Seminyak Shopping & Massages in Ubud – 20th August 2022

Today was the day we had a photoshoot organised. We’re not usually a couple to do professional photos however I wanted to display something on our wedding day that wasn’t just a selfie of us at some beach somewhere. I found a guy online and Whatsapp’d messaged him a few weeks prior about doing some early morning photos near a waterfall or in the rice fields of Ubud. Unfortunately though, the dress I ordered for the photos didn’t arrive until THE DAY we left Perth for Bali. I was out with Nathan at the gym when the courier came so they didn’t drop it off and It wasn’t yet at the post office as the courier hadn’t finished her shift so I couldn’t go and collect it. In the end, I literally had nothing nice to wear so I ended up cancelling the photo shoot. 😦 Luckily the guy who was doing the photo’s hadn’t 100% confirmed the booking so he didn’t seem too bothered.
Also meant we got to have a slight sleep in and had a free day to do what we wanted.

First thing on my ‘List’ of things to do in Bali was to go and have Breakfast at a cafe’ called Nude. They do a lot of healthy food, as well as your usual smoothies, coffee’s and vegan milkshakes. Yum!

We each took a Gojek Scooter to Nude which was only a 7 min ride away.
I ordered a Strawberry & Kiwi Smoothie while Nathan got a Bali Berry one.

For our breakfast, I ordered a Halloumi & Avocado Bun with Chilli Relish and Nathan had a Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, bacon, avo and beans. As soon as I saw Nathan’s meal I regretted ordering mine. There was nothing wrong with my meal exactly, I just picked the boringest thing on the menu. They literally had smoothie bowls, sweetcorn fritters, omlettes and pancakes and I had a brioche bun with Avo and Halloumi haha!! I think I just really like halloumi so I ordered the first thing I saw that had halloumi in it. Next time I go, I’ll go for lunch as they have some yummy looking salads and a vegan burger I want to try. (I’m not vegan, however I don’t eat a lot of meat and much prefer vegetarian food)

After we’d finished eating, we paid and then took another Gojek back to our accommodation. I had organised with one of the Gojek drivers that drove us around the day before to take us shopping that Saturday. Her name was Izzi and she was so lovely! I grabbed her Whatsapp number and messaged her asking if she could drive us around Seminyak for the day (and look after our luggage in her car) before driving us 1.5 hours away to Ubud to check into our new accommodation. She happily said yes and we agreed on a price of AUD$50 (IDR500,000) for the day.

We had some time to spare before Izzi came and collected us at 9:30am so Nathan and I took a walk down the road from our hotel so I could find some cat food. I wasn’t quite full from my meal at Nude so I felt like something else to nibble on (haha just kidding). There was this cat at Canggu Suites that was looking a bit scrawny and crying for food. There was a cat bowl in the kitchen so I thought maybe the hotel didn’t have any food. I went to the nearest servo and tried to find something edible for a cat, after nearly buying spicy tuna (lol) I bought a couple of cans of corned beef for the kitty and took it back to the hotel. He seemed very grateful after being fed and proceeded to lay down licking his paws afterwards. I gave the second can of corned beef to one of the workers and said it was for the cat so I hope he didn’t take it home to eat haha.

It was nearing 9:30am so we checked-out of Canggu Suites (6/10 stay for me – the cat being the extra point) and met Izzi outside with our luggage.
First stop was Royalman Tailor in Seminyak to see if they could custom make a suit for Nathan. The experience here was much better than the first place we went to. They measured Nathan and got him to try on a few different suit colours. We did a bit of bartering on the price at the end and ended up getting 20% off the original price we were quoted which was good. We also ordered suit pants for the groomsmen – they’re just going to get measured and made when the Groomsmen get to Bali in October as we didn’t have their measurements at the time.
Nathan and I were talking about it last night and he was saying even with the 20% discount, we still paid more than what he thinks the suit was worth. As in, even though it was custom-made the price was still high for Bali and we should have bartered a bit more. Oh well! Learning experience I suppose.

