Bali often gets a bad rep for being “overrated” because it’s “too touristy.” But that’s only what people who have gone and done exactly what warrants that sort of conclusion say: they’ve taken sunset pictures of Kuta’s beaches, gone shopping in Ubud and had raging nights out only to wake up with terrible hangovers and Bali belly.
But if you know how to do Bali “right,” it’s a hop skip and a jump away to one of the most beautiful places in the world. And given that Sydney is refusing to warm up, what better idea than to plan your next trip abroad?
It’s only about six hours there (and even less on the way back home because of the wind), with regular direct flights from Australia. Once you land in Denpasar Airport, hundreds of cab drivers will be at the entrance offering their best price for a ride into town. You won’t find any tourists on the local bus but that’s only because cabs and motorcycles are so cheap in Bali.
Airbnb-ing in Bali is your best bet for an authentic experience. Whether you’re going on a girl’s trip and need 5 rooms, or looking for a cosy villa with just your S.O, there are so many beautiful (and affordable) Balinese villas on the site. They also often come with their own pool! Helllooooo private luxury
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For breakfast, Sisterfields is one café that won’t ever let you down. For coffee, try Revolver Espresso.
If it’s someone’s birthday, or you just want to celebrate your first night in Bali, head to Motel Mexicola for tacos and margaritas, quesadillas and tequila!
If you’re looking for a sit down dinner, perhaps something a little more sophisticated, head to Merah Putih; the stunning interiors rival that of Restoration Hardware’s indoor trees and the menu truly treats you to Indonesian food at its finest.
The rice paddies are part of Balinese culture and way of life. The most famous one, Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud, however, is filled with tourists. For a more traditional experience, hire a motorcycle and road trip through Canggu rice paddies. There are several “secret” paddies so feel free to get lost through the empty, windy roads. Then to cool off, take a surf lesson at Echo Beach.
Balinese spas are legendary and rightly so. You can choose to call a personal masseuse to do a massage in the comfort of your own villa for as little as AUD$15, or, for a more luxe experience, make your way to Away Spa at the W where you’ll find a detox oxygen bar, 24K Gold Wraps and Yoga Facials.
Alternatively, go on a day-long yoga retreat program at Desa Seni. It is a sustainable eco-conscious community simply exuding positive and healing energy. If it’s the Eat Pray Love experience you’re looking for, you can’t miss this Balinese spiritual offering.
If you haven’t sipped cocktails at one of Bali’s beach clubs, did you even holiday in Bali? With bars overlooking the ocean, infinite pools cascading over tree tops and food for the fraction of the price back home. We’ve tested the bars out done the ground work for you and shortlisted it to the top 5:
- Sunday’s Beach Club
- Potato Head
- Ku De Ta
So with only one week in Bali, you can probably get away with seeing two places comfortably. We advise staying clear of the touristy Kuta Beach or Uluwata and instead doing all of the above in Seminyak and Canggu. No doubt after the week you’ll have had, you’ll be looking to return and continue to explore the immense offerings on the Island of the Gods.