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 😂

Bali Overview. Where to stay?

karte-6-67-en

New Zealanders and Australians love Bali.
The scenery is beautiful when you get out of the bustling cities, the food and drink is so much cheaper than what we buy back home, flights are becoming cheaper with Airlines such as Jetstar providing 1-way fares for $150 and the weather is nearly always amazing!

Bali is the Number 1 Tourist destination for Australian Tourists.
Flights from Australia can be very cheap and it’s the closest country to them that has sunshine, cheap alcohol and surf. It’s like the Spring Break of America.

Depending on why you’re going to Bali, you can usually find what you’re looking for.
I know people who go to Bali on boys trips just to party it up and drink lots of Bintang Beer, Girls go with their Bridesmaids before a wedding for a long week of cheap pedicures, $10 massages and swims in infinity pools.
They have some awesome retreats here as well where you can spend days in the middle of the forest sleeping in luxury accommodation, waking up to beautiful rice fields, gourmet breakfasts and attending yoga classes.

fb_img_1456343234540.jpg
I personally went to Bali back in 2014 with my Boyfriend of 1 year. It was a spur of the moment decision as we were originally wanting to take a week trip to an island nearer New Zealand like Raratonga or Fiji.
One day we went to a travel Expo in our home-town and headed straight to the area where they had brochures on the Islands. As pretty as they were, we weren’t super ‘excited’ about going. The beaches looked beautiful, the accommodation looked nice but we came to the conclusion that’d we’d just be a bit… bored in Raro.
We like a bit of adventure mixed with some relaxation and culture so when we got talking to a Travel Agent who’d been to Bali, he pretty much made up our minds for heading to Indonesia for 2 weeks. He raved on about how cheap everything was, how there was lots of stuff to do and places to party etc… The next day we’d booked through Virgin Australia 2x Return trips from Wellington, New Zealand to Bali in June as our first trip as a couple!

How Long Does It Take To Get There (Direct):
This isn’t including stop-overs
wpid-20151031_160050.jpg

Auckland to Bali – 8 Hours, 53 minutes
Wellington to Bali – 9 Hours
Melbourne to Bali – 6 Hours
Sydney to Bali – 6 Hours, 16 Minutes
Perth to Bali – 3 Hours, 44 Minutes
Singapore to Bali – 2 Hours, 34 Minutes
New York City to Bali – 20 Hours, 46 Minutes
Chicago to Bali – 20 Hours
London to Bali – 16 Hours

I’ve had a little Sky Scanner search and I don’t think any airline in New Zealand flies direct to Bali apart from Air New Zealand who only fly direct from May – October on Saturdays and Wednesday’s.(Someone correct me if I’m wrong)

Virgin Australia always seems to stop in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne (Both ways)
China Airlines stops in Taiwan and Jetstar will always stop somewhere in Australia.

Prices:

You can get some amazing deals on flights to Bali if you’re flying from New Zealand and don’t mind a shitty stop-over. I’ve seen Jetstar Flights for NZD$250 RETURN! (Obviously they have a stop over in Australia at inconvenient times) but if you’re not picky about times, can get time off work quickly and have the cash, I’d wait for an amazing deal like that to come up.

I’ve done a little research and the cheapest month to head over to Bali is in August.
The weather in August is pretty much the same as May and June. The whole month doesn’t vary much from the beginning to the end with average temperatures at 27°C (80°F) throughout the entire month, with lots of sun, virtually no chance of rain, and a constant, cool breeze. It is however quite humid but it’s very tempting as in August it’s Winter time in New Zealand and we’re dying for a bit of sun.

Obviously Australians can get cheaper flights, eg; Darwin to Bali for $161
Or Perth to Bali for $193 *sigh*
That’s another reason where you’ll feel like you’re surrounded my Auzzies when you’re in Bali. It’s just too cheap for them not to go!

Where To Stay:

Bali-to-Gili-Trawangan-and-Lombok1-1When my boyfriend and I went, we stayed in Legian for 5 nights, one of the Gili Islands for another 4 nights and Seminyak for 4
To make it simple for you I’ve written a little paragraph about the places to stay in Bali which you can find on the map above.

South Bali Area

South Bali is the main part where all the tourists go. It’s the closest to the airport and the perfect area for a first-time Bali goer. There’s shopping, beaches, water activities and many places to drink and party until the early hours.

berawabeach-01Canggu: Less tourists, quite a rural area with low-key nightlife and black/grey sandy beaches. Is becoming more developed over time…Think it has a water park for kids.
50-60 mins from airport

drifter-surf-shop-bali

Seminyak: Very chic, classy, fine dining and stylish beach bars. Great for high end spas and massages, surfing and the beach. Accommodation is more high-quality and modern. Many tourists stay here if you’re wanting somewhere a bit more fancy.
30 mins from airport

legian-street

Legian: Located South of Seminyak, Legian is a short taxi ride to Kuta with the advantage of not being right in the center of all the clubs and bars. I’d say this is the best place to stay accommodation-wise as you’re just a little bit away from the main ‘city center’ feel. You still have the choice of restaurants to eat at and market stalls to bargain at so you’re not completely away from all the fun stuff.
Legian has a better and less crowded surf break at the beach so may be good if you’re learning to surf.
If you’re searching for some good, cheap, clean accommodation, check out Bliss Surfer Hotel. It’s not the fanciest place to stay, the pool is over-shadowed by the hotel so it does get a bit chilly when you’re swimming but the staff are nice and the rooms are great.
I hear the Padma Resort  (Think, swim-up bar, Infinity Pool, Tennis Court, Cooking classes) or Pullman Resort are quite nice if you’re looking to pay a bit more.
10-20 mins from airport

