“Bali is more than a place;
it’s a mood, it’s magical;
it’s a tropical state of mind.”
Bali is always a good idea, it’s no doubt one of the best travel destination for families.
I am blessed to be able to bless my family with a trip to Bali on my dad’s birthday. It’s my second time visiting Bali, & I am still loving this place as much. This time round, I am determine to let my family experience the real Bali so that they would love this place as much as I do.
Here’s what I did…
#1 Stay in a villa, not hotel.
Here’s why I chose to stay in a villa this time:
– It’s SPACIOUS; normally comes with 2-3 rooms. Perfect for families!
– You will have your privacy, & (usually) own a PRIVATE POOL!
– It feels like HOME!
With all these stated, the Sun Island Boutique Villas & Spa caught my heart!
This deluxe villa is a good blend of style & homey feel! Though it makes you feel like home & give you the absolute privacy, it actually located right at the heart of Seminyak – Legian area, upon walking out the secured entrance, it is the famous Double Six beach. It is only 15 minutes drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Jl. Raya Seminyak No.188, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80222.
Phone: +62 361 733779
I booked the two floors villa. It has 2 bedrooms (one of it is right beside the plunge pool);
a bathtub & a tropical outdoor rain-shower area.
And of course, a private plunge pool! I can now enjoy my dip in complete seclusion, & take as many photos as I want without anyone judging me! Hahahahahaha.
My second fav. spot in the villa is this spacious relaxing area. This uniquely designed area gives a unique experience of true Balinese life. We took full advantage to relax & even have our breakfast here.
I guess, what I truly love most about this villa, is definitely their excellent service & warm hospitality.
The staffs speak fluent English & I was greeted with countless of smile the moment I step out of the room. Discovering Bali is best through the inherently friendly Balinese.
At the same time, you can also check out this blog by HotelsCombined on the top 7 Best Value Hotels to Relax in Bali to complete your Bali experience.
#2 Enchant yourself with the temples of BALI.
Some say, “There’s more temples than homes in Bali.”
Hence, it is right to say that a trip to Bali would not be complete without visiting at least a few of the thousands of Hindu temples in Bali.
I chose to bring my family to 3 of the most beautiful temple (IMO):
– Pura Puseh Batuan Temple
Jl. Raya Batuan, Batuan, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582
– Tanah Lot Temple
Desa Beraban, Kecamatan Kediri, Beraban
– Uluwatu Temple
Jl. Raya Uluwatu | Southern part of Bali, Pecatu 80361
Pura Puseh Batuan Temple, “Temple of Origins“，one of the island’s oldest temples.
Sarong is a MUST before entering the temple, it’s an act of respect to their culture.
Batuan is a village in Bali, & this batuan temple a real temple where the locals come to worship to the god. This place is not very commercialized yet, but it starts to attracts more & more tourist because of it’s authenticity.
The moment you enter, be ready to feast your eyes with statues that are about a thousand years old.
Komang (our tour guide), as usual plucked a flower from the tree in the temple and asked mama to put it on when they are playing the traditional gamelan instruments. It is a balinese music instruments that include bronze and bamboo xylophones which is meant to serve religious beliefs, & to accompany dances.
Second time here, I am still awed with its’ antique architecture & elaborated carvings.
p.s. – the entrance for this temple is FREE, but you can donate any amount of money to support the maintenance of the temple.
Tanah Lot Temple, the not-to-be-missed icon in Bali. A beautiful balinese temple that is located on the top on the rock and encircled by sea water it when it’s tide.
As beautiful as it is, there’s also myth holds that this temple has the break-up curse, towards couple who has pre-marital sex in Bali. They’ll almost definitely break up not long after the trip. An urban legend goes that there’s a princess who was deeply in love with a prince, they got engaged & have sex. Sadly, the prince later called off the marriage, left & was never heard of again. She was devastated, hence threw the horrible curse.
I don’t know how true it is. But, I wouldn’t want to risk it, again.
I would suggest you to go with your friends, or family instead. HAHA.
The most popular time to visit Tanah Lot is during the late afternoon when sun starts to set. You will be take in the magical view of one of the most stunning sunset, with the temple beautifully silhouetted against the vibrant colored sky. Best to arrive before 5pm as it will be pretty crowded & hard to get in during sunset hour.
