It’s been over a month already that I came back from Bali, but I still want to share my Bali favorites with you: places to stay, places to visit & how to move. Although I’ve only been there for 10 full days, I think I managed to see a lot: all because I did a lot of research in advance. So save yourself some time and just use my guide and I’m sure you’ll leave Bali satisfied!
T O S T A Y
“The absolute highlight was the infinity pool overlooking a rice terrace!”
Ubud: We decided to start our journey in Ubud, the spiritual center of Bali. Most ‘tourist attractions’ are situated around the Ubud area, so make sure that you have enough time to explore this area. We booked three nights at the beautiful and quite new Calma Ubud suite & villas, but I suggest you to stay there for at least four nights though. Especially when you stay at a beautiful place like this and want to be able to enjoy the residence as well. I would have loved to spend one whole day at our residence, but there was just so much to see that we couldn’t. We did enjoy the mornings and evenings at the Calma Ubud to the fullest though. There was so much to love about the Calma Ubud, but the absolute highlight was the round infinity pool overlooking a rice terrace. That view was just insane (and very Instagrammable)! Behind the pool is a small-scale common dining/breakfast area; which is set-up almost like a living room. The whole thing just felt so ‘homey’, which is not only because of the cosy interior, but also because of the people. The staff is super friendly and they recognize all of their guests. Although we only stayed here for a few days, I really felt like I bonded with them. We stayed at a Superior Plus Room, which features a delightful outside rain shower. Just like the common area the room also feels very homey with a perfect mix of modern and traditional furniture. Definitely check out my first Bali vlog for a room tour!
“Everybody going to Bali should book a private pool villa for a few days.”
Canggu: For the second part of our trip I figured I wanted to either stay at the trendy Seminyak or hipster Canggu area. We eventually decided to go for the latter, since I found an INCREDIBLE place to stay: The Bali Dream Villa Resort Echo beach. We booked a private pool villa, which was such a great idea! I truly think that everybody going to Bali should book a private pool villa for a few days; it’s such a great experience. I must admit that we didn’t leave the villa a lot, since we wanted to enjoy it to the fullest, but the few times we did leave the residence we truly had a blast! We took the free shuttle car to the very laid-back Echo beach to see the sunset and also went shopping in Canggu by taking another free shuttle car from the resort. Definitely make sure to pay a visit to this store called Love Anchor, where they sell gorgeous swimsuits and bikinis for a fair price. We also went to Seminyak when we stayed in Canggu, which is only a 30 minute taxi drive away. Check out my second Bali vlog to see more of what we were up to during our stay in Canggu area!
“At Uluwatu you’ll find idyllic beaches surrounded by cliffs.”
Uluwatu: Okay, so we didn’t actually stay in Uluwatu, but I’m 100% sure we will next time. For the third and last part of our trip we stayed at Novotel in Nusa Dua, but that wasn’t really my thing. We ended up staying at Nusa Dua because the internet told me that the best beaches can be found over there, but I personally prefer the Uluwatu beaches. The Nusa Dua beaches are good with light blond sand and bright blue water, but slightly boring. Along the beach you find tons of big American style luxury resorts, which to me feels a bit artificial. I’d much rather go to a beach surrounded by rock and cliffs; the ones you find in Uluwatu. Since Nusa Dua was a bit of a bummer to us, we decided to book a private driver for a day and visited several beaches in Uluwatu. I immediately felt in love with the scenery and the overall vibe. Not only were the beaches more idyllic, Uluwatu also felt more alive and appropriate for our age. Nusa Dua is very family orientated and in Uluwatu we saw a lot more young couples like us. You’ll also find many fun beach clubs in Uluwatu, like Single Fin. I didn’t spot one single fun beach club in Nusa Dua. So I can’t really recommend a certain place to stay in Uluwatu, but I really advise you to look into it!
T O V I S I T
– Ubud market: You can’t visit Ubud without paying a visit to the Ubud market, where you find the most beautiful dream cratchers, rotan bags, jewelry and sarongs for a very good price depending your negotiation skills. Just keep in mind that their first offer will be a ridiculous one and that you should aim to pay about a third of that. If they don’t want to go lower, just walk away and in 99% of the cases they will call you back and agree with what you offered anyway. Although the Ubud market is a lot of fun, you only need two hours max. It’s not that big and they sell much of the same stuff.
