Everything started back in January last year. Me and my brother decided to do a long holiday together, just for the entire December. The first time to celebrate christimas and nye not at home. The only question was, where? There were some options (caribbean, south america or australia). At first we don’t have Bali in mind, but we also do not want an entire beach holiday and that’s why we make the decision to Bali.
Bali has everything we wanted: A great landscape, beaches and a culturel fascination. We planned our trip far in advance with some benefits but also some drawbecks. You don’t know in advance which places are great and which aren’t that great. So you aren’t that flexible. But that wasn’t that bad.
Canggu (Day 1 – 10):
We started our trip from Frankfurt with the shortest Check-In, Security check and Passport control I have ever experienced. All around 20 minutes, that’s crazy german organization management. It was also my first long distance flight ever, but all works totally fine also at Bangkok Airport. My first shocking moment was at our arrival at Denpasar Airport. We enter our airport transfer and the first I have noticed was my smartphone was gone. I guess the complete vacation wasn’t the same if I couldn’t found it again. Fortunately it only slides in between set and door. Crisis averted! Arrived there we first see the traffic madness. Left handed traffic is one of the things, but with all the scooters on the road it’s completely crazy. There are no traffic lights or any speed indicators! They drive without rules, but it works. That’s kind of fascination. We arrived at our first spot in Canggu, the Gipsy Moon Hostel. It’s a small but pretty nice hostel with a friendly enviroment. We had our own private house there. It was amazing. The good thing was, it wasn’t that far away from the beach, but walking was an adventure because there aren’t sidewalks everywhere. We spend our first evening at La Brisa (Batu Balong Beach). Coincidentally it was also one of our favourite locations there. It’s an amazing nature builded beach club at Batu Balog Beach in Canggu.
To discover the culturel aspects of Indonesia you have to visit their spiritual tempel areas. There are a lot of them all around Bali. To visit a temple you have to wear traditional clothing. There are two options, renting or buying. We decided to buy our own at a market near Canggu. Our first spot was Pura Tanah Lot temple on the west side of Canggu. Our imagine was a bit different, because there is no direct entry to the temple it self. It’s more for the hole area. On the way back to our hostel we saw some promotion about the first Boiler Room Party at La Brisa Bali, the same location we visited the day before. The Boiler Room series is own of the most popular DJ set series around the world. Artists like Four Tet, Jamie xx or Tom York played one of their favourite tracks in the past. The main act for the evening was Gerad Jansen (I only know him for some complations). The crazy thing there was you can do both, jumping in the pool or dancing.
At the next day we started slowly. Just relaxing at the hostel’s pool and enjoy the sun. By the way there was no day were the temprature falls under 30 degrees. Sometimes it was tough to be outside in the midday sun. But inside our private house the air conditions helps, “We call it, the fridge”. After a lazy start we went to the beach again. On that way we take a dinner break at Fancy Pancakes. To late for breakfast we choose the coloring burgers. Not bad, but we will find some better spots to eat burgers. On the way to the beach we would like to buy sim card, but unfortunately they didn’t work with our phones. We can’t solve it the entire vacation, but wifi helps (sometimes).
Normally I’m a sporty guy, so I want to go jogging at Bali. But it wasn’t that easy because of the traffic madness and the missing sidewalks. The only option was the beach. Running at the beach was a tough thing, so the following recovery at the pool was totally chill. At the next day we decided to do a short trip to Seminyak. It‘s not to far away from Canggu. It‘s more like a tourist area with all the shops near Seminyak Beach. We enjoy the waves and had a great day at the beach. For dinner we have checked in at Bossman Burgers, one of the best burgers around Bali.
Our first week ended with a daily trip to the south side of Bali. We discovered the Sulban surf beach, a small beach area perfect for surfing. It‘s an exciting place with all the cliffs and caves around the beach. Later that day we visited Uluwatu Temple, with one of the greatest views to the ocean. You can feel the salty air around the ocean but be careful about the playing apes around the park. To complete our first week on Bali we go to Old Men‘s Beach Club. Yes, it‘s a tourist location in Canggu but maybe one of the best places for a party at the beach. Every wednesday there is a big DJ set. It‘s a good place to have a drink or two. Our next day started slowley at the hostel before we discoverd some side streets near Canggu. On a search for a good breakfast we found a small restaurant called Roti Canai Street Kitchen. Not easy to identify from the outside, but it‘s that worthy. It‘s an Indian restaurant and the breakfast is a combination about English and Indian breakfast. It was so good! For our last day in Canggu we visited the Cocoon Beach Club at noon. Later at the evening we switched to a party at Potato Head Beach Club. It‘s a crazy location with one of the most impressive entries I have ever seen. Is it a dungon?