Unfortunately, we were a little late. But this magnificent scene of crashing waves besides the temple still caught my heart.
Uluwatu Temple, known as one of the most famous Balinese sea temple. It is one of the nine directional temples of Bali meant to protect it from the evil.
This temple is located at Pecatu Village, it sits on a 70-
Before the sunset, this is it. Haha.
Honestly, even without the sunset, this view is still magnificent.
Kecak Dance (monkey dance) performances are held at Uluwatu temple daily between 6PM and 7PM.
It’s basically the Bali style of Romeo & Juliet. The shows is about the story of Prince Rama and his rescue of Princess Sita, who has been kidnapped by the evil King of Lanka. It’s quite interesting, but sadly, we missed it this round.
I managed to see the sunset & the kecek dance the last time when I was here.
You can read more HERE, if you are interested. :)
Kind reminder: Monkeys, are everywhere in this temple. &, they are NOT FRIENDLY, they often snatch visitors’ belonging, including bags, cameras and eyeglasses. I have seen one happening right in front of me. Do keep a close grip on all your belongings, & place your glasses in your bag if possible.
#3 Explore the scenic rice fields of Bali
Rice terraces is the second best thing after sunset in Bali.
In Bali, you have to experience dining & sipping on coffee beside the lush paddy field.
First, go to Tegallalang Rice Terrace. This place is known as the finest rice paddy terrace view in Bali. This garden style rice terrace is indeed gorgeous (despite being ploughed after harvest).
Tegallalang, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
This friendly old man allows you to take photo of him or with him together with his paddy carrier with no charge.
You will also see a bunch of kids running around asking you to buy their postcard. If you thought what’s a dollar to make a kid happy, & bought from anyone of them, be ready that all the other kids will come to you and ask you to get one from each of them. They can be quite pushy. Well, it’s never easy to turn a kid down, we ended up buying a few before we leave.
Then, enjoy the Balinese coffee beside the rice terrace at Bali Pulina.
Sipping on the fragrant balinese coffee while being awed by this fabulous views of terraced rice-fields at the rear of the place is one of the best thing you can do in Bali.
Banjar Pujung Kelod, Tegallalang, Kec. Gianyar, Bali.
Bali Pulina is a luwak coffee plantation in Bali, you basically experience roasting, and get the chance to taste the local blends & the costliest coffee – luwak coffee.
Here’s my cute papa roasting coffee, & insisted for a photo. Haha.
I am not a big fans of Luwak coffee, I like the local blends better.
This whole array of coffees & tea are FOC.
Among all the vanilla coffee, balinese coffee & lemon tea are our fav.
Coffee luwak is available at IDR50,000/cup.
Ordered one, but unfortunately, non of us fancy it.
These banana fritters are to die for, with or without the honey!
The sweet, warm, & soft bananas encased in crispy batter, ummm, heavenly!
If you are wondering who’s this Komang, that I have been mentioning a few times;
This is Komang (our tourguide) together with us.
Growing up with these two;
Some days we are like best friends, some days it seems like there’s WW3 going on. Haha.
Bali Pulina charges IDR 100k entrance fee per pax.
For the semi-guided tour, the delicious arrays of coffee, whilst being spoil by the stunning view; I think it’s worth it.
Lastly, complete your paddy field journey by taking in the splendor over a delicious meal by the picturesque paddy field at NOOK! I found this place online, & immediately fell in love.
This place is a gem!
Jalan Umalas 1, Gang Nook No. 1, Kuta Utara, Bali, Indonesia
Open daily 8am – 11pm
Open air sitting with much tranquility, with refreshing view of rice paddy. Perfect!
The white & earth-toned color setting make the whole place so instagram-worthy.
The loves of my life, my everything;
Bali is better with them.
The food is as good as the view; pa ordered this Nasi Campur Special (IDR 47,000), & he said it’s good.
Coming from someone who’s very picky with his food, this must be really good.
I came to Nook for this smoothie bowl – Komang (IDR60,000).
It’s approximately RM19. Hey…. it’s super worth it for this refreshingly delicious & filling bowl of goodness (mixture of vanilla protein, banana, dates, cinnamon, ginger, carrot and soy milk, topped with dragon fruit, mango, goji berries, granola, grated coconut, pumpkin, chia and flax seeds).
