Bali is an island full of secrets to discover, perfect for a holiday that will take your breath away. This is Martina, Giorgia and Francesca and we left together, as an unlikely bunch, to spend time together and explore Bali together.
North Bali. We started our discovery of the island in Ubud forest, in the northern part of Bali. Every hotel is a small corner of paradise: we stayed at the Padma resort, a hotel about 30 minutes away from Ubud, for about a week. We started our days with a yoga session, while the sun came up from the forest and shot up in the sky, to remind us that everyday is a gift. The heated infinity pool overlooking the forest is the touch that helped us into complete relaxation. Afternoons were spent with walks in the wonderful paddies surrounding Ubud, between the massive trees of Ubud forest, or driving into town to enjoy the best part of Bali‘s day: sunsets. Our favorite cafe for this was Lotus, where you can have a drink surrounded by a lotus lake, with a temple in the middle. Silence and peace are absolute until 7PM, the time of the daily Balinese dance performance. You can’t miss it!
For dinner, we recommend Kayumanis resort, which boasts private villas, pools, a wine bar and two restaurants, in one of which we had booked a table for dinner. The romantic, relaxed atmosphere of this resort really left us awestruck: our table was on a beautiful terrace overlooking the river, and we enjoyed an amazing dinner, with the gentle sound of water flowing in the background. Another stop you can’t miss for an evening in Ubud is Watercress Cafe: it’s perfect for breakfast, but also a good choice for dinner, with its menu of organic dishes and incredible burgers.
Looking for thrills? Follow our lead then, and go water rafting on the Ayung river for a day! Make sure you find reputable agencies with lots of experience for this wonderful adventure. You will need that to live this adventure with the necessary peace of mind. We went with BaliBlissTours, who organized an amazing day for us: we had so much fun, we won’t forget it for a while! Whether you travel in a group, in a pair or on your own, we also recommend experiencing the mystical, spiritual side of Bali that made the island so famous by going to Fivelements resort and SPA, a hotel immersed in the green, lush forest, where relax and good karma are keywords. After an aromatic oil massage, we enjoyed a raw vegan meal, followed by something we will never forget: a private fire ceremony with three hindu priests: wow!
South Bali. After 7 days in Ubud, we move to the south of the island, to Uluwatu, and its famous fine sand beaches, like Padang Padang or Karma Kandara beach — located at the end of a cliff so steep that the only way to reach it is with a breathtaking elevator ride. Uluwatu Temple is one of the sights that really should not be missed in the area. The temple is also known as the monkey temple, because of the troop of monkeys that’s been calling the temple home for a long time. Remember, the monkeys are used to tourists, but do watch out for your sunglasses! You will see plenty of wonderful sunsets here: one of the most beautiful views is from the “rock bar” at the Ayana hotel, a bar literally built on a rock on the sea! Single Finn is another incredible spot, a panoramic terrace built over a popular professional surfer beach. The surfers often come to this bar for a drink when taking a break from the waves, enjoying the live music. Go there after spending the day at Dreamland beach, which is just what the name suggests, a dreamlike place: you can go for drinks and dinner, we recommend both! 🙂
We spent the last 5 days of our holiday in Canggu, a very popular location for western and Australian expats, who own properties and shops there. Not too far from Seminyak, Canggu offers plenty of restaurants, bars and cafès, coworking spaces and stores that offer the best of East and West… And it was our favorite spot on the island! Our favorite places there were all super healthy: we almost always had acai and fruit bowls for breakfast at Nalu Bowls or at Milk&Madu, while Cafè Organic was our favorite brunch location, with its wonderful menu of avo toast, bowls, smoothies and plenty of juices to choose from. Our favorite was called Pink Magic 🙂 If you’re not surfing pros, but you still would like to try it out, Batu Bolong beach is the place for you, with lessons for all levels, beginners included, and the chance to enjoy grilled fish on the beach, while taking a break from the waves. If you’re not up for braving the waves, we recommend one of our favorite spots in Canggu, Finn’s beach club. It’s entirely built of bamboo and features a wonderful infinity pool, that will give you great sunsets, especially when you have good company, to enjoy the music that gets played around happy hour, from 6pm to midnight! Another alternative is going to Seminyak’s beach, where it is always possible to find rather cheap sunbeds and umbrellas — give it a try, you might always get a discount. The best clubs there are definitely KuDeTa and Potato Head, where you can have lunch while watching sporty people surfing right before your eyes. In the evening, enjoy sunset on a beach slightly south of KuDeTa, where you will find lots of small bars with live music and colorful beanbags on the beach: it’s a dream! If you want something more exciting, go for dinner at Motel Mexicola, a Mexican restaurant that turns into a crazy bar where you can dance on tables and drink Margaritas… We did it on our last night, to celebrate Bali in the best way we could and toast to an unforgettable holiday!
We got to experience these amazing locations thanks to the girls at The Asia Collective – head to www.theasiacollective.com to get inspired for your next adventures with their unique travel guides!
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