The Wanderlust of.. Welike Bali!

They are THE girls you contact if you want to know anything Bali related. With more than 12 years island experience, Pris and Eve’s Welike Bali platform has evolved in a household name and brand. They sell merchandise, test the best hotels and hotspots and they have recently published their first Dutch Bali Guide! Time to have a chat.

Hi Girls! How are you? Could you tell our readers a little bit about Welike Bali and who you are?

Hi! We are Pris & Eve, two best friends from Holland. We met each other at our first job after we finished our study and became friends. Back in 2009 we decided to move somewhere sunny for one year. Given that we both have Indonesian roots, decided to go travel to Bali. 11 years passed, and here we are! When we arrived back in 2009 there were lots of cool things happening on the island and new hotspots opening. So that’s how we started Welike Bali.

We couldn’t find any nice websites with non-touristy info about Bali.

A blog about everything we like on the island. Over the years we expanded our blog with our Instagram channel, YouTube, published our Bali travel guides in English and recently also our official Dutch book! It’s filled with more than 300 tips And since 2 years we also run our Welike Bali shop. We design Island life inspired t-shirts, sweaters and accessories and have them handmade in Bali.

We think a lot of our followers love the island of Bali, but what makes it so special for you guys?

The moment we arrived in Bali we felt that instant connection. It’s the sun, the ocean, surf, the people, amazing creative vibe, incredible food from vegan till the best nasi campur. But mostly because we love the feeling of freedom and life outside. Getting up early when the sun rises, jumping on the motorbike, surf, have coffee and breakfast at one of our many favourite cafes and after that we start our working day. In the evening we see our friends over dinner and in weekends we go on trips to create content and explore new spots. It’s an inspiring place to live!

Welike Bali at High Tide

So for those who haven’t been to Bali, what are THE hotspots on the island at the moment?

This one is so hard to answer haha! You can’t even imagine how many amazing stays, restaurants, beach hangouts and other hotspots there are. The 300 spots in our book are even a tiny few of our favourites! And it also totally depends on your travel preferences and budget. You can go all out luxury or off the beaten path local or low budget.

But we can say for first time Bali go’ers it’s a must to go to:

  • Canggu to eat, surf & chill.
  • South Bali (The Bukit) for the best beaches, magical sunsets, surf and cute stays on the beach
  • Ubud for culture, arts and rice field walks (if you are more adventurous head up to Jatiluwih or Karangasem for incredible nature and rice paddy jungle valleys)
  • East Bali for the authentic Bali vibe away from mass tourism. Black sand beaches, local villages, eco stays along the beach and palm tree fields as far as you can look.
  • An island outside of Bali! It’s a must. Visit the Gili- or the Nusa islands for clear blue water and white sand beaches. Or head up to Flores for an unforgettable trip with island hopping, snorkelling with manta rays and sleep on a deserted island.

Flores Island
The Welike Bali girls in Flores

Evelien (Eve for short), you just became a new mum to a baby boy – who looks very cute btw, how will you combine the traveling to Bali, especially when he gets older?

Thanks! Haha. Manua is turning 1 this week! Before Manua I spend a few months on and off in Amsterdam and Bali and with Manua we plan to do the same. This first year we stayed more in Holland, to be close to family but we’re so ready to head back into the sun haha. It was super easy to fly with him as a newborn, when he could sleep in the basinet in front of our chairs. I’m curious how our next flight will go since he won’t sit still anymore I’m sure it will be tough but we’ll survive haha.

Apart from Bali and Amsterdam, what is your favourite place you want to keep coming back to?

Los Angeles, Hawaii and Tahiti! These three places in the world are our absolute favourite. We’ve been here a few times and we are already planning a new trip this year. Can’t wait to bring Manua here! We love the energy and creative vibes of Los Angeles, and get so inspired each time we are here. We love to just live a ‘daily life’ in LA. Get up early, workout, hike or surf, have breakfast or pick-up a juice or coffee to go on Abbot Kinney and then start the day. Hawaii & Tahiti is island life to the fullest for us. The ocean, waving palm trees, eating açaí bowls along the road at the local food truck and exploring its beautiful raw nature and incredible beaches.

Bali flower bath

You have recently published a Bali Travel Guide, what can people expect to read and see?

We did, so excited! Up to the present time, we have been self publishing our smaller-size English Bali Guide for 3 years now, and last September we released our official Dutch Bali Travel Guide! Together with Uitgeverij Unieboek Het Spectrum which is being sold in more than 100 stores throughout the Netherlands. We made it to give everyone an unforgettable dream holiday to Bali! Whether you’re travel solo, with friends, on a honeymoon or with kids. It’s the crown on our 10 year anniversary in Bali!

