Hello all you Sun-Kissed Souls
Hope you are all well and thriving as we hit into the second half of 2019. Earlier this year in January I visited beautiful Bali and the dreamy islands in Lombok. This trip has been a dream of mine ever since I have seen all the instagrammable pictures pop up on my feed and hearing many people talk about how amazing these Islands are. I had to go and see it all for myself. If my blog name doesn’t give it away and all my island pictures don’t tell you that I’m 100% an island girl then I don’t know what will. Maybe when I make my dream come true of having my very own island dream home one day you will understand my obsession lol. (watch this space I will make this happen.) Enough babbling about how much I love the Island life. Let me give you what you came here for my top picks of things to see and do in Bali and I will bring you my Lombok picks in my next post.
My Top Bali Picks
Kuta and Seminyak for Shopping, Clubbing and Good Cafes.
Kuta is the closest area to the Airport but also over the years become the backpacker area of Bali. Here you will find tourists by the bucket load. I didn’t personally spend a lot of time here no offense to my fellow backpackers I still have much love for all of you but I think I have outgrown the scene for now. When it comes to accommodation when traveling alone I enjoy hostels and backpackers to make friends it’s a good idea for solo travelers and an easy way to meet new people.
I was also traveling with one of best friends so splitting mid-range hotels were really cheap and I wasn’t planning on traveling for months only two weeks so I was willing to spend a little more than backpacker Thalea would for accommodation back in the day.
Seminyak is right next to Kuta it’s a little area that is more upmarket very fashionable boutiques restaurants, hotel chains, and many amazing villas. Not a bad spot to stay for 1 or 2 days when arriving in Bali as it isn’t too far from the airport. Most people when visiting tend to stay in one place and then do day trips out of that one place, we decided to split our stay into three spots and spend a few days in each. We based ourselves in Canggu, Ubud, and Uluwatu.
Visit Potato Head beach club for one of the best sunsets in Bali but a little pricey for food and drinks if you go early you can get lounges and day beds and chill. This beach club also opens up to a nice stretch of beach where you can spend time in the ocean too. For bookings and all other information, you can find everything here. Without a doubt, I witnessed Bali’s best sunset here it’s the perfect spot to watch the day end in style. I have never seen the sky lit up so beautifully in so many colours it was breathtaking I will let the pictures do the talking but it really cannot do it justice.you will just have to come and see it or yourself. Some other good spots I, unfortunately, didn’t get a chance to visit but only heard good things about in these areas are Cancoon Beach Club, La favela, Sky Garden.
Beaches and Fun.
If you just want to roam around the beach and soak up Bali head on down to the beach and La Plancha owned by the same owners of La Favela the pioneer of the coloured umbrellas and beanbag concept you see scattered. Here you can enjoy a good dinner watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand and you will feel like you on holiday immediately.
“All we really wanted was to bring the spirit and landscape of two places we loved so dearly, (Bali & Spain) to life. We never wanted to create anything concrete. We create always within the pages of the landscape and the original Bali spirit. In everything we havene, we have strived towards ultimately respect the Balinese and the Bali Island because this is the beauty of the place.” – Gonzalo & Sandra
Now you can see the southern end of the Seminyak beach littered with similar concepts and it continues to grow into what we know it as today… a sea of brightly coloured bean bags and replica beach bar concepts scattered all the way down the beach. I would suggest that you take a walk and whatever place calls your name collapse in a bean bag and enjoy as the day turns to night you can enjoy an array of live music too.
Indonesia is a Muslim country but they do have a few churches around. I have personally visited Hillsong Church back in Cape Town on numerous occasions and knowing they had a branch in Bali in the Kuta area I had to go and it was so awesome. The people are so welcoming and I felt right at home. It’s predominantly Run by young adults so it has a great young youthful vibe to it. It was an amazing experience and I love getting to experience different churches and worshiping in different languages, for me it’s so amazing. If you have the time to visit I would highly recommend that you check it out. They have services in the morning and in the evenings for more information, you can check them out here.
Canggu The Eclectic Creative hub of Bali
Canggu is an amazing eclectic city filled with surf, art, rice paddy’s and so much more. I can see why the creatives of the world come and camp out here it has a really cool creative vibe. Don’t get me started on the food you must check out The loft Bali and Canteen Cafe for all the Good healthy tasty food. You must try out a good smoothie bowl and smashed avo on toast you cannot go wrong with the food in Bali.
