Where do I start? How do I explain what an amazing experience I had in this stunning island?
This trip was a proper holiday for me! 9 days of pure heaven, sun and freedom to roam, sleep, eat and get as drunk as I wanted!
Bali has had so much attention on social media in recent years due to its beautiful surroundings, luscious waters to surf in and instagram heaven for the bloggers of all genres. But really, people have been travelling through Bali for a long time and most will spend many months exploring every part and taking in the full experience, especially Australians as this little beauty is only 6 hours away from them. It’s only until recently that it’s really become a luxury haven for holiday makers from further lands such as myself to take on booking different hotels and transport and areas for a country almost 18 hours away from the UK. Excited wasn’t even the word when it came to making our way there!
After a 13 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur and a shorter 3 hour flight straight after to Denpasar, we finally made it. A lot of travellers will either stay a night in Kuala Lumpur before flying over but we chose to get there as soon as we could. We stayed close to the airport in Kuta as we arrived pretty late so that we could recuperate and enjoy a good nights sleep.
We chose the Vasanti hotel in Kuta, hidden away in between the bustling area. A small boutique style hotel that we found on booking.com for just £35 a night! Our bedroom was super clean and comfortable with breakfast included and a great rooftop pool to start my base tan :).
A lot of planning can be done for a trip like this or you can wing it and organise transport and hotels when you’re out there. Whichever holidayer you are, Bali provides for both.
I had arranged for our next accommodation to pick us up from the Vasanti so that once we were there we could enjoy a full day.
We chose a private villa in the heart of Seminyak which is about 30mins from Kuta where we would spend the majority of our stay. I’m the type of person that loves to explore and see the real parts of a country, but I also love the luxury side if affordable. And in Bali, they definitely make you feel like king and queens if you want it!
Hu’u Villas was where we chose! If you want your own privacy but with the option of a 24 hour reception, this is the place for you!
When we saw this villa on Booking.com we couldn’t believe what we would be getting for the price we paid. After checking in we walked towards our chosen home. 6 individual villas lined up next to each other in a discreet street. When entering we were stunned by the size, cleanliness and how plush it was! Our own pool, free breakfast every morning (with the choice of a floating tray!), shower and bathtub and huge chandelier hanging in our large living room.
It was just beautiful!
All walls are sound proof so you can play your music as loud as you like, dance around your two story dream home and enjoy a dip in your own pool in the middle of the night if you choose. An absolute dream!
We knew Bali was somewhere that people go for full action and activity, but we also wanted to chill out and have moments to relax and really enjoy the pleasures that we were lucky enough to be able to book, and had planned to balance this out throughout the holiday. I mean who wouldn’t with their own private pool!! We even bought our own inflatable to splash around on but we also found out that the villas can provide you with inflatables of your choice at a fee if you aren’t as organised as us HAHA.
After unpacking as quickly as we could, we decided to head out and find our bearings and some amazing food!
We were lucky enough to be five minutes walk from the entrance to Seminyak beach which connects through to other areas that lead all the way down the south of Bali.
You’ll never get a chance to miss the culture in Bali as there are temples ranging from a small box to a whole statue like this one above placed along the street and outside shops and homes.
It’s not hard to get around at all. Walking, taxi (which you won’t find hard getting at all) and mopeds which I will focus on later. For everyone that loves the heat and sun then walking through seminyak is the best. You can stop where you choose and pop into all the cute boutique stores and stalls selling fabulous trinkets and souvenirs. Be careful not to get roped into deals too quickly into your holiday as you’ll be bringing home markets full of goodies like I almost did HAHA. Suss out who’s giving the better deals and haggle, haggle, haggle!
We came across the plush hotels that you can stay at with pools that overlook the ocean, cooking schools for if you want to perfect your Indonesian cuisine and more markets.
Seminyak has an amazing vibe to it, safe, chilled and suitable for any traveller. Families, couples and young hipsters that just want to party. Most worry that if you just want a relaxing, quiet holiday that the bars and clubs of seminyak would disturb that, but once you’re hidden away in your little oasis, you can hardly hear a thing.
Walls are brightly coloured, palm trees blow in the wind, street art and advertisements for the coolest day parties can all be seen everywhere on the Main Street, with the friendliest of locals waving hello to you as you walk past.
