UK to Bali and only one week in this beautiful paradise, there are a few key places that you can cram into your schedule and still have to time to relax. Seminyak, Ubud, Uma Pakel Bali Swing and Luwak Cofee, Tegalalang Rice Terrace Fields, and Tegenungean Waterfall are a few places that I managed to visit this May. Firstly, I need to make a comment regarding the weather because it was absolutely glorious (despite Google telling me that it would be rainstorms every day). Bali is a tropical climate and therefore the weather can be unpredictable. However, it averaged 30 degrees every single day and we didn’t see one inch of rain. Hallelujah!
We booked our trip through Expedia (both flights and hotel from the UK) and we experienced no problem whatsoever. We spent just under £1,000 each, but to keep the flight costs down, we decided not to travel directly to Bali but instead stop in Singapore for an hour. We flew with Singapore Airlines which I would highly recommend. The service on the flight was excellent, we were served hot towels, a wash bag with essential hygiene products, free drinks, pillows, blankets, and 3 meals which weren’t tasteless. The outbound was 13 hours and we traveled during the daytime. Once we touched down in Bali, we had arranged a private transfer with baliKU Tours and Travel which took us half an hour to reach our destination from Densapaar Airport. This cost around £20 which was an absolute bargain as it was also a return ticket back to the airport at the end of our trip too.
Before we departed for Bali we were mainly warned about the public transport. Ironically on the first day, we were soon quick to learn why. We thought we were being savvy by negotiating a price with a cab driver before going to Seminyak. We were charged 100,000 Rupees and at the time thought that we had scored an excellent deal. When we traveled back from Seminyak to Legian (where our hotel was) we caught a Bluebird Taxi (which had a meter inside) and we were only charged 50,000 Rupees! Moral of the story, when traveling in Bali get in a metered taxi, or, know how much they should be charging you. We learned the hard way, unfortunately.
1. Seminyak & Legian
Seminyak is a very lively place and almost feels that it should exist on another island. Full of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, beaches, there’s always something to do here. Home to some of the most stylish and upscale beach resorts, you will not struggle to find somewhere to stay (but you may struggle to pick which one!). If I were to give two words for Seminyak it would be that it is very busy. One evening we took a taxi from Legian to Seminyak which took just over an hour for a 5-10 minute journey… crazy! Also, the main means of travel in Bali are scooters and they are everywhere. You can actually rent a scooter but just to warn you, it isn’t for the un-experienced driver. The roads are very small and people just pull out on with no warning, roads aren’t regulated and everyone just does as they please. For this very reason, we did not hire one.
Due to the busy nature of Seminyak, we decided to stay in Legian (which is pronounced Lee-gan). Legian is around a 10-20 minute walk along the beach to Seminyak and it is situated in a much quieter area with still plenty to do. We stayed in the Mandira Beach Resort Bali which I really couldn’t recommend enough. The hotel homed one of Bali’s best tiki cocktail bars called Azul- we spent every day by the infinity pool sipping their cocktails. I actually did a mini-tour of the resort and our room in my Bali Vlog 2018 on YouTube so definitely go and check that out if you want more information. If you choose to stay in Legian and want somewhere good to eat, go and visit Fat Bowl- the food is insane!
We were recommended two places to visit whilst in Seminyak; Bambu and The Potato Head Beach Club. I’m going to start with Bambu first.
Bambu & Potato Head Beach Club
Bambu has got to be one of the prettiest restaurants that I have ever dined in. Surrounded by bamboo and tables placed on islands in the water, you find yourself in a tranquil environment. Upon entry, we were actually turned away as Joe (my fiance) was dressed in a vest (we didn’t realise that it would be so fancy). Luckily, there was a guy opposite selling fake Gucci tops so we bought one of those so that we could get in. The food and drink are a lot more expensive here, however, each dish and drink served has been planned out in detail. Each waiter dressed in their crisp white outfits were incredibly knowledgeable so were able to guide us on what to have. I would recommend booking an evening meal at least once during your trip.
