Everyone loves Bali.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a soul who didn’t like Bali.
What’s not to love? The gorgeous colors of the rice fields? The beautiful hotels, awe-inspiring temples and delicious food? Just to name a few…
We stayed in Ubud during my time with the #TripOfWonders back in November, and it was one of my favorite places I’ve visited on earth, thus far. The food was amazing, and like most of the other places we visited in Indonesia, the views were just surreal. I wish I had more time there, so you’ll have to forgive me for only giving a few recommendations here. I think we were there for a total of 3 days.
- Stay in a gorgeous hotel: this sounds obvious, but the properties here are breathtaking. I know people say you shouldn’t be in your hotel too much when you travel, but when the hotel in question looks like this, can you really blame me for wanting to play hermit and never leave?
- Take a cooking class: just 30 mins from Ubud, The Secret Garden Bedugul may be one of the most beautiful grounds I’ve ever been on. Not just for a cooking class. For anything. Surrounded by lush, sweeping rice fields, this 35,000 square foot space is dedicated to “edu-vacation” aka, educational vacation. My favorite! I love learning new things and this was the perfect spot to learn how to make traditional Balinese dishes.
- Visit a royal palace: located in Ubud is the Puri Peliatan Royal Palace. We donned traditional Balinese outfits made from gorgeous lace and silk, then entered the palace for tea and snacks. I’ve never felt so fancy. And sweaty. Remember, it’s hot in Indonesia – wearing long, lace sleeves and a long skirt can be tricky during the summer months, but it’s worth it.
- Get a massage: if you came here looking for thrill-seeking adventure, you came to the wrong place. I’m all for doing exciting things but Bali, in my mind, screams “take a damn break”. There are obviously plenty of options to choose from, but we went to a place called Bliss Spa (no, not the chain one) and they had single or double rooms, as well as showers in most rooms so you could rinse off the oil. It was more no frills than it was fancy, so just keep that in mind going in.
- Eat things: we only had so much time there, but I loved pretty much every place we went to. Akasha was one of my favorites, and it was mostly vegetarian! Who knew. Great take on Caesar salad, as well as the veggie/mushroom burger. Kilo Kitchen was another must on my list – clean and minimalist space, with a vibrant menu. Squid ink rice and calamari, short ribs, ahi tuna poke, and ravioli in prawn butter were among the highlights (but no complaints about anything). Another heavy favorite is Locavore, and we tried the newer spot, Nusantara by Locavore. Nothing is off limits on this menu – we even had deep fried sparrow. Well, I couldn’t have that but other people did. The slow cooked duck was incredible.
- Shop: lots of cute stores and places for souvenirs in Bali! We went down this long path of shops that led us to one of the monkey sanctuaries. I hear those are fun too. We stopped in to see the monkeys briefly, but beware: they can get aggressive if you have food in your hands. Some poor bystander got his chips taken right out of his hands. I’m not going to lie, I found that incredibly amusing but if they were MY chips, I would have been pissed.
- Floating breakfast: I can not stress this enough – if you don’t get a floating breakfast tray in your pool at your hotel, did you even go to Bali? Just saying. It’s a little “extra” perhaps, but you’re in Bali, Island of the Gods. Indulge and live a little! Not to mention the breakfast food and fresh juices here are unmatched. I live in NYC and I have access to some of the best food in the world, but Indonesia SHAMES us when it comes to the fresh juice game. Trust me, it’s a must try.