Canggu, Seminyak, & Ubud
“At the end of the day,
your feet should be dirty
your hair messy
and your eyes sparkling."
I feel like lately everyone has been raving about Bali... and here I am, about to do the same!
For my first time hitting Bali, I figured to make the most out of it in case I don't make it back for a long time. My first destination was Canggu, then Seminyak, and ending with Ubud. In Canggu, we wanted to try this yoga, surf, and bike retreat called The Chillhouse. It was really refreshing to wake up and join a sunrise yoga class, followed by an organic vegan breakfast with a morning kombucha! In fact, all the meals at The Chillhouse are organic and vegan, and included in your stay. It was kombucha heaven- all day, every day.
During the day when we weren't joining yoga classes, we borrowed bikes to ride out to the main area of Canggu where the boutiques, cafes, and restaurants are. To be honest, riding around on our bikes while the sun was setting in the plantation fields was one of my favorite memories of the whole trip. There's just some moments you can never recreate; they rely on the scenery, the scents, the sounds, and the emotions at that exact time and place. Those type of memories are true poetry to me.
At the Chillhouse, we booked a private surf session with an instructor. It was my first time surfing ever! The weather was quite gloomy out unfortunately. Pretty rainy and very grey. Usually I'm really uneasy about open water, I've always had anxiety attacks to the point of tears when I'm in the ocean for too long or if there is no one near me. Looking back on it now, it probably was not the best idea to surf for my first time under such intense conditions but I was so full of adrenaline and didn't have time to think twice about diving in! All fears aside, I'm extremely glad I did because it was an incredible experience to stand up on the wave and ride it for as long and far as I could go. I did get tackled by the crashing waves here and there, and I was definitely bruised up by my board...but it was so worth it.
After a few nights in Canggu, we made our way to Seminyak and stayed at Alila. It is right on the main beach just a few resorts down from Potatohead Beach Club and the W hotel. Alila was a beautiful hotel, I highly recommend you consider it when planning a trip to Seminyak. The rooms are so nice, with an amazing infinity style pool overlooking the ocean, and the best part is the bean bag seating they have on the beach (it is first come first serve) next to the bar so you can enjoy a refreshing drink while watching the sun set. No matter how many sunsets I talk about in all my travel blogs...I will never get over how amazing each one is!
Seminyak was filled with cute restaurants and cafes, all with super island vibes. This beautiful acai bowl in my hands was at Cafe Organic. Aside from Cafe Organic, the other memorable places we tried were Sisterfields Cafe, Sea Circus, and Kiln Petitenget. We also tried Potatohead beach club for dinner and drinks but the food was average and nothing to phone home about. The atmosphere is great though if you're looking for a fun day and wild night with friends. If you get the chance to check out these restaurants, let me know how you like them!
Ending our trip in the more historic and cultural side of Bali, Ubud showed a completely different side of this beautiful country than both Canggu and Seminyak. I did get food poisoning for the first time in my life though so that was a bit tough for me. My ultimate cure for anything related to the stomach is ginger tea ginger tea ginger tea!! Anyway, an upset tummy did not keep me from exploring, I wasn't going to let it ruin the last few days of my trip!
We hired a driver to take us around and crossed off our list of all the tourist attractions in one day. It was an efficient way to see all that we wanted and you may be wondering if it seemed rushed but to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed it all and in my opinion it was the perfect amount of time spent at each location. We were able to visit the Monkey Forest, Goa Gajah, Pura Gunung Lebah, Pura Tirta Empul, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, and Mt. Batur. Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Water Temple) is where people get to go into the water pool and frolick under the fountains to cleanse yourself with the water and be blessed. Those sacred springs are said to have been created by The God Indra and possess curative properties. As for Mt. Baker, some tourists wake up at 2 or 3 AM to hike the mountain and arrive at the peak for the sunrise. Unfortunately, I love my sleep. But I do hope to try the hike one day when I'm back! Aside from those tourist destinations, I also went to go try the famous Indonesian Kopi Luwak which is coffee that comes from the animal droppings of a wild cat-like animal called the luwak. I know this sounds disgusting but when in Indonesia for my first time, I couldn't turn down giving it a try. The best way to engulf yourself in a cuture is through traditional beverages and cuisine, after all.