BALI has been in my bucket list for such a long time that finally, in October 2012, I decided to book a flight and spend 10 days travelling by myself around the island, north to south, east to west.
I always pick a motto for every trip I decide to embark myself on, and for this journey to Bali it couldn’t be easier, the motto was: “Spoiling myself daily“!! There is no better place to do that.
Bali is a dream country for a photographer! There are endless photographic opportunities, magnificent sceneries, colourful traditions, the most welcoming and sociable people, delicious food.. you just can’t get enough of it!
Not to mention how perfect BALI would be for a romantic honeymoon or getaway treat with your other half. Needless to say, this was an unforgettable trip!
If you are planning your destination wedding or elopment in Bali or your romantic honeymoon shoot, check out my portfolio or get in touch here! I’d love to capture your love in such a breathtaking country!!
Bali is seriously a magical place like no other. It’s also a very safe country for a female travelling solo, which is an aspect I always need to consider when I travel by myself.
Before leaving for a destination, I always spend weeks reading travel blogs, Lonely Planet guides (check out the Lonely Planet Guide for Bali and Lombok here) & reviews before carefully planning my ‘Dream Board’.
The Dream Board includes all the Must: MUST SEE, MUST DO, MUST STAY and MUST EAT in a specific country.
After finalising my ‘BALI Dream Board’ I was so thrilled that I literally couldn’t wait to board on that plane and fly to the other side of the world :)
So, here you are my 16 tips and advice (in random order) in order to properly TREAT YOURSELF and YOUR OTHER HALF in BALI.
If you want to see my complete Balinese photography reportage and read my itinerary, then follow this other link!
1) Stay with a Balinese family in a Guest House
I loved Nirwa’s guesthouse, which is located exactly in the middle of the rice paddies and is famous for making the best banana pancake in Ubud town :) I can confirm this. Nirwa and his welcoming family will help you with advice and suggestions throughout your stay. You would love the outstanding view over the rice fields from her secluded house.
2) Take a walk or cycle though the rice paddies
Well, I actually motorcycled through them :) I recommend seeing the Tegalalang rice fields.
3) Experience the Balinese culture, their traditions and don’t miss out on any traditional ceremony you stumble upon
Locals are always aware of all the ceremonies that are taken place, even in nearby villages. They are the best source to discover when and where the rituals are happening. They will be more than happy to take you to one & explain you its meaning. I saw the most spectacular ceremony on my first morning in Ubud.
4) Spend quality time with the Balinese
They are sociable, polite, warm and especially always with a smile on their face. It’s beautiful chatting with them, learning about their culture and beliefs and discovering their traditions. They can teach you how to wood carve or how to prepare the canang sari, a basket made with yellow palm leafs and filled with rice and flowers for the daily offerings.
5) Always eat Balinese food
Sari Organik, right in the middle of the rice paddies, it’s an authentic and healthy spot with a breathtaking view in a peaceful setting;
Clear Cafe, right in the centre of Ubud, they use natural ingredients from local Balinese farmers to create the most delicious and creative food combinations. Perfect vibe & music too in this place. I kept going back and back and back.
KAFE, another great gem with fresh and organic products right in the centre of Ubud. Thanks to this trip to Bali I got addicted to mango and papaya juices.
6) Take a Balinese Cooking Class
I can’t recommend this enough, this was one of my favourite experience in Bali and couples will love this fun and intimate day. We went to a local food market to buy fresh products before heading to a gorgeous Balinese compound to learn how to cook an authentic Balinese meal, so yummy. After reading tons of reviews & comments online, I have booked the Lobong Cooking Class hosted by Sang Made and his charming family. I truly recommend them.
7) Treat yourself to a luxury hotel with an infinity pool
Ok, I seriously couldn’t resist to this, I have a thing for infinity pools, I know. Bali has some of the most luxurious resorts you can dream of. After researching and reading every possible review online, I choose the Puri Wulandari Boutique Resort & Spa. I couldn’t hope for a better stay, it’s one of the most gorgeous hotels I’ve stayed at in my life. They offer several private villas, all facing the jungle, each of which has its own PRIVATE infinity pool.
