Bali, Indonesia: A Photo Diary

In September, Michael and I went to Bali, Indonesia for my birthday! September is a fabulous time to visit Bali as it’s the dry season and not super hot. We rented a private one-bedroom villa and spent the week swimming in our private pool, eating everything, and watching the sun set from the beach every evening. Here is a little photo glimpse into our trip:

Where to Stay in Bali

As mentioned before, we rented a private one bedroom villa – check it out here. This property is located in Seminyak, Bali, but its just on the edge between Seminyak and Legian – two of the most popular spots to stay in Bali. Seminyak is full of restaurants, beach clubs and nightclubs.

Fun tip: I also made a video tour of our villa, you can see it here.

Where to Stay in Bali

where to stay bali

Favorite Restaurants

I have a bucket list primarily for restaurants in Bali – yes, I’m that girl. This trip, we focused on Seminyak restaurants, because that is where we were staying. There are tons of instagram famous restaurants in Seminyak, and we were lucky enough to visit quite a few of them. One of my favorites was Kynd, which is a completely vegan restaurant.

Where to Eat Bali

where to eat bali

Where to Eat Bali

where to eat bali

Another restaurant I really loved – which was my absolute favorite lunch/afternoon/day time restaurant with amazing cocktails – is SEA CIRCUS. This is probably the most instagrammed restaurant in Bali. It is well known for its adorable decor, but should receive wayyy more credit for its food. I ate the best taco OF MY LIFE here – the vegan jackfruit tacos.

where to eat bali

where to eat bali

where to eat bali

These jackfruit tacos are honestly life changing – if you’re going to Bali, do not miss these!

Another big hit was the watermelon margarita and the vegan burger.

where to eat bali

where to eat bali

Another restaurant that I really wanted to try is Sea Circus’ sister restaurant, Neon Palms. Neon Palms is just a few doors down from Sea Circus, and one of the most popular spas in Seminyak – Body Works – is right in between. I wish I had planned a lunch at Sea Circus, a long spa afternoon, and then dinner at Neon Palms. Next time! This time, we just stopped at Neon Palms for a quick drink before a beachy sunset.

where to eat bali

Another not to be missed restaurant (which we actually visited three times in one week!) is Nalu Bowls. They do the BEST smoothie bowls and wholesome brekkies/lunches. They also have a little shop downstairs, where you can pick up your own coconut bowls and super cute spoons.

Where to Eat Bali

Where to Eat Bali

Where to Eat Bali

The absolute best meal we had in Bali was my birthday dinner at the famous Mamasan. This restaurant came highly recommended by two coworkers, so I had to try it out. We went to dinner after a long day of swimming in our pool, and luckily we came with a big appetite, because everything was so amazing that we could not stop eating! where to eat bali

where to eat bali

It is a very dimly lit restaurant, so I didn’t get a lot of good photos, but I would highly recommend this restaurant. We had a few cocktails, and a three course meal. If you ask for the vegetarian menu, they’ll bring out an entire veg menu – woo hoo! I had the vegetable samosas to start, the baked tofu for a main, and for dessert we split a creme brulee and a chocolate cake.

Where to Watch the Sunset in Bali

I had a list of places to watch the sunset in Bali. Our first stop was Potato Head, which is one of the most popular places, but to be honest I HATED it. The whole place is super loud, most people in there are completely drunk, and its extremely expensive.

We went to La Plancha the following night, and that was MUCH MORE my vibe – really chill, colourful bean bags & umbrellas on the beach, a huge menu of snacks and cocktails; it is just a real casual place. I had fish tacos, a nice cocktail, and Michael had his share of Bintangs (the local Bali beer). La Plancha was a perfect 20 min walk back to our villa.

where to watch the sunset bali

Where to Watch the Sunset in Bali

What to Do in Bali

Though we wanted to spend most of our time relaxing in our villa, eating, and getting massages, we did plan two adventure days to break up the down time. I planned two big days of touring. One day was to East Bali to see the Gate of Heaven, the Royal Water Palace, Tibumana Waterfall, and some of the beautiful rice paddies and views of Mt Agung, the active volcano in Bali. The second day of touring was to Ubud, to see the Sacred Monkey Forest, the rice paddies, and take a walk along the ridge walk.

East Bali

What To Do in Bali

What to Do In Bali

Gates of Heaven

Mt Agung

Royal Water Palace

Royal Water Palace, Bali

Tibumana Waterfall, Bali

East Bali

Tibumana Waterfall

Ubud, Bali

Ubud is home to the Sacred Monkey Forest – where wild monkeys roam the grounds, and it feels like you are walking through the Jungle Book (with much smaller monkeys). The monkeys will jump on you if you let them, otherwise you can just observe and take all the photos!

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

I think this one was trying to pick pocket Michael!