Ordered Tutti Frutti – banana, orange, strawberry, pineapple & yogurt.
I don’t mind drinking this everyday.
Nook is one of my fav. discovery this trip, savoring in Balinese nasi campur & delicious smoothie bowl beside the rice terraces which are synonymous with Bali; Probably, the best way to experience Bali.
#4 What is BALI without the Beach Hopping?
Pandawa Beach; known as the secret beach.
Because, it was extremely hard to access before the infrastructure was built in 2004, and was officially open only in 2012.
Darmawangsa St. | Kutuh Village, Kuta 80361.
Many raved about white sand and blue emerald sea water. However, due to time constrain, we didn’t really go down to the beach, but enjoyed the impressive sea panorama only from afar. Perhaps, next time.
Next, we head over to the cliff-guarded Padang-padang beach, one of Bali’s most famous surf spot.
To access to this hidden cliff beach, you will need to pass through a narrow path between 2 limestone cliff face that connects the beach & main road.
Jl. Labuhan Sait, Pecatu 80361
The sea has constant big wave which is perfect for surfers.
However, IMO, for non-surfers like us, there’s really nothing much to do. Hence, we just hang around, enjoy the sun & golden sand, whilst people watching.
We didn’t stay too long, left after an hour.
You can skip this spot if you are not into surfing.
We save the best for the last. Our final beach spot, is the Blue point beach (better known as the Suluban beach by the locals). Saw this on Bobo’s post during her Bali trip, and was determine to get there!
Similar to Padang-padang, this is a beach with steep cliffs and big waves! In order to get here, you will need to pass through a lot of narrow stairs by the white rock cliffs. It’s all worth it, when you see the white sands & clear sea water! This hidden beach is beautiful, I was fascinated.
Jl. Uluwatu, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
The waves is big, but it’s calm at the edge.
Went swimming with little sister, & spent some good time in the ocean!
Then, we headed up to Singlefin Bali, a cafe that offers scenic view of the Blue Point Beach.
Komang suggested Singlefin instead of Blue Point Cafe, as it’s less crowded & offers the same view.
Pa ma didn’t join us to the beach, they were just chilling by the cliff at Singlefin while waiting for us.
I can imagine…
sunset + sea view + relaxing music + ice cold beer = PERFECTION!
I need to come back to this place again!
#5 Blown away at WATER BLOW
“The waves come in this narrow opening, and when the waves hit the reef, pressure rises and blow up. That’s why this place is called Water Blow.”
Semenanjung Nusa Dua, Nusa Dua, Bali 80517, Indonesia
You got to have a good patience, to capture the perfect moment the water splashes.
I am obviously not ready during “perfect moment”. Haha.
Good spot to be awe-struck, you will definitely go WOW whenever the water splashes.
There’s also some beautiful beaches along the way, while I walk towards the WATER BLOW.
#6 Uncovering the spectacular waterfall in Bali
Komang brought us to Tegenungan Waterfall, the only waterfall that is not located in the highland or mountain. Anyhow, it still remain secluded, where you will need to hike through several flights of stairs to find this beauty.
Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali.
Experiencing bali via this beautiful cascade.
We definitely enjoyed this quick escape to the balinese waterfall, with fresh water from the heavy water flow!
#7 Unveil the hispter in Bali
Decided to pay a visit to this “you-cant-help-but-instagram” cafe, BIKU!
“This place well-loved, & often packed with loyal fans.” That’s what I read online.
Jalan Petitenget No.888, Seminyak Kerobokan, Kuta, Bali
Daily: 8am – 11pm
Everything here, from decorations & utensils, are pretty much too pretty for words.
I felt that even my pictures cannot justify. This place makes you feels like a medieval royalty.
But I guess I ordered the wrong thing, instead of the strongly recommended traditional afternoon tea set, I ordered the Asian high tea set (which came with a chili =.=). It’s not bad, but nothing much to shout about. It tasted like the kuihmuih from any of the malay stall back in Malaysia. T.T
Thank God I ordered the Pavlova. At least, I am satisfied now.
The postcard though, it’s available in the bookstore inside Biku.
Too funny to not buy!
I bought a few as these make really good souvenirs. :D
I am quite sure you will like this place, just make sure you order the right thing. Haha.