Trust me, if you are looking for a luxury honeymoon retreat in Bali, you have to book this place right now :) I can’t wait to visit them again. They also welcome you with refreshing pineapple juice and surprise you throughout your stay with homemade desserts. Yep, I do miss that place quite a bit! MUST MUST MUST!
Did I mention they also organise Luxury Destination Weddings in their resort? and that I LOVE Destination Weddings? Just saying :)
8) Pamper yourself and your other half with romantic & relaxing massages
Bali is known to provide fantastic massages, and it’s all true. You can find Balinese massages, foot massages, four hands massages etc.. The best Balinese massage I had in Ubud was at Tamarind Spa at Murni’s house, set in a peaceful and luxurious Balinese compound.
9) Practise Yoga, always!
Yoga Barn is the place to go in Ubud. Look no further. I met inspiring travellers there. They also organise activities during the evenings such as outdoor movies, little concerts & organic meals. They have an amazing variety of yoga classes (for all levels & ages) throughout the day with teachers coming from all around the world, plus an organic and healthy garden cafe managed by KAFE. That’s a win-win.
10) Visit Balinese temples
I loved wondering around the temples with my sarong and curiously observe rituals & prayers. I recommend taking a trip to Tirta Empul, an Hindu temple known for its holy water. Balinese people go there for purification and it’s a touching experience witnessing this ritual. I also really enjoyed Tanah Lot Temple and Uluwatu Temple at sunset time. After visiting these places, a must dinner spot is Jimbaran, where you can order fresh fish for a romantic candlelit dinner on the sand, few meters from the sea.
11) Falling asleep and waking up by the sound of the waves
There is nothing more romantic than falling asleep hearing the sound of the waves right beneath your room. I found a quirky accommodation literally built on a cliff, right above the ocean called Rock’n Reef in Uluwatu. Lots of steps and a bit in the middle of nowhere, but definitely pretty cool.
Uluwatu is popular among surfers and is known to be one of the best area in Bali for surfing. For this reason, I definitely don’t recommend visiting Uluwatu unless you are a surfer. If you want to experience the real Balinese culture, like myself, I recommend you staying in and around Ubud or in the Northern part of Bali.
12) Enjoy sunsets & sunrises
The most beautiful pinkish sunset I experienced was in Gili Trawangan at Sunset Bar. Balinese Temples such as Tanah Lot or Uluwatu are obviously magical places to enjoy sunsets with your loved one.
13) Volunteer in a Balinese School
On my last day in Ubud I visited an elementary school and that was definitely the highlight of my entire trip to Bali. Children were sooo excited to seeing my camera and being photographed. They were jumping around, laughing, playing, I will never forget those hours spent with them. We also took an English / Balinese class together, where I managed to learn few Balinese words here and there :)
14) Stay in Ubud and visit the Gili Islands
I spent two nights in Gili Trawangan but I heard amazing things on the other two Gili Islands as well. If you are planning a romantic and secluded honeymoon in Bali, then the Gili are the perfect islands for you to unwind for a few days. They are reachable by boat from Padangbai.
15) Visit a healer
Even if you don’t believe in these treatments, it’s a great experience that I do recommend. Ask the locals and they would be more than happy to recommend you to their healer. Healers are basically doctors and all the Balinese go to one. Remember to always bring an offer (at least 100,000 rp) and show respect by wearing a sarong.
16) Above all: enjoy Bali, learn, be curious, smile, get inspired, discover, follow your intuitions and bring a moleskine to write down all your experiences ;)
PEAK of my TRIP TO BALI: Traditional Balinese ceremony.
PIT of my TRIP TO BALI: Monkeys!!!!!!!!!!
Recommended reading for your trip (this is an easy one)
And.. if you are looking for other romantic getaways inspirations, have you check out this blog post on how to spend a romantic and luxury getaway in Santorini?
Where would you recommend spending a romantic honeymoon? Let me know in the comment below, I love being inspired :)
Feel free to SHARE THIS BALI TRAVEL POST with your travelling addicted friends!! :)