After spending three magical days in Raja Ampat it was time to spend 3 relaxing days in Bali. The weather was warm and balmy, we were staying at a five star hotel in Seminyak with a roof top pool and lots of free time on the itinerary. It was bliss.

Yes, Bali has beaches, surfing, diving, and resorts, but it’s the essence of Bali and the Balinese that makes it so much more than just a party playground. The smiling, happy, and genuinely warm people of Bali is what makes this place so inviting. The heady smell of incense and the crazy chaotic traffic leaves you with lingering memories of a good time. Not to mention those crazy sunsets that seem to happen every afternoon.

To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.

Let me show you around this rich and diverse place.

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After a full days transit from Raja Ampat we all arrived in Bali at about 11pm and went a bit hypo when we discovered we had awesome rooms with massive jacuzzi’s on our balcony at Golden Tulip Devin Seminyak.

After acting like school kids on a camp trip and getting yelled at by someone that was trying to sleep in the room next to mine we all settled down and went to sleep.

The next morning we enjoyed an amazing breakfast on the rooftop overlooking the ocean and then we headed off to Penglipuran Village.

Penglipuran Village

Penglipuran village is a beautiful highland village in the regency of Bangli in East Bali, best known for its well-preserved culture and village layout. While most of its residents have embraced modernity, its individual compounds are well-kept to look traditional with visitors in mind, with manicured gardens lining its single linear stone-paved street that runs through the centre of the village toward the village temple, and age-old arched entrance gates and walls that conceal their houses within.

Enter any of the houses through their arched gates, and you are welcomed by friendly residents who willingly show you around their compound.

Entrance way to owners houses, Penglipuran Village, Bali
Entrance way to owners houses, Penglipuran Village, Bali
The main street leading to the temple, Penglipuran Village, Bali
The main street leading to the temple, Penglipuran Village, Bali
Wandering the streets of Penglipuran Village, Bali
Wandering the streets of Penglipuran Village, Bali
The ornate temple at Penglipuran Village, Bali
The ornate temple at Penglipuran Village, Bali

Bamboo Forest

Just outside of Penglipuran Village lies the Bamboo forest. The village has also succeeded in preserving its 75-hectare bamboo forest located in the northern part of the village.

A portion of the “desa adat” are known as “krama pengarep”, or privileged members. Each of them is given an eight-acre house yard, 40-acres of agricultural land, 70-acres of bamboo forest, 60-acres of riverside irrigation, and 25-acres of rice field.

Penglipuran village was given the Kapaltaru award by the Indonesian Government in 1996 for its success in preserving the bamboo forest.

Bamboo Forest, Penglipuran Village, Bali
Bamboo Forest, Penglipuran Village, Bali

Seminyak Beach

Seminyak is a beach resort area at the southern end of Bali, Indonesia, with many luxury hotels, villas and spas, as well as high-end shopping and restaurants. Sleek bars and clubs with busy sunset scenes line Seminyak and Petitenget beaches, which are wide, west-facing stretches of Indian Ocean shoreline with gray sand and good surfing conditions.

That afternoon a few of us wandered down to the beach at Seminyak to watch the sunset. Being on the West coast, it is so nice to watch the sun go down over the ocean.

Those crazy sunsets, Seminyak, Bali
Those crazy sunsets, Seminyak, Bali

Ubud

The next morning we enjoyed another amazing breakfast on the rooftop over looking the ocean before heading off for the day in a private car. 3 of us hired a private driver to take us to a waterfall in the Bangli district. We had seen pictures of this waterfall and it looked amazing so we were super keen to visit it.

Unfortunately the night before there was a tropical storm that blew through. The rain was so heavy that it knocked down the bridge that you need to walk across to get to the waterfall. We were so disappointed after driving for two hours to get to it.

There were a lot of other waterfalls in the area but the heavy rain had turned the water really dirty so we didn’t bother exploring them.

On the bright side we did stop at a tiny convenience store and found Grape Mentos! Indonesia is the only country to sell entire packets of grape flavoured Mentos! It’s the best flavour. I think that was the highlight of my day!

We then decided to head to Ubud to see the famous rice paddy fields.

Ubud is considered in many ways Bali’s cultural heart. Located in the cool mountains, just one hour’s drive north of the airport and the resorts of southern Bali, this traditional country town is home of one of Bali’s royal families. Ubud is also a flourishing crafts centre. There are hundreds of shops selling antiques, woodcarvings, crafts, textiles, paintings and jewellery.

I found the cutest little Balinese man that just loved having his picture taken!

The cutest little Balinese man at the rice paddies, Ubud, Bali
The cutest little Balinese man at the rice paddies, Ubud, Bali
The amazing rice terraces, Ubud, Bali
The amazing rice terraces, Ubud, Bali

Golden Tulip Devins Seminyak

By this time we were starving, hot and tired so we headed back to the hotel for lunch and some fun in the pool before getting ready for our closing dinner.

I had my favourite Indonesian meal, chicken satay sticks with peanut sauce and rice with a fresh fruit juice cocktail!

Lunch and roof top pool swims, Seminyak, Bali
Lunch and roof top pool swims, Seminyak, Bali

Ku De Ta Beach Club

After clowning around in the pool for way too long it was time to get ready and head down to Ku De Ta for sunset and for the closing dinner of our trip.

Ku De Ta is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Bali and the best place to watch the sunset. We had a spot reserved right next to the pool with the Bintang flowing as we watch the glorious colours of the day setting over the beach.