We curated our top 300 favourite addresses. From the nicest places to eat and sleep to the best surf spots, beaches, spas, shops, yoga schools and special trips. We also give tips how and where to travel for the surrounding islands including Flores, the Gili Islands and Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan & Penida. And we interviewed fellow Bali lovers, like Benthe Liem, Vivian Hoorn, Rachel “De Huismuts” from Sas and Nina Pierson about their favorite Bali places. We wanted to make it a ready to go guide, so we also added a handy packing list, day-to-day travel routes, practical tips and a Bali bucket list to tick off while in Bali!

If you could only pack 3 items in your suitcase, what would definitely be in there?

Without hesitation; a bikini, sunscreen & our analog camera.

The Instagram game is constantly changing, how do you guys keep your relevance and stay innovative in “the game”?

We believe the key is to be valuable and offer something to your audience. In our case: our personal tips for Bali and inspiration to travel anywhere sunny. We’re lucky amazing new spots and island stays are popping up every day in Bali so we always have something new to share. The whole lifestyle around it, like what bikinis or Summer outfits to wear make it personal because you can understand more of who Pris & Eve are.

We think the trend is moving towards being creative and real

e take our followers along in our daily life in Bali and Amsterdam with Manua (and Pris in Biarritz with the boyfriend in the Summer months) and also experiment with analog photography on the feed and more IGTV videos.

Which music can we find on your ultimate roadtrip Spotify list?

  • It’ll be mostly Hawaiian and singer songwriter music! A few on repeat are:
  • Kimie Miner – Sea of Love
  • Khai Dreams – Sunkissed
  • Nani – Good Morning
  • Anuhea – Forever Summer
  • Leon Bridges – Beyond

But we can also be in the mood for a good Beyonce, Anderson Paak and always love a good 90’s hip-hop playlist!

So far, which was your highlight of 2019 (ok, the baby doesn’t count ;-))

Haha ok otherwise, we would definitely have baby on number one! And our first time with baby Manua in Bali :))
But besides baby, our highlight is the launch of our Welike Bali book. It really felt like the cherry on the pie of 10 years Welike Bali. But we must say our years are usually a collection of highlights as each trip is so special! We fell in love with Bawah, an island in Indonesia so paradisally it’s almost unreal. Loved our surf trip to the Mentawais with 10 surfer girls from around the world, work trips to Mauritius and Portugal.

Welike Bali with baby
Evelien with her husband and baby Manua

What can we expect from Welike Bali in 2020?

There will be exciting things happening! We have designed some new curated travel guides and clothing collections for our Welikebali Shop which we will release around February/March. And we’re having something fun to announce soon, can’t spoil everything yet but is has something to do with Welike Bali Holidays ;)) In addition we also have some sun-kissed destinations on our bucket list we want to travel to, like the Philippines, Greece, Maldives, Mexico (ok we’ll stop this list will get too long haha) so above all we’ll be spreading lots of sunshine in 2020!

And last but not least, what kind of travellers are you?

Notably, we are in love with the ocean, beach and waving palm trees! Long days under the sun, exploring sea life, surfing and eating our way through the day hehe. But we also love to visit cities like Paris, Marrakech, Los Angeles, New York (NY is still on the bucket list!) and explore new spots. That cool coffee bar, cool concept store or incredible vegan cafe. We get so excited when we see new places in the world, it gives so much inspiration and energy! We don’t really have a specific travel style, we can enjoy a luxurious resort in the Maldives, a low-key airbnb in the city, but also a simple beach shack on a deserted island. But we are a sucker for a good design or an eye-catching tropical set-up so it will need to look a little bit nice 😉

Beach Bali

Thanks for the chat girls and let’s travel soon!

Find our more about Welike Bali on their tropical website!

x

Wander-Lust

Read more interviews here:

AN AQUARIUM RESTAURANT JUST OPENED ON BALI!

For years, Bali has been innovative when it comes to trendy restaurants that attracts travellers from all over the world. But no one has ever opened this kind of restaurant.

The Apurva Kempinski Hotel on Bali is one of the most luxurious hotels on the island and has recently opened their restaurant Koral, set next and under an aquarium. 

Girl in aquarium restaurant
Aquarium Restaurant done well. Photo by Heydi Paramitha, via Tripvanvas

As a result, dining has never been the same!

Even more, they serve delicious seafood and grilled specialities with local ingredients and Bali flavours, in an unforgettable setting. 

So, when are you booking a table

Are you curious about this hotel? Check our stay in Kempinski Doha!

Love,

Wander-Lust

10 X MOVIES THAT WILL TRIGGER YOUR WANDERLUST

toDo you need some inspiration for your travel bucket list? Or can you use a good dose of wanderlust on a rainy afternoon? Travel movies offer the solution! So sit back and dream for an hour or two with visuals of beautiful places which you can hopefully visit someday afterwards.

In my opinion, these are 10 of the most beautiful travel movies that you must see.