After the tailor place, Izzi dropped us off at the Beachwalk Shopping Centre in Kuta. We went here last time we were in Bali and not a crazy amount had changed. Still nice shops but with western prices (as you are shopping at places like H&M, Kate Spade etc…) Also a thing to note, you have to wear a mask in the shopping centre. You also need to download an app before you go to Bali called the PEDULILINDUNGI App. It’s like your ‘check-in’ app they have in New Zealand and Australia where you scan a QR code to enter a premises. The Beachwalk Shopping Centre was the only place on our trip that required it so you won’t be needing it all the time – just good to have. (I also think they require it at the airport)

After briefly browsing the shops (we didn’t really find anything we wanted to buy) we went for a walk past the beach and around Kuta to all the classic Balinese haggling markets we’re used to.

Again, not a lot has changed since we last went in 2014. People are still haggling you to buy things but the vibe is slightly different. As in, it’s definitely a lot less busy and you don’t feel as good to haggle as low as you could go like you used to. Covid-19 hit Bali really hard. They rely heavily on tourism for job opportunities and to keep their economy going. With the boarders being closed, so many shops and restaurants shut down with most Balinese people moving back to their homes and villages, planting vegetables to survive and just sleeping or not eating all day. You can tell they are so grateful to have tourists back and it’s definitely picking up again. If you’re looking at going, try not to be an absolute dick when you buy things from the markets by offering them $5 (IDR50,000) for a pair of shoes. They’re all still trying to make a living (but also don’t spend like $60 on a handbag haha)

After buying all the classic Bingtang singlets and knock-off Nike shoes last time, we weren’t overly keen to load up our suitcases with that kind of stuff again so we didn’t buy much! I bought a couple of small handbags (IDR150,000 – IDR200,000 is a good price) but that’s really it!
I think Nathan may have bought a basketball singlet too.
Oh wait, I nearly forgot my FAVOURITE PURCHASE!! My big white wide brimmed hat. I got it for IDR150,000 (About AUD$15) and I absolutely love it and wore it pretty much the whole trip. Nathan kept saying it made me look like a Gucci wearing socialite on holiday in the Hamptons and that’s exactly the look I was going for. I can’t wait to take it back with me in October HAHA!!

Izzi took us to a few more stores including the Surf Brand outlet store – but again. Nothing tickled my fancy.
It was around 3pm and we’d already gone over the 5 hours I had hired Izzi for so I asked if she could take us to our new accommodation in Ubud. The drive was around 1.5 hours so I gave my Mum a quick facetime call on the way to pass the time.

When we arrived at Udaya Resort & Spa, I was in a bit of a rush as I had pre-booked Nathan and I a couples massage for 4:30pm at the Kaveri Spa (The spa at the resort) and we arrived at 4:15pm so we were cutting it a little fine.
After paying Izzi ($70 in the end as we had gone over our time) we tried checking-in to Udaya Resort. Unfortunately the Credit Card I was using wasn’t the same card as the one I had previously paid with so they had to re-charge me for the room and said they would refund me my previous payment. I’m still waiting on the refund and it’s been a week so fingers crossed I receive it!! Good thing to note, make sure the card you used to pay is the one you bring the Bali. Unfortunately my old one was scammed so I had to get a new one.

After being shown to our room – thankfully right next to the spa, we made it to our appointment just in time. We were booked in for a couple’s 90 minute deep tissue massage. We got to choose our oil before the treatment (Orange, Lemongrass or Lavender) then were taken to a room for a foot soak and scrub before the treatment – very relaxing!

Unfortunately, I didn’t rate the massage. Luckily I wasn’t stressed because if I was it would have stressed me out more. The massage definitely wasn’t a deep tissue massage, the pressure was far too weak and the whole massage routine was boring. I know that’s such a weird thing to say, but after being a Beauty Therapist and actually DOING massages, I’m a little bit of a critic when I receive one. This one didn’t flow very well and was quite repetitive. I did say at one point “You can go harder if you like” which is the nice Kiwi way of saying “Can you please go harder” but I actually don’t know if she could because I could feel her arms shaking when she tried going deeper. Disappointing!! Nathan said his one was good though so I really think it’s down to who you get. I really just think she was new and hadn’t been working there for very long.

After our massages, we went to our room and got ready for dinner. Our room was lovely! Albeit a bit dark (I think the resorts try and do a relaxation vibe with less lights but it makes it very hard to do make up)
I had booked us a Pool Suite which was a 100sqm room with private pool next to the tropical jungle which was nice and relaxing.

