Nusa Penida – 24th August 2022

This morning we were up super early to get ready for our day trip to Nusa Penida!
Nathan had to quickly go and get our clothes from the laundry place as we had run out of clean clothes the day before but they had shut before we could collect them again.
Our driver who picked us up was a guy called Agung who arrived around 7:00am (a little later than scheduled as he was confused as to where our hotel was)
Luckily he was a quick driver and we got to the harbor in Sanur a little after 8:00am.

Sanur is a little seaside town on the southeast of Bali. This is where all the boats will depart from if you’re doing any trips out to the islands.
When we got to the harbor, Agung took us to the one of the boat companies to collect our pre-booked tickets and then showed us what boat to take. There were so many people at the harbor! There’s so many different companies that do day-trips so there’s definitely a lot of commotion as people are trying to find their boats or lining up for tickets.

Once our boat was ready for everyone to board, we waddled through the water (just below knee height) and were helped onto the boat by the people working on board.
I have to say though, there was a lot of pushing and cutting in line!! Like we’re all literally going to the same place I wish people would just chill a bit. Not to mention Sanur Harbor hasn’t been developed properly where you can just step onto the boat. You literally have to walk in the water to get on and off so when people are pushing in front just to get on it’s super annoying.

The boat ride to Nusa Penida took about an hour. I read online it’s only meant to take about 42 minutes so maybe it just felt a lot longer as I had assumed it’d be a quick 20 minute ride.
If you get seasick, definitely take some tablets beforehand as there were a few people (mainly children) who were not well on the way over.

Once we got to Nusa Penida, we met our driver who was waiting for us with our name on a sign. We told him in the car where we wanted to go and he recommended we start at Broken Beach as there would be less tourists there at that time of day.

Broken Beach is a scenic coastal formation on the southwestern edge of Nusa Penida. It’s one of the more popular hangout spots for the manta rays however we didn’t see any from where we were.

Next stop was Angels Billabong which is just down from Broken Beach. If you like you can swim in the natural infinity pool which is framed by rock cliffs and hangs out over the ocean overlooking Manta Point Beach.

When we got back to the car, I had a look at the photos our guide had taken and they definitely weren’t as good as what our guide took of us in Ubud! Hahahaha. To get the scenery in the background, he kept adjusting the settings so it had this weird kind of warped or stretched out affect. In other words, I looked massive in all the pictures! I tried to edit them the best I could but if you see my legs look really weird or my ass the size of a watermelon in any of these pictures than now you know why 😀 😀 😀

When we hopped back in the car, our driver took us to Kelingking Beach which is one of the most popular and iconic views in Bali and has the famous ‘T-Rex’ shaped rock sticking out over the ocean. The view was absolutely beautiful! The water was clear and blue and the beach looked absolutely amazing. There’s a 120m high path to go down to the beach but the hike takes about 2 hours to get down and back up and it didn’t look easy! Everyone was sweating when they were returning so we decided to give it a miss. Especially as we had more to see.

I did read online that there’s another spot located very close to Kelingking Beach with its own amazing scenery, called Paluang Cliff. It’s just a 5 minute drive from Kelingking and it gives you views of the Kelingking T-rex from the other side, without the crowds if you didn’t want to wait in line for a photo like I did 😀

I make it seem like these places were super quick and easy to see but it actually takes ages to get around the island. Many of the roads in Nusa Penida are still very rough and narrow so you go slower on some roads due to them being so rocky!
I personally wouldn’t hire a scooter or motorbike, although lots of people seem to do it with no issues, just because it gets so hot and dusty on the roads I’d rather be in an air-conditioned car haha.

Lunch was included as part of our tour package so we stopped off at a local Warung (restaurant) and chose something from a Set menu. I ordered some rice dish and Nathan got Chicken skewers with satay sauce. The portions were small but it was enough to keep us going for the day.

Next stop, Diamond Beach.
The cliff lookout over Diamond Beach has always been popular at Nusa Penida. However, a few years back, local developers carved a stairway straight into the cliff-face, opening up the beach to everyone.
It takes about 15 minutes to reach the bottom and it is pretty steep so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that doesn’t have a good level of fitness. When you get to the end of the staircase, you actually have to hold onto a rope to get you onto the beach as the stairs don’t take you all the way to the ground. Again – don’t be bringing your 87 year old grandma down here.

