This past spring, Ryan and I took a trip to Bali, Indonesia. It was one of my favorite trips we've ever taken and my favorite place I've ever been. As you scroll through the images, I think it'll be easy to see why.
We started our trip in Seminyak, which is on the southwestern side of the island. The area was loaded with shops, restaurants, cafés, and lots of hotels. We chose to skip the hotel and rented a villa through Airbnb. It was so perfect! It had its own pool and was walking distance to all the hot spots. We even made friends with some of the street dogs we saw on our walks. We found so many great places to eat, including Nalu Bowls, which we revisited multiple times. The acai bowls = 10/10. We also learned the art of bargaining, which you may be surprised to learn I was much better at than Ryan was!
During our stay in Seminyak, we took a day trip down to Nusa Penida, and island off the southeastern coast of Bali. We took the fast boat - which was an experience in itself! It was worth the wild ride though, as Nusa Penida was stunning. The landscape was so gorgeous. We got to see T-Rex Island which I hope to return to one day and take the trek down to its pristine beach. We didn't have time when we went but we heard from some other travelers that while the trek is difficult, you're rewarded by ending at the beach with the whitest sand and the most turquoise waters you'll ever see.
We did another day trip to Blue Point Beach which has the coolest caves and rock structures. We watched some surfing and drank Bintang. We also went to Uluwatu Temple and got to experience hanging out with the naughty monkeys. They were so funny and so smart - but we kept a distance as they would try to steal your phone or water bottles if you got too close.
From Seminyak, we headed into Ubud, which is more or less centrally located on the island. We stayed in another Airbnb; this time we rented a joglo, which is the traditional style home of the Javanese people. I started out crushing hard on Bali, but this is where I fell head over heels in love. Our joglo shared property with a rice farmer, so each day we got to see the farmer, Kadek, and his wife out in the fields working on their crops. Each morning, Kadek's wife would stop by our joglo and put an offering (canang sari) on our front steps. They had two dogs, Winkie and Bobo that came and went as they pleased and we loved when the stopped by our joglo for pets and to say hello. We had two giant tokay gecko friends in our joglo, which hung out on the roof rafters the whole time. Our hosts, Made & Made were wonderful; they made us breakfasts of banana pancakes, black rice pudding, fresh dragon fruit and Balinese coffee every morning. SO yummy. (Clearly one of the highlights of our trip was the food). The location of our Airbnb was great and we could walk to Yellow Flower Cafe and get some nasi goreng or a fresh coconut. We could also walk into Ubud Center where there was shops, restaurants, and temples. It was much more quaint and more rustic than Seminyak, they say Ubud is what Seminyak used to be. It felt so authentic.
We took a trip to the Tegallalang rice terraces (crowded, but stunning nonetheless), we sat down and watched some ceremonies (which happened often), ate tons of lemon ginger sorbet, strolled through the rice fields, even had a massage therapist named Jampi come to our joglo for an in-home spa day.
We ended our holiday in a more rural area of Ubud by staying in an eco-dome at a vegetarian resort in the middle of a rice field. The food there was amazing, and the eco-dome was quite an experience. It was quite removed from central Ubud so it was a nice to end the trip at such a quiet space. On our last morning of the trip, we got up early to hike Campuhan Trail and watch the sunrise, and hiked into central Ubud for one last time. Ryan basically had to peel me away when it was time to leave, if we could have shipped our dogs to us, we may never have come back! It truly was love at first sight and we hope to return soon!