Travel: Bali (Canggu, Nusa Penida, Ubud)

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.

Pura Tanah Lot Temple

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.

Gipsy Moon Hostel

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.

Sulban Surf Beach

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).

Picture Wall at Sulban Surf Beach

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.

Uluwatu Temple

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?

Blooming Bali

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.

Kompyang Cottage

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.

Kelingking Beach

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.

Tembeling Beach & Forest

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.

Hidden Canyon

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!

Travel: Citytrip to Milano (Italy)

The best way to complete this years summer might be a citytrip to Milano, Italy. So why not by the end of August. I do these kind of trips maybe once a year. In the last couple of years Italy explores more and more to my favourite country. First Rome, with it’s extraordinary architecture back in 2017, then Venice with all of the bridges and small rivers last year.

And now, Milano! For me, Rome and Venice are very nice towns. But in perspective of activities or parties there might be better towns in Italy. So Milano is the most famous town if you look at fashion and nightlife. I red some descriptions before and the area of Navigli sounds pretty good.

River Navigli

One of the descriptions sounds like that: In Milano the evenings starts with the so called “Passegiata” (mating dance) from the youth. Everyone put’s on there best clothes (bella figura) and transform Navigli to the biggest catwalk of the world. On the weekned the area around Navigli is a great place with all the restaurants and bars. Compared to Germany, it’s totally different. All the people comes together and celebrate the end of the week.

Club Bobino

Compared to Roma or Venice it‘s easier to go out at night. There some great venues around Navigli. One of them is the Club Bobino. Just in the summer it‘s a great spot with an awesome outside area. You can do both just relaxing or dancing. But be careful, drinks aren‘t cheap. The lowest price for a drink is 10 €. So I‘m a bit shocked as I ordered two beers. So, preperation is everything. The best option is to enjoy a couple of beers in some of the great bars before you went to the clubs.

Restaurant Rossini

But there aren‘t only bars in Milano. There is no doubt if you are in Italy, Pizza is a no brainer! To find a good restaurant isn‘t that easy if your hotel is a bit outside the center. But if you look a bit deeper in all Google recommendations you will find some pearls. One of them is the restaurant Rossini in the heart of Milano near station Via Torino Via S. Maria Valle. It‘s a bit hidden in a side street. It‘s a beautiful looking restaurant with a great ambiance and. The food is delicious (traditional Italian) and the personal friendly and very attentively.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Naturally you can‘t visit Milano without a short city tour. I‘m not a friend of art or architecture but Milano have some great spots to explore. This includes the shopping arcade „Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II“ and the „Cathedral of Milano“. On a great summer day you can explore the city relatively relaxed. And if you are not in the mood of shopping it‘s not difficult to find a cafe or bar to get a drink and observe the environment.

It‘s interesting, there is no matter when I travel to Italy, it‘s everytime a great experience. I just like the Italian mentality. It‘s different, warm and friendly more focused on living and family and less on working and carrier. I like this kind of feeling!

Rating: 4 out of 5.