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The ultimate guide to Bali

The ultimate guide to Bali

The ultimate guide to Bali 

I guess my trip to Bali will always be in my memory as a trip connected (emotionally and chronologically) to COVID-19. When my flight tickets and hotels were booked, COVID-19 hit China but it hadn’t hit Europe yet (or at least as far as I knew). Obviously I didn’t imagine that things would evolve the way they did, that’s why I decided to make the trip nevertheless. I didn’t imagine that COVID-19 would extend to a point in which the World Health Organization would declare the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. Who would have ever thought? 

We didn’t run into any complications caused by Coronavirus during my trip in Bali. Life on the island was still normal like before. All the shops and hotels were operating normally and people were out partying in the beach bars. Only during the last days of my stay, when Coronavirus hit hard Italy, the virus became the hot topic of discussion everywhere in Bali. And when I left the island, on the 17th of March, the virus started affecting life in Bali as well. It felt like COVID-19 was taking over the world between the 10th and the 20th of March. I felt insecure about being alone in the other side of the world and I said to myself  “Oh, Silia! Time for you to fly back!  

The ultimate guide to Bali
The ultimate guide to Bali
 

The preparation of the trip 

Ok, let’s stop talking about the Coronavirus and focus on the topic of this blog post: The ultimate guide to Bali! The title sounds promising, right? Before I fly to the island, I had zero idea about it. Like with all the places I visit for the very first time, I had to dig into the web and find informations about where to go, where to stay, what to do and finally create a list. A list with the things I wanted to do, the places I wanted to visit and the hotels I’d like to stay at. It took me days and nights to organize everything! So I will put together all this information for you on this blog post, so that I will hopefully save you from all the workload I’ve gone through myself. 

La brisa Bali

How to get to Bali 

I flew from Vienna to Bali via Taipei Airport with Eva Air (EVA AIR on Instagram). Everything went fine, especially during my return flight and despite the weird circumstances. All the flights were on time, the cabin crew was very attentive and supportive and the Hello Kitty theme literally cheered me up. 

La brisa Bali

How to get around Bali 

I think the best way to get around a specific area in Bali is by scooter. But if you’d like to drive big distances, then I think the best option is a car. So what do you do, if you don’t want to drive a scooter, nor a car? Have you heard of Gojek and Grab? These are two popular apps in Bali. They work like Uber, but you only pay with cash. However, keep in mind that Gojek or Grab don’t drive in all the areas of Bali. So, you may want to check that with your hotel first. What we did is this: we asked the hotel to arrange a personal driver for us, for either half of the day or for the whole day. That was very convenient, a safe way to get around Bali and very affordable, especially if you split the price.

Our Bali itinerary

I stayed 3 weeks in total in Bali. I spent one week alone and two weeks with Katharina. I’d say that my trip to Bali was divided into two phases: the sightseeing phase and the relaxation phase. I did all the sightseeing with Katharina, and when she left Bali, the relaxation phase began for me.

The starting point was Canggu. After two days, when Katharina came to Bali, we met in Seminyak because we wanted to explore that area too. During our stay in Seminyak, we drove to Uluwatu and spend one day there. After three days in Seminyak, we took the ferry to Nusa Penida. We stayed 3 days/2 nights in Nusa Penida. After that, we went back to Bali and drove to Mengwi because we were invited to stay at Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat and Spa. After that, we went to Ubud where we stayed 3 nights/4 days. Later on, we went to Nusa Dua where I stayed 2 nights/3 days and then to Sanur where I stayed again 2 nights/3 days at Kayumanis resort. After Sanur, I was contemplating whether to go to Nusa Lembongan or to stay in Bali. I decided to stay in Bali and I went back to Canggu again, where the whole trip started. 

The ultimate guide to Bali

Money and safety 

We’ve heard about skimming ATM machines in Bali. If you don’t know what is this, please go to Youtube and watch some videos. As a result, we were quite scared and we decided to take precautions in order to protect our bank accounts and have peace of mind. 

