Where do I start? There are so many things to talk about when travelling Bali. Weather, currency, temperature, food, places to visit, & I could go on & on.
We took 10 nights out of our travels of Australia to visit Bali on the way, as we thought it would break up the journey from the UK.
Where is Bali?
Bali is the most famous Indonesian island located in western Indonesia just a few miles east of Java. It has two seasons known as the wet season, & the dry season. The wet season is from Oct-April, & dry season is usually from May-Sept.
Bali offers so much for the eye to see! From incredible temples, iconic rice paddies, long beaches & beautiful food.
As we did not have that long in Bali we chose to visit 3 separate areas around the island.
1. Seminyak/Kuta for 3 nights
2. Ubud/Tegalalang for 4 nights
3. Canggu for 3 nights
Close to Kuta (commercial area) busy vibe with many people. It is a coastal area with lots of lovely beach bars & restaurants in the town centre. If you are looking for a busy atmosphere this is the place to be. We spent 1 day more relaxed hanging in a few beach bars. We went to Potato Head (@potatoheadbali) for drinks & to check out the pool. Mano Beach House was a little further along the beach were we had lunch.
Our second day we rented a moped & headed east over to North Kuta for a surf day. Again the atmosphere there was super busy, lots of surfing, restaurants & rental places.
Hiring surfboards on the beach was straight forward & very cheap. We went to The Beach House for lunch, & spent the afternoon chilling on Legian Beach at La Plancha bar, & De Joglo.
While in Seminyak you must also visit Motel Mexicola (@motelmexicola). Our most favourite place for evening night life. Restaurant come bar, come night club!
My most favourite place we visited while in Bali. Ubud is much more relaxed than the coastal areas of Bali. Less tourists & more landscape (usually rice paddyfields).
Hiring a moped in Ubud is the best thing to do as many of the attractions & places to eat are spread out.
We went to;
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Gunung Kawi Temple
Ubud Art Market
All of which was better than expectations. Our personal favourite was the waterfall. It was stunning to see, & there were lovely shops & cafes at the top too. I had the most beautifully presented smoothie bowl from Da La Cafe which tasted amazing! full of granola, berries, yogurt, banana & strawberries.
We also found that Ubud do food even better than Seminyak! Lots of little bars & restaurants scattered through the town. Our favourite was Why Not (@whynotubud) . It was only down the road from our hotel & had live music most evenings. I had my best plate of noodles there & they also did really nice Thai curry.
Would definitely recommend this place!
Beach bum vibes! The further you come west along the coast of Bali the quieter it gets. Canggu (said like chang-gu) can still become busy, but if you know the right places there are some much quieter beaches with quirky bars & small cafes.
We stayed on the outskirts of Canggu near Tanah Lot. This meant we got the best of both worlds & had the quiet beach next to the hotel, but only 10 minute walk along to some buzzing surf beaches. We took a more laid back feel when in Canggu & spent most of the days in the sea, or chilling next to it.
One thing I will say it that the surf in Canggu compared to Kuta is much harder! The waves were strong & much more powerful, which made it harder to get out & catch the good waves. Kuta is better if you are a beginner surfer. Check out Old Mans (@oldmansbali). They do awesome evening events & put on some great music! The night we went to they were holding an International Beer Pong competition, for the chance to win 3 brand new surfboards!
If you are in this area, also check out Tanah Lot Temple. It is a rock formation just off the mainland on its own island. It brings lots of tourists, but beautiful to see. If you go at low tide you can get even closer to it.
Tips & things to know when travelling in Bali
1. Hire a moped! - It is hands down the best way to see the island, & the surrounding areas you are living in. Everyone has them in Bali so it is very easy to get around & know where you can park etc. We got 1 moped for the two of us, came with helmets & paperwork too. Cost us £2.70 to hire per day! Petrol was £1 per litre too.
2. Be aware, they can make the prices up - majority of the time there are not signs on prices of items. Such as clothing, petrol & car-parking. Know how much things should be & don't get mugged off basically! We did once for petrol, & the guy said a price we were like "Whattt?!"
3. Bring/buy a bumbag - Firstly it is hot, so carrying a rucksack on your back can become a sweaty mess. However, it is so good to have all your personal belongings to hand right in front of you. I have my purse (we had one shared wallet), phone, keys to accom & moped & most importantly creon in my bumbag. Makes paying for anything super easy & stress free.
4. You can haggle for some items - This happens when in the markets. You can offer a lower price for clothing, jewellery & ornaments, but always be fair.
5. Tax & Services - Some places will already have it added to their food & drink prices, but other places may not tell you till you receive the bill... & more money has been added. Just be vigilant of this if you are on a low budget, & ask a waiter or barman if you don't see it stated on the menu.
6. Wear mosquito bands & have repellent - At anytime of year there are still bugs around.
7. Use Grab - If you are wanting to get a taxi anywhere in the busy areas of Bali then I highly recommend downloading the GRAB App. You use it like google maps & put in your current location & end destination. It then gives you an official price of how much that journey will cost. Therefore, when you book it, you know how much it is going be be beforehand. Not getting ripped off! We used it to get from one hotel to the other & it was much cheaper through the app.
8. Enjoy the culture - There are so many things to see while travelling the island. Take in all your surroundings while moving from place to place & soak in all what the island has to offer, including the food!