Indonesia is incredible for many reasons. The white sand beaches paired with one of the largest diversities of Marine Life in the world. 25% of all global reefs are situated around the Indonesian islands. Meaning that snorkelling is AWESOME, and boy did I get a lot of it done there!
Bali is such a culturally diverse area and you’ll never be lost trying to find something to do. The Balinese people constantly have a smile on their face even when they are ripping you off. I stayed mostly in Bali, only leaving to go to Lombok to check out the Gili Islands. Here are my highlights from a month in Indonesia:
1. Drinking beers on beanbags on the beach watching the sun go down over the water. The beaches in Kuta and Seminyak are aloft with funky bars, most playing Bob Marley and all with beanbags and umbrellas stretching all the way to the water.
2. Getting ridiculously cheap massages and eyelash extensions. No, not happy-ending massages! Though I’d assume they’d be ridiculously cheap too… P.S. Eyelash extensions might just be my new favourite travel companion.
3. Exploring the Waters of Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Lembongan is a small island just off the coast of Bali. It has mangrove forests that can be explored by Kayak to the north, local villages in the middle and many beautiful beaches that offer great scuba diving and snorkelling – with a good chance of seeing Manta Rays! You will simply love exploring Nusa Lembongan – it’s an awesome way to delve further into the lesser known parts of Bali.
4. Going to ladyboy bars in Seminyak. At these places the boys get free drinks and the girls don’t. Flirting doesn’t help here either ladies, but boys can easily get free lap dances.
5. Staying in a mansion-villa on the edge of the mountains overlooking Balianese jungle and rice paddies in Ubud. The villas on the outskirts of Ubud are cheap and stunning. If you have a few friends it’s even cheaper and a great way to feel pampered and relaxed while staying on budget.
7. Walking the gorgeous cobblestone streets eating Nasi Goreng and drinking Coffee Lewak in Ubud. Coffee Lewak is also called Civet-Poo Coffee and is famous here. It’s pretty tasty considering it came out of a cat-things bum.
8. Having two baby macaque monkeys play all over me in the monkey forest, Ubud. Lots of people have bad experiences with the monkeys here and that’s all I could think about when the mother monkey also jumped on my shoulders and started to use my skull as a chew toy.
9. Gorging ourselves on fresh and cheap seafood BBQ overlooking the black sands of Echo Beach, Bali. Sunset is the best time to come and grab a beachfront table. If you buy the seafood BBQ you have complete reign over the salad bar which is almost as tasty as the seafood!
10. Yep I did it. That thing; Seawalker, where you go underwater with a fish bowel on your head and you breathe the air they push into it from a cord at the top of your head. Despite that it was laaame, I really had fun feeding the fish and realised I was definitely going to start diving!
11. Being treated like kings while on a private beach. This places is called Finns Beach and you can enter only by paying the cover charge of 250, 000 Rupiah (150, 000 of that charge goes towards a food and drink tab at the club). Here we did snorkelling in the shallow waters and saw cute porcupine fish and white spotted moray eels waggling about. Turtles have also been spotted here. It’s expensive to get in but that includes a bar tab and snorkel gear hire.
12.Learning to drive a scooter around the deserted roads of Lembongan Island. I was keen to get my ass on two wheels for once and thought the quiet streets of Lembongan would be perfect. Other than scraping the top of my foot off on a wall, I was pretty much right.
13. Snorkelling with Manta Rays near Lembongan Island. That day we almost died trying to cross a huge channel on the way back! But we didn’t thanks to the most skilled fibreglass boat driver in the world! Oh yeah the Mantas were fricken awesome too!
14. Doing a bicycle tour of Gili Trawangan Island and having mushroom shakes half way through. Needless to say the second half of the ride was much more interesting and I should also point out it’s really hard to ride in a straight line after said shakes.
15. Going to a silent disco and Dancing around bomb fires until dawn on Gili Trawangan. Possibly one of the most fun nights out in Indonesia. Be sure to take the headphones out to the beach and see how long you can dance in the water before staff hunt you down and call you back in.
16. Drinking cocktails at a fancy resort pool while watching the sun set in Gili Trawangan. If you head over the the resorts during happy hour (4-7pm) the drinks aren’t too expensive AND you can use the pool and wifi for Free! Only expensive places are situated on the beach where the sun sets so either do this or just BYO and sit on the beach in front.
17. Go on Honeymoon! With its pristine beaches, sanguine vibe and romantic accommodation options, Bali is a perfect honeymoon destination. This helpful guide to taking a will tell you all you need to know about a perfect Bali Honeymoon!
Country: Bali, Indonesia
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
$1 USD = 1,1675Rp
I was there: July 2013