Nusa Penida (Day 11 – 20):
We started our second chapter around Bali at Nusa Penida. It‘s a small island just a few minutes away from the main island. Compared with Bali there is much less traffic and everything feels a bit more relaxing. Nusa Penida shines with all of the great locations to explore. There are some of the most beautiful beaches. First we checked in at our second hotel, the Kompyang Cottage. It‘s a beautiful cottage and we missed nothing there. The entire area was great. One of the best places for relaxing. Our first trip at Nusa Penida leads us to the Crystal Bay Beach. It‘s a small one at the west side of the island. The most difficult thing there is the transportation, because of the small roads. Driving at Nusa Penida could be a bit risky, so to rent a local driver isn‘t a bad decision.
One of our most exciting acitivities was also at Nusa Penida. Our plan was a daily tour to Kelingking Beach and Tembeling Beach and Forest. To visit these locations can‘t be a big deal, or? Most of the tourists visited Kelingking Beach only to capture a great shot for their instagram account. But you can do more. Yes, it‘s possible to go the whole way downstairs (more cliffs then stairs) to the beach. We have no idea what we can expect. The way down wasn‘t that exhausting but you have to be concentrated. Arrived at the bottom you found one of the most impressive beach areas I have ever seen. Unfortunately swimming wasn‘t possible because of the heavy waves (up to 3 meters). Because of the bay structure the waves breaks just a few meters before the shoreline. All the way upstairs was a tough climbing. Normally I do not climbing, so I wear my normal running shoes. And yes there were also people with flip flops or barefoot. Not mentioned by my side. Climbing at these conditions (32 degrees, noon) was a tough experience. My decision was, to do it with speed and power, but I also reached the limits at the end, so we both needs a longer break after the climbing.
Another highlight at Nusa Penida was our tour to Amok Sunset. First, the driving was crazy. No I can‘t describe it well, you have to see it by your own. The roads are tiny and the abyss near. Just before our arrival their you can‘t imagne that something like that will be exist their. It‘s an amazing place with an outstanding view to the ocean. It , wasn‘t the best day by weather conditions (rain shower at afternoon), but we have a lot of fun. Ok, we also ordered a lot of beer buckets so maybe there is a connection. Maybe one of the best day‘s at our whole trip. To visiting Nusa Penida was a good decision, but maybe 3-5 days would be enough time to explore the small island.
Ubud (Day 21-31)
Our last stop was in Ubud, it‘s more in the center of Bali. The area was also a bit more like a jungle. Everything is green there. In Ubud we stay at the Udaya Resorts and Spa, an amazing location just a few kilometers away from the center. But that‘s not a big deal because of the free shuttle service. Our first stop in the center was the local market. Their are a lot of shops around, so you should be carefully because you can find something a few meters ahead for just half of the price. But I guess that‘s a usual thing. The other thing is, it‘s easily to get lost. We also visited the palast of Ubud, but we decided not to buy it because of all the tourists. Our first daily trip goes to Mount Batur and the rice fields at Tagallalang. We do the mountain climbing in the early morning, so we could see the sunrising at 6 o‘clock. If you do not climbing before that‘s definitely an adventure, but you will be rewarded at the top. Climbing all the way down was a lot easier but tiredness was a bigger problem. Yes, we also see the rice fields at Tagallalang but only for a few minutes. I recommend to visit both places separately. We do a short break between this and our next trip. At our next tour we visited the Gunung Kawi Temple, Hidden Canyon and the Tegenungan Waterfall. It was also a tough tour. For me the highlights were the Gunung Kawi Temple and the Hidden Canyon. Both locations are beautiful. But one hint, I definitely recommend some kind of shoes for the Canyon tour because barefoot it could be very stressful. But there are great guides to help you with the tricky climbing parts.
For us Ubud was a great place, but we missed the possibilities from Canggu. Sometimes we take a drive to Canggu or Simenyak. This doesn‘t mean Ubud was‘t that great but it was also more an area full of resort locations and tourists. To spend new years eve not at home was also an new experience. We celebrate it at our first location in Bali, the beautiful La Brisa. I never saw a firework at the beach. After 4 weeks at paradise we have to go back to Germany, but we both realy enjoy our trip to Bali an adventure from start to finish!