Travel Guide: The Best of Bali

Travel Guide: The Best of Bali

It only took one trip to Bali for me to find out why it is affectionately named, “The Island of the Gods.” From the lush green rice fields to gurgling waterfalls, this place stole my heart from Day 1. After spending 5 days in Thailand, I was looking forward to Bali being the relaxing last leg of my trip, and it did not disappoint. Who would have thought that thousands of miles away from the US, I would eat some of the best BBQ ribs ever and hear soultry live R&B classics while nursing signature cocktails?!?

Climb a waterfall.

Whether you take the short drive to Tegenungan Waterfalls about 30 minutes from Ubud or take a longer ride to Sekumpal, there are waterfalls all over Bali.  Pick your poison, and if you want pictures without the crowd, make sure to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Go hiking up a mountain to view the sunset.

Every summer when I’m off work, I make plans to workout and get ready for summer vacation.  Every summer when I’m off work, I eat snacks, take naps on the couch, and watch Netflix.  So while I wasn’t in shape enough to make the trek up Mt. Batur and didn’t want to slow down the team waiting for an ambulance, I sent my travel companions and made them send me pics.

Eat good food.

If you read my Thailand blog, you know that I am not a huge foodie, so I’m always hesitant about trying new foods during my travels (especially knowing about the threat of Bali Belly).  Several bloggers raved about a restaurant in Ubud called Melting Wok Warung, so it was the first place on my itinerary after checking into Villa Jepun.  Even though I still rank my lunch at Melting Wok Warung as the best meal of the trip, all of the food we consumed in Bali was extremely fresh and flavorful.  Another notable place to add to your food itinerary is Naughty Nuri’s, and I honestly can’t decide if it was the ribs or cocktails that had me leaving their restaurant with a little extra pep in my step.

Try a Nalu Bowl.

While I was on Pinterest looking up things to do and simple foods to eat in Bali, I came across several blogs that recommended trying smoothie bowls in Bali because the fruit is much fresher than in the States.  Since my hotel in Seminyak was near a Nalu Bowl, I stopped by and tried the Uluwatu bowl, a dragonfruit blend topped with strawberries, mangos, coconut flakes, and honey.  It was yum!

Get a tan while lounging by a infiniti pool.

Bali is known for their infiniti pools, even at accommodations that are budget friendly.  Grab a Bitang, put on your swimmer, and let the sun kiss your skin.

Go surfing.

One of the highlights of vacationing in Bali is that the water sports are plentiful and inexpensive.  Our hotel in Seminyak was near Double Six Beach, and there were plenty of vendors selling surf lessons at ultra low rates for patrons that are on the adventurous side.

Party at Potato Head or Ku De Ta.

I’m all for a beach party with good music and fancy cocktails.  I didn’t make it to Ku De Ta, but let’s just say I might have had a bit too much fun at Potato Head.  I woke up the next morning to get dressed and realized that I had left my sandals and had to take the trip of shame back to the fancy club to claim my goods from Lost and Found.  How I made it back to my hotel without shoes is a question that we are still trying to answer to this day…  And if you’re into Big Sean and follow him on Instagram, he recently took a trip to Bali to perform at Potato Head and posted some pretty cool footage of his Bali city tours.

See the scenic view from a scooter.

You can read all about my scooter driving skills (or lack thereof) by clicking here, however, the unparalleled views from the vantage point of a scooter were absolutely amazing.

Visit a temple.

There are as many temples as waterfalls in Bali, but Tanah Lot took my breathe away.

Get a massage.

$7 US for a 1 hour massage.  Enough said.

Listen to live music.

Live music seems to be a staple in Ubud, so if you’re ever there and want to hear great music while enjoying cocktails and delicious food, make sure you check out Bar Luna and the Laughing Buddha.

Laugh at monkeys at Monkey Forest.

Not only are the monkeys obnoxious and clever thiefs, they are also escape artists that roam the surrounding areas near Monkey Forest at night. Keep your valuables clutched tight and out of reach if you want to go home with them.

Shop until you drop. 

Ubud was one of the only places where I debated paying astronomical shipping charges to ship home handmade goods (since my small luggage was already at capacity).  There are markets and vendors on every corner, and many of the items are well-made and too inexpensive to pass up.  Make sure you go prepared to bring goods back home.

Visit a coffee plantation.

Did someone say free coffee and tea samples?  Not only was my coffee plantation tour free, but as part of the complimentary package, I was also given 14 samples of tea and coffee to try before perusing the gift shop.  The free tour and samples are enough to make you feel obligated to purchase one of their signature blends.  I wasn’t bold enough to try the Luwak coffee, which is made from the droppings of Luwak cats, but it’s the most expensive coffee in the world and considered a true delicacy which you can try for less than $5 US.

Pose for pics at Tegallang Rice Terraces.

Swing through the jungle.

You’ve probably seen all of the IG pictures with the cute poses of bloggers and IG models swinging through the trees. While the pictures are cute and all, make sure that you also harness up and try the swing with the biggest plunge. Your $20 entry fee covers all 3 swings.

Watch the sunset.

I’m looking forward to traveling to Bali again soon, because there were so many places that I did not get a chance to visit from my itinerary.  There are only a handful of places I plan to revisit repeatedly over the course of my lifetime, and Bali definitely made it to the top of my list.  Have you been to Bali?  If so, what were some of your favorite things to do and see?  And if you’re planning a trip soon, click here to read my tips before you embark on your vacation.

P.S. If you would like help planning your next vacation, click here.


  1. August 22, 2017 / 9:50 am

    Fabulous photos, though the middle one of the monkeys is somewhat suspect lol! What on earth is that monkey doing to the other one!? 🙂

    • thesparklefiles
      August 22, 2017 / 2:31 pm

      It was definitely suspect lol. There was a lot of monkey business going on in Monkey Forest, including monkeys leaving at their leisure to further their klepto careers. Such an interesting place lol!

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