Monday, April 13, 2020

Instagram-worthy spots in Bali!

Amidst the Covid19 pandemic that we are all facing now, i'm not so sure if this is the best time to be doing to a travel-related post because who knows when is the next time we get to travel again uh. But then again, most of us are now working from home (or "working from home" if you get what i mean) so i thought why not update my blog since the last time i updated was Christmas last year. 

So for the past 3 months before the whole Covid thing got really serious, i made a couple of short trips to Bali and thought i should share some of the ig-worthy places i went and the shots i took which you can reference from the next time you visit Bali to spice up your ig feed! When it comes to a short getaway, the first place that would come up to my mind was Bali. I mean the air fare there is affordable, there are tonnes of beach clubs and cafes to chill at, cultural and interesting places to visit, the food (and drinks) are reasonably priced, all in all it's a good getaway from city life - which is why i love the place so much.

I have a confession to make. Usually before i travel to a particular place or destination, i would search on Instagram on the places to go, what to eat and even where i can get the best angle to capture ig-worthy photos. I would then save the photos into an album "for future reference" (In other words, try and recreate them) Admit it or not, Instagram has totally changed the way we travel.

Accommodation wise, i stayed at a couple of places here and there but the 2 more memorable ones in terms of stay would be Hilton Bali Resort at Nusa Dua and Artotel Haniman in Ubud. Didn't bother to stay in a fancy hotel when i was in Seminyak because 3/4 of the time i was out somewhere, but for the record, i stayed in this hipster hotel called Dash Hotel and it was very good for the price i paid <$100 a night. The location is very good and central, walking distance to literally anywhere, the room is spacious and comfortable and they have an awesome ala-carte buffet breakfast which you can order to your heart i mean tummy content.
Hilton Bali Resort, Nusa Dua

If you are those that just wants to chill in your hotel and not do anything in Bali, i would suggest you for those high end resort hotel because they have everything you need. I was upgraded to an ocean view room (what luck!) and got late checkout because of the AMEX card i was holding and the experience was like no other. I spent most of the time chilling by the pool reading my kindle and ordering food and drinks from the bar throughout the day. Hilton is definitely more expensive compared to normal hotels (duh, it's international 5 stars) but i would say it's totally worth it.

Artotel Haniman, Ubud

If you are looking for an ig-worthy hotel to stay in Ubud, this is the place. You can find a photo opportunity at anywhere in the hotel. Be it in your room (which is awesome by the way) or by the pool, or even the cafe where you have your breakfast, every part of the hotel is so tastefully designed! It's nothing like the "Hilton experience" because the entire estate is rather small with only 22 artsy rooms and a small pool but for <$100 a night, this is probably one of the most affordable and best place to stay in Ubud.

W hotel, Seminyak

I did not personally stay at W hotel for my trips but i visited the place to enjoy their pool facilities and dine at woobar.  The place is a long walk from the main road so i would highly suggest taking the buggy. The day beds at the main pool area are reserved for hotel guests only so in order to use their pool, you would have to enter from Woo bar (which also means you have to at least order some drinks) The pool was great, the food i had was great. If you went to most beach clubs and looking for somewhere quiet to chill, W is the place!

Kynd Community, Seminyak

This place is a plant-based cafe in Seminyak (in other words, vegan) The to-order at Kynd community is their famous smoothie bowl (priced at idr85k) and you get to customized the letters on top! You can write your name or you can go with the default "Bali" or " Be Kynd" which i did (because writing your own name on the smoothie does sounds a lil' narcissistic, lol)  I also had the paradise pancakes which was really good as well.

Sea Circus Restaurant and Bar, Seminyak

If i had to describe this cafe with one word, i think it would be whimsical. On the outside is where tourists flock and queue to take their ig-worthy #OOTD shots with the cute circus animals mural background, whereas on the inside, they serve  a colourful menu of their famous tacos and more. We were supposed to go in and try 1 or 2 dishes but we ended up ordering a table full of food. We had the tacos (of course), the crispy calamari with ginger soy dipping sauce, a smoothie bowl (i love a good smoothie bowl), cheese quesadilla and their party churros (as seen in the right photo)! So pretty omg.

