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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Where we stayed: 11 on Kajeng
Places to visit: Aloha Ubud swing, Tegallalang rice terraces, Pura Gunung Kawi, Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud monkey forest.
Excursion to the North of Bali
Places to visit: Ulun Danu Temple, Handara Golf & Resort Bali and Wana Ayu Waterfall
My recommendations for beauty treatments salons
Ubud: Fresh Spa Bali
Seminyak: Eco Bali Spa
Canggu: Goldust Beauty lounge Bali
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 ultimate guide to Bali
Disclaimer: My flight tickets from Vienna to Bali and back were sponsored by Eva Air.