Today I am so excited to share a real Milk + Honey Travelers trip that required a whole new level of responsibility…
Traveling with friends can be done in any stage in life.
I am a huge fan of Bali.
I love a good beach club. There’s something about the beach AND a party vibe that makes all the sense in the world to me. Yes, I want to lounge in comfort, sip my overpriced umbrella’d drink, nosh on some yummy food, and listen to some great tunes— all while watching the waves crash!
When I visited Bali last year, I actually researched all the different beach clubs and made a list of all the ones I wanted to visit. They were all unique. Some were your typical party vibes, while others were laid back and unpretentious, letting the scenery and the essence of Bali do the talking. And honestly, when you are in Bali that is quite enough. But I made sure to sample a variety of them, for research purposes of course.
People move around in Bali and that’s part of the appeal and beauty of it. If you’re considering a trip there, you should think about what kind of person you are and what type of experience you hope to have, and let that help guide you. There are also many different types of activities and sightseeing destinations, so choosing the right location can make your whole trip easier and more seamless.
The truth is, most of us see ourselves in multiple categories, and so the longer you stay, the more you can really experience all parts of your personality. I probably had a good 2 more personalities to explore, so my stay next time will have to be extended. The following is what I gathered about some of the areas of Bali, either through my own research and places I stayed, or from chatting with others while I was there.
Areas of Bali and what kind of traveler would enjoy it most:
The spiritual, soulful artist: UBUD
*There is plenty of art and culture to make you feel like you are experiencing real Balinese life. There is tons of authentic, yummy food, and just about any type of accommodation you would desire. It’s beautiful, slightly cooler than the beach areas, and if you stay outside of the crazy center, you will really feel at peace here. The above photo was taken at the pool of Sunrise Villas, a beautiful place to stay and appreciate the surroundings.
The upscale diva: SEMINYAK
*Slightly quieter and certainly more upscale than neighboring Legian and Kuta. You will find great restaurants and a variety of beautiful villas to choose from. Also, there are some good beaches, although not the best for swimming. A lot of expats choose this area, though, so not quite as “authentic” in these parts, but will give you a bit of luxury, if you so desire, while still being close to the action.
The disconnected diver: AMED
*Very little to do here besides relax, dive, and snorkel. For some that sounds like absolute paradise, and so this area of small villages would be just perfect. This is for the laid-back folks who don’t want to encounter a bunch of other tourists. It’s also the hottest and driest part of Bali, so you'd be wise to spend a lot of time underwater!
The laid-back beach-goer: JIMBARAN
*Nice beach area that is lined with fresh seafood restaurants each night, that are usually framed by a nice sunset in the background. There is a good mix of accommodations and pretty laid-back atmosphere. There is not a ton of things to do here, but it is convenient to the airport and a good base to see the south part of Bali.
The surfer enthusiast: ULUWATU
*Lovers of beaches, surfing, and sun will be right at home in the south of Bali. These beaches have some world-famous breaks, and people stay here expecting to spend most of their time on the water. There is a number of basic accommodations, although some luxury options are mixed in, and have amazing views.
The generic socialite: NUSA DUA
*A bunch of upscale resorts lined up next to one another behind a gated compound, and an area that does it’s best to be wholly inauthentic. The Balinese aren’t even allowed on the beaches. Here you will overpay for everything, and get the same experience you could get by flying 2 hours instead of 20. Not worth it, in my opinion.
The escapist: GILI ISLANDS OR LOMBOK
* Not a lot of tourists, no motorized transport, and endless beauty to just explore at your own leisure. These quick escapes from the main areas of Bali seem like a great addition to a holiday.
The party animal: KUTA/LEGIAN
*If you want to be surrounded by a bunch of tourists and drink beer all day every day, this may be the place for you. It’s incredibly crowded, and while there are a large amount of choices when it comes to accommodations, restaurants, and shopping, there is nothing about this area that will give you “relaxing”, if that is what you seek. The beach is always close by when you stay and offers good surf breaks.
The options available can seem overwhelming, and people often worry about making the wrong choice, especially when it’s a new destination for them. That’s why it can be so important to work with a travel professional who is interested in helping you discover what is going to give you your best experience and the type of vacation you’re looking for. Whether it’s Bali or elsewhere, this is the kind of thing I love helping with.
Contact Milk and Honey Travels today to start planning your next amazing trip!
Pretty much everyone knows what put this place on the map. This small area in Bali was made famous by Eat. Pray. Love. Ever since, People flock here to find that inner peace and spiritual connection seemingly missing from their every day lives.
During my research of Bali, I read many accounts on how Ubud had lost its authenticity and charm to the hordes and hordes of tourists who now flock here; That it's no longer the place of serenity and spirituality that it once was. I mean, heck, they even have a Starbucks!
I still wanted to make a stop here, but I was a little weary on what my experience would be.
Are there hordes and hordes of tourists here?! Yes. However, I still find this place magical. It speaks to my soul in a way I can't quite explain but want desperately to keep finding a way to listen to. There is a grounding that takes place here, and I really dig it. I find myself not wanting to do much with my days but simply be present. To take it all in and appreciate each and every thing I come across. And so even when you finish your day and feel like you haven’t done a lot of “stuff”, you feel like you’ve accomplished so much.
This place is full of surprises around every corner and there is so much beauty to experience and be a part of. My advice would be to stay outside of the center of Ubud (it really is a crazy, chaotic area with too many people navigating a really small area), but visit it and see it for yourself. I loved where we stayed, and it was just a short scooter ride away from the action, but while at home it was all peace and serenity.
So, what did my 6 days in Ubud look like? Well, let's take a look shall we..
Yoga. I took a yoga class every single day I was here. I don’t even want to tell you how much I enjoyed it, because it will make me look like a hypocrite for all the times I have not spoke so highly of it. Needless to say, yoga here is a different experience than probably anywhere else. From morning yoga, to sunset yoga, to hanging upside down on ropes tied to the ceiling yoga, and everything in between. Just buy me a bag of granola.
Massages. They are so affordable, if you don’t get a massage pretty much every day in Bali, you’re cheating yourself. Seriously, all of our massages have been between $6 - $10 for an entire hour. Did they offer us cucumber water at the end? No. But, so what!
Eating. The food here is good. The ambience at some of these places is even better. Plus, all restaurants have free wifi, so you know us plugged in Americans have a pavlovian response when we see that.
Sunrises. We stayed at a place called “Sunrise Villas”, and the setting was on a river gorge that looked over the terraces and was an endless view of lush greenery. I don’t know if anyone else was staying there, or if they just were hermits, but it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. I loved getting up in the morning and just sitting outside as the world began to wake.
We also departed our hotel at 2am one morning to go trekking up a volcano and watch the sunrise. The hike itself was somewhat challenging, as you are navigating steep terrain in the absolute darkness, but the payoff is oh-so-worth it.
River views. We went white water rafting, and that was probably the biggest “adventure” portion of our stay in Ubud. The views during our way down the river were astounding. Along the way you also get a glimpse of people just living their daily lives by the river.
Our stay in Ubud was all that I hoped it would be. I am not saying it’s a stop everyone needs to make, but it’s one that I was so happy I included. I barely scratched the surface here, but it is a place I will definitely be returning to on future trips to Bali.
If this experience seems right up your alley, or if you’re looking to create your own, don’t hesitate to contact me to start the planning process!