July 31st, we (Nick, the half to my whole, and I) left in the middle of Portland Summer to venture into Melbourne, Australia mid-Winter to work for 3 months. Leaving Summer to enter Winter wasn’t ideal, but we couldn’t pass up this great opportunity to work and live in Australia. Plus we knew we would soon be rewarded with traveling in the tropics.
After a few weeks of research and asking our Aussie friends, we decided to start our #2014epicholiday in Bali. Here are the highlights from our 19 day Bali adventure!
|| November 3-9, 2014 ||
Where we stayed: Maya Ubud & Hotel Tjampuhan. Maya is amazing! This was the most expensive place we stayed at during the holiday but it was totally worth it. We basically never left the resort for 4 days. Tjampuhan has stunning balinese style details throughout, is in a great location to explore the city, and has a great price.
Things we saw/did in UBUD: Chilled at the infinity pools at the Maya, ate lots of Grilled Salmon, spaced out listening to the jungle river and waterfall, explored the rice fields, saw a few temples, saw heaps of balinese statues and wood carvings, spent and hour at the monkey jungle (an hour of monkeys is all you will need), massages at Murni’s
What we learned:
- “Selamat pagi” means good morning and thank you
- Bali was founded by the Dutch
- It is the only province in Indonesia that is predominately Hindu, the majority of Indonesia is Muslim
- Balinese wood carved doors, traditional crafted for temples, are now widely produced due to tourism and export
- Hotel Tjampuhan was the very first hotel built in Ubud in 1928
- Rice is the seed that the grass grows from
- Scooters share the narrow windy roads with cars, and are the main mode of transportation for locals
- DON’T stop at the coffee plantation (tourist trap) outside of Ubud. Who wants to drink coffee that was pooped out by a Luwak?
|| November 9-11, 2014 ||
Where we stayed: Balian Teak Villa
Food worth mention: Authentic Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Mi Goreng (fried noodles) at the local outdoor kitchen, all the food at Mai Malu
Things we saw/did in BALIAN BEACH: We rode scooters, hiked on a small/hidden path through the jungle, waved at a few cows along the way, swam in a secret water hole where Nick climbed the vines to the top of a waterfall, and road the scooters back to Balian Beach just in time for the tropical rain to fall. Our adventure here will always be remembered by the other travelers we had the pleasure of meeting, and the epic 3 hour long music mix we discovered at breakfast.
What we learned:
- People from Java (island to the west of Bali) commute across the ocean to Bali to work construction. A new highway bridge is getting built, the biggest ever on the island
- Having a host that takes you on adventures is a very good thing. Thanks Steve!
- All around the world people go on “holiday” for extended periods on time. They are given more paid time-off each year and are encouraged to take unpaid time-off to travel. America is doing this wrong…
|| November 11, 2014 ||
Where we stayed: Villa 888
Food worth mention: Seminyak is known for having the best restaurants but unfortunately we were only here for half a day so our eating was limited to one meal at Potato Head, and it was delicious. Places we would have gone – KU DE TA (other large beach club in Seminyak), Motel Mexicola (highly recommended by Aussie friends), and Sea Circus for flat whites and brekkie.
Things we saw/did in SEMINYAK: Lounged around our private pool. Sunset dinner at Potato Head, a large modern beach club with an elliptical entry created from colorful teak shutters. Road, in a car, in the morning commute surrounded by hundreds of scooters to catch a fast-boat to the Gili Islands.
What we learned:
- Having a private pool is pretty sweet. Especially when it comes with a pink float!
- ONLY take the Bluebird taxis
- I hate to admit this but as I get older, I’m happier with a super chill scene. Seminyak reminded me of summertime LA nightlife
|| November 12-19, 2014 ||
Where we stayed: Chill Out Bungalows
Things we saw/did in GILI AIR: LOVE LOVE LOVE Gili Air. This tiny island has exactly zero cars! You can walk around the entire island in about 2 hours. Of the 3 Gili Islands, this island was perfect for us. Gili Trawangan is known as the “party” island and Gili Meno is the smallest of the 3, ideal for honeymooners.
Getting our SSI Open Water Diver certification at Manta Dive was one of the top highlights of our holiday. If you don’t have the time or desire for scuba, snorkeling in front of the Chill Out Bar was also incredible. Hire a chair/towel from Scallywags and walk up the beach to snorkel, perfect day.
What we learned:
- SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
- How important it is to protect the ocean and sea life. If you see a piece of trash, take it out with you. It feels really good knowing you just saved a few sea animals from death by plastic
- The Gili Islands are part of Lombok, the large island to the east, and are predominately Muslim. You can hear the daily prayers around the island
- The restaurants on the west side of the island offer “Magic Mushrooms” on the menu. The island is so small that there are no police, which makes this possible. NEVER take drugs on the mainland in Bali if you want to return home anytime soon…
- You HIRE a chair, not RENT
- Make sure you take a “Fast Boat”
|| November 19-21, 2014 ||
Where we stayed: Blue Point Bay Villas. The hotel room and food was pretty undesirable but the location is perfect. The pool is also a BONUS.
Food worth mention: Nasi Goreng at Delphi Cafe
Things we saw/did in ULUWATU: Listened to live music while watching the sunset with 50+ surfers on the horizon, and a cold tropical drink in hand. Got a new bikini, explored the limestone caves, swam in the warm ocean water and napped on the beach. Explored the beach some more. Fully enjoyed the last days in Bali!
What we learned:
- If you are traveling with a surfer, you must visit Uluwatu. Truly a surfers paradise
- Uluwatu is located on a large limestone peninsula at the southern end of Bali
- You can listen to the waves crash for hours while sipping on ice cold Bintang at Delphi Cafe
- Follow the path alongside the local shops all the way down the hill and you will be rewarded with the most beautiful beach with surrounding limestone walls at Suluban Beach
After this we were off to explore the eastern side of Australia for the second half of our #2014epicholiday.