WHERE: ALL OVER BALI
EATING: SATAY AYAM
DRINKING: BINTANG RADLER
COMPANIONS: MY FRIEND NICOLE
Ok so our first mistake was it was the rainy season, but who cares! We had a ball. The best part about Bali is that everything is (relatively) close so you can get around the Island fairly easily in a short space of time. I was there for 2 weeks and we did Seminyak, Kuta, Ubud, Canggu, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran Bay, Nusa Lembongan and Uluwatu.
Everyone has their own Bali story and favourite spot- each place is so uniquely different it is hard to compare. I literally had ‘Bali advice’ from about 10 different people, and all so vastly different!
My advice is that the key to a good Bali holiday is a good mix of forward planning, and quite a bit of going with the flow. Seminyak is fantastic for partying and meeting people. It is very expensive but there are ways around this. Mart parties! You don’t want to miss a Saturday night at ‘La Favela’ –it is a great party spot.
Canggu is way more laid back and definitely has more of a surf culture. It’s got a ‘hipster’ feel about it and dotted with little coffee shops, health cafes and some beautiful bars. The best by far is ‘Old Man’s’ for happy hour.
Ubud is incredibly tranquil and peaceful and where you stay definitely determines the vibe you will have.
If you are central, you’ll likely spend more time in the bars meeting people and shopping at the local market stores. We chose to stay outside the town and spent days exploring rice paddies and temples, and nights walking the lanes, eating at the local Warung’s (Bali’s local restaurants) and chasing the fireflies that live in the fields. There is also a monkey sanctuary if that’s your thing. It really wasn’t mine.
Nusa Lembongan is easy to reach by boat and they are pretty organised. We arranged a pick up from Ubud that took us to the boat in Sanur and 45 minutes later we were on the Island. It is a great place for snorkelling, scuba diving and eating on the beach. It’s a terrible place to spend 2 days in typhoon season when the rain won’t stop. Needless to say, we made friends with some great Aussie guys that were happy to play drinking games and beer pong with us at the hostel. We changed our boat trip back a day early because of the weather but we spent that morning checking out some of the Island’s viewpoints. It really is beautiful.
Nusa Dua is pretty beautiful – it’s south of Kuta and is the place to go for watersports. The beach is full of excursion salesmen ready to bargain. Never ever accept the first price any Balinese gives you. The country’s national sport is ‘ripping off tourists”. They like to bargain and are happy to do so. The hotels along this strip are fancy and expensive but WELL worth it if you are keen for a bit of luxury.
Uluwatu was by far my favourite place. Attracting surfers from all over the world, it is a melting pot of cultures and you are bound to have an interesting conversation with a stranger that will properly change your outlook on the world. Drink prices seem to be somewhat more affordable here than anywhere else. We spent most of our time at Single Fin, a bar overlooking the popular surf spot. It is the best place to grab a drink, make a friend and watch the sunset. The most popular day by far is Sunday.
With so many amazing places to see and things to do in Bali, you will definitely need to come back for more!