Rice Fields & Swings in Ubud (Bali) – 21st August 2022

This morning we had breakfast at the our resort’s Deeva Restaurant. (By the way, anything I highlight is usually a link to whatever the place is I mentioned)

We started off with fresh fruit, a home made bread selection basket and a couple of Pineapple Juices. They didn’t have a buffet so we ordered off their menu. I got the scrambled eggs with a side of tomato, sausage and potato hash brown. Nathan got something similar but I didn’t rate the food that highly. I found the portions very small and simple and to be honest – a little underwhelming.

We had organised a driver to take us around Ubud for the day as we wanted to see a few temples, waterfalls and rice-fields while we were in the area. Surya from Bali Customized Tours was waiting in our lobby at 8:00am to take us on our adventure which I had booked prior to arriving in Bali.
First stop was the Tegallalang Rice Terraces which is the most popular rice field in Ubud.  As it’s located on a high roadside, the fields are nice and cool and breezy – a well-known spot for tourists to stop and take photos. I’m happy we went early in the morning as we did a bit of walking up and down steps which would have been way hotter in the afternoon. The rice terraces also have great Bali photo opportunities which we definitely took advantage of! Thankfully our tour guide Surya was a pro on the camera and took some great snaps.
I presume over the years, Balinese tour guides have been trying hard to up-skill themselves so they stand out from other tour guides. With the rise of social media and everyone taking photos, you can really tell that they’ve spent a lot of time learning how to take amazing photos on your phone.

We learnt that the soil in Bali as well as the humid tropical climate is great for growing rice. All the crops are watered from a Subak system which is the water management system in Bali. As rice is seen as the gift of god, and the Subak system is part of temple culture. Water from springs and canals flows through the temples and out onto the rice paddy fields which Balinese communities jointly help to manage as they are working together for the good of the community instead of thinking of the individual farmer. As there is a lot of water and muddy areas, I wouldn’t recommend walking around the rice fields if you don’t have good fitness as the path is uneven and slippery due to the mud and water.

While we were at the Rice Fields, I did one of the famous Rice Terrace Swings (AUD$20 per person).
A little bucket list item to tick off, however I definitely didn’t get any amazing photos hahaha! Was just a fun little experience to do.

After we’d finished at the Rice Fields, we went and saw a couple of Temples.

A little learning for you all – In Balinese culture they follow Hinduism. Hinduism has five pillars of faith:

  • belief in one Supreme God
  • belief in the soul as the universal principle of life and consciousness
  • belief in the process of reincarnation
  • belief in the fruition of one’s deeds and
  • belief in ultimate release, unity with God

Reincarnation in Bali is usually within the family, so every newborn baby is believed to have one of the ancestors’ soul. When it comes to Karma, what you give is what you get. You bring your karma from your past life into the present life and will take karma from this life to your future one – your next reincarnation. Our tour guide was explaining that’s why Balinese always try and do good things in life so they can have a good ‘next life’
After death, your soul passes to another body, but is always seeking to free itself from incarnation so that it can attain enlightenment – the unity with the God. When a person dies, but its soul has not yet achieved this state, it continues with the incarnations.

If you ever come to visit Bali, you must see at least one of the temples. And if you come during a big ceremony, you’ll witness the crowd of people dressed in white or colourful traditional clothes, bringing plenty of offerings made mostly of food, fruit and flowers. After they place the offerings, they sit together and follow the praying ritual led by a priest.

After learning more about the way Balinese people are and how they’re so spiritual throughout their every day life, it really made us understand why they’re all so kind, welcoming and hospitable. You get bad people in every country, however I find Balinese to be some of the friendliest people – especially compared to other places I’ve been to in South East Asia.

After the temples, we went and saw one of the waterfalls in Bali! Probably the most famous one in Ubud – Tegenungan Waterfall which is located in a tropical jungle. Our tour guide said this was one of the smaller waterfalls but lots of people come to visit it.
If you’re looking at visiting some other waterfalls in Bali, I’ve read Sekumpul Waterfall in Singaraja is one of the most beautiful waterfalls but is a tough trek to get to. Otherwise Aling-Aling Waterfall in Sambangan is a natural water slide Waterfall. The waterfall falls from a steep cliff and is surrounded by lush jungle. It’s about 35m long which you can slip and slide down. The journey to get there can be a little tiresome, with treks across rice fields and up and down many steps but I see it in lots of TikTok videos so it must be worth it!

