All posts filed under: Indonesia

Ubud, Bali

And so it happened. One minute we are stepping off the plane deathly pale, slowly melting in the heat and next minute there’s four days left before we fly home, slightly less pale but still, how did that happen? The end of a trip loves creeping up on you doesn’t it? After our chilled week in Balian doing nothing and absolutely loving it, we made the decision to spend our final few days relaxing in Ubud, apparently after 7 weeks away we weren’t chilled enough. Ubud was undoubtedly my favourite part of Bali when I visited last year so I was worried revisiting wouldn’t compare, not only that but Eat, Pray Love in my opinion ruined the place for me. What was a calm, spiritual and cultural mecca has become an assault to the senses with the amount of tourist attractions left right and centre, plus the constant obstacle course to avoid all the ‘travellers’ who are ‘finding themselves’ is as tiring as it is annoying. In fact the hardest thing to find was some …

Balian, Bali

When we decide to go travelling we all say the same, that we only want the most authentic experiences, you know ‘do it properly’ and all that. No hotels, no hot water, nothing that could be considered luxury, but to get a real feel for a place and definitely to not go anywhere anyone else has but then the shock of a day without wifi reminds you you’re a bit of a fraud. We are all guilty of it. We want to travel and I mean to really travel, to forget about the 9-5 and the generic stresses and unimportant problems that consume our daily lives and have our own adventure, like in a film. But when push comes to shove we are sadly more consumed by technology and commercial crap than we realise and so all our visions of becoming the modern day Swiss Family Robinson and landing on uninhabited islands on a local fishing boat suddenly becomes booking a day trip island hopping with a boat load of other ‘travellers’ who want to know what consists of their all …

Canggu, Bali

If Kuta was the drunk-party girl, Ubud is the hippy saving-the-whales artist so Canggu is the effortlessly cool friend you want to hate but you just can’t. This place is undoubtedly Bali’s hottest neighbourhood right now. With amazing health cafes, yoga and surf camps and an actual decent cup of coffee, without all the usual touristy crap this is somewhere you can’t help but fall in love with. I mean Jonny had to forcibly remove me eventually, I didn’t want to leave, he fully made me. Blame him. Don’t expect much culture and variety in this post, I warn you straight up it’s all about the food today. You are literally spoilt for choice for places to eat here, it’s a foodies dream, it’s my dream. More importantly after drowning in Nasi Gorengs and fish BBQs finally I was looking at menus with actual gluten free options where a salad wasn’t just shredded carrot and a cucumber on a lettuce leaf. The vibe here is very chilled and effortlessly cool, probably something to do with everyone being a surfer or a yoga teacher, but the best thing …

Seminyak, Bali

O Seminyak, where do we start with you aye? I think we knew what to expect before we even arrived, our opinion had pretty much been made, yes unfair I know but to be honest we were spot on so there. Seminyak is the definitition of your coupley-two week-package holiday destination. You’ve worked hard, you have 14 precious days holiday, you want to travel but no time, you want luxury, you want to relax, you want to be able to say you did Bali, just without the backpack, well Seminyak apparently is the answer. It’s deemed as the ‘luxury’ area of Bali… the strip of resorts each bigger than the terminal at the airport was the first clue, the security guards manning the pools were the next. How’s a girl meant to slip in for a quick dip if Hulk Hogans blocking the route for us peasants? We took a little scooter ride from our temporary base in Canggu to visit here for the day, to tick it off more than anything, I mean it was near …

Uluwatu, Bali

When people heard we were heading to Bali it usually guaranteed the same old speech: “avoid Kuta like the plague, spend a week in Ubud, and OMG Uluwatu is amazing” And so far we agreed with most of their points, Kuta had been bypassed quicker than a street food stall in Delhi and we had just explored the hippy out of Ubud for the last few days, so it was just Uluwatu left to rate. All I knew was I needed to see the temple on the cliff and spend a Sunday at Single Fin Beach Club watching the sunset with a mojito. Well consider them ticked. To be honest we timed this visit solely to coincide with the infamous Sunday party at Single Fin, don’t judge us, by “party” we mean perch on a chair for 5 hours to watch the sunset then people watching as the night went on, maybe with a Mojito or two. But you can see why this place is as popular as it is, I mean that view for starters is …