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud is also home to the famous Tegalalong rice paddies. There is an instagram famous swing that you can hop on to get a photo over the rice fields. It looks beautiful BUT there is a line and a ride on the swing will set you back about $40 AUD. There are lots of other photo ops that don’t require waiting in line. The entry fee is about $5 AUD per person for a walk through the rice paddies.

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

The ridge walk in Ubud is a fun – but very short – hike. It’s just 2 km, which is just over 1 mile. Still, it’s super hot, so make sure to bring water and a hat!

what to do in Bali

What to Do in Bali

We finished our trip with a day pass at Club Med Bali. I was a big fan of the adults only pool, but we explored the beach as well!

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

Club Med Bali

 

Let me know in the comments – have you ever been to Bali? If not, do you want to go after reading this?!

 

 

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Nha Trang, Vietnam : A Photo Diary

I spent about 24 hours in Nha Trang. I stopped here more as a means to break up the long journey between Quy Nhon and Da Lat. Nha Trang is a bustling city full of market stalls, coffee shops, and long stretches of white sand beaches. It contains a pleasant mix of locals and foreigners, and has everything you’d need in a city – temples, beauty salons, massage parlors, loads of stores selling snacks, food, and water, and of course that gorgeous beach.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

The easiest way to get in and out of Nha Trang is by train. The trains in Vietnam are easy to use, comfortable, and in my opinion, the best way to travel through the country.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

I stayed in an airbnb in Nha Trang (no surprise there!) and made sure to pick a little room that was close to the beach. I spent my time between the coffee shop, the beach, and my apartment. During the summer, Vietnam gets so hot and humid. I like to take breaks during the day to head back into the air conditioned airbnb, take a shower, and freshen up.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Going to the beach and eating loads of Vietnamese food were my top priorities in Nha Trang. I did well, if I don’t say so myself.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

The white sand beaches are beautiful. Though parts of them can get really busy, walk a bit down from the hotels and you’ll find some empty spots. During the day, the beaches are a little less crowded. Around sunset they get much busier.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Look out to sea to spot Vinpearl, an amusement park just outside of Nha Trang.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is a beautiful place to spend some time in Vietnam. Though I usually prefer smaller cities and more nature, I enjoyed the beaches in Nha Trang and the plentiful fruit markets. I’d definitely recommend a stop while traveling through Vietnam!

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The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is a magical place, and it’s at the top of the list for lots of travelers visiting Vietnam. However, visiting Ha Long Bay can be extremely overwhelming. There are hundreds of tour companies to choose from. Some of them can be shady with safety precautions, while others seem overly expensive. This post is all about my experience cruising Ha Long Bay, the companies I chose, and why I chose them. This is the Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay.

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is a beautiful place, and on many bucket lists. It was on mine for years before I visited! I booked a luxury bus trip to Ha Long Bay city, so I could stay overnight. It’s a 4 hour drive from Hanoi. Some people do it in one day, but I wasn’t into 8 hours of sitting on a bus in one day.

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

On the way to Ha Long Bay, the tour guide on the bus helped me choose the perfect trip for me. The bus company was nice and luxurious (and only $19 USD), and seemed trustworthy. I knew they wouldn’t put me on any ghetto boats.

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

I booked a trip right there in the bus. It was easy, affordable, and the bus took me right to the port to hop on the boat. The trip included 6 hours of cruising, a kayak trip to Monkey Island, and a full buffet lunch (they catered to vegans on request). The trip came to a total of $60 USD, and even included a bus ride back to Hanoi the following day.

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

We even had the opportunity to hike to the top of one of the little islands. Here we got the best view of the bay.

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

I spent the day on the water, exploring caves, kayaking, making new friends, and watching the sun set as we sailed back to shore.

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

The Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay

All in all, I can completely recommend booking with Watitravel. I used Rosa EcoBus to get to Ha Long Bay. The luxury bus is best for a trip to Ha Long City, or if you plan to stay in Ha Long Bay longer than just the cruise. Most cruises include the trip to and from Hanoi as part of their price (for a standard bus). If you do decide to stay in Ha Long City, I’d highly recommend Rosa EcoBus.

This was the Ultimate Guide to Ha Long Bay.

Other Vietnam Posts:

 

 

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Bangkok, Thailand: Where I Stayed, Ate, & Caffeinated

I spent three full days in Bangkok, Thailand, after almost a month in Vietnam. My trip to Bangkok was mainly due to the cheap flights from Bangkok airport, which is why it was so short (pretty much an extended layover). This is where I slept, ate, and caffeinated in Bangkok.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is a place dear to my heart, as it’s the first place I ever travelled solo (and my first international trip!). I also lived in Chiang Mai for three months while writing my ebook. Thailand is an amazing place in this world and I highly recommend it for a solo trip!

