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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A Yoga Retreat in Bali: Shanti Toya Ashram

A Yoga Retreat in Bali: Shanti Toya Ashram

After a very busy couple of months at the beginning of this year, I already needed a break. I decided to gift myself with a calming yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali. I found a room on Airbnb at an yoga ashram, and booked myself in for the week.

rice paddy terrace ubud bali

ubud rice paddies bali yoga retreat

When I got to the ashram, I was very pleasantly surprised. It was in the middle of the jungle and it was incredibly natural and stunningly beautiful. The little plot of land had stone walkways, a little collection of buildings housing the rooms, an adorable communal dining hall, and an outside yoga studio. I scored the budget room at the yoga retreat, coming in at $10 a night, which included two yoga classes a day, 2-3 activities a day, and breakfast (with balinese coffee!!) in the morning. The room was simple with a detached bathroom, and was an incredible value for what I paid.

bali yoga retreat

rice paddies ubud bali ashram

relaxing bali ubud retreat

I spent my days eating breakfast with the other retreaters, getting to know each other. We would sit at the dining tables and chat for hours over coffee, fruit, and oatmeal. After breakfast, I would try to fit in some pool time if I could. How could I resist this?!

bali yoga retreat

yoga bali indonesia

yoga retreat bali ashram ubud

After working on my tan, I’d head back up to the dining hall for lunch. All meals were made at the ashram by some adorable local women, and I could choose to eat breakfast and lunch there for 50,000 rupiah per meal, which is about $5 USD. All the food was vegetarian, and about 95% of it was vegan. After lunch, I would either work a bit or head off to one of the activities. Over the week, I learned how to dance Balinese style, I did my first Satya (like a group therapy truth circle situation), I took an intro to massage class. I watched sunsets over rice paddies, took a trip to a waterfall and an incredible temple (separate post coming), and got to know people from different countries and cultures. I learned how to say thank you in Balinese, and I heard truly inspiring stories of how the people there came to be at the ashram.

sunset bali indonesia

shanti toya ashram group photo bali

jungle bali indonesia retreat ubud

The yoga classes were so much fun, and I got to learn and work on poses that I’d never tried before. I had never been to a yoga class where I’ve laughed so hard, where I’ve fallen on my neck, and where I’ve mastered poses that I didn’t know I could do.

yoga in ubud, bali shanti toya ashram

Shanti Toya Ashram is about 30 mins by motorbike outside of Ubud, Bali. It’s possible to rent a motorbike from the ashram and head into Ubud if you’d like to explore, but I chose to stay at the ashram mainly and spend a few days in Ubud following the retreat. If you’d like to do the all-inclusive version of the yoga retreat (including all meals and one free coconut a day, plus an upgraded room), the cost is between $30-$40 USD per night (or you can book the Airbnb that I stayed in here).

motorcycle scooter rentals ubud bali

bali coconut indonesia rice paddies

It was so amazing to feel connected to nature again and let my inner hippy come out a bit. I walked around barefoot, lived in my bathing suit, and lived off fruit, coffee, rice, tempeh, and vegetables for the week. Living in such a simple way can truly help reset the mind and did wonders for my mental state. I highly recommend checking out a yoga ashram while in Bali!

rice paddy ubud bali

buddha shanti toya ashram bali

yoga retreat ubud bali

[This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own. I paid for my stay at the retreat and was not asked to provide a review, the owners had no idea that I was a travel blogger 😉 #incognito]

 

 

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Where To Stay and What to Eat In Bali: Sanur

Finding Vegan Food Around the World

Wondering where to stay in Bali? I recently spent a week in the adorable little town of Sanur, where I booked an adorable airbnb. Sanur is a great spot for digital nomads, vacationers, or anyone looking for a place to spend some time relaxing in Bali.

If you know me, you know that I LOVE driving motorbikes. This little place that I booked was remote enough to warrant a necessary motorbike rental for the week. I rented one from my airbnb host for 50,000 Indonesian rupiah per day, which is $5 AUD or $3.50 USD per day.

I spent the week driving the motorbike and discovering new restaurants.

My favorite vegan-friendly restaurants in Sanur are:

Malaika Secret Moksha

I ate here nearly every day. The owner is an incredible gourmet chef. They have a vegan menu, which is only one page out of the maybe 10-page menu, but everything I tried on the veg menu was amazing. Definitely go for breakfast and get the coconut granola, and also you must try the Balinese coffee.

Nalu Bowls

I am not sure if this one counts, since I actually drove about half an hour away (all the way to Seminyak) to try this place out. I’ve been following them on Instagram for a year now and was so excited to have my very own Nalu bowl, I went there the first day I was in Bali. It cost about $7 USD; totally worth it. All of their bowls look absolutely incredible, and it’s a really cute place to hang out. They have locations all over Bali and I highly recommend trying them out at least once!

Bali Buddha

Good for smoothies and raw foods, also THEY HAVE COLD BREW COFFEE. Heads up, they don’t have wifi at their Sanur location. They are a chain and have other locations throughout Bali.

Genius Cafe

Great for beach vibes. Located right along the beach, this is a fab place to watch the sunset with a coconut or a raw dessert. They have loads of vegan options but also cater to omnivores. It’s not cheap, but the quality is good.

Tasty Vegan

This place was hidden along the main road. This is where I found vegan versions of local Balinese food, and tried the national dish, nasi goreng. It was good, but a little oily for my taste 🙂

If you are in Sanur and looking to get your Facetime on, the best wifi I found was located at this adorable little coffee shop that was hidden down a little alley – it was called Dusk Blue.

I definitely recommend Sanur for part of your stay in Bali, but there are so many great places to stay in Bali that I’d recommend going to a few if you can!

how cute are the local kids?! 

sunsets outside of Genius Cafe

 

 

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