What we did: First and foremost, we were using a credit card that had a limited amount of money available and we were checking it online quite often via web banking. Secondly, we never went to any Currency Exchange office. And thirdly, we only withdrew money from ATM machines that you could find inside a supermarket called Circle K. Because we followed these security steps, we didn’t have any problem.

Canggu

Where I stayed: Beyond Bungalows, Zin Berawa Villas & BnB, Dreamsea Canggu

Restaurants/cafes: Penny Lane, Peloton Supershop, Bali Buda, Crate Cafe, Copenhagen Canggu, Cafe Vida, Give Cafe, The Shady Shack, Betelnut, The Loft, Secret Spot, Lifescrate, Milk & Madu, Fat Mermaid, Lila Kozina. 

Beach bars/restaurants: Finns Beach Club, The Lawn Canggu, La Brisa 

Italian restaurants: La Baracca, Bottega Italiana Bali

The ultimate guide to Bali

Seminyak

We didn’t really like this area. It’s full of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s full of everything and it feels like it’s all too much. We didn’t go to Bali for shopping, for the nightlife and for all the traffic that comes with it. If you like shopping and nightlife, then this area is good for you. We also didn’t like the hotel we stayed at, so I wouldn’t recommend it on The Viennese Girl blog. Remember, that is my personal taste. You may like Seminyak more than I did.  

If I had to go to Seminyak again, I would go for an afternoon stroll, do my shopping, visit a few cafes and then leave. 

There is one amazing vegan cafe restaurant in Seminyak that is not to miss: Kynd Community.

The ultimate guide to Bali

Uluwatu 

We didn’t stay in Uluwatu. But there are some amazing resorts here like Alila Villas

My favourite restaurant in Uluwatu: La Baracca 

Other interesting eataries: Bukit Cafe, Nalu Bowls Bukit

Beaches in Uluwatu: Bingin, Balangan beach, Padang Padang, Thomas Beach Pecatu, Suluban Beach, Dreamland beach. 

The ultimate guide to Bali

Nusa Penida 

Where we stayed: The Mesare resort 

Places to visit: Kelingking beach, Broken beach, Diamond beach, Atuh beach. Visit the “Tree House” Rumah Pohon. End the day at Crystal bay for sunset. 

The ultimate guide to Bali

Ubud 

Where we stayed: 11 on Kajeng 

Places to visit: Aloha Ubud swing, Tegallalang rice terraces, Pura Gunung Kawi, Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud monkey forest. 

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Excursion to the North of Bali 

Places to visit: Ulun Danu Temple, Handara Golf & Resort Bali and Wana Ayu Waterfall

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

My recommendations for beauty treatments salons

Ubud: Fresh Spa Bali 

Seminyak: Eco Bali Spa 

Canggu: Goldust Beauty lounge Bali 

The Viennese Girl blog Vienna

Back to Vienna

When I landed in Vienna, I took a taxi and went straight home. I stayed alone at home for about one month. Calm and patient, confused yet positive…I was working from home and at the same time, I was dreaming of my next trip and wondering when are we going to be able to travel again!? If anyone knows the answer, please let me know in the comment section below ; )

The Viennese Girl blog Vienna

The ultimate guide to Bali

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Disclaimer: My flight tickets from Vienna to Bali and back were sponsored by Eva Air.

Kayumanis private villa and spa

Kayumanis private villa and spa

Kayumanis private villa and Spa is an Indonesian hospitality brand. The resorts of the brand are located in some of the best locations in the mystical island of Bali: Nusa Dua, Ubud, Jimbaran and Sanur. I was lucky for having the opportunity to experience the world of Kayumanis resorts and Spa in Nusa Dua and in Sanur. In this blog post on TVG, I’d like to share with you a few lovely memories I made at the resorts and the photos I took during my stay.  

Kayumanis private villa and spa

Kayumanis private villa and spa

What I loved at Kayumanis Sanur Private Villa & Spa

The well-appointed outdoor living area in my villa left me in awe! I was moved by the decoration. It made me think how much I’d love to have a home that looks like this! Their interior design is something I don’t think I will ever forget easily. 

The Kayumanis Sanur villas are named after the keyed instrument that plays the resonant melodies in a traditional orchestra. 

