I recently crossed off an item on my bucket list to visit Bali, Indonesia. I can honestly say that the trip was far more amazing than I ever imagined — the country’s beauty, culture, cuisine and people had a refreshing impact on my overall mindset and outlook on life. Here is a snippet of my experience. Enjoy!
We spent our first four nights in Ubud. Ubud is located towards the middle of the country in a jungle setting. The town is close to many cultural experiences including temples, wood carving shops, artists, and volcanoes. The main streets are bustling with traffic due to the small roads and mass of tourists. However, despite the busyness of the main area, you will notice that everyone has a bright smile on their face. I believe this can be attributed to the amazing vibes of the entire country. The people deeply believe in karma and are the most welcoming, friendly people!
Yoga! Yoga studios are in abundance in Ubud. People from all over the world visit simply for the yoga experience. We were lucky in that our hotel had daily complimentary yoga included, so we only visited one of the studios during our stay.
The Yoga Barn is a highly popular spot where we enjoyed a vinyasa class. The energy at The Yoga Barn was incredible — our class was filled with like-minded people from across the globe flowing through a cleansing, spiritual practice in the beautiful Bali setting. Following the practice we had lunch at The Yoga Barn’s cafe, The Garden Kafe. And WOW – I would honestly visit The Yoga Barn just for the cafe (see pics of the fruit and salad I had below).
Purification Ceremony. This is a MUST DO. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this excursion, and it ended up being my favorite part of the entire trip. First, we dressed in the traditional sarong and gathered an offering composed of bright flowers and incense. Then, we presented the offering and prayed. Finally, we joined the local people in the icy cold water to be “purified” in the spring. I honestly felt completely cleansed and amazing.
Monkey Sanctuary. There are numerous monkey sanctuary’s across Bali where these fascinating creatures run free. We loved hanging out with these guys. You can purchase bunches of bananas to attract them to sit on your shoulders while they indulge. The photos illustrate the amazingness of this experience. Note: we were warned that the monkeys are super dirty and gross, so sometimes buying the bananas is discouraged, but we totally had to do it…
Wood Carvers. These people are incredible! The attention to detail on the carvings is immaculate.
Rice Terraces. These should be a wonder of the world. The pictures don’t do them justice. So cool!
Volcanoes. Did you know there are over 900 volcanoes in Indonesia? These were fascinating to see.
The Clear Cafe. Really cool hippie vibes. Vegetarian dishes, salads, breakfast, smoothies, sandwiches and other interesting combinations. They have tables with floor seating which is pretty cool too.
Garden Kafe at The Yoga Barn. Healthy, mostly vegetarian food served in a tree-house looking area at The Yoga Barn. (food pictured to the above).
Mozaic. Upscale, award-winning restaurant. We did a 6-course tasting menu of Bali flavors. It was so delicious. The setting is beautiful as well with outdoor seating and twinkle lights above the dining area (food pictured above).
We drove about an hour and a half from Ubud down to the beach town of Seminyak. Seminyak is a beautiful city in the south of Bali that I would compare to Miami Beach in Florida. This is a surfers paradise with numerous restaurants, bars and shops. The streets are bustling with tourists taking advantage of the great shopping and nightlife. The beach and the food were my favorite parts about Seminyak.
Shopping. We actually didn’t do much shopping, but you can get a lot for your US dollar in Bali, so totally go for it if you like to shop!
Shelter Cafe. This was my favorite restaurant of the entire trip. It’s an open air restaurant with cute little succulents and plants everywhere. The menu is extensive with smoothie bowls, salads, breakfast, wraps, etc. We went here twice. (breakfast salad bowl shown above).
Cafe Organic. Australian cafe with beautifully presented food. They serve breakfast all day and are known for the smoothie bowls. It was packed the two times we visited. SO GOOD. (Bowl with poached eggs and tofu summer rolls shown above.)
Sea Circus. Modern beachy cafe and coffee shop with tacos, quinoa bowls, salads, burgers and more. (Quinoa and veggie bowl shown above).
Breeze. One word to describe this place would be “romantic.” We were recommended this restaurant by a couple from San Francisco that we met in Ubud, and it was AMAZING. The setting, the views, the service, the food… I could go on and on. I think the best thing about all of these Bali restaurants is their willingness to make any dish exactly how you want. They always ask about food allergies and if you want to switch anything out. Basically, you can build your own dish if you want to. We ordered Balinese foods and had fish baked in a banana leaf mixed up with Bali-spices. WOW. So good.
The Restaurant at The Legian. We also loved every minute of our dining experience at The Legian. Similar to the setting at Breeze, the dining area is right on the ocean. Service and food is spectacular. (starter garden salad and mahi-mahi in banana leaf shown above).
Urchin. Cute eatery featuring a mix of local and international foods. Lots of seafood on the menu. We loved our meal here. The service, as usual in Bali, was great. (my entree is shown above – sea bass with octopus).
Have you ever been to Bali? What were your favorite spots?