Bali is a place that people say that you either love it or hate it. It’s a funny sort of country where the tourists live like kings yet the country has widespread poverty and many who live beneath the breadline. It’s somewhat dirty and if you aren’t careful – you get ripped off. That said, I LOVE it!!!! It absolutely cleanses my soul, the heat, the simplicity, the massages (ahhhhh 🙌🏼🙌🏼). I let the pressure off myself, I don’t care to sweat, I don’t wash my hair and I don’t wear makeup. I eat eat eat.
The Balinese people are gorgeous, now let me clarify – lots of the people who inhabit Kuta or Seminyak are not Balinese. They are from surrounding islands and do not always have the same cultural values as the Balinese. The first time I went to Bali – I went alone. It was 6 months post my separation, my youngest was just under 1 and I had, quite frankly, the absolute, hands down WORST year of my life. My kids trotted off to their dads for 8 days over Christmas so I ran to Bali on my own. I sunk into the culture and just rested my soul. I slept, went to breakfast, went back and slept and took my book everywhere I went. It was awesome!!
Bali really is a place of true craftsmanship – they use their hands so amazingly well. It’s filled with art, sculptures and wood work all hand made. It’s gorgeous and so talented. Definitely under rated!!
So I have been to Bali more than once……. as most Aussie’s do when they fall in love with it so here are my top tips:
▪️ Do the cultural things when you first go – hire your own driver for the day, approx $50 all day. Yes you read right and have them take you up and around Ubud and see the temples, rice, terraces, monkey forest, Uluwatu Temple and Tegenungan Waterfall. You will get to see some of the countryside and most of these sites are a reasonable distance from each other.
▪️ Kuta or Seminyak – Seminyak hands down. It has great little shops, wonderful food, spas and lots of places with 1/2 price happy hour cocktails!
▪️ GET OUT of Kuta and Seminyak – that’s not true Bali! It’s great for exactly what it is – shopping, resorts and drinks. Head up just 20mins north of Ubud. You are faced with green country side, dirt roads, little villages and rainforest. We stayed at the Senetan Villas and Spa – OMG!!!! The nicest resort room I have EVER stayed in and I have been to the Maldives. Water and food doesn’t top the Maldives but resort room did!!!!! Did private yoga on a wooden platform in the middle of rainforest. Walked straight out from resort and wandered the dirt roads with little Balinese houses and farms surrounding us. So quiet and peaceful and room had one of those outdoor showers and baths! Oh yeah, I was in heaven!
▪️ Hire a scooter/bike but recommend it outside of Kuta and Seminyak. Not the safest! But don’t pay more than $7 per day for the bike. You are getting ripped off up in the Ubud area if you are! Get a SIM card and take a ride and let your GPS guide you around. Out in the middle of nowhere really is the most gorgeous silver factory – John Hardy. Just the establishment alone is amazing and worth the cruz!
▪️ In Ubud, get lost in the little side streets filled with boutiques and markets. It’s filled with wonderful shopping. Take a walk along the Campuhan Ridge walk. It’s an easy stroll and gorgeous to look at all the greenery.
▪️ If in Seminyak – take a day off from sight seeing and head to Potato Head – OMG the best food, open grass area overlooking the water, infinity pool and cocktails. You literally set up camp and people watch ALLLLLLL day!!! It’s a sight to be seen in itself!
▪️ Best eats in Seminyak and Kuta:
⁃ Ultimo Italian – hands down the best Italian I have ever eaten. We ate there four times!!! So amazing and soooo cheap. Candlelit dinners and live music every night! Two cocktails, bread basket, two full mains and we are talking full steaks lads – $45!!! Five star food on a beer budget friends!!!
⁃ Sisterfields for great coffee, people watching and good ‘hipster’ style food. Think Melbourne sort of funky vibe food.
⁃ Mexicola – now personally I think this has gone downhill but it’s a sight to be seen itself. It’s like an old school soda factory and has music, cocktails and good food. It used to go off a lot more but the decor is worth a visit but be prepared to pay Australian prices so it’s not cheap eats!
⁃ Char Char Bar and Grill – great for a late arvo cocktail. It’s got a whole lot of step stairs you sit on that look out onto the street where you can people watch and relax while tunes play overhead.
⁃ There is a place between Char Char and Ultimo and it looks like a pub/bar. I can’t remember the bloody name and I can’t find it on google but it’s just a single name. Anyway look at menus – it has pulled pork and crispy chicken tacos, nachos, chips etc. great place for lunch and soooooo nice. Worth looking for! 😂
⁃ Spice Mantraa Indian Kuta – thank me later. Butter chicken, naan, the whole lot – gooooooddd!!!!!
▪️ Spas – obviously Bali is littered with spas but two I found clean, consistent, affordable and good was called Kimberley Spa. There is one in Kuta and Seminyak.
▪️ Don’t hire a bike off the street in Seminyak – google and find a good one. We got ripped off on the street and the scooter had no brakes and was rented from Dodgy Bros R Us. Bali Rental Scooter is a good one that will bring the scooter to you but they are more expensive than renting from up in the Ubud area.
▪️ Fitness – Bali Fitness Seminyak. It’s an older gym and got older equipment but you can pay visitor memberships and seems to be Australian owned so has protein smoothies and what not so you can get a protein hit when you are sick of the sight of food! 😁
Touch base with me if you want to know anything particularly ♥️♥️