Similar to these pictures I stole off the website

Again, I had already chosen where to go for dinner before we even got to Bali! (I had a whole list of places to try I’d written down in my phone) and I’m so glad I did because we ate at some really great places.
This particular night, we went to Ely’s Kitchen in Ubud. I saw on their website they do High Tea and Romantic Private Dinners but we just went for a standard sit-down dinner for two 🙂 We didn’t book ahead of time but I probably would if you had a large party of people as I think a few people had reservations. We were seated outside upstairs and thankfully they gave me some mosquito repellent otherwise I would have been one large insect bite by the end of the night.
Nathan ordered the Iga Baba which was Caramelized Pork Ribs with BBQ Sauce, vegetables and rice. I got a Balinese Chicken Curry (to share with Nathan) and Flower Jack Salad which was Spiced Cauliflower, crispy jackfruit, potato and onion.

Terrible picture I know but I didn’t take any others – woops!

All of the food was really good! The service was great too and the whole ambience of the place was lovely. They had an acoustic singer singing some songs and Nathan and I commented a few times on how nice his voice sounded. When we left, we ended up asking the staff for his name so we could add him on Instagram to see if he could play at our wedding 😀 haha!! He did actually respond to my request and said he would so that worked out well 🙂 I thought it would be a nice touch at the wedding for when guests arrive and we’re having dinner etc.

After getting a Gojek back to Udaya Resort, it was off to bed!

Next Post: Tour of Ubud – we finally got some nice photos!

Canggu & Penny Lane (Bali) – 19th August 2022

Carrying on from my last post, Nathan and I hitched a ride after our food tasting with our Wedding Planner to our next accommodation in Canggu. (For those not familiar with Bali, Canggu is a resort village on the south coast of Bali. (About a 50 min drive North of Seminyak) It’s full of colourful beachfront bars, surf ready waves and wholefood cafes. The Canggu area hasn’t been on the tourist map for long, but it’s quickly becoming a popular spot for travelers looking for something different from Seminyak.)

We were booked to stay one night at Canggu Hyper Suites, a little hotel set amongst the green rice fields in Canggu. Check-in was easy, however they gave us the room right next to the kitchen. Not really a big deal as it was quiet but I can imagine I would have hated it if guests were up talking and drinking all night as the kitchen was literally right outside our room.
Our room also had no towels so I had to try and find someone to get some but was given Beach Towels instead as the towels were still in the wash – I think…

Thankfully for the wedding I had my dress sorted (just needed to buy a veil) – Nathan however still hadn’t found a suit. Before we arrived in Bali, I made an appointment at Michelle Ann Bridal House in Seminyak who sorts out suits and wedding dresses – hoping they would be able to custom make a suit for Nathan. They had great reviews online, but I found the whole experience with them pretty disappointing. They didn’t really ‘Take Charge’ of the appointment. They gave Nathan a few suit jackets to try on over his sports singlet which were either too small or too big. (Which is totally fine, I don’t expect something to fit him right away but you’d think they would take some measurements or something at least.) Also not even giving him a white shirt to put on was a bit annoying as we couldn’t really envision what colour suited him against a white collared shirt. Most of the appointment, the three girls in the shop just stood there on their phones. I wasn’t sure if they were looking for other suits they had in stock or just messaging people as they literally didn’t explain anything they were doing.

In the end, we left without buying or ordering anything as we didn’t find anything we were after. I also had a hair appointment to attend at The Shampoo Lounge about a 8 minute drive away. (And so it begun – my first blow-wave of my holiday haha!) You’ll find I end up getting my hair done at least 4x in the space of one week! Hehehehe.

When I got to The Shampoo Lounge in Seminyak, the receptionist couldn’t find my booking. Which got me panicked as we had organized a photoshoot the next morning and I wanted my hair to be nice! Luckily she ended up finding it and one of the hairdressers took me to the basin to get my hair washed. I couldn’t tell you what products or brands they used as they literally didn’t tell me haha! The Shampoo Lounge has a MASSIVE treatment menu. They do everything from hair to massages and nails at a great price (Eg, my Blow Wave cost me AUD$35). I found the service to be good and my hair was lovely afterwards, however the salon in Seminyak was a little run down. They did say they’re due for a renovation at the end of the year which I’m sure will make the whole place ‘feel’ nicer and more relaxing. Nathan also got a haircut while I was getting my hair done and it looked good!