While we were waiting for our turn to get down to the beach, we spoke to some people who were climbing back up and they told us to be careful while swimming in the ocean as someone had nearly been swept out there. Apparently it is not really recommended to go into the water at Diamond Beach. If you do, you shouldn’t go out too far as the riptides are very strong and there are some very rocky sections in the water too. Not to mention no one can really help you if you do get swept out as there are no lifeguard’s or anything around. If you are planning on going, just stick to the rock pools or the shallow waters for your instagram snap!

Kind of like I did…

Unfortunately we didn’t get the sun at Diamond Beach as it was shaded by the cliff. Nathan kept saying we should have walked down to Kelingking Beach and enjoyed the sun there but we weren’t to know that Diamond beach would be so shady! If we could do it again, we probably would have made the effort to treck the 120m’s down to Kelingking Beach and stayed there for the day as it really was stunning!

After spending a couple of hours at Diamond Beach, we woke up our driver who was having a little nap in the sand and we headed back up to the car.

By this stage, it was around around 3:30-4:00pm so we made the hour’s drive back to the harbour to get our boat back to Sanur.

There was definitely more places to see on Nusa Penida but as we were limited on time we mainly checked out the main spots that you see on everyone’s Instagram posts.
The boat ride back to Sanur felt a little faster than the way over. The poor guy who was sitting in front of us threw up the whole way back. Thank god Nathan and I don’t really get that seasick!

When we got off the boat, our driver was meant to meet us but my phone died and I was the only one who had his WhatsApp number. There were far too many people to be able to find him (plus I’d kinda forgotten what he looked like) so after walking around for ages we walked back to the place he parked his car when he dropped us off and thankfully he was there waiting for us! He couldn’t get in contact with us either so he walked back too – lucky!

After Agung dropped us off at our accommodation, Nathan and I freshened up a bit and then headed off to Jimbaran Beach to grab some dinner. There were so many restaurants at Jimbaran Beach we were gutted we didn’t find all these places the night before when we were trying to find somewhere to eat!

We ordered Nachos, Pizza and a couple of drinks from this restaurant called Beekini Bowl and sat on the beach to watch the planes lands as you could see the airport in the distance.
Was a nice relaxing way way to end a busy day!

Top Tips for visiting Nusa Penida

  • Bring water in an insulated drink bottle. It gets so hot and you’ll be walking lots so you’ll want your water to be cold when you’re sweating
  • There’s a lot of stairs and walking in the sun, lather on the sunscreen!
  • If you’re doing a day trip, book a driver for the day. Unless you’re a Bali pro, it’s more comfortable to hire a driver and get them to take you around the island. They’ll take you to where you want to go and everything is on your own time so there’s heaps of flexibility!
  • Don’t be on Diamond Beach or Kelingking Beach when the sun goes down as it will be dark when you hike back up
  • If you’re driving yourself around the island, take it slow as the roads have little maintanice and get very narrow
  • All the famous spots will be filled with tourists taking a picture. Get there early to avoid the lines. Luckily, most people just want a photo and will move on so the wait isn’t crazy long.
  • 3 Days is the recommended amount of time to see the WHOLE island however you can tick off the main sites in a day if you’re tight on time
  • There’s a hidden beach called Suwehan Beach which isn’t included in many of the day tours. It’s a 30 minute hike down to the beach but you’ll be greeted with gorgeous white sand and turquoise water. Go before lunchtime so you get the sun.

Birthday in Bali! – 23rd August 2022

Today was my birthday so Happy Birthdaaaaay to meeeee!!
As I liked to remind Nathan, it was the most important day of the year so I was expecting to wake up to fresh roses, candles and breakfast in bed but instead I just woke up to sheets that were brown from my fake tan – hahahaha!

I’m just kidding anyways, I didn’t expect breakfast in bed – Nathan knows better then to serve me breakfast in bed as I hate when crumbs get in the sheets.

Today we got up around 7:30am and got ready for our day. I had a blow-wave booked at Jet Black Ginger in Bingin at 10:00am so we went downstairs to have the buffet breakfast before we headed out. (Everyone that knows me knows that I love a buffet!)
I must say though, I didn’t rate the breakfast at Royal Tulip Jimbaran. The food choices were a little boring and the quality was mediocre. Everything looked good at first glance but I’ve definitely had better food in my lifetime.

