After the Gili Islands it was time to head to Bali for another 10 days. Here we met up with some of Andrews friends who we spent our time with. We checked out a few of the main towns in Bali including Uluwatu, Seminyak, Ubud and also took a trip to Nusa Penida.
Getting to Bali
After leaving it to the last minute, we woke up the morning we had planned to leave Gili Trawangan realising we had never booked a boat. So we headed to the pier first thing, and luckily found one leaving at 8.30am. It was straight back to the hotel to pack quickly and get back to the pier before boarding. As we were going to Uluwatu first, we had to get a boat to Padang Bai, and transfer to a place balled Jimbaran. We asked the driver to take us to our hotel and paid him a little more – in total the whole trip cost us about 60 euro.
Our first stop was Uluwatu, which is situated in the south of Bali. We only spent one night here, and I am so sad we couldn’t stay longer. Our hotel, Gravity, was out of this world. I’d even go as far to say it is my favourite place we’ve stayed in so far. It was located at the top of a cliff overlooking the sea. The interiors were amazing and the hotel itself was so peaceful. Definitely recommend this spot to anyone looking for a quiet retreat.
There are so many places to visit in Uluwatu, as we only had one day, we did our best to see some of the sights.
On arrival, we met up with Andrews friends and headed straight to Uluwatu Temple. Here we wandered the grounds and watched a traditional Balinese dancing show as the sun went down. It starts at 6pm, however you have to get your tickets at 5pm so there is a bit of wait. If you want a seat (which I highly recommend, as it is quite long!) then get here early.
As we only had one day here we couldn’t make it to Padang-Padang beach however we caught a glimpse of it from above and it looks amazing so definitely head here if you have some more time.
After Uluwatu, it was time to head to Seminyak. We took a taxi organised by our hotel to get here. It took about 2 hours in total, and cost about 25euro for the six of us.
Seminyak is definitely a lot more built up. It is home to some amazing boutique shops and really nice resorts and restaurants.
We stayed at DASH hotel right on the Main Street in Seminyak and the perfect location for easy access to the beach clubs and nightlife.The hotel is quite quirky, and the staff were amazing. However don’t get your hopes up for a nice pool if you choose to stay here. It is in the shade all day.
There is so much to do in Seminyak. Being one of the most luxurious places to stay, the town is filled with bars, restaurants, beach clubs and boutiques.
Potato Head Beach Club
Beach clubs are plentiful in Seminyak and definitely the best place to chill out for the day. They are quite expensive if you are on a budget (like we are!) however we were still able to enjoy ourselves here. We arrived at about midday and there was a massive queue for a day bed, but we managed to get a spot on the ground on cushioned seats. We put our name down for a day bed and got it just before the sunset which was a nice way to finish off the day. Minimum spend for a day bed is 500,000 rupiah, so be prepared to pay to stay there. To save some money, some of us left and had lunch on the Main Street and returned later on to the club. The food was really nice in the club but again, on a budget it just didn’t suit us.
Another place that is meant to be good fun is MRS SIPPY. They are just 5 minutes walk from each other so if you can’t get a seat in Potato Head, have a look here.
Water Bom Water Park
One of the days we spent at Water Bom in Kuta. It is about 45minutes from Seminyak, and so much fun. Tickets cost about 35 euro each, but for a full day of activities it isn’t so bad. Some of the slides are so fast! Be careful of your back too – I highly recommend wearing a one piece swimsuit to avoid any torn skin.
Seminyak has so many nice restaurants and bars. We ate in the following places that were not too pricey and still really good! I would recommend all of them:
– Gourmet Cafe
– Hotel Mexicola
– Mad Pops vegan icecream parlour
For drinks, start your night off in Hotel Mexicola. The music is amazing and it is the perfect way to ease your way into the night. After, we paid La Favela a visit. It reminded me a little of coppers and we had so much fun here. On our last night we went to a boutique bar right beside our hotel called Aya which had cool chill music, great cocktails and was really slick.
Nusa Penida is an island just off the coast of Bali. It is quite underdeveloped, yet it is home to some of the most beautiful untouched beaches.
We took a boat here and spent one night at Coco Resort Penida. These bungalows are so beautiful, and the staff were just so nice and helpful.
Originally we planned on riding mopeds around the island, but after a rocky start (and 400,000 rupiah in damages to a motorbike!) we decided it was best to hire a driver for the day. It cost us 900,000 for the day. The roads were insane and there were no road signs surrounding the entire island! We definitely would have gotten ourselves lost, or fallen off the bikes. We made four stops on the island including: Angel Billabong, Broken Beach, KlingKling Beach and finally Crystal Bay to watch the sunset. They were all amazing, and the water was so clear. It was stunning.
We returned to the hotel and jumped in the poll, before retiring to bed for our early start back to Bali in the morning.
We took a boat from Nusa Penida to Ubud, which dropped us in town and then it was a short taxi ride to our Villa. We booked on airbnb so the six of us would be in the same place and it was really nice. The photos do make it look a lot more luxurious than it was, but it was still nice and there was plenty of room for us all to have our own space.
On our first day, some of the guys decided to go to the monkey forest which looked like so much fun. On this occasion, we decided to give it a miss cause we had seen a lot of monkeys in Thailand and decided to explore ubud town instead.
We checked out out a few boutique shops before paying CarameL café a visit. This French inspired coffee and cake shop is just off the main street in Ubud. They have the most amazing macaroons – we got a box of 6 for 90,000 Rupiah. I would recommend the peanut butter, salted caramel and coconut Nutella the most!
Our plan was to trek up Mount Batur in the early morning to see the sunrise, however due to the rain, and the impending eruption of Mount Agung close by, we decided to be sensible and visit some other places instead. We hired a driver for the day, and went exploring the Rice Fields, Coffee Plantations & Visit a few temples as well. It was really fun, and I would highly recommend doing this if you have enough time.
The following day we got a driver to take us to the famous Tegenungan Waterfall. It was really impressive and the walk around the area is really beautiful too.
On the way home we asked to go to the Green Village. A private residence owned by designer John Hardy, that consists of 14 houses made entirely of bamboo. We had a tour of three of the houses and learned so much. I think I’d go as far to say it was my favourite thing I saw in Bali.
Later in the day, four of us decided to do the Campuhan Ridge walk. It was so nice to get out and just wander through the surroundings with nowhere in particular to go or nothing specific to see.
Ubud is home to some really great, healthy food and some amazing cafes. We went to the following places but also tried to take advantage of having a kitchen and being able to cook our own food.
- Three monkeys
- The Melting Wok
- Cafe CarameL