Bali was the final stop of our Asia trip and the week that we planned to treat ourselves after weeks of hostels! One thing that is so valuable for budget-travelling is how far your money goes in Asia, you can almost live like a king on a pauper’s wage – love it!
After hearing mixed reviews on places to visit in Bali, we landed on the most positively talked about… Ubud, Gili Trawangan and Seminyak.
Ubud was how I envisioned Bali with its hanging vines, tiers of rice fields and ancient architecture. Ubud town centre was full of quaint shops and restaurants and an amazing street market – the Art Market, which is brimming with traditional Balinese souvenirs like wicker bags, dreamcatchers and coconut bowls.
Our favourite restaurant in Ubud was ‘Ibu Rai’ on Monkey Forest Street. The service was top, its traditional set-up and garden-vibe was beautiful, and the food was unreal! Their Ikan Bakar was the bessssssssst – definitely worth a try.
My favourite moment of the trip, if not one of my favourite moments ever, was watching the sunrise on top of Mount Batur after a 3am mountain climb. Psyching ourselves up for the early-morning wasn’t easy but it was made a little better when greeted with freshly-made banana pancakes as fuel for the climb. There are many different tour groups that were climbing together, and I’d definitely advise sturdy shoes, a jumper and a head torch to make the climb a little easier. I was like Bambi on ice trying to climb over the steep and wobbling rocks in the pitch black… But when the sun starts to rise, it makes the effort completely worth it.
I’ve genuinely never witnessed anything that made me value to world more! * Side Note * Beware of the monkeys at the top – they try to steal your stuff, ha!
A boat is the most common way to travel to Gili T but when your gal is the most travel-sick person you know, all we could do was reassure Poppy that it would be over before she knew it! Only we got on the boat and it reminded me of riding a rollercoaster, constantly for 2 hours. So, as Liv and I sat there, head in hands, trying not to be sick, we’d got no hope of “reassuring Poppy”…
The whole island is so chilled and surrounded by white beaches and crystal seas – and also fulfils the Instagram-photo-fantasy with its swings in the sea! We booked a cottage at Cotton Tree Cottages, kitted out with outdoor bathrooms and a lush pool, and we were walking distance from everything.
We found a great night market for food, full of people every night, for cheap and tasty Balinese food – definitely tastier than restaurants that we paid more for… We also found a great reggae bar on the sea-front, full of young travellers, and every night the place was busting out absolute reggae-bangers (if you know me, you know that’s 100% a bit of me)!
For our last stop in Seminyak, we treated ourselves to a 2-storey villa with a private pool. From hostels to here, we were literally memorized by how luxurious it was!
My favourite day in Bali was our surfing session with ‘UP2U Surf School’. My one instruction from my parents before the trip was to not go on a motorbike but when that’s how the instructors pick you up and drop you off, what are you supposed to do? (Sorry mum!)
Having never surfed before, I was dubious as to how much I’d enjoy being thrown off a surfboard and clobbered by massive waves… but when I tell you it was the sickest day I’ve ever had, I mean it. We started the session on the sand getting to know the basics of the movements before heading into the sea to have a go. Our instructor was relentless, he pushed you off to start, screamed at you to stand up quicker, cheered you when you finally stood up on the board, and then creased with laughter every time you fell off – we LOVED him!
Bali seems to be an ever-growing tourist destination but don’t let that put you off going – if anything, go and see it now before the natural beauty of it is taken over!
“Bali is one of my favourite places in the world. In one of my past lives, I believe I was living on the island of Bali” – Chip Conley
That concludes the posts about the best month with my best friends! More travel posts to come…
Royal Casa Ganesha Hotel & Spa, Ubud
Trip Advisor – 4
Booking.com – 8.6
Cotton Tree Cottages, Gili Trawangan
Trip Advisor – 4.5
Booking.com – 8.2
Sudha Villa Bali Anyelir, Seminyak
Trip Advisor – 5
Booking.com – 9.1
Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking
UP2U Surf School, Seminyak