– Bali Swing in Bongkasa: Do you want to take the most epic Instagram photo ever? Then you might want to visit the Bali Swing in Bongkasa. There are three different swings: a beginner swing, the ‘Instagram’ swing where you’re secured by only a rope around your waist and the high swing where you have to wear an ugly harness. The staff is very friendly. Since it’s all about that perfect Instagram picture, they will ask your photographer (my boyfriend in my case) if he got the shot before they stop you. Next to a fun picture, swinging above the jungle is also quite a thrill. For 35 dollars per person you get unlimited use of the swings and can enjoy a Balinese buffet. We had quite a tight schedule though, so we didn’t get anything to eat and only swinged twice (the Instagram swing and the high swing). Oh well, the photo was worth it!
– Bali Pulina Luwak coffee plantation: You can’t leave Bali without getting a taste of the real Luwak coffee: coffee made of beans that are eaten and shitted out by a cute animal called a Luwak. At this place you’ll get a tour of how the coffee is being made and you get offered about 20 different teas and coffees to taste for free, but you’re expected to buy something at the gift shop in the end. The prices aren’t outrageous, so I was totally fine with this: we bought a small package of Luwak coffee and tea that tastes like cookies. But what I might even liked most about this plantation was the view over the jungle. And they even had a swing! We went here after going to the Bali Swing, but if I had known this before I would have probably skipped the official Bali Swing and just took my epic picture here.
– Tegalalang rice fields: Very touristy, but it’s definitely worth the visit! The views are truly amazing. Plus the rice field is so big that you won’t even be bothered by the amount of people there. I even took photos on which it looks like I was the only person there; that’s how spacious it is.
” Swinging above the jungle is quite a thrill!”
– Pura Tirta Empul temple: Another very touristy one, but I wouldn’t want to have missed out on this one. Bali has lots of temples, but what makes this one special are the 13 fountains to cleanse your soul. Although it was quite busy I really liked the experience.
– Tegenungan waterfall: Although this isn’t the most spectacular waterfall in Bali, it is a very accessible one. The most beautiful waterfalls can be found in Northern Bali, but this one is in the Ubud area and therefore very easy to combine with other activities. I took a really cool photo dangling my feet off a cliff in front of the waterfall. To access this cliff you have to pay, but it wasn’t a lot (I forgot the exact price) and worth the shot.
– Echo beach: The beach itself isn’t very special, since the sand is black-ish and the water isn’t very clear, but it’s the chill vibe that makes this beach so nice: bean bags, surf dudes and happy dogs running around. Vincent and I were there to see the sunset, which was an amazing experience!
– Finns beach club: to be completely honest I never visited the famous Finns beach club, but I truly regret we didn’t. We just wanted to enjoy our private pool villa to the max, but I do feel like we missed out on something good by not going to Finns. Next time we definitely will!
– Tanah Lot: I also didn’t visit this one, but it’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful temples of Bali and looking at the pictures I can totally see why.
– Pantai Gunung Payung (secret beach): This beautiful beach isn’t very easy to access (you have to climb a lot of stairs), but it’s definitely worth it. Because it’s not easy to acces, there aren’t lots of people which is great!
– Blue Point beach: With all it’s rocks and cliffs this is the most stunning beach I’ve seen in Bali, but unfortunately it also was quite a busy one. I wouldn’t want to have missed out on this one though!
T O M O V E
Bluebird taxi: If you want to get a taxi, make sure to get a Bluebird taxi if possible. You don’t have to be afraid that you pay too much, which usually is the case with other taxis. They will either tell you that the meter doesn’t work or the meter goes very fast. You can also download the Bluebird app, which works just like Uber. In some areas, like Canggu, Bluebird taxis are banned though and you can unfortunately only use the local and slightly more expensive taxi service.
Private driver: I’d advise every one in Bali to get a private driver for at least one day to get you around all touristy attractions. We booked a private driver for half a day at our hotel in Ubud for approximately 20 euros (gas included) and he drove us to all attractions around the Ubud area. Some tourists prefer hiring a scooter, but the since traffic in Bali can be quite mad I wouldn’t want to do that. Plus the scooters in Bali are so heavy that you actually need to have a motor driving license to drive one. The hiring company wouldn’t make a big fuzz out of this though, but you can have a problem with your insurance if you get into an accident.
“You can download the Bluebird app, which works just like Uber.”
So that’s my Guide for 10 days in South Bali. I had such a fun time in Bali and hopefully you will as well! If you have any tips yourself, please share them in the comments below!