The rich and diverse culture of Bali, a province and Island of Indonesia, serves as a vacation hot spot for expats, back-packers and tropical resort lovers. Lose yourself in the pleasure and nightlife of Seminyak, emerge yourself in the culture at the heart of Bali in Ubud and shred some waves alongside the coasts at the beaches of Uluwatu and Canggu. Most of all, prepare to feel the warmth, not only from the sun and humidity but from the genuinely generous people.
The main mode of transportation in Bali are mopeds and motorbikes. Locals and tourists alike can be seen cruising through the island and if you have a connection, you can rent one for fairly great price. Plus, it's the best way to cut through the harsh traffic that occurs during "rush hour".
If you prefer four wheels over two, private cars can be rented and uber is available.
Karma Beach Club
If you daydream about turquoise waters kissing white sandy beaches, Uluwatu is the destination for you. If on top of that you desire a private beach, stacked with a high-end restaurant, bar, massage cabana and water activities, Karma Beach Club is where you must be. When you walk down the stone pathway, you arrive at a view that is beyond words. There is a 200,000 Rupiah (14.71 USD) cover charge to access the beach and an additional 150,000 Rupiah (11.03 USD) stipend for food and beverage, refunded if not used. The restaurant has impeccable service, decadent Western and Indonesian inspired dishes, and an extensive drink menu. Daybeds and lounge chairs available on the beach at a first come, first serve basis. So feel free to lay back with a young coconut or cocktail in hand and allow your worries to wash away with the melody of the ocean. If you wish to take the relaxation a step further, there is a massage cabana located in the back right next to the bar. Or If you prefer a little more adventure, grab a kayak and tackle the ocean’s calm current.
Desa Seni is a lush village eco-resort surrounded by rice paddy fields and tropical gardens. The resort houses yoga studios, with 4 - 6 classes offered a day, indigenous cottages, spa, pool, restaurant and gift shop. I HIGHLY recommend taking a Kundalini class, it's a great way to show some love to your throat chakra and recharge. Additionally, there is a list of wellness programs available from aura chakra therapy and a Balinese cleansing ceremony to acupuncture and facial rejuvenation.
If you prefer to keep is casual or you're a babe on a budget, there are a ton of Airbnbs available throughout the different parts of the island. You can stay anywhere from a treehouse in the middle of rice paddy field to in a lux villa by the beach. Whatever your flavor, Bali has got you covered.
Where Western and Indonesian cuisine combines to create unique and delicious dishes! A little shack located off Batu Bolong with quirky decor and ice cold watermelon juice. Now, I'm going to cut straight to the point and recommend three dishes that are a MUST try. First, for a fresh meal order the Summer Salad. It's simple, but lettuce, strawberries, avocado and cashews topped with a lime dressing is kind of the perfect salad for me. Second, the All Day Surf – pork sautéed with onions and bell peppers, served with your choice of rice or noodles and bruschetta. Note, the portion is quite large, so it's well worth the price and tastes just like my mom’s cooking. Finally, a sweet treat of Chocolate Avocado Mousse. Trust, it's well worth it and unlike anything you can imagine.
Live & Let Live
Located inside the Voyageur resort, Live & Let Live stands out with their vegan and meat dishes from around the globe. Order the vegan satay because it's not possible to eat too much peanut sauce or the Tumis Terong for stir-fried eggplant with rice or noodles. It's a literal explosion of flavor in your mouth, and something I still think about every once in a while. For those with a sweet tooth, Burbur Ketan Hitman is a sweet black rice topped with coconut cream, the perfect end to any meal.
Before Angelenos started selling poke, Poke Poke kicked off the trend... at least for me because I'd never had it before this trip and honestly haven't had it since. The best part of this establishment is the fact that it shares a building with Roti Canai, which is self-explanatory as far as what's sold there. Roti Canai is a type of Indian-influenced flatbread found in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. You can order is sweet with Nutella and banana or savory with ham & cheese.
A breakfast spot run by two badass females, with fair prices and surfer sized portions. The French Toast is served with honey and a homemade papaya jam that will make you question the use of maple syrup for years to come. Craving something a bit more savory? Take a bit into the breakfast burrito, the biggest difference, the homemade pineapple salsa. It's unlike anything you could find at a Los Angeles food truck.
Sage is a cash-only vegan bar that serves the best carrot cake that side of the hemisphere. It's so good, I rode 45 minutes on a motorbike in the rain for a single slice.
As the largest wellness center in Asia, Yoga Barn houses 5 yoga studios with over 120 classes available each week and the Kush Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Center, a spa with a series of treatments focusing on balance and rejuvenation. Fun fact: each healing ceremony originates from Vedic and Tantric practices. Additionally, Kush offers a 3 to 7-day Ayurvedic rejuvenation package if you are in the mood to treat yo'self. The Garden Kafe is open 7 days a week with a movie night available every other Monday. The menu consists of locally grown produce, vegan eats, fresh juices, raw snacks and a special menu for detoxes. If you'd like to submerge yourself into the full experience, there are 9 private rooms and a dorm located on the property.
The Sacred Monkey Sanctuary
The jungle of Manda Wisata Wanara Wana is inhabited by grey-haired and greedy long-tailed Balinese macaques. Upon entering the sanctuary there is a list of rules and my all time favorite rule is "Avoid direct eye contact" because it resonates with my day to day life. The path is short and spits you out in the market, but please proceed with caution and hold tight to all loose articles. If you'd like to feed or hold one of the monkeys, there's a section for that. Do not free feed the monkeys!
Tanah Lot Temple, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops, is home to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot. Tourists can be seen shopping around the market, sipping an avocado juice or snapping a photo from the shore.
Deus Ex Machina
Deus Ex Machina, also known as The Temple of Enthusiasm is a one-stop shop for motorcycles, surfboards, signature cocktails and a variety of food. There are weekly movie nights out beneath the stars and live music on the weekends. There's a half-pipe situated on the side of the property and a mini art gallery smack dab in the middle. Honestly, it's a radical place to kick back with the homies or even make a few new ones.
Located on Batu Bolong Beach, Old Man’s is a happening bar with lots of American music and even more dancing. Table service is not available but feel free to order your drinks at the bar and your food from the window. Happy hour is between 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. every day of the week.
Where beach vibes collide with city cosmopolitan lifestyle, an infinity pool, three restaurants, two bars, and five hundred square meters of grassy lawn that overlook the Indian Ocean. Potato Head thrives off the mantra good times and good vibes.
Single Fin, a great cliff bar and surf shop located on the Uluwatu coast serve upbeat vibes alongside the soothing melody of the ocean. Most famous for Sunday's live music and DJ session, this multi-level establishment is equipped with an outdoor deck to catch of glimpse of night surfing and food for any mood or diet. Note: Single Fin is popular and it is wise to reserve a table on their website, there is a large button that you just can’t miss.
An all-day affair, WooBar offers laid-back vibes with spas and poolside cocktails that transform into an eclectic night of dancing as the sun goes down with DJs from around the world spinning sick beats. With a vast selection of food and beverage, WooBar is guaranteed to hit your current craving or mood.