My September trip to Bali was nothing short of chaotic. This is my second time going back to this wonderful island, and is one of my top 3 holiday destinations.
Traveling to Bali
We take a 12 hour flight from Amsterdam to Singapore. Exhausted by the time we land in Singapore, we had 45 minutes to find a ticket desk, print a ticket, and then run back to the gate, to board the plane we were just on. Finally, at the ticket desk, the tickets cannot be printed because it is 20 minutes before boarding. Lol. Really, you have to be fucking kidding me. The worst part is, I was afraid of this happening; even calling the airline days before, they assured me it would be no problem. LIES.
I am literally laughing out loud because of the pure stupidity of this situation. We are now running back to the other end of the terminal, just to get back on the plane we were just on. FML and KLM, get your shit together. Arriving in Bali, in a semi delirious state, we now have to find a our driver, in a sea of hundreds of drivers all holding similar signs. lol this is a joke right?
First Night In Bali
20 minutes later, we call our villa because we still not find our driver. We arrange to meet at the information desk and we find him. Success! Nice, and speaking English well, he takes us to a family run villa, Villa Bali Asri.
Our villa is perfect; it is like paradise. Coming through the gate, the pool is glowing, the living area open, the bedroom beautiful with a large outdoor bathroom. You can’t ask for more. The people who operate the villa are amazing. Read about our stay at Vila Bali Asri.
That evening we go out to Ku De Ta, which was a restaurant and club, located around the corner from our villa. We go for a drink and to take in the views of the Indian Ocean. The restaurant has the water lit up, so you can see the waves rolling in, over and over. The view, along with the warmth, feels truly amazing; it is amazing to be in Bali and to be back.
On our way back to the villa, we head to the 24 hour convenience store for some Bintangs and Pringles, which seems to be our norm in Bali.
Trip to Bali: Day 1
Seminyak Beach, Bali
Getting up early the next morning, the villa sent personal chefs to make us fresh Indonesian breakfast. YUM. Now time for the beach!
Finding the beach is an easy five minute walk. Once we arrive to Seminyak beach, we realize we don’t have cash which is much-needed. What isn’t easy, is trying to find an ATM; We walk about a half mile to get to the closest ATM to beach. On the walk back from the ATM, naturally I decide to stop at one of the little shops. What is suppose to be a beach bag purchase turns into a beach shopping spree…sort of. 1 beach bag, a pair flip-flops, and a sarong for $10 USDs. I need these things though; well worth the money.
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Finally the beach, it was like a never ending journey to get here. We walk up the beach find a spot on Seminyak Beach with chairs and a bar. Perfect. Posting up at Djungle, near Double Six Beach, we relax for hours here. Keep those bintangs and coconuts coming all day sir. The chairs cost about $10 USD per chair, for the 4 hours, and they serve you from their bar/restaurant. While relaxing, I opt to get a foot message from one of the many people offering them up and down the beach. A 1 hour foot massage for $5 USDs. Pretty, Pretty, Good.
After our 4 hours at Seminyak Beach, it is about 3pm, and we realize we hadn’t eaten lunch yet. We walk up the beach, about 30 minutes, to Potato Head Beach Club. The beach club is large and crowded, food and service are OK. The awesome thing about Potato Head Beach Club is this place has one hell of a stage over looking the ocean; I can only imagine the DJ/ concerts that happen here.
After eating, we decide to head back to our villa and relax. On our way, naturally we stop at the convenient store and pick up some Bintangs and Pringles.
Later that evening we go back to Ku De Ta for dinner. We choose the semi expensive Chef’s tasting menu which allows you to sample 6 dishes with seating that overlooks the ocean. Phenomenal. The cost of our dinner is around $120 USD a person, including our drinks. Well worth it.
Day 2 On Our Trip To Bali
Surfing at Padang Padang Beach, Bali Indonesia
We head out that morning early, and take a taxi to Padang Padang beach; a 45 min drive south of Seminyak beach. There is a $5 USD entrance fee (worth it) and the money goes in to preservation. Once we arrive we have to make our way down a winding and narrow passage through rocks. Once we get to the bottom, you walk out of the rocks and everything opens up. Golden soft sand, lush Clifftops, rocks jetting up from the water, waves crashing into you. I love it. We get a good hour of peace until all the tourists start flocking in. It seems like around 12 to 3PM the beach gets very crowded with tourists. Deciding to break from the crowd, Matt and I decide to rent surf boards.
We wanted a true Bali experience, so we try surfing for the first time. HA. The waves at Padang Padang Beach didn’t seem so big at first. I am SO wrong. This wave that didn’t seem so big, is now lifting me up and flipping me over on to other surfers. Cords are tangled, me and this other girl are stuck and battered; the wave literally crushes me. I try surfing for the first time, and the last time. It doesn’t help that Bali is one of the most dangerous places to surf because of the strength of the under current. #lessonlearned. I have a whole new respect for nature and water.