Into the wild (Alaska)

A wonderful movie about traveling solo. The main character, Christopher McCandless, gives away everything he has to prove that he does not need material to live. A special film about freedom, solitude and nature.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Hawaii)

The devastated Peter is going to Hawaii so he can relax and deal with the recent break-up with his ex-girlfriend. Once he is there, he finds out that his ex is staying at the same resort and she’s bringing along her new boyfriend. A hilarious film that is perfect for getting into the tropical Hawaiian atmosphere.

Hawaii | travel movies

The secret life of Walter Mitty (Greenland, Iceland, Afghanistan)

Who doesn’t want a great and compelling life, full of adventure and beautiful journeys? That is exactly what the protagonist Walter Mitty wants. He is a man who dreams of a new life, far away from his office. A recommendation if you want to see a feel-good travel movie that takes you to the most stunning places.

Midnight in Paris (Paris)

The movie Midnight in Paris is about a harmless yet clumsy American (Gil Pender) who is tired of his wife’s lack in interests. He decides to spend his time in Paris exploring its artistic and literary history. After watching this movie, I can assure you that you will fall in love with the French! Have you read our brand new Paris Guide yet?

Paris Guide 2020

Slumdog Millionaire (India)

In contrast to Paris, Slumdog Millionaire takes mostly place in the slums of India and shows a whole new side of the country. The film follows the 18-year-old Jamal who participates in the game program “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Let the movie take you on a fairy-tale journey through hectic India.

Eat pray love (Italy, India, Indonesia)

In the film adaptation of the book Eat Pray Love we follow Liz (Julia Roberts) on her journey of self-discovery through 3 countries. The first time I watched the movie I fell in love with all three locations where she ate (Italy) prayed (India) and found love (Bali).

Wander-Lust in Bali

Lost in Translation (Japan)

In the same fashion, this movie is also about love and friendship, set in Tokyo. The overwhelming metropolis is fairly truthfully portrayed. It is a must see for anyone traveling to Japan, but even without specific travel plans you can dream away due all the beautiful images that pass by.

Chef (U.S.)

This movie follows Chef Carl Casper as he tries to find meaning in his life and work by traveling from Miami to Los Angeles in his food truck. It’s an entertaining and very lovable feel good movie that makes you want to road trip through the U.S. and try out all kinds of food.

Wild (West America)

Unquestionably, Wild is appreciated by backpackers across the globe. Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) decides to abandon her normal life and goes on a journey on her own. She has put set her sights on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is a long path that runs from the border with Canada in the north of America to the border with Mexico in the south of America.

Gift ideas for backpackers | Wander-Lust

Lord of the Rings (New Zealand)

From time to time, a travel movie like the Lord of the Rings captivates millions of fans all around the world. The fictional Middle-earth, where the story take place, seems to be a completely different world, although all scenes were shot in New Zealand (of course with editing, but still). It may be a fantasy adventure film; it remains one of my favourites. After watching, I always feel like planning a trip to beautiful New Zealand.

New Zealand travel movies

Happy watching!

Iris

8 x Healthy Cafés on Bali

Like London and Australia, Bali is is one of those places where a healthy lifestyle started a while back. And yet more and more healthy cafés are popping up.

It’s that tropical & magical little island, the island that everybody escapes to recharge their batteries. We’re talking about Bali of course.  With more healthy choices than ever, it was time to share our top 10 of Bali’s most healthy cafés.

Sisterfields

Jl. Kayu Cendana No.7, Seminyak, Bali 80361
www.sisterfields.com

With Australia around the corner, it’s not a big surprise that this kind of cafe opened up in Bali not too long ago. They call themselves “The Iconic Australian Cafe”. You can certainly have breakfast like a king or eat lunch like an emperor with one of their famous tropical juices.

IMG_6322 copy
Source: Sisterfields

Sari Organik, Ubud

Jl. Raya Tjampuhan, Ubud, Bali

We first discovered this healthy café back in 2010. In the beginning we weren’t sure where we would end up because you’ll need to walk through the rice fields for about 20 minutes which makes this place even more special! Once arrived, you can enjoy the best fresh coconuts, and homemade organic lunches.


Bali's healthy hotspots
Back in 2010

sari-organik2
Source: letsmakan.com

The Mocca

Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong Gg Nyepi Canggu, Bali
www.facebook.com/themocca

This little gem located in Canggu is a Coffeshop with garden front open concept store and an upstairs with a gypsy interior. They serve good and healthy food, plus the service is good! 

