Bali is by far one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever get to visit. While you could spend months on this beautiful island, two weeks is more than enough time to travel around and explore what the island had to offer. If you visit Bali and stay in just the one place, you will be sure miss out. Each town you can visit is so similar, yet so different from the one you visit before. The people just as in love with their home and as friendly with tourists in each place, yet each place had such a different atmosphere; from the hustle and bustle of busy Seminyak, to the rural feel of Ubud, to the peaceful bliss of Gili Air.
Seminyak is the more touristy, ‘party’ town of Bali; full of Australians looking for a good time it can be a lot more noisy than other, however it’s still somewhere you should visit. Especially when you want somewhere to rest straight after a long flight. So close to the airport, it’s the perfect place to relax for a day or two – lay on the beach, wander around all of the little shopping boutiques or spend a few hours eating at one of the many beach side restaurants.
If you’re travelling around, the second stop on your trip should be Uluwatu. At the very south of the island, known for its perfect surf spots, Uluwatu (along with nearby village Jimbaran) is a lot more secluded than Seminyak. The beaches are a lot more peaceful, however involve a bit more exploring (and climbing) to find. There are some incredible places to stay here too. Back to basics, The Flowerbud Bungalows are a group of small huts with the most beautiful outside bathroom (complete with a herbal essences styled shower). Uluwatu is also home to the Uluwatu temple. In the ridiculous summer temperatures, the walk around the temple is hard work, but the views are incredible. If you visit here, be sure to buy a ticket to the Kecka Fire Dance performance too – a story performed by locals which is encapturing from the very beginning.
Right in the heart of Bali, Ubud is again different from the beach resorts of the island. In Ubud, you’ll find yourself wanting to wander around the many rice fields; some of the most beautiful views can be found on the Campuhan Ridge walk. Ubud is also home to the (VERY) popular sacred Monkey Forest. Don’t be fooled by their cute little faces or their mischievous behaviour as some of these little buggers are vicious. However, sit down on some steps or stand under a tree, and if you’re lucky enough a couple of the smaller, friendlier inhabitants will be more than willing to climb onto your shoulder, sit on your lap, or even delve into your pockets looking for something to steal. The final thing you have to do in Ubud, is take the trip to Mount Batur. The active volcano, standing at 1717m high, is a favourite for all tourists to hike. Leaving in the very early hours of the morning, you’ll start your climb in the pitch black around 2am, and reach the top just in time for the sunrise. The climb up is treacherous, (and despite the daylight by the time you work your way back down, the climb down is even scarier) but the views from the top CANNOT be beaten.
When visiting Bali, your trip would be incomplete without a few nights in the Gili Islands. From Ubud, head to Padang Bai, where regular boat trips leave each day over to the three little islands. Depending on the type of trip you are after, each Gili island has a different feel; Gili Trawangan is the more lively, party island, Gili Meno is perfect for honeymooners or anyone looking for a real escape and our choice, Gili Air is somewhere in between the two. The beaches are incredible, the sea is crystal clear and you can walk around the whole of Gili Air in just over an hour. Don’t think that what you see when you get off the boat is all that there is, the other side of the island too has cute beach bars, restaurants and hidden treasures along the shore. The Gilis are the perfect place for scuba diving and snorkeling. The snorkeling is just as amazing close to the shore, but if you really want to see what the islands have for offer below the water, book yourself on to a snorkeling boat trip. For around £5, the tour lasts most of the day and will take you to spots around all three islands, and stop on one for lunch. The tour guides will even do their very best to make sure you get to swim with turtles.
If you’re after a final location to stay before heading home, check out Sanur. Sanur is more of a holiday resort, rather than a backpacking destination, however for one night’s stay before your flight, Sanur is perfect. Especially as the boats from Gili can take you straight there and it is only a 10 minute drive back to the airport. (If your boat from the Gilis takes you back to Padang Bai, it is very easy to have a driver waiting for you to drive you to Sanur).