There are a huge range of open front restaurants for you to choose from where you can change your choice of meal every day. Although we were surprised to not see many authentic Indonesian restaurants and food stalls which we were really looking forward too. As much as we automatically fell in love with this area, it has definitely been adjusted for the tourist. But we found the cutest restaurant to enjoy lunch called Batik which is located on the main strip in seminyak.
Showing off a quirky higher end boutique style interior, we found the food menu really interesting with more options of traditional meals.
I chose the crab soup which was amazing! Full of flavour even without the crab and vegetable pieces which were super tasty. To top the meal off, the cocktails were great and we realised that they don’t scrimp on the alcohol here! For our first meal in Bali, we were definitely excited for what else we’d find throughout the holiday!
We soon realised that the nightlife in Bali tends to start rather late between 10pm onwards so we had time to go back to our villa, relax and get ourselves ready for our first night of fun!
Depending on what type of nightlife you’re looking for, seminyak provides a range of chilled sports bars, fun, lively outdoor clubs with cheesy old school music or plush clubs with pumping house and commercial music. So the first night we had heard about Mirror club.
A refurbished grand church with a beautifully romantic restaurant on one side and a spectacular strobed lit club on the other side. You’d think that a club like this would charge a ridiculous amount to enter but we paid 100,000 rupiah (which is around £5) with a free drink at the bar.
We had made a plan to enjoy ourselves the first night but not peak too quickly as we had a long day out to Ubud the next day… well this idea went straight out of the window with how cheap drinks were out there and I’m sure you can imagine what we were like at the early hours of the morning (Hands over face).
Like any boozy night, most people would love a 24 hour restaurant that caters to your food cravings! Well we found not just one but two! And only a 5 minute walk from the club AND from our villa!
Mya at The dash hotel and Tiigo sit opposite on the street, one a little smarter than the other but both giving you a rival of club after food to choose from. After hours of dancing, it’s great to sit and watch the world go by or play a little pool at the early hours of the night while enjoying chicken satay or a large fresh burger and talking absolute nonsense to each other HAHA!
Most people visiting Ubud will usually stay there for a few nights to get more of a feel for the nature and culture, feeling like you’re living in the jungle but we chose to just spend the day there as there were other things we wanted to do within our time in Bali. The choices are endless with Bali on how you want to plan your holiday and how long you want to stay in certain places and where you want to book certain activities.
With it being our first trip over to indonesia, we booked in advance on tripadvisor.com a driver that picked us up from our villa and took us to certain activities we wanted to do for £40. When looking at excursions, the prices can be slightly daunting as you don’t know whether you might be getting ripped off online or even more if you buy them in Bali. But go with your gut instinct and really look at what you’re getting for that price. Travel is a big chunk of the price as it can take a while through the terrible Bali traffic to get to your destinations and the length of the journeys. Would you rather worry about how you’re getting to each place? Or have someone pick you up once you’re finished and enjoy the air-conditioned pleasures of your own car and driver? I know what I chose HAHA. But it’s all up to you and how you want to experience your trip.
Our first stop was the Bali Swing! This is an attraction that thousands of tourists will venture out to experience. I guess it’s not just us that big kids HAHA. Now be careful as we arrived at the original “Bali swing” which is more expensive than what we were told. There is apparently another “Bali swing” further out in Ubud but the one we arrived at offers 9 swings and more view attractions to enjoy so we weren’t complaining.
Now try and get there as early as possible as it can get extremely busy and you don’t want to spend your day waiting In lines. We arrived at 9am and there were a lot of others that had the same idea as us.
You may hear “Bali swing go” a few too many times while waiting but it is well worth the views and experience! That’s me up there!
After swinging Into the high heavens and praying the ropes don’t break it was time for some posing.
I don’t think there’ll be many more chances I get to sit in a giant birds nest above a jungle so I took these photographs very seriously HAHA!
Next on the agenda was the Monkey Temples! We were super excited for this as we’d be getting to see some beautiful historical culture as well as gorgeous monkeys in their natural habitat.
As soon as you enter you’re greeted by a huge religious statue. And soon you are walking into something out of Tomb Raider!
It’s serene and quiet and everything is so untouched. The mossy stone and decaying sculptures almost make everything so much more dramatic and film like, but you’re walking through a real scene.
