Trying to live life with sandy toes and laughter
I had been told a few times that I would love Bali, so when the opportunity presented itself to join a friend for a wedding at the Ritz Carlton I jumped on it. I decided to extend my trip, but since this was all spontaneous I had to Bali on a Budget. Here are the highlights:
Angga Homestay for about $27 CAD per night. I was steps from the Yoga Barn, shops and restaurants. They included breakfast, an air conditioned room, and the grounds were beautiful. I was in awe of the artistry on my door and the shrines in the common area. The best thing about a homestay (in addition to the price) is that you stay with a family. I was lucky enough to be there when the daughter graduated from kindergarten, and as result I witnessed the young playful girl that greeted me every morning transform into a beautiful Balinese dancer.
Yoga, meditation, dance, and wandering—my formula for an ideal holiday. The streets of Ubud are a potpourri of elaborate temple doors and eclectic shops to explore. Wandering beyond the city meant hopping on a motorbike to discover waterfalls, rice fields, ancient caves, and temples guarded by monkeys.
I bought a multi-class card and spent my days (and evenings) at the Yoga Barn. My favourite classes were the Gong Bath and Crystal Bowl meditations, Ecstatic Dance, and Embodied Movement. I even dusted off my ginga for a Capoeira class.
I’m allergic to nuts so I thought I’d have a hard time finding food in Bali. Not so. Locals are health conscious, and their zealous attempts to avoid gluten and meat have resulted in some amazing restaurants that are hyper aware of their ingredients. No nuts, no problem. My favourites included the Clear Café (you can’t go wrong with a fireman’s pole, $15 facials, and great food), Bali Buda, Kafe, Seeds of Life, and Bali Bohemia.
I loved Ubud. It has everything I look for in a holiday, but if you are a fan of beaches, nightlife and pools you may want to check out my next stop…
I met up with my friend and we stayed at IZE Seminyak, a perfect boutique hotel with all the amenities, rooftop pool, a great location in the heart of the main shopping area, and affordable at around $120 per night (split between the two of us).
Shopping, beach bars, cheap massages, yoga, and food. There were lots of Bali designer boutiques in Seminyak—it was hard to stay on budget here, and the best $10 massages ever. Tip—go for the $10 massage instead of the $6, the difference in cleanliness is worth it.
In addition to chilling at a few beach bars, we managed to fit in a great yoga class in Canggu and checked out a couple cool Moto shops (my favourite was Malamadre).
We hit a few Australian influenced cafes and local spots: Revolver, The Loft, Mades Warung, Strawberry Fields, Ku De Ta, and Potato Head Beach Club.
I loved the shopping and cheap massages in Seminyak, but Canggu is where I’d go back to live for a few months.
The Ritz Carleton, not budget at all, but the accomm was generously covered by the wedding couple. The Ritz is what you’d expect (and more), beautiful grounds, pool, and beach. The room was bigger than my apartment with a TV over the bathtub (didn’t use either but still pretty cool).
Lots of time on the beach and by the pool. I did sunrise yoga every morning (the teacher was top notch) and I even took a balinese dance class (not easy at all, but fun). The wedding was beautiful, the couple went all out.
Beautiful beaches, great for escape and relaxation. I wouldn’t go to Bali and only visit Nusa Dua though, there’s so much more when you venture out.
The Kirana Ungasan was the best part of my stay in this little fishing village. The rooms are on stilts with private patios, there’s a pool, and breakfast included (actually every place we stayed on this trip included breakfast), all for around $75 CAD. I wish I had more than one night there.
I packed a lot in my 24 hours here. I cabbed to the beach and had a sunset seafood dinner. Not recommended, I was overcharged and the food was ok at best, but the view was amazing.
I grabbed a motorbike cab to Uluwatu for sunrise at the temple. Amazing. The temple sits cliffside overlooking the ocean. A monkey stole my iPhone though. It’s funny now, but very traumatic at the time. They surrounded me, and the gang leader had the sharpest looking teeth. Thankfully staff came by and got my phone back by trading it for a sweet potato. I was told the monkeys are particularly nasty in the mornings when they are hungry. Me too monkey, me too.
There are a lot of great surfing beaches but I didn’t get the chance to visit them. Uluwatu is gorgeous but watch out for the monkeys. Traffic is horrible. It took me two hours to get to the airport that was meant to be 15 min away. I also felt taken advantage of a lot here, not everyone, just some cab drivers, the seafood restaurants, and the monkey gang. I didn’t have that experience anywhere else in Bali.
Hope this helps, and let me know if you go!
Hi Tammy this a great post.
We’re essentially going to the same places you have listed here.
But looks like if there was a place to skip it would be Jimbaran. would you suggest doing a similar route you did eg starting our trip off at Ubud
We plan to be there for 4 week! So do you have any must see places and activities. Keep in mind we have two boys.
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Thanks Jose! A whole month, you’ll be able to really see a lot. You could follow a similar route, but the taxi to Ubud from the airport is a little bit long after the long flight there. With two boys you may want to start with someplace closer. Jimbaran and Seminyak are closer to the airport. Kuta is really close, but it’s a party area—we stayed clear of it. There are lots of great beach bars in Seminyak with a lot less chaos. Also so many cute clothing stores for kids in Seminyak! I’ve heard that the Gili Islands are a must see. I didn’t have time to go to but with a month you should have time—http://www.bali-indonesia.com/gili-islands/ Enjoy!