In July, I got back from soaking up the beautiful island of Bali with my Mum. Hell, if you follow me on Instagram then really we both got back from the beautiful island of bali with my Mum- I shared the heck outta my trip, and have zero regrets about splashing what a wonderful time it was all over the internet!
I, for one, like to sit and look at the photos while I’m in the dark, sobbing about the cold winter that’s suddenly hit Adelaide (joking) (mostly) (haha).
I’ve had a bunch of people ask if I’ll put together my itinerary, because it was a pretty insane trip and the second time I’ve done a similar route. I’m a ridiculously organised person when it comes to overseas jaunts, so why wouldn’t I share what we got up to in the hope that other people can get a whole lotta fun from it, too?!
I’ll be sharing in three parts- this first one is Seminyak (e a t), the second will cover the Gili Islands (p l a y) and the third Ubud (l o v e), all which show completely different sides to Bali and Lombok and all which have a certain kind of soul I can only hope to capture, partly, in words.
ADL >> DSPR FLIGHT
We chose to go through Virgin this time, mainly because flights were insanely cheap (I bought them for mum for Christmas, so got in early) and because Tiger got their bums kicked off of the route. The flight was fine, it was a latie leaving home at 7:50 and touching down at a million-o-clock, but we made it and I got an overdue assignment done on the way! We got Hungry Jacks at the airport and I’m glad that we did, because by the time we got there it was about 1:30AM our time and all we wanted to do was sleep.
We got picked up by a driver recommended by my Uncle’s lovely girlfriend, you can find him on Facebook under Ketut Anto Jhonny. You’ve really gotta make sure you book someone before you get there, because that way you’ll know how much $$$ you’re in for and won’t end up being in the company of some dodgy random (more on that later), but booking Jhonny was so much cheaper than going through wherever you book your flights. We were a bit shocked last time we were in Bali and our driver (sorted through our travel agent) reluctantly told us that for the airport run costing three of us $40 each, he was seeing about $5 for it. It feels good knowing that you’re supporting someone’s family without a middle-man to mention.
O N E // SEMINYAK.
S L E E P
Our accommodation in Seminyak was pure magic, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone and their best mate’s cousin. The check-in time at SooBali technically ends way before we got there, but they were happy to show us around at a ridiculous hour, not a problem! I can’t even describe how beautiful the place itself was- whitewashed, turquoise splashed and somehow beautifully eclectic yet absolutely in place with its surroundings. The pool was gorgeous, the hammock perfect for spending hours draped in and the garden so welcoming that we had a few visits from birds, lizards and even squirrels (!!) in the middle of Seminyak. Speaking of location, this place is tucked away down a nondescript side-alley, about a thirty second walk from the town’s main street and so quiet that you’d swear it’s yonks away! So central, so private, so perfect.
If you’d like to book a couple of dreamy nights SooBali, please use my nifty little AirB&B sign-up link to score $50 off- whatta saving! I’ll also receive $30 credit, so that I can start planning my next adventure- thank you so much x
E A T
SeaCircus is an absolute Bali staple, according to Instagram. Also, a great example of why ‘instagrammable’ also just means ‘really, really good’. We stopped by for a few leisurely hours of breakkie and were pretty bloody happy with the choice- this coming from two people who have the time to eat breakfast once a month, maybe. The smashed avo was spot on (apart from the poached eggs which were a bit vinegary, but that happens here too so maybe I’m just sensitive to eggy imperfections), the dragonbowl had me vowing to stock up on fresh fruit when I got home- spoiler, have not- and mum reckons her scrambled tofu beat the socks off of both of my dishes. We also had fresh juice- a rarity in all of SE Asia, where everything served at hotels is a kind of cordial with bits of pulp in it?? Delish.
** I feel like this is a really good spot to clarify that the sweet, sweet wall out the front, which we and everyone else stood in front of to get a billion photos is in front of a busy road- like, to get the photo, you physically have to dodge cars and motorbikes and will quite possibly get told off by bemused locals for. Leave the tripod at home (#guilty) and ask an honest-looking stranger to take a shot for you during a rare lull in traffic. Stay safe, people!
Revolver Espresso is the first and only place that have put together an Iced Coffee I would commit crime for. That’s not a clever nod to the inky, gangster-themed decor and vibe to the place, it’s a fact, dammit! Honestly though, the staff are incredibly laid back, the food is good, the speakeasy atmosphere is a whole lot of fun and the place has a kind of buzz to it, even at 7AM. We came here twice, because once was absolutely not enough.
La Laguna you would have seen splashed all over the place- it’s the home of a handful of gypsy caravans, a beautiful view and a simple, staple menu. Compared to some of the wonderment of Seminyak food, this place (slightly out of the town, in Canggu) doesn’t do fancy- it does do boho chic and you won’t regret a visit in the slightest!
Chandi is the one place that we went to last time I was on Balinese shores that i knew I had to take my Mum to. Funnily it was a lot busier last time we went, even though this time it was 7ish and last time we didn’t roll in ’til about 10:30, straight off of the plane. Let me just say, foodwise- phwoar. This place is cheap enough (yippeee!) that you can go ham on starters, mains, cocktails, the lot and still feel like you’re handing over pennies. We munched on the Amazing Crunch Tofu Squares (ordered for the name, licked the plate for the peanut sambal), Crisp Coconut Curry Dumplings and Tempe Spring Rolls to begin with, I grabbed my favorite Green Vegetarian Nasi Goreng and mum got a Vegan Curry for the main dish and I had too many* Trio Berry Daiquiris (*not enough Trio Berry Daiquiris) throughout the meal. Silver service, incredible five-star eats and change from a 500IDR between the two of us.
P L A Y : : L O V E
Seminyak is known as Bali’s trendy fashion & shopping capital, and once you’ve spent a day or two falling in and out of its hundreds of shops it’s not hard to see why. Slightly removed from the designer knock-offs and phallic bottle openers of Kuta Beach (I say slightly because you’ll definitely see them around), the stores lining Seminyak’s main streets offer the dreamiest in fashion, accessories and love-nest goodness.
They’re also not far behind the mark trend-wise; even in the tiny roadside stalls there’s a good chance you’ll find tassel earrings and tote bags adorned with pompoms, which I have definitely seen around here for about fifteen times the price.
All of the Bali fashion must-loves, from Beachgold to Bamboo Blonde to Bali Boatshed and even places not starting with B (haha) can be Seminyak found. Honestly, for trinkety stuff like pressed silver tins, sunglasses and cushion covers you’d probably be better off waiting ’til you get to Ubud, three stops down, for buying- it’s less ‘high fashion’ and more ‘haggle til you can’t haggle no more’, and the price of sorting through stuff you don’t want is a small price to pay for more food money, honestly.
Next: nearly dying (almost and kind of), soaking up every minute of island time & falling in love with the most beautiful places: the gili islands x