#welltravel Guide: Bali
If Bali is somewhere that’s been on your bucket list, we suggest you book that ticket and go. Having both spent a significant amount of time traveling there, Bali is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for delicious healthy food, incredible scenery, amazing yoga classes and a memorable cultural experience. And if, like us you’re interested in traveling there alone, it always felt like a safe, friendly and easy to travel country. While there’s no shortage of things to do and places to eat and stay, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites.
The easiest thing to do in Ubud (and well really all over Bali) is to find a guest house or boutique hotel on Airbnb or Booking.com. If you’re looking for a more unique accommodation, here are a few of our picks:
Roam is your one stop shop while travelling. They offer trendy accommodation, a shared co-working space for “digital nomads”, along with fun group excursions so you don’t have to do all of the activity planning on your own. In addition to Bali, they also have locations in Miami, Tokyo, San Fransisco and London, all offering unique experiences and a home away from home.
You don’t have to be an artist to stay at this “artist residency and creative tropical homestay”. Air Ubud, set amongst the rice paddies, and a quick walk downtown, is another great option if you’re traveling alone as it’s a co-stay type space where you can get to know other solo travelers.
If you’re looking to unwind and completely disconnect for a few days, Anand Ashram offers a quiet, spiritual experience, with yoga and meditation classes, daily chanting and fire ceremonies, along with simple but lovely accommodation. Highly recommend spending a few days here.
If you’re willing to spend a little more money than your typical Ubud accommodation, eco lifestyle boutique hotel Bambu Indah offers a unique experience, both of staying at an intimate, beautiful luxury hotel, but with an emphasis on sustainability and the environment. They have creatively crafted all of the structures out of bamboo and other materials from the earth, to achieve a truly luxurious eco-friendly experience.
The city centre of Ubud has countless restaurants, so while we suggest wandering through the narrow cobble stone streets, here are a few of our favourite spots:
One of the newer spots in Ubud, but already buzzingly popular with digital nomads, families and travellers alike, Zest’s menu highlights local ingredients and is “powered by plants — made for people.” We went back numerous times for their sweet potato wedges and veggie curry. Their cacao ceremony (think the purest and best hot chocolate you have ever had) is also not to be missed.
Open air, set amongst rice-fields with a creative plant based menu, Moksa offers cooked and raw items, with beautifully combined ingredients. We would recommend stopping by for lunch so that you can enjoy the view in the daytime (and also to avoid the nighttime bugs).
With the tag line “clean food clear minds”, Clear Cafe offers delicious, healthy food (that’s beautifully presented) with all natural ingredients from local Balinese farmers. Set in a beautiful space, it’s a great spot for a leisurely dinner out in Ubud.
Overlooking the beautiful Tjampuhan Ridge, and a few minutes from downtown Ubud, The Elephant is a health-conscious, eco-friendly vegetarian restaurant, with many dishes that can also be made vegan and gluten-free.
A dreamy little restaurant with an incredible view of the rice paddies, Yellow Flower is the perfect spot for an early coffee or breakfast following a yoga class at Intuitive Flow next door.
It’s not a complete trip to Bali without taking part in a Cacao Ceremony. The cacao beans in Bali are a treasure, because they are protected from the industrial cocoa production which helps to preserve the rich, dark, and creamy taste. We recommend checking out Zest Ubud for their cacao ceremonies, but they are offered throughout the island.
Get a massage. Massages are a great way to de-stress after your long journey to Bali, and are so inexpensive that you can justify going pretty much as often as you want. Our favourite spot was Putri Bali Spa. (It’s always nice to get spa recommendations as you don’t always know what you’re going to get in terms of quality).
Book a sound bathing session at the Pyramids of Chi. If you’re looking for unique way to unwind, the Pyramids of Chi (two pyramids built to 1/16th and 1/18th scale to the Great Pyramid of Giza and the largest venue dedicated to sound healing worldwide), offers sound healing sessions where you relax your mind and body while listening to and feeling the vibrations from ancient instruments like gongs, didgeridoos, pow wow drums, and Tibetan bowls inside the pyramids.
Take a yoga class at the Yoga Barn, Intuitive Flow or Radiantly Alive. There’s nothing quite like a yoga class in Bali. Ubud is basically the mecca for yoga in Indonesia, with students and some of the best teachers we’ve ever had flocking to Ubud’s beautiful studios (think open air classes with a surrounding view of rice paddies).
Organize a tour of the Tirta Empul Water Temple and Tegallalang Rice Terraces. If you’re spending time in Ubud, both these spots should not be missed. Yes, both are very touristy, you’ve probably seen them in countless photos, but as with most famous cultural spots, there’s a reason people flock to them, and you find in Bali, no matter how touristy something may be, there’s usually still a pretty powerful spiritual or cultural element to it nonetheless.
