If you’ve just read my Bali Chapter 1 then get ready for more chilled vibes starting in Ubud. This charming town is flourishing with quirky vegan cafes, travellers whizzing around on scooters and looming waterfalls.
Check out ‘Creperie’ for a magical place to enjoy breakfast or a light snack before heading out on your adventures. I ate here twice within the three days I spent in Ubud. Try the Nutella crepe covered in chopped up strawberries and mango if you have a sweet tooth like me! With a packed menu listing mystical sounding dishes and drinks, the ceiling painted intergalactic and cute pillows for seats, what’s not to love about this hippie cafe?
Ubud is close by to many enchanting waterfalls and is just an hour scooter ride away from my favourite – NungNung. Type it into maps.me or google maps and it will lead you through windy roads of lush countryside, past small villages and locals waving to you. Walking to the waterfall from the car park will take around 10/15 minutes and is downhill, however, the way back up to the top is a different story as it is very steep but definitely worth breaking a sweat for. Get there early to have this magnificent product of nature to yourself…
I’ll be your Jane… swing above the jungle or hide away in a nest within the trees. This was a fun activity to do just outside of Ubud, take your scooter and ride through the rustic villages along the way to ‘BaliSwing’.
On your way back to Ubud, take a detour to the rice terraces where you’ll find beautifully crafted landscapes open to anyone who fancies taking a stroll. You can also find cute signs and photo points along the meandering walkway. I would recommend that you get here an hour before sunset so you can witness the sun shining low through the trees.
Hike up Mount Batur during the early hours of the morning to catch a breathtaking sunrise over the ocean and surrounding mountains. Pastel colours present themselves accompanied by the brisk fresh air hugging your neck and a sweeping fog running across the sky.
I woke up at around 2am to drive down to the bottom of the mountain. On arrival I was given a torch to help navigate my way through the darkness. It took two hours to hike to the top along with hundreds of other tourists flashing their lights along the way. Tip: carry water and snacks as you will find yourself tiring quickly without them!
Get creative! I took a silversmith class at a shop called ‘Studio Perak’ where I made a silver feather cuff for my beautiful mother and a crescent moon necklace for myself. The course was three hours long in which time you could make as much as you want. I definitely recommend this experience, costing £40 in including the silver!
An island full of bars, restaurants, villas, hostels and a long stretch of beach! I loved staying on this tiny island. The ferries pull in straight onto the sand where people are sunbathing and enjoying the crystal clear water. The only form of transportation is if you rent a bicycle or pay to sit in a horse and carriage which I thought was quite charming.
Under the sea you’ll find turtles and statues if you swim out far enough towards Gili M. You can also pay £20 for a three island snorkelling tour lasting for around 4 hours where you’ll get dropped off at various points around the Gili islands. You’ll find turtles swimming gracefully and scuba divers exploring as you venture deeper into the blue sea.
I love the water. Coming to the Gili islands is perfect for you if you’re wanting a chilled out beach vibe but with plenty to do at night. You can relax by the beach, cycle around the whole of Gili T within 40 minutes and sip fresh coconuts whilst swaying in a hammock.
For the foodie: eat at ‘Scallywags’ for the best meal on the island! A beachside BBQ with a mouthwatering unlimited salad buffet. I ordered a fillet steak cooked medium rare with a side of fries, I then loaded my plate with crispy iceberg lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, coleslaw, breadsticks and the best dips I’ve ever tasted! I love a good buffet.
Do not leave Indonesia without visiting Lombok! This is by far my favourite beach island because it is still yet to be developed; the villages are still running off dirt tracks for roads and locals live in charming bamboo houses sitting on small stilts. I spent most of my time in Kuta, south of Lombok, where I fell in love with TanjungAn beach. As soon as I parked my scooter under a large tree, I was instantly hypnotised by the soft white sand and the crystal blue water in front of me.
Make friends with the welcoming locals… I was swimming by myself when a family nearby invited me over asking for my name and where I was from. Within minutes I was teaching their children how to swim like a mermaid and dive backwards into the water over and over again. This is probably my favourite memory from Indonesia as I felt peacefully content surrounded by wonderful strangers.
Love Thy Traveller