Canggu is the expat, digital nomad haven. Mixed with all the creativity it at times doesn’t feel like you in Bali because it’s so crowded with expats and travelers. You will find retired Australians to the young beautiful Instagram famous crowd working on their nomadic hustle and don’t get me started on the good looking surfers. It’s a hot spot to check out and connect with some interesting people from all over the world! Also, it’s not too far away from the airport about an hour if the traffic is good so it makes for a good stop to set up shop for a few days or stay for a few months.
The streets are filled with cool street art and a great place for surfing. Here you will find black sand beaches and surfing until you can’t anymore. Not the prettiest beaches in my opinion only because I’m all about the white soft sand beaches. However, if you into surfing these beaches will do it for you great waves. There are also plenty of spots along the beach that offer surf lessons so if you ever wanted to learn how to surf now is your chance.
Beach Clubs and Restaurants
Finn’s beach club is a popular spot here is Canggu’s best Beach club with 4 pools 9 bars, 5 restaurants, best sunsets DJs and night surfing action. It’s a great day out if you looking for something to do whilst in Canggu for more information check them out here.
A more lowkey not too expensive place to visit is Old Mans a great beach bar near the beach with a good happy hour 2 for 1 drink specials. Around happy hour sunset time, it does get very crowded so best be prepared to wait for your drinks. It does have a good vibe and it’s in a great location.
Markets and Temples
The market called Love Anchor is super cool you can check out and get great souvenirs and handmade crafts they are a bit more pricey than the local markets but you can haggle in Bali too, to get your ideal price.
Tah Nah lot Temple a temple by the sea. It’s close by Canngu best times to visit is at sunset or very early in the morning. Don’t be as silly as me and go midday when the temperature is hot as hell. It’s a beautiful spot and at low tide, you can make your way over to the Temple it’s on a small separate island in the ocean. As you can see from this picture below.
Around the temple, you can also find many markets selling amazing crafts sarongs all kinds of trinkets and food.
Ubud The Wellness hub of Bali
Ubud where do I begin, with this beautiful place? As you move away from the dreamy beaches and head further inland you will find a gorgeous rainforest and a little hub of heaven. You will find the yogi kings and queens meditation and sound healing retreats gorgeous spas and beautiful hotels. You cant come to Ubud and not treat yourself to a spa day or yoga day so schedule this in.
Ubud is beautiful I stayed at a very beautiful resort called Artini Resort. The location is perfect you can walk to many restaurants temples and markets and the Monkey forest from this spot so the location is perfect. Go to the Yoga barn and do a yoga class it’s right around the corner from this amazing resort and well worth it while you in yogi heaven.
Clear Cafe for good healthy food and a great vibe you feel like you eating in a beautiful treehouse and it’s not only good for Instagram shots the food is amazing too. They also have Clear spa on the property so why not pamper yourself while you eat well too.
Another spot I thoroughly enjoyed Folk and Pool Gardens with a great swimming pool. They host lots of cool events and movie nights by the pool.
This being the wellness capital of the world there are hundreds of spas to treat your every need.
There are just too many to mention here so I will just talk about the one I went to and give you my personal review.
Udaya Resort and Spa
Lots of spas in this area I paid a little more for a full day spa at the Udaya resort has its own spa called Kavari Spa. They have a host of different packages and I got to live out my best flower bath dreams here. I had the strawberry package consisting of a full body massage, body scrub facial and flower bath and foot scrub. It was an incredible experience that I want you all to enjoy if you ever find yourself here. I mean don’t miss this opportunity to get pampered for a day while you in Bali and in Ubud specifically the location just sets such a beautiful tranquil scene.
Bali Swing a fun day out full of gorgeous photo opportunities and don’t forget the fun of the actual swing it will get your heart pumping and feeling like a kid again. You get to try out the Luwak coffee here too and see the process of how it turns into the coffee.
You also get to do a tea tasting all sorts of incredible flavors. The setting of this place is in the most gorgeous tea fields I have ever seen the landscape alone is just breathtaking. There is also a shop where you can purchase tea coffee and all other little trinkets.
The Monkey Forest is a must-see it’s in the heart of the beautiful rainforest. Be warned these monkeys are ruthless so be careful that they don’t steal your bags sunglasses and food. The location is so beautiful and some of the monkeys are so cute especially the baby ones.