Everywhere we walked we’d see these stunning couples in traditional Balinese outfits. We were soon told that they were soon to be married and it’s a tradition to take your photos in a religious setting and majority of couples come to the monkey temple. Their clothes were just beautiful! Again like something out of a movie but completely real.
While slowly walking through we started to come across some monkeys. We were asked before going in that we refrain from touching the monkeys but the moneys may come to us and climb on then we would be fine.
They definitely climbed on!
They were clearly comfortable around people but it was obvious that this was their home and we made sure to respect that. They seemed to have fun climbing on us as if we were new play toys for them HAHA.
Even the big boys of the jungle came to say hello.
It was fascinating just walking through the jungle and watching them go about their daily life. To see them climbing and playing.
It’s very easy to lay by a pool and embrace a countries sunshine while sipping on a cocktail the whole holiday but to see something new and experience other cultures gives a whole new meaning to life.
Our last stop was to be the Tegenungan waterfall!
Located in Gianyar, this beauty sits hidden away in the jungle. With rickety little steps (some even broken) trailing down the cliff side, you can make your way down to the base of the waterfall. For the haters of height, I would simply admire the view from a distance as the journey up and down is pretty daunting even for someone who isn’t afraid of heights. I’d suggest paying someone to take some pictures for you or letting your friend or partner endure the journey HAHA.
However once you’re down there, it’s spectacular. Iv never had the privilege of seeing a natural waterfall and swim in one!
I even managed to find another swing to swing on! Yaaayyy!
It was an amazing experience and a must see!
As you can stay as long as you like doing all three excursions we thought we’d be out all day and would be knackered for the evening but we arrived home around 4pm so we had time to nap and clean ourselves up from our fabulous but very sweaty jungle day.
This evening was a little more special as my boyfriend would be turning 25 at midnight, so we decided after sprucing ourselves up that we would head to the Woo Bar in The W Hotel.
Again, super close to our villa so it was within walking distance and you would never know it was there. A modern mekka of strobe lighting, fairy lights across the pools and cool house music entrancing everyone into dance. It was almost a high profile club out of Ibiza but anyone and everyone was welcome.
The cocktails were amazing and reminded you that you were in paradise!
We danced to a live set by Derrick Carter and celebrated even more at midnight! It’s an amazing feeling to be in the evening heat on the edge of the beach in a festival feel holding a cocktail in your hand. Everything about it is infectious. Once the set was finished we then took the party underground to their afterparty area and continued the strobe lighting environment until the early ours. The Woo bar is a little more on the expensive side to Bali’s nightlife but still very much affordable and if you love house music then this is the place for you.
Being away for birthdays are amazing but it’s not always the same. So I decided while the mr was still sleeping off his hangover to surprise him with a birthday breakfast to make it a little more real.
I had bought along with me the do-it-yourself happy birthday signs that you blow up with a straw and just attach to string. You can buy these for around £7 from card stores like Scribbles or Paperchase and it was all flat packed so I could put it in my bag easily. Once all blown up, the breakfast came and I had ordered a floating tray for the pool. It was great for him to wake up too (I’d love to wake up to that any day).
We decided that today we would chill out and just enjoy where the day took us.
We spent that afternoon by the pool and enjoying our home for the week.
We also popped out to go and get a famous Indonesian massage. Iv heard of a few well known parlours close to ya like Bodyworks but we had noticed there were lots of massage parlours on the main strip that were offering much cheaper services and for longer.
Carla house had an offer on for 100,000 rupiah (£5) for a full body massage for 60mins! We definitely took up the offer.
It wasn’t as plush as others but they were great! Professional with smiles and care and all I can say is any stress I had when I walked through that door had definitely gone by the time I left! They were amazing. So don’t always take first advise on somewhere, have a look at what you can find.
For dinner, we headed along the strip to see what we could find.
We found Char Char, an inside-outside restaurant that offers a step seating space to watch the world go by as you enjoy your food and cocktails.
There are so many restaurants that have great vibes like this but all are unique so you get to pick which one you fancy.
The menu had so much to choose from we were spoilt for choice. And the cocktails sounds fabulous. And looked it too!
We chose lobster with sweet and sour sauce and rice, and a lamb satay. Both delicious!
It’s a great place to chill out and just take in the atmosphere. Definitely give it a try.
