Last week I arrived back in Amsterdam after having spent three weeks on Bali & Gili Trawangan. Today, I will share the words I wrote during my sleepless jetlag hours on Bali, or while sipping on a coconut on the beach. Yeah.. I can’t complain. So hereby, our travel schedule: the things we did, the places we slept and the food we ate.
Day 1, 2, 3 & 4: Travelling & Canggu
As Bali is basically on the other side of the world, we had to face quite a flight. On day 2, because of the time difference of 6 hours, we landed at 6 PM on rainy Bali and got to our homestay Bona Kubu (highly recommended!) in Canggu, which is North Kuta. Canggu is a wonderful place for health lovers like us: on every corner of the street there is ‘just another’ restaurant where you can find the greatest healthy food. It’s also less touristic and crowded than Kuta and Seminyak and there’s a really relaxed surfer’s atmosphere.
Day 3 was our first full day in Canggu and we started it by having breakfast at Betelnut. We had hired two bicycles, as we had never driven a scooter before and I wasn’t so sure about it after a little lesson from our guest house manager (and after I had seen the traffic drama in Kuta and Seminyak). Although, a scooter is a fast and cheap way to get around the island. After a coffee and a smoothie bowl we decided to have a manicure at Therapy, which is a 10 minute ride. Next stop: Echo beach! We had a great view over the rough sea and all the surfers, and finally: the sun came through! We had lunch at Little Flinders and got to Old Man’s to meet up with two German girls we had met in our homestay. We sat on the beach for a while and when the sun was almost leaving us again, we drove back to the homestay to get freshened up. In the night we had dinner at Deus and afterwards we went to Old Man’s again, which is a great place for a beach party on Wednesdays. The next day I went to the hairdresser in the morning to get my hair braided. Those warm days are not made for girls with long hair! Afterwards, we had a peanutbutter bowl at Nalu bowls and got back to our homestay to check-out. We had hired a driver to bring us to the Tanah lot temple, and although it was really hot outside, we enjoyed the temple and the area around it. After having some fresh coconuts, we got back to our driver, who brought us to our next destination: Seminyak! We walked a little, got into some shops and had an Italian dinner.
The only thing we do here: eating ;-). This is at Little Flinders.
Day 5: Seminyak
A full day in Seminyak, but as we didn’t really like the area, we spent the day a little more towards Canggu, at Finn’s Beach Club. I loved the place: it had an infinity pool with a bar, many sunbeds and a great view over the beach. In the night, there was a party, so we stayed until ten and got back to our homestay (Valka Bali, clean, simple and quite near the main streets of Seminyak).
Day 6 & 7: Uluwatu
Time to go to the south! After our check-out we drove with a taxi to Uluwatu, which is one of the biggest surfer villages on Bali. Our homestay was really well located, but quite dirty and overpriced for the quality we got. I did like Uluwatu a lot, the beaches are surrounded by reefs and you need to do a little hike to get down, but it was really worth it. Afterwards, we went to the Uluwatu Temple and saw a typical Balinese dance show during sunset. We had dinner at a warung and went back to make plans for the Gilis.
On Sunday we had breakfast at Nalu bowls again, as there are a couple of them on Bali. We got to Padang Padang beach afterwards, which is a famous but small beach. In the night there was a party at Single Fin, so we decided to go there. It was really fun to get in touch with so many different people (although most of them were Australians).
Day 8, 9,10, 11: Gili Trawangan
The alarm went off at 5AM, because a taxi will drive us to Nusa Dua, where we got a pick-up to Padang Bai. From Padang Bai we took the ferry to Gili Trawangan, which is one of the Gili islands in front of the coast of Lombok. The ferry got from Lombok to Gili Air and eventually Gili Trawangan in about two hours. These islands are a paradise: white beaches, clearblue water, palmtrees, no cars (just horse-drawn-carriage) and many beach bars. It’s like an old village that never really modernised. We slept in a homestay near the ‘main street’ and after having dropped our stuff, we went for a walk in the village. The homestay was primitive, but allright. The only thing that bothered us were the prayings coming from the mosque all night long. The rest of the day we just sat on the beach with a drink (in the shadow, please!), just like all the other days. We also had a pedicure and… We went snorkeling! A must-do if you are on a Gili island. We booked a boat and got on 3 different snorkeling spots. I have seen a lot of fish (Nemo and Dory included) and coral, but unforunately, no turtles! A great place to eat at Gili T. (breakfast, lunch and pies) is Kayu Café. Delicious and healthy food! Fish & barbeque food is also very good on the island, and if you dare, there’s a food night market where the food will be prepared in front of you. On our last full day, we rented a bike, because in half an hour, you have cycled around the whole island (some areas were a little bit harder to cycle on than others). Great to see the more quite side of the island as well. But Gili T. is also famous for its parties, so don’t forget to join one!
I am aware of the fact that drinking coconuts is the common theme in this post.
Day 12, 13, 14, 15: Ubud
After these relaxing days on Gili Trawangan, we went back to Bali and drove to the center of the island: Ubud. This place is called the green heart of Bali and I can only affirm that fact. If you move to the smaller streets, you will find the great ricefields of the city. We bought some souvenirs at the Ubud market and visited the Tegalalang rice terrace. The Monkey Forest and Tegenungan waterfalls were also on the list. Plus, I enjoyed one of the biggest advantages of Bali: a typical Balinese massage at Jaen’s Spa (very good massages for a cheap price and they arrange a pick-up at your hotel in Ubud). Afterwards I went to have another acaï bowl at Watercress. Oh, and we slept at Tukad Mas, which is a great homestay a little outside the center.
Tegalalang rice terrace
Day 16, 17, 18 19: Lovina Beach & leaving Bali
Our last destination of this holiday was Lovina Beach, where we spent some days with my parents, who had also arrived on Bali in the meantime. Lovina Beach is a lot more quiet than the south of the island, but it really has its charm. We had some relaxing days, but also went dolphin spotting at 6 AM in the morning, had another massage, lunch at Buda Bakery and went to the city center (which was a lot smaller than we expected). I also went on a tour through the mountains with my parents, where we stopped at a coffee plantation and saw people pick and dry cloves. We were very lucky, because this time we could sleep at acquintances, who have a house on the beach.
And then the holiday was already over! 3 weeks seemed to be very long before we went to the island, but if it’s your first time on Bali, it is the minimum length you should spend here. There’s just so much to do! Stay tuned, because soon I will post a video of our holiday. Right now, we’re still buzzing from all the memories. And maybe, I’ll come back some day!