Where I went:
- The Gili Islands (Gili Air and Trawangan)
Lets start at the beginning shall I. So I started the Bali adventure in no place other than Ubud.
Staying in the Kabera Bungalow’s which is a cute, little place out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the main areas although so close to everything. We walked everywhere while in Ubud.
Mount Batur, if you are willing to wake up at 2am for a hike up an active volcano then we were told it was a must do. I do not regret the decision however the weather was not on our side… we started the hike, no problem at all. Then the rain came. The clouds were as thick as ever, and upon reaching the top where a breath taking sunrise was to take place – all we got was whiteness from the mass of cloud cover. Nether the less we did have fun although we were rather wet. – Shame about the view but hopefully you will have better luck!
The Monkey Forest, this is one of the most noticeably touristy things we did while in Ubud. There were so many people milling around although it was great fun playing with the monkeys. Lots of them are extremely tame and allow people to go right up to them… granted it has been done with the classical bribery of bananas. They sure do have a lot of character about them, and given the chance they will either use you are a human climbing frame, or just practice their pick pocketing skills out on. So you need to keep your wits about you!
Now for the most important part. Food.
We found that Watercress in Ubud was just the dream. The food was so good, especially if you are in much need for some health in your life like we were. Backpacking, as it turns out leads to some very unhealthy feeding decisions… who knew! However, we found this gem while we had our quick stop of in Ubud which injected some much needed delicious munch back into our lives. It also comes with insta ready presentation so snap away before you dig into the deliciousness before you.
To the Gili Islands:
Being two twenty something year old girls backpacking through Asia we naturally had to go to see what all the rage was about on the Gili islands. That we did. Then we fell a little bit in love with them. Although our tales of how to get there were more time consuming than expected, we made it in the end! (Ps. Don’t fall asleep on the ferry across from the mainland to the islands. You will miss your stop and end up in Lombok. oops)
Stop one – Gili Air
After a rather eventful trip to get to Gili Air we had finally made it. Gili Air is such a small island we managed to walk around the entire island within an hour and a half. This way you are able to see what’s what, where the best sunbathing spots are and how to get away from where everyone is. This is the perfect island for a more chilled out time. Not too busy but has constant opportunities for snorkelling and beaching around or even horse back riding if you are up for something a bit different.
Stop two – Gili Trawangan
We stayed here for longer than we did on Gili Air, staying at The Broken Compass which was lovely. There have been put into place that there are only dorms of three on this island because of the success of certain hostels. The broken compass we found was lovely, clean and all the staff were very friendly. We hired bicycles from them to explore the island, and we manage to find our “beautiful magical home” (aka a tree set on the beach facing the sunset each evening). But it was magic. Perhaps just to us but it will always be magical on the Gilis.
During our stay on Gili T, we completed our Padi divers certification with Gili Divers even though we were not staying with them. It was so nice to be able to come and go. Although diving all day does tend to take it out of you there is always a beautiful beach to relax and reflect on while you are there. Diving in the Gili’s was amazing, we were able to see all sorts of animals during our dives – Turtles to reef sharks and lots of multi coloured little fish all over the place.
Gili T is also known as the ‘party island’ and it has been developing steadily over the years into a strip of some form with lots of bars. They take it in turns to be the bar that stays open the latest so you will have to get the low down from your new friends on the island before going out for drinks. The place is heaving with young people so you will not be short of people to chat away to.
If I could go back…
I often reflect on the places that I have been and although there are so many places I still would adore to go to. I also find myself wanting to return to the same places as I have already been. Bali is one of those for me.
I have only just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Bali, and I am forever hopeful that I will be able to go back and explore some more. Lombok, Seminyak and Nusa Penida are definitely going to be on the list for next time.
Until next time xx C