|Bali is an Indonesian island, located in Southeast Asia, mainly known for its rice fields, beaches, and intense focus on self care – gotta love all their spa options. |
I didn’t have any expectations going to Bali and I’m honestly glad I didn’t. Bali truly blew me away. I fell in love with this island. Since the moment I stepped foot out of the airplane I felt this immediate feeling of pure tranquility (perhaps it was the music playing in the background at the Denpasar airport). Everyone I met was super kind and willing to help.
Bali really is like all the images you see on social media. However, one thing that isn’t mentioned is how gentrified Bali is becoming. I noticed it mainly at the restaurants and in specific areas where there were so many white individuals rather than Balinese. There is a huge increase of tourists in the area. I would still highly recommend visiting Bali if you have never been.
Fun fact: If you have a newborn baby you are expected to carry the baby until they reach three months. After the three month mark, the baby is able to touch the ground.
Where to Stay
Think about the type of experience you are hoping to gain from Bali. Are you wanting experience what it might be like in the heart of Bali – Ubud, or are you wanting to be in more of a tourist area with resorts and beaches? On this trip to Bali, I stayed in Ubud at Rumah Sekar’s Bed & Breakfast. I booked this accommodation via Airbnb. (If you have never signed up for an Airbnb account, use this referral link to save up to $55 on your first stay.)
If you are wanting to stay in Ubud, I would highly recommend staying at Rumah Sekar’s Bed & Breakfast. There are a total of four private bedrooms with their own private bathroom and balcony/eating area. Rumah is extremely sweet. She helped us get in contact with a personal driver and we ended up hiring him everyday, which made exploring Ubud and part of Seminyak a bit easier.
Every night Rumah would ask what breakfast option I wanted to eat (there’s four to choose from) and every morning I was super excited to eat breakfast with an amazing view of a rice field. Rumah does have a pool and I enjoyed it once after a day of sightseeing. It was a great way to decompress after a long day.
If you are wanting to have a more resort, beach vibes type of experience I would definitely recommend staying in Seminyak. There’s a strip with many hotels/resorts and beaches such as:
Aksari Villas Seminyak – Offers a one bedroom villa with private bathroom, pool, and jacuzzi. Great for solo travelers, two travelers, and couples. Depending on the time of year you will spend about $130-$165 a night. This is ranked #2 out of all the hotels in Seminyak.
L Hotel Seminyak – offers a more contemporary chic decor for a traveler on a budget. Depending on the time of year you can expect to spend about $50 a night. Great for all travelers.
Double Six Beach (Luxury hotel) – This hotel offers single bedroom suites to two bedroom suites with a private pool to a penthouse. Great for all travelers. Depending on the time of year expect to spend around $350 a night for the most inexpensive option.
Things to Do
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – is a conversed area based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana which translates to “three ways to reach spiritual and physical well being. When visiting the monkey sanctuary DO NOT bring a plastic or paper bag, do not bring plastic bottles, do not bring any type of food, do not pet the monkeys nor look them in the eye, do not approach baby monkeys, and do not scream/run if a monkey makes contact with you.
Lempuyang Temple – also known as the Gates of Heaven, is located about 3 hours from Ubud. This is a must see location in Bali. Unfortunately I was not able to go this time around, but it is definitely on my bucket list for my next trip to Bali. I did my research though, definitely go early in the morning because the line is extremely long. You are only given about three shots before the next person gets to go up.
|Tegallalang Rice Terrence – is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bali. There is an entrance fee of 15,000 IDR. However, when I went it was totally free. All I had to pay for was the super extreme swing experience which was 224,000 IDR including tax. There are other activities you can participate in. Biggest recommendation with this location is to bring water and sunscreen! The heat/sun I took in during my time here legit almost caused me to pass out because I didn’t stay hydrated.|
Tirta Empul Temple – is a Hindu Balinese water temple located outside of Ubud. The temple consists of bathing structures where Balinese Hindus go for purification rituals. There are two sections of water with the bathing structures. I would definitely recommend doing your research before visiting this temple and participating in the purification because each bathing structure means something. Not all bathing structures are meant to be used.
Real Bali Swing – definitely one of the most famous Instagram spots in all of Bali. There are many swings in Bali. However, this is the Bali swing (hence the word real in front of the words). They offer swing, rafting, elephant rides, tours and more!
Goa Gajah – also known as the elephant cave, serves as a sanctuary. I would definitely recommend checking this site out. FYI – if you are currently on your menstrual cycle it is recommended that you do not enter out of respect for the Balinese culture and beliefs. When you are on your menstrual cycle, it is believed that you are not entering in your most purified self.
1. Hire a private driver to explore the island of Bali. This makes it easier for pick up and drop off at different tourist sights. It also allows you to meet and learn from a local. It is a small way to help local businesses, knowing your money is going straight to the individual. On the first day our private driver charged us 600,000 IDR which is about $45 – $45 for a full day of driving from tourist spot to tourist spot for two people is amazing!
2. Make sure you plan in advance a day to day itinerary if where you would like to go. There are many places to see in and/or around Ubud. However, many of the sights I mentioned above are about 1-3 hours from Ubud.
3. Take some time in getting to know the Indonesian currency and the conversion rate of your specific country. For first two days I was a bit lost and I am pretty sure I probably overpaid someone. The smallest bill is 1,000 and the largest bill is 100,000. Do not get the bills confused.
4. For recommendations on places to eat in Ubud and Seminyak visit my Bali Food Heaven blog post.