Monique O'Neil

BEGINNERS GUIDE TO BALI

Monique O'Neil
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO BALI

Over the duration of my trip, I learnt some valuable information that I couldn't seem to find on blogs or elsewhere. So I have created my own list of hot tips and destinations to visit for first timers in Bali! 


Bali Swing, Ubud

Bali Swing, Ubud

UBUD

 Ubud is the best spot for a retreat, be it for yoga, cooking, health or otherwise. It's also perfect for a peaceful, relaxing getaway, all in  lush jungle surroundings. I would suggest staying there if you want to spend your time hunting down some of the island’s most beautiful waterfalls as they are mostly located in the northern region. There were a lot of honeymooners in Ubud when I visited and I can see why. 

 

THINGS TO DO

The Bali Swing
Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
See the Tegenungan Waterfall
Bath in Holy water at Tirta Empul
Walk along Campuhan Ridge

 

PLACES TO STAY

Hanging Gardens of Bali
Zen Hideout Retreat
Viceroy 

 

 

 


Prana Spa

Prana Spa

SEMINYAK

This is a real tourist destination and has a little bit of everything. If wanting to dive right into activities, beach clubs and nightlife, to watching the sunset, lounging by the pool or taking a surf lesson. Every and any type of food is available from the many cafes and restaurants. Take a look around the shops then stop for coffee or ice-cream or a cocktail, the options are endless. This is the place to get massages and facials, with cheap and cheerful to top end luxury spas everywhere. From our hotel, it was less than a 30-minute car ride to Canggu and likewise for Kuta.

 

THINGS TO DO

Potato Head Club
Watch the Sunset
Relax at Finns Beach Club in Canggu
Visit Kuta for shopping
Take a dip at The Lawn Canggu

 

PLACES TO EAT

Sea Circus, Motel Mexicola, Sisterfields, Gingermoon, The Kynd CommunityMad Pops, La Laguna, Nalu Smoothie Bowls, The Shelter, Cabina Bali.


 

 

 


AYANA Villas & Resort Pool

AYANA Villas & Resort Pool

ULUWATU

Located in the south of Bali it is a beach goers dream. Although the majority of the time there are steep walks down to the beaches, it was worth it every time. Depending on where you stay you’ll have quicker accessibility to the beaches – we stayed at AYANA which was right on the top west side, therefore to get to any of the southern beaches near Padang it was a 30-40-minute taxi ride depending on traffic and weather situations.

 

THINGS TO DO

Relax at The Sunday Beach Club 
Watch the waves roll in at Single Finns
AYANA Private Beach Club
Book at Rock Bar Bali to watch the sunset

 

PLACES TO STAY

AYANA Villas & Resort
Gravity
Bulgari Luxury Resort


- Weather -

We ventured in the rainy season which is mainly from December-February. This is also Bali’s low season so things are a lot quieter and cheaper. Be mindful of the weather forecast that your iPhone is telling you, it's most likely 99% wrong. Some days we were told it was going to be extreme thunderstorms when we had nothing but sun and hot humid weather while on the days that were meant to be sunny we could hardly see up to two metres in front of us, the rain was that torrential. It pays to be prepared for rain and sun, just in case.

- Airport tips -

Do not let anyone take your bag, they are not trying to help you – as soon as the porters have your bag they can charge up to 100,000. Indonesian rupee. Also try and organise a transfer if possible, taxis are an interesting concept here – if you don’t ask them to run the meter they can overcharge you heaps – also if you are wanting a taxi for the day to take you to different places, ask for a fixed rate for how many hours you need and the taxi driver will wait around while you spend your day out. We had an amazing guy who spoke really great English in the Seminyak area and was happy to go anywhere.

- Locations and Accommodation -

I would recommend staying in a few different locations on the mainland, just to make sure you can see all that you want to see as numerous locations on the island have different auras about them. For example, Ubud is a lush, relaxing, peaceful destination while Seminyak is a hustle and bustle of tourists with some great cafes and restaurants and Uluwatu was an awesome place to catch the waves and see some impressive beaches. I split my time evenly between the three over the 10 days I was there, which I found perfect.

 

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