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

I hadn’t spent much time in Bangkok during my travels to Thailand, so I decided to have a chilled out trip to the biggest city in the country this time around. I stayed at Craftel Hostel, which is super cute, cheap, and convenient. The staff is so friendly, the living room is a great place to spend the afternoon, and they offer free tea, coffee, and fruit! It’s located a very short walk from the BTS train stop, and is also conveniently a 20 minute walk from the restaurant I’d been dying to eat at, Veganerie.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

The hostel offers dorm rooms and private rooms. I stayed in a private room, because introvert life. I love my alone time!

Bangkok, Thailand: Where I Ate & Caffeinated

Just down the street from the hostel is an adorable little coffee shop/bar called Slow’ist. I was drawn in by the sign outside showing that they offered cold brew, and after trying it, I returned every day for my fix. Their cold brew is fabulous! It’s a great little place to catch up with a friend or a good book. By night, it turns into a bar.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Every day of this trip, I took a walk down to the Siam Mall which hosts Veganerie. After watching numerous Youtube videos of vegans eating at this incredible restaurant, I’d been absolutely salivating over it. The menu is huge, and everything looks amazing. Hence why I needed to go back daily.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

During my Veganerie visits, I tried the BBQ jackfruit waffles, the Caesar wrap, the Death by Chocolate Sundae, the Italian Crepe, Banana Butterscotch Hotcakes, the Cinnamon Roll, the Tom Yum Buddha Bowl, and the Italian Crepe. I got a good assortment of foods!

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Everything that I had was absolutely amazing, and I highly recommend checking this place out if you’re in Bangkok. Even if you aren’t vegan, it’s just amazing food. Very high quality. They have four locations throughout Bangkok, and this one is conveniently located right outside of a BTS stop.

Bangkok, Thailand: Where To Eat

Aside from eating/living at Veganerie, I ate at local Thai restaurants once a day as well. I found two places close to my hostel that offered vegetarian/vegan versions of Thai dishes. My favorite Thai foods include green curry, Pad Thai, mango sticky rice, and yellow curry.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

This trip was in May 2018, at the beginning of the Thai summer. The weather in Thailand is very hot & humid in the summer. Because of the high heat and humidity, I wasn’t able to go outside for much of the day. I did make it out to Wat Phra one day, which was beautiful.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

I’d recommend going to Home Cafe for some vegan food after touring Wat Phra.

Bangkok, Thailand: Where To Eat

The one thing I wanted to do in Bangkok (aside from spend as much time at Veganerie as possible) was go to a rooftop bar to watch the sunset. Luckily, I met up with Manuela from The Girl Gone Green and we grabbed a table at Above Eleven Rooftop Bar to watch the sunset. What a view!

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Aside from eating, reading in the hostel, and occasionally venturing to touristy spots, we spent one afternoon in Lumphini Park, watching the Komodo dragons and turtles in the lake. I also attempted to climb a palm tree. It didn’t really work out.

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

Bangkok is an amazing city with so much to do, see, and eat! I’d definitely recommend it as a destination for solo travelers, friends, couples, vegans/vegetarians, and pretty much anyone. I’ll definitely be back!

Bangkok, Thailand: What To Do

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Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam is a beautiful, low-key, beach town in the Southern part of the country. It’s well-known for it’s adorable little fishing village, the red sand dunes, and it’s laid-back vibes. This is what I did in Mui Ne, Vietnam.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

I rented a little room in a guesthouse from airbnb (my favorite method for finding good accommodation!). The guest house was just across the street from a hotel, where I rented a motorbike for the day. Getting around by motorbike is by far the best way to see Mui Ne.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Most of the best restaurants are located along the street running out of the city. They can be quite far to walk, and the heat in Vietnam makes for a very uncomfortable long stroll. I’d highly recommend renting a motorbike for cheap and easy transport. Mine cost 100,000 dong for the day ($4.40 USD) and I put in 60,000 dong ($2.64 USD) for a full tank of gas.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

I took this little moto to the sand dunes, to the other side of the city, to coffee and lunch and even for a little sunset ride.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

The red sand dunes were so beautiful to see, and gave me some serious wanderlust for the desert.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

In my hunt for the best coffee, I visited the coffee shop Impresso, and another littler shop which shall not be named (the coffee was not so great). How cute is Impresso!

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

I stopped at a highly recommended restaurant, Choi Oi, for a coconut before heading to the sand dunes. I’d read online that they have fabulous vegetarian food, so I came back for lunch.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Lots of veggie places do a tofu & tomato combo, and I’m trying to find the best one. This one was pretty good!

For dinner, I had to try out the pizza place attached to my guest house. I’d read reviews that it was amazing & vegan friendly. It was real, genuine, italian-style pizza, and it is now Amanda Approved!

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne is a tiny little town, it’s a great place to wind down from the craziness of the bigger cities. There are definitely lots of bars and pubs if that is your scene, but for me it was a great day of relaxation and adventure. It’s also a perfect halfway point from Da Lat to Ho Chi Minh – and definitely worth hanging out for a day or two!

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

 

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