We woke up in the middle of rice fields in Ubud and after Ketut made us delicious homemade omelet we said goodbye to Villa Sukra and drove off deeper into the Ubud jungle. I didn’t know where we were headed, because Marko arranged everything for my birthday and it was a top secret, so I just enjoyed the ride until we stopped in the parking lot of Cloud nine estate – a hidden gem on the edge of a jungle cliff, very well hidden from the eyes and the road.
After a short walk downstairs from the road, surrounded by breathtaking trees and nature we arrived at the most beautiful villa complex I have ever seen – and I’ve seen many and got the most tasteful welcome drink ever, made of fresh orange and pineapple juice with mint (i think a will dedicate a post with a receipt for it, it was that good). Cloud nine estate consists of 5 villas, we were staying in Villa Anjali, a perfect choice for a couples luxury retreat, full of Balinese peace, good food, and pure joy, with a perfect infinity pool overlooking the jungle.
Swimming on the edge of the jungle cliff was like meditation and i have to admit it was the best view of the whole vacation in Indonesia, where competition is really hard.
Every day in Cloud Nine starts with a tasty breakfast of your choosing, served in the villa, with traditional Balinese coffee or tea. You can order lunch and dinner from three different restaurants, we’ve chosen Indus every day for their Vegan Budha delight, and every afternoon they serve you with coffee or tea, accompanied with a dessert of the day – perfect.
Before bedtime housekeeper came and made the nightly ritual, fixing the mosquito net around the bed, closing curtains and checking for geckos under cushions – yes I’m not joking, they are everywhere. Cloud Nine was in every way perfect and it was hard saying goodbye after 3 days, especially to Cloudy, their adopted cat.
Our journey continued to the east shore of the island, where after almost two hours of scenic drive, we arrived at Padangbai. A small harbor, full of traditional fisherman boats, not the cleanest part of Bali, but the best starting point towards Gili islands, our next stop. We booked return tickets through our private driver, with 50% discount (his number in the description below), for Wahana speedboat transfer to Gili Trawangan. The two-hour boat ride was not the most comfortable one, with no AC and rough sea, but the first look over the island made up for everything – crystal clear turquoise sea, white sand, no cars, just horses, and bikes.
After 15-minute carriage ride, we arrived at Gili Teak eco-resort on the west side of the island, with Mount Agung volcano in the background.
It was a boutique resort of wooden bungalows with gorgeous bathrooms without a roof and a perfect private beach.
I’ve read so many articles about which one of three Gili’s should we choose: Gili Trawangan, Meno or Air and I have to say there were so many bad reviews for Gili T that were not true at all – if you are not on a quiet honeymoon it’s a great choice, with the most diverse offer of restaurants, bars, snorkelling tours and diving centres and not at all like Indonesian Ibiza, how they like to call it in the articles. On the second day, we rented bikes and cycle all the way over the east coast of the island, to the most northern point we could reach.
On the way back we decided to jump into the water with masks and randomly met a turtle, a very big turtle swimming the corals like we did, totally unexpected! We enjoyed the day around the island and finished it with a sunset dinner on our beach after we cycled back to the town and booked an actual snorkeling trip with the locals and went directly to sleep. After a good homemade granola breakfast, we joined the group of tourists at the local art market and went on a boat trip with the locals, around all three Gili’s. Fortune was on our side and we met the turtles again, a whole family, swimming with us between the underwater stone statues, lying on the ocean floor, where a long time ago a shipwrecked beside the shore of Gili Meno. Mermaids made of stone, statues of lovers placed in the circle and corals of thousand colors accompanied by tropical fish in warm, crystal clear waters. We had lunch on Gili Air, eating on the floor in a great restaurant by the harbor, overlooking Lombok, which is next on our bucket list, and then we drove back to Gili T, trough a really rough sea, with strong currents and huge waves. Another romantic dinner on the beach and last night in the Gili Teak resort were ahead of us and then we were leaving again towards the new adventures in Indonesia…
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Find our luxury villa here: Airbnb Cloud Nine estate
We found Gili Teak resort on Booking
Wahana speed on the sea (fast boat transfer) was reserved by our driver