Dear Diary #6: 7-Day Bali Guide, Family Visitors, and New Year's Eve
The time finally came for us to have some family in town!! We had so much fun hosting Zach's brother, Caleb, and his beautiful wife, Kath in Bali! Our itinerary with them was pretty full-on, and we were able to pack SO much into just 7 short days!! I wanted to share with you guys what we did in case you are as crazy + adventurous as us, and worried that you only have 1 short week to spend in Bali. We really felt like we were able to show them so much of our new temporary home! :) I've had so many of you guys asking for a Bali guide, etc, and there will be more to come, but for now this 7-day itinerary is where I will start! Besides having these guys in town, we have just been catching up on work and are currently on our way home from our last trip... which is why I am currently writing you guys from the airport on our way back from Vietnam!! But that is for the next post, so stay tuned!! :)
7-DAY BALI GUIDE:
6:30am: Surf by Old Man's at Batu Bolong Beach --If you prefer to watch the surf instead, it still makes for a pretty great + relaxing way to start the day!
9:00am: Breakfast at Shady Shack --Shady Shack is literally my favorite cafe to have breakfast at in Canggu! My go-to is the cacao smoothie bowl... just order it and thank me later! ;)
11:30am: Shopping in Seminyak --It's not a Bali trip if you leave without a 'Bali bag!!" There are so many amazing straw bags from roundies to beach totes all over Bali, but especially in Seminyak! Stop by a few markets and don't leave without bargaining down a bag ((the asking price is always high, especially for tourists))-- and maybe even buy some beautiful macramé while you're at it!
1:00pm: Lunch + Swimming at Sun of Panama --Bali is hotttt... and who doesn't like cooling off in a gorgeous pool where you can also order delicious food + hydrate with some coconut water served in actual coconuts?!
4:00pm: 1hr Balinese Massage -- Why not treat yourself for a whopping $5USD?! Don't mind if I do...
6:30pm: Sunset + Happy Hour at La Laguna --If you want to feel like you are legit on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean, enjoy a drink or two at La Laguna!! Make sure to get there just before sunset so you can get a good look at how gorgeous this place is in the daylight, and at night!
8:00pm: Dinner at Peloton Supershop --Hello plant-based + vegan paradise... just order the jackfuit tacos and your life will be forever changed!
7:00am: Go visit an old abandoned airplane! --Why not?! Such a cool spot to take photos and have a nice drive on the motorbike to the southern coast of Bali!
10:00am: Breakfast at Awarta Nusa Dua: --So I'm not actually sure you can have breakfast at Awarta if you aren't staying at the resort, but because they are friends of ours, we were able to introduce our family to one of our favorite places in Bali for breakfast! However, there's lots of other breakfast options you could choose from in the area as well. :)
12:00pm: Green Bowl Beach --It was our first time visiting this "secret beach" that isn't actually a secret at all, haha. It was so gorgeous and worth every step down the cliff to actually get to the ocean! Our beach day was cut short by a rainstorm, but we would have loved to stay for hours!!
3:00pm: Bali Bowls + Smoothies --Canggu literally has the best cafes, and we were still pretty full from massive breakfast and decided to wait until we got back to Canggu to have another bite to eat! It is always worth the wait!
6:00pm: Sunset + drinks at La Brisa! --This is literally my favorite restaurant in Bali to go to for sunset! You feel like you are on a perfectly decorated ship, with a beachfront view and a large drink menu to keep you satisfied!
8:00pm: Dinner at Roti Canai! --This spot has been one of our favorites in Canggu since we moved here, and it wasn't until recently that we discovered their sate tempe and FELL IN LOVE! Also, it costs a whopping 25k IDR which is under $2 USD... so.... yeah. Enjoy!!
DAY 3: New Year's Eve
8:00am: Breakfast at Milk and Madu --These guys know how to do breakfast well, and they have the best chia seed pudding I've had in Bali so far!
9:30am: Church at Hillsong Bali --We love our church so much and couldn't wait for Caleb + Kath to experience the very place that has made Bali immediately feel like home for us! If you want to try something new and be surrounded by some really great people, check out Hillsong Bali on your next trip!