The Potato Head Beach Club blew my mind away. I was half expecting a small shack on the beach, but it was a full-on enterprise! Home to three restaurants, three bars, an infinity pool, and a large lawn, all overlooking the Indian Ocean, this is where you come to have a great time. The building’s structure is a little like an amphitheater, so it is in the open air where you can choose to dine picnic style, by the pool on beds, or sat at a table. The club holds many parties and events which includes both local and international DJs, musicians and artists. So if you want great food, drinks, swim, and a boogie all at the same time, you can definitely do it here.
Both Legian and Seminyak have the most incredible sunsets, take a look at this shot that Joe took on my phone:
2. Ubud: The Monkey Forest
Ubud is in many ways Bali’s cultural heart. Now before I go into the next few pointers (namely 2-4) we actually booked a day tour through baliKU Tours and Travel which I recommend doing if you only have limited time in Bali. Not only do you have a private car and tour guide for the day, but you are able to really utilize your time by seeing as much as you can in just one day.
Ubud, a unique place in the Bali Jungle, is situated on a mountain near the villages of Batuan, Campuhan, Peliatan, and Campuhan. If you are staying for a short period of time, a lot of people like to split their time between Seminyak and Ubud so perhaps bear that in mind when it comes to planning your trip. Our first point of call was visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest which was home to about 700 monkeys. As a huge animal lover, I was totally in my element. The monkeys are really well looked after and the scenery is really picturesque. Whilst visiting the Monkey Forest, be sure to keep a close eye on everything, I saw one monkey steal an earring out of someone’s ear!
3. Uma Pakel Bali Swing & Coffee Plantation
The Bali swing was the best! Whilst there are many swings located around Ubud, the Uma Pakel Bali Swing is ranked one of the best. It is a little pricey for a go (around 100,000 Rupees) but the views are incredible. You are attached to a harness, so don’t worry you will not plummet to your death if you fall off. You get 10 goes going forwards, and 10 goes going backwards. Joe managed to fly his drone whilst I was on it so check out my Bali Vlog 2018 on my YouTube channel. Attached to the Bali Swing is a Coffee plantation where we sat and tried out a sample of 10 teas and coffees whilst we waited for our go on the swing. The tea and fruit coffee taste so much better than they do in the UK, so we ended up buying some to take home with us. This coffee plantation also makes the famous Kopi Luwak coffee which is also known as ‘cat poop’ coffee. Kopi Luwak coffee is made by feeding beans to civet cats and grinding the beans once they have ‘passed through’ the cat. Not my cup of coffee personally!
4. Tegalalang Rice Terrace Fields & Tegenungan Waterfall
The man-made Tegalang Rice Terrace Field is a must see. Despite being man-made just for tourists to enjoy, it’s enormous landscape is quite impressive. I think the images below speak a million words, don’t you?
The Tegenungam Waterfall is quietly hidden away from the hustle and bustle and is located on the outskirts of Ubud. Upon arrival, you have the option to park your car if you have one, and you will see ticket booth where you can purchase your tickets (15,000 Rupees). Once you make your way down the 150 steps, you will see the waterfall right in front of you and it’s pretty breathtaking. There is a changing booth nearby the waterfall so if you want to get changed into your swimming costume and take a dip in the water, you can. We were told that the water is a little dirty, but so is the ocean right? I say go for it *but I forgot my cozzy, dohhh*.
5. Water Park
This is somewhere that we actually didn’t visit but boy, I regret not! Waterbom Bali in Kuta is Asia’s number one water park and it would have been somewhere where we would have gone if we weren’t so tired. You can take a look at the Waterbom website by clicking here.
So there are my 5 amazing things to do in Bali in a week! We had so much fun doing the above in a week and we still had time to chill and sunbathe.
Have you been to Bali before? If so, what would you recommend? Much Love, Eltoria x