The Mocca | Healthy Cafés Bali

Shelter café

Jl. Drupadi, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
http://www.sheltercafebali.com/

From 7am you can indulge yourself with healthy food and this open tropical café. Amazing salads, homemade gingerbeer, lemon squash or their super smoothies will make you want to come back here. Many holiday seekers are fan of this place, and so are we! 

shelter-cafe-bali-coconut

10368403_319031024957127_5848566574092819110_n
Source: Facebook Shelter Cafe

Mule Malu

Jl. Pantai Bingin 80364 Uluwatu, Bali
www.mulemalu.com

Unlike the rest, this is actually an accommodation instead of just being a café. Hidden on bingin cliff top and within walking distance to Bingin beach.  Mule Malu strives to be environmentally friendly through the efficient use of energy, water and materials while providing quality services. Their in house café is amazing and located by the pool. They serve healthy bowls, dairy free and sugar free juices and smoothies throughout the day.

Mule Malu | healthy Cafés Bali

Avocado Factory

Jl. Tanah Barak No.52 Canggu, Bali
www.theavocadofactory.com

We all know that avocado’s are healthy for you. The green goodness is more popular than ever and we even have several Avocado Restaurant in Amsterdam! 

Avocado factory

Ubud Hanging Gardens

Desa Buahan, Payangan, Bali 80571
www.hanginggardensofbali.com

You can imagine my jaw dropping when I entered the hanging gardens for the first time. I had a wonderful dinner here with no time for a jump in the infinity pool but let’s just say we have a rain check on that one! They mainly use vegetables, fruits and spices  from the Bedugul or are grown at their own property, their seafood comes directly from Jimbaran Bay making lunch and dinner very tasty!

141112_332_Hanging-Gardens

Source: both pictures courtesy to the Ubud Hanging Gardens

Warung Kecil

Jalan Duyung no 1, Sanur, Bali

My parents told me about this secret place. Sanur residents love it here. The prices are extremely low but the food quality is sky high! From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special but it’s cosy and cute on the inside. They offer vegetarian and vegan options plus healthy wheatgrass shots, fresh almond or macha milk, pressed juices, young coconuts and you can also go for a buffet. Check their Facebook for more info.

PicMonkey Collage
Source: Facebook Warung Kecil

 

Love,

Elke

 

Visiting Bali for the first time? Here is all you need to know

Oh hello sunshine, nature, palmtrees and fresh coconuts! Are you planning (like most people we know) to visit the island of the gods, Bali? Here are some tips if you’re heading there for the first time. 

Before you leave home

Visa and passport: in addition to a valid passport (which must be valid for at least 6 months) you also need a visa. You will receive this visa free of charge on arrival at the following international airports; Jakarta, Bali, Medan and Surabaya. You can stay in Bali for up to 30 days. Please note: arrival and departure days are counted and this free visa can not be extended. So if you want to stay longer than 30 days (and believe us, this happens), then you must arrange the visa before departure and make sure you have a return ticket, because that is mandatory.

Money: the currency on Bali is the Rupiah. Since banks are not everywhere and the exchange rate can fluctuate heavily, it is useful to exchange your money at the airport. Make sure you have enough money with you when traveling to a remote area.

Vaccinations: against Hepatitis A and DTP are recommended when you go to Indonesia on vacation. Fortunately, you do not have to take malaria pills in many areas; Bali and East and West Java are mostly malaria free. Check the map of malaria areas. And then you still have those annoying mosquitos. You do not hear them, but you do feel them! So it is handy to bring an anti-mosquito that contains DEET.

Kids
Bali is a great place for those traveling with kids. Find out what you can do and what kids activities there are with young children.

Bali with Kids

Suitcase or Backpack?
Do you travel around for a long time and do you travel from place to place? Then we advise you to bring a backpack. There is often heavy-handed handling of your stuff and we have already experienced a few cases that go wrong. The disadvantage is of course that you can take less, but on the other hand you often take too much clothing, which is not necessary on Bali. Will it be a beach holiday and will you stay in a resort? Then a backpack is not necessary and a suitcase is very nice.

Packing tips
In Bali you enjoy a tropical climate and the humidity can be high in some places. Some handy packing tips:
1. Pack as many light and cotton clothing as possible.
2. Bring along a long skirt and Sarong for when you visit one of the many temples.
3. Bring that hat! The sun is lovely, but nobody wants a sunstroke.
4. A one-suit is useful if you want to surf, it keeps your belly from getting scraped on the board.
5. If you are planning to go to Bali from December, then a thin rain jacket is useful.

Bali surfbabe
Ready to surf? 

