HI GUYS. I know this is overdue, but thanks for being so patient with me! Over the past few weeks I’ve been jotting down little memories from our trip so I can make sure to include everything essential in this post. I’m going to go in chronological order by area. This is the order of the different areas we traveled to in Bali. I’m only recommending the places that I truly loved, so if you ever happen to travel to Bali, I hope this will help make your trip THAT much better. Please let me know if you have further questions (just leave a comment below) and enjoy!
Let’s start at the airport— we flew Eva air (in economy seats) and I highly recommend it when flying to Bali. It was comfortable and the food was surprisingly good for airplane food.
Before we left for our trip Rudy bought these special visa fast passes from The Bali Concierge [click here] and I’m so happy we had them! Someone was waiting for us with a sign as soon as we stepped off the plane, and escorted us through customs. We avoided the entire line (it was LONG) and an officer stamped our passports right away. Then they took us to a waiting room (with water and macadamia nut cookies) while they grabbed our luggage for us. They made things so easy peasy… and after the 22 hour travel it was SO worth it. They made sure we found contact with our pre-scheduled driver and we were on our way to Ubud!
First stop: UBUD
Ubud was magical. Definitely make it a part of your Bali itinerary. The first night we stayed in a beautiful villa at Chepung Sebali [see my post on the hotel here]. Upon arrival they greeted us with red, white, and black string bracelets with a dragonfly charm, which was supposed to bring good luck. Mostly everyone in Bali wears a version of this bracelet… so sweet. We had dinner at Junglefish, then woke up the next morning to a gorgeous sunrise.
The second night we stayed at the Viceroy Bali, and it felt like we were on our honeymoon! SO romantic. [Click here] to see my post on the Viceroy.
Get drinks at: Apertif (fancy but the sweetest staff, crafted cocktails, and pool tables)
Things to see: the rice fields. They are so pretty! We also really wanted to do the Ayung river float (water rafting) but we didn’t have time. Rudy’s parents just did it when they were in Bali and they said it was the highlight of their trip. I’m doing this next time I go there!
Things to do: shopping! The Ubud market is probably the best local shopping in Bali. If you want to find authentic, local stuff for cheap this is the place, definitely bargain as much as you can. The street shopping in Ubud is really good compared to the other areas in Bali, so make sure to look around while you’re there!
Junglefish (at Chepung Sebali) is an open-to-the-public pool that’s great to hangout at during the day when it’s too hot to walk around. The gift shop at Chepung Sebali also has really cool jewelry so if you’re there, you should definitely check it out!
Things I learned: the “Gates of Heaven” temple was not what it looks like from the photos on IG. When we first got there, we were like, “where’s the water?!” and then we see that someone is using a tiny black mirror under everyone’s camera to make it look like water. It wasn’t at all like what you see on IG! Fake news haha.
The famous “Bali swing” is kind of a dupe as well. There’s tons all over Ubud, and they are a lot of fun to ride but it’s a total tourist trap. I’m still happy I went though because we had fun riding it! The place we went to was called Alas Harum Bali, and they had a Luwak coffee tasting (Luwak coffee is made from coffee beans that have been ingested and pooped out by a weasel). The weasel’s digestive system provides a special enzyme to the coffee bean. I know it sounds nasty, but it’s actually good coffee and you should definitely try it if you’re there!
We went on a tour (to see the gates of heaven, a waterfall, the swing, and mountain-view lunch) that we ended up cutting short because it was too much driving for one day. Make sure you look at how long the tours are before you book them!
Next stop: SEMINYAK.
I’ve been to Seminyak before so it was nice to be back. It wasn’t my favorite place in Bali but it was cool to visit the places I went to on my last trip there. We stayed at the W Bali which is right on the beach and has a very hip/fun vibe. The crowd is more lively and the pool gets poppin around sunset. We really enjoyed our stay there!
Places to eat:
Sarong. Oh my goodness this place has such amazing Indian style food. It has a really cool vibe and the food is so flavorful. Prepare to eat a lot, but you won’t regret it.
Sea Circus. Aw I love this place, I used to go there for breakfast every morning years ago! I recommend going for brekkie or lunch. Cute decor, good vibe, in the town. They also have a sister retail store called Neon Palms, which has really cute clothes for men/women next door).
I also hear Mamasan and Murah Putin are good restaurants too. We wanted to go to Motel Mexicola for happy hour/dancing but we didn’t make it.
Things to do: pool/lounge. For a sceney pool/beach lounge go to Potato Head Beach Club.
Rent a surfboard on the beach, the waves are good for learning.
Places to go out: Da Maria. A lot of Aussies but good music and fun vibe!
