We roamed around the Indonesian Island of Bali for 21 days and stayed in 3 different accommodations and visited a few different cities. All of the land was lush but each destination offered different indulgences. This was a staycation so we were not trying to spend tourist dollars to see and do everything that Bali had to offer up. We got some cheap tickets and just wanted to chillax, and absorb the beauty of the culture and the land as much as we could.
We stayed in two different parts of the city. One in the country on the outskirts of the city and the other in central city Ubud. The country location was a sexy villa in the middle of a thriving rice terrace. It was gorgeous, meticulously cleaned…it was tropical bliss…. Torrential rains fed the luscious green fields as our days rolled by like clouds in the sky. We loved our time there – it was the kind of time that passes, but never goes away…
Airbnb: Villa Grace: $25/ night (country)
- Strong Wifi
- Full Kitchen/ huge bath/ king sized comfy bed
- Cleaned every 3 days
- Hosts that leave you alone
- Cheap motorbike rental
- Taxi stand across the street
Villa Grace was the joint! We absolutely loved it! It was just outside of the hustle and bustle of central Ubud and well within striking distance ( motorbike or a short Grab/Uber/ taxi ride) to anywhere. Its was a sweet retreat and we enjoyed every single solitary minute of it.
Highly recommended, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Airbnb: Huge Bintang Villa $19/night (central)
- Breakfast included (although, I got Bali belly…but I enjoyed the banana pancakes)
- Attentive hosts
The Bintang Villa is located in a traditional family compound with a garden view of the family’s shrine just steps outside the door. The villa was a private room, inclusive of a kitchenette, and bathroom – with a separate entrance. Although we had limited
interaction with the family, they were extremely friendly, and very responsive to our whenever we had a question. Here’s the truth: It was a bit too local for us, honestly. The construction of the room had a few gaps around the door and window frames enough to invite outside moisture and mosquitoes.
- Mostly we chilled indoors and enjoyed in each other’s company away from life in a beautiful location but we did escape for some escapades.
- Found some cool restaurants we liked:
- Taco Casa – low key, fresh and healthy spot
- Coco Bistro – kind of upscale, very good food
- Atman Kafe – great American styled breakfast
- Milk Madu – get the Hawaiian Pizza!
- We took some trips exploring different parts of the city.
- Ubud Market: hot spot for negotiating a good price. Tip ~ set a price let them refuse it , and then walk away. They will chase you down with the price you offered.
- Souvenir Shops: shops everywhere, super bohemian city. Everything is a negotiable.
- Monkey Forest: In central Ubud, the monkey forest is home to some 600 macaques that roam freely in and around the sanctuary. Truly an experience, the monkeys are familiar with humans but will aggressively snatch and fight you for food if not careful. Secure your belongings and have fun!
- Elephant Cave: We walked there just to soak in the city. We didn’t believe that it would give us any additional insight into the Balinese culture and it just seemed like a tourist hook, albeit, an inexpensive one; 15K. Most tourist hooks don’t please me. Ultimately we decided not to go in.
- Tegenungan Waterfalls; This was alot of fun to visit (especially on motorbike) It is in a different city about 20 minutes away, you don’t need a tour guide, and the falls are beautiful.
Funny story…we pulled up into a gas station, visibly shook trying to locate the gas tank. A curious little girl in a worn dress watched our confused attempts before stepping in to point out what we were looking for. Except we couldn’t figure out how to open it. We literally handed her the keys and like a pro she found and opened the tank for us (thank you for angels Jesus). Face lost but lesson learned.
From there we drove a short distance to Taco Casa and overshot just a bit, one of us jumped off the motorbike to allow the other to comfortably U-turn into a parking spot. But the one who jumped off watched in horror while the one behind the wheel turned and sped up simultaneously (instead of slowing down…), missed the parking ramp, and crashed into the curb. Knees and helmet bouncing off of the road right outside of the open-air restaurant we went to dine in 😃😂🤣 Cautious eyes, a concerned spouse, and caring staff ran to HIS aid. He was fine.
Our necessities for Ubud:
- Grab app
- Localized sim card (data and voice – airport is over-inflated) we brought when we got to Ubud a carrier called Telkomsel
- Bug spray/centrilla candles
- Poncho/umbrella (if you arrive in the rainy season…like we did)
- First Aid Kit for the ego 🤣
Where: Kuta / Seminyak/ Denpasar
We had a decent stay in Kuta in an apartment community off of a busy street. Our accommodations was surrounded by residential neighborhoods, local shops, and small ‘Mom and Pop’ restaurants. In other words, it wasn’t on the strip, any strip, but it was still located about 2-4km from the centers of Seminyak and Denpasar.
Airbnb: Bali True Living
- Breakfast included (American or Indonesian)
- Fridge/electric kettle
- Daily cleaning
- Friendly, informative staff
- We enjoyed the bulk of our time strolling the Seminyak and beachwalk areas. Seminyak is the trendier
- Restaurants that we enjoyed
- Taco Beach Grill (we clearly enjoy Mexican)
- Our excursions:
- Karma Resorts lol
- Uluwatu Beach