Jimbaran Beach, Bali Indonesia
Wanting to see a remarkable Bali sunset, we decide to leave Padang Padang Beach and head north to Jimbaran Beach. It is crazy how much different Jimbaran beach is from Padang Padang beach. Jimbaran beach is open, very calm and shallow waters that extend for at least a mile. Walking north, Jimbaran beach is lined with restaurant bungalows. We reach a central spot, with a beanbag chairs, and ordered some bintangs. A perfect evening and a perfect sunset.
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Once the sun sets, we walk back south to have dinner at one of the many restaurants with table seating on the beach. We select a spot that offers one of the famous seafood platters that Jimbaran is known for. We order a small seafood platter to split. A perfect amount of food, the meal is cheap, delicious, peaceful and beautiful.
Time to head back to our villa. Negotiating a price for a taxi, Matt and I end up paying about $20 USD. Expensive, but we are tired. As tired as we are, you know we stop at the 24 hour convenience store for bintangs and Pringles.
Day 3 Of Our Trip To Bali
]Ubud, Bali Indonesia
The morning starts off like any other morning; up early, fresh Indonesian breakfast, outdoor shower, and in the car by 10 AM. Our first stop of the day is the Tegenungan Waterfall. When you arrive there is a small entrance fee, a cute little girl selling fans. Buy the fan from the girl. Trust me. Once you meander through the shops, you get to a stairway in which you walk down to the waterfall; a 200 km walk to the waterfall. No big deal, right? Wrong. When you decide to leave the waterfall, and walk back up, the horror soon begins. Don’t get me wrong, the waterfall is beautiful, just way too hot for mid day adventure. I’d recommend going in the morning when it’s cooler and there are less tourists. Read more about my experience at the Tegenungan Waterfall.
Feeling glorious in the air conditioned van, we make our way to a coppee farm. What is coppee? Coppee is a specific type of Indonesian coffee, produced from certain seeds that these monkey like creatures eat, but can’t digest. The seeds are picked from the poop, and harvested into the world’s most expensive and exclusive coffee. Bougie. After our quick visit, and purchase, we move our adventure on to actual monkeys. Our next visit is the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud.
The monkey forest is a tourist trap, but you should still visit it and here’s why: The grounds are beautiful, and the money goes to a good cause which is preservation and conservation of the monkeys and the temple. There are lots of people, and lots of bananas for sale, with little shops all nestled around a temple in a forest. Old giant trees canopy over you, while thousands of vines hang down for the monkeys to swing on. It is gorgeous. There is a lack of available educational materials regarding the monkeys, their habitat, and the temple. Monkeys live in packs here, that’s why they fight; when 1 monkey from another tribe steps onto the territory of another tribe, shit will get real, really quicly. For more information, check out my review on the Sacred Monkey Forest.
After the monkey forest, our driver takes us to a local place for lunch. The restaurant overlooks a temple, a rice field, and a coy pond. Magical. Matt went with the drivers recommendation, and orders the fried duck; it was awesome. Now to some worldly rice terraces.
Driving to the UNISECO world heritage site of the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I see are rows of shanty like houses that are filled with crap for tourists. It is when you walk past the shops, and look down into the valley, that you are enchanted with the mesmerizing rice terraces. The valley seems to go on forever, with a sprinkling of sunbeams shining through the tree canopy. The Tegalalang Rice Terrace, in Ubud, is so unreal, so gorgeous, so green , and so full of life. Only staying for a short while, we finish the evening in Ubud at the Puri Saren Palace.
The architecture and detail of the structures at the Puri Saren Palace are ornate and beautiful. Again I wish there is more education on the buildings, perhaps a guide or maybe an app on the phone. After 30 minutes at the palace, we head back to our villa, stopping once again at the 24 hour convenience store for some more Pringles and Bintangs.
Later that evening we decide to take a walk down to Double Six Beach. Rows of bungalow bars serve drinks and provide live music to a rainbow of bean bag chairs. Relaxing, we order some Bintangs, enjoy the music, and watch the waves.
Trip to Bali: Day 4
Our 4th day on our trip to Bali we decide to spend the day at one top luxury resort in Bali; the Unsung Clifftop Resort. Planning on only spending the day, we end up staying until the late evening. Getting back to our hotel late we had to pack and prep for our next trip to Hong Kong.
Leaving Bali, Indonesia
Our final day in Bali we decide to go to the Unsung Clifftop Resort. This resort was gorgeous it’s no wonder that celebrities and billionaires stay at this place. Situated on the southern tip of the Bali peninsula, the beach below had white smooth sand, blue water, and ginormous waves. We head to Sunday’s Beach club with table service, showers, towels, bathrooms, music, sports and more. The afternoon was great; we quickly make friends with an Australian couple sitting next to us. 7 Bintangs later, I am feeling having a great time.
Getting back to our villa late, we head back to Double Six Beach for our last night in Bali. We enjoyed the serenity of the waves; it is such a happy and peaceful atmosphere.
Traveling From Bali to Hong Kong
The next morning we are on our way out of Bali, and on to Hong Kong. The airport in Bali is brand-new. We were flying on the Indonesian airline, Garuda Indonesia, which I highly recommend to everyone. Garuda Indonesia is the best airline; clean, great service, and the best plane food; you can’t beat it. Five hours later we will be landing in Hong Kong.