Earlier this summer, my boyfriend and I packed our bags and set off to explore Indonesia for a few weeks. Neither of us had been before so it was a first-time thing for both of us and we definitely weren’t disappointed. After two nights stop-over in Bangkok, Bali was our first destination. Initially we stayed in Legian, near Kuta, which is the main area in the south. My first impression was that it was buzzing – full of holiday makers just having a good time. The beaches were full, although we had no trouble getting a couple of sun-loungers and drinks in the height of the afternoon. The night life was lively, with plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.
One thing I didn’t expect was just how hectic the roads are there. On the way to our hotel, we sat in a taxi for what seemed like forever and only moved what seemed like a few inches. But once we were out of the car, that didn’t really matter as there was plenty to see and do within walking distance anyway. We spent a day and a night in Legian which was great, but we both wanted to see more of the countryside so we ventured further north to Ubud and hired a moped for a couple of days.
Ubud was incredible and definitely one of my favourite parts of the whole trip. It was a nice escape from the busy, tourist filled part of Bali and the change of pace was very welcoming. The first thing we did was head to the Monkey Forest which was such a cool experience (as long as you’re okay with monkeys using you as a climbing frame!). We also discovered the Campuhan Ridge Walk which is a beautiful trek on a narrow path through lots of greenery – a definite recommendation for anyone going to Ubud as the views were breath-taking.
The next day we drove and drove and drove that little moped through winding tree lined roads; the best way to explore the countryside if you ask me. Although many of the roads were pretty rocky and we ended up with a puncture, which is not ideal when you don’t know where you’re going, can’t speak Indonesian and have very limited phone signal. But luckily for us, the locals are so incredibly friendly and helpful and we got pointed in the right direction of a mechanic who fixed us up in no time, charging us a grand total of £3. Amazing. With the bike fixed, we continued exploring, stopping off at a coffee plantation and rice field, which were both equally stunning. I was constantly amazed at how beautiful this place is.
Now for the really good bit. When I’m travelling or on holiday, eating good food is so important to me. Thankfully my boyfriend shares the same view, so we were always seeking out the best restaurants (TripAdvisor is a wonderful tool for this!) and making an effort to go. I really don’t think we had a bad meal whilst in Bali which kept us foodies pretty happy.
Two restaurants that stood out for me in the Legian area were Pearl Restaurant and Crumb & Coaster. Pearl Restaurant is slightly finer dining in a beautiful setting, serving amazing food and wine – two things that make me very happy, so this place was a 10/10 from me. The food at Crumb and Coaster was equally delicious, with a more laid back, slightly rustic vibe. In Ubud, Horizon (right next to the monkey forest) was a great choice, serving breakfast style food like smoothie bowls and pancakes smothered in sweet sauce and fruit. Yum.
Our time in Bali really was amazing. I’m forever hearing great things about it and seeing wonderful photos, so it was so good to finally experience it for myself. It’s a place that’s been on my list for years and now it’s a place I would go back to again and again. If anyone is thinking about spending some time there, I would say go, go, go!