All of this talk & searching for the right pictures to share has me daydreaming. As it’s snowing outside of my window right now I’m hearing waves & smelling shrimp on the grill. Take me back!
Today I’m going to share my recommendations based upon my experiences. Keep in mind, I’ve hardly done any site seeing. There are sites to see & beautiful traditional dances, etc. So don’t view this as all there is. Bali has a lot. But I like sleeping by the pool, playing with monkeys & eating lots & lots of good food. So here is what I have to recommend:
1. Air BnB: I can’t say enough about how Air BnB has changed the game. Bali has great villas for rent and we were delighted with our experiences. For each visit, we rented our own private house each with a pool & yard space. One of the villas, our honeymoon splurge, included morning visits from Putu, a college student, who came and prepared us breakfast, cleaned & did our laundry. I’m still trying to learn how to make crepes like Putu’s. Definitely check out Air BnB & treat yourself.
Villa 1 (the Honeymoon splurge):
2. Seminyak & Kuta: These are the names of two neighborhoods in Bali that are very popular with tourists. Seminyak is an area with loads of nice restaurants & shopping. But most importantly, it’s where the grown-ups hang out. Kuta, another neighborhood in Bali, is fun but a bit young. The waves in Kuta are amazing, however, once you’re off the beach, it’s dusty, noisy & full of teenage spring breakers. Seminyak is the swankier, more adult spot. So that’s where we wanted to spend most of our time. Both the villas we rented were in the Seminyak area.
If you do want to visit or stay in Kuta, there is lots of fun to be had. It’s closer to tourists shops for souvenirs & again, the waves there really are amazing. I recommend Tanaya BnB. This place was really affordable & comfortable. The staff were very accommodating & even prepared little sandwich boxes for us before we left for the airport. It’s in walking distance of the beach & the best part, it’s across the street from a Gloria Jean’s.
Right now, someone in Australia is chuckling at this. Getting giddy over a Gloria Jean’s is probably like saying, “Have you heard about Starbucks?” But I had never heard about this coffee chain before Bali. And since Mr. FGK and I are more than a little crazy about coffee, we loved it. I mean, $3 for a cappuccino the size of my head!? And $3 for a whole french press all to our caffeine loving little selves!? We really got nerdy over this place.
3. Ubud: Have you seen Eat, Pray, Love? Me neither. But it was filmed in Ubud (oo-bud). This is where the rice fields & monkeys live. We loved it here. We went to the Sacred Monkey Forest & got robbed of our bananas by the monkeys. We also stayed for a few nights here at the Djoyo Bed & Breakfast where we were in the rice fields. Afan & Mal, the owners, took us on a tour of the fields & Mal shared stories with us about his adventures travelling in Asia. I definitely recommend this as an affordable place to stay in Ubud, just minutes from downtown & full of friendly spirits. We felt so welcome there & we were even in charge of feeding the goldfish in the mini pond in our bathroom. While you’re in Ubud, try visiting a coffee plantation and taste a cup of Kopi Luwak, said to be the world’s most expensive cup of coffee. You can try a small cup for just $5.
5. Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan: These are two islands very near to Bali and they were the stars for most of my pictures (the ones not taken on my phone). To get there, we arranged to be picked up at the airport, take a fast boat to Lembongan, then take a truck to our room at Dream Beach. Sounds like a lot but actually, Dream Beach Resort took care of these arrangements for us & getting there only took about an hour and a half. Once at the resort, we had our own little hut overlooking the beach. We couldn’t have asked for a better spot! Dream Beach was quiet & secluded with some of the most stunning views I’ve yet to experience. Just beside our resort was Devil’s Tear, a spot where the waves crash into the rocks creating mini waterfalls & rainbows. And beside Devil’s Tear, was Sunset Beach, a spot with views that give those of Hawaii a run for their money. We had fun riding the scooter around and watching the seaweed farmers on this island. Nusa Ceningan, the next island over, was just across this pretty yellow bridge.
Over on Ceningan we were invited by some locals to enjoy Secret Beach all to ourselves. Also on Ceningan, there is a blue lagoon jumping Cliff with more stunning views. The tide was too high for us to jump when we visited but it did look like fun.
6. Must Dos: Lastly, a quick list of things you really must do in Bali:
- Watch those epic sunsets – Bali is famous for long, colorful sunsets starting at around 6 p.m. Some hot
spots for watching the sunset are Kuta Beach, Ku De Ta and Potato Head. Grab a cocktail & take in the painted sky.
- Eat Babi Guling – pig slow roasted over a fire or hot coals for hours and served with rice and lawar, vegetables & coconut in spices.
- Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, the works… – skin cancer is real, y’all. Be careful. Also, even Mr. FGK who gets a really dark tan and stays dark most of the year was burned to a crisp. We went through bottle after bottle of SPF 50 but still fried like eggs on an Alabama sidewalk in June.
- Eat Fruit & Drink Juice – Bali has exciting, tropical fruits. While there, I had the best mangoes & bananas I’ve ever had. I also got to try loads of fruits I had never seen before like Soursop, Jackfruit, Grenadilla, Salak & actual Mangosteen, not the juice.
*This is not a sponsored post. These are my recommendations based upon my personal experiences.*