12:00pm: Brunch at Strawberry Fields --We love this Beatles-inspired restaurant just between Seminyak + Canggu! It was super crowded on New Years Eve and there was a massive rain storm as we were there, so we ended up staying for a while... but if you do this itinerary, you could easily shop before or after as well because Seminyak is so close and full of amazing shops!!
4:30pm: Grab to Nusa Dua! --If you've been to Southeast Asia, then you've most likely already been introduced to this incredible app called Grab. It is such a life savor!! Local taxis charge so much money in Bali, and Uber might as well be the most unreliable app ever over here. Grab is awesome and no matter where you are traveling to, I highly recommend downloading it!! (We have used it in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Thailand, and Vietnam so far!)
7:00pm: NEW YEARS EVE PARTY AT AWARTA!! --We had the best NYE at Awarta, and if you ever plan to spend your New Years in Bali, Awarta was such an amazing place to be to ring in the new year!! We had an incredible dinner, listened to great music, watched a fire dance, saw fireworks, and ended the night staying in one of Awarta's incredible villa-style rooms. Awarta is hands down our favorite resort in Bali, and we were so thankful Caleb + Kath were able to experience it for themselves!
DAY 4: NEW YEARS DAY
9:00am: Back to Canggu! --We decided to opt out on breakfast at Awarta, which is something I would never suggest doing, haha. But since we already experienced it a couple days prior, we wanted to get back to Canggu and show off another one of our favorite cafes in our neighborhood since it was our last day in Canggu!
11:00am: Brunch at Crate! --Okay, this is another favorite of ours... and literally every singe thing on the menu is incredible! Alright, maybe we haven't tried them all ((yet)), but we have tried SEVERAL and have yet to be disappointed! ((There is also a shop attached to the cafe with the cutest clothes of all time!))
1:00pm: B E A C H ! --Okay, there is nothing better than relaxing at the beach on a beanbag with a giant coconut in hand! That is how Zach and I love to spend our "days off," and there's a little spot near Finns beach club that you can find us at 9 out of 10 times. It is just the best!
4:30pm: Matcha Cafe! --After a beach day, there always needs to be some good food to follow, and Matcha Cafe has it all! Healthy options, vegan + gluten free, sugar free... it is a real gem if you ask me! ;) They also have pretty fast wifi so it was a great spot for us to veg-out for a couple hours and get some much needed work done.
6:30pm: Sunset at Finns Beach Club --Anytime there is a good sunset during rainy season, we are outside watching it! Finns is a great spot to watch the sunset, either inside the club/bar area or just on the beach... whatever is more your vibe!
8:00pm Dinner ((and shopping...)) and Deus! --You can't go to Canggu without getting a Deus t-shirt, and they conveniently have amazing food + drinks as well! My favorite are their salads, and Zach is in love with their pizzas. They have a massive backyard that we love sitting in to feel like we are getting some (more) fresh air, too!
5:00am: Hire a driver for the day and make the 1st stop the Tegalalong Rice Terraces! --Hiring a driver for 14 hours is a normal thing in Bali, and only costs around $40-50 USD no matter where you go! It's a great way to hit up some touristy spots and go first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. Experiencing Tegalalong for yourself is 100% a must, so whether you go out on your motorbike or with a driver, I highly recommend it!
8:00am: Breakfast at Watercress! --Another amazing cafe that is located in Seminyak as well as Ubud is Watercress, and it's a great way to start a long day of adventures! We went to the Ubud location which was only about 20 mins from Tegalalong.
11:00am: Dropped our bags at our hotel + rented motorbikes! --There are countless hotels, villas, and airbnb options all over Bali... but *especially* in Ubud! We Spent the next two nights at Chapung Sebali and if you get the chance, stay here!! IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.
1:00pm: Sacred Monkey Forest --I'm sure monkeys are one of the first things that come to your mind when you think of Bali, and this is the spot where everyone gets the most adorable monkey photos of all time! They are so cute but can be a little aggressive too.. just make sure to leave your sunglasses in your bag and wear something you don't mind getting a little dirty in case the monkeys jump on you! ((Which is totally worth it, btw!))
3:00pm: Lunch at Habitat Ubud --Both times Zach and I have been to the monkey forest, we have gone to Habitat for lunch afterwards. It is conveniently located right next door and has lots of gluten free options, which if you can't tell, makes me very happy! Also, they serve pretty decent coffee if by now you are in need for an afternoon pick-me-up too!