1-P1060159

Kuta: Partying, Kuta beach, The Hard Rock Cafe and one of the main malls are all situated in Kuta. It’s great for nightlife and the beach but would stay away if you don’t like massive crowds and pumping music.
Kuta has great surfing options for beginners and experienced surfers. Have a look on TripAdvisor for some good companies.
If you’re looking to do some shopping, check out Kuta Square, Discovery mall (right across the road from Waterbom water park) or Beachwalk Shopping Center for all your shopping and dining needs.
Kuta is where the Bali Bombings took place in 2002 at Paddy’s Pub. There is now a permanant memorial at the site with all the names of the people that were killed along with the national flags of the victims to pay your respects.
10-20 mins from airport

jimbaran_14553

Jimbaran: Think Seafood, spas, calm waters and white sand. Great if you have children as the waters are shallow and you can explore the morning Jimbaran Markets for fresh seafood. Has an amazing sunset after 5pm where you can relax with a cocktail and head to bed before 12am as the clubs usually shut around 11pm. However Kuta and Seminyak are only a cab ride away if you want to stay here and party somewhere else.
This is where the famous Rock Bar is located.
10-20 mins from airport

nusa-dua-beach

Nusa Dua: Has an amazing beach with water sports and coral beds for snorkeling. The surfing is amazing, I’ve read it’s recommended to hire a boat to take you out to the Nusa Dua Break. Also has one of the most popular shopping centers. Not really a place for partying and dining but the resorts will make you nice cocktails to sip in the sun.
30 mins from airport

Sanur-Beach-42171

Sanur: More on the Southeast coast, but a great place for people wanting a bit of peace and quiet in a tropical paradise. White sandy beaches, clear waters, great for kids as it has calmer waters and a few water sports like water skiing or kite surfing. Not too many places to shop but has souvenir stores and places to buy some clothing.
30 -40 mins from airport

Central Bali


bali-tours6

Ubud:
Ever heard of Eat, Pray, Love? Well that was situated in Ubud. Imagine rolling green hills, fresh air, rice paddies and temples. This is the place to go if you want to get away from the touristy area and really get to know the Balinese Culture. This is where people come to do yoga and stay at meditation resorts. It also has the monkey forest, elephant riding and white water rafting. About a 45 minute drive away from the beach.

Bali, Gianyar
Bali, Gianyar. Administration building in Gianyar city.

Gianyar: Not too far from Ubud, here you can buy traditional paintings, browse through flea markets, and haggle until your hearts content.Not really a place to party or even get massages but it has more of a Balinese Culture to explore.

North Bali

bali_lovina_tour_featured

Lovina: A destination of slow-paced beach towns. Has black sand beaches and live music with a few clubs scattered around. You can snorkel around the local reefs or take a trip to see the off-shore islands and dolphins! However from what I’ve read, there’s not a lot to do.
3-4 hours from airport

East Bali

tulamben1Tulamben: The most likely thing you’ll be doing here is Diving. Tulamben is a small fishing village and a very popular dive site. A US Army Transport ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942 lies just 25m’s off shore so divers love to go and explore.
3 hours from airport

sunset-with-mount-agung-in-amed-bali-indonesia-the-19th-highest-point-on-islands-worldwide

Amed: Same deal as Tulamben, Amed is a very popular place for diving. Come here if you want to snorkel and dive until you have water in your ears. You can also climb up 3.142 meters of Bali’s highest mountain, Mount Agung if you’re wanting a day of exercise.
The mountain is about 40 minutes from Amed and while you’re there you can check out Bali’s largest and most sacred Hindu temple at the bottom.
Luxury Villa Celagi is a popular place to stay if you’re wanting to stay on the island.
2 hours from airport

The Islands

Now if you really want to sail away from the mainland, head over and check out some of these beautiful islands.

img_-148
Nusa Lembongan:
Not really a place to stay, but defiantly a place to visit. This is basically island life of what Bali used to be 25 years ago. Great for a day trip to do some snorkeling and meet the locals. However if you do want to get back to basics and stay on the island, there are some nice accommodation options where you can stay, go swimming and head to the Scooby Doo Beach Bar.

bali_to_gili_island

Gili Islands:

To make this short, there are 3 Islands. 

  1. Gili Air
  2. Gili Meno
  3. Gili Trawangan.

    Gili Trawangan
    is the bustling island where you go if you want to meet backpackers, party, sleep or just watch a movie in the sand. Most of the action is centered on the southern part of the island but it’s also fine to go to as a couple if you want a romantic getaway. There’s not motorized transport so everything is horse and cart over here!
    Gili Meno is the least visited island. I know they have a turtle sanctuary and you can do some diving trips which are meant to be good. Other than that, there’s not too much to do. You can stay here in one of the bungalows they have available on the island but don’t expect anything too special.
    Gili Air is where all the locals live. It still has restaurants and bars but it’s not as intense as Gili T with all the partying. They have a Night Market, some boat tours and some Villa’s to stay in but I probably wouldn’t spend too long here.

kaliantan-lombokLombok: An East Island just off Bali, it isn’t as popular as it’s neighbor but has many isolated beaches and a perfect place to stay if you just want to do day-trips to The Gili Islands. Also it’s the home of Mount Rinjani (the second highest volcano in Indonesia) where you can book guided tours to explore. The main area to stay in on Lombok is Senggigi as that’s where all the hotels and restaurants are. Things to do are day trips, swimming and snorkeling.

Credit: None of the pictures used are mine, if you come across a picture you own let me know and I’ll credit you 🙂 I just did a cheeky Google search.