We were going to have an early night but came across a bar/club that we’d heard about and it looked super lively.
Mexicola is located in the middle of seminyak and serves delicious Mexican food and drinks while gradually turning into the best party scene of the strip.
Decorated like a dream, it was like walking into a Cuban or Mexican bar with smiling faces and sexy dance moves. It was around 9pm and people were already up on tables and dancing to the likes of the spice girls and backstreet boys to Rihanna and Drake.
All walks of life were in there, from all corners of the globe! It’s not like the western clubs where everyone eyes each other up when walking in. You’re welcomed and end up chatting to everyone and finding a common ground, dancing and singing along to songs you all know. It was a great feeling.
Some of people best dance moves came out that night, from a Channing Tatum (magic mike) to salsa dancing we saw and joined in with everything! So much so that we were dripping wet like everyone else when we left due to that much dancing. Now that’s how I want to end every night out! It’s a must to go and enjoy a night in Mexicola, honestly you’ll be missing out!
After another morning of curing a hangover but also remembering the amazing moments of the night before, we were up early to start our day with another amazing breakfast.
We had planned to go over to the island of Gili T and stay for one night to go snorkelling and see the beautiful islands. We had the boat trip over all booked and a hotel reserved. All I can say is thank goodness we had a reception. As we were asking for a taxi to the port, she informed us that all the boats had been stopped due to the earthquake that had happened on Lombok and no one would be travelling over for the next 3 days.
Funny thing is was that the morning before we had felt a small shake in the house as we were in bed! Little did we realise that it was an earthquake!
So sadly we didn’t get to see the other islands but we didn’t let it ruin our day. (In some ways we were a little grateful as it gave us a chill day to recuperate for the night before HAHA).
We had planned to visit some of the gorgeous beach clubs that seminyak has to offer like KuDeTa and Potato Head but when we realised that Mrs Sippy beach club was right on our door step we headed over there for the day and to enjoy the day.
150.000 rupiah to enter with a free drink and you can spend the whole day there! A restaurant, 3 different chill out zones and during the weekend in the evenings it turns into a club.
We found a day bed where they charge a minimum spend of 600.000 rupiah which is around £30 and that was easily spent after cocktails and food, so we could chill comfortably together and enjoy the music and ambiance.
After enjoying a day of absolute zen, we headed home to clean up and get ready for dinner.
I was desperate to visit the restaurant called La Plancha that i had heard so much about on other blogs. Images of pretty coloured umbrellas all lit up during the evening on the beautiful Seminyak Beach. And that’s exactly what we saw after jumping off two mopeds that we got a lift from to the beach front.
Originally created to give a Spanish theme to the island, it still fits in beautifully with the boutique island style. You can enjoy flavoured Shisha and tasty cocktails on different coloured bean bags while hearing the waves crash in front of you.
As we chose our dreamy seat for the evening it was crazy to think that such a simple concept like bean bags and colourful umbrellas cos create such a beautiful setting that would be so popular. The weather in Bali can create this environment and people can enjoy the beauty of nature with a western twist.
After getting comfortable and enjoying the ambiance we started to realise that the waves were getting higher and a lot closer to where we were sitting. Due to the earthquake in Lombok, the waves around the islands were quite dangerous and this night they were definitely out to get us HAHA. They came so close that people in front of us were left soaking wet after not being able to lift them self quick enough from their beanbag. (Which I can imagine might have been me) HAHA. So we moved ourselves into the restaurant overlooking the umbrella so that we were safe.
We enjoyed grilled shrimp and sushi platters with our cocktails until it got a little chilly. For an amazing chilled out evening and different experience you definitely need to head to La Plancha.
Walking home we stopped by our favourite little ice cream stall that did the freshest flavours!
Our next day of freedom consisted of us renting our own moped and taking a road trip! It seems as though they allow anyone to drive a moped as long you can balance, we saw young school children riding home, mum, Dad and baby on their way to the shops, whoever can learn can ride HAHA, so be careful and cautious when hiring one and always wear you’re helmet!
We chose to drive down to Uluwatu which is almost the most south part of Bali. But we had to get there first with only ourselves and a map.
There’s nothing more satisfying than getting lost and finding new places on the way, Reaching your end destination and being proud of the accomplishment of driving and finding your way in a brand new country especially with the horrific traffic of Bali.
