This post has taken me so long to put together and I sincerely apologize! However, lets not delay it any longer and get into my travels.
Late last year I planned a trip to travel across Southeast Asia with my younger sister Asma, who was already in Singapore for study abroad. Originally I had just planned to go to Singapore to visit her and check out her university, but after she told me how cheap it was to fly to different countries, once you’re there, I was hooked. I’m going to breakdown my trip into three separate posts. I’ll start with Bali, then one for Bangkok and Singapore, and last but certainly not the least will be for Chiang Mai.
There is a lot to see so let’s get started. I am not the best photographer, but I am learning. Apologies in advance!
This trip was the first time I went out of the country with no one calling the shots except me and my sister. We had full reigns to go wherever we want and do whatever we want whenever we want. I was definitely nervous but prepared…or so I thought. When you google Bali all you see is endless blue waters and greenery, or various scenes from ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ Although some parts of Bali do look like that, the majority of it does not. Once I got past my expectations, it was clear that Bali was a city full of life and awaiting adventures!
We stayed at The Rhadana hotel, which was a short walk away from Kuta beach and the main street with all the shopping and restaurants! The best parts of the hotel: complimentary breakfast, mini mart across the street and the hotel staff. Every member of the staff was ready with suggestions on where to go and life savers when it came to helping us cross the busy road – It is definitely not the pedestrians way in Bali so be careful! If I ever get the chance to go back you know where I’ll be staying.
Fish spa pedicure
I wouldn’t say it is the most sanitary of pedicures but it is really popular in Southeast Asia and a definite experience. After a quick rinse just pop your feet in and brace yourself for the tickle of a lifetime! You’ll see these kinds of spas mainly on the side of the street, but don’t be afraid this is normal.
Uluwatu Water Temple
A quick climb up to the most beautiful views overlooking the water. It was really hot and humid so make sure to always have some water on hand to stay hydrated! Because of the time crunch we went in the afternoon, but we heard the best time to go is at sunset for the most breathtaking views and dance performances by the Kecak. Side note: There are monkeys everywhere! This can be cool for some and terrifying for others… I am associated with the latter.
Sunset and dinner at Jimbaran Beach
Jimbaran beach is known for the strip of seafood restaurants along the water. If you think you can just go to the beach, walk around and browse the menus to decide where you want to eat, you are wrong. The restaurant you go to is all based on your driver. The driver encouraged or really demanded we go to a particular restaurant because there was no where else he could park. Fortunately the restaurant wasn’t too bad, but we think the taxi drivers get a tip or commission if they bring in customers. So if you don’t want dinner to be a gamble, do some research and pick the restaurant before you go.
Teba Sari Luwak Coffee Plantation & Bebek Restaurant
We were taken to this particular plantation by our driver, again we think they get some commission since this place was very touristy. There was a quick tour of all the plants and animals with coffee tasting at the end. The process of making Luwak coffee is quite interesting; it all starts with the Luwak, which is an animal that poops coffee beans. No, I’m not joking. After the Coffee tasting we made a quick stop at their gift shop and headed out. We decided to have lunch at the restaurant that was located near the plantation. The food,service, and atmosphere was great! The best part was having lunch in one of the huts over the pond with all the goldfish.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
By the time we got to the rice field we were beat. We did walk around, but I think you might get more out of this visit if you have a tour guide to give you some background or facts about how everything is done in the fields. There is a cafe overlooking the fields if you’d rather enjoy the view rather than hike through it.
According to my sister it is absolutely necessary to have bug spray for this visit. Before going on this trip I found these insect repellent bracelets that I wore the entire span of my trip. So, I chickened out and didn’t go in the monkey forrest; earlier at the water temple a monkey jumped on me from behind and stole my sunglasses right off of my head, so I respectfully declined the opportunity to walk into a forest filled with monkeys. However, my sister went in and got a great photo while I shopped around at the booths right outside.
Sunrise at Sanur Beach
This was the day we were supposed to hike Mt. Batur to catch the sunrise. When making the itinerary we didn’t realize how exhausted we would be after all the flying and the immediate exploring, so when it came to it we decided to sleep in and catch the sunrise at the beach instead of waking up super early to hike. As you can see this sunrise did not disappoint 🙂
A relaxed environment with great photo ops, vast waters, and a bunch of shops with touristy souvenirs. It’s nice to walk around and enjoy the history, but it was really hot! In retrospect, I should’ve bought one of the traditional straw hats the minute I landed in Bali! With all the walking and the heat I can’t stress how important it is to stay hydrated.
I hope you all enjoyed this glimpse into Bali as much as I loved Bali itself!
If you are planning to go to Bali or have any questions about my trip please leave a comment below!
Additional Southeast Asia travel diaries coming soon!