Ubud Royal Palace
Officially known as Puri Saren Agung. The Ubud Royal Palace is one of the most prominent places in Ubud, as it is smack-dab on the main Jalan Raya Ubud road and intersection. The palace can also be regarded as the focal landmark of Ubud. It’s worth the visit and cannot be missed while walking around Ubud and doing some great shopping.
I personally loved Uluwatu for its beachy surfer town feel. I loved the laid back feel cool spots beautiful sunsets cafes and beaches.
This is a great beach for surfers it’s very rocky so be careful I didn’t find it the best beach to chill at but there are many beach bars along the beach to get drinks and food. plenty of places to get surf lessons and soak up the rays.
Single Fin Beach Bar
Single Fin Beach Bar It’s an awesome vibey spot you should book a table to watch the perfect sunset as it is a very popular sunset viewing spot I would suggest that you must book a table and just sit back and enjoy.
Ulu Cliff House
Ulu Cliff House is a beach club a nice place to hang out for the day all beach bars and clubs are pricey.
Sunday’s Beach Club
Most of the beaches are all surfer beaches not ideal for swimming very rocky but we did find Sundays Beach Club stunning spot you pay R 350 entry you get 200 for food and you can use snorkeling equipment stand up paddleboards and kayaks for no extra charge. Lots of lounges and beach umbrellas they have different entertainment on different days too in the evening around sunset.
One of my favorite spots visited while I was in Bali was this beach club. This place makes you feel like you on a real island holiday the vibe the amazing white sand beach the cocktails the food the water sports and crystal clear waters what more could you want while on holiday. So highly recommend that you visit if you looking for a day to lounge and feel like you on a very fancy holiday this is your spot.
Uluwatu Temple, it’s a beautiful Balinese temple on the cliffs of the most picturesque oceans in Bali swipe too see more of this beauty! Travel Tip try and go early in the morning or sunset time and avoid midday as it can get sweltering hot and the heat can spoil your overall experience!
Ok, so these were the main hubs I stayed in while I was in Bali. A great way I explored other parts of Bali was on the days I was moving from one city to the next I had booked a private driver for the day that would take us to see different places on route to our next location. This way we could explore more of Bali not just what’s in each town. For day tours and sightseeing, I would highly recommend hiring a private driver amazing driver I used was Putu he speaks good English and he knows some good places to take you since his a Bali native. You can find him on Instagram @yourmaninbali.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, or Pura Bratan, is a major Shaivite water temple in Bali, Indonesia. The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. It’s a beautiful temple with a beautiful garden attached to it. Highly recommend a visit if you ever in Bali.
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace UNESCO world heritage site one of the many beautiful Bali hot spots and I highly recommend this place to visit if you in Bali
Handara Gate in Bali Fun fact this iconic gate is a gate to a Golf Resort and people pay a selfie fee just to take pictures here at the Handara Gate in Bali. One of Bali’s many Instagram hot spots!
Gates of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple
The Gate of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple in Bali. this was an awesome sunrise mission Putu picked us up around 4am to beat the crowds and head over to check out this awesome temple but just as it was our turn to take a picture the cloud covered mount Agung the active volcano in Bali.
Karangasem Tirtgangga Water Palace and Garden
This place is so beautiful filled with lush gardens beautiful ponds check the gigantic koi fish ponds. it’s just such a surreal peaceful place to visit.
Another useful app to download GOJEK it’s like their Uber works great if you don’t want to hire a scooter to get around traffic is crazy especially in the very big cities so be prepared for the hectic traffic. It’s very Hot yearly so stay protected from the sun and stay hydrated. Most importantly try and stay present I know you will want to snap everything but the best thing to do is enjoy your holiday too! Don’t let Instagram ruin your experience if things don’t look exactly how you have seen it online or your experience is different than you thought it would be. Embrace everything for what it is and enjoy your holiday!
If you want to check out more of my adventures if you planning a trip to Bali head on over to my Instagram and you can check out my Bali highlights, where you can see my adventures come to life. Don’t hesitate to message me if you have any questions about your Bali trip also stay tuned for next post where I will give you my advice on hitting the Islands of Lombok and the Gili islands. Hope you enjoyed this very lengthy and well overdue post.
Peace, love, and Happiness!