Go check out
» Dreamland Beach – the name says it all
» Ubud – Rice Terraces, Healthy hotspots like Sari Organic and the Ubud Hanging Gardens resort (must see)
» Canggu – Crate Café, Canggu-Desa Seni Yoga, The Chillhouse
» Uluwatu – Rock Bar & Single Fin
» Tanah Lot (just to take that one beautiful picture)
» Nusa Lembongan, 30 min by boat – top for surfing

Dreamland beach bali
Dreamland Beach Source

Bali best hangouts 2019

Better to avoid
» Water from the tap. Buy your water in bottles and check if the cap is unopened. Drinking water safely? Then this thing is a godsend. Be careful with salads and peel the fruit well. Otherwise you might be more in the toilet than on the beach.
» Petting dogs, especially when Although they look cute, their have been reports of rabies and Sarah got bitten last year and needed several injections.
» Kuta. If you do not like mass tourism, avoid busy Kuta. Prices are higher, the food is not very tasty and the beach is a bit disappointing, mostly covered in plastic. However, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we know that there are better places on Bali than Kuta.

shopping in Bali
Make a good deal whilst shopping for goodies

In Bali it’s normal to..
» Have your own ‘driver‘. This is a tip that you can certainly save money if you want to see the whole island. Learn a few words Balinese and make a clear arrangement with your taxi driver. If you do it right, he will drive you around for a fixed price. Use your good old intuition, but pay attention that he does not take you to all kinds of shops or tourist places where they might receive commission from.
» Make some deals. It is a game between tourist and salesman, especially in the market you can play with the price.
» Give tips. The friendly people in Bali are not very broad. Do they wear your suitcase or are you well helped? Give a nice tip.
» Rent a scooter and explore the island. Make sure you always wear a helmet!

Bali on a scooter

Ready? So pack your bags and fly to paradise!

Wander-Lust

Bali With Kids » 5 Activities to do with your Family

Last year Cheryl flew to Bali with her family & friends. Two years ago, her group of 38 friends (that also have kids) decided to get together at a destination outside Europe. The destination was quickly picked decision: Bali. Back in Holland, with a bag full of tips Cheryl will share her best tips on what to do in Bali with kids.

Go Surfing

If your kids are older and love the ocean: go surfing. Ok, I must admit, this was actually a dream come true for myself (and I persuaded my daughter of twelve, to come along). I always wanted to learn how to ride the waves. In the South of Bali there are many surf schools to choose from. I found my surf teacher, as cheeky as it sounds, on TripAdvisor. For a two-hour private lesson, you’ll pay around 450K IRP(which is about €27,-) per person.  In these two hours, I’ve learned to stand on the board while surfing. (worth a shoulder brush right?)

Bali with kids

Chasing Waterfalls

Kids love visiting waterfalls during holiday’s. I’ve did some research before we left and decided to go for 2 waterfalls:

  • The Sekumpul waterfall is the most breathtaking waterfall I’ve ever seen. Mind you, this waterfall is not suitable for little children (babies or toddlers) because of the difficult hike to get there. But my O my, what a view! Be prepared for this trail. Make sure you have good shoes and enough water for the kids! Costs: 20.000 IRP p/p.
  • At the Aling-Aling waterfalls are some thrilling activities for adults and older children (+8). Cliff jumping (5 and 10 meters) and there are also natural water slides. After I tried the 12-meter-high waterslide, my little daredevil also took her chance for this once in a life time experience! For this waterfall we had to pay 125K IRP p/p because there are many guides who help with the activities and watch the children.


The impressive Sekumpul waterfall with the kids

Waterbom Park

Personally, I’m not a waterpark kind of girl. But this one you have to try if you go to Bali with kids. This Waterbom Park happens to be number one in Asia and number three in the world! It had 22 rides and attractions and you can even relax, eat or just go crazy on all the rides. For the adrenaline junkies; go to the Climax. Stand in a small chamber before the trap door opens, and you plummet 16 meters down a near vertical drop. Fly through the rest of the ride at 70kph, and don’t forget to breathe again when you get to the end. For more info and video’s check www.facebook.com/Waterbom


WaterBom park (source)

Visit Menjangan Island

Even though you have some coral bleaching here too, it is still a fantastic place to dive or snorkel! The ridges and slopes are super dramatic, and the fish are beautiful! You can also spot the occasional reef shark or sea turtle if you’re lucky, so all in one: a great and exiting place for kids. Also, you can actually find Nemo. Snorkling here will cost around 15,- per person.

Bali with kids
Hey there little buddy!

Spot Some MANTA’s (or not)

We traveled to Nusa Lembongan to spot some manta’s. Most of time they are easy to spot (they said). Unfortunately, not always. It’s difficult to predict their presence but in July, August and September is the best time to spot some manta’s. If you book a day-boat and can’t spot the manta’s: don’t be sad: there are also lots of nice snorkling places with nice coral around the area. Don’t miss out the spot where the Giant Trevally Fish swim. It might be bit scary at first, because these fish can become 1.7 meters long! I was assured that they are not dangerous so took a dive with my little daredevils! 200K IRP (per person).

Bali with Kids
Bali with kids and friends? A vacation not to forget!

Don’t forget to love, enjoy and treasure every moment with your loved ones. After all, LIFE IS A PARTY, also when you have kids! Are you visiting Bali for the first time? Find out what to expect and what you should know before heading to the island of gods.

