A favorite destination of mine! Of course, whether you’ve been there or not, you already know the Eat Pray Love qualities of this paradise. There are so many different faces of the island – the loud crowd at Kuta, the shopping and luxury at Seminyak, the restful retreats at Ubud, and the beautiful views and expert surfing at Uluwatu. Beyond those mentioned above there are also interesting jungle scenes in the center of the island and lesser known areas all around. There are way too many things to be said about this inspiring place so I’ll keep it brief and give you a little taste of my two favorite areas – Ubud and Canggu. In fact, there are so many things to say about the Bali experience that I’m not quite sure where to start!
On our first trip in 2016, we visited several spots in Bali. With the help of Patrick and RJ, who grew up in Indonesia and know Bahasa, we were able to get some good deals and navigate our way around.(Note that they are used to tourists as well so speaking English too will not be a problem). Went back to Canggu for a girl’s trip with the BFF in 2017 and then again in 2018 for a Raw Food Chef course with Amanda (@therawfoodkitchen). My latest trip there was the later part of 2018 for yet another raw food course with Sayuri and a quick mother-daughter double birthday celebration. Clearly, I can’t get enough of this beautiful place!
Pat at Kepitu at the Kayon Resort, Ubud
Probably the most famous destination for people that do Yoga, Ubud, is known for it’s scenic rice terraces and relaxing views. For all those looking for a quick introduction to many aspects of yogic life you can visit Yoga Barn. Yes, it’s what most Ubudians might see as the “mainstream” yoga studio to go to, but in my experience the price points and range of classes was great in terms of trying out different things. I had my favorite teachers and there were also some who were just alright. Radiantly Alive, another yoga studio has also opened a new cafe which has been getting rave reviews! Might be worth the visit too. Higher up in Ubud I also loved practicing at Ubud Yoga Center. You can hear the river from the yoga studio – which made every yin class there extra relaxing.
At our delightfully green AirBnb in Ubud!
Some notable places to eat for the healthy foodie is Sayuri Healing Food, Alchemy Cafe and Bali Budda. It’s easy to find wholefood meals in Bali – most especially in Ubud. There are countless vegan and vegetarian options to choose from. For local cuisine, I loved Mama’s Warung! You’ll find it near the city center along Jl. Sukma Kesuma (Same st. as Sayuri’s) It’s home-cooked Balinese food at a great price and a cozy location. For great views and special dinners we enjoyed eating at Sayan House and Kepitu at the Kayon Resort.
Food at Sayuri’s Healing Food
Birthday Dinner at Sayan House
Another cool thing about Ubud is the many unique events that they have going on! Check the announcements boards at any of the restaurants I’ve mentioned above and you’ll find everything from cooking classes to ecstatic dance. (Something I fell in love with and will fully delve into for you at another time) There’s also the beautiful Pyramids of Chi – a place created especially for sound healing. Two tall pyramids house hundreds of sound healing instruments for a superb experience. For nature walks, there’s also Campuhan ridge! It’s a beautiful early morning walk. Nice a chilly, vast view of the surrounding areas and best of all, doesn’t come with a fee!
Parents at the Pyramids of Chi
Posing somewhere along Campuhan Ridge Walk
Ta-da! Campuhan Ridge Walk!
One place that we’ve come to love is the area of Canggu. Beautiful beaches, great for surf and wonderful cafes and healthy restaurants for brunch. If you’re looking for a great place to stay over there check out Lotus Surf Camp! We found the place on AirBnb and had such a great time with our hosts that we kept referring them to friends! Great points to consider: the location is walking distance to all the attractions, the villas have a pool, you can go for Lotus’ surf sessions and they have the cutest little dog, Mila.
Smoothie Bowl at Milu by Nook
In the span of just a couple of years Canggu has grown in popularity. It used to be the lesser known paradise for those that were lucky enough to stumble upon its boutique, artisanal eateries and overall chill vibe. Now the fields in front of my favorite place, a one Betelnut Cafe, is a parking lot and other little fields have been transformed into commercial areas. There’s a bit of mixed feelings there – wanting the comfort of cozy little breakfast nooks but also being able to preserve the fields that were once there. The great thing is though that many people from Canggu operate their spots with the environment in mind. “Not plastic” plastic bags, which fully biodegrade are available in many shops while aluminum, bamboo and even lemongrass stalk straws are served with every drink. Some notable restaurants we loved are Crate Cafe, Milu By Nook and Roti Canai (Just cause we love roti!) I’d take some out and enjoy it laying out on the beach!
Looking out at the beach in Canggu
As a town by the beach, the night life in Canggu is, of course, more upbeat than the meditative soul-searching vortex of Ubud. You can head to Deus, Old Man’s or more recently, The Lawn for a fun night out. If you feel like tuning up the body in the morning there’s yoga at The Practice (Highly recommended! Wonderful owners and beautiful structure for practice) or JiuJitsu/Boxing/Muay Thai at Bali MMA.
Probably one of the most significant places in Bali for me, is Baturiti. Here is where the scenic views, cozy weather and healing forest sounds were so perfect that Patrick knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It will forever be a very special place for us for this reason. It’s a hidden part of Bali – one hour away from Ubud. It is up north, up near the mountains. We loved it because it was so relaxing and so quiet. Here, you see more locals than you do tourists and they are always very curious and very helpful. The Balinese mirror the hospitality of Filipinos in many ways and going up to Baturiti is much like visiting a province in the Philippines where not much tourists go. I have so much to share about this magical place above the clouds but I’ll leave that for another time, when surely, with another trip scheduled there later this year, I’ll have much more to say about it.
Me working in Baturiti – of course my laptop is always around!
A sneak peak for the view from the rooms
Cold, cozy and quiet Baturiti
I hope you enjoyed my little journal about some of my favorite parts in Bali! There is so much more to share and always something new to discover in that magical place so I will surely be writing about it again soon! Next article will be about some accommodations I’ve tried out on our most recent trip. Expect full, honest, reviews on them all! Thank you for visiting Island Elephant and letting me share my happy thoughts. Happy Friday everyone!