God knows how much I like the beach and Bali has never been my dream destination until I stepped foot on it a week ago. Everything is still a dream to me – the calm and relaxation that Ubud boasts surrounded by green fields and luscious forests, the chill vibe that makes up Seminyak and the passing motorcycles that consist the busy roads of the city.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip for the past six months, and our destination has not been a disappointment.
Two weeks before the trip, I realized that my passport was exactly six months valid the day of my departure and arrival from Manila to Denpasar. Imagine my panic and anxiety when I learned that. I was researching online and chatting my Mom on what else I could do. Finally, I came to a resolve that I honestly couldn’t do anything about it. So I decided to just show up and bahala na si batman! Luckily for me, as long as the departure and arrival date is on the same day and exactly six months from the expiration date, it’s still considered valid – technically. I was really happy when the immigration officer in Denpasar stamped my passport without further questions.
We arrived at 8:30AM and cleared the immigration at around 9AM. We decided to go to Ubud first and spend the night there as we have a reservation with a really nice resort. There were a lot of taxi drivers offering to drive us to Ubud but we decided to book an Uber (I didn’t even know there was Uber in Bali!), we saved almost half the price compared to taxis.
Sapu Lidi is located 15 minutes away from the city center of Ubud. This place is a hidden gem. I didn’t really know the place was so big! If it wasn’t for the rain, we could’ve enjoyed the resort more. But this place is definitely worth it’s price or more!!
It was raining the whole time we were there, so we decided to stay in and enjoy the most of our villa. We tried to drive a motorcycle and go explore Ubud, yes we tried, but the rain just kept on pouring harder. In the end, we gave up. The weather was simply a kill-joy but I’m not mad at all because of this upgrade!
The next day, we signed up for a tour in Nusa Penida from Nusa Penida Trip. The sky started to clear and we were hoping for a sunny day. The boat ride to Nusa Penida was seriously a buwis-buhay one. The speed boat can accommodate almost 60 people and as I was looking at the boats coming to and fro and braving the big waves, I couldn’t help but say a little prayer for our safety.
I tell you, this place does not disappoint. I’ve discovered this in instagram and I’ve always wanted to see this if I had the chance to visit Bali and it was lovely as expected – to think it was raining when we visited. Just imagine how lovelier this is if the sky’s blue and the pristine blue water glistening over the sunlight!
Be sure to bring a bottle of water and wear comfortable footwear when visiting Nusa Penida. We did a bit of a walking/hiking from the parking lot to the Broken Beach and as someone who hasn’t done a lot of hiking, I found myself out of breath.
From Angel’s Billabong, we decided to grab lunch and travel time almost took an hour again that we found ourselves taking a nap. The road was pretty bumpy as well. After lunch, we were supposed to proceed to our last destination, the Crystal Beach. However due to time constraint (and rain!), the guide apologized and informed us that we’ll skip the last site as it would take an hour going to and fro, and proceed to the pier instead to catch the boat back to Sanur Beach. It was 3PM and the weather wasn’t pleasant at all!
The waves on the way back was scary and we found ourselves sea-sick. It was probably the kind of ride where you feel like a kid asking yourself “Are we there yet?” or “When will this ever end?” time and time again. When we were back ashore, my legs were wobbly and I couldn’t wait to take a good rest on a bed.
Included in our itinerary for our last day was to see Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple and lounge at the beach (maybe Jimbaran or Canggu, whichever was convenient). We rented a motorcycle from the hotel and off we went with the very reliable Google map, an expert motorcycle driver (my boyfriend) and an annoying ignorant Google map user who has no sense in direction at all except if she’s the one driving (me, thank you very much).
The drive from Seminyak to Tanah Lot almost took an hour with stop-over due to the pouring rain. I was almost convinced I was the one bringing all the bad luck to this trip. It seemed the bad weather would follow us wherever we went. It’s a good thing that we were the kind of people that always say, “Charge to experience!” to everything.
The beautiful thing about the weather was it made us keep using the cameras and the phones to a minimum and had time to stare at these beautiful creation.
After an hour, we decided to drive back to Seminyak to grab lunch and we took a wrong turn courtesy of… yes, me! It was due to my incessant chattering and site viewing and Roy was quite annoyed by the missed turn. However, I found that missed turn a blessing in disguise. Google map ditched the highway and made us drive through the town of Canggu. By this time, the sun was high up in the sky and driving the motorcycle was a bit more pleasant. Canggu seemed like a really chill and hip town. If I could go back to Bali, I’d stay in Canggu or Nusa Dua and away from Seminyak.
We wanted to shy away from the western and fast food restaurants so we looked up the top ten Warungs (a small family-owned biz) in Seminyak to have a taste of Indonesian food. Warung Eny came at top five and decided to give it a try.
Eating Indonesian food is quite an experience. I like taking bites of different cuisines from various countries I’ve been to, and identifying which ingredient dominates the overall taste. It’s surprising how Indonesian food left my taste palette baffled. I couldn’t figure it out. Curry? Chili? Garlic? Lemon grass? Pandan leaves? Everytime I though I’ve figured it out, another burst of flavor comes into my mouth and then I’m back to square one. We liked the Nasi Goreng though and could eat it for days.
Apparently, my booking skills have not gone rusty yet. Our new hotel’s location was right beside the Legian beach and we made sure not to go home without seeing the Bali beach.
People would say that Philippines has the best beaches in the world, and it’s true. But there’s a different magic to Bali beach. Can you see how wide the shore is from where the waves are crashing? I think this is the reason why Bali is a good surfing spot. You get good waves without going deep.
From the beach, we drove to Uluwatu Temple and took almost an hour. While driving in the highway near the Ngurah Rai airport, we were stopped and escorted by a police to the side of the highway due to having no helmets. We were asked if we rented the motorcycle and where country we came from. We explained that we were not given helmets and we didn’t know we needed one (though the truth was we had helmets, we forgot to bring those with us). I’ve read in blogs about enforcers scamming tourists and asking them to pay fines, luckily for us, Mr. Policeman just told us to go back and get the helmets and he went ahead. We were quite far from the hotel so we decided to move along.
I wished we had more time and a pleasant weather to explore Bali more. It’s so beautiful that four days were not enough to see all the wonderful spots and beaches. I’ve heard there are a lot of undiscovered places that from tourists that only locals know. We had missed a lot of things to do due to the rain and time constraint however I was just really thankful to have that chance to see those places and get a glimpse of the Indonesian culture. Now we know why it’s called the island of the gods…
I hope we can plan to visit Komodo Island next time! If you have questions like where to stay, where to eat, where to go, what to do yada yada, feel free to comment below.