Bali has always been on our bucket list so I am soo happy to have finally visited there last month.
We flew with China Southern Airlines from Heathrow to Guangzhou and then to Densaper in Bali. We spent our first week in Ubud in a private villa which we booked via Airbnb (after our success using the company in Venice). Our host from the BnB gave us a taxi drivers contact details for our initial airport transfer and we ended up using him all holiday.
We travelled around using mopeds or taxis. I was wary about the roads in Bali, as I always am in other countries. A lot of tourists used mopeds and I didn’t see any problems. The flexibility of transport allowed us to see a lot more of Bali.
Places we visited:
- Monkey Sanctuary
Seeing the monkeys while you’re in Bali is a must. Just don’t be fooled into thinking you’re going to get nice hugs for a cute gram pic! Watch for food and sunglasses. Reiss had a bottle of water with him and one grabbed it out his hand, twisted the cap off and started drinking it. Hahaha.
- Uluwatu temple
This was impressive. Again- look out for the monkeys! In our visit we witnessed a monkey steal a boys shoe off his foot and start munching on the Velcro (!!!), a baby’s bow being pulled off and also a mans iPhone being snatched. There is literally a trail of broken phone cases and sunglasses which didn’t quite make the full journey. None the less, the views are so worth it and apparently, there is a nice beach here too but we did not have time that day.
- Goa Gajah (Temple)
All the temples were beautiful so definitely make a point of visiting a couple. Any time someone offered me a blessing I jumped at the opportunity as I knew I was getting my exam/ dissertation results while I was out there! A note about temples, in general, is to obviously cover up. At Uluwatu, there were sarongs available for you to borrow for the visit. At this other one, we bought ones at the door because we did actually like the designs of them. Reiss- maybe a bit too much.
- Tegallalang rice terrace
There are stops every so often in this where they take donations (normally tell you it’s about 10k in their currency) so carry plenty small notes for getting up and around here. I don’t know if there was an easier route but it is deceivingly steep!
- Sea turtle conservation on Kuta Beach
There is a charity where you arrive for 4pm and there is an opportunity for you to add a donation in exchange for a token. The token allows you to let a sea turtle into the sea which was a different and gratifying experience. It was really nice to do and it was very difficult to get Reiss away from it, even once they were all in the sea!
- Tenenungan waterfall
This was lovely to get into. We had a lovely lunch here at the restaurant on the terrace (can’t remember the name but the view was fab).
- Mason Elephant Park
I tried to research places for elephants where they were out in the open etc. The honest answer for Bali as a whole is they are never going to be 100% free like some of the charities/ sanctuaries I have noticed in areas of Thailand. Mason did seem nice though but there is an option for elephant rides which I personally don’t agree with. We did not pay for this but did pay for a basket of fruit and walked around the grounds to feed the elephants.
- Mason Chocolate Factory
This is owned by the same company as the elephant park so we stopped by when we recognised the sign. Obviously, in 30-degree heat, it is not exactly wise to buy a box of chocolates but we did try a couple which was delicious.
The exchange rate is crazy. We always made a point of tipping a generous amount as they always really appreciate it and we genuinely loved the food and service. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget how little you are paying with the exchange rate.
Some more places to eat were Hard Rock Cafe- Badung, Finns Beach Club and C9PCO.
We didn’t go up to the north at all but I would love to do Mount Batur next time. We passed a couple of hotels that I liked the look of- I did not go inside properly or anything but I took a note to search if we went back.
Read next: Gili island hopping
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