Bali, Indonesia

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
— Saint Augustine

Ah, missing Bali already (though not the heat!). Los Angeles to Bali was a long 19 hour flight (excluding layovers), but long haul flights don't scare me :D We spent five days there and that was a good amount of time to explore the huge island!

Once you arrive at the Denpasar airport, you will be greeted by a swarm of drivers that will try to usher you into their "taxis" - these are overpriced unregistered taxis! Don't do it - always try to secure airport transfer through your hotel or accommodation. 

Scroll on for a brief recap of our trip and some essential Bali travel tips!

This is our Airbnb villa somewhere around Balangan Beach, a very secluded area. Airbnb is a treasure trove when it comes to villas in Bali, there are so many gorgeous, huge villas at very very affordable prices!

This is our Airbnb villa somewhere around Balangan Beach, a very secluded area. Airbnb is a treasure trove when it comes to villas in Bali, there are so many gorgeous, huge villas at very very affordable prices!

The master bath

The master bath

Our private pool

Our private pool

After seeing a photo of this living room that walked out into the pool, I booked the villa immediately!

After seeing a photo of this living room that walked out into the pool, I booked the villa immediately!

Cooling off

Cooling off

We went to Bali for my friend's destination wedding there, and this was my wedding guest outfit. This For Love & Lemons Antigua dress was perfect for the wedding and the weather because all the mesh kept me really cool in the heat!

The beautiful newlyweds! One of the most gorgeous weddings I've ever been to.

The beautiful newlyweds! One of the most gorgeous weddings I've ever been to.

One  of my favorite surprises at the wedding - all the guests were given a helium balloon to release into the air. The result was a great photo op, haha. Reminds me of one of my favorite disney quotes - Adventure is out there! 

One  of my favorite surprises at the wedding - all the guests were given a helium balloon to release into the air. The result was a great photo op, haha.

Reminds me of one of my favorite disney quotes - Adventure is out there! 

Amazing view from the Sky wedding venue at Ayana Resorts.

The sunset.

The sunset.

And the wedding ended in a fireworks display! 

And the wedding ended in a fireworks display! 

The next day we spent sightseeing around the island. We used the Bali Cab service, which I found straightforward and easy to use - a rarity in Bali! For about $40 a day, we hired a private driver to drive us all around the island :D Ballin'.

I want to be this cat.

I want to be this cat.

Visited the Tegalang rice terraces in Ubud, north of the island. Beautiful place!

Visited the Tegalang rice terraces in Ubud, north of the island. Beautiful place!

Green for miles.

Green for miles.

Wearing my Zulu & Zephyr Camouflage set from their winter Echo collection. The viscose crepe material is light and good in the heat (see my other post wearing ZZ here) - their stuff really is made for the sun, the salt, and the sea!

I think...the terraces would have looked beautiful from those cafes at the top. No need to walk through the terraces like we did, haha. It was hot, tiring...and I  may or may not have fallen into the the muddy rice paddy.......

I think...the terraces would have looked beautiful from those cafes at the top. No need to walk through the terraces like we did, haha. It was hot, tiring...and I  may or may not have fallen into the the muddy rice paddy.......

I've only ever seen rice cooked....in my bowl :D 

I've only ever seen rice cooked....in my bowl :D 

Finally made it to the top!

Finally made it to the top!

It was a challenge to find good, authentic Balinese food around the island because 90% of the establishments are catered to tourists (aka tourist traps). On our first night in Bali, our driver dropped us off at a restaurant that served spaghetti and fish and chips - yikes. But in Ubud, we managed to find a good, simple restaurant that served local eats, Fair Warung Bale. Yum! Trip advisor would be a good source for restaurant reviews in this part of the world.

Next up, the markets at Ubud.

Next up, the markets at Ubud.

Trinkets and souvenirs galore! I picked up some lovely crochet crop tops, and a hand woven basket cross body bag - you'll see it on my Instagram sometime! Practiced my bargaining and Malay skills here, and probably still paid too much...

Last stop of the day - Tanah Lot - a temple on a cliff, by the beach. A beautiful spot! But, as with many of the beautiful spots in Bali, it was over crowded with tourists (this photo captured the only section of the venue that didn't have a million people)! If you go, go early. The area around Tanah Lot also has a market, where you can get many souvenirs and knick knack similar to those at the Ubud market.

Wearing a breezy maxi dress from Blue Life (my striped version is sold out :( ), and a DIY leather choker (maybe I'll do a post on DIY chokers later - its the easiest DIY project you could do!).

Spent a day at the St. Regis in Nusa Dua, most luxurious resort ever. Bali does luxury resorts like no other! And they're less expensive than the same resort in most other countries - if you're going all out - do it here!

Cut out one-piece from Zara (shop similar at the end of this post).

I love warm tropical waters. The beaches at Nusa Dua are clean, and the waters fairly clear. As you move further away from the private beaches at the luxury resorts, the Nusa Dua gets progressively more poorly maintained.

I love warm tropical waters. The beaches at Nusa Dua are clean, and the waters fairly clear. As you move further away from the private beaches at the luxury resorts, the Nusa Dua gets progressively more poorly maintained.

After the trip, I felt relaxed, recharged - ready to go back to the office - lol, jk. More like ready to plan my next trip :D

Some Bali travel tips to take away:

1) Always use registered taxis - Bluebird company is known as the most trusted taxi service on the island. Always ask for the driver to use the meter! Otherwise they will pull out a fare from the air, which is 3 times the amount of your actual fare.

2) Uber/Grabcar is available, but illegal in Bali - and most Uber drivers avoid picking up passengers from areas where taxis or "transportation providers" frequent, to avoid altercations. Expect to find the Uber ride you ordered hiding in an alley or two blocks away, waiting for you.

3) Always bargain! Most of us are accustomed to one set price, but in Bali, the price is always a range. As a tourist, you'll always be given the highest price first. Bali can be as expensive or as affordable as you allow it to be.

Can't wait to visit again and do some snorkeling/diving that we didn't get to do this trip! Have any of you been to Bali and how was your experience?

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