With our hair all done, we took a Gojek car back to our accommodation. Another Bali recommendation, download the GOJEK app. It is the absolute best thing to use to get around Bali. It’s the Indonesian version of Uber, however they use Scooters as well as cars. They also do services such as food delivery, package delivery etc… but unless you live in Bali you’ll really only use it for transportation. You need a Credit Card to sign up but it’s seriously the cheapest thing ever! I worked out that between Nathan and I, we took 51 Gojek rides during our week in Bali and it cost us a total of AUD$136.14. Also saves you from having to pay in cash as it all comes off your card.
When we got to Canggu Hyper Suites, we had towels – yay!
We then got ready to head out for dinner at Penny Lane (one of the many restaurants I researched before I came to Bali). It’s in a good area with lots of boutique shops around. When we turned up, I wished our hotel was closer as this area seemed more lively than where we were staying.
Penny Lane is full of photo opportunities, which is probably why every Instagram Influencer goes here. The restaurant does Lunch and Dinner and serves mainly western food like Burgers, Salads, Loaded Fries and Schnitzels. You definitely pay more ‘Western’ prices (eg, a Chicken Parmi is $10 and a burger is $11) but it’s still cheaper than back home! We had to wait about half an hour for a table as it was really busy but the service was fast and the food and drinks were tasty.

Nathan ordered a Lord Of The Rings Burger (Beef, Cheese, Onion Rings, Bacon) with a side of Portuguese Chicken Strips and I ordered Pablo Escobar Fries (fries loaded with nacho chips, cheese, sour cream, salsa and beef) as well as some mac’n’cheese balls and Gaucomole with Turkish Bread. Let’s just say, we ate ALOT this trip.

With our belly’s full, we left Penny Lane to go and find a massage somewhere. But not without stopping across the road for a few pats of two good boys. The bar we walked past on the way to Penny Lane earlier that evening had two adorable dogs. One Golden Retriever (our dream dog) and a Husky. *Cries* so cute!! I wish I could upload a picture but I only have a video and WordPress only allows me to upload pictures unless I pay $100 to upgrade my plan to include videos. HAHA!

I did however get a picture of my legs as I got a massage which I’m sure is much more interesting than a cute golden dog….

While I got Reflexology for $7 (SO CHEAP) Nathan went and got a 60 minute massage for AUD$12. This was at Edelweis Spa Canggu two stores down from Penny Lane. Nathan said it wasn’t his favorite massage in the world but it wasn’t bad either. I mainly enjoyed my Reflexology as the pressure was good (and you can’t complain because of the price) however the guy who was doing it laughed at my feet coz I had a small piece of hard dry skin on the side of my foot 😦 If this was Australia I would have probably said something for being so rude as him and his friend kept making gagging sounds and giggling but I couldn’t really be bothered and they seemed young and kind of immature so I just left it. Ah well! I’m pretty sure I’ve had worse from Nathan calling me flipper feet as I am ‘above average’ size for a standard girls foot. (Size 9 if you must know)

After our massages, we headed back to our hotel where we had showers and hopped into bed. Wait, I take that back. Nathan had a shower and I did not. The water was cold!! I don’t know if they turn the hot water off at a certain time but there definitely was no running hot water at 11pm. I’m a baby and need my showers to be hot so I waited until the morning.

Next Post: Shopping & Heading to Ubud

Birthday in Bali – 18th August 2022

I think I start off every post with “wow I haven’t written a blog post in SUCH a long time” then mentally promise myself that I’m going to update this blog more often… which as you can see from when I last posted – it never happens 🫣

Well I actually have some life updates so thought I’d jump back on here and write some more memories down.

Nathan and I moved back to New Zealand from Canada in 2020 🇨🇦 (not willingly though – our Working Visa’s expired so we had to leave) The plan was to head back to the homeland to attend Nathan’s sister’s wedding and then move to the United Kingdom for another Working Holiday Visa. Then shock horror – a world pandemic happened and we couldn’t go anywhere (along with pretty much the rest of the world) We decided we should probably buy a house in New Zealand so we had some type of asset but the house market went crazy and we couldn’t buy anything. We had approval from the bank and everything but we literally couldn’t buy because we were competing against hundreds of other people with the same idea. We gave up on the house idea and our next plan was to move to Aussie, so in March 2021 we moved across the ditch and settled in Perth, Australia. The western part of Australia…. Where everyone from the East Coast claims is “boring and remote with nothing to do”. Don’t believe what you hear though, Western Australia has THE most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in my life. Not to mention the job opportunities are great, housing is more affordable and it’s only like $200-$300 to fly return to Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩 when there’s a sale on.

