Bali was our first major trip outside of the country, and it was UH-MAZ-ING!! We spent 10 days there in total, and still didn't have enough time to explore the entire island. Below I've listed a bunch of our favorite activities, food places, and awesome villas we stayed at. The Balinese people were extremely friendly and accommodating, and everything there was ridiculously inexpensive. I felt like a QUEEN.
"THE NICEST AND MOST ACCOMMODATING PEOPLE YOU WILL EVER MEET. PLUS, BEING TREATED LIKE ROYALTY FOR CHEAP."
1) Sri Abu Rati Villa
Definitely the place to stay if you want more of an exotic, countryside experience. You definitely need to be a lover of nature because although the restrooms look swoon-worthy... be mindful that it's outside-- which means...mosquitos.. which means... bug bites/humidity/nature smells. BUT you can have jealous-worthy photos. Pick your battle.
2) Cicada Luxury Hotel
A beautiful and more modernized villa. If I had to recommend a place to stay, I'd choose Cicada mainly because it's walking distance to a bunch of cute restaurants, boutiques, bars, and cafes. It has a great nightlife, and a very popular hip/trendy area for tourists. The only downside is that things tend to be a wheee more pricey here.
YASSSSSSSSSS. You know we love food. Good food. Ones that do not give us "Bali Belly" (aka... the runs). Let me get right into our top favorite GO-TO's:
1) Naughty Nuri
Meat lovers out there!! Amazing place for spare pork ribs. You have to go. We had to go... in fact, we went 3 times while we were in Bali. 'Nough said. Just go.
Favorite fine dining place in Seminyak. The ambience was on point, and the food was extremely flavorful. I highly recommend the:
- Garlic Naan
Their dress code is very strict: you're not allowed to be seated unless men are wearing shirts with sleeves and females are covered up in a long skirt/dress/pants.
3) Milk & Madu
An adorable outdoor cafe with lots of options including gluten free and vegan options. Loved their Acai Bowl, Pizza, and Burger. We came here a lot towards the end of our trip because we are silly Americans and really just missed American food.
4) Jimbaran Bay Seafood
Amazing seafood dinner right on the beach. We came here for dinner to watch the sunset, and it couldn't have been a more perfect experience. We ordered the Package Made which came with lobster, prawns, clam, crab, etc. It was a really good deal for 2 people!
5) Bale Udang Mang Engking
A super romantic Balinese restaurant with great Nasi Goreng. What else can you ask for when you get your own private hut, rice paddy views, and cute drinks? Someone could seriously propose here while spending $15 on their meal. *ahem (you're welcome for the ideas gentlemen)
- Hire your own driver for the entire day ($50)
- Always bargain at the street markets
- Take a Balinese Cooking Class
- Get a nice massage"
1) Hiking down Nusa Penida
This was personally our favorite part of the trip. Be aware, getting to this place was not the easiest: We recommend hiring a driver for the day to get here because the roads are not fully developed on this island so it was extremely bumpy... one might say you can get into a motorcycle accident if you aren't too careful (heh.. more to that story next time). But trust us! It's TOTALLY worth it. The hike down is more on the challenging side with lots of climbing, so make sure you have good shoes. It takes about 30 minutes to hike down to the beach, but once you get down it's the most pristine white sand beach you'll come across-- well, we've come across at least.
2) Ubud Monkey Forest
This was such a memorable experience because it was our first time feeding monkeys!! Tips to "get" a monkey: buy a banana inside the park, hold it up in the air, and the first monkey that sees it will climb on you. We read reviews online and stories about them jumping everywhere and stealing people's belongings, but it wasn't as bad as we expected. They are absolutely adorable. However, make sure you give them their space because they're still wild animals and can get aggressive if you get too close.
3) Tegalalang Rice Terrace
You've probably seen these well-known terraces everywhere on Google images or Instagram. This place is EPIC, and a go-to spot for many people. We highly recommend going here, but bring cash!! While you're going through the terrace, you'll get stopped multiple times by locals who will ask you for a mandatory "donation" before they let you pass their spot and continue on your way.
4) Bali Cooking Class
Taking a cooking class is a MUST in Bali. It's one of the best Balinese food you'll have on your trip, plus you get a taste of their culture. The day starts off with a tour around the local markets, then you get driven to the host's beautiful home where she'll teach you how to cook the food you'll be eating. Not only that, she gives you the recipe at the end to take home. Paon Bali Cooking Class had tons of great reviews and it definitely lived up to it.
4) ATV Ride through rice paddies
For all you adventure junkies out there.. you will LOVE this! Imagine the fun speed that comes with ATV riding. Now imagine the epic rice paddies around you + going past a waterfall + going through a little cave. This was perfect for us Bui girls because we're all about adventure and really pretty things (obviously). And you get the best of both worlds here... need I say more?
5) Lounging at the Beach Club
If you're looking for a fun day lounge, our favorite clubs to go to were Mrs. Sippy Beach Club in Seminyak and Finn's Beach Club in Canggu. There's good music, great vibes, a younger crowd, and delicious drinks! You can pay extra for a cabana, bean bag, or beach chair to lounge/nap in for the day OR skip that and dance your heart out. We did both.
(NOTE: photos below were taken at Mrs. Sippy)
6) Hiking to Git Git Waterfall
Hiking to Git Git Waterfall was an extremely easy hike. To be honest, it felt more like a stroll with places you could stop to shop at. It was beautiful, but can get crowded at times because it's a popular spot. Luckily, we went during a time right before the afternoon rush.
7) Shopping in Kuta
If you want to buy lots of souvenirs, shop in Kuta. Most of the boutiques around Bali offer very similar, if not the same items. You learn to get better at bargaining the duration that you're in Bali, and towards the end of our trip we realized we got the best bargaining deals in Kuta!
8) Afternoon Bali Tea Time
Afternoon High Tea Time is very popular when going to Bali. There are many places you can go to that offer it. You get to try delicious pastries and different tea drinks. We decided to go to Biku in Seminyak.
OTHERS ACTIVITIES WORTH MENTIONING
- Bali Swing Tour
- Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
- Get massages from your hotel or at a luxury spa
- Visit a Balinese temple
- Get a cheap manicure and pedicure