One evening the hotel arranged a transfer for me to their seaside restaurant, where I enjoyed dinner and the gentle breeze.

Kayumanis private villa and spa

Kayumanis private villa and spa

Kayumanis Sanur Nusa Dua hotel review

Kayumanis Sanur Nusa Dua hotel review

Kayumanis Sanur Nusa Dua hotel review

Kayumanis Sanur Nusa Dua hotel review

Kayumanis Sanur Nusa Dua hotel review

What I loved at Kayumanis Nusa Dua:  

Riding a bike along the beach.

Laying on the bed, listening to the rain and thunderstorms during the night!

The bedroom was one step away from the pool. Imagine waking up in bed and directly being able to jump into your private pool.

Kayumanis Sanur Nusa Dua hotel review

The sunrise breakfast at the private beach of the hotel was a great experience.

Where to stay in Bali luxury hotel review

The hotel provided me with the cutest slippers, beach bag and robe (Balinese style)

Where to stay in Bali luxury hotel review

Where to stay in Bali luxury hotel review

I loved feeding the squirrels in my villa and watch them eating.

Where to stay in Bali luxury hotel review

The feeling of complete privacy and exclusivity within the secluded walled gardens.

Where to stay in Bali luxury hotel review

Thank you to the lovely people at Kayumanis private villa and Spa for an exceptional stay! And again, a huge thank you to Eva Air (EVA AIR on Instagram) for flying me from Vienna to Indonesia with safety, attentiveness and reliability. 

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*Disclaimer: This content was brought to you in a friendly collaboration with Kayumanis private villa and Spa. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Solo female travel to Bali

Solo female travel to Bali

Solo female travel to Bali

At some point of the beginning of the year, I was convinced that I would have to do this trip to Bali alone. I don’t have a problem with traveling alone, but of course, traveling together with someone (who has the same passion for travel and photography) is always better.

During a conversation I had with Katharina from Munich (aka Photopraline), she told me that she also wanted to make a trip outside of Europe. I told her that she could join me if she want to. She took some time to think about it, and one day she came to me and told me that she will be coming with me to Bali.

So, this wasn’t exactly a solo female travel to Bali for me. It was partially a solo trip. I flew from Vienna to Bali alone with Eva Air (EVA AIR on Instagram). Two days later, Katharina came too from Munich. She also left Bali one week before I leave, so I spend this last week alone. It was the first time I travelled with Katharina. We had a nice time together, as we share the same passion for adventure, good food and photography.

But I also enjoyed the time alone in Bali. I am an introvert. I don’t need many people around me in order to be happy. I create my own happiness by doing the things that I enjoy. I enjoy having a meal alone, or going for a walk at the beach alone. I like spending time with anyone who makes me feel comfortable. With anyone who don’t judge me every minute for what I am doing or for what I am saying. I don’t need any judgement or misunderstanding. I love being myself and I don’t want to put pressure on me and make efforts to convince anyone of my value.

Solo female travel to Bali
Solo female travel to Bali
 

The most common question: Is Bali a safe destination for a solo female trip?

I asked myself the same question a hundred times. In order to find an answer, I decided to do a research. I read other blogs, I watched YouTube videos and talked about it with women who have travelled to Bali alone. They said that it’s safe. This is what I also realized when I was there. Bali is safe for a solo woman traveler. However you need to use common sense, as you do with every place you visit. For instance, one thing I never do when I travel alone (except I am in the Greek islands) is to go out during the night. I prefer to return to my hotel after sunset.

Ubud hotel Bali

How do you decide to go on a solo trip?

In one of my trips, I met a girl and during a conversation we had, I asked her exactly this question. How did you decide to go on a solo trip? She said something that hit me: “I didn’t want to be that boring girl who sits at home and has a boring miserable life”! Your need for traveling urges you to become independent. It’s not about visiting a place, it’s about your need to feed your wanderlust. If you want to visit a place, just go. Do a research on the internet, book your flight and your hotel and just go.