I highly recommend going to the Omma Day Club if you’re in Ubud for the day and don’t want to do anything too strenuous. They day club is situated right next to the Tegenungan waterfall so you can have a couple of drinks while you watch the 25 meter waterfall cascade into the pool below!
I really wanted to chill at the day club however we ran out of time on this particular day 😦 oh well – next time!

By this stage, I had seen two temples, a waterfall, rice paddies and done about 300 sets of stairs haha. I was getting hot and kind of just wanted to go and get lunch and chill back at our resort for a bit. We asked out driver Surya if he could take us to one more place and then drop us off somewhere for lunch. He agreed so we headed to our last stop, a traditional Balinese compound where we saw how the locals lived.

The Kitchen

The Balinese traditional compound is basically divided into three parts on which each part has a different purpose. The holy structures like shrines are built at the mountain side of the compound, in the middle of the yard you’ll find all the living structures and in the direction of the sea is where the kitchen is.

The kitchen is usually shared by the family’s married children if they all live together. However if the parents are more well-off, than the children are provided with a new compound in another village. Water is taken from the wells in the compound if it’s available, if not they take water from a nearby stream or natural spring. They also have no special dining room and just eat wherever and whenever they feel like it. When we turned up, the family that lived there was spoon-feeding some type of mushy liquid that looked like baby-food to what looked like a small bird. I’m not sure what it was but our tour guide tried explaining it saying it was some type of small animal that fell from a tree that the man was now looking after. Interesting?..

If you do any tour in Ubud they’ll be happy to take you to a Balinese Compound. You just pay a small donation while you’re there which goes to the family.

After the compound, we asked Surya to take us to an ATM as we were running out of cash. He stopped somewhere and I went with Nathan to get about AUD$300 out from the machine. The cash was ejected but when it came time to take the card, it wouldn’t come out. You could see the machine was trying to push the card out but it was stuck. I tried getting it with my long fingernails but I still couldn’t reach. In the end the machine swallowed the card and Nathan had to block the card on his banking app. Weirdly enough, I had such a gut feeling this was going to happen on our trip. When I was packing my suitcase before we left I thought to myself, I wonder if I bring one credit card or two…. I decided on two as I just knew something was going to happen to one of our cards.

Good thing to note, always make sure to use an ATM in Bali that’s attached to a Bank. Or just bring two separate bank cards incase this happens to you.

Our driver was super apologetic! (Not that it was his fault) and offered to call the bank for us. Even took pictures of the Machine and the location of where it was so we could follow it up. To be honest, we weren’t overly concerned. The card was blocked and Nathan moved the money out of the account just on the off chance the card was skimmed. Just meant we had to use our Credit Cards to withdraw money for the rest of the trip.
Luckily most places in Bali take card anyways. All the hotels and resorts will take card, as well as the restaurants, day clubs, day spas, at the shopping malls etc… The only time you’d use cash is if you were shopping at the markets, paying cash to your driver or getting a cheap massage or spa treatment where it makes sense to just pay in cash.

After the card incident, Surya dropped us off at Melali for lunch which was only a 2 minute walk from our resort (I didn’t even know this until we got there) but it made it easy as we ended the tour there and told Surya we’d walk back to our accommodation without him having to wait around for us. We paid USD$35 each for the day tour which I thought was pretty reasonable especially for all the driving around he did for us and the great pictures he took haha!

I ordered a Falafel Wrap for lunch and Nathan got Beer-battered Fish & Chips as well as a Chorizo flat-bread pizza from Melali. So good! I highly recommend this place if anyone is staying in Ubud. The staff are also really lovely 🙂 Great prices too, we paid around AUD$30 for all of this.

When we’d finished our meals, we headed back to our resort and had a little swim in our private pool!

