After a year of planning, somehow Bali has already come and gone! Hope that you’re in the mood for wanderlust porn, because I have about a billion photos.
Let’s start from the beginning:
- Virgin America: cool looking planes. But dirty. And cold. No snacks.
- EVA Airways: standard long haul plane set up. Not totally full..bonus! Somehow managed an upgrade…double bonus. Worst airline food ever.
- Taipei Airport: Dope AF. Sensory overload and loved every second of it.
Now onto Bali. We landed and being the good researchers that we were, had $35 in exact change ready to give to the immigration folks for the visa on arrival we kept reading about on every single website. Newsflash…the visas are only for folks staying 30 days or longer. We were instantly $35 richer, which takes you shockingly far in Bali. Arranging and finding our driver was easy and we drove about 45 minutes to our villa in Seminyak (more on that later). All around win for the Depensar airport.
We started with coconuts by the pool and unpacked. Then, we grabbed a quick dinner at Warung Dua across the street and went right to bed. The jet lag/conference lag was real.
Despite the roosters crowing all night, we woke up early and headed out on foot to explore Seminyak. Not all of the roads are pedestrian friendly, but we survived. Our first stop was the charming, Rasio Coffee. Iced flat whites and views of a rice paddy? Yes, please.
Then, we ate the most beautiful smoothie bowls. The fruit game in this country is en pointe. They have 17 kinds of papayas and 31 kinds of bananas. Dayummmm.
We walked around a bit more and headed to the Think Pink salon right when it opened at 10:00AM. That’s where I had the best mani/pedi I’ve ever had in my life. For $37, I had this insanely thorough/detailed/indulgent mani/pedi, a glass of rose (and a sidecar petit four), and a tip. Unreal. It took nearly a week before the work started chipping. I highly recommend this spot. We walked in and out of a few other shops, but most of the items were house goods and on a very large-scale, so unless you had a mansion or were opening a hotel, the shopping was not great. Mostly, Seminyak seems to be a less awful version of Legian. Still, many nightclubs, bars, and minimarts.
That’s how we landed in Canguu for the rest of the day and evening. It was sold to us as a Balinese Tulum. I’m not sure I totally saw that, but it was much more chill, hipstery, and on the beach never killed anyone. Our first stop was Deus Ex Machina, a custom surf shop with an adorable outdoor cafe, AND outdoor stage for live music. The place came highly recommended to us by a colleague and didn’t disappoint. It totes itsself as a “Temple of Enthusiasm.” That’s also the new name for my house.
Naturally, we had a couple carby snacks, while my one of my favorite body types, Austrailian surfer, lingered nearby.
We walked in and out of shops along the way to the beach. This was really a delightful way to spend an afternoon. There are so many surf shops, boutiques, and trendy little hipster cafes lining the main drag to the beach.
I then had the opportunity to sink my new paint job into a black sand (a first!) beach on the Indian Ocean (another first!). Beyond delightful.
We strolled around, sticking our heads into the beach bars made famous to us by our IG accounts. Old Man’s looked like a fun dive-y bar, but wasn’t right on the beach, The Lawn had you reserving tables with cash, Miami style, and La Brisa felt just right, so we posted up at the bar with an ocean view.
Here’s La Brisa from the beach.
The inside was all adorably themed seating nooks and shabby chic nautical treasures.
This is also where we had our first sips of Bitang. Not bad! Don’t you love this menu design?
Finally, the sun set into a few clouds, while Indonesian flags waved in the foreground.
The next morning, we awoke, ate different smoothie bowls and set out for Ubud….