After eating a piece of toast, a little egg and some fruit, Nathan and I ordered Gojek Scooters to head off to Jet Black Ginger. I appreciate that the Gojek drivers will always try and find the quickest way to your destination so this was definitely the most interesting ride I’d had so far.
My driver took me through all the back roads of Jimbaran and then through some military training! We were driving down this long road when I saw this large battle tank and these armoured vehicles on the street with a whole line up of what I think was the Bali Military standing there in uniform with all their guns 😐
My Gojek driver slowed down (so much so that I thought he was going to stop) and I could only assume we were about to get into trouble for coming this way. Suddenly all the military smiled at us and someone waved us through. Phew!!
I got to the hairdressers safe and sound and Nathan wasn’t too far off behind me. His driver wished me a Happy Birthday so they must have had quite the chat on the 25 minute drive down! 😀

This was my third blow wave since I’d been in Bali and I was really hoping it was going to be good as Jet Black Ginger had great reviews online. I was booked in for a Cream Bath hair treatment and a Blow Wave. Cream Bath’s are very popular in Bali so you’ll see them on nearly every spa’s menu. After shampooing, the hairdresser applies this cream-bath cream to your hair and scalp, then massages it in to enhance the cream absorption. It’s meant to soften and strengthen your hair – especially if you use lots of heat tools on it like I do. My hairdresser did this all for me, then while the cream-bath treatment was in she gave me one of the strongest massages I’ve had in my life haha!
She massaged my neck, shoulders & scalp for a good 30 minutes and did a wonderful job! To be honest, her pressure was probably a bit too hard but I felt like my body needed it.

Once she washed the cream treatment out, she spent ages brushing my hair before she blow-dried it. I should have told her to brush my hair before she washed it as it was really tangled from the scooter ride so it was very hard to brush. I actually felt bad because she spent most of the treatment trying to detangle my hair – woops.

At the end though, my hair looked great! I really enjoyed my treatment so highly recommend Jet Black Ginger to anyone in the Canggu or Uluwatu/Bingin area. They also do nails! I actually wanted to get my nails done when I was there but they didn’t have any availability so definitely recommend booking if you want to visit.

With my hair all clean, I went for a little walk to meet Nathan who was off getting probably his 10th massage of the whole trip.
The massage place he was at was about a 10 minute walk away but with the heat and my hair freshly done I didn’t want to be out in the humidity for too long so I stopped at a few little boutique shops along the way to look at some clothes/use their store air conditioning to cool down haha.

Eventually Nathan came and met up with me and we took a Gojek car to Palmilla Beach Club which is a semi-new beach club located at Melasti Beach in Ungasan. The plan for the day was to drink, swim and relax so I could have a chilled out birthday 🙂 🙂

We paid IDR100k (about AUD$10) for entering the club and there was a minimum spend if you wanted to use the sun beds (which we did) however there was a wait as we didn’t arrive until after lunch time and they were all taken from people who had gotten there earlier.
We said we would sit at the bar on the swings until a day bed became available. From memory, the day beds were about AUD$100 however we got that all back in food and drink credit so it’s totally worth it if you’re going to spend all day there. I think we probably spent around AUD$200 for the day and that was with 1L jugs of frozen margaritas, pizzas etc.. more expensive than local places in Bali but normal price for a westernised place.

I just had a look online for their prices but couldn’t find them. However, I found in my WhatsApp messages a message from them explaining the prices so they’re below if you’re planning on going 🙂

Open: 10am – 8pm

Entry: Adults IDR 125k/AUD$12.5 (for cash) or IDR 100k/AUD$10 (paying by card)

Minimum Spend *as of September 2022*: Tables – No minimum spend, Pool Bed – IDR 500k (AUD$50), Double Bed Rest Area max 4 people IDR 750k (AUD$75), Double Bed Sand Area max 4 people IDR 1mill (AUD$100)

First come, first serve basis. You can’t reserve any beds.

Eventually a day bed became free so we lay down for a few hours, ordered more drinks and enjoyed the music. I may or may not have fallen asleep for a little bit… what can I say, I’m 31 now haha!