Even though Bali is warm, Ubud is a bit cooler so I didn’t last very long in the pool as I was too cold haha! We had the afternoon free and my hair felt like it needed a wash so I Googled the somewhere in Ubud to find if there were any hairdressers nearby. Unfortunately all the ones with good reviews were either closed as it was Sunday or booked up for the day.

I eventually found a day spa called Fresh Spa Ubud and they had good reviews so I booked in for a Wash & Blow-Wave at their blow-bar for AUD$20 and a Gel Pedicure AUD$39 for that afternoon.
After quickly having a shower I ordered a Gojek and got to the spa around 4pm.
The spa looked cute when I walked in with all the chairs set up nicely looking out to the street. But had a slightly ‘cheap’ feel. As in, they were selling products on the shelves that you could tell had been sitting there for ages.

The ‘Blow-Bar’ they took me into was a room with two hairdressing stations but the basin to wash hair in was in the corner and was not very comfortable when I had my head in the sink. It was awkwardly close to one of the hairdressing stations too and I had my feet up on a swivel chair when my hair was getting washed haha! Not to mention my neck was hurting from the basin as it barely had any support.
It really only got worse from here, the hairdryer they used wasn’t the best so it felt like forever to blow dry my hair. They used no protectant product in my hair before they used any of the heat tools (however I must say maybe this is a Bali thing because I swear no place I went to put any serums or sprays in my hair before they used heat tools – which I find weird as don’t hairdressers go on about the heat protectant products being A MUST!??)
Once she finished blow drying my hair, she started to curl it with a flat iron (totally fine) however the iron was old so it wasn’t smooth and easy curls like your GHD or Cloud Nine Iron would be. I could just see my hair absolutely being FRIED in the mirror as she held my hair in the iron to make the curl then I watched as my hair got roughly dragged through the iron to finish the curl off! 😦 . Not to mention the smell! She got about two curls through before I thought to myself, maybe I should say something but I’m too polite so I just sat there and let my hair suffer. I think I kept just telling myself “you’re going to get new hair extensions for the wedding so saying goodbye to this hair isn’t the end of the world” I think if I’d just bought new hair I would have mentioned something. Anyways, the hair looked fine afterwards even if it felt like crusty toast haha.

Next were my toenails. Negative points for taking my previous gel polish off with a nail file (I’ve had this happen before and find it weird, Gel should really be soaked off. Not filed off) however the rest of the pedicure was fine. Not heaps of colors to choose from so I went with just a basic white but the equipment they used looked clean and the chairs they had were relaxing.

I probably would go back to this spa for my nails, but not for anything else.
I’ve read Rob Peetoom | Hair Spa in Ubud is meant to be the best for hair (They use Davines hair products) or Rasa Gaya Hair Studio (Davines, Keune, Sachajuan)

Nathan came and met me after my appointment as we were going to go and grab some dinner. We walked around Ubud markets for a bit first though and I did lots of bartering for a set of 4x wooden bowls and 1x wooden chopping board. In Ubud they sell lots of wooden items which I thought would look good in the new house we’re building. I went to about 5 different vendors before I got my bowls for the price of AUD$30 hahaha.
I do feel really bad though as one lady really wanted to sell me some bowls but she only had 3 in stock when I wanted to buy 4. I thought she’d just be able to get another bowl off someone else but she couldn’t and she started to look a bit upset frantically looking around everywhere for another one to make a sale. I suppose looking back I could have bought 3 off her and 1 from someone else but all the bowls were slightly different shades of wood.

Nathan was fretting I wouldn’t be able to bring the bowls and chopping board back into Australia as they were wood but we were absolutely fine. They’re pretty much the only things that took up room in my suitcase as I really didn’t buy much at all in Bali.

A little picture I found on the internet of some of the wooden things they had to buy at the markets

Once we’d done our shopping, we went to a little Mexican place called Taco & Grill Ubud for happy hour. We ordered some nachos to nibble on while we drunk our cocktails. I ordered the Vege Nachos so I assumed it would come with beans, salsa etc… but it came with cooked frozen vegetables (like peas and corn) with Avocado, salsa and cheese – super random!
After finishing our drinks (and probably getting a little tipsy) we walked to Milk & Madu for a proper dinner as they were doing 2-4-1 Pizzas.

