Imagine a place where the sun shines, the beaches are beautiful and the locals always smile, find out our top 5 things to do in wonderful Bali…
When? Easter break April 2017
How long? 11 days
5: Seminyak beach clubs and nightlife
You’ll land in Bali on the islands main international airport Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar). Jump in a cab and head 20 minutes up the coast to Seminyak. Be prepared to barter for the cab, my advice is whatever they say half it and go from there, it’s common practice to barter for everything in Bali so don’t be afraid to haggle! Generally about 150-200 is a good price to Seminyak.
During the daytime we went to the world famous Potato Head Club, think seriously good cocktails, infinity pool overlooking the ocean and super tasty food, the burgers are ace and the kookaburra cocktail is worth trying! It is quite expensive but for a one off I’d say it’s definitely worth it. Alternatively there are lots of small bars along the beach where you can hire a deck chair and drink cheap beer and soak up the sunshine.
Nightlife is Seminyak is great, less seedy than its coastal neighbour Kuta and there are plenty of places to dance into the early hours. La Favela was a favourite of ours, great cocktails and good music and open late.
For a healthy recovery brunch the next morning try the spicy coconut, a vegetarian restaurant which offers great smoothies and power bowls 💪
4- Pura Tirta Empul Water Temple and Rice Paddies
From central Ubud we hired a cab driver for an afternoon, generally about 3/400 and they’ll become your personal tour guide and driver for the day.
Pura Tirta Empul Hindu Balinese water temple is used by local Hindus for ritual purification. The natural spring fills the pools with holy water and hundreds of locals line up to wash in the pools, a site to behold. Entrance fee includes the hiring of a colourful sarong to cover your knees, there’s a beautiful pool full of Koi carp and lots of beautiful architecture to explore for a couple of hours. There are some markets as you leave, again a good place to hone your bartering skills.
From here our driver took us to Tegalalang rice paddies, which is a great option for beautiful rice paddies close to the centre of Ubud. The view from the road is beautiful but it’s worth having a walk around and down into the paddies. You can walk around these for free but be aware of the locals trying to charge entrance fees! Just politely decline and I hope you avoid the elderly woman who revealed herself to us in hope of some sort of tip!
*Tip-Apparently there are more temples than homes in Bali so there are lots of great temples to explore*
3- Yoga in Ubud
You can’t go to Bali and not get involved in yoga. There are lots of options all over the island however my favourite was the Yoga Barn in Ubud. The yoga studio is up on the trees and we attended the free community yoga at 18:30 each evening. Get there earlyish to ensure you get a spot and cover yourself on mosquito spray, not an enjoyable experience getting eaten alive whilst trying to hold a downwards dog.
Their home made smoothies are worth having after a sweaty yoga session and before any more cocktails…
2- Mount Batur sunrise climb
From Ubud Get picked up at 02:15 am in a very ropey minivan with a driver who thinks he’s Lewis Hamilton and drive the 90 minutes or so to the foot of Mount Batur. If/when you arrive safely you then trek 2 hours up to the summit of the mountain to watch the sunrise above the clouds, its as beautiful as it sounds. We booked through our hostel and most tours include transport, breakfast to take up with you and a torch. Be aware of the monkeys on top who will happily nick your banana or sandwich if given the chance!
1- Gili Trawangan
A visit to the Gili islands is a must. We took the fast boat from Amed across to Gili T, book ahead online to ensure your seat. There are lots of options for boats from Padong Bai but as we were short on time we wanted the fastest option.
Gili T is whatever you want it to be. Cheap hostels and home stays a plenty or 5 star beach hotels if you want to splash out. The beaches are beautiful and the nightlife is very lively with plenty of choice depending on what you’re looking for.
Hire a bicycle during the day and find a secluded spot to yourself on the beach, you can cycle around the whole island in an hour or so if you’re that way inclined!
A Snorkelling trip is a must from Gili T, there are lots of options for these along the front just take your pick (by now your bartering should be on point!).
Our trip visited a ship wreck, swam with lots of turtles and got in the middle of a feeding frenzy of countless colourful fish before finishing with food and drink on Gili Air. They last about half a day and it’s worth going just to admire the locals natural free diving abilities!