Love,

Cheryl

*Cheryl is a mother of 2, with a love for travel. Having 2 kids didn’t stop her from traveling the world and she has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with children. 

Cheating on Bali with the Nusa’s

Dear Bali,

I love you, and I always will. But… you’ve changed. Just a bit. You grew up and saw more and more people liking you, wanting to see you. Who can blame them, you are amazing. But, it felt as if we had too little ‘just you and me time’. So, I cheated on you with the Nusa’s. Sorry, not sorry.

So what are the Nusa’s?
The Nusa’s are 3 islands just south of Bali. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan have been on the tourist roadmap for quite some time, but still feel like tropical bounty islands with not too much western interference. Nusa Penida is the biggest island and was only opened up to tourists two years ago. All of them are pure heaven and have their own personalities. All worth exploring for some days, some weeks or forever (I can dream, right?).

Getting there
Most boats sail from Sanur, Bali to Jungut Batu on Nusa Lembongan. But it is also possible to grab a boat to Mushroom Bay (where all the fancier hotels are) or directly to Nusa Penida. Going to Nusa Penida is also possible from Padangbai. The cheapest option is going to the harbour in Sanur and negotiate about the price. If you like to book in advance, don’t worry, there are lots of little tour agencies on Bali that sell tickets as well. We paid 500.000 IDR for a return ticket with the fast boat, including pick up in Canggu and drop off in Ubud. A pretty comfortable deal! Going to Nusa Penida from Lembongan is easy to arrange. Head over to the iconic yellow bridge. Here are a ton of people wanting to bring you. Around 50.000 IDR is a normal price, be sure to haggle if they are aiming high.

Nusa's

surfers won’t be disappointed here

Lembongan and Ceningan chillings
Two small beauties, connected by a picture perfect yellow hanging bridge, dotted with bumpy roads, deep blue waters and sky-high waves. With surfbreaks named ‘playgrounds’ and ‘shipwreck’ surfers won’t be disappointed here. Happier under the surface? Gear up in your wetsuit to spend some time with the massive manta-rays that cruise the shores of nearby Nusa Penida. Sounds scary, swimming with creatures that are much bigger than you? It’s not! They are so gracious and elegant. Oh and they only eat plankton. Don’t underestimate the currents here though. Dive trips are easily arranged with one of the many dive shops on Lembongan. French Kiss Divers recently opened a shop here and is full of brand new gear and offers very reasonable prices. As they say ‘the more depth, the more pleasure’. 😉

Diving in Nusa
Diving with rays is a highlight!

If all of the above sounds like too much work, don’t worry for a second. Lounging on a massive Fatboy while sipping a healthy smoothie, gazing at the ocean, is just as easy. The best place to do so is definitely Ginger & Jamu on Jungut Batu beach. Caring about the environment, they don’t do plastic. Paper straws, cotton napkins and glass water bottles. Oh right and amazing smoothies, sandwiches, smoothie-bowls and salads. Combined with the yoga school above the cafe this place oozes the ultimate zen and friendly vibe. I admit, I’ve spend days full of relaxing, drinking, eating and plunging in to the sea for some refreshment at Ginger & Jamu.

Another amazing spot is Sea breeze Ceningan. Their catchy latino tunes, hammocks and perfect vanilla ice coffees cannot do anything else but make you happy. Overlooking the azure seaweed-farms with your toes in the sand, beach life as it should be. Also, their wifi is really good, thus digital nomad proof!

For dinner the choices are endless.

Sea breeze Ceningan
Sea breeze Ceningan 

For dinner the choices are endless. There are a ton of nice warungs for local dishes. Not so local are the nanchos and burritos at Ginger Moon (whats in a name), but they cannot be missed! Getting around Lembongan and Ceningan is best done by motorbike. The roads are generally okay and even the bumpy ones are do-able. Nice places to scooter to include dream beach, devil’s tears, mahana point and the blue lagoon.

Island friendly prices
Now, are these two islands going to break your wallet? Hell no! There are tons of affordable homestays. Your own little bungalow -some even with a swimming pool and breakfast- usually comes with a price tag of between 13 and 20 euro a night. Although more luxurious places are also widely available. I highly recommend Jiva Bungalows: basic but clean bungalows, super sweet people and a nice breakfast included!