Cabina Bali, Canggu

I'm sure you have seen photos on instagram of people having meals from a huge floating basket inside the pool. Well, this place is famous for it. Cabina Bali offers the "floating brunch" experience from 8am to 3pm, starting at idr195k/ person. There are different packages to choose from. Basically if you want the ultimate ig-worthy photo and don't want your floating basket to look empty and pathetic, go for the highest tier package. (Gurllll you are already there, just do it!) It's not really that expensive honestly. At idr550k per couple, that's 55 bucks in Singapore dollars for 2 person, you get 4 drinks (2 hot and 2 cold), FLOWER DECORATION (cos we need to fill up all the empty spaces, lol) a fruit platter, a plate of 3 beautiful looking tropical toast, 2 mains, 2 desserts and 2 mocktails. That is a lot of food for 2 person. Take lots and lots of photos (we all know only 1 shot will make it to ig) and slowly finish everything in the pool. Or in my case, i got the staff to help move everything onto my day bed after i took the photos because how does one eat properly in the pool???

Fika in Bali, Seminyak

Chanced upon this cafe as i was walking back to the hotel, thought the interior look rather nice so i told myself that on the last day of the trip, i would go in and have brunch. Boy, the food was AMAZING. (the photos did not make it to my ig feed because i was lazy to take photos of myself on the last day. lol) but i just want to share on this not-so hidden gem. The cafe design is so simple and modern, i love it that it allows natural sunlight to flow into the place, the staffs are friendly and attentive but let's get something right - The focus is definitely on the food. Everything was simply delicious and well presented. Special mention to their Mango sticky rice dessert with pineapple caramel and puffed rice.

Next up we have the beach clubs which you can literally spend the whole afternoon chilling. I love it that you can just lie there under the sun (or in the shade), listen to the music and order whatever food and drinks, once in awhile go into the pool. It's the perfect chill life, like you don't have to bother about anything else.
Tropicola, Seminyak

Mrs Sippy, Seminyak

Cafe Del Mar, Canggu

Other notable places includes Potato head Club (left) Garden Gangsta (Right)

Tegallalang Rice Terrace, Ubud

Bali is not all about cafes and beach club but there are also notable places of interest such as the Tegallalang Rice Terrace. Ubud is generally a very zen place, best for those eat, pray, love kind. I spent an afternoon at the Rice terrace area, trekking the fields a little, got a meal and ice cream and also did a mainstream Bali swing (which is everywhere in Ubud by the way) I mean you would have seen it at least once on instagram. It's not exactly fun, it makes you feel nauseous actually. (or maybe it's just me) The cost is from idr10k up, depending on the "package" which can include other photo spots like the famous bird nest. Some even provide dress rental so you get the whole flowy look on the swing for the ultimate ig photo. People like me put in a bit more effort in post-editing by editing away the safety harness so it looks au-naturel. HAHAHA

Kanto Lampo waterfall

Waterfalls are one of the must visits in Bali and the most famous (and crowded) one is probably the Tegenungan Waterfall, which i chose not to go because i think most tourists will flock there so i did some research and decided to get my driver to bring me to Kanto Lampo waterfall instead. Entry to this waterfall cost idr10K and it takes about 15 mins to trek down. When i saw the waterfall in real life for the first time, it was really quite a stunning view to behold. It's different from the other waterfall where you see a huge stream of water fall down in unison. This waterfall cascades down this rock formation which makes it unique. What most people will do is to climb to the middle of the waterfall and strike a pose, totally worthy of an ig photo, and yes, you still have to queue...

Alright, that's all i have for my Bali post! Hopefully you guys manage to get some insights on where to visit, be it whether to capture that ultimate ig-worthy shot or just looking for interesting places to visit in Bali! I really really hope this Covid19 situation can be over soon so that we can all go back to our usual life, start traveling again and explore the world.

In the meantime, stay safe!