Bali is at the moment one of the hottest holiday and travel destinations! This Travel-Guide is to inspire you! But it shall also help you find out definitely which places to add to your bucket-list.
I visited Bali for the first time in my life this summer and I already know, it won’t be the last time. Ever since being to Australia last year I dreamt of going to Bali due to the many raving storys I heard about this little Indonesian island. The more I was excited when the day came and the airplane took of – next destination →
I spent my time there with a good friend from work and her boyfriend, who are travelling the world momentary. Although you can drive from one end of Bali to the other in about 4 hours, we didn’t make it to the north coast. There’s just so many things to see – one more reason to go back again 😉
The overall three weeks we were mainly in the south of Bali where the most touristic life takes place.
WHERE TO STAY IN SANUR?
We’ve stayed in an Airbnb a bit off side of the main center. But it’s perfect when you travel on a budget and don’t mind to drive to the beach (8 mins). Therefore you are in a more quiet area, where you can see the authentic live of the locals. There are some little warungs close by and grocery stores.
For more informations have a look at the appartement here.
On top of the list of great dining is this amazing restaurant called Apa Kabar. They offer a range of delicious Indonesian food with very affordable prices! Really it’s top what you get there for your money. I’m vegetarian, so I just can show you my vegetarian menu, but also my friends who eat meat were totally satisfied
At the beginning you get a welcome drink, a little Arak shot – it’s the traditional Balinese liquor that derives from palm trees. After that you get garlic bread as an appetiser for free. Best thing they will drive you back to your hotel as long as it is in the Sanur-area. Sounds awesome right?!
If you’re vegetarian like me you should try this dish called “Gado Gado”. Translated it literally means “mix mix” since it’s made of all kinds of different seasonal veggies. Actually it’s a salad, but often comes with a side of rice and tofu or tempeh and is as popular as Nasi Goreng. On top you get a delicious peanut sauce… mmh!
The restaurant also has a nice backyard for a dinner under the stars. The service was very friendly and we even got a goodbye present at our last before we left 🙂 have a look here.
Perfect for a stroll → Sanur beach is very relaxed. It’s a good place if you plan to go with younger kids or just search for a more quiet place. There are a lot of fancy restaurants, beach-bars, hotels with stunning pools and temple buildings. Many times we were just pampering ourself with a nice massage at the beach which have been offered by the friendly local lady’s there.
If you’re planing to make a day-trip to Ubud it’s best to book a personal driver for a day. Like that you have the best chance to see a lot and it’s also cost friendly. For more inspiration for your Ubud adventure read my previous article.
Okay, so in Jimbaran we had just a very quick stop. Can’t really tell a lot about it except for some restaurants. But we had also a good budget hotel there and very good sushi. I’ts a bit higher in price than others, but still inexpensive if you compare it to what you would pay in Europe. In overall I paid about 85’000 IDR for my dinner, without alcoholic drinks.
The place is called “HAPPY COW”, it has a very rustical feeling to it, with loth of wooden interior and decor. Unfortunately I can’t show you images of the sushi cause I was just making a photo of the fries I had there – they are addictive – we had to order a second round ;)) Check it out here!
The hotel we stayed in was the “Tropico Jimbaran by Orange”. You have to consider that it’s pretty of the beaten track and you need a cab to get aroudn. But it’s the perfect low budget hotel with indonesian breakfast, clean bedrooms – and a swimming-pool outside. For reviews have a look at TripAdvisor.
ULUWATU – PADANG PADANG BEACH
“Padang Padang Beach” or Pantai Labuan Sait is the name of this famous little stretch of sand in Uluwatu. Highly known as a surf spot for advanced level it attracts visitors from all over the world. Don’t try surfing there as a beginner – the low riff and the high waves are rough. Also for swimming it’s not the best place to recommend – the sand contains many corals and little pebbles.
You need to pay an entry fee of 10’000 IDR. Access to the beach you get through a stairway which is very pretty – it is built in the edges of a big rock. Padang Padang Beach is a place where sunbathing, watching people and surfers takes place.
It’s quite crowded and is also a popular place for regular international surfing events like the Rip Curl Cup. As a local later on said – “Blue Lagoon Beach” is the one he would recommend as seeing the next time. I definitely keep that in mind for my future Bali trip. What do you think? Have you been at these beaches?
ULUWATU TEMPLE – PURALUHUR
The temple in Uluwatu is at a very beautiful spot, approximately 70 metres above sea level! A long walk along the coast takes you to the top of a steep cliff where the temple was built. On the way there take care to your belongings.
I had a little intermezzo with this little boy you see in the picture below haha. He just came out of nowhere and cheeky as he was stole my sunglases from my head while I was taking a picture. Entry fee is about 30’00 IDR and if you don’t wear long trousers you’re going to get a sarong before you enter the area. Make sure to be there at least one hour before the sun sets down. The light turning the sea in liquid gold is magical.
SURFING AND THE BEACHES
As wonderful as it was to discover Balis temples, coffee farms and markets – as much did I love it to just relax at the beach and don’t do anything more than standing up, go to the beach early, surf, or drink a fresh cold coconut and just do nothing else all day long. Okay, maybe go for some lunch or dinner.
While I was in Australia a year ago I tried surfing for the first time in my life. Never would I ever have thought that I name myself a person who would go surfing, neither would fall in love with it. In primary school I was terribly scared of water and cause I had asthma also had difficulties to breath deeply when swimming. My asthma is gone now since some time, but what was left was the unpleasant feeling with water.
But since the surf lesson, or better surf camp in Australia this has completely changed. I still have a lot of respect and I’m very careful with going deeper in the ocean – but I fell in love with the feeling that it gives to you being out there.
One of the locals in Bali said to us – “the ocean is what makes you feel alive” – and I guess that is somehow a good description of what you feel while surfing.
Even though you are totally exhausted by the end and especially the day after, you feel truely present, like you are one with mother nature, you feel refreshed, brave and it’s a lot of fun. At the beginning you will need a teacher. I had private surf teacher in Bali, that is great in comparison to Australia where I was just in groups of at least eight people, you will find in Bali pretty much everywhere really good local teacher for a very reasonable price.
And often you can rent the board for some more hours afterwards for free.
This is the “Six Flag Beach” in Seminyak. For beginners it is one of the perfect places to learn surfing. The stretch from Kuta to Seminyak and further to Canggu is perfect for catching some waves. Especially for beginners, but there were also a lot of intermediate and advanced surfers out there. Another advantage → you just seldom have sharks at this side of the coast. You can also easily walk from Kuta to Semyniak within 15 minutes and enjoy both beaches.
KUTA is more touristic and known as the party town of Bali. Though this might be true I didn’t sense it as that crazy. I have to mention at the beginning I thought I would better not go to Kuta because of all the reviews I read about it. Of course there are crowded places, but also in Kuta you can find relaxed bars and you will never get bored.
SEMINYAK in comparison is also perfect for surfing but it’s more luxurious and sophisticated than Kuta. There are a lot of designer bars, chic restaurants and high-end resorts. Semyniak has a more relaxed atmosphere though than Kuta and a little less teens hanging out there at the evening.
CANGGU is very famous for its surf spots, the black sand beach and for being a place where a lot of digital nomads and European people settle down for longer than just some holidays. It’s also said it’s a bit of a hippster place with an easygoing vibe to it.
I also wrote a post about Kuta and how to know if it’s a place you want to visit or not.
Do you have some other great places in Bali you liked? Write me in the comments ♥