Our first stop in Indonesia was Seminyak, a colourful and vibrant place with an endless array of street markets, delicious food and beach clubs. We spent 10 days there with Jeremy’s family, celebrating Graeme + Jane’s 60th. Most of our days were spent poolside at the villa (read: mansion), venturing out only for fresh juice or $7 massages. It was bliss.
Favourite places to eat + drink:
- Motel Mexicola – a crazy colourful Mexican restaurant that turns into a club after dark
- La Plancha – the classic Bali beanbags on the beach spot, great for a sunset Bintang or two
- La Flavela – a Caribbean inspired bar full of indoor plants and streams (make sure to say hi to the resident otter!) Make sure you walk around the whole bar before taking a seat as there are so many hidden nooks!
- Potato Head – a beach club with an infinity pool overlooking the sea. Enough said.
- Ku De Ta – a bar/ restaurant on the beach. Great for lunch or late night cocktails
- Mrs Sippy – a beach club with a better vibe than Potato Head (more chilled, less flaunty tourists), but no sea view.
- Ginger Moon – some of the best Asian fusion food, I’ve had, ever.
- Bo & Bun – another great Asian fusion pick
- Mama San – more pan-Asian goodness
- Sea Circus – a funky cafe great for a juice or brekkie
- Sisterfields – another cool cafe
- La Lucciola – An outdoor, two storey open air bungalow on beachfront . Definitely not the cheapest of eats but well worth it!
From Seminyak, we did two day trips to different parts of Bali. The first, we drove up through Ubud to Mount Batur, Bali’s volcano. We stopped for a breakfast of coconut tapioca cakes (yum) and a tea tasting, set in a treehouse overlooking the rice paddies. From there, we set off on bikes for 30 kms (downhill!) of rice paddies, fields and street alleys back to central Ubud. After lunch we visited the monkey forest, home to around 700 Balinese monkeys and a Hindu temple. I found the whole thing pretty weird and really overdone for tourists… and the sight of idiot travellers feeding a chocolate muffin to a baby monkey just made me sad.
We also spent a night in Ubud at the end of our trip, after we’d been to the Gili Islands. We stayed high in the mountains, a short walk from the centre of Ubud.
The second day trip we did from Seminyak was south, down to Nusa Dua and then over to Uluwatu. Nusa Dua was beautiful – perfect white sand beaches, crystal clear water. We picked the fanciest resort we could find (Ayodya) and wandered straight on through to the beachfront sunloungers. There we lay, swam and ate for most of the day before heading off to see Uluwatu Temple, sitting high on the cliffs above the sea. It was beautiful. We stopped off for an evening drink at the famous Single Fin bar, the high balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean and scattered with surfers at all hours.
Once our time in Bali came to an end, we set off to Lombok and the Gili Islands.