Adventurous Penida
Now if you are up for a little less relaxing and a bit more adventure, Nusa Penida is the perfect pick. It’s possible to do day trips from Lembongan, but staying on the island for a few days is definitely better. Penida is much more quiet, less developed and wilder then little sisters Lembongan and Ceningan. That’s great for adventure, but also a bit more dangerous. They are working on the roads, but a lot of them are still treacherous. Going for a daytrip? Then seriously consider hiring a car with a driver as the highlights are further apart and driving hastily really isn’t a good idea. Still rather have a scooter to drive around yourself? Then make sure to check it before renting. Good brakes are a must on the steep and rocky roads that are home to Penida! As this island isn’t open to tourists for that long, it’s not filled with restaurants and bars yet. But every village has a couple of gems. Whatever you do, don’t miss breakfast/brunch/lunch at Penida Espresso. The smells from their kitchen are heaven and the rock butter smoothie bowl is to die for.

Penida Espresso
Penida Espresso

Penida, Nusa. Broken Beach
Broken Beach, Penida

Penida beauties
The island has an amazing coastline, high cliffs, hidden beaches and views that go on forever. Take a day to drive the beautiful road to Atuh beach, take the steep stairs down and chill on one of the loungers to watch the change of the tide.

Nusa's, Indonesia

Another great place is broken beach. The name is a bit confusing as there is absolutely no beach but it’s a sight to behold. Next to broken beach is Angels Billabong. It seems as if the pictures you find online are massively photoshopped and don’t depict the real thing. I dare to say Angels Billabong was the disappointment of my trip through Asia so far. But hey, go see for yourself! The ultimate highlight of Nusa Penida has got to be Kelingking beach. A massive cliff looking down onto the purest of beaches with the bluest of waters. It’s impossible to describe this beauty in words. There is a way down to that perfect beach, but it is quite dangerous so be careful!

Crystal clear
Of course you can also relax at Nusa Penida. Crystal Bay is your bae! Although it has some real steep hills, the road to Crystal is perfect and very Instagram worthy, lined with picture perfect palm trees. You can rent two sun-beds and an umbrella to protect you from the sun for just 50.000 IDR a day. The little warung at the western end of the beach makes you a great mie goreng! Don’t forget your snorkeling gear, the underwater life really is crystal clear and includes many curious, colorful fishes and even the occasional turtle. Do check the current as it can be strong here! End your day with a cocktail or a beer at Penida Colada while looking at the Agung volcano, just across the sea on Bali. Life is pretty damn perfect here.

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The tropical Cystel Bay Beach

Now, don’t skip Bali just yet. But consider spending some time with the Nusa’s to fill up one some peace, quiet and happiness. Maybe I see you there as I might never leave again.

Life is better at the beach,

Jill

*Our guest editor Jill is currently traveling through Asia and will monthly update us about her Asian adventures. 

Desa Seni, total bliss at this healthy yoga retreat in Bali

Yoga, meditations, massages, healthy food, a beautiful swimming pool, private sleeping cabins, an overwhelming tropical garden and super friendly staff. I haven’t even mentioned the comfortable big beds, the outside bathroom, and this all located close to the beach: Yoga retreat Desa Seni in Canggu is the perfect retreat to recharge.

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After a super busy year and some private circumstances, I needed some time to relax. Bali is the perfect place for that since there are a lot of healthy spots and yoga retreats on the island. I was already in Canggu and I heard that Desa Seni is one of the best yoga retreats of Bali: they have the most experienced teachers, delicious fresh and healthy food, luxurious surroundings and a great service! That’s exactly what I needed.

  I wasn’t a big yoga fan, but ever since I took some classes at Desa Seni I decided to continue to practice yoga in Amsterdam.

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Desa Seni
The retreat is located amid ancient rice terraces.
You get a warm welcome when you arrive by the lovely women at the entrance desk of Desa Seni. Then a guided tour is waiting for you first before drinking a welcomes cocktail at the pool. The first thing you will notice is the relaxed and beautiful vibe of this retreat: The beautiful garden with colorful flowers, the big and comfortable sun bets and the stunning swimming pool was exactly what I was looking for. They seriously have thought about everything: mosquito spray, candles, incense, holiday cards to send out and a lot more.
You get to chill in a zen location for a few days where everything is included and that is what you want when you go to a retreat.
This Village Resort serves an eclectic Asian-Western cuisine with a focus on organic, healthy and fresh food. It has a
 vegetarian menu where delicious fish and veggie dishes from the resort’s own organic gardens are waiting for you. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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The traditional wooden farmhouse

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The outside bathroom

Yoga
Desa Seni’s daily Yoga program caters to all levels and offers a variety of yoga styles, open to the community and led by a qualified, dedicated, and passionate team of teachers. Apparently Desa Seni has the best yoga teachers on the island. A lot of people come here to take part of the 5 yoga classes they offer each day: From Kundalini Yoga and Hatha (the most reckon one) to Sunset Flow and Fly High Yoga. They might be a but heavier than in your own country, but it has also to do with the weather (you sweat a lot). The classes are super divers and you feel great when your done.