Next Stop: ULUWATU
Prepare to be amazed. Uluwatu is one of my favorite spots in Bali. It’s just special! We stayed at the Six Senses (my favorite hotel I’ve ever stayed at) for two nights [click here for more about our stay at Six Senses], and then the Renaissance Bali for 1 night. Both were beautiful.
Things to do: SURF. This is the surfer’s paradise. Uluwatu, Impossibles, and Padang Padang are good beaches for surfing—according to Rudy. Not for beginners though.
Enjoy the pool with a stunning cliff view of the ocean
day clubs: Single Fin (Sundays are the best days to go) or Roosterfish Beach Club (get the fish tacos)
monkey forest (we didn’t get to do this but wanted to)
Places to eat: La Baraca (we didn’t get to go but have heard amazing things)
NEXT STOP: NUSA LEMBONGAN
Ugh I love this place! We took the ferry from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan. We were told the ferry ride was “intense” but it wasn’t anything crazy… quite enjoyable on the day we went. We stayed at the Tamarind Hotel and it was such a great spot! [Click here for my post on the Tamarind].
Things to do: rent scooters! We were hesitant to renting scooters in all of the other places we visited in Bali, but we felt comfortable here because there weren’t many people on the roads.
Take the scooter over the yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan, a cute little island with trendy bars on the beach, great beaches, and good vibes. The beach bars have swings and hammocks over the shallow water which was great for photos. We LOVED it here. Rudy had his “best surf day” here on the beach below Mahana Point (Cliff Jump). White sandy beaches. Get an ice cold beer at Cliff Jump and watch the waves come in!
A MUST GO: Devil’s Tear (Nusa Lembongan). Holy shit this place was unreal. It’s basically a cliff that is formed in a way that when it is high tide, it makes the waves come in and shoot back out a powerful mist out onto the ocean. We were screaming it was that insane. I wish I could post the video here (but it’s in my BALI highlight on IG) 😉 Go around sunset so the lighting hits the mist just right.
Take the small ferry boat (15 min) to Nusa Penida. We didn’t have much time to explore the island because it was getting dark, but we had an amazing meal at Jungle Warung (except for the annoying amount of flies surrounding our table, the food was great!!). Things we didnt (but wish we we could’ve) do on Nusa Penida: Kelingking Beach (T-Rex) and Crystal Bay.
We also wanted to swim with the manta rays at Manta Bay, but we didn’t have time!
Places to eat: we had really good cheap sushi at Oishii, and they even offer free rides to and from the restaurant to your hotel.
LAST STOP: CANGGU
We LOVED Canggu. It was very our vibe. Beach, chill people, good food, fun nightlife scene. We stayed at the Kalapa Resort and Spa and it was the last stop of our trip.
Places to eat: FISHBONE. We couldn’t believe how good the food was. We could barely stop ourselves from ordering everything on the menu. We had gyoza, black miso cod, ahi tuna, papaya salad, and caramel panna cotta for dessert. It was a memorable dining experience if you can’t tell haha. It’s also located right near the beach!
the Lawn. We had lunch/drinks here and both were delicious. It’s a beach club with DJs, and apparently they throw good parties there. We left before the big party started.
Luigi’s Hot Pizza. We were only in Canggu for two nights but we ate here twice… haha. Bomb pizza and literally ICE cold beers. Everywhere else in Bali sells cold beers but not ICE cold. It was greatly appreciated after two weeks in HOT Bali. Mmmm.
La Brisa- great day club on the beach
Shopping in Canggu is great! We found a store that was near the city center (not the tourist area) which is where we got a lot of wooden dishes for our home. The total came out to around $12… so cheap!
We bought our pillow cases in Canggu as well. Take advantage of the home decor shopping in Canggu!
Things to do: surf, eat, chill, shop.
In my questionnaire on Instagram, I asked you guys what specifically you wanted me to include in this Bali guide. A lot of you were interested in budgeting for a trip like this. We were lucky to have the chance to collaborate with these amazing hotels, so accommodations were not included in our budget. Bali is generally a lot cheaper than LA, so it’s definitely possible to “ball on a budget” there. If it’s within your budget, I would definitely recommend staying at one of these resorts even if its just for a night or two, because we had an unbelievably great experience 🙂
I want to give a HUGE thank you to Nicole at Inspo Travel (who helped us book Viceroy, W Seminyak, Tamarind Resort, and Six Senses). I also want to thank Josephine at The Asia Collective for helping us book Chepung Sebali, the Kalapa Resort and Spa, and the Renaissance Bali!
I hope this was any bit of help to any of you traveling to Bali in the future! Please feel free to add recommendations below, so others can get some advice from you guys too 🙂