Girls Trip: Bali Edition
“You might call it girls night, I call it therapy”
Interestingly enough, for someone who loves to travel, I made it to to my mid-20’s without ever going on a proper ‘girls trip’. When I told my girlfriends this was going to be the first I’ve ever been on, they initially laughed thinking I was kidding. Then the laughter faded at the sight of my serious face while they realised this was, in fact, not a joke. As you may already be assuming, writing this blog entry is about to trigger so many silly yet equally hilarious “you should have been there” moments in my head (those flashbacks are private, sorry). Just know that- I’m laughing with every word I type.
This trip was extra dear to me because not only was I going on my first ever ‘girls trip’, it was the people accompanying me that put the cherry on top. With 7 of us in total: four flew into Bali from Hong Kong, one from Korea, one from Australia, and one from San Francisco. A gradient of seven equally awesome personalities all under one roof.
Right after take off the girls and I switched to holiday mode and when one glass of red wine turned into drinking the plane dry, we managed to chat and laugh the whole way. It was a solid kick-start to a weekend of pure joy. Since we arrived late in the evening when the sun had already gone down, we went straight to bed in order to re-energize for our first day soaking up the hot Balinese sun. Our private villa for the weekend was located in the midst of a rice field in Canggu, just outside of the main tourist area of Seminyak where all the tourist shopping, restaurants and bars are. Our villa host offered amazing service providing us with daily cleaners as well as a daily chef to make us breakfast throughout our stay. After waking up to our first successful breakfast experience, we immediately went poolside to get our sun-kissed glow for the weekend. As the sun went down, we hit the grocery store to stock up on all the snacks and tons of water. The heat leaves you so parched. For our first proper night in Bali we prepared dinner at our villa, went to check out The Lawn in Canggu for a drink and then came back for a therapeutic night in— complete with wine and girl talk.
Almost every day we booked masseuses to come to our villa for full body scrubs and body massages. It was amazing service for such a great price. I learnt that getting a full body scrub before laying out in the sun also helps your skin absorb the rays’ vitamin D better, to make for a fresher tan as well. It’s obvious this trip was full on R & R (plus a whole lot of good food) for us all.
To get around town we used Grab, it was convenient and easy to connect with drivers. Right at the beginning we got lucky to find an Grab driver with a seven seater so we actually ended up paying him by day rates to drive us everywhere for the rest of our weekend. This saved us so much hassle finding and connecting with a new driver every time we needed a ride. Our driver, whom we nicknamed our Bali “Dad”, was so sweet and took exceptional care of us the whole time. By the end of the trip he referred to us as his “seven angels” (hahahah). Oh, bless him for dealing with us day after day.
For our first night out on the town we chose Motel Mexicola. You may have heard about the hype, and I can verify that this place lives up to said hype. After filling our stomaches with a variety of tacos and sipping margarita after margarita, the dancing commenced. By this time, everyone in the place was drunk on happiness and dancing on tables, or wherever their hearts desired. As for us ladies, we somehow managed to find our way to the empty corner where there was a giant fan and air conditioning machine…and this became our ideal dancing location. Mind you, it was extremely hot and humid in there! I guarantee you would’ve chosen to dance next to the fan with us too. Plus hey— the fan gave us windswept hair which makes everyone’s dance moves look ten times better, right? Looking back on photos and videos now, it makes us laugh every time.
Of course, we had to fulfill our designated shopping time during our trip. From my personal experience, don’t expect shopping in Bali to be much cheaper than your usual prices. Most of the boutiques I had my eye on have cute items but many of the brands are from Australia or America so the prices are pretty pinned. It really depends on what you’re looking for. We didn’t end up buying much, however we did get matching circle weaved purses in all various colors. Well actually, one of us wanted it and then the rest of us just copied her (Cheeky. Sorry Hayley, but you have great taste).
We went to grab brunch at The Shady Shack. It was everything you would expect from a healthy vegetarian cafe. Loaded with veggies, tempeh, tofu, açaí bowls, and more— topped off with turmeric shots. Apparently turmeric shots are an even healthier caffeine alternative if you ever want to give it a try. But be careful, the yellow liquid can stain and it tastes like…well, I’ll let you decide that for yourself. Our flatlay photo of the meal was just as good as the food tasted.
For our last night in Bali we had dinner at Da Maria, the food was so yummy. I highly recommend you eat here for dinner if you ever get a chance. Unfortunately, our table was close to the bar area/dance floor so the music forced us to shout in conversation throughout the whole meal. But forget all that because there was pizza and pasta, as well as my favorite: burrata, so we had a great experience together nonetheless. Hopped up on carbs with surprisingly no food coma in sight, we called up “Dad” to pick us up and we headed over to La Favela. Right when we first walked in, the layout of the place was absolutely eye-catching. The decor was a mixture of cozy, vintage, jungle vibes and not once did I feel overcrowded. Near the entrance we found a photobooth so as you can assume, that was a must! Probably my favorite bar in Bali during thus far. Although, this opinion is subject to change the more times I go back and visit the many other hot spots Bali has to offer.
All danced out with tired feet, we were ready to head back to the villa for a night time dip in the pool. Carpool karaoke was on a whole other level by that point of the night and I could’ve sworn "Dad” was having a blast singing along with us (he may or may not have been pretending to enjoy our singing…or shouting.)
While some of the gals caught up on beauty sleep, a couple of us went out to grab breakfast at Strawberry Fields. It was a much-needed refuel of sustenance after expending so much energy in the sun all day every day. We had a classic instagram-worthy breakfast of avocado and egg toast, along with goodness in the form of yet another açaí bowl.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the area and shopping, and when sunset hour was starting we had gotten a nice table at La Brisa. La Brisa is a very cool restaurant and bar to visit, the theme there is very shipwrecked and pirate-like in my opinion. Honestly, almost every restaurant and bar we went to on this trip had great decor and its own individual character. Each day in Bali I swear to you the sunset keeps getting more and more beautiful. There were hues in the sky that you don’t get to see all the time in different places around the world and that’s what made them so unique. Our last meal in Bali together was nothing short of perfection.
By the time we arrived back to the villa that evening it was time to pack our bags and fly back to wherever we each came from. Each of us feeling the post-vacation depression even before we had left, but simultaneously feeling weight lifted off the shoulders after a fun weekend away together.
All in all, my first ladies trip was a success and I can’t wait to travel more with my gals in the future.
End note: One of the highlights throughout my weekend in Bali was being approached by a few people who enjoyed my role as Claire Lee in Sparks, together with my social media. The fact that they even had the urge to come up to me truly makes me so thankful for my work and my ability to connect with people through my content. I was so happy to have met you guys in Indonesia and I do hope to make a trip back soon to indulge in more of what your country and culture have to offer.