4:30pm: Checked into our hotel at Chapung Sebali --Now was the perfect time to relax at the pool, or even take advantage of their rowing machines in the gym right on the water... I made time for both! ;) ((PS- I LOVE ROWING!))
6:00pm: Drinks at The Blind Pig --Chapung Sebali has a new "speak easy" style bar called the Bling Pig that was quite the experience. Even if you don't stay at this resort, take a night to enjoy some of their smoked whiskey drinks and play some pool! It has such a cool vibe!
8:00pm: Dinner at Bird's Nest --Honestly, this place has the best Thai food we have found so far in Ubud... it's amazing and has such a great local feel! There are only about 5 or so tables, and the food is so ridiculously good you might end up coming back before your Bali trip is over!
6:00am: Hired a driver ((the same one!)) for more sunrise shoots! -- Our1st stop: Ulun Danu Beratan water temple! So magical!!
9:00am: Handara Gate pics! --The water temple is super close to this famous gate, so it was a quick + easy stop for some more pics before getting overcrowded with tourists!
10:00am: Breakfast...ASAP. --Okay, there honestly are not that many great breakfast spots nearby this rural area, unless you are fine with any + all local spots. We had several dietary issues to consider, so I wish we would have planned it a bit more because by this time we were starving, ha!! But we ended up going to a gorgeous nearby resort and eating there. It turned out to be really beautiful, but was a bit hard to find. The restaurant itself is called Kuningnan Restaurant and it is a part of Puri Candikuning Resort.
11:30am: NungNung Waterfall --Our next stop with our driver was to this epic waterfall!! It is even more amazing than it looks in photos, and I am so happy we went, despite how exhausted we were feeling at this point.
2:30pm: Junglefish pool hangs + lunch! --Our hotel is attached to, in my opinion, the best pool in all of Ubud-- Jungle Fish! You can hang at this pool on a day pass even if you aren't staying at the resort, and it is well worth it! Order food, drinks, and relax on their comfy lounge chairs either in the sun or in the shade.
4:00pm: Work Out! --Again, I took advantage of the perfect gym + rowing machines at Chapung Sebali, but this could also be nap time if you are completely exhausted by this point, haha!
6:00pm: Sunset then dinner at Herb Library --When we recently stayed at Alaya Jembawan, we were introduced to this incredible restaurant that has quickly became our favorite so far in all of Ubud! The Cheese Sambal is the bessstt dish-- and they have so many great juices too!
8:00pm: Bali Buddah for desert --Bali Buddah is a favorite among many expats living in Bali for it's organic groceries, toiletries, natural oils, etc. They have an amazing restaurant as well and also really great deserts! We stopped in to get some of their famous cookies and bliss balls and took them back to the hotel to enjoy with some wine on our balcony for our last night together!
6:00am Sunrise shoot at our resort, Chapung Sebali! --I think it is very important to note that Jungle Fish is completely empty at 7:00am -- take full advantage of the peaceful pool and endless photo opps!
8:00am: Breakfast at Chapung Sebali --Okay, you guys know by now how much of a breakfast fanatic that I am by now. And at Chapung Sebali, they had an amazing breakfast buffet with DIY smoothie bowls... yes pleeease!!
10:00am: Pack up + check out!! --SO SAD TO GO!
12:00pm: Lunch at Monsieur Spoon --We went out for lunch one last time, and decided to check out one of our favorite french bakery cafes that has Zach's favorite, charcoal chocolate croissants!
1:00pm: Shopping in Ubud --If your trip doesn't end in shopping... then idk how to please you. ;) By now you know how much room you have left in your suitcase and how much money you have left in the budget. Hopefully there's some wiggle room to get some last minute souvenirs in one of the hundreds of boutiques all over Ubud!
4:00pm: SAID OUR GOODBYES.... We hate saying "see you later" to family, but especially when we aren't sure when we will see them next!! We had some tough goodbyes, but were also BEYOND thankful for the incredible memories that we shared together! We slept really hard this night, and our hearts were so full from such a great week with Caleb + Kath!
Hope you guys are able to use any of these tips + ideas for your next Bali trip-- I won't mind at all if you do the exact same itinerary!! ;) But whatever you do, definitely make sure Bali is at the top of your list!!