I have no idea why we ordered a Large Pizza EACH as we were literally not even that hungry after our big lunch. I think when you’re in Bali you’re like ‘Oh wow the food is so cheap I’m going to order this and that and some of that’ and then you end up with far too much food. I ordered a Pineapple pizza called ‘The Pipeline’ that came with caramalized onions, ham and bacon while Nathan got the BBQ Chicken Pizza. We also ordered a side of this garlic bread loaf thing that was super tasty!

If you’re in Ubud, I highly recommend this place! If you follow them on Instagram you’ll find when they have all their deals (like 2-4-1 Pizza). We didn’t have breakfast there but the menu has lots to choose from like French Toast, Breakfast Burritos, Omlettes, Corn Fritters…. can you tell it’s lunch time as I’m writing this? *drool* I might have to go back when I’m in Bali in October. I know they also have a Cafe in Canggu and Berawa too.

After a few more drinks we ordered Gojek’s and had a slightly tipsy ride back to our accommodation. Of course knowing me when I drink I was fast asleep as soon as I got into bed haha!

Tomorrow – Spa Morning & Jimbaran

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 – Must Do’s! (2016 Version)

EDIT: I write about riding elephants in Bali. PLEASE DO NOT do this. This was 8 years ago when I was young and un-educated about animal welfare. All of the elephant venues in Bali offer elephant rides, which involve cruel training and expose the animals to stressful situations. It doesn’t matter how ‘nice and green’ the ‘Sanctuary’ they’re living in looks. Interacting with the animals is one of the country’s major tourism draws but over the years less and less tourists are doing this as they’ve come to realize it’s not all as nice as it seems. In order to make elephants submit to elephant rides and other human interactions, they are taken from their mothers when babies and forced through a horrific training process known as ‘the crush’. It involves extreme physical restraints, inflicting severe pain and withholding food and water. By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, it may look at peace, but this is because its spirit has been broken. The bullhook, used permanently, reminds the animal of human dominance.

Bali-Best-Beaches
Bali is a beautiful place.

If you look past the beggars, the market people haggling to sell you things and the litter from us foreigners on some of the beaches, there’s actually a lot to see and do.

Basically, if you’ve been to Thailand. Bali is just a nicer, smaller version of it.
The water is warm, they have kind people and some fantastic food. Not to mention it’s cheap as chips and there always seems to be great weather for sunbathing, shopping and surfing.

With everything being so cheap, it makes for an awesome vacation . What you’d pay per night for a hotel back home in New Zealand ends up paying for 4 nights at a super nice hotel in Legian or on Gili Trawagen!
Not to mention the things you can do in Bali that are well worth your money.
Many of the activities I’ve mentioned in this coming blog post I’ve done myself when I was there so I hope I can give you some ideas if you’re planning on going!

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Private Day Trips – Ubud Tour

I beg anyone if you’re ever travelling to Bali, or anywhere else for that matter. Hire a driver and take a private tour or sign up for a guided tour!
I did a fantastic private day trip with Dewa Alit, an Ubud driver who’s been driving people around for over 21 years.
On the morning of our tour, I actually got the days mixed up and completely forgot about Dewa! Thankfully he was very patient and waited for my boyfriend and I while we rushed upstairs to pack a bag.
As soon as we were ready, we set off for the hours drive up to Ubud from Legian.
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We went to the monkey forest, went for a walk through the hills, had lunch overlooking the rice fields, went shopping in Ubud, all while Dewa waited in the car and helped us with our bags whenever we passed him. Basically whatever we wanted to do he’d be happy to take us there.