We stayed until sunset then ordered a car to take us somewhere for dinner. We couldn’t be bothered going back to our hotel and we’d spent most of the day in the pool so didn’t feel like we needed to freshen up to much.
From my little list of ‘Places to eat in Bali’ I chose this cute restaurant called The Loft. They have one in Uluwatu as well as Canggu. As we were South, we went to the Uluwatu one for dinner.

When we got there, we ordered the Buffalo Cauliflower with homemade sambal sauce and maybe a burger. To be honest, I can’t actually remember as it was over a month ago now and I didn’t take a picture of anything but the cauliflower 😦 I did however take one of our dessert!
A yummy Chocolate Lava Cake and some Carrot Cake. (Enjoyed the Lava cake way more, found the carrot cake not up to my fussy carrot cake standard haha)

In the process of having dinner, I WhatsApped messaged a few tour companies to find out their best price for a day tour to one of the islands the next day. We didn’t have anything organised and wanted to take the boat over to Nusa Penida. One company said they could do it for IDR600k per person for the tour + IDR375k for the pick up and drop off (AUD$60pp + $37.5) so I booked with them and organised for them to pick us up at 7:00am the next day.
I suddenly remembered we didn’t get a chance to collect our washing from the laundry place we dropped our clothes off to that morning and they were about to close so I quickly WhatsApped messaged them to see if they could wait around for us and we’d pay them extra as we were literally wearing our last clothes but they had already finished for the day.
As our driver was picking us up at 7:00am and the laundry place didn’t open until 8:00am I was in a bit of a pickle. They were so kind though and said the laundry person would come in earlier for us the next day so we could get our clothes. Honestly, the Balinese people are so nice!

After we’d finished dinner at The Loft, it was off home for our early start the next morning!

Next Post: Nusa Penida Day Trip!

Apologies if this post was a bit all over the show. I’ve been back and forth with writing this and keep loosing my place. It’s been a very busy week with wedding planning but I’m wanting to write all this stuff down before I head to Bali again in 2 weeks!

Flower Baths & Jimbaran – 22nd August 2022

I wasn’t hungry this morning so I skipped breakfast. Poor Nathan had a solo breakfast but he’s a fast eater so I doubt he minded too much haha.
This was our last day in Ubud and I had pre-booked some more spa treatments at the Kaveri Spa at our resort. After my pretty mediocre massage on our first day, I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but this therapist was waaaay better!

Our treatment started with a couples massage (with MUCH better pressure) followed by body scrubs and body masks. After we washed the strawberry masks off in the showers, we had a beautiful smelling flower bath. These baths are the new craze in Bali and lots of spas are starting to offer them in their packages. It was definitely more of a photo opportunity for me as I find baths incredibly boring haha. But it was a nice experience! The flowers also smelt AMAZING. (Note: it’s very hard to try and slip into a bath when the flowers have been arranged so nicely)

Nathan did join me after taking 100 photos of me. I asked if he wanted a picture but he declined. I wonder why… (I did however get him in a little video)

After the bath, I hopped in the shower to wash the hundreds of flower petals off me. (Not sure if I was meant to do this as I’m sure they just got stuck in the drain – woops) then we headed to reception to check-out.

If you remember back to my previous posts, I mentioned I had organized a photo-shoot for Nathan and I as we wanted some professional pictures taken to display at our wedding. After not having anything to wear, I cancelled the photo shoot and didn’t re-book anything. Funnily enough when we stayed at Udaya Resort & Spa they offered us a complimentary photo shoot session. We had to book which was easy enough to do and they had a photographer come and take photos of us around the resort on our last day. You got one picture free and then if you wanted any more you could buy photo packages. It’s actually a great way to get business because THEY SURE GOT ME!

I ended up buying a long maxi dress from the markets in Ubud the day before so wore that for our photo shoot. If you’re getting married, I highly recommend doing some type of professional photo shoot before the big day as you can start to get comfortable in front of the camera. I can take a million mirror selfies but when someone else is taking photos of me I’m not sure how to position my body so this was good practice. (Even more so for Nathan as he hates staged photos hahaha) Surprisingly enough the photos actually came out pretty good! We ended up purchasing about 20 of them which cost around AUD$180 which is pretty expensive for Bali. However it was good to get it over and done with and I didn’t want the hassle of trying to find someone else. I won’t show any of the photos on here yet as I’m wanting them to be a surprise but I can say the big white hat did make an appearance 😀

After the photoshoot, we headed next door to have lunch at The Melali for the second time that week. Nathan ordered a Mexican wrap with Chicken whereas I ordered mine with Falafel. We also got some fries with Tzatziki sauce and crumbed chicken strips to share.