Snorkelling on Gili Meno

“Gimme some fin dude” My Finding Nemo quote was totally lost on Jonny, the surfer turtle? The boys were on a turtle finding mission, they’d rented snorkels for 2 days straight on Gili Air and seemed to be the only people on the island yet to spot one, I was starting to worry for the next person who mentioned they’d seen some. Everyone said that snorkelling around the Gili Islands was beautiful, you were guaranteed to see all sorts of weird and wonderful fish but more importantly turtles were as common as a Kanye speech hijack at an awards ceremony. Unfortunately for Jonny Gili Air just wasn’t coming through with the goods so it called for a day trip over to Gili Meno to test their waters. If all else failed it had a turtle sanctuary on the island as a last ditch consolation prize. Thankfully this stop off was rendered unnecessary two minutes after donning the sexy snorkels and swimming around off the aptly named Turtle Heaven Beach and meeting this fella… (I’d be …

Arriving on Gili Air

We have been away for more than three weeks now, crazy how quickly time flies from a sun lounger, but something’s been niggling at me, something’s been missing, it was only when we staggered off the local boat weighed down with bags and preconceptions and beached ourselves onto Gili Air that it all seemed to slot into place. You see going to the Gili Islands has been something I have planned and looked forward to for years, it had become ‘that’ place for me to visit, everyone has one, which absolutely terrified me because that can only mean one thing, disappointment surely? When you put somewhere on a pedestal you’re asking for failure, but as I type this we’ve just returned to our bungalow after a little stroll along the beach to catch the sunrise and everything seems pretty ideal right now to me.  Jonny will say that I’m a pessimist, and yeh he’s right, although I try to argue I prefer the term realist but anyway I have been perfecting my Gili Air fantasy since we were meant to …

Waterfalls in Lombok

Whilst we were waiting for our flight to Bali, Jonny and I sat and made our bucket list for the trip. It’s become our little ritual before we go somewhere to make a note on our phone of everything we want to do and then we try to work through it and tick it off. It can include anything: eating a particular meal, to have a Mojito whilst watching sunset on a beach, visit a special landmark… our way of making sure we don’t forget something and get even more excited at the same time, plus I’m a sucker for a list of any kind. Anyway back to the point, at the top of Jonnys Bucket list was: – visit the waterfalls in Lombok, and who am I to stand in the way of a guy and his waterfalling dreams. Whoever told you not to go chasing waterfalls clearly hasn’t ever hiked to the waterfalls at the base of Mt Rinjani, Incredible (and sorry about the reference, but I mean really, what would a waterfall feature be without that song). …

The Secret Gili Islands

We’ve all heard about the famous Gili Islands, Indonesias answer to paradise, or at least they definitely used to be. Now a mecca for tourists that are one step away from being the latest Koh Phangan. So how about we let you in on a little secret that is going to restore your faith in that Indonesian island dream we all crave. This collection of 13 or so small islands scattered around Sekotong on the South west of Lombok are affectionately named the Secret Gilis. When we first asked about visiting here we were told there was nothing to see, well that’s a lie. These islands are well worth a visit, maybe locals just want them to keep them secret that little while longer. Unlike their famous counterparts these islands are largely uninhabited and have yet to be discovered by most travellers, in fact Gili Nanggu is the only one to offer accommodation, so far. Granted it may not be the height of luxury but the view in the morning is a guaranteed plus. But …

Day trips from Kuta, Lombok.

It’s always hard when you arrive somewhere new to know where’s worth dedicating a valuable day too but I think these places definitely count as ones to add to the Lombok (Kuta area) activity list. – Mawi Beach Mawi is a gorgeous beach to visit, a 40 minute scooter ride from Kuta and worth remembering for a day trip. The journey itself is definitely half the package, the road to get to the beach winds in and out of the hills and is some of the beautifulest scenery we have seen so far. Hop on your scooter and slowly make your way there for a chilled afternoon at the beach. What used to be a little insider secret is definitely slowly reaching the ears of tourism, the 10,000IRP entrance fee reminds you of that, but I guarantee you are still looking at plenty of privacy. We were among maybe 20 others if that and no one came to hassle us to buy a coconut or for a picture once. Just Jonny pestering for more sun cream on his …