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It was quite a big day and by 7pm we were exhausted and pretty keen to go back to our hotel and rest. Dewa was planning to take us to a cultural/dance type show thing but when we said we were far too tired he completely understood and said “This is your tour, we do exactly what you want” and took us back to the hotel without any fuss.
We saw some great views on our tour and for NZD$83 (USD $54)  for a full day it was an awesome price. However, you can do half day tours for $53 through Ubud if you don’t have a full day to spare.
I really enjoyed doing a private tour because we weren’t rushed, we had our drivers undivided attention, we could personalize our tour a bit and he knew exactly where to go.
The only thing I didn’t quite like was going to places that I guess drivers get ‘paid’ to take you to.
We went to a tea tasting place where we tried too many teas – and we don’t even like tea! Then we felt like we had to buy bags of it afterwards.
Also we went to this Weaving place which was slightly boring but there were many other tour groups there and we just wandered around looking at weaved pictures to buy.
Discuss with your driver before-hand what you want to see, and what sights you’d like to spend the most time at. If you have a private driver, they should always take you where you want in reason.
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Other Top Rated Day Tours (I haven’t been on):
Bali Tradition Tours have amazing ratings on Trip Advisor.
They do Full Day Tours ranging from USD$79 – $94 (Per Private Tour, Not per person) and they also do Shopping Tours with Spa Stops, ohh la la. (That’d defiantly interest me if I was going with some girlfriends!)
You get to shop at the markets, go to Kintamani Village and see views of the volcano, have lunch, go to a family Balinese compound and see the traditional way of Balinese living then end your day with a one hour massage and reflexology.

Agus Bali Tours are also well talked about. Agus takes you on tours to the countryside to look at a traditional Balinese houses, Local Primary Schools, the Monkey Forest and even White Water Rafting at Ayung River. Otherwise you can design your own 9-12 hour tour for the day where you meet Agus before you start and look at a map of places you want to see. This costs about NZD $100 depending on what tour you do. Well worth it!

The Monkey Forest

I went to the Monkey Forest in Ubud and that was an awesome experience!
It’s a hit with tourists as there’s monkeys literally everywhere. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary isn’t just a tourist attractions though, it’s an important spot for research and conservation programs that the Balinese have. You can get there by a very long taxi ride from Kuta/Seminyak, hire your own car or include it on your day tour (Which is what we did)
When you get there, at the entrance there will be people selling Bananas to feed the monkeys. Generally the monkeys will not come to you if you do not bring bananas or any other food so it’s always a good idea to buy a bunch. However if you are giving bananas or food to the monkey and they come up to take it, don’t ever try and pull it away because they’ll seriously get angry. As harmless as they are, they’re not so innocent. Before you go in, make sure you bags are zipped up tight and put your sunglasses away because these little monkeys will try and grab everything and run off with it.
From what I’ve read online, it’s about NZD$5 for entrance fees.

  • Location: Jalan Monkey Forest – Padangtegal – Ubud – Gianyar

Surfing

If you’re a water baby and love jumping on a surfboard like my boyfriend is, you’ll love Bali!
If you’re like me, and just want to watch, the beaches have beach chairs you can hire and ice-creams to buy while you watch your significant other or read a book in the sun.fb_img_1458187078008.jpg

The best places to surf depends on the seasons.
They have a Wet and a Dry season with the Dry Season (May – September) being the best times to catch the big waves.
The easiest beach to surf on if you’re wanting to learn is Kuta Beach. It has a soft tide and many lifeguards on look out as the undertow can get quite strong. If you know your surfing skills the beach’s swell is easy to conqueror.

Keramas beach past Sanur, is a good beach for intermediate – expert surfers so head over there if you’re feeling pretty confident.

Uluwatu Temple

I didn’t go here when I was in Bali, But I wish I did!
This Sea Temple is built on the edge of a 70m high cliff projecting out into the sea. Underneath is the Uluwatu Beach which is one of Bali’s best internationally-known surfing spots.

If you don’t get a chance to head to the monkey forest, Uluwata Temple will have many monkeys for you to see but be careful as they’re notorious for snatching visitors’ belongings
I’ve had a read online, and it seems like it’s best to go in the morning just before sunset for fewer crowds, Otherwise you can head there from 6pm – 7pm to watch a Kecak dance which is performed every day at the cliff-top stage with the sun setting in the background. That’d make for some nice pictures!

  • Location: Pura Uluwatu is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta sub-district, about 25km south of Kuta and it usually takes around one hour to get to and from there.

Waterbom Park

My partner and I went to Waterbom Park and we’re in our 20’s so it’s  great for all ages. It’s apparently the #1 water park in Asia and has 13 rides, a bungy, pleasure pool, fish spa therapy, massages, reflexology and hair braiding.

