If you follow me on Instagram (or read my blog thoroughly), then you’ve probably noticed that I have been travelling around Bali tthese past two weeks. It was an incredible experience, my first time really travelling in an Asian country, and it could not have been more perfect. This trip had been on my bucket list for years, and I do not even remember why I put it off for so long. Bali is the place to be if you love healthy food, being active, nature and meeting new friendly people (both Indonesian and Internationals). I fell deeply in love with the friendliness of the Balinese people, and have come to admire their take on life. In Bali, no one rushes, it seems like everyone is mindful of the present, not worrying about the future or the past. Mindfulness is one big word that is realyl being practiced in Bali. Since I’ve gotten so many request both during and after my trip, I decided to split my Bali experiences into three guides: Uluwatu & South Bali, Canguu and Ubud. This might seem quite a lot given that this is a food blog and not a travel blog, but Bali is THE island when it comes to healthy living, so everyone with a healthy mindset should read this and travel to Bali once in their lifetime.
Our travel route
The question that we got most often (and that we asked ourselves plenty of times before we booked anything) was where we stayed and where we did not go. After reading lots of blogs and travel guides, we decided to start our Bali trip in Uluwatu, more accurately in Bingin Beach, then head into the busier and trendier Canggu and then spend the final four days in Bali’s cultural centre Ubud. This route turned out to be the perfect mix for us, and I would definitely take this route again. The South of Bali is perfect for first-time visitors as it’s quieter, not crowded at all and also a great place to start riding on a scooter. If you’re looking more for nightlife and shops, then Seminyak or even Kuta would be your best option (not for me though), and if you’re into scuba diving or snorkeling you might want to take a look at North and East Bali. It all depends on your wishes and needs.
How to get around
Exploring Bali without a scooter is pretty much pointless. You will be missing out on a major part of the Bali culture – everyone drives a scooter! Neither Jannis nor me had ever ridden a scooter before, and we managed to get a hang of it within half a day. Starting your Bali trip in Uluwatu is perfect for first-time scooter-drivers, because the roads are almost empty and life is generoulsy more relaxed down there. However, if you’re leaving Uluwatu and you’re headed into Kuta or Seminyak, things can get pretty crazy on the streets. Switching to a cap when in the bigger cities is as advisable. Wearing a helmet should also be a no-brainer. Getting gas is also experience itself because it is sold on the street in empty vodka bottles, which cost about 80 Cents a liter.
The best sunset in South-Bali
Working out in Bali
Where to stay at Bingin Beach
Mu Bali was our very first accomodation in Bali and it was definitely a lovely way to begin our special trip. We treated ourselves to the one and only cliff bungalow for two nights. It’s way over our student-budget, but I had always wanted to sleep in a cliff, so we decided to go all in and pay for the 170 Euros/night. The view from our bed was definitely priceless, but so was being woken up by monkeys stealing our toiletries. To my defense (and the monkey’s) we did arrive very late at night, and nobody had told us about the monkeys, and I totally forgot about them after traveling for more than 24 hours. So of course we left our toiletries in the open bathroom.
Because A) how amazing is an open bathroom and B) how amazing is an open bathroom – oh and C) monkeys???
So of course the monkeys stole our toothbrushes and Jannis’ lotion, but who can blame them. After all, it was us that invated their territory. The super friendly staff gave us slingshots to make noise (NOT to throw stones at them!), because otherwise you were never alone when you went to the bathroom.
I do not know if I would recommend staying at the Cliff Bungalow if you are scared of monkeys or insects, because unfortunately we did have ants in our bed the first night. The second night was fine, as we paid much more attention to the mosquito net. The view from the room was of course incredible, but I think I would stay in one of the other bungalows next time, which seemed more tranquil and monkey-free.
However, the breakfast was amazing, so was the staff and the infinity pool speaks for itself. Mu is definitely a beautiful place to stay, especially with kids, so I would recommend staying there (just not in the cliff).
The Temple Lodge
Healthy eating in Uluwatu and Bingin Beach
The Cashew Tree
Warung Bingin Ombak
Beaches in South-Bali
Sites: Uluwatu Temple
Excuse me, but how clever are those monkeys?
Finally, some general tips and recommendations:
- If you’re sugar-free like me, be sure to ask for “no sugar added” in restaurants. The Balinese like it sweet!
- The money can be quite confusing, so double check before you pay cash – a 10,000 and a 100,000 bill can easily be confused.
- Don’t plan too much – the best days were always the ones that we did not plan through.
- Learn a little bit of Bahasa or Indonesian. A simple “Terikma Kasihh” or “Suksama” (Bahasa) will be returned with the biggest smile.
- Do not only eat in expensive Aussie-run health spots. There are amazing Warungs run by locals who also have pitaya bowls and superfood smoothies.
- Enjoy the Bali-life! It’s the best!
Have you used this guide or do you have anything to add? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!