During my time living in Australia in 2014, I took a little solo get way to Bali for my birthday. Every since I saw the film Eat, Pray, Love, I have been fascinated with visiting Bali. Luckily flights from Australia are relatively in-expensive, and I figured when is the next time I would be so close? With just a flight ticket and one night of accommodation booked, I set out for my Bali adventures. Normally I am a planner, I like to have a plan, and then a back up plan, then a back up plan for the back up plan. For the first time ever, I set out on a trip with no set plans, open to the different places I would go, and ready to embrace moving at whatever rhythm felt right. I have to admit I was a bit nervous traveling alone, but in the end I had the most amazing trip.
Here is an overview of how my trip turned out, and my tips and suggestions for a trip to Bali.
Before I arrived I booked a room with Airbnb in a guest house in an area called Canggu. Its is not far from the airport and it is low key, affordable and away from the touristy areas of Seminyak, but easily accessible to many things.
Getting around is easiest by motorbike, taxis can get a bit pricey. You could also manage to negotiate a price with a taxi to be your driver for the day to get around if you don’t feel confident riding a motorbike.
Visit -nearby area of Seminyak, and treat yourself to a $4 dollar one hour massage.
Beaches: Echo Beach (great for surfing)
Uluwatu Temple– vist the south region of Kutu and check out Uluwatu temple for a beautiful view perched up above the ocean.
From Canggu I headed up to Ubud, which is known for its green landscape, yoga and meditation retreats… When in Ubud I highly recommend:
Local Tour- I got a great contact from a friend who spent some time living in Ubud. She gave me the information of a local guide that will take you around to the famous sites versus paying for an organized tour.His name is Imahde. He took me around Ubud and on a day trip to visit the Rice Terrace, Mt. Butare Volcano, a coffee plantation, and the Holy springs all for 25$USD. We did everything by motorbike which was fun, he is a very good driver, and knows the best routes to take with less traffic and cars. Here is his info if you’re interested in booking with him for your next trip to Ubud. He also helped me to negotiate a good price for accommodation since I hadn’t booked anything in advance, as well as ferry tickets to one of the nearby islands ( more info below).
Monkey Forest– visit the Monkey forest. Beware the Monkeys can get pretty feisty but it is a unique experience to come in contact with them so up close and personal.
Hubud- Co Working– during my trip I met so many traveling nomads that work remotely from anywhere in the world. If you are in Ubud and need to stay connected for work you can work in a cool co-working space that is well equipped with good Wifi connection, it is centrally located (right across from the Monkey forest), and you can interact with other travelers, and startups based in Ubud or stopping along the way during their travels.
Yoga Barn- Take a yoga class at Yoga barn. They have yoga classes, meditation, a spa and restaurant.
If I had to choose one word to describe the Gili Islands I would choose PARADISE. The Gili islands are comprised of 3 little Islands: Gili Trawagan ( Gili T), Gili Menos, and Gili Air. Each of them have their own charm. I chose to go to Gili T, it is a small little island where there are no cars or motored vehicles on the island, and life is very simple and slow. They also have a part of the island that is known for its Full Moon parties.
Getting to the Gili Islands– You have to travel by ferry. You can usually book a round trip ticket with an open return so that you can have a flexible return date. I booked my Ferry tickets when I was in Ubud. There are many places that sell tickets, and don’t hesitate to negotiate the prices.
Bike– Rent a bike and visit the island. Take your time, it only takes about 30 minutes at an leisurely pace. The south side of the islands is less crowded and you can take a break to go swimming and snorkelling to see the sea turtles.
SUP– Rent a Stand up paddle board and spend some time paddling out at sea
SAMA SAMA Reggae Bar – The island is so small you can’t miss this place. Every night they live music reggae music and great vibes all night long.
Paradise Sunset Bar– is on the south side of the island is the best place to watch the sunset. They often have drum circles where anyone can join in and drum while the sun is setting.
Casa Vintage– is a concept Vintage store opened by owners Nathalie and Johnny,who originally opened their first vintage shop in Sweden. With great success they moved to the small, relaxing island of Gili T to bring a shop with vintage treasures to the island. You can find an array of pieces hand picked from different markets and second hand shops around the world during the owner’s travels, as well as pieces from local designers.
The also have a new bar on the beach.
Street food Market– Not far from the port where you arrive by boat there is an evening street market. They have a variety of stand selling fresh fish and local dishes. I would just recommend being careful which stand you choose to eat from if your eating meat or fish, make sure the food is stored well on ice.
Well there you have it. Bali is pretty much awesome! Hope this post serves as some inspiration for your next trip to Bali.