Before arriving in Bali I had an image in mind of a tropical getaway much like Hawaii or Cancun. It’s not very much like that. The island of Bali itself is incredibly congested, with a ton of scooters and stray dogs (😥) scurrying around. It IS famous for a reason though: all-natural vegan cafes galore, wellness retreats, amazing surfing and beautiful national landmarks all over the place. And for that, I loved it. I spent about 10 days in Bali, mostly residing in Canguu, Ubud and Kuta Beach.
I learned a few things while on the island, so here’s the -drum roll please!-
Areas of Bali:
There’s quite a few popular towns in Bali, all with a different vibes. You have Ubud towards the center (about an hour and a half from the airport) known for it’s lively atmosphere, beautiful (and cheap!) street markets and attractions such as the Ubud Monkey Forest. You also have Kuta Beach toward the south (about 2o minutes from the airport), which is very touristy and where you’ll find most high-end properties, malls and cinemas. I stayed most of my time in Canggu, towards the west of Bali. Canggu is much more relaxed than these places and known for it’s great surfing and all-natural cafes. Seminyak is also very popular but I didn’t have enough time to check it out. I’ve heard quite a few good things though!
It seems as though taxis are the way to go here. They’re really, really cheap (maybe because $13,300 rupiah is $1 USD…). We tried to UBER everywhere because it’s even cheaper but it’s important to note that the local government/local taxi drivers are not very happy about it and are quite hostile towards the drivers. Many drivers will refuse to pick you up depending on your area. Renting scooters is also quite popular for foreigners. It’s a great option if you dare to keep up with the locals. The traffic is insane!
Things to Do:
Eat organic, lay on the beach and visit the markets! I visited the Ubud Art Market and got a beautiful shirt for less than $3. They also sell amazing art pieces, weaved bags, souvenirs and cheap jewelry. I didn’t personally check out the Ubud Monkey Forest but that’s quite a popular destination as well. My favorite was just checking out the local cafes in Canggu and trying all the super healthy food. In Kuta we checked out the Beachwalk Mall and were surprised to find that it was more high-end than most malls back home.
Where to Stay:
Like I mentioned before, I stayed in Canggu most of the time. This is because The Chillhouse was kind enough to host me for a few days and I’m so incredibly happy I got the chance to. The Chillhouse is a surf and yoga retreat with a limited amount of villas available, but really quite cheap if you’re coming from the west. A night’s stay is about $140 USD and it includes an entire private villa, organic unlimited breakfast and catered dinner EVERY DAY. They also do yoga and surf classes, meditation, have two pools and the ‘chillest’ vibes in every room. If you couldn’t tell, I absolutely fell in love with the place and plan to be back on my own dime very soon.
They were also kind enough to provide me a discount should anyone have plans to visit Bali and would like to stay with them. Use globetrottingblonde for 10% off your entire booking.
Have you guys been to Bali? I would love to know what you thought, and if we agree on anything! Write me through here or on @globetrottingblonde. If you have any other tips to add please do so in the comments! I'd love to read them. :)