We had seen on the drive up from the airport the crazy roads full of mopeds as this is the easiest and quickest way to get to and from your destination without having to sit in traffic for an extra couple of hours a day. Even with so many on mopeds, the traffic is still so bad. All I will say is if you’re not a pro at driving a car or moped then you will be after this trip HAHA. They weave and dodged around eachother like go karts it’s crazy!
I was lucky as I don’t drive so I got to sit on the back like a Bond girl but direct my boyfriend the route, which I became an absolute pro at, while he nervously drove. Just make sure to wear some comfortable clothing and lots of sun cream, I learnt from the drive home after coming out of the sea and wearing a strapless top that you may need a hell of a lot more or you’ll really feel the burn HAHA.
We stopped off at the abandoned plane in Kuta which was really interesting to see just on the side road, graffiti pasted all over it. The size of a small airbus 319 feels ridiculously huge when you’re standing underneath it! Some may say it was almost like art.. in its natural form HAHA.
We were on the move again after some pictures, riding through beautiful traditional towns. The further we rode, the more rural it got. Little street venders, local markets with fresh produce and families waving a hello to us.
After 45 minutes, we made it to our destination. And It was so worth it.
We arrived at the top of a cliff, at least 500m above the sea and the views were phenomenal.
We started heading down towards the beach that they call the lonely beach, with wild monkeys jumping around and a new view from every corner. It’s around 10.000 rupiah to go down and then you can stay for as long as you like.
As you make it down to the sand, there are small market stalls selling cold drinks and new sunglasses.
I’d suggest taking a walk a little further along to find a much quieter area of the beach as it can get extremely busy but once you find a spot it’s paradise!
The clear blue waters crashing on the lonely rocks, the sun beaming down on your face, it really was heaven. I’m not a big fan of beaches (I’m more of a pool girl) simply for the fact of sand goes absolutely everywhere! And it’s hard for your stuff to stay clean so where as minimal as possible or things you need need anymore.
As I explained the night before, because of the earthquake the ocean was still pretty choppy and this was the same for today. I wish I’d invested in some adult jelly shoes and then I wouldn’t have been complaining of scratches from the rocks HAHA.
It looks serene but it was a killer on the feet HAHA.
After enjoying the waves, you can sit on sand and enjoy the scenery. Local boys surf out and climb the rocks to jump off which looks super cool and you can also watch the pros surf the waves. You can also find local women selling traditional printed cloths and robes which you can buy for 10,000 rupiah.
Be sure to put suncream on after coming out of the salt water as you’ll burn double time.. something that I did not do and paid for it a little while after.
Riding back felt like we had accomplished something, we were so much more confident in riding and knowing where we were going and how to manoeuvre, with that we were home in no time!
After freshening up and getting rid of all that sand, we headed out for dinner. We walked to KU DE TA which is a beach club in the day and restaurant and bar overlooking the ocean at night.
Again, they made us feel so special and took us to our evening bed where we could relax and chat and enjoy our drinks before dinner. It was very romantic! It was a calm evening with a chilled vibe to it and after a long day of riding and navigating we both needed it.
THE EDGE AT ONE EIGHTY
Today was the last day that we would be staying in our villa in seminyak so we did our usual and enjoyed the morning with breakfast and swanning around what’s been our beautiful home for 7days.
We slowly got ready to enjoy a day at The Edge! It’s a luxury hotel on top of the cliffs of Uluwatu that has recently opened its doors for us to all enjoy the swimming pool that sits at the edge of the cliff with a clear glass floor for you to freak yourself out with while standing on it!
It takes about 2 hours to get there by car or taxi which is what we decided to use as transport for this day which is a big difference in time to when you’re riding on a moped but we were relaxed and didn’t have to worry about driving.
The wonderful thing is with taxis here is that if you give them a good enough price they will hang around and pick you up afterwards which was just what we needed as The Edge is in the middle of NOWHERE! Surprisingly our lovely taxi driver was happy to wait around for 7 hours as we spent our afternoon there only for him to be waiting when we had finished. Honestly they’re amazing out there!
Spending the day here will cost you a little more than you’re usual day beds in seminyak a beach clubs but the views are breathtaking, the pool is a great experience and the staff are so attentive.The views of endless ocean is just stunning, so peaceful you completely forget that you’re sitting on top of a 500m cliff.
