People ask me all the time if I use a Travel Agent or Plan my own vacations. The answer is… I painstakingly plan every detail by myself. I’m not as “strict” or regimented when it’s just me traveling solo but when I’m with a group and I’m the host I try to have a more precise agenda while leaving flexibility and the ability to adapt. It’s important to note that not every plan will go according to plan and if it doesn’t it’s not the end of the world… adapt and move on. You’re vacation isn’t ruined it’s just been tweaked.
This Bali Vacay Originated in Los Angeles flying with Xiamen Airlines. The flight included a 12 hour layover in Xiamen, China on both legs.
We hired a private driver that we arranged with the host of the villas to pick us up from the Airport and take us to our 1st villa ( more about that in another post)
The 1st day upon arrival would be a day of relaxation. With Bali being all about flower baths and massages we figured we’d kick off the week with a 2 hour treatment at TJAMPUHAN Spa
We each received a 60 minute massage, 30 minute body scrub and 30 minute flower bath all for $47/person. We spent a few hours post-treatment utilizing the facility which had an outdoor pool, steam rooms, saunas, hot and cold pools all set overlooking a stream with a beautiful wooded backdrop. Mission accomplished
We’d complete day 1 by chasing waterfalls visiting Dedari WaterFall located in Bangli open from 7am – 6pm located a short 30min – 1 hour ride from UBUD city. There is a small entrance roughly the equivalent of $2 USD
Situated in Desa Taman Bali of Bangli, this stunning waterfall is located in the middle of a garden. Although less frequented its beauty and surroundings make the slight hike walking down stairs worth the trek. Dedari is a hidden yet unspoiled wonder.
- quasi chill day at the villa, hit the town and whatever caught our attention along the way
- Dinner offsite at Copper Kitchen. Copper Kitchen was amazing. It’s trendy setting and open air rooftop lounge over looking the rice fields was a perfect way to wind down, beat the heat and have a few drinks and of course eat. This restaurant had it all… ambience, good music, great drinks and delicious dishes and a sunset to die for!
- Breakfast at 8am (long day of excursions)
- Tour North Bali VW TOUR ( baliKuno.com) We loaded up in 2 Vintage Volkswagons and hit the Northern Bali Region. We stopped in the village and did a bit of shopping. Here’s the planned agenda for the day. I will say we didn’t get through all of this because we spent a little longer at some places than others.
Suited up in our matching T-shirts we hit the ground running directly after breakfast. Our 1st stop Alas Haram was amazing. Upon arrival we were given a tour about the history of Lewak Coffee. How its made, roasted and even sampled ( for the coffee drinkers in the group)… everyone else could sample various teas. This place was magical ( TIP: bring a change of clothes into a long flow dress because you won’t want to miss out on the swings and photo taking opportunities) We spent countless hours just taking it all in. What a great way to kick off the day!
Checkout of Villa and Checkin to the Bubble Hotel – Ubud
This was the day I had been waiting for. I couldn’t be more excited to spend time off the grid in the forest essentially. The Bubble hotel is a series of 7 Bubble “tents” with one having an infinity edge pool. Guess who got that puppy? Moi! The price? The bubbles range from $125 to $200 for the bubble with the pool. The bubble offers a-la-carte services ranging from Dinner/lunch/breakfast, barbecues, bon fires, telescopes etc., whatever it takes to make your experience amazing. With Checkin being at 3pm we decided to kill some time between switching locations by hitting Tukad CepungWaterFall which was breathtakingly amazing
and Goa Gajah/ Elephant Cave is an 11th century Temple consisting of fountains, carvings and caves
After checking out of our Bubbles we relocate to the more “urban” side of town to checkin to our new villas known as Mayana Villas in Seminyak/Canggu – A smaller single villa featuring 3 bdr/3bath we settle in and prepare to hit the town for dinner. Unlike UBUD there’s no real need to have dinner service at the Villa because there are so many local restaurants within proximity including SEAFOOD given our close proximity to the water. The journey from UBUD to Canggu while in distance is short but in real life time it took over 2 hours with traffic and given the time of day to travel between the two areas. Be mindful in your planning to account for traffic. Ideally it would be better to get ahead of the traffic by having early starts for excursions not to mention the sun isn’t as hot earlier in the day. For Dinner we head to nearby Echo Beach and enjoy a Seafood feast. The location was perfect overlooking the beach waters and listening to the crashing waves. Although the day was mostly spent commuting it ended perfectly. We also took a small pit stop along the way to visit the UpsideDownWorld house
We have an early start as in 6:30 pickup. We scarf down our pre-ordered breakfast and head out to the ferry in Sanur to tour the West side of Nusa Penida Island using Bali Penida Tours The West side tour included the following sites.
- Angel Billabong
- Broken Beach
- Kelingking Beach
- Love Tree
The tour is a full day starting upon arrival to the island at around 9:00 where we met our island driver, lunch and plenty of time to frolic about in the ocean. TIP: if you can stay the night prior ( most hotels run about $50/nite) I say do that therefore you can get an early start the next morning before the 1st Ferry comes over with the literal boat load of tourists.
Time to pack up and start the long journey home. We packed our luggage and decided since our flight didn’t take off until just before Midnite ( Xiamen Airlines) we essentially had a full day to explore. We spent the time getting in one last massage at Karsa Spa ( the premiere spa in the Ubud area). We also visited a true traditional Healer. That’s a whole post of itself. Let’s just say I went in skeptical but came out crying. I gave him as little information about me as possible in exchange he told me stuff I never told him. Of course after all that intensity we had to eat and drink one last time on the island ( airline food sucks). Taking the advise of our driver we had lunch at Warung Dewa Malen and dinner at Titi Batu Ubud club