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It’s a really good family park. You have The Water Blaster where you get to fill up water balloons and fire them at your opposition, the little’s can swim in the  ‘Funtastic’ pool where there’s water cannons, jets and body slides with life guards on duty the whole time.Funtastic_1
The older kids and adults can go on the ‘Pipeline‘ which is what I did and absolutely screamed my head off. It’s a long 150m tube where you basically just plunge down in 13 seconds. Otherwise they have the Constrictor which is the longest water slide in the world at 1/4km long.

Don’t worry about bringing towels as you can hire them here. The park is open from 9am and closes at 6pm, You pretty much need the whole day but if you do get bored there’s the mall right across the road to do a bit of shopping afterwards or you can return to the park afterwards for ‘same day entry’
Adults are IDR 490.00 and children from 2 years old are IDR 325.00.
If you have a big family or you’re going with another couple you can do the VIP Package for IDR 950.00 per adult which gets you Admission, Lunch, All Rides, Gazebo, a Towel and the Express Counter. For VIP packages end an inquiry to their sales team at sales@waterbom-bali.com
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Bali Bird and Reptile Park

Birds, Birds, Birds!!
And snakes.
Maybe stick to the bird park if you hate snakes and reptiles.The park is divided into seven regions that recreate the natural habitats of the birds. They also do shows like the ‘Bali Rainforest’ free flight bird show and the ‘Basic Instinct’ show I’m pretty sure this is the one where I stood up and went to the front of the crowd and had big birds flying to eat food off my head. You can get pictures with the birds at ‘Guyu Guyu Corner’ and have some beautiful birds perch on your shoulders for some photo opportunities. The park and restaurant is open from 9.00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily.

  • Location: Batubulan, on the road to Ubud. They’re just 20 minutes away from Sanur or 40 mins drive from Kuta.

Afternoon White Water Rafting & Night Safari

We booked this through our travel agent and it cost around NZD$200 each (maaaaybe)
I’m not completely sure. But I know that’s how much they’re advertising it for online.
We did our day trip through Bali Adventure Tours who have been operating for over 25 years.

For the White Water Rafting, you get picked up from your hotel around 12pm along with 6-8 other people and then head to the Ayung River.
We had lunch (which was just a buffet) and then headed down to the base camp where we listened to a short training session about White Water Rafting and got buckled up with our life jackets.

The Ayung River is the longest river in Bali, and to get to the top of it you walk down I swear over 100 steps to the rafts and oars.
It’s a long walk but it’s pretty much all downhill so not too bad. I had read online there were quite a few stairs so I was pretty prepared. (And now you are too)
The guides are really good. If you want you can take your camera with you and they put it in one of those waterproof bags so you can stop and take photos half way through.
They also have a camera man who follows the groups down the river and records heaps of stuff to make into a video at the end.
(You can buy the video or DVD at the end)
If you’ve done some extreme water rafting in the past, this would be pretty mediocre to you. This was my first time Water Rafting so I loved it. It was a great intro!
The scenery is lovely and it’s nice to just go down a river with no sounds of traffic or people around. Be prepared for it to rain at some point however and the guides to float you under little waterfalls and get you all wet!

Once the rafting is finished, they have showers so you can get changed and then you’re taken off to the Elephant Sanctuary for a Night Time Safari.
Unfortunately we ran over time so we missed the start of the Elephant show.
They’re in a big pen and the Elephants do tricks like painting and throwing a basketball into a hoop. I don’t have any great pictures of this as my Phone Camera is terrible in the dark.
I was a bit concerned about the Elephants as I always think they should be in their natural habitat, but the guide who took us for a ride on one was saying they’d never survive where they rescued them from. The park is acclaimed as the Worlds Best Elephant Park and has 2 hectares of exotic eco tourism landscaped botanical gardens, surrounded by national forest so they feel right at home.
You can even stay at the park if you wish!
They have accommodation ranging from Family Rooms to Suites where you can hire a private butler and private bar! Faaaaancy.
Staying at the park would be an experience in itself, imagine waking up and being able to watch the elephants get fed, ride them and then finish the afternoon off with food at their restaurant and then a body massage at their spa.
I’d recommend this adventure for couples, family’s with older children (Who can stay up past their bed time) and friends travelling together.
You can defiantly do it solo as you’re with a group of people the whole time.