What I do before any departure / My safety advices
  • Buy a SIM card so that you can have access to the Internet and you can make phone calls wherever you are!
  • Make sure to have a travel insurance.
  • Consult the official travel advisory.
  • Make copies of your passport.
  • Save all the important documents such as booking reservations on your mobile’s home screen.
  • Please take 2 mobile phones with you. Leave one at the hotel and take one with you!
  • If my trip last long, I take with me a laptop AND a tablet.
  • I make sure to have 2 credits cards with me and cash! I had many bad experiences and I learned my lesson.

hotel in Ubud Bali

How does it feels to travel alone?

At the beginning it feels weird. You may think that everyone is staring at you and wondering what are you doing alone. But it comes a moment where you begin to appreciate your loneliness and don’t care about what others may think or say about you.

The Verdict

A solo female travel to Bali or to anywhere is definitely not that easy. It can be fun, but it can also be tricky and challenging. You become the best friend of your self. You become strong and independent, you learn to rely on your self. You learn that whatever will happen in your life, you will be fine, because you will always have you.

The photos of this blog post were taken in our amazing hotel in Ubud. 

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Nusa Penida

nusa penida

How to get to Nusa Penida

There should be different ways, so please ask the receptionist of your hotel. We took a taxi from our hotel to Sanur and from Sanur we took a boat to Nusa Penida. We booked our ferry tickets online one day before the departure with Ray Fish fast cruises. I suggest that you take a morning boat because, from experience and from what we’ve heard from others, the afternoon boat ride can get really rough.

Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida
 
How to get around

Our hotel organized a personal driver for us. He was very flexible with the itinerary and the timing. We had him for one whole day, from morning till sunset. We were very happy with this service.

Nusa Penida

Where to stay

We stayed in an amazing hotel, called The Mesare Resort. We found the resort on Instagram. The resort offers 14 enchanting cottages with views to large organic gardens. I loved this hotel very much and I would highly recommend it to others.

Nusa Penida

Our program and itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at the hotel. Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel.
Day 2: Kelingking beach – Broken beach – Diamond beach – Atuh beach – End the day at Crystal bay for sunset
Day 3: Check out. Trip back to Bali

Kelingking beach - Broken beach - Diamond beach - Atuh beach

My travel tips

I’ve heard people going to Nusa Penida just for one day trip from Bali. I wouldn’t recommend that as I find it very stressful. We wanted to enjoy Nusa Penida and see most of what the island has to offer. So we chose to stay 2 nights. Therefore, I would recommend you to stay at least 2 nights, if possible.

Kelingking beach - Broken beach - Diamond beach - Atuh beach
Kelingking beach - Broken beach - Diamond beach - Atuh beach
 

Kelingking beach - Broken beach - Diamond beach - Atuh beach

Atuh beach sunset photos

Atuh beach sunset photos

The Verdict

You may not believe it but it’s true. We liked Nusa Penida more than Bali. Nusa Penida was exactly what we expected to see from Indonesia: an unspoiled island without traffic and palm trees everywhere.

Atuh beach sunset photos

I’d like to thank wholeheartedly Eva Air (EVA AIR on Instagram) for opening the door to Asia for me.

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Kynd Community Bali

Kynd Community Bali

Words taken from the wall of Kynd community Bali

Damn life is good. How lucky we are to be here, right here in Bali. Remember that in every situation presented to you there is a lesson. Take it. Never ever stop learning. Fail, but do it quickly and learn from it. Trust people until they give you a reason not to. You don’t need a lot of friends, just quality friendships. Know that some people will change your life forever. Find them. Never forget you are so much more than just this physical body. Connect spiritually.

Kynd Community Bali
Kynd Community Bali
 

Karma is real. Give more. Way more. Giving is the most purest form of happiness. Understand the power of thought. Thought is creation. Oh and energies, don’t forget energies. Be conscious of energy. The energy you put out through thoughts, words and actions. What about the energy you put it? Your body is creating based on the food you put into it. Energise it, nourish it, love it, treasure it. Meditation is key. Love is always the answer. Mother earth needs us, needs you. Together let’s protect her. Together lets by kynd.

Words taken from the wall of Kynd community Bali

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