Bali is one of the destinations that has been on my bucket list for so long, finally going there was like a dream come true! If you’ve been following my Instagram updates you will have realised I loved it and moved around Bali a lot, going from surfing in Seminyak to snorkelling with turtles in Gili Trawangan, and even to hiking a volcano in East Java. In this next series of posts I will take you to explore all of the highlights of this beautiful island, and advise you about the touristy areas to avoid.
We spent a couple days in Seminyak when we first arrived in Bali. This might not be the best spot if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, as there are a lot of tourists and traffic (although you can’t really seem to escape that in Bali). It is however a great spot for surfing, and dinners on the beach watching the sunset. I had only been surfing two or three times before, and was determined to improve my skills. Watch the video and you can determine yourself how successful or not I was at that. There are lots of places along the beach that rent boards and offer lessons, and you can easily haggle on the price, we rented boards for half a day for less than £10. Seminyak Beach is also a good place to practice as a beginner. There are lots of bars with bean bags where you can sit to enjoy dinner with the sunset, and most of the bars will also have live music. It’s quite a touristy part of Bali, and it might not be the best if you’re trying to get away from that, but it worked fine for us as we wanted to surf and have a chill first couple days as we had just arrived and were quite jet lagged.
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Villa Sungai, Cepaka
We stayed two nights in the most beautiful villa at Sungai Gold. If you are looking to get for a relaxing and secluded getaway away from other tourists, this is the place for you. Villa Sungai is located in the village of Cepaka, where you can truly submerge yourself in the Balinese atmosphere. We went for a walk around the village and were pleasantly surprised to find we were the only tourists out and about. The busy roads of Seminyak filled with scooters are a distant memory here. It is also a short drive away from Tanah Lot, one of the most famous temples and sunset spots in Bali.
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We visited Tanah Lot while we were staying at Villa Sungai. The main tip I have for you is to not visit Tanah Lot in the middle of the day, go maximum an hour and a half before the sunset. Be ready for A LOT of people. We went to see Tanah Lot as it’s listed as one of the best temples in Bali, and we were staying in the area at Villa Sungai. If you were coming especially for it from further away I wouldn’t do it. The temple is impressive to see even if you can’t go inside, and there is a cute market in the road leading up to it (for those who like me love colourful dresses and jumpsuits it’s great). There is a set of steps to the side of the temple, which you have to get blessed and donate an offering to have access to it. While it can be fun the stairs don’t actually lead anywhere, and stop half way up the side of the rock formation, way before being able to get in the temple. From a personal point of view, the heat and the amount of people put me off. Yes it’s by the sea but there isn’t really a beach, it’s all rocky so chilling by the beach and water isn’t much of an option. I’m not saying it’s not worth visiting, I’m just warning you that it is not the idyllic temple it can seem in photo.
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Timur Kitchen, Keramas
If you’re surfing on the Eastern coast of Bali and are looking for a place to have lunch in between catching waves, Timur Kitchen is a lovely place to do so. It’s in a part of Bali called Keramas, which is still relatively untouched by tourism. To get there we drove across beautiful rice fields and small villages. The beach is completely different from that in Seminyak, there are the same big waves but considerably less people around. We had an amazing lunch, characterised by a fusion of Balinese and Western cuisines.
That’s it for the first section of my Bali adventure! I hope you’ve enjoyed watching me embarrass myself attempting to surf, and advice on the touristy and not so touristy spots to visit. More to come next week so stay tuned!
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