So as a short reverse of my recommendations posts, this one includes my arrival in Bali and very first taste of Indonesia as well as my second time on the island after my little trip to the Gilis.
In terms of actually arriving in Indonesia I ended up paying for a Visa on arrival which is $35 but allows you to add a months extension to your visa so you can stay for an extra 30 days. Looking into the actual details 3 weeks later however it seems it could involve 3 trips to the Immigration office with waits of up to 10 hours… So might be worth jut going for the 30 day free visa but look into this as it only applies to certain passport holders.
I also pre-paid for a transfer from Denpasar import in Bali to my hostel through STA travel which was worth it for not having to deal with the swarm of drivers on arrival at 1am in the airport when my luggage finally arrived over an hour after we landed!
So I started my trip in Seminyak before Sara came to join and stayed in Capsule hostel which offers these big pod style bunks. The bunks were roomy and clean but my room was without a widow which is always a massive downside. It was however staffed by super helpful people and serves really cheap lunch and dinner as well as the nice but definitely more disappointing breakfast. The main common area has a kitchen and is really social around the bar which is definitely the hostels selling point. It is also a very short walk from the shopping street and La favela which is a great night out. If you do venture there, get drunk food at the chicken truck opposite!
Seminyak in general is not at all what I expected from Indonesia and is filled with expense boutiques, shops and beach clubs. I tested out a couple, Ku De Ta, W hotel and cocoon but much cheaper at 500,000 IRP for a minimum spend on a 4 person day bed at Potato Head Beach Club was a great little taste of luxury. It has a beautiful infinity pool and the friendliest staff and is a great spot to see the sunset!
When Sara arrived, we continued to mostly eat in the hostel but did do one lovely breakfast out at Moonlight cafe next to Capsule which was gorgeous and does proper coffee too!
This is by far a much lovelier area with both nicer tourist crowds and a less tacky party vibe! The only downside of the area is that it is pretty spread out so if you stay too far out you kind of need a moped to get around. This was mostly made clear when we checked into our first super remote hostel after being dropped on a dark road a fair walk away by the grumpiest taxi driver ever. We arrived however to this gorgeous haven of a hostel hidden away in huge rice fields. It was a perfect relaxed space with a beautiful pool but we were woke every day by farmers hollering birds away from their fields. Also, whilst the rooms are incredibly spacious they didn’t have actual doors so were insect filled! They did however do super cheap food and breakfast was included and with shops a bit of a walk away it was a lovely cut off from the rest of the word spot for two days.
For our second hostel we moved to the centre to Elements BnB in attempt to avoid the need for bikes and everything from here was definitely walkable. Just around the corner was a lovely Warung which is like an Indonesian buffet and by far our cheapest meal yet at only 10,000 IRP or about 70p for a veggie feast! We also found Cloud 9 nearby which again is nestled in rice fields and does lovely coffees and burgers! Our only other hipster cafe lunch was at Crate on the Main Street next to the Love Arcade where there are a load of great market style shops. Our food here was delicious and I seriously could have had everything on the menu! Portions are great and everything feels very healthy!
In terms of the night life here the main attraction was Old Mans Bar which is on the beach itself but despite being very open air was unbelievably hot! For something a bit different Pretty Poison was a really cool spot for live music and has converted an old pool into a skate park which is insane! We also spent plenty of time at Deus ex Machina which I think was our favourite spot. Originally just a place to customise bikes and later surfboards it now has a gorgeous gallery, shop and huge open courtyard space. We were lucky enough to be there for their surf festival where they screened some amazing documentaries and had live music in the courtyard all weekend. There was a similar vibe at The Slow which seemed very Soho House in style. We went for a gallery opening there with some great DJs and whilst pricy was a lovely pace for a glass of red wine (finally!!!). Opposite is a lovely Italian place too that we grabbed a bite at but seriously you are spoilt for choice for cafes bars and restaurants in Canggu though some are a little pricy still!
We definitely spent most of our time lounging in Canggu but did do a little late afternoon trip down to Tanah Lot temple. It was ridiculously touristy place which as anticipated lifted any sort of spirituality from it. The temple was beautiful and is only accessible in low tied as it is nestled in the sea! But sara and I did spend time on the more remote beach nearby as the selfie sticks where swarming around the main area! As the sun set we ventured back to the temple for a blessing before hopping back in our taxi to Canggu – for trips like these, without a bike, it makes sense to hire a taxi for the day.
Part 2 (Ubud and other tips) coming soon but for now some photos…
(Photos; Coffee at Cloud 9 Canggu, veggie Burger at Cloud 9, Delish Street food near Kamung hostel, Rice fields near camping hostel 1,2, Kampung hostel pool, Seminyak 66 beach, breakfast at moonlight cafe, Seminyak beach 1,2,3, the birth of our group name the Seminyak superheroes…., Gado Gado street food stall feasts, potato head beach club 1,2,3, W hotel pool,breakfast at capsule new Seminyak)
(Photos; Crossing to the tanah lot temple, Potato Head Beach Club 1, 2, Soto Ayam- Balinese chicken soup, Potato Head 1, 2, Tanah Lot 1, 2, Crate Cafe 1, 2, Tanah Lot, Pretty Poison, The Slow 1, 2)