Travel Diaries – Bali
Bali was on my places to visit for the longest time and I’m happy to say I can tick this off the list! We travelled to Indonesia for 12 nights and within that time, stayed on another island for 2 nights, Gili Trawangan. We set out at London Heathrow for a fairly long journey but the return was far worse! The outward journey to Bali was approximately 20hrs with the return being 30hrs! That was definitely a downer to end our high spirits after such a great holiday. We booked very last minute as we had planned to go to the Dominican Republic but with all that was happening with hurricanes, we didn’t take the risk. Our hearts go out to all the people across the Caribbean and although I have been before, I do hope to visit again in the near future.
Where we stayed
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia.
Kuta is in the South of Bali and a popular tourist destination. Kuta is particularly popular for surfing and we were asked numerous times on the beach if we wanted to learn how to surf. Kuta is also great for its nightlife with Sky Gardens alongside many other clubs on the popular strip.
What We Did
On the first two days after all the travelling, we decided to have a couple chilled pool days although we met up with a fellow blogger friend of mine for dinner (Christine) who happened to be in Bali at the same time. We went to a beautiful restaurant called Bridges in Ubud recommended by Chrissy which was about 1hr 30mins away from Kuta. She’s good at finding great food spots, she did the same in Paris!
I teamed an old floral playsuit from H&M with some black heels that I bought from Primark (for £6 btw) and my trusted Zara cross body bag. I love this bag because it looks so chic and is the perfect size for daily use.
We decided to venture out to the beach nearby as we stayed in Kuta for the majority of the holiday. We began to walk but then decided to take a cab as it was so hot outside, but once we realised how close it were, we decided to walk the next time we returned.
The beach isn’t the most picturesque with white sands and all that jazz however, it was decent enough as far as beaches go. We watched the sunset which was so beautiful, the photos do it no justice!
The only thing I would say which is a turnoff that you may experience in many countries, is the harassment we got from the locals on the beach trying to sell us things including massages. They literally pounce on you as soon as you enter the beach without giving you a chance to settle which is a bit annoying.
Potato Head Beach Club located in Seminyak was one place that kept popping up when our friends recommended things to do in Bali and rightly so! It has a couple of restaurants and around 3 bars on the back of a beach, as well as an indoor infinity pool! A cocktail in hand and a lounge on the hammocks make for a perfect chilled night if I ever did see one.
I’m unsure whether this night was so good due to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed, or whether we were excited to be in Bali full stop? Perhaps both! Nonetheless, it was a good night. We tried to work our way through the intriguing cocktail menu but then soon realised how messy the night could become, so I chose to switch to my usual Hennessy and apple juice after about 4 cocktails.
Jimbaran Bay was also on the must see list. This is a very popular beach with numerous restaurants along the beachfront, and although the majority were seafood restaurants, some did have other food on offer. As a fan of seafood this was fine for me but my friend doesn’t eat seafood so we had to explore a few before we settled on one we both could enjoy. Eventually we found one where I stuck to prawns with rice and my friend had a chicken noodle dish. We enjoyed our meals whilst watching the sun go down which was beautiful.
If you want to see more of Bali than what the touristy areas have to offer, I would recommend staying in or at least visiting Ubud. It’s completely different to Kuta in that it is more rural and you can get more of a feel for the way people live in Bali. We wanted to tour Ubud but tailor the tour to places we actually wanted to visit rather than the set places outlined with the tour operators. For the day, we paid 500,000 Rupiah for both of us which is around £25 – £28 depending on the exchange rate, so approximately £12.50 – £14 each. This included a driver for the day and we visited six places – A Waterfall, The Spices Nature Coffee Plantation, Ubud Monkey Forest, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Kintamani Volcano and Tirta Empul Tampaksiring (Holy Spring Water Temple).
Holy Spring Temple
Toward the back end of our holiday we travelled to another island and had initially planned to stay for one night, but when we got there, it was so beautiful we decided to stay an extra night. The trip itself was inexpensive and cost us 500,000 Rupiah each to travel from Bali to the island. We had to book accommodation once we arrived and managed to find a clean bungalow close to the beach for 300,000 Rupiah a night which was around £15. The journey to Gili was quite long in that we had a transfer from our hotel to a port which was around 1hr 30mins and then a boat for another 1hr30mins – 2hrs.
We didn’t really get a true representation of Balinese food due to Kuta being dominated by restaurants for tourists, although this changed when we were in Gili T. We were able to get a taste of street food from the food markets for really cheap! We spent 20,000 Rupiah on 5 different foods which is about £1! All in all, I feel the food was pretty standard and lacking in flavour a lot of the time. But with so much variety, you cannot go hungry.
I feel like every single time I go away, I can never come back and say that I hadn’t attracted much attention, unless I holiday in the Caribbean. Imagine being called Wacka Wacka, Obama and Spice Girls all in one trip? In Bali, it was like I was a celebrity! The majority of the time, the attention came from people wanting to take our pictures, mainly Malaysians, but it was the way they approached the situation that became frustrating – they would either try to be discreet and take our pics on a sly or they would ask – either way I am not a tourist attraction so I politely declined.
Almost everyone commented on my hair because it wasn’t like anything they had seen before, and I can appreciate they were intrigued which is why I was happy to tell them about it. But having a lady say ‘OH EMM GEE’ as we walked by reaffirms we really are BLACK GIRL MAGIC!
Bali is quite inexpensive depending on what you plan to do. The majority of our money went on food and drink as our hotel was bed and breakfast. We spent on average around £20 per day on food and drink. The rest of our money was spent on travelling via cabs and on nights out and depending on where it is you are going, costs will vary. A tip though is whatever cost the cab driver quotes you, refuse the first quote and go in again by half, you will negotiate a better price in the end.
We went to a few clubs on the strip at night and they played decent music. I do not remember the actual names of the clubs but if you walk down the road, you can generally hear the types of music they play. Sky Gardens was a really popular club but we just didn’t feel the music so went to other clubs close by. I would recommend having a few drinks of your choice at your hotel beforehand as the drinks in the clubs aren’t great, but if watered down local spirits is your thing then go for it!
Things To Do
Again, depending on what type of holiday you want, the possibilities are endless. If you like a more relaxed holiday, there are many beaches to go to across Bali. We went to Nusa Dua beach within our time there along with visiting the Gili Islands including Gili Air and Gili Meno where we went snorkelling in the day. Or if you like adventure, you could do some excursions or tours across Bali as we did on the tour of Ubud. We burnt a lot of calories walking that day! I would look into the type of activities you are interested in beforehand but would book when you arrive as you are able to negotiate prices.
Would I Go Back?
I wouldn’t be in a hurry to go back because I have been now and I do not feel I would gain much more from going again and I really cannot deal with the flight length to get there. Although I wouldn’t completely rule it out, as I think it is a beautiful country and perfect for a baecation!
I really enjoyed this holiday and captured so much more than I could include in one blog post. Have you travelled to Bali before or anywhere similar? I’d love to hear your travel experiences in the comments below!
Thank you for reading and hope to see you on my next post!
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