Earlier this year I flew to Bali to celebrate my birthday with my beautiful sister (MJ stayed home for this one!). I had wanted to visit for ages but with limited time and a stop in Australia to visit friends, I only ended up with five days total. There was so much I wanted to see and do, how on earth was I going to fit it all in!
Fortunately we got some valuable advice from our friends who live in Bali - choose ocean or jungle. Given that we had such a short time, we weren't going to be able to see everything, and our friends said that traffic can be a nightmare in Bali and how gutted we would be if we spent large parts of our day stuck in it.
We were staying in Seminyak and wanted a mix of relaxation, sightseeing and of course birthday celebrations so we opted for ‘ocean’ and built our itinerary around that. It was the single best piece of advice we were given.
Here’s how we spent our five nights in Bali. And yes, I will definitely be back to spend time in the jungle!
Morning walk, breakfast at Revolver, a stroll down the beach and a massage on the way home, followed by an afternoon at Potato Head Beach Club. With an infinity pool, swim up bar, ocean views, daybeds and exceptional service it was the perfect way to spend the rest of day one.
Hot tip: pay for a daybed at Potato Head and your food and drink is included in the price.
Day trip to Ulawatu. Saw the massive statue of Lord Vishnu at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (so huge that we could see it from the pool at Potato Head), visited Uluwatu Temple, drank Baliniese coffee at Lumbung Sari House and spent a sensational afternoon at Sundays Beach Club and had dinner back in Seminyak and the beautiful Mama San.
Hot tip: hire a driver rather than doing an organised tour. You can tailor the day your way and the drivers are great, they know all the hotspots, the fees for attractions and of course, they speak the language. We used the same driver for our whole trip.
Day trip to Nusa Penida Island. We did this one as part of an organised tour (sorted by our driver). Took a boat out to the island, picked up by another driver who gave us a guided tour with lunch included. Visited Broken Beach, Kelingking Beach and Crystal Bay. Fantastic experience and one hell of a boat ride out there! Ate dinner like a local back in Seminyak at Roti Canai & Teh Tarik for a total cost of $6 - amazing curries and savoury or sweet roti.
Hot tip: make sure you have cash before you go, there aren’t any ATMs and you can’t use a credit card.
It’s my birthday! Spent the day celebrating at Café del Mar on the Canggu coastline. We booked a day bed and spent the day and the rest of the night eating, drinking, dancing and swimming. It truly is a unique experience and the service again was exceptional.
Hot tip: get a scooter wherever you can, it’s way quicker than a car. We used Grab which works a like Uber except you just pay in cash at the end. This was my favourite way to get around.
We head home today so we spent our last day in Canggu. First up was Spring Spa for a facial and massage, a two hour session and the perfect way to end our trip. Lunch was at Black Sand Brewery where the food was beautiful and the Bintangs were icy cold.
Hot tip: if you’re getting a facial, you can’t be in the sun for a few hours afterwards so make sure you get it after your day at the beach or by the pool.
And that's it, my five days in Bali.