After 16 hours in the air, we finally arrived in Bali. Our private driver was already waiting for us at the airport and we drove off to Seminyak, area on the west coast of the island, with long sandy beaches and fewer tourists than Kuta. Traffic in Bali is crazy, they are driving on the left side of the street and it looks like there are no rules – and our idea of renting a motorbike went on the side for a while 🙂
We spent first two nights in the Valka Bali hotel and I have to say it was a great choice and on the budget, with nice rooms and even nicer pool. We were a bit jet lagged and I caught a cold so we had two very chill days, just exploring the streets, good food and spent the evenings in the beach clubs with a very good live music from the local bends.
We found the courage and rented a motorbike on the second day and drove off to Tanah Lot, a temple on the beach north from Seminyak. It was a very nice ride with first sights of rice fields and Bali surroundings, which was a nice contrast to crowded streets of Seminyak. We tried Indonesian traditional food for the first time, Nasi and Mie Goreng (fried rice or noodles with vegetables) and it was extremely good so I finally made a decision to become a vegetarian! (i’m still so proud of myself :))
After two nights in Seminyak we drove off to Ubud, the heart of Bali and it was love at first sight! Fields of rice, awesome jungle forests and the nicest people we ever met. We stayed in Villa Sukra for two nights, in the middle of rice fields, with no car access – a perfect getaway for really letting the “real” life behind you and start enjoying the Bali holidays. Oh, and you can order food to the villa – a win-win combination.
On the way there we stopped in the traditional coffee plantation and tried the most expensive coffee from Bali, Luwak coffee and for my taste also the best I have ever tried – traditional Balinese coffee with vanilla! The road led us also to an amazing waterfall in the middle of the jungle forest (water was a bit muddy from the rain but nevertheless) and to a traditional wood crafters, who are making really complex wood sculptures out of memory, with no plan or picture in front of them – amazing!
After two days in Ubud, it was my birthday and we visited elephants in their park, which was my big wish for a long time and fed them with fresh fruits and corn. They just had three baby elephants and you can imagine my happiness! Still, I was a bit disappointed because I understood that it was an elephant sanctuary but it turned out to be an elephant riding park. I understand they need money to feed them with 300 kg of food to each one every single day, but nevertheless, so we just bought them food and pet them for a very long time.
Later on, we drove off to Monkey forest, where monkeys run free and we took an awesome walk through their forest and jungle river canyon, in the middle of a tropical rain shower and it was remarkable.
After a day with animals, it was time for shopping in the local market, which was a true bargain experience and for the best Pad thai ever in the Urban restaurant in the center of Ubud. Ahead of us was another night in the middle of nowhere, full of loud and all new animal sounds and then we were headed to my secret birthday present! But that’s a whole new story and I will tell you all about it in the next post, so stay tuned 🙂
Valka Bali (Airbnb): https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12254509?location=valka%20bali&s=myQzZ43_
Good breakfast spot: Grain and Principal
Evening must-see: KU DE TA beach club
Lunch spot: Urban