Once we’d finished our meals we ordered a Gojek car to take us to our next accommodation in Jimbaran. The guy that picked us up had this small little hatchback car so we crammed our suitcases in and begun the 1.5 hour drive to our next hotel.

We had booked two nights at The Royal Tulip Springhill Resort which was about 1km away from the famous Rock Bar. My first impression of the resort was that it was quite secluded. As in, to get to the resort from the main road you had to take a few long entrances to get to the front. (You couldn’t just step out and start walking around the streets kind of thing) The staff were nice and the rooms were large and decent and they had a large pool for families.

After checking in to our room we sat by the pool for a little bit and ordered a couple of milkshakes. The restaurant area was pretty dead so I’m not sure why it took a good 20 minutes just to make two milkshakes but oh well haha. While we were sitting there I overhead a girl say that apparently there was an earthquake. I googled it and there had just been a 5.6 earthquake where we were. Obviously as we were outside we didn’t feel anything so kind of gutted we weren’t in our room to experience it! (We always get earthquakes in NZ so it’s a little bit of a thrill when they happen)

We decided to get ready around 5pm and head to The Rock Bar at the Ayana Hotel for a few drinks to watch the sunset. Our Gojek ride only took about 10 minutes however it would have taken longer if I hadn’t realised that Nathan had hopped on the wrong Gojek!
When your scooter arrives, they usually say your name so you know it’s yours and you just hop on the back and off you go. Nathan went before me so when another one arrived and asked me if I was Nathan I was like oh shit he’s hopped on the wrong scooter. I took Nathan’s one instead and quickly called him to tell him to double check where his driver was taking him. Turns out he was going somewhere way further so he got his driver to cancel the original ride and take him to The Rock Bar instead and paid him a little bit of cash for the hassle.
I tried cancelling my original ride but it wouldn’t let me as my driver had arrived at my location. He couldn’t cancel it from his end either so he had to drive to The Rock Bar to ‘complete’ the trip. (Think this is a safety feature Gojek has so the app knows the driver took you where you to were meant to go) I felt a bit bad but at least he still got paid for it I guess!

Entrance to The Ayana Resort

The Ayana Resort looked really nice! If you’re looking for somewhere a bit more luxurious to stay in the South of Bali I would recommend staying there. I’ve read some good reviews on it too!
To get to The Rock Bar you have to walk through the resort then take this tram ride down to the bar/restaurant on the oceanfront.

Not my picture but my photo skills aren’t the best to get a pic like this haha

This is one of the most popular places to watch the Sunset in Jimbaran. As expected it was pretty pricey as it’s at a 5-star resort so we just grabbed a couple of drinks. We were considering ordering some food but the menu didn’t appeal to me and from what I’ve read the food isn’t amazing for what you pay so we just sat and watched the sunset for an hour.

While we were at The Rock Bar I googled places nearby for dinner. I came across an Indian place called Indian Tandoor so we ordered another couple of Gojek’s and headed off for our little dinner date.

Classic Sarah & Nathan white people meal. We ordered two butter chickens with garlic naans, white rice and even a sprite!!! Hahahahaha. We’ve been dying for a good butter chicken since we moved to Perth as we literally have not had a good one since we moved. The Indian in Western Australia is so average. (Well, the Butter Chickens are at least) so we were hoping Bali would have a good one. It was surprisingly quite good but still not the absolute BEST I have had.

When on holiday you must have dessert so we went on the hunt for an ice-cream place. We had driven past the Movenpick hotel a few times so we thought surely they would have a Movenpick Ice-cream store close by. A quick Google map confirmed they did so off we went!
Unfortunately though the ice-cream flavours were super unappealing. We walked to another gelato place down the road but their flavours didn’t excite me either. No dessert was had that night 😦

When we got back to our hotel we had showers and I did a little self-tanning as my spray tan was starting to fade. As it was my birthday the next day I wanted to be all bronzed for the day club! 😀 😀