So I am off to travel for the next 2-3 months and I am starting off the adventure in Bali with some of my best mates from high school days! We’re here for about a week and so we booked a private villa through airbnb, a much cheaper alternative than going directly to villa websites and usually the same properties are available. We stayed at Gita Ayu Villas in Seminyak, nice and secluded yet not too far away from major attractions, and most importantly our very own pool.
Our first night consisted of us having dinner at the most touristy area in an Italian restaurant of all things. But hey the food was still pretty decent and a welcome meal after a long-ish flight. Then walked around a little bit and picked up a knockoff zippo lighter (got fucking gypped) and then had shisha and drinks at kuta square. Then to ease up the numbish legs after the flight I had a foot and legs massage (super cheap, something like $6).
Vi Ai Pi
The next day for me was a little slower, still feeling a bit sluggish so we stayed in the pool for quite a while (see above) and then headed out for dinner; surprisingly there are not too many people out and about and its pretty quiet. So for a little change of pace some of us went to try and find party central. In the search for sky garden (one of the more popular nightclubs) we ended up at Vi Ai Pi by mistake but nevertheless was pretty good with shisha and a live band!
The day after we were set to to a full day tour of some of the major attractions around the island. At first we were taken to a few tourist traps around Batubulan to entice us to buy trinkets and other stuff such as cloth weaves, silverware and wood carvings. Not falling for that though.
Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest
But soon enough we were on the way to Ubud and the Monkey Forest! The Sacred monkey forest is a nature reserve housing a few temples but mostly is home to native monkeys called macaques which freely roam and often interact with parkgoers.
Kintamani National Park & Mount Batur
The next stop was the Kintamani National Park for lunch where we could admire the amazing views of Mount Batur from the ridge of the massive caldera. The restaurant perched up high offers panoramic views along with a welcome buffet lunch. Mount Batur is a semi-active volcano and for the past few days we were planning to hike up the mountain to watch the sunrise (more on that later). But now seeing how huge the things is with our own eyes is astounding – its much taller than pictures make it seem at 1717m high.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces & Coffee
After taking in the views and filling our stomachs we headed to Bali Pulina Agrotourism for an afternoon coffee. We did not think much of the place at first but we were completely surprised when we saw the amazing view of the rice terraces below. Teba Sari also offers a complimentary tasting set of tea and coffee and also offers Luwak Coffee (the world’s most expensive). Fun fact the beans used to brew the Luwak Coffee have been eaten and defecated by a particular cat (an Asian Palm Civet). These animals pick the best coffee beans to eat but cannot digest them and so they are clean and intact when they come out into their faeces from which the Luwak beans are picked and cleaned before grinding and roasting.
Double Six Beach
Also worthy of mention are the amazing sunsets! You can watch the sunset from any of the beaches on the eastern side of the islands, some places have bean bags to chill on and order drinks and whatnot, what I also love is that a few of the places have some live music playing which just gives a really nice relaxing vibe.
Uluwatu & Suluban Beach
Uluwatu is on the Southwestern tip of the island and so is not too far form our place at Seminyak but can take quite a while if traffic is bad. The drive was worth it though for some white sandy beaches (as opposed to the brown sand you find all along the beaches on the western coast around kuta) and clear water. For our last day in Bali we were blessed with clear skies which made for a perfect view of the sunset.
Bali really is such a beautiful place even though it gets such a bad reputation from the inner city being a little dirty and crowded sometimes. There is lots to do and and my favourites were seeing some of the natural beauty the island has to offer. So far it’s been a great start to my trip around Southeast Asia!