Long, long did it take until there was an article about the island that I personally call my second home. Here it is finally: my highlights of Bali.
Gado Gado at Double Six beach in Seminyak
Gado Gado is a Balinese specialty: a salad consisting of cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, tempe and pimped with delicious peanut sauce. At Double Six beach in Legian / Seminyak, this is made directly on the beach. Right in front of the Rip Curl Surf School you will find a woman who is preparing Gado Gado, every single day. This is then eaten in baskets right on the beach.
Sunset in Uluwatu
Uluwatu is not only known for incredible waves and as one of the best surf spots on the island. Instead, there are small cafes and restaurants in the cliffs. If you come at the right time, you should just secure a spot in one of the restaurants and enjoy the sunset. The sun will set right in front of you.
Bintang and Arak with the Beach Boys at the beach
Ah yes, the Beach Boys. Day by day, they sit on the beaches of Bali and rent surfboards, sun loungers, sell Bintang and generally are a good company for an evening drink. Easy to join, listen to their stories and enjoy beach life to the fullest with Arak and beer.
A crazy night in Kuta
Well, you can’t really say anything against a night out in Kuta. The clubs and bars here a lined up next to each other. Happy hour here lasts all night, and as a tourist you are a VIP in almost every club anyway. The night begins in Alleycats, move over for a beer in Eikon, have another drink in Skygarden and relax with a last cocktail in Apache, a Reggae bar/club.
A visit to Ubud: Food, Homestay, monkey forest, Reggaebar, the surrounding area
Ubud is located in the centre of Bali and since Eat Pray Love it represents a real attraction on the island. When you arrive here run into the small alley behind the tourist office, where you will find not only a couple of local restaurants, but also Homestays, Balinese hostels, where you can easily get a room for a few pennies, including breakfast. In Ubud itself you should not miss a visit to the Monkey Forest. Head over to the local Reggae bar for a drink and some chilled out sounds.
Fish on the beach of Jimbaran
Bali is my personal El Dorado when it comes to food. My absolute highlight is the fish on the beach of Jimbaran. Attention, here you can however be quickly ripped off. Go to one of the many restaurants and ask if you can choose the fish yourself. If that works, then select a fresh fish and say you do not want a proper course, but the fish with side dishes. If all goes well, then there is a whole fish with rice, water spinach and sauces for the equivalent of € 10-15 on the table. It’s best to come here before sunset.
A Day at the Spa
Also, the spas in Bali are a must. My little secret here is the Romansa Spa in Jimbaran. Here you get a full-body massage, facials, manicure and pedicure together for no more than 15 €. Unbelievably good!
A trip to Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is a small island close to Bali. You can easily get there by boat from Padang Bai. On the island you will find some small hostels. Nevertheless, you can still find the right Indonesia: uninhabited, in the midst of development, peaceful and far from Bali Party. The sunsets are incredible, diving quite large and the food indescribably good.
An evening in the chic Legian
If you are looking for a posh-ish night out, you should not miss inner Legian and definitely spend an evening at Potato Head. This bar or club offers everything you need for a luxurious evening on a Paradise Island: cocktails, olives, chairs and direct views of the sea. If you want it just a little bit more alternative, then head over to “The Cave” (Jalan Petitenget). This club represents it’s name: you really will not see it from the outside and once inside you will feel like being in a proper cave.
A meal at Warung Murah
My dearest favourite restaurant! The Warung Murah is a paradise of Indonesian cuisine. Here you can put all together individually: the food is issued in mountains in a glass case. Just nicely point your fingers on any mountain and enjoy the price!
A wild party at Double Six beach
Fancy a real beach party? Then off to La Plancha! This bar or club this is right on the Double Six beach in Legian / Seminyak. Every second Friday of the month you can put your feet in dancing mood and enjoy some steps and good tunes in the sand. On any other night during the week you can simply chill in one of their orientally themed fatboys, have a drink and listen to the sound of waves.
A massage on the beach
Yes, you should do it. And no, they do not ruin your back. Daily, local women run up and down the beaches of Bali and offer massages. Another must on my list of Bali. Many of my friends have asked whether this is totally unprofessional and whether this will hurt or even ruin your back. I can only say: NO! If there is people out there who master the massage techniques, then it is definitely the Balinese women. With a little luck you can easily negotiate a massage down to 5€.
A surf lesson with the Beach Boys, why pay more?
Well, I have to admit: I did learn surfing in one of these fancy surf schools in Bali. However, I can confirm that the money is not worth tremendously, but is better spent if it goes directly into the hands of the Beach Boys. Also, it is always much easier. Go to the beach, ask one of the nice guys on the beach for a surfing lessons and off you go.
Scooter riding, the unbeaten number 1
Go with the flow, a clever friend once told me. And yes, that’s what you should when you find yourself on a scooter in Bali. It is THE means of transportation on the island and everyone should try this adventure. Have you ever been stuck in traffic while riding a scooter? Have you ever worn a pair of glasses just to protect you from flies while riding a scooter? Have you ever had black skin after riding a scooter? If so, then you have certainly been to Bali. If not, then you should go to Bali! Faster than you think, you honk like the locals, you will be loosely waving yourself into the traffic and overtaking is not a problem at all.
Sunrise in Sanur
The sunset on Bali is well-known, but where’s the sunrise on the island? In Sanur! Sanur is located just east of the island, but can be easily reached within 20 minutes. Incredible sunrise, surrounded by the sea and in complete silence and abandonment.