“Taxi?” “Taxi?”

The last week after Nusa Lembongan was pretty low key. The first day we got to Ubud I started feeling a little bit under the weather. I ended up spending a whole day in bed! I was pretty disappointed but I guess after 5 weeks of a travelling getting a little bit run down can happen, especially in a place where the food and water are pretty questionable on a good day. Last time I came back from Bali I ended up having an E. coli kidney infection so I’m hoping that this will pass without getting as sick as I did last time, not to scare anyone away from Bali, it is a great place, just not when you apparently have an immune system of a 90 year old woman.

Anyways. In Ubud most of the time was spent relaxing, spending some time by the pool, eating some delicious food, and my guilty pleasure of this trip so far…Big Brother Australia 2013. I have been slightly obsessively watching it on YouTube since I went away. I got into it because Tim Dormer from the Australia season was on the most recent season of Big Brother Canada. The upside of my feeling sick in Ubud gave me some more time to catch up, haven’t quite finished it yet. (I’m so embarrassed I even admitted this)

In Ubud I stayed at the Bakung Ubud Hotel, I can’t say enough good things about this place. It was the same place that I stayed in January whilst in Ubud and this time I spent four nights there. It is so so reasonably priced, this time just $40 a night for a huge room, right outside of the pool. Plus I was splitting the room with Ollie so for each of us it was just $20 a night, really can’t beat that. It’s a little bit out of central Ubud but they have a shuttle that goes in three times a day and will pick you up.

After some much needed down time and a little bit of homesickness it was time to head down to Kuta. I’m going to be honest and say that I really don’t like Kuta. I could certainly not spend any time there again, which is how I felt last time I ended up there. It is super convenient because it’s basically a 5 minute drive to the airport and has a decent beach. But it is just the worst, feels like the slummy Cancun of Bali. The guys who sell stuff there are super aggressive on the street which makes walking anywhere exhausting and really frustrating, I can only hear the word “Taxi” so many times in a day.

One thing we did in Kuta that redeemed it was go to Water Bom! I would highly recommend this to everyone, young people, people with kids, anything. It was a little bit pricey, $52 to get in, but we spent the whole day there and I feel like it was worth the money, especially when so many things in Bali are so cheap, you can afford to splurge a little bit. It’s the top waterpark in Asia which I found pretty amazing. There was tons of waterslides, some pretty scary looking ones, a lazy river, big pool with a pool bar and lots of food and drink vendors. I still wasn’t feeling 100% so I didn’t do too many of the slides, but the ones that I did I had a great time.

After that we just had one more day that we spent down at the beach and then the pool. It was time then to just go for dinner and then get ready to head to the airport. Red eye flight from Denpasar to Sydney and now I’m sitting in the hostel waiting to check in after a walk around this morning. I’m definitely looking forward to a bit of a nap this afternoon after not much of a sleep on the plane. This will be my first hostel experience so I’m interested to see how I like it!

Nusa Lembongan (Nusa…what?)

This was seriously a dream island. It was an easy 20 minute boat ride from Sanur in Bali. I had been hearing lots about Nusa Lembongan since I had gotten back from Bali in January and I couldn’t wait to get over there.

To book the boat ride over I ended up booking with the company Scoot Cruises. It was really easy to book online which was nice because I just did it the night before we wanted to go. They are a very reputable company and I had heard good things about them. There are a few different options of companies that go over there, but I feel like better safe then sorry when booking a boat! Honestly it was probably one of the most organized things I’ve ever dealt with in Bali, usually things are a little bit more haphazard. They picked us up right from the hotel and when we returned they drove us all the way from Ubud, about an hour away from Sanur. Well worth it!

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The first night after checking into our hotel, which we had all to ourselves, we headed down to Dream Beach, about a 2 minute scooter ride from our place. It was a little bit cloudy that night after a storm during the day so we didn’t get much of a sunset, but it was still gorgeous.

Dream Beach

We spent the next day touring around both Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan on a scooter. This was definitely my favourite day. We got to see so much, went to three different beaches and spent the afternoon at a beach club. Just an FYI the roads on the islands are not great, so while biking around be careful. The roads are also quite narrow and the little trucks don’t love moving over for bikes. Another highlight was going to Devil’s Tears. Honestly it was the most beautiful place I think that I have ever been. We went down around 4pm and ended up staying until sunset, even after a couple of hours I wasn’t bored of the scenery. The waves were amazing, I don’t even think I can describe it. I haven’t seen anything like it before.

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Apparently the diving and snorkelling on the island is quite good, but we didn’t end up doing any of that, more so just relaxed and toured the island.

The hotel we stayed at was called The Cozy Villas Lembongan. It was in a really great spot, not really close to the beach, but since it is such a small island everything is quite close as long as you have a scooter. It was literally just down the road from Dream Beach and Devil’s Tears which was awesome. The first two nights that we stayed there we had the whole place to ourselves! It was 8 bungalows that was managed by a guy from Amsterdam. I would say the only downsides were that there was no fridge in the room…which if you’re somewhere so hot you definitely like having, and the one day the power was out from around 9am until 2pm, when they got a generator going. But honestly the power was out on the whole island so…not much they can do about that.

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All in all I would highly recommend anyone whose in Bali making the trip over. We spent three nights there and I think that was probably enough, there wasn’t really a ton to do there and it was a little bit more touristy at the beach than I was expecting. I was kind of expecting more of a Gili island vibe, but this wasn’t so much. Well worth the trip and so so beautiful.

Ballin’ in Bali

After Melbourne it was time to head back to my favourite place, Bali!

The flight over wasn’t too bad, about 6 hours, and luckily I had a whole row to myself again, really lucking out with how often I get that. This was my first flight with Air Asia and honestly I was quite unimpressed. I know that it is more of a budget airline but I still felt fairly dissatisfied with them. Just some small things, but I think it’s little things that make me more inclined to like something. There were no TV’s on the flight to watch movies which I think is understandable on short flights, but 6 hours is getting up there timewise to have zero entertainment. The other annoying thing was I had asked at the check in counter to get a vegetarian meal because there wasn’t an option to choose when you booked the flight and she had said I would have to ask on the place. When they started bringing around food I asked if they had a vegetarian option instead of the chicken, and the stewardess just said yes, and then walked away. I ended up having to pay another $9 for a vegetarian pasta when they came around again. Like I said, just little things, but made me not overly impressed with the company. My flight back to Australia is with them as well…ah well.

Landing back in Bali was such a good feeling. I’m not sure why but I just really love being here. The people are all so friendly and it’s really feels very free. I love the smells, incense and food cooking everywhere, and there’s always so much going on to take in and watch. I always feel very safe and just really welcome anywhere I go.

The first five days I’ve been here I was by myself and decided to book a hotel in Seminyak. I always agonize about booking hotels, spending way too much time on websites like booking.com or agoda.com comparing hotels, but I was really happy with the one I chose. I ended up at the Mutiara Bali Resort. It was super close to the main road in Seminyak with tons of restaurants and shops just a 5 minute walk away. Everyone that worked there was super friendly and very helpful. I did realize while I was alone that I’m not that great at entertaining myself. I don’t mind relaxing by the pool or stuff like that alone, but I don’t love going out to eat all the time solo, it gets so boring! I did go to some amazing restaurants, Bali has such good food, I’m gong to try to write a separate post on some recommendations. 

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Pool at the Mutiara

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Had plenty of time while alone to try and be artsy with some flat lays 😉

Luckily my friend Ollie got here in the middle of the night on Friday night so now I have a travel buddy again. We spent another night in Seminyak and then decided to head out to Sanur, a place that neither of us have been in Bali!