Updated: Dec 16, 2020
2019 IN THE HOUSE! Wow what a cool start to the year, and kicking it off with a Bali itinerary as it was my first trip of the year thus far (literally January 1, happy new year from the club).
Organizationally, I’m going to breakdown a trip to Ubud and Seminyak. If you follow me on Instagram, you’re aware that I also spent part of my trip at the Fyre Festival aka the mission trip aka Hurt Village aka Gili Air. So I’m going to go ahead and not recommend that, but I will say the people of Gili were absolutely wonderful and it is culturally an intriguing experience to witness and be apart of.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming, here’s the best way to make the most of your time in Bali:
Ubud (3 days)
Ubud is probably the first place that shot onto my travel radar when it came to Bali. When I picture Bali, I picture Ubud. Located inland, Ubud is home to the incredible natural beauty you’ve seen all over Instagram.
Where do I stay (Ubud)
I’m only going to talk about one spot because it was THAT amazing. The Bennu House was the most authentically beautiful home we had the opportunity to stay in. The house basically looked like a 'to scale' Anthropologie, clad with turquoise walls, open air intricate metal designs, and beautifully rustic furniture. Now, I will say it’s out there- I half thought that my taxi driver was taking me to my final resting place, but it’s absolutely worth every penny and is located in the middle of rice patty fields.
The one con about this place: no AC. Just a big old fan. I was sweating essentially the entire time I was in the house.
However, the pros outweigh the cons as we had a cook come and make us breakfast every day, even dinner one night. It was incredible, and I highly recommend booking the experience.
Getting Around (Ubud, Seminyak)
Most places, including Bennu house, can arrange for a driver to come pick you up for the day and take you anywhere you would like to go. Guys...it was $17 for the DAMN DAY. It’s incredibly cheap to travel through Bali and most places take credit cards. MY KIND OF COUNTRY.
Seminyak (3-4 days)
Where to Stay
There are so many great options in Seminyak as it is more of the "city" aesthetic in comparison to Ubud. I highly recommend spending a little extra as the hotels are phenomenal for the money, but our airbnb the Villa Kresna was an absolute stunner. Air conditioned rooms, multiple pools, robes, it was truly a dream come true.
The second place we stayed in Seminyak was just a simple place found on airbnb, but i suggest searching for places that have private pools and entire homes.
Places to Visit (Ubud, Seminyak)
*DISCLAIMER: all the places listed below are a drive to places in and around Ubud and Seminyak. Will require a driver to get around and not all are close to one another. However, Ubud and Seminyak are going to be great jumping off points for all of them. Either way, the traffic sucks pretty much as bad as San Francisco, so that it unfortunate..but bonus time in an air conditioned car (did I mention it's humid?).
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls
Insanely gorgeous waterfalls with a small swimming area at the bottom. Bring flip flops and tennis shoes if you can swing a small backpack for the day, it’s a hike up and down!
I would recommend either (although Tega looks a little more lush and green, probably dependent on the time of year) its a classic experience to see the rice terraces and actual RICE forming within those patty’s. Everyone laughed when I said that but it’s true!! Shit I don’t know where rice comes from, so it’s cool.
Not for the faint of heart. The Monkey Forest is really interesting as monkeys roam around everywhere and enjoy fighting with each other, biting you & even grabbing small children’s nipples (true story). It’s not as easy as it looks to get shots like these as the monkeys do not necessarily come up to you unless you have food (not allowed) or provoke them. It’s a neat experience, but I did not spend too much time there.
So this is not a picture of the Bali swing, BUT I would highly recommend actually venturing to the real swing that goes over the jungle in Badung (linked in title). The unfortunate reality of Bali is they do really cater to tourists, so a lot of the "instagramable" photos you see are not what they appear, as shown beautifully below:
This little garden is beautiful way to see some enormously large koi as feeding them is unregulated and take a walk around the grounds. Another jumping off point if heading off to Lempuyang Temple.
Okay, I have a huge disclaimer on this place. Before arriving, Liz had shown me the photos and we fully expected a beautiful reflecting pool and this place to be obscenely stunning. Come to find out, IT DOES NOT EXIST. Seriously. We asked them where it was located and were told that they put a small mirror underneath iphones...See below.
Reality. Shattered. Sometimes, I hate instagram. But I will say...the photos are absolute fire. No denying that. Sue me. One thing to look out for here is that this is located incredibly far from Ubud and Seminyak, so it may be worth considering if it is worthy of the trip. Secondly, this is a temple so full coverage is required. They have sarongs you can rent for entry.
Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak
Potato Head is where we spent New Years Eve and it is a true club scene, however, it is a beautiful spot to catch a sunset and enjoy a cocktail. Or you know...power through vodka sodas.
Need more suggestions on bali? Comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions!