Bali had been on the list of places to see for a while. It’s feels far for a short trip, so it made perfect sense to squeeze it into our RTW itinerary. Since we were “hitching rides” on airlines, we thought it’d be easy to just thumb it around the world, not realizing that some countries ask for onward tickets (like they do in South Africa) to make sure you’re not going to be a long-term visitor. So we booked a ticket to Bali from South Africa!
We stayed in Ubud, but we also spent 2 days on the beach at the Grand Hyatt, which was nice as well, but felt like we could have been in a resort in the US. That side of the island is filled with family-friendly resorts on a long stretch of beach (as opposed to Kuta, which is more of the party-town atmosphere). I would have skipped it and spent more time in Ubud, or gone further afield to one of the other islands for beach time in retrospect.
Watercress Cafe: We ended up here twice–great drinks, good food, and delicious deserts.
Seniman Coffee Studio: Indonesia is known for it’s coffee, and Seniman was a great spot to grab a cup.
Taco Casa: By this time, we had been on the road 3 weeks, so a burrito hit the spot. It was crowded, authentic, and delicious.
Monkey Forest: Do NOT bring anything with you. Not even a water bottle (especially not a water bottle) because those little bastards will take it from you. Aggressively. The park is a nice stroll, but some of the monkeys are a little unnerving. Our hotel was right down the street and they warned us not to leave anything outside.
There are fun souvenir shops all up and down JL Monkey Forest road (near our hotel).
Royal Kamuela: Amazing. Really amazing. We had a private, walled-in villa with our own pool and an amazing breakfast delivered every day by delightful staff. Beautiful room that felt like a hideaway, and not terribly expensive. Ubud has a great range of places to stay–and a moderate splurge will feel amazing.
The Kopi Luwak coffee. Essentially, the beans are picked from the civet cat’s poop. No thanks.