Hi all, I will be spending 5 nights in Seminyak and 5 nights in Ubud at the tail end of this month/beginning of February with my parents and 2 siblings (my siblings and I are all in our 20's). We'll be staying at The Royal Beach Seminyak and Ubud Village Resort&Spa. I just have several general questions and I'm hoping the answers will help me plan our trip a little better.
1. We would like to go river rafting while in Ubud, but I'm not sure if we should do the Ayung River or Telaga River. What is the difference between the two? Can anyone suggest a tour company to go through?
2. We are thinking about doing a little hiking, but I am not sure if we would be up for heading to Mt. Batur at 2am. I'm looking for something a little lighter and more casual than that as we are not really hikers, but we would like some good scenery. Are there any places we could go to hike?
3. I definitely plan on getting massages. I am looking for a mid-range day spa in Seminyak to start off the vacation. I read about Murano Spa, and I am liking those prices. Are there any other comparable places? What about Ubud? And can anyone suggest any cheaper massages without the frills? I figure I'll treat myself to one nice spa session and the rest will be no-frills massages.
4. What is the average cost for a driver? We have family friends from Indonesia and have been recommended a driver for $70USD for the 5 of us. I'm not sure if that is a normal price or not. I'm also not sure how the driver system works as I feel like there will be days when we might only need a quick cab ride to places. Or days when we might go through a tour company for excursions and such instead.
5. Even at nice hotels, is brushing teeth with bottled water a must? I've read about the bad gastroenteritis going around, and thankfully we are a family of doctors and nurses, but of course the last thing we want is to be sick on the toilet for days!
6. Is the Elephant Safari Park worth it? Are there multiple parks or just one, and if multiple, which one is most recommended? What tour company should we go through?
7. We are considering getting some snorkeling in. Where is the best place to go for snorkeling?
8. We are planning to have Sunday Brunch at Soleil (vs. dinner at The Cafe) at the Mulia Resort. Are there any public beaches or specific sites in Nusa Dua worth checking out after brunch since we'll be in the area anyways?
9. Which rice terraces should we visit? It seems like Ubud Village Resort is right by rice terraces, but I'm not sure if there is one specific rice terrace on the island that is a must-see.
Probably as the trip gets closer, I'll have more of a rough itinerary in mind, but for now, am just trying to plan places to go to and how to go about making arrangements (i.e. tour companies vs. going on our own with a driver). Thanks in advance!