Another crazy sunset, Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali
Another crazy sunset, Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali
Poolside sunsets at Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali
Poolside sunsets at Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali

After the sunset had all but subsided we  headed upstairs for our last dinner with the entire group. The meal was amazing and I got to try traditional Beef Rendang from West Sumatra which was amazing. The one dish I wanted to eat while I was in Indonesia was the rendang as it is one of my most favourite meals.

It was an awesome night and we had so much fun. The 40 people from the Asia Pacific region that I got to  spend this trip with were so lovely, funny, friendly and downright fun. This would have to be one of the best tourism trips that I have done and none of us wanted it to end.

We all still talk in the Whatapps chat room and constantly say how we want to go back and do it all again!

Love these guys! Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali
Love these guys! Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali
Group photo! Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali
Group photo! Ku De Ta, Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak

The next day it was time for everyone to fly back to their countries. My flight wasnt until 9pm that night along with a lot of the other Aussies so we spent the day enjoying the hotel and exploring a bit more of Seminyak.

Dan and I found this cool bamboo tunnel just near our hotel. It was actually the drive way to the W Hotel. We had to go and ask permission to shoot there and I’m so glad we did because we got to have a look at this amazing resort. Next time I go to Bali I’m staying there. It was next level luxury!

Running through the bamboo tunnel, Bali
Running through the bamboo tunnel, Bali

Then it was back to the hotel roof top pool for more swims and then we went hunting for Grape Mentos! Dan and I were determined to bring a few packets back to Australia with us! The first convenience store we went into had them and we cleaned them out! 10 packets each! Haha

Grape Mentos and Pocari Sweat! My two favourite things in Indonesia!
Grape Mentos and Pocari Sweat! My two favourite things in Indonesia!

Pocari sweat kept me alive in Indonesia. This is an electrolyte drink and because Indonesia is so humid, you sweat buckets loads. This drink is so refreshing and makes you feel so good.

Tips for girls, don’t bother straightening your hair! It turns to frizz as soon as you step outside!

Indonesia in a nutshell

Then it was time to go to the airport and say good bye to Indonesia. It was a really sad feeling especially as I was all alone, the only one flying back to Brisbane. 😔 I had the best time exploring Indonesia and it was only made better by the people that I was travelling with. I am definitely coming back to Indonesia as there is so much more to see. This trip really opened my eyes to what Indonesia is all about and what it has to offer and I love it!

Things that I love about Indonesia:

  • Indonesian people – they are so warm, welcoming and genuine.
  • Indonesian food – I have always loved this type of food
  • Lanscapes – there really are some beautiful things to see in this country
  • Raja Ampat – need I say more…
  • The culture – I love that there is such a strong culture in this country. It is something we don’t have in Australia
  • Bali – I’m surprised to say this but I had an awesome time in Bali and can see why it is such a popular holiday destination. It really is a fun, laid back place!
  • The hot humid weather – I love warm sunny places and even though you sweat like nothing else I still love it!

Have you been to Bali before? What was your experience like? I would love to know so leave a comment below!

And lastly, here is a video to wrap up the entire trip! I hope you enjoy! Feel free to subscribe to my You Tube Channel if  you like the vid!

11 thoughts on “Exploring Indonesia: Bali

  1. Well I’m sold & definitely heading to Indonesia and Bali! I’ve really enjoyed following your adventures Larissa and felt like I was on the trip with you. You must have so many wonderful memories of your adventures in Indonesia which I’m sure you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

    Thanks again for sharing, I enjoyed every second of reading your Indonesian blogs!

    1. Oh yay! Im so glad that you are going to experience Indonesia and Bali Ella. You will have such an awesome time! I sure will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life. It is such an amazing place that I hope everyone gets to experience in their lifetime! 🙂

  2. Another fantastic read Larissa! Your images are stunning as always! I’ve loved reading about all your adventures in Indonesia and Bali and I’m certainly adding them to my ‘must visit’ travel list! Why do I suddenly have a carving for Grape Mentos!!?? lol! 🙂

    1. Haha, because grape mentos are the best! Im so glad you enjoyed reading about my travels through Indonesia, Steve and I hope that you get to experience this amazing country yourself very soon! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Well that was a wonderful walk through throughout the wonders if Indonesia. Thanks for sharing such wonderful tips and insights. Though I must say… You are the only person I know who goes hunting for mentos! Haha! Fabulous breathtaking photographs and a beautifully worded right up Jarissa.

    1. Hahaha, Indonesia is the only place that sells whole packets of grape Mentos! I thought everyone would have gone hunting for them in Indonesia! ;P Thanks so much for your kind words Jeke. Im so glad you enjoyed the blog. I think I need to come and explore the Philippines next! 😁

  4. Amazing words once again combined with stunning and perfectly framed moments of pure beauty, captured for eternity. Larissa, you are truly amazing and those images once again have shown the soul of this amazing country. Thankyou for sharing such a special trip, that I’m sure you can’t wait to relive again….. You are amazing.
    😊🙏🏻👌😘

    1. Thank you so much Anthony for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog and sharing the journey with me. It’s people like you that make it all worthwhile that I write these blogs and take these photos. Your thoughtful words are always appreciated! 😊

  5. Awesome blog as always Larissa! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. I’ve learnt and seen so much that I didn’t know about Indonesia and Bali thanks to your adventures. It looks like an amazing place to visits!!

    1. Thanks so much Andrew. Im so glad you enjoyed the blog and learnt a bit more about Indonesia! Its definitely an amazing place to visit! 🙂

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