So in November of 2016, Justin and I whisked ourselves away on a Babymoon prior to our lives becoming that much more crazy by adding another little Fourie-tjie to the world!
After weeks of discussion, research and day dreaming we decided on BALI – a destination we had on our bucket list for a long time!
“Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.”
Leaving our two boys at home we didn’t want to be away for too long, so booked to be away for 12 days total, 9 sleeps in Bali (a day of travel on either side).
It was without a doubt theeeeeeeeee most incredible holiday we have ever had!
I was 23 weeks pregnant at the time and my gynae was happy that I was healthy enough to travel, armed with my Zofran tablets for my HG, of course!
We flew via Hong Kong and total travel time was 22hours. Long.
You can do it quicker but we chose to arrive at a more reasonable hour of the day rather than arrive in a foreign country at 11pm, although knowing what we know now, the city never sleeps and is very safe so anytime would be fine.
We stayed 5 nights in Seminyak and 4 nights in Uluwatu.
Seminyak is close to the city centre Kuta, a very quick drive*from the airport but far away enough to still be pretty and well kept.
* A very quick drive in Bali is something to laugh about, really. The streets are so overcrowded and the little island city has grown so fast with so little infrastructure that the roads are almost grid-locked almost all the time. Seriously – it will say you are 2km away in distance from your destination, but it can take you up to 25minutes to get there by car. It is INSANE. It is often much faster to walk. The roads are VERY safe. The drivers are the most considerate I have ever experienced of any country I have visited. They are cautious and drive very carefully, even though it looks like unorganized chaos most of the time due to the pure busy-ness and grid-locked-ness… (great English!) Drivers even hoot as they are approaching a corner to let anyone who may be in the road know they are approaching.
I never once felt unsafe with any of the cabs we took.
Above you can see parts of Kuta. I would not recommend staying in Kuta at all. It is very dilapidated and CRAZY overcrowded. See how the streets seem chaotic but actually the safest streets ever!! Organized Chaos at its best!
You can see Juzzy looks quite stressed in this video… He was SO homesick and SO unsure of where the heck we were !! He settled quickly once we arrived at our Villa 🙂
Back to Seminyak!
I LOVE city vibes and Juzzy prefers rural and beachy vibes, so we each got a taste of both on our short trip.
I spent HOURS searching through hundreds of reviews and photos of where to stay in both Seminyak and in Uluwatu. It is amazing how full the popular places are for months in advance so I highly recommend you leave enough time in planning your vacay!
Within Seminyak district the restaurants are mostly a walk or short taxi drive away, depending on where you stay.
We stayed in a most gorgeous place called Javana Royal Villas and I found the best price through Agoda.com
Here is a short video of our arrival, (Juzzy starting to look a little less stressed, finally!) We were taken to our room on a little Golf Cart down a cute little path after being given some welcome drinks and wet towels.
Golf cart drive to Villa:
Arrival at our Villa:
We had a small problem with the aircon leaking and after reporting it they upgraded us to a better Villa:
Javana Royal Villas was super central and on a road with so many stunning restaurants, yet still far enough away from main road to be quiet and special.
Each villa has its own pool, Aircon, room service (I had a burger as we arrived and it was delish! The hospitality is next level all over Bali, and Javana Royal Villas was an awesome experience beginning to end.
TIP: Just don’t get laundry done through them, dropping it at a little laundry place down the road is soooo much cheaper and there are about 10 on any given street!
We spent a few mornings either shopping the main streets or markets.
We went to Bali in monsoon season which meant that days were beautiful, warm and humid, but we had a down-pour most days at one time or another. We only had one day that rained most of the day. It was a great day to chill, nap, shop and eat!
Above are two great market-shopping streets
Markets are full of beaded and shell pendants, macrame, home decor and beautiful dresses and clothes for ridiculously low prices and bartering is expected.
Above: Boutique shopping – Juzzy and I both found gorgeous clothes and accessories on this street. We returned a couple times 🙂
High-end boutique shopping is INCREDIBLE, but your ZAR will not go very far in these gorgeous stores, and bartering is NOT acceptable here.
I wouldn’t recommend going into any of the big shopping malls (like Beach Walk pictured above – bottom right pic), nothing to write home about, in my opinion.
While in Seminyak, if we were not on the streets shopping and gourmet lunching, we could be found at mind-blowing beach clubs like FINNS, SUNDAYS, Potato Head, Blue Point Hotel etc – you can also check out Bali bible for more info on these awesome spots and others we never had time to visit!
They were all insanely awesome spots to spend the day, watch the sun set, and all the food was world class! In most cases you pay a fairly hefty entrance fee per person, but you use this as credit towards your food and drinks while you are there.
FINNS Beach Club:
Blue point hotel:
The restaurants in Bali serve the BEST food we have ever eaten. In seminyak make sure you go to Gardin in Seminyak. It was our favorite, just a short walk from the popular “Sarong” but a bit of a hidden gem, half the price and double as nice
But honestly you cannot go wrong when it comes to restaurants in Bali! Every single morsel we ingested was beyond delicious!! I could post hundreds of delicious dishes up here, but I’m not sure you’re as interested as I am in food! ☺️
My top accommodation choices for Uluwatu were almost always fully booked for the dates we could make, so I highly recommend you plan well in advance. Next time we go I am desperate to stay in Sal’s Secret Spot!<<< looks dreamy!
We ended up staying right next door to Sal’s at a charming little spot called Boho Bingin Just up from Bingin beach. So gorgeous and the owner/manager is awesome. It seems accommodation in Uluwatu is a fair amount more rustic than Seminyak, I think purely due to the fact that it is out in a remote part of the island. Beyond beautiful! But hot water and Water pressure were an issue.
Bingin Beach:< img class=”alignnone wp-image-1801″ src=”https://shanfourie.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/img_1511.jpg” alt=”IMG_1511″ width=”4032″ height=”3024″>< img class=”size-full wp-image-1797 aligncenter” src=”https://shanfourie.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/img_1513.jpg” alt=”IMG_1513″ width=”4032″ height=”3024″><
Staying in Uluwatu is incredible. There are hundreds of hidden beaches to explore, and spend the day. There are also lovely restaurants along the beach – more rustic in appearance than anything you will come across in Seminyak, but the food is equally as delicious. Make sure if you go to Uluwatu that you go to Bingin beach and have sundowners and then FRESH seafood on the beach while the water runs back and forth over your feet. Just surreal.
Dinner on Bingin Beach:
Uluwatu we rented scooters and roamed around on those. The roads are wayyyyy quieter so I felt safer, although I did still only ride on the back of Juzzy’s – couldn’t feel brave enough on my own!
Spas and Treatments: Indonesian people are incredible hosts, its like they are born with the most serving of hearts, as they all go out of their way to make sure your stay is perfect! With this in mind you can only imagine how special the Spas are on this little island! We were lucky enough to experience three treatments in our short stay, and they were all incredible! If you like a firm massage then you will be VERY impressed with the strength of the small-framed ladies.
There was a lot that we did not get time to do on our short stay, but we are already planning our next trip which we hope will be a month in Bali with the whole family!
You guys, there are sooooo many more gorgeous pics I could share, and so much more I haven’t mentioned… but I guess you will just have to visit Bali to see for yourself! It is a beautiful adventure!
Best. Vacay. Ever.