Bali…a tropical, paradise island with lush vegetation, endless rice terraces, white and black beaches, world-class surfing and Yoga, ancient culture, countless temples and volcanic mountains and amazing locals. Here´s my first Travel Guide for Bali…
Bali – “The Island of the Gods”
From magnificent mountains to rugged coastlines to volcanic hillsides to black sandy beaches, Bali boasts a rich and diverse culture. No surprise this unique stunning island is called “The Island of the Gods”, almost everything has spiritual meaning. I spent a month exploring this island, teaching English in a local primary school and practicing Yoga. I couldn´t think of a better way of spending my thirtieth birthday.
Imagine this tropical, paradise island with lush vegetation, endless rice terraces, white and black beaches, world-class surfing and Yoga, ancient culture, countless temples and volcanic mountains, amazing locals and it´s inexpensive. This island has mesmerized and enchanted me when I first set foot on it. Bali is a mood, a tropical state of mind. I would love to go back and explore more of it!
This travel guide is my first blogpost about Bali, where I want to give you an idea of this island with some helpful tips. More detailed blogposts with Hotel reviews will follow soon.
Where to stay
There is an incredible selection of accomodations in Bali in all price ranges. Rent a private room or bungalow from locals on Airbnb, stay at a guesthouse or enjoy a luxury resort, you will find aweseome places in all categories. Here is an overview of my favorite Bali accomodations, detailed information about this places will follow soon in the Hotel reviews. Lovina (North Bali), where I was teaching in school the Lovinalife is the place to stay. This small, stylish boutique hotel with only ten rooms is located a 3-minute stroll from the beach. In Ubud I found the perfect jungle-feeling Resort situated in the middle of Ubud´s famous rice terraces, with a yoga center and spa, the Puri Sunia Resort. In Canggu neighborhood the Kalapa Boutique Resort & Yoga offers an escape to an idyllic of simple life within a deep river valley. The eco hotel Gravity with white, clean rooms and a great poolside you´ll find in Uluwatu. On Gili Trawangan I can highly recommend Le Pirate Beach Club, situated at the amazing white beach of Gili T, this place gives you the authentic laidback barefoot lifestyle of this small island.
What to do
During my trip to Bali I visited Canggu, Ubud, Uluwatu, Lovina and the Gili Islands (not part of Bali anymore, but easy to reach). Bali is a huge island with an endless list of places to visit and things to do. Here´s my list of the 10 best things to do in Bali.
- Trek a Volcano before sunrise: There is nothing more magnificient than reaching the top of a volcanic mountain and witnessing the sunrise. From Mount Batur you have a breathtaking view over caldera lake, you can reach the top (1.717m) within a 2-hours hike. Keep in mind that the volcano is active, don´t trek without a guide!
- Explore the endless rice terraces: You can find the most beautiful and famous rice terraces around Ubud area. I would recommend to rent a bike to explore the rice paddies.
- Jumping off a waterfall: Bali has several beautiful waterfalls. The most fun you´ll have at the Aling-Aling Waterfalls in North Bali. There you can jump and slide down several waterfalls.
- Snorkel with turtles around the Gili Islands: The Gilis are the kind of islands when you think of paradise. Bikes and horses as the only transportation, white beaches, palm trees, hammocks and coconuts. Turtles are pretty easy to find around this islands, grab a snorkel, dive in and explore!
- Enjoy the spirit of Yoga: You will find Yoga teachers and centers almost everywhere in Bali. Take a break and treat yourself and your body!
- Surfing: No matter if you are a surfer or not, Bali is made for surfing. Grab a board, get an instructor on the beach and you are ready to go!
- Indulge in healthy and delicious food: Bali is also the place to get healthy and in shape.
- Get lost in the ancient temples of Bali: There are a thousands of temples in Bali, you don´t need to visit all of them but make sure to explore a few of these peaceful places.
- Swing in the tropical jungle of Ubud area: It´s just so much fun…swinging over the tropical river valley is an unique experience.
- Volunteer work: I spend three weeks teaching kids in primary school basic English. This was definitely one of the most valuable and formative experiences of my life.
Where to Eat & Drink
Canggu is food lovers paradise and a great town for a laid back beachside lifestyle. It´s full of young, creative people and offers also a great nightlife. Expect a lot of eco, veggie and organic cafes and restaurants. My favorite places to eat in Canggu are for breakfast the Café Organic and Nalu Bowls, for lunch the Shady Shack and in the evening Gypsy Bali. To relax during the day or to enjoy the great sunset on Echo Beach go to the Beach Club La Brisa Bali. One of the best views in Bali you´ll have at the cliff-top bar Single Fin in Uluwatu. Close to Bingin Beach you can find the Cashew Tree, a great place to hang-out with fresh, healthy food. In Lovina try the Buda Bakery&Resto or the Funky Place. In Ubud go to Oops Restaurant with great live music, afterwards the Laughing Buddha is a great bar and music venue.
On Gili Trawangan my favorite spot is the Casa Vintage Beach. This incredibly idyllic, salt and sunshine covered all-day island hangout is perfect for your slowing down and fully enjoy the island. Doing nothing but eat, sip on coconuts, swing in a hammock, enjoy the sunset and shop cute vintage clothing.