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So what does it cost?
Desa Seni offers a variety of accommodations, all of which are antique wooden houses with beautiful terraces, sitting areas and private modern outside bathrooms. The interior of each unique house has been re-furbished to provide all the modern comforts, while the exteriors have retained the integrity of rural village life. Check the prices hereRoom Rates include: Gourmet Breakfast – Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes – Unlimited Drinking Water – Complimentary Wireless Internet – Daily Ceremonial Offering – DVD & Book Library.

Desa Seni
Jl. Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Bali
Website

Love,

Sarah

Bali must do’s for first timers

In my previous blog, I highlighted some sights you should visit in Java. Even though Java is beautiful, I think an even more special place in Indonesia is Bali. Bali is quite a popular destination and once you visited this island you’ll understand why. While in most of Indonesia, Islam is the main religion, in Bali most people are Hinduists. You’ll see Hindu temples everywhere. But these are not the only interesting sights. Here’s are some Bali must do’s if you’re visiting the island for the first time.

Ubud
Ubud is the cultural hart of Bali. It has a lovely center with nice bars and restaurants. It has quite a spiritual vibe with all its great temples. The most impressive one is Gunung Kawi, an 11th-century temple complex spread across both sides of the Pakerisan river. It comprises 10 shrines that are carved into seven (!) metre high sheltered niches on each side. Once you move away from the center, Ubud also has beautiful surroundings, you can walk for example to Campuang Ridge and see beautiful rice fields.

Bike downhill from Mount Batur
This is a spectacular tour which starts in Ubud, from where you’ll drive to Penelokan, which is right next to Mount Batur. You’ll have breakfast overlooking this impressive, active, volcano and its crater lake. After this great start, you will bike downhill back to Ubud. Along the way, you’ll see little villages and visit a coffee plantation, typical Balinese houses and the well-known rice fields.

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Breakfast with a view

Dive in Amed
If you like diving, Amed is the place to be in Bali. There are lots of different dive schools that all offer PADI or SSI courses, or just regular dive trips in case you are already certified. One of the most memorable dive spots is Manta Point, close to Nuusa Lembongan. It takes some time to get there and it’s therefore also quite a pricy dive, but it will be well worth once you see massive – up to 6 metres wide – Manta’s under water. 

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It is called Manta Point for a reason!

Relax at the Gili’s
The Gili’s do not really belong to Bali, but they are the perfect getaway with their white beaches, clear blue water and amazing sunsets. You can easily get there by boat from Padang Bay. Gili Trawangan is the biggest island and mostly known for its parties. Gili Air is a bit smaller but it has a great atmosphere and is very vibrant with all the restaurants along the beach where you can eat sea food that just came out of the ocean. And if you really want some relax time the smallest Gili Meno is the place to be. All islands are home to an impressive underwater world and snorkeling or diving are great activities here. Find more info about the Gili islands here.

There you have it, just a little guide into Bali must do’s for first timers. And I’m sure there will be a second time very soon after!

Love,

Dionne

*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but she also enjoys a city trip closer to home.

This is why we are in love with the Indonesian island Bali

There’s no place like Bali! Bali is an exotic Indonesian paradise where you will get the experience you will never forget. The first time when I fell in love of this wonderful island was 6 years ago. I completed my communication studies, saved enough money and decided to pack my bags for a 4 month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia. My dear friend Marlieke joined me for the first 3 weeks in Bali.

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Me and Marlieke in Seminyak 7 years ago. Too cute:)

I remember driving the motorbike for the first time, watching the magical sun rise on the Gili islands, the super nice local food corners where I tasted spices I have never had tasted before, my first surfing experience, the wonderful rice fields … and a lot more. Who wouldn’t wanna go back?

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Sunset at the Gili Islands

Those 3 weeks in 2011 were definitely not enough, so it was time to go back together to Bali! The month December is maybe not the best month due to rain season, but we were super lucky. Sunny Days and blue Skies every day! 

I started on my own and Marlieke flew in at New Year’s Eve. We fell in love all over again!
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Marlieke and me in 2017 in Canggu

Bali is known for it’s healthy foodspots, surfing, yoga, picturesque beaches, friendly locals, party’s and of course cheap and nice massages. Bali has you covered! Apparently Bali sometimes has a bad reputation, especially Kuta where many tourists come to party. But trust me, there are plenty of areas where you can chill and enjoy your holiday big time and avoid the crowd. 

I travelled from Uluwatu, Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak Nusa Lembognon and Nusa Ceningan back to Uluwatu and ended in Seminyak. I forced myself to relax and chill and my goal was to find the best places to do so and share these with you! So in the upcoming weeks you will find the best tips and my favorite hotspots!

Get inspired!

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Le Pirat beachclub in Nusa Ceningan

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We stayed in this instagramable hotel Sal Secret Spot in Uluwatu

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Beautiful view at Rob Peetoom in Seminyak

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Healthy lunch at Milk & Madu in Canggu

Love, 

Sarah