6 days in this beautiful place is not enough, least to say. We were two girls filled with excitement as we boarded the AirAsia flight to Denpasar! There aren't direct flights to Bali from Bangalore/Chennai- be wise not to choose red eye flights in exchange for cheap fares.
A grand welcome awaits as you leave the airport with a massive gate with intricate work and a huge statue of Rama. We rushed to our Airbnb, checked in and left to Tanah Lot, our first sunset of this trip. Boy, was it beautiful! Hope for low tides and less tourists and you can spend the evening basking in those hues of the sky and sound of waves.
Day 2 was a day tour to Ubud, one of my favorite places from this trip that i would like to revisit, cycle around and read in those pretty little cafes. The only color we saw enroute to Ubud was green and that's perfect for someone from an urban jungle like myself. From the art village to the numerous temples, there were many stories to be told. Places of interest that we visited included the Art village, Tegellang rice terraces (can just see from the car), Tegenungan waterfalls (too crowded and dirty), Goa gajah temple (Must see!), Ubud Sari coffee luwak agrotourism (YES! to Luwak coffee), Tirta empul temple. We couldn't see the monkey forest due to rain but if you like monkey-ing around, should check it out!
Tip: If you're travelling from Seminyak to Ubud, factor in 2-3 hours to and fro to Ubud considering traffic.
Day 3: We were disappointed that we couldn't trek up Mount Batur due to rains the previous night but i strongly recommend it if you're an adrenaline junkie and have good stamina! In case you want an alternative option, you can also river raft. Well, we did neither due to circumstances but below are couple of links to help you.
What we ended up doing was to see the beauty of Mount Batur from afar in Kintamani. We chilled in a natural hot spring by the mountain wondering if we would've ever been able to climb that giant. Again, if you are travelling from Seminyak just for this, i would recommend you pass. The travel was exhausting and we lost a day in this (3-4 hours one way).
Day 4: Since it was December 31st, there was no shortage of Bintangs and party music from 10 am! We walked around Seminyak, shopped and ate at local Warungs. We welcomed 2017 by dancing on the beach and soaking our feet in water. It felt like one big happy Bali family dancing to the tunes of the waves and fireworks (and EDM, ofcourse!)
Day 5: We love seafood and wanted that to be our first meal in 2017. We headed to Jimbaran where they serve the best seafood and boy, did they serve a sumptuous one or what! Where- Jimbaran Bay Seafood- Amaze! Headed to Uluwatu temple after to watch the first sunset of the year. The view is mesmerizing and calming. The vast expanse of Indian Ocean was calling for a dive but don't, that's suicidal. We unfortunately missed the Kecak dance since it was sold out, that was a bummer.
Tip: Head to Uluwatu early (around 4:30) especially in tourist season as it gets very crowded and the tickets to the dance sell out.
Day 6: And we had to leave already! Shopped some more in the morning and indulged in the traditional Bebek Banglik (Crispy roast duck) as our farewell meal in Bali. The farewell drink had to be in style and headed to Rock Bar in Ayana resort. You deserve this luxury so do it. And it was time to say goodbye!
Some faux pas to avoid and tips to survive Bali:
- DO NOT visit Bali during June-July (holidays in Australia) and December. The place is filled with tourists and the traffic annoys the crap out of you. We traveled for an hour on average between places!
- We hated Kuta area where we did book our second hotel, Asana Agung Putra. The room had creepy crawlies and stained linen. The area felt unsafe and shady. We were dying to come back to Seminyak and we did.
- Travel by bikes or if you're one of those who loves walking, that's the best especially during traffic laded days.
- One person in the group should have data on their phone- lifesaver for Maps, Uber and Yelp!
- Eat local food and drink local beer- Nasi Goreng and Bintang was our staple those 6 days.
- Want to do a tour? Want a fun guide? Want a reliable and genuine person to ask for opinions? Look no further- Gede Bob is the man!
- Where to drink/ party? - My top pick: La Favella never disappointed (great music and crowd). Potatohead beach club, Ku de ta, La Plancha, La Hacienda, Baker Street Social were few other places we visited. Missed Woo Bar, but heard great reviews about it.
- Whats a great area to stay at? - Seminyak! If you're looking for a good mix of shopping, beach chilling and party then this is the place. I would have loved to stay a couple of days in Ubud for Zen moments though!
- Accomodation options? -Highly recommend Hotel Horison, Seminyak. Its 500 metres away from Double Six beach, affordable prices and fantastic staff and facilities. Airbnb Valka on Jalan Kunti I was very accessible, comfortable and apt for friends/couples.