Shopping!

Now I know shopping isn’t for anyone but if you have room in your bag, shop in Bali!
It’s sooo cheap.
I ended up going a bit over-board with my shopping and had to purchase another suitcase to take back home with me.
If you’re a backpacker, someone on a budget or just looking for some cheap souvenirs, the markets are always a good place to start.
Nothing ever has a ‘set’ price so you have to do some bargaining!
If you’re not very confident at it, act like you are. When I went to Bali, the shop keepers always seemed to ask us if this was “Our first time in Bali” we laughed and acted like this was our 3rd time hoping they’d think we were experts and not rip us off.
Whatever price they say, half it and then work your way up from there.
Say they want to sell you a bag for NZD $50 – IDR 441, 550 than half that price down to around IDR 220, 700 and work your way up from there.

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Everything I bought from Bali

Usually if they don’t like your price they’ll say “No no no! Too cheap” and wave their hands at you. However, if you walk away they’ll run after you and say “ok ok two hundred rupiah it is”.
Shop keepers hate to loose a sale so if they let you walk away, then you know for next time that the price you bargained was actually far too low. Sometimes if you only have a certain amount of money, just show them all you have and they’ll be more tempted to just take it instead of wasting time trying to get a better price.
If you’re wanting to buy a few pairs of sunnies or some watches (Let’s be honest, they’ll break at some point so you may as well get a few) then see if the shop keeper can give you a deal which they’ll always want to do.
The number #1 rule I suggest you follow, is always pay the amount you agreed on. If the shop keeper has accepted your price than don’t suddenly say “oh actually, no I don’t want it anymore” and walk off. It’s very rude to them and they’ll be very pissed off they just spent ages haggling with you for a couple of t-shirts when they could have been haggling other customers.

The best places for shopping are the boutiques in Seminyak if you want items that are more ‘high end’ and designer. Also the shopping malls in Kuta (Discovery Shopping Mall & Mal Bali Galeria)
You’ll find brands you recognize and prices that are much more realistic. The malls also have the westernized food like Burger King, Starbucks and Planet Hollywood if you get over noodles and fish.
Bali also have Art Markets if you’re into that sort of thing. You’ll find skirts and scarfs and wooden items to take home at the Ubud Art Market on the Jalan Raya Ubud Main Road or head to the longest standing market in Gianyar – Sukawati Art Market.

The Rock Bar

This is one other thing I never got to do but everyone recommended it to me before I went!
It’s located at Ayana Resort over looking the Indian ocean and it’s absolutely beautiful. It gets busy at sunset and I’d defiantly try and make a booking before turning up. It’s not a place to turn up in your flip-flops. They have a smart dress code so none of your Bintang singlets will be allowed. They open at 4pm and you can make a reservation through  fb.reservation@ayanaresort.com
You can also have dinner here and if you’re feeling very very generous, book a private table for you and your significant other for NZD $210 per person and upwards. They set up candle lit dinners with flowers and a 4 course menu, an extravagant dinner with Balinese dancers or have dinner on their private jetty with soft music and three lobster dishes. I obviously didn’t do this because I’m always broke haha!banner_image4

Gili Trawagen – Sunset Bar

If you’re staying on Gili Trawagen, head over to the west side of the island and check out the beautiful sun set.
It’s best to get there a bit early so you can grab a drink at the small bar and find a table.
There’s 2 sunset bars – I went to Paradise Sunset Bar which is located on South Beach. The service is a bit meh for drinks etc… but you really only go there for the view!

Gili Trawagen – Biking

It’s really easy to hire a bike on Gili Island. You’ll find many places hiring out bikes for cheap.
To bike around the whole island it takes about an hour. The only thing to remember though is if you’re doing a complete loop, there will be a part where you have to push your
bike through the sand and sweat your face off like I did haha.
Make sure to bring some water and wear a Bikini under your shorts because you’ll want to stop for a swim I’m sure!20140625_164834 Continue reading