Coming to Bali has been on my travel to do list for so long. Of course, this list is not the shortest one as you can image if you ever had a look at my PINTEREST TRAVEL board. Since I started my journey in Sydney this list just keeps getting longer and longer. You meet so many people that tell you about these fascinating places they’ve seen and bum it’s on my list. Unfortunately this list is not a nice beautiful list on a thick paper that feels like silk as I would love it to be. This list is a mix of images in my head, screenshots on my phone and sticky notes in every bag and every drawer I have. But it's nice to not have everything organized so I'll keep it that way for now and enjoy the things I've seen so far - like Bali.
I already told you in my first impressions of Bali HERE that it was not what I expected at first but that quickly changed as I got to Ubud. The people were so friendly, the nature and culture were so much more visible than in Kuta – I felt at home as soon as I got there.
HOTEL: TEGAL SARI
Of course the hotel is always a factor that can make a stay in another country or city unique and unforgettable or horrible. I was very lucky with mine. After hours of searching the web, not knowing what I was really looking for I found Tegal Sari, supposedly an insider tip and after staying there I can recommend it very much. You cannot book a room via the big hotel booking sites, just via phone and email which attracted me immediately. (After I wrote this they changed their website and you can now book directly on their website - I hope the charisma of this hotel doesn't get lost)
The friendly staff showed me different rooms because I was curious what the other rooms looked like, they have a free service that brings you to Ubud center and the most amazing location: between two rice fields.
CAFÉ AND RESTAURANT: WATERCRESS
I had the most amazing Balinese food in Darwin, Australia and I am a huge fan of the Balinese kitchen but you know that feeling when you've been travelling a lot and you just feel like you need something that feels like home. That happened the second I set a food in this café. With its amazing breakfast selection, thoughtful and modern interior and truly friendly staff you just feel like home.
A friend told me that Ubud is the spiritual center of Bali and that felt just perfect. There were not many tourists, great shopping and little cafés and shops everywhere to make my Bali experience perfect to me. Seminyak is supposed to more "chique", shopping centre and clubbing but I didn't even make it there because I enjoyed Ubud so much.
HIKING: VOLCANO MOUNT BATUR
Except for enjoying myself, the people I met and the wonderful culture and nature I hiked up an active volcano one day: Mount Batur. The most recent eruption was in 2000 and you can still see the lava field from the eruption in 1968 from the top. The trip started at 3 am, we hiked in the dark and were rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise, that got more and more beautiful every minute.
The only not so absolutely amazing thing about this hike was that there were monkeys that seemed cute and fun at first but then stole and ate my breakfast (they are very fast and quite strong), I tried to hold on to my banana but I had no chance.
I fell in love with Bali, the beautiful jewellery, the way people treat themselves, nature and their surroundings. It was a very unique experience, so relaxing and mind freeing. I will come back and a few things that are definitely on my list for next time: black sand beaches, yoga and a lot of temples.