Everywhere you go in Bali the cocktails are so tasty and full of flavour! And The Edge was no exception.
We enjoyed mini burgers and vegetable soup with grilled king prawns and mozzarella balls. Every part was so tasty!
Then enjoyed a dip in the pool..
The views just from standing at the balcony were amazing but to be able to swim in a pool up to the edge and see an endless view of nature was spectacular, and then to see it from underwater was an amazing experience, especially so high up. If you don’t like heights then I would stay in the shallow end HAHA.
If you’re a sucker for a view then One Eighty is defiantly the place and watching the sunset on your day bed is to die for!! So if you do have time then try and make your way up to this beautiful spot.
That evening we decided to enjoy our last night In our villa and have a quiet night in, so there was nothing better than a bubbly bath like Julia Roberts in pretty woman, room service and snuggled on the sofa with dressing gowns on watching a movie!
Canggu is around 30 minutes away from Seminyak so we said goodbye to our little holiday home and hopped into a cab to our next villa for the last night.
As we drove further out of Seminyak we would pass endless fields of rice, the scene was so much more rural and we felt like we were going to get a feel for what it’s like to really live in Bali.
We soon pulled up to our home for the night. Chic right.. This little beauty was called Rosalia Villas which we also booked from Booking.com for only £100 with breakfast included.
It wasn’t as plush and slick as our villa in Seminyak but it was still beautiful! We understood that we were in the countryside and a little closer to nature.
Our kitchen was outside along with a dining table area and the stunning pool that sat in front of the bedroom. Walking through to the bedroom, when the curtains were drawn the bright colours of the plants came through with the sun reflecting of of the pool and with a comfy sofa in front of the bed, that was all that we needed to watch.
The bathroom was just as big with a whole bathtub with a view of the pool, his and hers sinks which was perfect and a huge walk in shower. The villa was cool and spacious and we felt right at home
After having a look around, we wanted to make the most of our day.
Again we hired a moped as markets and restaurants were a little further away this time.
Seeing as we had left a lot of our gift buying until the end of the holiday, we were on a mission to find a market that we could indulge in.
We rode closer to the beach to see what we could find and came across Anchor Love market.
The decor was the perfectly styled for the chic, hip, young travellers that come to Canggu to surf and relax, with Bob Marley playing in the background and cocktails being shaken ready for the flock of shoppers.
There was endless choice for presents, small trinkets, hand woven interiors and bags and beautiful Balinese jewellery. Make sure you haggle as they will easily drop the price when it sounds a little too much for you and you start to walk away or try and throw something else in with the price.
After spending the majority of our money that we had left we grabbed a bit to eat.
I’ve almost lived off of chicken or lamb satay this trip as it’s so hot you don’t always want a big dinner so this meal is perfect and you’re getting the best satay sauce and freshest meat out in Bali. We then washed it down with freshly squeezed mint and lime and watermelon juice.
While watching the world for a little bit we soon found out that we were super close to a beach bar called The Lawn.
I’d heard about it before the trip but never did I realise how gorgeous this place would be! As we walked in and shone to our little area on the lawn it was another moment of how beautiful Bali can be.
We enjoyed the view for a while on the balcony with a cocktail watching the surfers in their element and then headed back down to our shaded spot.
It’s free to reserve an area and the drinks and food are fabulous. There’s a small plunge pool on the edge overlooking the beach and it’s just a great spot to enjoy a chilled day.
As we watched the sun start to set we started heading back to our villa. The views that we had the pleasure of seeing with riding home were honestly some of the best I have ever seen!
We then enjoyed a midnight dip in our pool before packing up our stuff for the next morning. May I suggest, if you’re someone who gets considerably bitten by mosquitos on holiday then don’t do what I did and swim at night, unless you want to look like you have chickenpox then avoid! HAHA.
All in all, this was probably one the best holidays I have ever had! And I have travelled a lot. It has a little place for everyone, any age, any length of time and whether you’re in a couple, with friends or on your own Bali will pull on your heart strings like nowhere else has and Iv never will been able to say that about anywhere Iv traveller too before.
However you want to travel and enjoy your trip, make it your own because it’s not only somewhere you can fall in love with but it’s somewhere that has the flexibility to do just that!