total Savings on Day 1 of our Bali Trip: S$113 (Hard Rock Hotel Bali room rate discount) + S$25 (voucher from spending S$125 at Beachwalk shopping centre) + S$2 (20% discount for mocktail at Centerstage Bali) = S$140
Day 2 Bali – Seminyak and Jimbaran
As we were travelling around Seminyak and Jimbaran, we hired a driver from Bali Cab (10-hours service for Rp540,000; you have to pay for parking fees that the driver incurs while waiting for you to shop/eat). A good tip is to do your homework on where you want to go, eat and shop – if you leave it to the driver to recommend, there is a risk that you could get ripped off by dodgy seafood restaurants and shopping outlets.
We started off the day shopping at Seminyak Square. Be prepared to put your bargaining skills to use while shopping – there are plenty of stalls in the carpark area selling trinkets, T-shirts, souvenirs who mark up their prices.
After shopping, we headed to Metis – a fine-dining restaurant in Seminyak for lunch. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and service received with the inexpensive prices that we paid! The lunch menu is very affordable and you can enjoy food with the same (if not better) level of fine-dining experience compared to Singapore. At Metis, we enjoyed a Black Pepper Australian Steak served with French fries, baby beans and roasted tomato for just Rp155,000 (about S$16)!
If you have more time in Bali, you can consider a drive out to Ubud where you can enjoy a fine-dining experience at a discounted price as a UnionPay cardholder:
- CasCades (rated 4.5 out of 5 and ranked 18th of 650 restaurants in Ubud by Tripadvisor): 15% discount off total bill (before tax and service charge) for UnionPay cardholders
- Spice by Chris Salans (rated 4.5 out of 5 and ranked 40th of 650 restaurants in Ubud by Tripadvisor): 10% discount on food (before tax and service charge) with a min spending of Rp300,000 (about S$30) for UnionPay cardholders
- Mozaic (rated 4.5 out of 5 and ranked 41st of 650 restaurants in Ubud by Tripadvisor): 10% discount on food (before tax and service charge) for UnionPay cardholders
Photo credit: CasCades restaurant
If you want to check on the available UnionPay offers while travelling, simply download the “UnionPay International” app (available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play store) where you can directly download the U Plan discount coupons and check out the latest destination offers.
After lunch, it is time for a relaxing massage and spa at the Spa by L’Occitane in Kupu Kupu Resort at Jimbaran (about 30 to 45 minutes’ drive from Seminyak). UnionPay cardholders enjoy 10% discount off the Spa by L’Occitane walk-in spa menu rates. Call them at +62 361 703342 and quote “UnionPay” to enjoy the discount.
You will be spoilt for choice with the many dining options at Kupu Kupu resort – Japanese cuisine at Oishi Tei Sushi Rooftop Restaurant and Pool; Balinese and Indian cuisine at Tamiang Restaurant; or even French cuisine at La View Restaurant! As a UnionPay cardholder, you can enjoy 15% discount from the total bill (before tax and service charge with a min spending of Rp300,000) at these restaurants.
If this is your first time in Bali, I recommend the Jimbaran Beach Club where you can enjoy a great view of the sunset with seafood and cocktails. You can enjoy a Mediterranean cuisine menu with a large variety of meats, pizzas, sandwiches, salads. The Jimbaran Beach Club is located just a 7-minute walk from the Kupu Kupu resort hotel lobby (or 3 minutes by the hotel buggy). As Jimbaran Beach Club is part of the Kupu Kupu resort, you can also enjoy 15% discount (before tax and service charge with min purchase of Rp300,000 (S$30)) as a UnionPay cardholder.
To wrap up our short trip with local Balinese and Indonesian food snacks and other types of Bali souvenir, we asked our Bali Cab driver to drop us off at Mal Bali Galeria where there is a huge Hypermart and many other shops.
The best part about shopping here is that you can skip all the hassle of bargaining – all the souvenirs you see in Bali from the ubiquitous ‘Bintang’ singlets and T-shirts to woodcraft and bamboo placemats can be found here. The prices are not exactly the cheapest – I think you can get better prices if you are an expert in bargaining prices with street vendors. Otherwise, the prices are quite reasonable e.g. Rp64,500 for a bamboo placemat; Rp75,000 for a ‘Bintang’ singlet (I have had the experience of bargaining the price down to Rp30,000 if you buy two or more of these singlets/T-shirts from a street vendor).
Editorial credit: J. Lekavicius / Shutterstock.com
You can also buy Indomie instant noodles with different flavours and sizes here for just S$0.30 per packet and various fruit chips such as dried banana and mango chips as well as Luwak coffee cookies for about S$4 to S$5 per packet.
Editorial credit: GeorginaCaptures / Shutterstock.com
If there is still time after shopping at Mal Bali Galeria, head over to T Galleria by DFS for some duty-free shopping of luxury products e.g. Coach, Tag Heuer, Dior.
After shopping at T Galleria DFS Bali, we hailed a taxi to return to our hotel. If you are taking a taxi in Bali, make sure that they turn on the meter! The metered fare from T Galleria DFS Bali to Hard Rock Hotel Bali is roughly Rp65,000 (about S$7). Expect traffic jams along the way. A Uber fare can be much cheaper at around S$3 but it can take them a long time to reach your pick-up point as it is quite a confusing route for them to drive into Mal Bali Galeria or T Galleria DFS.
Total Savings on Day 2 of our Bali Trip: S$113 (Hard Rock Hotel Bali room rate UnionPay discount) + S$10 (UnionPay 10% discount from the approx. S$100 spa package at Spa by L’Occitane) + S$4 (UnionPay 15% discount for dinner at Jimbaran Beach Club) = S$127
Day 3 Bali – Kuta
Our last day in Bali was spent exploring Joger Pabrik Kata-Kata and Hardys shopping centre that were about 15 minutes’ walk from Kuta. At Joger and Hardys, you can find very affordable Bali souvenirs and these shops are targeted more at Indonesian tourists visiting Bali. Worth a visit if you are on the hunt for cheap souvenir without needing to bargain. However, come early as Joger gets very crowded when busloads of Indonesian tourists come in to do their shopping.
Our lunch at Bali before we depart for the airport was a delicious meal of Babi Guling at Warung Men Gede – just a short 5-minute walk from Hard Rock Hotel Bali. Babi Guling is a Balinese traditional food – crispy suckling pig skin. For just S$3, you get a plate of Babi Guling with other sides such as pork satay, vegetables, a very savoury soup and rice.
Just by using our UnionPay card, our total savings from this trip added up to S$267 – enough to pay for another 2 nights’ stay at a hotel for our next trip to Bali!
Besides Bali, UnionPay cards are also widely accepted at popular tourist destinations in the Southeast Asia region such as Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. So, don’t forget your UnionPay card when you travel within Southeast Asia, or Asia the next time round, as you’re bound to enjoy more privileges and savings with your card in tow!