Which leads me to the reason I started writing again. I’m in Bali!! I booked this trip last year when Jetstar was having a sale and I knew I’d be itching to get out of the country once Covid wasn’t a massive thing anymore. The perfect excuse was “my birthday is in August and Nathan can’t say no to me for my birthday” so I went ahead and booked the flights hehe 😉 THEN Nathan asked me to be his future wifey over Easter by getting down on one knee and proposing to me with the most gorgeous ring. 💍 We’ve always said we would get married in Bali so my birthday trip turned into a Birthday/Wedding planning trip as we’re getting married here in October! 😃

Day One

We arrived into Bali around 8pm on Thursday evening. I considered paying for Bali Fast Track before we left Australia but decided not to. Bali Fast Track is where you organise assistance through the airport and they fast track you through. (Around AUD$50-70 per person) Thankfully it wasn’t needed anyways as we got through immigration and baggage claim within 30 minutes!!

As we were about to take off (literally on the Tarmac at Perth Airport) , I had quickly Whatsapped a driver to meet us at the airport and they were there waiting for us on arrival to drive us to Canggu. I recommend organising a driver to pick you up before you arrive. Just makes it easier and less to organise once you get to Bali. If you don’t have a driver, no worries there’s lots of taxis and things waiting at the airport to take you to your accommodation. I just couldn’t be bothered negotiating pricing etc..

Perth City

The drive to Bali Beach Glamping took about 45 minutes – 1 hour. This was the first place we were staying and it was a complimentary night as our wedding venue is next door and owned by The same people. Was kind of a “thanks for booking your wedding with us, you can stay for free at our Glamping tent accommodation” kind of thing. We didn’t get to see our wedding venue inside as it was currently occupied by another wedding but I wasn’t bothered as it means when we get married in October it will be a nice surprise. ☺️☺️

Our tent for the night

As we got to Bali Beach Glamping so late, we nearly missed out on getting anything to eat as the kitchen stopped making food at 10pm and we arrived at 9:52pm 😂😂 Nathan was so hungry and so was I. All I’d had to eat all day was every expensive fries from Perth Airport and half a very average Jam Donut.

Lunch at the airport – so expensive 🥲

After quickly having a Quesadilla and some spring rolls from the restaurant, we headed off to bed to spend the first night in our tent 🏕

I’d rate the Glamping experience a 7/10. The bed was super comfortable and it was nice and relaxing when it rained that night as I love the sound of rain on a tent. I just didn’t like how the toilet was literally in the same room but separated by a wall. Thankfully I’m very comfortable with Nathan so I don’t care if one of us needs to use the bathroom 😂but I can imagine some people might feel a little awkward. Also the lighting in the bathroom wasn’t the best for make-up application 💅

Day Two

In the morning we headed to the restaurant for breakfast (a small buffet), went for a walk along the beach in the rain then explored the resort a little bit. They had some nice photo spots which we took advantage of!

We had some time to kill so sat by the pool for an hour or so before we met with our wedding planner Helmi. She had organised for us to meet with our stylists to choose colours and decor for the wedding. I think we covered most things for the big day so I feel a little better now that most things have been chosen. (It was getting a little stressful knowing what was happening trying to plan a wedding from Australia)

After that was done, we met with the catering team to have a sit down tasting of all the food we’d chosen for our wedding. I was nervous at first, for some reason I thought the food was going to be mediocre. Especially as I’d included a sticky toffee date pudding that wasn’t even on their menu but they were specially making for us. However, they exceeded my expectations and the food was so good!! 🤤🤤

A sneak preview of the starters

After all our food, we checked-out then caught a ride with our wedding planner to our next accommodation in Canggu called Canggu Hype Suites. About 30 minutes away. However I might write about the rest of the day in my next post before this one gets too long 🫠🫠 if you got this far, thanks for reading! I purely write this blog now for my own personal memories so if you follow along, I’m always flattered 😂