Spend the day by the pool at Jungle Fish. Referred to as the “no beach beach club”, you can pay to spend the day, eat, drink and hang out in the pool at Jungle Fish. With breathtaking views of the rainforest surrounding the pool, we highly suggest you treat yourself to a day at Jungle Fish.
A beautiful, quiet boutique hotel, Toraja Bambu feels secluded and like you’re away from the hustle and bustle, but is a quick walk to restaurants and shops. All the rooms are set in what essentially resemble bamboo tree houses, with beautiful outdoor bathrooms and a nice view of Uluwatu.
The Cashew Tree
A laid-back cafe, eco-boutique and family friendly oasis, The Cashew Tree offers a vibrant array of juices, smoothies, bowls and salads. They also feature drool-worthy fridges full of guilt-free desserts and treats such as chocolates, cakes, and power balls. They also host live acoustic sessions on certain nights of the week with some fun cocktails and lively atmosphere. This is definitely one of our all-tie favourite spots, we both spent LOTS of time here.
There’s nothing quite like a smoothie bowl on a sweltering day in Bali. Nalu bowls is a cute little smoothie shop with picnic tables and some of our favourite bowls in Bali. High suggest this place for a quick, delicious breakfast.
A simple but delicious lunch spot in Uluwatu,
The cafe at Surf Drifter offers healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options with a focus on clean fresh local ingredients. With organic whole foods options for everyone, that range from plant-based to pescatarian, they also serve some of Indonesia’s finest coffee from “mandailing estate” in Sumatra, along with a selection of nutritious cold pressed juices other specialty drinks.
Lounge on the beach at Green Bowl or Thomas Beach. Both of these beaches are a bit off of the beaten path, but well worth the visit if you are looking for a less crowded and rugged experience. If you happen to be at Thomas Beach during low tide, the water unveils some beautiful, instagramable caves you can explore. Dreamland beach is also a more popular favourite amongst surfers and sunbathers.
Start your day with yoga & breakfast at Temple Lodge. They offer yoga classes every morning (check the schedule for your preferred style) an all of the teachers are very experienced, and will have you breathing, twisting and stretching your way into the day. You will definitely work up an appetite, so be sure to catch the cliff-top view and enjoy a vibrant breakfast afterwards.
If you really want to treat yourself, spend the day (and early evening) at Sundays Beach Club. While your cocktails and food will certainly not be cheap, this secluded beach club is pretty close to paradise — looking back at our photos, we still can’t really believe it was real.
The Chill House ticks all of the boxes for an accommodations. It’s a very cool vibe, they offer yoga classes, organic food, surfing retreats, and a pool to lounge by. The decor has that chic-surfer vibe (as much of Canggu does) and has photo-ops a plenty. We highly recommend checking out one of the sound healing classes that they hold here in their yoga shala.
This place is such a gem — I just couldn’t get enough. It’s attached to the Chillhouse (accommodation listed above) and they offer plant-based and organic breakfasts, juices, lunch and dinner. You can easily spend the afternoon here lounging by the pool, sipping on refreshing beverages and snacking on some plant-based goodness.
This place seems to be a favourite for Canguu regulars or anyone spending a significant amount of time in Bali.
You might be thinking, why would I go for Italian food in Bali? Trust us, this cute, rustic little restaurant (that overlooks rice paddies no less), has delicious food, and bonus is gluten friendly with cassava flour pizza.
Maybe one of the most beautiful and “instagrammable” restaurants in Canguu, we definitely suggest you stop by Milu by nook for lunch or breakfast, or even to hang out with a drink and catch on emails.
A great spot to grab breakfast or lunch and do some work or catch up on emails. While it’s typically busy, it’s a bit more of a quiet and chill restaurant.
A great spot for breakfast (where we may just have had the best smoothie bowl of our lives), The Loft is one of many Australian transplants that is very popular amongst the blogger/Instagram crowd. While it’s a busy place with pretty much everyone taking photos of their food, the breakfast is incredible and it’s super centrally located on one of the main strips in Canguu.
Check out the Sunday Market at Samadi to mix and mingle with the locals, try out some locals foods and fruits, along with browse artisan and handmade goods. Samadi also offers accommodation, yoga trainings and classes, but the best part is their organic cafe (hint: try their bowls and raw chocolate treats)
Bali is a great place to take some surfing lessons because their are waves to suit all experience levels. If you are a beginner looking to catch some of your first waves then we recommend Legian for its gentler, slower break. If you are a long boarder, then you can also ride some nice waves in Canguu beach, depending on the day.
Enjoy some daytime, beachside cocktails at The Lawn or La Brisa. Pretty Poison and Old Man’s are also supposed to be good, and if you want to take a bit of a drive, Potato Head in Seminyak is one of the most well known beach clubs and spots for sunset cocktails in the area.