I was thinking a long time about the most suitable topic for my very first post. I am so full of ideas, experiences and inspirations I want to share, but finally I decided to talk about my time on the wonderful Indonesian island Bali. Travelling is one of my biggest passions, so what better way is there to start my blog?
As I was working as an intern at a global online food delivery company in Singapore, and my dad was working just a few miles away in Malaysia, it was clear that this year, we would go on summer holiday together. We chose Bali as destination, just because I had heard that it was pretty nice, and I am so glad we did!
For me, Bali is the paradise come true. The nature is overwhelmingly colourful and prosperous- I never knew where to look first. The climate is stable all year around- hence, plants are growing immensely fast, and grains and vegetables can be harvested at any time. I am absolutely convinced that one could survive at Bali solely by consuming the many delicious gems the island’s nature has to offer.
But not only the nature makes this island so fascinating for me, even though I could be staring out onto the amazingly clear ocean for days. The people are so warm, kind and joyful. Wherever I went, I always felt welcome- even if it was at a hidden temple far away from any roads, where some Balinese were about to have a religious ceremony.
My first encounter with this warm attitude was already at the airport. A friendly staff member of the car rental company we booked a car with welcomed us with a big smile on his face and handed us the keys to what should be our main medium of transport during the coming week. In fact, I would have never thought we would spend this much time in the car- but we did! When you go to Bali, make sure you either rent a car or a motorbike. While a car might be less agile (a pretty important aspect when driving on the tiny and incredibly chaotic roads of Indonesia, believe me) and also significantly more expensive, tit offers two very distinct advantages: An aircon and protection against sun and rain (and most importantly more protection in case of an accident, which does not seem to be that unlikely on the Balinese streets, honestly!). I am very thankful that I did not have to drive at all though- my dad, who had lived in Indonesia for 2 years, was not stressed by the chaos on the roads at all, while I would surely have freaked out.
After a two-hour drive, we finally arrived at our hotel in Candidasa, a village in the West of the island. Again, the welcome by the staff was very warm, and the beautiful bungalow we stayed in made me feel at home immediately.
The entire hotel complex was absolutely stunning.
The infinity pool with a view on the hotel’s private beach was perfect for a nice and relaxing swim after a long day of adventures.
The other pools were just as nice though and made me feel like in a little lagoon.
Despite all the amazing features of this location, we didn’t actually spend a lot of time there. One week is simply not enough to enjoy the hotel and all the incredible attractions Bali itself has to offer. Constantly being curious, I personally prefer exploring my surroundings over trying out a massage (even though this is certainly also a pretty nice thing to do).
Here is a list of my favourite things to do when in Bali:
1. Visit an ancient temple
We didn’t just visit one, we visited countless. None of them failed to amaze me, no matter how many I had seen already. They all have one thing in common: Their incredible bond to nature. No matter where located, the scenery is always stunning. We saw one located in the entry of a cave, with many bats flying around and, as if that wasn’t cool enough, facing the ocean.
Another one was located in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain, its walls building an incredible frame for a breathtaking view onto the volcano.
My favourite location, however, must be the temple built on a rock in the ocean, making it accessible only during low tide. Besides that, the architecture of these temples really created an amazing atmosphere. Since the climate in Bali is rather humid, and the buildings are created using a specific type of stone which looks very ancient very quickly, all temples looked as if they had been built thousands of years ago, even though they were only around 50 years old. I kept feeling like in my own version of the Jungle Book:)
But not only the temples are beautiful- Bali offers a lot of non-religious palaces as well which are perfect for a little leisure stroll.
2. Go to the beach!
When in Bali, make sure you spend at least one day at the beach- the crystal clear water, the sun and the incredibly white beaches are a perfect combination. Oh, and while already there, make sure to drink a young coconut! It quickly became my favourite refreshment- and it’s pretty healthy as well!
3. Go snorkeling!
Personally, I have never seen a living reef before. Dead, white skeletons of corals, yes. But never a lively, moving one like in Finding Nemo.
On our last day in Bali, we booked a trip to the neighbour island, Nusa Lembongan. The reef was absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend doing this tour when on Bali- who knows for how much longer the reefs will exist!
During our short trip to Lembongan, we also had the chance to drive through a forest of mangroves- they are pretty cool, make sure to have a look at them as well.
4. Drive around
Since we didn’t have a map in the beginning, we drove around a lot. Looking back, it was the best thing we could have possibly done. We saw so many beautiful and peaceful little villages that seemed like paradise on earth. Besides that, the nature in Bali just never gets boring. I fell in love with the stunning rice terraces, for example.
5. Try local food
Yes, you can easily get Western food everywhere- McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks- you name it, they are all readily available no matter where you go. But when choosing you usual options, you miss out on the delicious local food, don’t forget that! Plus, the local restaurants are usually very beautifully decorated and the waiters are incredibly kind, so it is a pleasure to spend a few hours in one of these places to relax after a long day.
I could go on for hours, but I will save the rest for another time. However, one last thing for all the coffee lovers: When ordering a coffee, no matter where (yes, I encountered this problem at the street Kopitiam as well as in a McDonald’s), make sure to clearly specify what you want! Black does not mean black in Bali. It just means a little less milk- they will still add tons of sugar and also milk. I think my first words in Bahasa, the local language, were tidak gula dan susu, which basically means no milk or sugar.
With this, I will end my first post guys! Thanks for reading and I cannot wait to publish the next one 🙂