I hope that you read this blog title to the tune of “Teach Me How to Dougie”- that was the intention here! Some of you may know that I took a trip to Indonesia in the fall of 2016. It was beautiful, adrenaline-inspiring, eye-opening, and invigorating. Clay and I enjoyed snorkeling (some of the best to date), sunset gazing, beach walking, and moped riding during our three weeks in Bali. We traveled with our friends Ashley and Eddie and it was a trip full of laughter, adventure, sightseeing, and beach seeking. Here are the must-do’s, must-see’s, and must-eat’s of Bali and its surrounding islands.
Where To Go
Uluwatu, Canngu, and Ubud were three of my favorite villages on the island Bali. Nusa Lembongan, a nearby island off the east coast of Bali, was undoubtedly the highlight of our trip, followed closely by Gili Air.
Uluwatu offers a plethora of dramatic beach views, shell-hunting, wave-catching, and delicious food. We stayed in Uluwatu at both the beginning and end of our trip. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy Suluban Beach, Uluwatu’s Monkey Temple, Bingin Beach, and Padang Padang, but there are more beautiful beaches than we could have managed to see! Check out Travel for Your Life’s blog on the Top 11 Uluwatu Beaches for more.
You can easily spend a week here digging your toes in the sand, catching waves, enjoying a laid-back environment, and eating delicious food. Stop by Cafe Bukit to enjoy the best food in the Bukit!
Canggu is a hip little beach town offering delicious food, night life, shopping, and fun long-boarding. Just a quarter-mile walk from the beach, Canggu has it all. If you are a yoga-lover, you might just want to stay here forever.
From Canggu: Hire a driver or a moped for the day and cruise your way to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and Jatiluwih. Stop at the local markets along the way and enjoy the cool, refreshing air in the mountains of Bali. Our day at Jatiluwih was one of my favorites. Despite initial rain, Clay and I went on a barefoot expedition of the expansive rice terraces. A UNESCO world heritage sight, these rice fields are stunningly impressive.
Ubud is a rather large village nestled in Bali’s jungle. There is no shortage of entertainment, eateries, or shopping. Rice terraces are seen everywhere just outside of Ubud. It is a great leaping point to explore Bali’s jungle and nearby volcanoes. Be sure to explore Ubud’s famous market. While you’re here, take a cooking class and bring a taste of Bali home with you!
From Ubud: Hike Mt. Batur for sunrise!! This trek was amazing. Watching the sun rise behind Mt. Agnung and enjoying banana sandwiches and boiled eggs served by our local guide are things I will remember forever. Don’t be surprised by the high volume of tourists. Although we were in Indonesia in the shoulder season (October), I was still amazed at how popular the trek is. That beings said, it is still absolutely worth doing. Just do not expect to have a solo sunrise trekking expedition.
You can easily make a whole day of your Mt. Batur expedition. Following your hike, check out the hot springs just down the road and soak your sweaty, tired limbs! There are plenty of luwak coffee plantations nearby as well – pick one and taste the famed, most expensive coffee in the world. Following coffee tasting, visit Tegenungan Falls and go for another refreshing dip. By this point in the day, you will absolutely be ready for a hot meal and sleep!
Also while in Ubud, book a cooking class with Paon Bali!
My favorite place that we visited is Nusa Lembongan. As the perfect retreat away from tourists, Ashley, Eddie, Clay, and I enjoyed secluded beaches, out-of-this-world snorkeling, endless (yet beginner friendly!) moped terrain, and the kindest locals. If you are looking for somewhere slightly more off-the-beaten path, you will love this island.
While on Nusa Lembongan: Snorkel in the waters surrounding Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. This can easily be arranged by locals and is a common three-stop snorkel adventure. That being said, this was one of the less touristy things that we did. Our traditional boat held the four of us and one more friendly Aussie couple. At our first snorkel spot, we jumped into crystal clear blue water only to find 10+ manta rays. The next snorkel spots included stunningly colorful and abundant coral; home to a plethora of fish. Explore Dream Beach, Mushroom Beach, and take a cruise over to the Mangrove Forest.
Gili Air was a close second favorite. A more low-key alternative to Gili T, we enjoyed bicycling around the island, eating fresh fish daily, and watching the sunset as we listened to local musicians. Good Eats: Do visit Mowies on the Beach and enjoy a delicious meal and a sunset. The food here was out of this world!
On Gili Air: If you’re game for more snorkeling, hire a private boat to take you snorkeling around the Gilis. Eddie, Ashley, Clay, and I, being water people and visiting from Hawaii, were all about checking getting in the water and exploring all that Indonesia has to offer. It was on this snorkeling excursion that I encountered the largest sea turtle to date. The boys who took us out in the traditional boat were fun and full of energy. It is a great way to spend a day!
How To Find Accomodation & How To Get Around
Air B and B served our group well throughout out travels in Bali. Beyond Air B and B, we spent a few wonderful nights at the Pink Coco, Gili Trawangan. Below are the favorite and most memorable Air B and B Accomodations!