I’m no travel guide, but.. here are some things I enjoy in Bali. If you’re coming for your first time this paragraph is for you.
– Alcohol is expensive here – if you drink, then hit up duty free on your way.
– Tampons are expensive here and only available in areas with western shops, bring a supply.
– Bring your medications (although many are available over the counter), mosquito spray, activated charcoal and antihistamines, plasters (band aids), nail files, silicone earplugs and, any natural products.
– A surge protector, if you’re bringing lots of gear.
– If you have larger than average feet, bring all the shoes you think you need.
– And tea bags 🙂
– Never leave valuables out in the open. Always lock (or hide) whatever is lockable, wherever possible.
– Try not to wear easy-to-snatch bags while riding bikes – especially for women alone at night. Put the bag down by your feet or under the seat. Once dark, try to take well lit roads, and travel with friends.
– There are frequent ATM scams – check the machine seems to be in order before you use it.
– Overstaying your visa is expensive – best not.
– Alcohol is frequently spiked with dangerous poisons. Be cautious.
FOOD + DRINK
Alchemy Bali – still the best salad bar ever, Ubud.
Bali Buda WIFI-free restaurant & health store, Ubud, Sanur and Kerobokan.
Bambu Indah – home grown permaculture produce, clean cooking. Anything jackfruit. Best spot for sunset.
Bella by Sage, Penestanan
Bisma Eight – boutique hotel and cafes/bar.
Cafe Vida, Canggu – amazing organic menu.
Clear Cafe, Ubud – plenty of choices for any diet.
Down To Earth cafes Ubud & Seminyak Bali
The Elephant Ubud – fresh air and stunning views – wine, coffee, food etc.
Five Elements hotel and spa, Bali
Kismet, Ubud – fast wifi and generous portions.
Moksa, plant based restaurant and permaculture, Penestanan.
Peloton, Canggu. Coconut lattes, gf cakes and crazy salads.
Revive Bali Ubud – matcha latte 😉
Room 4 Dessert – desserts and cocktails from Will Goldfarb, Ubud
Sage Ubud – The tempeh taco bowl is ridic.
Sayan House – sunset drinks over the valley
Seeds of Life, Jalan Goutama Ubud – the Warm Mexican lasagne, reishi tea and tonics.
Seniman Coffee, Jalan Sri Wedari. Arguably the best coffee in Ubud.
The Shady Shack, Canggu – vegetarian food, surfer’s breakfasts and smoothies
Ubud Nasi Campur – a great list of tried and tested nasi campus
Wayan’s Coconut, Penestanan – coconut water, juices, jamu, kefir.
Zest Ubud – listed in case you’d think I’d forgotten, but honestly I can’t recommend the food.
THINGS TO DO / VISIT
Misool Eco Resort – diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
TEDxUbud – annual local TED talks
Ubud Writers Readers Festival – hands down my favourite Ubud event.
Hotel Tjampuhan Spa, Ubud – a unique jacuzzi experience and ice plunge pool.
Big Tree Farms bamboo factory – raw cacao, cashews, palm sugar
Astrology In Bali with Evelyn Roberts
Bali Kite Festival, Sanur – check the dates for each year.
Ibuku, bamboo architecture with Elora Hardy
Green School Bali, take a tour of the school
Kul Kul Farm, study permaculture and bamboo deign at Kul Kul
Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, Jasi/Jasri
Tirta Empul – Bali’s finest water temple
Threads of Life, Ubud – sustaining the textile tradition of Indonesia. Learn batik and dyeing.
Ubud Food Festival – the new annual food celebration
Bali Spirit Festival – yoga, dance, martial arts, music and more
Balinale International Film Festival
COLONICS + MASSAGE
Gravity colonics with Anita Taylor at The Yoga Barn
Cantika Spa, Ubud – hair cream baths and very chilled vibe.
Starchild Massage, Ubud
Shambala Spa (formerly Shangrila) Ubud
Sang Spa, Ubud
Sedona Spa, Ubud – try the four hand massage.
ASHRAMS & RETREATS
6 Elements Retreats – 7 day detox retreats in paradise
Air Ubud, Artist Inn Residence
Bali Silent Retreat
White Tiger Qigong
Tyler Tolman fasting retreats
Natural Instinct Healing
Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness, Sideman
Way of Mastery, Alam Cinta, Ubud
Ratu Bagus, Shaking Ashram, Karangasem
Munivara Ashram, Junjungan, Ubud
Landih Ashram, Kintamani
Gaia Oasis, North Bali
Prana Veda Sanctuary, Bondalem
The Retreat Bali [Golden Rock], Ahmed
Body & Mind Retreats – retreat facilitators all over Bali
Dragonfly Village – retreat, yoga space and community sauna nights
There are literally thousands of homestay, hotels and spas in town.
I’ve at stayed those marked*
Bambu Indah, Sayan*
Harvest Moon and River Moon at Desa Bulan.Lotunduh*
Soulshine Retreat, Lodtunduh*
Turtle Bay Hideaway, Jasri*
Mimpi Hotsprings, Menjangan*
Ubud Bungalows – a few steps back from Monkey Forest Road is this peaceful oasis. Clean and quiet.*
Kuta Beach Heritage Hotel, Kuta*
Padang Padang Surf Camp, Uluwatu. A surf camp for beginners*
Gravity Hotel, Uluwatu* (a lovely property, but not for the mould sensitive)
Villa Campuhan, Jasri. Easily my favourite piece of Bali coastline. Stunning.
Omunity Sudaji, North Bali – waterfalls and incredible local food
Melati Cottages, Penestanan
Gerebig Bungalows, Penestanan
Uma Sari, Penestanan
de Munut, Penestanan
TokoToko Bungalows, Sangginan
Jati Homestay, Jalan Hanoman
Ubud View, Jalan Hanoman
Ubud Aura, next to The Yogabarn
Swasti Eco Cottages, Nyuh Kuning
Ananda Cottages, Jalan Sanggingan, Campuhan
High end hotels are easier to find & choose, so I’ll leave you with ‘the cheap list’ of homestays, courtesy of Ubud Readers and Writers Festival.