I was thinking for a long time if to write about Bali or not, as Bali was a big dissapointment for me. First things first : Bali is stunning island with absolutely gorgeous nature and views BUT:A) Too touristy : Obviously I knew it is touristy destination, but it was just too much for me. I was expecting to see at least a bit of daily routine of local people, unfortunately my expectations were without any chance. Everything is made for tourists and how to get money from tourists.
B) Dirty sea : This was one of the biggest disappointments for me, so much dirt in the sea and on the beaches. In 3 weeks I went to the sea just 2 times, one time in Nusa Penida Island and one time in Nusa Dua.
C) Rude local people : Many Balinese people are very friendly and generous. Unfortunately, you can meet many rude local people, many rude shop assistants who get angry and turn their back to you if you are not willing to pay 50 euro for a thing, which you know has real price of 3 euro and you offer them 10 euro for it. I also had very bad experience with really aggressive taxi driver just because I ordered Grab ( Asian version of Uber).
Don’t get me wrong, Bali is really beautiful island and definitely worth of visiting one time in your life, but it is definitely not a place which I would be planning to visit again. Now things I liked about Bali :
1) Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud : Definitely highlight of my trip was visiting this place. I absolutely adore apes and I could spend a whole month here. Monkeys inside are very friendly, curious and you don’t have to be scared they would steal your stuff. They are just interested in food and it is the only reason when they can become aggressive, so if you are planning to visit this place be very careful and make sure you don’t have any food and bananas with you. On the way to monkey forest I stopped in local market and bought a few bananas, don’t make this mistake! 😀 I didn’t even enter forest and I could see a plenty of monkeys outside the forest , including many baby monkey and when I tried to feed them with bananas, huge male monkey attacked me and stole all of the bananas 😀 As I am animal lover and I am not scared of any animal, this situation was really funny for me, but I know many tourists got super scared. Once you enter the forest, monkeys have plenty of food inside and they are much calmer. I had so much fun with them, they climb on you, sit on your shoulder or search for fleas in your hair 😀 I was wearing pearls slides and monkeys were so interested in them, so many of them came and tried to eat the pearls 😀 Too adorable ! <3
2) Hindu Temples : They are absolutely everywhere and if you visit many of them, it can start to be quite boring as they look similar, but my most favorite ones are :
a) Pura Ulun Danu Batur :
b) Goa Gaja
c) Batuan Temple
3) Padang Bai : We have travelled Bali all over, but I have to admit this region was my absolutely most favorite one. Such a stunning beach, on the way to beach you can meet a few monkeys <3 This place is very well know for diving and you can find there many diving schools. It is very calm place, almost free of tourists and you have chance to see something from typical lives of local people.
5)Nusa Dua : Is very famous region for luxury hotels and nice beaches. This was the only place in Bali where I entered the ocean (for 5 minutes). Water looked quite clear and all the hotel resorts had beautiful beaches in front of their hotels (staff from the hotels is picking up every morning all the dirt which is brought by the ocean to the beach in front of the hotel) , but as soon as I went a few meters away to public beach I just wanted to cry. So much plastics and trash. Don’t want to imagine how much dirt is actually in the water.
4) Kuta and Kuta beach : Even though Kuta is very touristy, I really enjoyed buzz of this place and night life. Famous Kuta beach has special atmosphere during sunset and you can collect there some beautiful shells as a souvenir. I was very lucky during time when I went to Kuta beach, because it was hatching time of turtles. There is Bali Sea Turtle Society, which is protecting turtles and during days, which are written on their facebook page, will be release of baby turtles to the sea. For money of your choice on arranged date you can pick a token, which is a ticket you will later change for your baby turtle. Before you can release the turtle to the sea, staff from the Turtle Society tells you a bit more about turtles (i absolutely loved it and learnt new things about turtles), then part of Kuta beach is closed for public and you can release your baby turtle to the ocean. It was definitely second highlight of my trip. I will never forget this day and I am quite often thinking about my baby turtle, which is hopefully a big, healthy turtle.
5) Jatiluwih rice terraces : Bali is full of different rice terraces, but I have chosen Jatiluwih as it belongs to Unesco World Heritage. It was definitely very lovely, relaxing walk through the terraces and I had chance to see for the first time how rice is planted.
6) Nusa Penida : Is a small island just next to the Bali and it is definitely a place I would always visit again. You can get there from Bali by fast boat, which can be sometimes really adventurous. Be ready to get really wet when getting on and off the boat 😀 In past it was a prison island where all the prisoners from Indonesia were sent. It is absolutely beautiful island with such a stunning places ! You can definitely see real life of local people, real jungle and so amazing manta rays!! You can buy snorkeling or diving trip to swim with manta rays and it was my third highlight of the trip. Manta rays are quite friendly and they come really close to you, it is absolutely breath taking to swim next to such an amazing animals. You can borrow motorbike and in a day you can ride around all the island and visit all of the amazing places this island offers you. If you have never riden a motorbike before, I don’t advise you to ride to so famous Kelingking beach. Road which is on the way to Kelingking beach is quite dangerous with many holes and small stones. Me and my boyfriend were riding on the same motorbike and unfortunately we had accident on one of the holes and fell from the bike. Thanks God nothing serious happened to us, but we returned to the hotel with plenty of bruises and scratches. Andre’s leg took around a month to heal.
Hotels to recommend :
We have been to various different hotels. Some of them were average, but I would like to give you tips for 2 nice hotels :
- Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Ubud (here) : This was 5* hotel with the best service I have ever got in any 5* hotel. Staff there is the nicest and we liked the hotel so much that instead of booked 2 nights we stayed there for 4 nights. Hotel was clean , our room was huge with the biggest bed I have ever slept in and with a view to one of 2 pools, which you can find in the hotel. It has also gorgeous bar with the view to all the green scenery famous for Ubud and what is more amazing than drinking a cocktail in the bar during sunset with this beautiful view. They also cooked so good, room service every day 😀 Breakfast was absolutely yummy with so many choices. I have tried there all the tropical fruit I have wanted to try in Bali. They offer you also plenty of free activities during day as yoga, tea and coffee tasting etc. If I should ever come back to Bali, then it would be definitely just because of this hotel.
2. Pandawa Beach Resort and Spa Luxury (here) : Was such a lovely place with very nice and clean room, gorgeous view and pool 2 seconds by walk from the hotel room. Again staff here was absolutely amazing and they even taught my boyfriend how to ride a motorbike 😀 Would come back anytime 🙂
At the time when I was in Bali I wasn’t even thinking about having my own blog and was trying to enjoy the trip as much as I could without having camera or phone in my hands and I am missing many photos from many of beautiful places. Anyway I hope you can enjoy at least the photos I made.