Bellyrina In Bali : The Island Life
Everyone has at least one trip or vacation that sticks with them through the years, and holds a special place in their heart. For me, that will always be my 2014 vacation in Bali. Well, the correct term would be ‘honeymoon’, but what is a honeymoon after all, but a gloriously romantic vacation?
I visited the gorgeous island of Bali in January 2014, and I think I fell in love as soon as I exited the airport. The beauty, the energy, and the warmth (both literal and figurative) of Bali made me feel like the place had been waiting for me.
So you’re planning a vacation in Bali? For starters, yay! You’re going to love it! Read on for a few of my experiences and recommendations.
When selecting a place to stay, Bali will leave you spoiled for choice. Whether you’re on a budget or prepared to splurge, looking for a cosy nook or a luxurious villa, there’s something for everybody. We stayed at an absolutely stunning villa that we found on AirBnB. Located in Sanur, the villa boasted huge rooms, a delightful pool, a darling host (whom I’ll tell you more about in a bit), and 3 adorable cats. And all of that, for a fraction of what a fancy hotel/resort would have cost us anywhere else (even India!)
Our host Silvie was an absolute gem! She was listed as one of AirBnB’s star hosts, and it wasn’t difficult to see why. For a couple of months before our trip, she befriended us over e-mail and began listing out all the great activities we could look forward to in the area. By the time we arrived at the villa, we were meeting a friend. What made our trip as great as it was, were all the fantastic recommendations that Silvie made during our stay. Thanks to her, we managed to skip a lot of the clichés, and experience a lot of hidden gems of Bali — the kind of stuff only a local could tell you about.
For example, when she learnt that I love coffee, Silvie recommended the Alam Sari coffee plantation & tasting tour. We were taken on a great tour where we were shown their entire process of coffee creation, from picking to roasting and grinding. We also got to taste several different types of Balinese coffee, including the famed Kopi Luwak (civet coffee). My favourites were the Ginseng coffee with its light gingery undertones, and the Coconut coffee which was sweeter, and had a lovely tropical mood — makes a fantastic dessert coffee! Needless to say, I bought several packs of both to bring home with me!
She also pointed us to some beautiful beaches, particularly the ones that tourists don’t frequent. So we were greeted by pristine white sand, cool blue water, and absolutely no crowds. In fact, the only company around were surfers — a LOT of surfers!
Another one of my favourite things about Bali was the food. While I didn’t photograph much of it (too busy honeymooning and eating), I do have a few recommendations. For starters, the Nasi Goreng and Nasi Campur at most little ‘warungs‘ (smaller local restaurants) is amazing! The flavours are fresh and vibrant, and needless to say, the ingredients used are all really healthy. Just a heads-up though, if you’re allergic to peanuts, make sure your server/chef knows. A lot of the food contains peanuts in some form (usually sauce), so you’ll need to be careful.
And if you’re a fan of sushi, you’re going to love Bali! We stuffed our faces with delicious salmon sushi at a quaint little place called Kokoya in Sanur. A platter of 10 pieces for the equivalent of INR250! Just thinking of it makes me want to go back *drool* (I have no pictures of those, because my husband eats really fast!)
This is just a teeny tiny peek into what Bali was like. Want more stories and tips? Let me know in the comments, and I’m happy to share more stuff from this vacation of a lifetime!