#8 MUST-EAT in Bali
It’s PORK RIBS time! The famous Naughty Nuri has been renamed to Hog Wild in Bali.
Mad love for the retro rustic setting!
Kinda similar to Naughty Nuri (in M’sia) but better and quirkier.
– Mie Goreng //
Similar to the one back here (which is super yummy), otherwise tastier.
– Nasi Goreng with Pork Sate //
These juicy pork sates make a perfect pair with the balinese style fragrant fried rice. Enough said.
– Pork Ribs grilled in Wicked Sauce //
These ribs are orgasmic! The one I had in Malaysia is nothing like this one! It is very well seasoned, the sweetness was just right, & it’s way juicier and tender! The meat simply falls off the rack, goshhhhh. Thumbs up!
Couldn’t rave about this place more! Noms!
Local favorites: Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki
This is the true taste of BALI, it became Pa’s favorite too!
One set which include rice, fried chicken, ayam suwir, lawar, soy sauced egg, & fish sate lilit. &, CHILIS! It’s not cili padi, not sambah, it’s bumbu bali! Though it’s burning spicy, but it’s addictive at the same time. Best thing is, it’s only IDR20000 (RM6.00) per plate! Too good to be true!
Jalan Celagi Basur No. 3Y, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Daily 7AM – 6PM.
How can you missed the most famous, Babi Guling Ibu Oka when you’re in BALI.
Babi guling spesial, basically is a little bit of everything on the menu. Rice topped with grilled sausage, grilled pork, and deep-fried pork, Babi Guling for IDR50,000 (RM12). Unfortunately, we were late and they have sold out all their pork skin! Go before 1pm if you want to try the complete set.
p.s. – There’s 2 different set of menu in this place. Local menu, & foreigners menu, which is easily twice the price of the local’s. Thanks to Komang we pay the local price of IDR50,000 per plate.
Jalan Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Celebrated Pa’s birthday at my fav. spot, Bale Udang.
This place brought back so much memories, I dropped my phone into the pond last year this time.
He said;「dear，電話壞了我再買給你，不要傷心了。我說過你今後的粗心都有我來負責。」// :’)
Anyway, back to this place, it is the cozy dimmed light dining on the pond setting caught my heart; so I decided to bring my family here for my pa’s birthday dinner.
Jln. Nakula No. 88, Sunset Road, Kuta 80361, Bali – Indonesia
Happiest birthday, my no.1 man in the whole universe, papa tan! I truly hope you enjoyed the trip & this balinese dinner on the pond as much as I wish you do. I promise, I will strive to do more because I am as blessed as I can be, with the world’s best dad.
love you, pa! Promise to “hik xiong” more together okie! Hehe.
We ordered Bale Nem, IDR550K.
” Bale Udang’s special dish set, contains of various menus from Prawns, Carp, Chicken and vegetables accompanied with various condiments and fresh fruits for up to 6 people.”
Everything is still as good, the fish especially was very well done!
FAM + Komang (Pa’s new found beer buddy in Bali).
Pa, did I ever tell you… YOU’RE MY HERO!
Probably the cutest superman alive (when you’re in good mood, haha).
#9 Colorful beanbags dining experience in BALI
Told Komang about how much I like the colorful beanbags spot I saw online, & he brought us to La Plancha, fulled of colorful shack and beanbags by the beach. This is the latest “it place” in Bali.
Jalan Mesari Beach, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361.
Beautiful night with perfect companions, the best travel partner I could ever asked for.
Bintang, by the beach listening to the excellent music selection with wave crashing onto the shore.
I have no expectation for the food for such fancy spots.
But these finger food is reasonably priced & yummy, I can’t stop nomming on the grilled potatoes.
Finally, I am seated among this dream-like brightly coloured light & beanbags.
This pretty much completed my Bali check-list! Huhu!
#10 Hire a trustable tour guide
All the above will not be possible without KOMANG! I can have total peace of mind whenever I travel with him because he is really good in planning the itinerary based on our likings (recommending the local hidden gem), and making sure that there’s good photo taken throughout the trip. Thank you for making the trip so enjoyable. #BALI is not Bali without KOMANG!
If you ever thought of visiting Bali, I would strongly recommend Komang, mention my name & you will get a good deal. You can contact Komang through his FACEBOOK.